Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Spaghetti with Creamy Butternut Leek Parmesan Sauce

Recipe and picture from Skinny Taste.

So, Susannah mentioned that she was going to make this tonight. Cool. Whatever. Do your think.

She texted me while I was out running errands.


I had no dinner plans...


SHE WAS RIGHT. There are very few ingredients and it's DELICIOUS. My Trader Joe's didn't have the pre-cut butternut squash, so I just bought a whole one and skinned it with a potato peeler. Pretty easy.

I've also never used leeks OR sage, so this was a big deal.

I served it with whole wheat penne good.


  • 1 lb butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp light butter
  • 8 oz spaghetti of your choice (use brow rice pasta for gluten-free)
  • 1 (1 cup) large leek (white part only)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh shaved parmesan cheese
  • 4 sage leaves, sliced thin
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add butternut squash and cook until soft.Remove squash with a slotted spoon and place in a blender, blend until smooth.

Add pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions for al dente, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water before draining.

Meanwhile, in a large deep non-stick skillet, melt the butter, sauté the leeks and garlic over medium-low heat until soft and golden, about 5 - 6 minutes. Add pureed butternut squash, season with with salt and fresh cracked pepper and add a little of the reserved pasta water to thin out to your liking. Stir in parmesan cheese and sage and mix in pasta until well coated. (mine was much saucier than this picture, which was perfect for me)


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Chicken and Lime Soup

Recipe from Budget Bites.

I'm have fully claimed my seat upon the YAY IT'S FALL!! train. Soup. All the soup. I want nothing but soup. What I love about soup is that it's totally easy to make healthy (and it's almost impossible to buy actual healthy pre-made soup. SODIUM BOMBS) and to store. 

I had to doctor this recipe a smidge, because I didn't have everything on hand. Happens. 

2 Tbspolive oil$0.24
1 mediumyellow onion$0.28
2 stalkscelery$0.45
1 mediumjalapeno (nope didn't have, used cayenne pepper)$0.09
4 clovesgarlic$0.32
3/4 lb.chicken breast$1.46
6 cupschicken broth*$0.42
1 (14.5 oz.) candiced tomatoes w/chiles (used 1 can of tomato paste)$0.95
1 tsporegano$0.05
1/2 Tbspcumin$0.08
1 mediumlime$0.33
1/2 bunchcilantro$0.43
1 mediumavocado (didn't have. boo.)$1.29
*I use Better Than Bouillon chicken soup base to make my broth because it is less expensive than buying canned or boxed broths. (OK and I use the boxed low sodium broth from Trader Joes....haven't gotten around to trying that Bouillon stuff yet)

STEP 1: Dice the onion, celery, and jalapeno (scrape the seeds out of the jalapeno before dicing). Mince the garlic. Cook the onion, celery, jalapeno, and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until tender. 

STEP 2: Add the chicken breast, chicken broth, canned tomatoes with chiles, oregano, and cumin to the pot. Bring the whole pot up to a boil over high heat then reduce the heat to low, place a lid on top, and let simmer for one hour.

STEP 3: After simmering for an hour with a lid on, carefully remove the chicken breast from the pot and use two forks to shred the meat. Return the meat to the pot. Squeeze the juice of one lime into the soup. Get as much juice as possible from the lime by using a spoon to scrape the inside of the lime.

STEP 4: Rinse the cilantro and then roughly chop the leaves. Add to the pot, give it a quick stir, and serve. Dice the avocado and add a few chunks to each bowl. 

(might want to toss a bit of salt and pepper up in there, too)

Avo and some crunched up tortilla chips would be KILLER on this. I mean, it's BASICALLY a chicken tortilla soup. I loved how non-fussy the chicken was. Just chuck it in there raw, then shred it up an hour later. I didn't have diced tomatoes, but the tomato paste actually worked out pretty perfectly. 

Crap, I just realized that I bought some carrots to toss in there, but I forgot them!! Soups like this are nice, because you can just cram all the veggies you want in there. I bet you could put spinach or kale in this, too. Veggies are our friends, folks. 

Throwing this one in the keeper file. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Spinach Stracciatella Soup With Orzo

Another Skinny Taste recipe!

I saw this recipe online, and the reviews said it was fast and delicious.

Welp, count me in.

It's almost November, so that means two things. SOUP AND BOOTS!!! Ok, fine, it's still in the 90's, so both are sorta still uncomfortable, but I refuse to give in. I'm going to sweat my ass off in my boots while eating hot soup AND I'LL LIKE IT.


This soup was GREAT. It was super fast, and a total hit. I cooked up some sweet chicken sausage and tossed that in there at the end. It fit together perfectly.

I also like that this has egg in it, even if just a bit. Provides a little protein.

  • 6 cups fat free chicken broth
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 9 oz baby spinach
  • 4 oz uncooked orzo
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring 5 cups chicken broth to a boil. In a medium bowl, combine remaining cup of cold chicken broth with eggs, cheese and parsley and whisk well. Whisk into boiling pot and cook 3-4 minutes on low. Add orzo and cook according to package directions. When pasta is done, add the baby spinach and mix until it welts. Remove from heat,add salt (if needed) and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and top with additional grated cheese.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Chicken and Chorizo Casserole

The other night, I decided to make myself dinner. I was going to make fish, rice and asparagus. Healthy! I got excited when I remember that I had some homemade balsamic dressing in the fridge and decided to dump it on EVERYTHING. Omg. 4 bites in and I never wanted to taste that damn dressing again. Blech. I called it a bust and ate frozen yogurt for dinner. That is how you adult. Before I left, I decided I wanted to do some late night cooking. REAL cooking. That way I wouldn't be screwed again the next day for food.

This recipe came from What to Cook and How to Cook It, a cookbook my sister got me last Christmas. I love it because it has a picture of all the ingredients AND a picture of each step. Ah lav pitchurs!

1lb 2oz skinless, boneless chicken thighs
5 oz chorizo (see note)
1 Tsp olive oil
1 onion (I used yellow)
2 cloves garlic
1 red bell pepper
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tsp dried thyme
3 Tbl dry sherry or white wine
1 (14.5 oz) can chopped tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) can chickpeas, drained
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsely
S & P

(chorizo note from the recipe: there are two types: cooking chorizo, which is soft, like a regular sausage, and cured chorizo, which is firm and dry, and is eaten raw, like salami. Either type will work, but choose the cooking chorizo if there's a choice. I got fresh pork chorizo from the butcher at Whole Foods and it was DELICIOUS.)

1. Cut the chicken into bite-size chunks and the chorizo into thin slices. Place a large heavy frying pan or shallow flameproof casserole dish over medium-high heat, then add 1 Tbl olive oil. After 30 secs, add the chorizo. Fry for 3 mins, stirring occasionally, until the chorizo is starting to crisp and has released some of its red oil.

2. Transfer the chorizo to a plate and set it aside. Add the chicken to the pan, season with salt and pepper, then fry for 5 mins, stirring often, until golden.

3. While the chicken cooks, start preparing the vegetables. Thinly slice the onion and garlic, then seed the pepper and cut it into chunky strips. Add them to the pan, then reduce the heat. Cook gently for 109 mins until the onions, peppers and garlic have softened, stirring every few mins.

4. Stir in the cinnamon, paprika, and thyme and fry for 1 min, until fragrant.

5. Reduce the heat to medium. Now pour in the sherry or wine - it will sizzle and reduce down to almost nothing ( pan must have had more liquid than hers did, because mine didn't sizzle and reduce that much. No harm done, though). Then add the tomatoes and broth. Stir, then simmer, uncovered, for 15 mins, until the sauce has thickened a little and the chicken is tender.

6. Add the chickpeas and chorizo to the pan, stir well, then simmer for 2 more mins, until heated though.

7. Roughly chop the parsley leaves, add to the casserole, then stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drillzle with extra-virigin olive oil, if you wat. Serve with crusty bread (I didn't, I served it over rice).

This dish turned out SO fragrant. It smelled and tasted delicious. I love the combination of spices, as well. It's a one pot dish, which is certainly always appreciated.