Soup-er Sunday: Corn Quinoa and Sweet Potato Chowder

Soup-er Sunday is back. Today’s gorgeous fall weather was the perfect day to try a new recipe that was shared with me from Karen at Fancy Little Feet. Per Karen’s recommendation, I modified tonight’s recipe from The Pretty Bee.

Corn Quinoa and Sweet Potato Chowder

Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 very large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 32 ounce container of vegetable broth
⅔ cup quinoa
1 cup water 1 cup coconut milk
½ teaspoon garlic salt
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon white pepper
1 cup frozen corn
cilantro for garnish
Directions:
  1. In a heavy bottomed pot, heat the oil and chopped onion over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the sweet potatoes and broth, bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low and cook for about 20 minutes.
  3. Add the quinoa, cup of water cup of coconut milk, and spices and continue cooking until quinoa is tender (you will see the little ring around the edge of the quinoa loosen), about 15 more minutes. If too much of the water has evaporated, add a bit more. It should be a thick soup, but you should still see broth.
  4. Add the corn and cook until corn is heated through, about five minutes.
  5. Serve topped with cilantro if desired.

(I doubled this recipe to have enough for lunch left overs this week.)

Served with a side of corn bread, tonight’s dinner was delicious! I stuffed in as much as I could, and I can’t wait for lunch tomorrow.

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Sunday Salad: Southwestern Chicken and Spaghetti Squash Salad

Every now and then I get a glimpse of what life looks like without a crazy toddler begging for every second of my attention. Cole is in Florida on a mini vacation with my parents, and Christian was working a beer festival all day, so Chet was my shadow all day. Normally he can be demanding and my day is spent according to his schedule. Today I felt like he become a partner in my schedule. It’s amazing how different that can feel.

Today started off with a run with Heidi while Chet navigated from his stroller. The afternoon was filled with lazy play, and then I got to spend some time in the kitchen with my little sous chef.  We made peach baked oatmeal for an easy breakfast option this week. Dinner was our next task. Tonight we enjoyed Southwestern Chicken and Spaghetti Squash Salad by Eat Live Run. Such a wonderful combinations of foods that I already had in our house thanks to our CSA box from Cullipher Farm. Dinner was delish, and there is plenty for lunch this week!

Ingredients:

for salad —

1 small spaghetti squash

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 orange or red bell pepper, sliced thin

1 bunch cilantro, minced

2 cups shredded green cabbage

2 cups thinly sliced cooked chicken breast (I cooked the chicken in the slow cooker with a jar of salsa and then shredded)

1 cup chopped jicama {optional}

avocado for serving

for zesty buttermilk dressing—

1/2 cup well shaken buttermilk

1/4 cup mayonnaise (I used plain yogurt)

juice of 1 lime

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp cumin

pinch of cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice your spaghetti squash in half length-wise and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash cut side down on a greased sheet pan and bake for 40 minutes, until very tender. Let squash cool before using a fork to scoop out “spaghetti” and place in a bowl. You can do this step up to three days before you prepare the salad.

Next, make the dressing. Whisk together the buttermilk, mayonnaise, lime juice, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

To prepare the salad, place the cooled spaghetti squash in a large serving bowl. Top with black beans, chicken, bell pepper, shredded green cabbage, cilantro and jicama, if using. Toss all ingredients together well. Drizzle dressing over salad {you may not want/need to use all the dressing}.

Serve salad on plates topped with sliced avocado.

**Assembled salad will stay fresh, without dressing and avocado, for up to four days covered in the fridge. Dressing will stay fresh for up to a week and is also great served as a dip with raw veggies

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Find my entire collection of salads here.

Sunday Salad: Crab Pasta Casserole

Hurricane Arthur put a damper on fourth of July plans here in Virginia Beach. While the morning of the fourth was a wash out, the rest of the weekend has been beautiful. Pool parties and fireworks were rescheduled. This all worked out great for our family because Cole came home Saturday afternoon. He made it home from fireworks on the beach, and a cookout with our favorite family friends.

Our entire family sat poolside this afternoon enjoying low humidity and gorgeous summertime weather. My contribution to the cookout was a no brainer. My family requests this dish several times a year:

Crab Pasta Casserole

Ingredients:
8 ounces uncooked pasta
2 large onions chopped
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced (mushrooms omitted for preference reasons)
1/2 cup green red and orange bell peppers, chopped (color changed for visual appeal)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup butter
16 ounces crab meat, chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoon basil
1 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

**I also added a bunch of asparagus, chopped, to the veggie mix

Directions:
Cook pasta according to directions.

Meanwhile in a skillet, saute onion, garlic, mushrooms and green pepper in butter until crisp tender. Remove from the heat. Drain pasta; add to vegetable mixture. Stir in crab, sour cream, basil and salt.

Transfer to 2 greased 8-inch baking dishes. Sprinkle with cheese. If you don’t wish to cook both, at this point you can cover and freeze one casserole for up to 1 month.

Cover and bake the second one for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F. Uncover and bake for 5 more minutes.

Notes: I used one box of pasta (about 14 ounces) and doubled up on the veggies and other ingredients to make a huge family size portion with leftovers for lunch.

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This recipes will always be connected to summer family cookouts. I hope you enjoy it too!

(Read all my Sunday Salad recipes here)

Sunday Salad: Summer Citrus Quinoa Salad

The best part of Sunday Salads: people share recipes with me all the time. My friend Nicole sent me a recipe via facebook earlier this week, and I knew I had to try it. When I got in the kitchen tonight, I did some modifying and created a dish of my own. We had some berries to eat up, and this seemed like a perfect match.

(Modified from Sally’s Baking Addiction)

Summer Citrus Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

Quinoa, cooked (1 cup uncooked, approximately 4 cups cooked)

Strawberries, chopped

Blueberries

Orange, peeled, separated, diced

Dressing:

Lime Juice, 2 limes

Orange Juice, 1 orange

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. honey

1/2 cup Cilantro, chopped

Directions:

1. Cook quinoa

2. Chop up fruit

3. Make Dressing, whisk together

4. Mix together in bowl

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Today Christian spent his day on the water fishing. He brought home Red Drum which we fried for dinner. The quinoa salad topped with fish and avocado was a perfect match.

For lunch tomorrow I’ll be enjoying the same quinoa salad with grilled chicken (marinated with coconut oil, garlic, and paprika) and goat cheese.

I love summer cooking! Simple. Easy. Delicious.

Enjoy!

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Sunday Salad: Cilantro Lime Cucumber Salad

When we made plans for a cookout with friends last weekend to celebrate Christian’s birthday, I knew I had to find a cucumber salad. It’s one of his favorites. I never make it. Another one of his favorites, cilantro. The recipe below was a no brainer. And it was an instant hit.

Recipe from The Food Charlatan

Cilantro-Lime Cucumber Salad
Yield: 5-6 side servings

Ingredients
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cucumbers, very finely sliced (see photos)
4 tablespoons minced cilantro, to taste

Instructions

Head on over to her blog to read how to make it!

My only modification was to double the recipe. I had ten mouths to feed, and this produced enough for everyone.

In party celebration mode, I forgot to take photos. Good thing Pinterest is filled with them!

Another great summer salad for our weekly rotation!

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Sunday Salad (Cinco de Mayo style): Mexican Salad

It’s not Sunday, but I took today off to enjoy my last (!!!!!!) sick day at my current job. I go back to work (for only three more days!!) tomorrow, so it feels like Sunday to me.

AND it’s Cinco de Mayo. My taste buds are 100% Mexican so this is a holiday I always celebrate. Tonight’s menu: fajitas and Mexican salad.

Mexican Salad

Ingredients:
1 can corn,drained and rinsed
1 can black beans,drained and rinsed
1 small red onion, chopped
2 avocados, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil (I used coconut oil)
2 Tablespoons lime juice (I used a whole lime
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Optional: (add to taste)
jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
fresh cilantro leaves
(I didn’t add these but did add a diced red bell pepper)

Directions: Whisk together lime juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add corn, black beans, tomatoes, red onion, and avocado. Toss to coat. Cover and chill salad until ready to serve. Can be eaten by itself or with tortilla chips.

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This one was super easy to make. Chet did all mixing.

I ate mine as a dip with blue corn chips. Christian added it to his fajita bowl. Both were a win! My Mexican taste buds are happy happy!

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Christian’s dinner. I forgot to take a picture of mine!

Soup-er Sunday: Shamrock Soup

Disclaimer: I’m a sucker for a theme. When I typed “shamrock soup” in the search bar on Pinterest, this was the first soup that popped up. It’s up for debate how “shamrocky” it actually is.

Since I have the Shamrock half-marathon on my brain, I thought a shamrock soup would be a fun kick off into the week. I may have been overly excited when I saw the name of this soup on Catholic Cuisine. It’s a milk based soup, something I would not normally cook. As the soup was being prepared, I was skeptical (and wishing Chick-fil-a was open as a back up plan!). To make it more of a meal, I added potatoes and beans to recipe.

Shamrock Soup

Ingredients:

4 TBS butter
1/2 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
4 TBS flour
2 cups whole milk
4 cups whole milk
3-4 cups chopped broccoli
1 tsp salt
1/8-1/4 black pepper
shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
**2 cups diced potatoes, we used fingerling potatoes
**1 can of kidney beans

Directions:

In a large pot melt butter on medium heat. Sautee onions and celery until tender. Add the flour, whisking until combined. Add the 2 cups of milk and turn the heat to high. Whisk constantly until mixture becomes thick and bubbly. Reduce heat and add the remaining 4 cups of milk. Add the broccoli, potatoes, beans, salt, and pepper. Turn up the heat to medium high/high and bring to a gentle simmer, whisking on occasion so as to not scald the bottom of the pan and to prevent over boiling. Turn to low and let simmer for about 10 minutes or until broccoli is tender.

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When the soup was done, it was pretty bland. Christian came to the rescue and added some of our favorite spices from the cabinet. A little cheese on top and some corn bread on the side and dinner was saved. It still wasn’t one of my favorites though and had too much dairy for my liking.

This shamrock soup did not bring good luck to our kitchen. I’d rather save my luck for race day next weekend anyways!

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