Instant Pot Butternut Carrot Soup

Its officially fall which is my favorite season. Squash is a staple food in my diet and I try to eat as much as possible during this time of year. This is a super simple recipe when made with an instant pot. You can also make it in a stock pot but it takes much longer. I like to use a stick immersion blender to blend my soups, but you can use a regular blender as well. I honestly hate pouring hot soup into the blender, the immersion blender was one of the best investments I have made.

This soup can be topped with many different super yummy toppings. I like to use goat yogurt, vegan sour cream, or coconut yogurt. Roasted and salted pumpkin seeds are also a great topping.

Instant Pot Butternut Squash Carrot Soup

  • Servings: 8
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Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes plus time for the instant pot to pressurize

Ingredients:

2 Inches of peeled ginger minced

1 Yellow Onion

1 Butternut squash peeled, cut into 2 inch chunks

1 Bag of carrots washed and chopped

1 Tablespoon salt

1 Teaspoon pepper

1 Tablespoon oil (olive or avocado)

1 Tablespoon fresh thyme

3 Cloves of garlic pressed

4 Cups of chicken stock

1/2 Cup of full fat coconut milk

Directions:

  1. Turn the Instant Pot on sauté and add the oil, onion, salt, and pepper.
  2. Sauté until onions are soft and translucent.
  3. Add thyme, handful of of carrots, and a handful of squash.
  4. Sauté for 5 minutes stirring irregularly.
  5. Add chicken stock , the rest of the veggies, minced garlic and ginger.
  6. Put the lid on the instant pot, press manual or pressure cook and set the timer for 10 minutes.
  7. When the timer beeps, manually release the steam through the vent.
  8. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Add coconut milk and blend for 10 more seconds.

Notes: If you are cooking this in a stock pot, follow directions up to step 6. At step 6 put a lid on the pot and let the veggies simmer until the squash and carrots are soft which is about 20 minutes. Then blend with an immersion blender or ladle into a regular blender.


Sunrise Smoothie

At the beginning of Quarantine Phase 1 I started incorporating ginger and turmeric into as many things as possible. I was super paranoid about boosting my immune system. At one point I bought a pineapple and then let it sit on the counter for a little too long. Since it was super ripe and I couldn’t eat it all at once, I froze a large majority of it. The next week I did the same thing with some mangoes. I thought they would be good in some sort of tropical smoothie or beverage. Since I was obsessed with ginger (still kind of am) I threw a bunch of smoothie ingredients together to make this super yummy tropical smoothie.

I called it the sunrise smoothie because of the color. The turmeric, mango, and pineapple give this smoothie a bright and cheery color. I started adding frozen cauliflower to make it a little thicker. It works just fine without the cauliflower and actually blends a little better. I have a Vitamix so usually I use the smoothie setting and then blend for a few more seconds on high (especially if I have added the cauliflower).

Sunrise Smoothie

  • Servings: 2-8 oz servings
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Prep Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 2 servings (8 ounce servings)

Ingredients:

1 banana

½ cup frozen Mango

½ cup frozen Pineapple

1/3 cup of frozen Cauliflower

1 tsp Turmeric powder

2 TBSP Hemp hearts

1 inch of Ginger

2 TBSP Flax meal

1 cup of Almond milk

1 scoop of Collagen

Directions:

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend for 1 minute. If you have a Vitamix put it on the smoothie setting. Enjoy!


Nectarine Arugula Salad with Balsamic Glaze

Happy Labor Day! I hope you had a relaxing weekend. My husband and I are preparing to teach virtually this week which obviously we are not very excited about. We are starting to meal plan and prep again so that we have healthy lunches and dinners ready to go. I am working from home but only have a 30 minute lunch so I need to be quick and snappy about my lunch choices. I have been playing around with different salad combinations and this one is so far my favorite.

I normally make jar salads for my husband and I to eat at work but since I work from home I don’t need to do that. However, I am still working on a lineup of jar salad recipes and this will be one of them for sure. Who doesn’t love nectarines, Chevre, and balsamic?

Nectarine Arugula Salad with Balsamic Glaze

  • Servings: 2
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Prep Time: 5-10 minutes

Ingredients:

2 Nectarines (ripe)

Half a box or bag of Arugula

One small log of Chevre Goat Cheese

1/3 cup Olive Oil

3 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar

1 TBSP Dijon Mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 clove of Garlic minced

Directions:

  1. In a salad bowl or on a plate place the Arugula.
  2. Cut the nectarines in wedges and place them on the Arugula.
  3. Cut the log of goat cheese into thin wheels and place on top or around the nectarines.
  4. In a mason jar add all the salad ingredients and shake until the oil and vinegar are fully combined.
  5. Spoon balsamic glaze on top of the salad.
  6. Enjoy!


Blistered Shishito Peppers with Sriracha Mayo

Happy Labor Day weekend! This is always a crazy time of year for my husband and I since we both work in education. This year feels extra weird as we will not be going to any labor day parties or big gatherings. We are going camping though which is a nice way to wind down the summer.

This Shishito recipe is super simple and delicious. I know there are lots of blistered pepper recipes out there, but mine includes sriracha mayo. If you are having people over for labor day this is a great simple appetizer that people can munch on. I love Shishito peppers and could eat them all day, but my husband is not a fan so I normally end up eating most of them. I honestly think he only eats these because he loves sriracha mayo so much.

I recommend using a cast iron skillet to blister your peppers as it holds heat much better then non stick skillets. I also recommend using flaky sea salt if you have it. I only had Redmond’s natural salt this time, which was good but not the same as the flaky salt.

Blistered Shishito Peppers with Sriracha Mayo

  • Servings: 4
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Prep Time: 2-3 minutes

Cook Time: 5-7 minutes

Ingredients:

1 bag of Shishito peppers

1 TBSP olive oil

Flaky sea salt

1/3 cup Mayo

Juice of half a Lime

1-2 TBSP Sriracha

Directions:

  1. Wash Shishito peppers in a colander in the sink.
  2. Heat olive oil in the cast iron skillet on the stove on medium/high.
  3. Add the peppers to the skillet arranging them so they all touch the bottom of the pan.
  4. In a small bowl combine mayo, lime juice and sriracha. Add more or less sriracha depending on how spicy you want it.
  5. Stir the peppers so they are evenly blistering on both sides.
  6. Once they have black/brown blistered spots on both sides and have slightly softened, take them out of the skillet and put them on a plate.
  7. Sprinkle peppers with salt.
  8. Serve with sriracha mayo as a dipping sauce.


Raspberry Vanilla Smoothie Bowl W/Frozen Zucchini

I really love adding frozen veggies to my smoothies and smoothie bowls. I got the idea for freezing zucchini and putting it in smoothies from the Instagram of Jessica Eats Real Food. She is an awesome Paleo food blogger and honestly I never knew what to do with the exploding amount of zucchini I get this time of year. I have so many raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries in my freezer, so smoothies are my current go to breakfast.

This smoothie bowl sneaks so many healthy things in, including frozen cauliflower and flax. I love to put fresh berries, my homemade granola, and coconut flakes on my smoothie bowls. You could add any topping of your desire and it would be delicious.

Raspberry Vanilla Smoothie Bowl W/ Frozen Zucchini

  • Servings: 2
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Blend Time: 50 seconds

1 Banana

1 Cup Raspberries

1/2 Cup Frozen Cauliflower Rice

1/2 Cup Frozen Zucchini

1 cup of Almond Milk

1 Scoop Collagen

1 TBSP Ground Flax

1 TSP Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. Place all the ingredients in the blender and blend for 50 seconds.
  2. Pour into 2 bowls and top with granola, fruit, coconut flakes, or nuts.


Healing Chicken Soup

Cooler evenings call for soup right? There is something about crisp evenings that make me crave soup. Usually this time of year I am strengthening my immune system for the start of the school year and new kid germs. This year is obviously much different, I am boosting my immune system so that I can stay healthy. I won’t have to worry about the kid germs…which honestly makes me sad.

This soup is easy and is so soothing when sick or just needing simple food. You can add rice to it, extra veggies, or noodles if that’s your thing. I usually make a big batch of this and freeze it for later. It also reheats nicely for lunches.

Healing Chicken Soup

  • Servings: 6
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Prep Time: 15 minutes

 Cook Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

2 TBSP Olive Oil

1 Large Onion finely chopped

1 Bag of Carrots chopped (roughly 3 cups)

2 Cups Celery chopped

3 Cloves of Garlic minced

½ inch of Ginger grated

1 TBSP Fresh Thyme (minced)

1-2 tsp Kosher Salt

1 ½ Cartons (32 oz) Bone Broth (add more as needed)

4 Bay Leaves

1 Pound of Cooked Chicken

Juice of 1 Lemon

(1/2 bunch of diced Kale optional)

Directions:

  1. In a stockpot heat olive oil on medium heat.
  2. Add onions and sauté until soft.
  3. Add ginger and garlic, stir for 1 minute or until aromatic.
  4. Add celery, carrots, thyme, and salt. Sauté for 3-5 minutes until the celery starts to soften.
  5. Add the bone broth and bay leaves and bring to a boil with the pot uncovered.
  6. Lower the pot to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  7. When the carrots are soft, add the cooked chicken and lemon juice (and Kale is using).
  8. Return to a boil and cover for 5 minutes.
  9. After 5 minutes take off the heat and let cool.

Note: You may need to add more broth depending on if you add Kale. If you add Kale to your soup, add ½ to ¾ cup more bone broth.


Chia Pudding With Cashew Milk

I know that there are a lot of chia pudding recipes out there. What makes mine different is I use homemade cashew milk. In this recipe I will share not only how to make a rich and creamy cashew milk, but also a decadent chia pudding. I have always been a big fan of tapioca pudding but when I discovered my lactose intolerance I couldn’t gorge on Cozy Shack tapioca anymore. I have tried vegan ones but they are very sugary and all that sugar gives me a belly ache. I have found that homemade chia pudding is the best substitute for me. A note about this recipe, if you choose not to use cashew milk then I recommend full fat coconut milk. When I used full fat coconut milk it had a similar consistency to the cashew milk, but obviously takes on a strong coconut taste. I found when I used almond milk this recipe did not thicken up all the way. If all you have is almond milk I recommend adding 2-3 more tablespoons of chia seeds.

Chia Pudding With Cashew Milk

  • Servings: 4
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Prep Time: 30 minutes

Set Time: 1 hour-overnight

Ingredients:

1 cup of raw Cashews

1 cup of Boiling Water

3 cups of Filtered Water

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

1/4 cup Chia Seeds

1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

1 cup Homemade Cashew Milk (or full fat coconut milk)

1 TBSP Maple Syrup

Fruit of Choice (for topping)

Directions:

  1. Place raw cashews in a large bowl.
  2. Boil 1-1 1/2 cups water and pour boiling water over the cashews.
  3. Let the cashews sit for 20 minutes.
  4. When cashews have soaked, put them in a blender with 3 cups of filtered water, and vanilla. Blend the cashew mixture for 1 1/2 minutes. Your mixture should be smooth with no chunks at all.
  5. In a medium size bowl combine the chia seeds, a cup of cashew milk, vanilla, and maple syrup. Stir to combine.
  6. Place in the fridge for 1 hour.
  7. After 1 hour transfer the pudding into small personal size containers. I usually use 8 ounce mason jars.
  8. You can prepare chia parfaits now, leave the chia overnight, or eat it straight up.
  9. This lasts 3-4 days in the fridge.


Chili Lime Shrimp Sushi Bowls

I am all for meals that are in bowls, especially if they are a mix of things I love. These sushi bowls have coconut rice, chili lime shrimp, veggies, avocado, and sriracha mayo. Honestly, I could put sriracha mayo on everything and be content. The key though to this recipe is the coconut rice. It is coco-nutty and the texture of sushi rice goes so well in a bowl format. The coconut rice is an instant pot recipe so if you don’t have an instant pot then cook the rice on the stove with all the same ingredients. Another great thing about this recipe is that you can easily make it Paleo by using cauliflower rice instead of traditional rice.

You will want to make sure that your coconut rice or cauliflower rice is ready to go before you start the shrimp. The chili lime shrimp are easy to cook and take minutes. They are also very versatile and are great in Mexican food as well. When cooking the shrimp add the ghee and garlic to the pan first, add the shrimp, then the spices, and lastly add the lime juice. It helps to cook it in this order so that the shrimp absorbs the garlic flavor.

I usually use shredded carrots, cucumber, chopped green onions, and avocados as my vegetables in this bowl. I hope that you like this bowl as much as we do in our family. If you make the rice ahead of time it is really easy to throw together for a quick meal.

Chili Lime Shrimp Sushi Bowl

  • Servings: 4
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Prep Time: 10 minutes (about 35 if you need to cook the rice)

Cook Time: 5 Minutes (longer if you need to cook the rice)

Ingredients:

Coconut Rice or Cauliflower Rice

1 pound of Raw deveined shrimp

2 TBSP Ghee

1 clove of Garlic minced

1 TSP Chili Powder

1 TSP Paprika

Juice of Half a Lime

Shredded Carrots

Diced cucumber

1 Avocado

Seaweed cut into strips (I buy the organic snack packs from Trader Joes)

Diced Green Onions

1/3 cup Mayo (I use Chosen Foods Avocado Mayo or make my own)

2 TBSP of Sriracha (or to your taste)

Juice from Half a Lime

Directions:

  1. Prepare the coconut rice or cauliflower rice. If making cauliflower rice cook it with 1 tablespoon coconut oil and 2 tablespoons full fat coconut milk.
  2. Heat a skillet on the stove, add the ghee, when its melted add the garlic and cook till fragrant.
  3. Add the shrimp, then the seasonings and stir to combine.
  4. After cooking for 2 minutes flip the shrimp and add the lime juice.
  5. Cook the shrimp till pink all the way through (Shouldn’t take more then 5 minutes total)
  6. In a bowl add mayo, sriracha, and lime juice. Stir to combine.
  7. Add coconut rice to a bowl, add carrot, cucumber, shrimp, avocado, seaweed, diced green onions, then drizzle with sriracha mayo.
  8. Enjoy!

Notes: Is using cauliflower rice, compliant mayo, and complaint Sriracha (Nom Nom Paleo sells one at Whole Foods) then this could be a meal on your Whole 30 meal plan.


BBQ Roasted Turnips

I am all about roasting all the root vegetables. I am also all about using all the seasonings in my kitchen. Want to make eating healthy taste yummy? Add spices! I grew up eating so many different spices because my mom was an experimental cook. Fun fact, I used to love smelling spices. Once at an Indian restaurant I thought it would be a good idea to smell/snort cayenne pepper….it did not go well. Another fun fact, if you snort cayenne you can squeeze lemon wedges into your nose to stop the burning.

Turnips are a super versatile vegetable and take on the flavor of the spices you douse them in. This barbecue seasoning is from my BBQ chicken sandwich recipe and adds so much flavor.

BBQ Roasted Turnips

  • Servings: 4 servings
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Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time:  20 minutes

 Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients:

3-4 large turnips

2-3 TBSP olive oil

1 TBSP BBQ seasoning

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Toss the turnips in olive oil and seasoning and spread on the pan.
  3. Roast turnips for 20 minutes until tender. There are many different types and sizes of turnips. If you have small turnips you will want to cut up more then 3-4. If your turnips are huge you may have to add more seasoning or oil so that they are thoroughly coated.


Southwest Chicken Cakes

This is one of my go to recipes to meal prep when I know I am going to need on the go meals. They are easy to throw together and quite yummy. The nice thing about these cakes is that they are super versatile. You can make them with canned chicken or canned salmon (obviously I won’t be doing this as I would die…). They are also good with lots of different toppings, try them with pesto, avocado aioli, burger sauce, or Siracha Mayo.

A couple notes about this recipe, they cook up pretty nice but seem really sloppy when you put them on the pan. Just make sure that they are in a round shape when on the parchment paper and that they are relatively uniform in their thickness.

Southwest Chicken Cakes

  • Servings: 4
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Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time:  25 minutes

Servings: 4 servings

Chicken Cake Ingredients:

4 Cans of Chicken (6 oz cans)

½ Red onion diced fine

1/8 Cup chopped Parsley

1 TBSP coconut aminos

1 TBSP Dijon Mustard

½ Cup Mayonnaise

2 eggs

1/3 Cup Almond Flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp garlic powder

½ tsp paprika

1 TBSP Ghee/Olive oil/or oil of choice

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl mix together all the cake ingredients until they are combined.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, scoop mixture out of the bowl and place on the parchment paper.
  5. Pat down the cakes so that they are ½ inch thick. You should be able to fit 10-12 on the pan.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip the cakes and bake for another 10 minutes.
  7. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then enjoy!