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Healthyish Recipes Sides Soup Thai Vegan Vegetarian

Thai Curry Sweet Potato Soup

Snow storms do not make me excited. I am from the south.

Snow storms that interfere with a fun weekend meet-up in Richmond with my best friend, Brittany, make me especially unhappy.

Snow storms make Jay VERY excited. He is from Boston.

If you pray, pray to the God(dess) of your choice for us.

But as usual, we take lemons and make amazing vodka lemonades. So, let’s look at the bright side!

We are safe and cozy and warm. Jay is currently making amazing homemade meatballs (GIVE US THE RECIPE, JAY!) We kidnapped Emily and Deuce for a weekend-long slumber party. Cara needed a last minute place for Ziggy, so we have THREE dogs in the house, who love each other and are having a blast.

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Exhausted doggies. Queen Rosé in the middle on her throne amongst her men.

And most importantly, Relay Foods delivers groceries and I did not have to step foot in a grocery store. Thank GOD! (Want $30 bucks off??? Click here! Be lazy like me).

When Jay said he was going to make meatballs, it got me thinking about what my storm comfort food is. It’s cheese. Not cold cheese, but melty, oozey casserole cheesiness. So I’m definitely making artichoke goat cheese strata tomorrow. I also made Food Lab’s Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies to have on hand. You should do that. NOW. I’m also drinking rye whiskey with club soda and homemade ginger simple syrup – it’s delicious, but excuse the typos.

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Things snow is good for: keeping whiskey cold.

But let’s talk SOUPS.

I hate when people who cook say the following, but I’m going to say it – I just threw this soup together real quick. It actually is that easy. And because we give credit where credit is due, it is a riff off of How Sweet’s Thai Butternut Squash Soup. I changed a few things to make it my own, but regardless, you should go spend a lot of time on her site – she makes amazing things.

This soup can be vegan or vegetarian. You know fish sauce = umami, but if you’re being strict, you can omit.

What are your storm survival techniques?? What are your go-to comfort foods?? Did you lose power? Do you like snow storms (if you answer this, respond with where you are from – you know my psych brain makes everything research).

Be safe. Be warm. Be loved. And make this damn soup to be happy.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 diced onion
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 3 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar (I like mine on the sweeter side. Start low and add more later if you want.)
  • 4 cups uncooked peeled and cubed sweet potatoes
  • 3 cups stock (chicken, veggie, beef, whatever your flavor!)
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon of red miso (optional, but I used it tonight for the first time and it’s a game-changer – especially if you’re a vegan and not adding fish sauce)
  • 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon sambal or srirarcha (optional, but great for heat)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh cilantro for serving

Steps

  1. In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, add coconut oil over medium heat. When oil has melted, add onions, garlic, ginger and red curry paste. Sauté for about 7-9 minutes, things will start smelling REALLY DELICIOUS. Add brown sugar, and sauté for another 4 minutes. Get those onions translucent. Don’t burn your sugar, turn it down if need be.
  2. Add sweet potatoes (butternut squash works as well, per original recipe) and sauté for another 5 minutes. You want the carbs coated in that deliciousness.
  3. Pour in the stock and fish sauce. Cover and simmer on low to medium for about 15-20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft. Check occasionally. (If you have kaffir lime leaves, throw them in here – but this isn’t worth stressing about).
  4. When potatoes are soft enough (remove kaffir lime leaves if you used), using a normal blender or immersion blender, puree the entire mixture. Transfer back to pot on medium-low.
  5. Add coconut milk, juice of one lime, miso and sambal or sriracha (if using. You should.) Stir and let simmer for 5-10 minutes for flavor to develop.
  6. Add salt, pepper to taste, serve with cilantro and more sriracha, and a smidge more lime juice if you have – and live your best damn life possible.
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Thai Curry Sweet Potato Soup!

Note: Emily added avocado in hers at the end, thus the avocado in the pic. Not my style, but a great add if you like! Also, she’s vegan, she needs the protein!

xoxo

Healthyish Recipes Salad Vegetarian

Kale Caesar Salad with Shrimp

If you’re here, you made it through the holidays! Congratulations! You honestly deserve a medal. Instead, I’m giving you some veggies.

Jay and I gave the east coast a run for its money these past couple of months. Thanksgiving in Atlanta with my mother and brother, Christmas in Boston with Jay’s father and a stop in New York to see his mother. It was wonderful to see everyone, but dammit I am tired.

I hate to be a cliché, but my body is desperately in need of some vegetables. It’s been through the ringer these past two (okay, really 8??) months. So over the next few weeks I’ll be posting my heathy-ish recipes.

When I’m trying to be “good,” I have found that it’s much easier for me to be healthier when I’m not sacrificing flavor. Please don’t make me eat plain, poached chicken. Fresh ingredients, lots of herbs, good quality produce and a great cut of meat always help make that easier.

Everyone has different definitions of healthy. These dishes may not be considered “clean” but it’s probably way better for you than what you’ve been eating for the past two months (sorry, I’m projecting). I personally do really well when I decrease the amount of simple carbs I eat (EVERY BODY IS DIFFERENT. I am not telling you what’s best for you). So I try to aim for lots of veggies and proteins.

Enter, Kale Caesar Salad with Shrimp! The dressing and crouton recipes come from Bon Appetit’s Classic Caesar Salad recipe. I started using kale instead of romaine because it has a bit more nutritional value and I love the way it holds up.

Okay, let’s talk anchovies in the dressing – even if you don’t love the idea of them, don’t completely cut them out. I modify the amount in ours because Jay doesn’t love the fishiness, but you will miss that much-needed umami if you get rid of them completely. And yes, this dressing is worth the work. As are the croutons, which I know sounds really unnecessary. Just try them once (a loaf of bread, olive oil and 10 minutes – SO WORTH IT) and you’ll be shelving the boxed ones in no time.

Shrimp is optional. I usually do a quick lemon, olive oil marinade, let sit for 15-30 minutes, sauté and cool them down. Throw on a little parm and you’ve got an awesome, fresh, totally homemade Caesar salad! Aren’t you so amazing???

Ingredients

Salad Parts

  • 1 Bunch of Kale
  • ½ lb of thawed shrimp
  • Juice of one Lemon
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Homemade Croutons
  • Homemade Dressing
  • Extra Parmesan Cheese

Homemade Croutons

  • 3 cups of 1 inch torn pieces of a bread loaf (I like a good whole wheat loaf.)
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Homemade Caesar Dressing

  • 3-4 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained (I sometimes cheat and use anchovy paste. If going in this direction, use ½ tsp per fillet you plan to use. Original recipe calls for 6 fillets so if you want more GO FOR IT!)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more
  • ¾ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat your oven to 375.
  2. Mix the juice of one lemon, ¼ c olive oil and herbs. Toss your shrimp in the marinade and place in refrigerator until ready to cook.
  3. Toss the bread with the 3 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 10-13 minutes. These can easily burn, so peek at them around 10 minutes to see what’s going on.
  4. Time for the dressing! Chop the anchovies, garlic and pinch of salt together. Smash into a paste. Scrape this into a medium sized bowl.
  5. Whisk in your egg yolks, 2 tbsp of lemon juice and the mustard.
  6. Drop by drop add in the olive oil while whisking, eventually streaming it. Then do the same with the vegetable oil. You want to add both of these slowly as you want the dressing to properly emulsify, rather than become a broken mess. Keep whisking until dressing is thick and shiny.
  7. Give your forearms a rest. Then whisk in parmesan. Season with salt, pepper and more lemon juice to your personal taste.
  8. Turn a pan on medium heat. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil and add your shrimp to the pan. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and sauté for 5-7 minutes, until shrimp are pink and cooked through.
  9. Remove your kale greens from the stem and chop as you desire (I like a fine chop on my kale, some prefer big leaves). Toss greens, shrimp, your amazing croutons and dressing together. Top off with some ground pepper and a little more parmesan cheese and VOILA! HOMEMADE DAMN CAESAR SALAD!!!
Holiday Sides Thanksgiving Vegetarian

Corn Pudding Casserole

When Jay suggested making this for our Friendsgiving, I said yes to appease him, but I wasn’t that excited.

Of course it was the best side we served. OF COURSE.

So easy, even you rookie Thanksgiving chefs could do it. In fact, do it and tell people it was really, really, really hard.

Credit to Mama Aleta for giving us the recipe!

  • 2 15 oz cans of whole kernel corn
  • 2 15 oz cans of creamed corn
  • 6 tbsp of melted butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 box of Jiffy mix
  • Jalapeño, chopped (optional)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk both types of corn, butter, milk and eggs together. Mix in the Jiffy with the wet ingredients. If using, fold the chopped jalapeños into the mix.
  3. Transfer to buttered 13×9 dish. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown. Tester toothpick inserted into the middle should come out clean!

 

Dessert Gatherings Holiday Recipes Sides Thanksgiving Vegetarian

Oh, it’s you, Holidays….AGAIN! SO SOON!

The keyword for my Thanksgiving favorites is *traditional*. I’ve done the kicked up stuff. I’ve tried new recipes. And they often come out great. But I still go back to craving things that I grew up eating. After all, it’s only once a year that you get to eat these goodies.

One big reason I revert back to these classics is because they remind me of my grandmother and her sisters. Born and raised in Ashburn, GA, they are the epitome of southern women who throw down in the kitchen- take some of the most basic ingredients, don’t measure a damn thing and create absolute magic. How can you not love that??

My Thanksgiving favorites are macaroni and cheese, stuffing (or dressing as some call it), sweet potato pie and apple cake. I even do weird things like mix my mac and cheese and sweet potatoes. If you like sweet and salty, it is so good. No, I’m not pregnant.

Below you will find links to recipes of these favorites. I’ll also be posting Emily’s vegan chocolate silk pie if she ever give me the recipes. If she hadn’t told me the pie was vegan, I wouldn’t have had any idea.

Yes, there is no meat or veggies on my faves list. If you ever look at my Thanksgiving plate, it is not…balanced. But dammit, it’s the holidays, so take your judgment elsewhere. That being said, we grew up eating Cornish game hens and Honey Baked ham for Thanksgiving, because mom never felt the need to stress over a turkey. And little hens are so CUTE and way more flavorful.

If do you need a great veggie dish, I highly recommend this Brussel Sprouts and Butternut Squash with Bacon Vinaigrette dish. It is SO good. I usually omit the the chestnuts because, what do I look like, Mrs. Claus who just has chestnuts laying around??

We hosted a few friends to test all of our recipes. Instead of making a turkey, Jay roasted two chickens. We woke up the next morning, hungover and so excited for leftovers to find there were NONE. NONE! I wept. And then patted us on the back for a successful dinner.

An appropriately sized bottle of bubbly for one during the holidays.

An appropriately sized bottle of bubbly for one during the holidays.

Tell me, readers, how do you plan to spend your holidays? With four families in four different cities, I always stress about pleasing everyone. This Thanksgiving, we’ll be heading to Atlanta to spend it with my mother. December holidays will be spent with Jay’s families up north. Next year, I’m hoping to start a new tradition where we host Thanksgiving and moms come one year and dads come the next. I think this would be a good way to maintain my sanity and keep the parents relatively happy.

Thanksgiving links are below. Get excited….there will be a latke post for Hanukkah.

Candace’s Bomb Ass Macaroni and Cheese

Southern Stuffing/Dressing

Apple Cake with Easy Caramel Sauce

Sweet Potato Pie

Corn Pudding

Vegan Chocolate Silk Pie (to come)

Gatherings Holiday Recipes Sides Thanksgiving Vegetarian

Macaroni and Cheese

I spent years perfecting this macaroni and cheese. Years! And it is just that – perfect.

My three key ingredients: nutmeg, cayenne and a smoked cheese. Nothing crazy, but an ideal combination.

Most baked macaroni and cheeses usually include an egg or two to make it more cohesive. I’ve found that I like my mac like I like my women – loose and cheesy — so no egg here. If you want yours a little tighter, mix in an egg right before baking. Continue Reading

Gatherings Holiday Recipes Sides Thanksgiving Vegetarian

Southern Stuffing/Dressing

Whenever I go to make one of my mom’s recipes, our conversation ALWAYS goes something like this:

“Hey Ma, I need your recipe for x.”

“Hi dear, yes, the ingredients for x are y and z.”

“Great – what about quantities???”

“Ugh, I don’t know. You know I just eyeball everything.”

AND SCENE. Continue Reading