Butternut and Cauliflower Soup

The weather has finally turned to fall this past week and I’ve been in the mood to make soup. I had a half a head of cauliflower left from last week and went searching on pinterest to find a soup recipe that included cauliflower and found this recipe. It was perfect because squash was on sale and I had everything else in my kitchen to make it.

I threw it all in my Instant Pot and in less than 30 minutes, we had dinner on the table. The soup is so creamy and hearty. Neither one of my kids liked it, but that’s ok ….it leaves me with leftovers for the week! I topped it with shredded Monterey jack cheese and chopped parsley, but you could top it with croutons, green onions, or sour cream.

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Wild Rice Butternut Squash Salad

Are you planning your menu for Thanksgiving? It looks like I’m hosting Thanksgiving for the first time this year, so I’m excited to try a few new recipes in addition to our family favorites. This is one of the dishes I’m planning to make. It’s refreshing and the flavors scream fall. Both my husband and I loved it, the kids weren’t sold on it, but I’m going to make it anyway.

Do you experiment with new dishes for holidays or stick with your family favorites? Share your Thanksgiving sides with me! I’m always looking for new ideas.

2 1/2 cups peeled and finely chopped butternut squash
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
salt & fresh ground pepper
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced kale, lightly massaged
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
3 cups cooked wild rice, warm

Dressing:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 garlic clove, minced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat the cubed butternut squash with the olive oil and spread over a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for approximately 25 minutes until the squash is fork tender.

While the squash is roasting, combine all the dressing ingredients together and mix with an immersion blender.

In a bowl, combine the kale, cranberries and basil. Toss in the warm rice and roasted squash to slightly wilt the kale. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper if needed. This salad should be served at room temperature.

Source: Heart Beet Kitchen 

Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash, Quinoa and Black Beans

Things have been pretty crazy around here especially coming off the rush of the holidays and trying to get back into the swing of things. Of course with the New Year, I’m trying to get us back to eating cleaner and working out again. It’s been going ok, but I need to really focus after my trip to Nashville later this week.

This stew was perfect since we were affected by the arctic cold and it was warm and hearty. It made a good amount and it was ideal for leftovers for lunch. I was surprised that my little guy even liked it, especially since he’s going through a phase of not liking anything right now. 

1 1/2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 quart chicken broth
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1/2 tsp salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
14 oz can petite diced tomatoes
15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
Steam the squash until just tender, approximately 10 minutes. Set half of the squash aside and steam the other half until very tender. Mash the fully steamed squash with the back of a fork and set aside. 
In a large saucepan, heat the chicken broth over medium-high heat until it simmers. Add the chicken thighs, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate to cool. Save the broth. 
Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil and when warm, add in the onions. Stir continuously for about 10 minutes until they’re turning brown. Add the salt, garlic and oregano. Add in the diced tomatoes, both cut and mashed butternut squash and stir to combine. Stir in the reserved chicken broth, quiona and black beans. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the quiona is completely cooked.
While the stew is cooking, shred the chicken thighs with a fork. Stir in the chicken into the stew, uncover the pot and cook for an additional 5 minutes. 
Divide out into bowls and serve!