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Category: Dinner (page 1 of 2)

Easy Roasted Carnival Squash

This past weekend I had some free time, which is very rare, and I was able to take my kids to the local farmer’s market. It kinda chilly out so there wasn’t a mob of people out like most Saturdays. We were able to move around easily and didn’t have to wait at each vendors’ booth for very long. It was nice. I’m thinking cold mornings are the way to go!

While we were there I was at one of my favorite vendor’s booth picking out some red potatoes to add to my crockpot stew I will be making later this week, when all of a sudden out of the corner of my eye I spotted the most beautiful winter squash I seen all season. I decided that I would get a carnival squash roast them for one of my lunches this week. Then I saw that they were selling them 2 for $3 and of course I had to get two. They go for almost $2 a pound at the grocery store so this was a great deal.

Carnival squash is an excellent source of vitamin A and is a cross between an acorn squash and a sweet dumpling squash. The outside of it resembles the mix being shaped like  the sweet dumpling and having a mix of green, orange, and cream colors in stripes and spots like both. The inner flesh is sweet, creamy and mellow. It kind of tastes like a mix of sweet potato and butternut squash.

Since I had two of them I decided to make each of them in different ways. Since the last is similar to that of a sweet potato and butternut squash and both play well with sweet and savory seasonings I make one each way. This recipe is the savory one. It gives that creamy squash a bit of spice with fresh grated ginger and a little cumin. I didn’t include measurements for each of the spices because the amounts will differ depending on personal preference. I will, however, warn against adding two much of each spice. Carnival squash taste wonderful as it is and doesn’t need too much seasoning, just enough to enhance!

Easy Roasted Carnival Squash

Easy Roasted Carnival Squash

Ingredients:

1 carnival squash

coconut butter

fresh ginger, grated

cumin

salt and pepper

a dash of cayenne

Directions:

1. Heat over at 350 degrees. Cut squash in half and remove seeds.

2. Place halves on a baking sheet and rub some coconut butter on the inside flesh. Add seasoning and bake for 30-40 minutes or until you can easily poke a fork all the way through the flesh.

That’s it. Only two steps. Easy, right? Well that’s why EASY is in the name. Feel free to experiment with different spices and update me on your findings.

Quinoa Pumpkin Soup

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Happy Halloween everyone! Can’t wait to see all the creative costumes tonight. How many Princess Elisa’s do you think you’ll see? I’m betting on at least 20.  I, myself, will be going green and dressing up as a witch. I’ll post a picture of myself on my Instagram later tonight for all to see.

So I know it is the last day in October and I am sure that I am the very last person with a food blog to finally post a pumpkin recipe. This month has been insanely busy for my family and me. My daughter, husband, and my birthdays all fall in the month of October. I also had the honor of attending the four day Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) that was hosted in Atlanta this year. It was such an amazing experience. To be around so many people of like minds and not to mention all the free swag from over 250 vendors! I will be going through some of products that I got and will write a post sharing all of my favorites soon.

So, back to the pumpkin recipe. Fall is the time of the year where pumpkins take center stage. They are the most popular squash in my book and a stepping-stone to other varieties of squash. That includes kids. Most children will run for the hills if you try to feed them a dish that includes summer or acorn squash, but tell them there is pumpkin in it and you got their attention.  These bright orange fall staples are familiar to children. They see them craved as Jack-O-Lanterns, in pies and breads, and even eat the seed. Getting them to try pumpkin in another form shouldn’t be so hard. Just don’t tell them that the are part of the squash family just yet!

I picked up a pie pumpkin the other day and since the weather was getting cooler and the sky was a bit gloomy I decided that making a pumpkin soup would be fitting. This soup is not your typical smooth and creamy pumpkin soup. This soup is hearty, it is thick, and it has chunk! It also is very colorful, which makes it even more appealing to children. And did I mention that this soup is freezer friendly, gluten free, and packed with vitamins? Pumpkins, purple sweet potatoes, and kale are all packed with vitamin A, kale also contain vitamin K and C, and quinoa is a whole grain that is a good source of protein, fiber, and magnesium. This soup plays more on the side of savory with a little cinnamon spice. One of the reasons I love pumpkin so much is that you can go savory or sweet and still make a great dish.

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Ingredients:

2 tablespoon coconut oil

1 onion, diced

3-4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 carrots, roughly chopped

5 cups of vegetable stock

1 Small pie pumpkin, skinned, seeds and guts removed, and cut into cubes *

1 medium purple potato, skinned peeled and cut into cubes

2 handfuls of kale

1/2 cup of quinoa

1  teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

2 bay leaves

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Salt to taste

* Notes: To make it easier to skin and cut the pumpkin you could cut it in half and roast it, cut sides down, at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. You could also place halves, cut side down, in the microwave for 15-20 minutes.

Directions:

1. In a heavy bottom pot, heat oil on medium heat. Sautee onions, garlic, and carrots for about 3 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Be careful not to burn the onions or garlic.

2. Place all remaining ingredients in the pot and bring to a boil.

3. Once pot has started to boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook until the carrots, pumpkin, and potatoes are done. You’ll be able to easily stick a fork through them.

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Gluten Free Crab Cakes

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A few weeks ago I posted my recipe for homemade almond milk. The cost of making almond milk at home is comparable to buying store bought if all you use it the milk and just throw the pulp away. If you really want to get your moneys worth it is best to use the pulp. If you have a dehydrator you may easily dry it out to make your own almond meal or almond flour. Which by the way are the same things. If you have ever bought almond meal or almond flour you know this stuff is not cheap. You may also make use the wet pulp for recipes.

Every time I make almond milk I try making a new recipe with the pulp. Last time I tried making crab cakes and used the almond pulp in place of breadcrumbs. They were so fresh and flavorful I think I might just have to make them again this week. Here is the recipe for you to try at home.

Gluten Free Crab Cakes

Gluten Free Crab Cakes

Ingredient for Crab Cakes:

1 lbs cooked crab ,meat (fresh or canned)

1 c almond pulp (or almond meal)

3 cloves of garlic (minced)

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp ground mustard

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp celery seed

1/4 c parsley (chopped)

1/4 c carrots (finely chopped)

2 green onions (chopped)

2 eggs (beaten)

13/ c Greek yogurt

coconut oil for cooking

Directions:

1. Place crab meat into a large bowl and use two forks to separate meat.

2. Mix in all other ingredients until mixture is blended well and moist.

3. Take a small handful of the mixture and roll into a ball. Press the ball between the palms of your hands and form a patty. Place patty on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Continue to do this till all of the mixture is used. This will make about 16 crab cakes depending on the size of patties you make.

4. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

5. Heat coconut oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add a batch of crab cakes to the skillet and cook each side for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.

6. Place cooked crab cakes onto a serving plate. Spoon sauce over crab cakes, top with chopped green onions, and serve with lemon wedges

Ingredient for Sauce:

2/3 c Greek yogurt

1 tsp Creole seasoning

The juice of a lemon to taste (I used half a lemon)

Directions:

1. Mix all ingredients together.

2. Spoon over each crab cake and serve.

 

Gluten Free Crab Cakes

Gluten Free Crab Cakes

Super easy and super yummy. So, if you are searching for new ways to use your leftover almond pulp, if you are gluten free and searching for bread crumb alternatives, or if you are just trying to hang on to summer you should really try this recipe at home.

Blue Cheese and Raspberry Pork

My husband, Tony, just discovered blue cheese. I know what you are thinking and you are right. His poor taste palate has been sadly deprived all these years. Until recently he has missed out on the distinctive aroma and sharp, creamy taste of this wonderful cheese. Tony is a self-proclaimed cheese lover but in truth he mostly loves sharp cheddar. He hasn’t really expanded is palate much beyond that. He has a pretty narrow taste preference. Believe me when I saw I have my work cut out with this one! But now since tasting blue cheese and loving it I am hoping that he might be more open to trying some new types of cheeses and other things.  I personal love goat’s cheese but that’s one that hasn’t flown well with him. I have to keep telling myself, “Baby steps Carrie, baby steps.”

Now that I had the husband’s stamp of approval to incorporate blue cheese into family meals I decided to make a flavorful dinner that married some of his favorites with his new tangy obsession. That’s the thing with Tony, he will periodically go through phases where he is obsessed with a particular food and quite often will eat it everyday till he is sick of it. Through the years he has gotten extremely better about his choices in which I am ever so proud of him for!

So what I came up with was crispy pork loin chops topped with creamy blue cheese crumbles and a tangy raspberry balsamic sauce. Here is the recipe for you to try at home.

Blue Cheese and Raspberry Pork

Blue Cheese and Raspberry Pork

Ingredients:

1/2 Tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp dried thyme

salt and pepper to taste

pinch of cayenne pepper

1 lbs. thin sliced pork loin chops

For Sauce:

1/2 tsp of coconut oil

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1/2 c raspberries, washed and patted dry

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

pinch of salt

1/2 c crumbled blue cheese (this is an approximation)

Directions:

1. Heat 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Mix the next 6 seasonings together and evenly rub on the pork loins.

2. When pan in heated, add seasoned pork loins.  Cook until outside in a golden brown. This is about 4-6 minutes on each side, depending on thickness. Remove pork loins and let them rest.

3. In the same skillet heat 1/2 tsp of coconut oil on medium heat add garlic cloves. Cook garlic while stirring for about a minute. Be very careful not to burn the garlic.

5. Add raspberries and balsamic vinegar. Cook for about 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced and sauce has thickened.

6. Place pork loins on serving plates. Add even amounts of crumbled blue cheese over pork loins and spoon hot raspberry sauce over cheese. The heat will help the cheese to melt and fuse the flavors together.

I severed these pork loins with brown rice and steamed broccoli.

Tip– For lunch meal planning double the recipe or use leftovers. Take cooked pork and cut into  strips. Serve over a bed of dark leafy greens, add blue cheese and raspberry sauce. You could also add sliced almonds or walnuts, chia or flax seeds, or even some extra fresh raspberries. This makes a wonderful and filling salad.

Fajita Lettuce Boats

I don’t know about you but I love food that you can pick up by your hands and sink your teeth in. There’s something kinda primal about letting the juice of your meal drip down your hands and chin as you bite into it. Isn’t that why we love burgers, hot dogs, hoagies, wraps, and tacos? Well that’s why I love them, anyhow. What I love even better is that most meals you can eat with your hands are quick and easy to make. Fajitas are one of those hand-held meals that are a favorite at my house. Now since I have yet to find a healthy tortilla wrap that all my family members agree taste good I have turned to the almighty lettuce to fill in as a wrap. It is a much healthier substitute and the kids love eating anything out of a lettuce “boat”.

So I share with you a very simple, fresh, and tasty meal that would please even the pickiest of munchkins. I know this because my own four-year-old is super picky and she ate this right up!

Fajita Lettuce Boats

Fajita Lettuce Boats

 

 

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. of coconut oil

1/2 of onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 lbs. of meat (I used steak cut into bite sized pieces)

1 tsp. of chili powder

Salt and pepper to taste

2 limes, 1 sliced and 1 juiced

Pinch of ground cayenne pepper

1 head of Boston lettuce, leaves rinsed and dried

1 large tomato, diced

1 avocado, diced

Directions:

1. Warm a large frying pan on medium heat and melt coconut oil. Add onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent. Be careful not to burn them.

2. Season meat with chili powder, salt, and pepper. Add seasoned meat to the pan and cook thoroughly until brown.

3. When meat is finished cooking add lime juice over and cayenne pepper. Spoon fajita mix into lettuce “boats” and top with tomatoes and avocado. Serve with a slice of lime.

I paired my fajita lettuce boats with seasoned roasted corn, a quinoa rice blend, and black beans. I hope you enjoy!

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