This just might be my new favorite fall soup. It is scrumptious! Also pretty easy to make, just a bit long on cook time. I love pumpkin and you find great sales on pie pumpkins right about now but I am not big on making tons of sweets and pies. I usually put them in the slow cooker and make my own pumpkin puree for pancakes, smoothies, and souffles. That is about it…until now. You can bet I will be stocking up on pie pumpkins so I can make this soup throughout fall and winter!
1/2 cup cream
1 cup stock (veggie or chicken)
1 clove garlic
1 T butter
2 T olive or coconut oil (non virgin)
Half a small onion or the white part of a large leek
4 ounces goat cheese
One small apple (cored, skinned, chopped)
1 tsp thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1 medium to large pie pumpkin
Preheat oven to 375. Cut out the top off the pumpkin as set aside, scoop out the seeds and the stringy pulp of the pumpkin. Make sure to set the seeds aside for gardening next spring…or you can use them for roasting. Oil the outside of the pumpkin and the inside of the pan (we used a cast iron dutch oven).
Inside the pumpkin bowl add butter, stock, cream, garlic, onion, apple, and some salt and pepper. No need to mix, just toss it in. Replace the top of the pumpkin and cook for 1.5 hours. Remove from oven and add the goat cheese and thyme. Cook for another half hour.
When finished remove from the oven and scrape the sides of the pumpkin gently to loosen the pumpkin flesh. Be careful not to pierce the pumpkin so that you won’t have a messy plan to clean up later. Use an immersion blender to puree all the ingredients into a thick soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. This soup serves 2-3 people so if you want to feed a larger family go with two pumpkins and a roasting pan.
It will be super hot so be careful! Enjoy!
I love tacos. In fact I love all Mexican food. I also love the crockpot. I use it all year long but it is especially helpful in the summer when I don’t want to heat the house. These days though I need recipes that only require 4 hours, instead of 6-8 as typical. I just don’t have the time for that. Making chicken or beef for tacos is perfect. I just cook on high for 3-4 hours and voila…a delicious home cooked meal that took 10 minutes (or less) to prepare. Quick and easy. This recipe can be used for chicken breasts or beef and it tastes delicious either way, lots of flavor. Most times we just use Bibb lettuce instead of taco shells but every now and then we will use organic corn tortillas.
Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos
2 pounds boneless chuck roast (or 3-4 large skinless chicken breasts)
1 packet taco seasoning or 3-4 Tablespoons DIY blend
1 jar salsa (we use mild for the kiddos)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (I like Amy’s Organic)
Fresh tomatoes (chopped)
Put your meat in the crockpot and cover with the taco seasoning, salsa, and mushroom soup. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, until it can be easily shredded. Spoon the taco meat onto lettuce or taco shells and top with sour cream, cheese, tomatoes, and avocado. Yum!
Leftovers can used for taco salad the next day!
Most days I eat breakfast outside the house. If I don’t want to eat from a cafe or vending machine then I have to plan ahead and bring food with me. The same goes for lunch except I find that lunch food is much easier to prepare in advance…breakfast not so much. This is why I usually just end up eating some fresh fruit and a nut-based snack bar of some kind, maybe some yogurt. No complaints there I just wanted some variety so I decided to see if I could whip up some kind of omelet or frittata that could be made the night before and be just as tasty heated up the next day. Score!
Not only can you make these yummy frittas the night before you eat them you can prepare the ingredients for cooking for several days in advance and keep in jars in the fridge. Then when it comes time to cook one you just dump out the ingredients in the pan, add the eggs and away you go. No chopping veggies each night because you already did it. It’s fast and easy and gives me something a bit more substantial than fruit and yogurt.
Make Ahead Breakfast Frittatas
2-3 pastured eggs
2 cups shopped leeks (white and dark green parts)
1 cup chopped mushrooms
Sliced ham or bacon
2 T Parmesan cheese
How to Make: Preheat oven to 350. Clean and chop veggies. Add veggies and meat to a hot cast iron griddle or skillet and saute until the mushrooms and leeks are soft, about five minutes. Whip together the eggs and cheese and pour on top of the veggies, tilting the pan until all areas are covered with egg. Put immediately into the pre-heated oven and cook for another five minutes.
Eat immediately or place in a to-go container for breakfast (or lunch) the next day.
I prepare the ingredients for 3 days worth of frittatas all at once. The ingredients for the other two are then kept in separate Ball jars in the fridge. Then I just grab a jar, dump the contents onto a hot skillet and cook away. This saves oodles of time because the leeks are not that easy to clean (grown in sandy soil).
For more make ahead breakfast ideas check out this book written by another blogger, The Busy Mom’s Make-Ahead Breakfast Cookbook. I have it myself and it is full of great recipes that are either make ahead, prepare ahead, or quick and easy to make first thing in the morning…all healthy and made with real ingredients of course. No junk. Recipes include homemade granola, breakfast bars, overnight slow cooker meals, muffins, breakfast sandwiches, and much more. I highly recommend you check it out if you struggle with healthy breakfasts in the morning.
It’s a key ingredient in curry powder. It is a gorgeous bright yellow-orange spice that adds color to your dishes and it tastes amazing when added to a variety of dishes. And I do mean a variety…one of my fave desserts is turmeric ice cream with ample amounts of the spice and grassfed cream. It is that amazingly earthy spice that has some pretty wonderful qualities…antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-angiogenesis (blood vessel formation). Turmeric, also known as curcuma longa, is a very common herb that acts as a natural medicine which heals the human body and serves it in many ways. Since ancient times, turmeric has been a medicinal aid and a source of relief. Even today it is well known as a great aid for curing a cold and fever when you drink turmeric milk. This article expands on the qualities of this natural medicine and why you may want make sure you getting enough turmeric in the diet.
Turmeric helps a person fight cancer. In 2010 a study was published by The European Journal of Pharmacology and it revealed that curcumin (an antioxidant found in turmeric) inhibited the metastasis of breast cancer cells that had been implanted in mice. Consuming the spice would be advantageous for those in the initial stages of cancer so that the disease is prevented from metastasizing (spreading) throughout the body. This is huge because it is often the spread of cancer to vital organs that lowers the chance of survival. Anything that can stop cancer in its tracks is hugely beneficial and it can be supported with a spice that virtually anyone can access.
Many health conscious folks in Asian communities swear by drinking turmeric milk with honey in the morning every day to keep fit. The same compound discussed above, curcumin also does wonders to regulate our metabolism and break down fats in the body. Both of these aspects can help us to maintain a healthy weight or lose some pounds. Exercising and eating healthy will always be the holy grail when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight but turmeric can be used as an assist if this is an issue for you. Another study, also done on mice, revealed this to be true when two groups of mice were fed unusually high caloric diets. The group that was also given turmeric did not gain nearly as much weight as their counterparts who were not given turmeric.
Turmeric also helps in healing wounds faster than any other medicine mostly because of its antibacterial powers. It has been used since ancient times for just this purpose. A turmeric paste would be applied to a cut or wound as soon as possible to stop the bleeding and heal the wound. It can be used in first aid today as well. To use this method yourself make sure to clean the wound thoroughly and eliminate any dirt and debris. Then cover the clean wound with turmeric powder and reapply as necessary. For rashes, bruises, stings, sprains, or bites mix the powder with water to create a paste and apply. This will help prevent infection, reduce swelling, and help with healing.
Turmeric is also used to boost immunity. When ingested it helps fight off bacteria, viruses, and infection (sepsis). It gives immune compromised or ill people a much needed assist and healthy people an advantage when they are exposed to illness.
Anti-aging & Beauty:
Aging is sped up by free radicals in the body and antioxidants (like turmeric) help neutralize free radicals and the damage they cause to cells and organs. This slows down the signs of aging and improves overall health and vitality. Applying it directly to the skin via a mask can help with skin problems such as acne and dry or oily skin.
Turmeric is a pretty amazing spice that helps in healing wounds, improving immunity, fighting disease, and keeping a person fit and fine in life. Adding more of it to your life/diet seems like a no brainer.
How to Get More Turmeric:
Eat more curry dishes
Add to a fruit smoothie
Sprinkle on yogurt
Add to chicken soup or homemade broth
Sprinkle on eggs, rice, and potatoes
Add it to homemade soaps (or buy turmeric soap)
Drink turmeric milk (recipe below)
Mix with coconut oil or water for a topical paste
Add to tea
Take it in pill form
Easy Turmeric Milk Recipe
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
2 cups regular, almond, or coconut milk (full fat)
2 teaspoons raw honey
Dash of cinnamon
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a saucepan or heat up just enough to warm through if you want to preserve the benefits of the raw honey. Remove from heat and pour into a mug. Enjoy!
A few weeks back the kids went to a local orchard and picked some apples. We got a couple bushels and because small kids were picking apples and because we went to an orchard that doesn’t spray their trees with nasty pesticides, we got quite a few apples with blemishes and “issues”. The apples sat in the kitchen for awhile and we picked the nicest looking ones for school lunches and snacking. Then after a couple weeks we were left only with apples that were spotted, bruised, and unsavory looking. There were a few that needed to go immediately in the compost bin but the others I knew would make a tasty applesauce.
Always looking for easy I decided to make it in the crockpot and because I didn’t start my applesauce making adventure until nearly dinner time I also opted to make it overnight. I chose to leave the skins on the apples because there are so many nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to be had by leaving the skins in tact (vitamins A & C, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, folate, fiber, and antioxidants). It seems a waste to peel all that goodness off and throw it away. I just made sure to wash each apple thoroughly before coring and chopping.
Overnight Crockpot Applesauce Recipe
20 apples (cleaned, cored, chopped)
1 1/2 Cups coconut sugar
1 Cup apple cider or apple cider vinegar (I used ACV)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice (I used the latter)
Directions: Mix all ingredients together in the crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. If it cooked before bedtime you can still leave it, just switch your slow cooker to the ‘warm’ before going to bed. In the morning (or when ready to eat) use a hand mixer (I like the Cuisinart Smart Stick) to smoosh the apples up and make applesauce. It is delicious hot breakfast to wake up to…especially on chilly fall days. Plus it tastes way better than the store bought stuff!