Hey guys! So I was thinking the other day that I don’t have nearly as many recipes up as I would like, and it dawned on me: I never carried any of the recipes over from The Joyful Kitchen! So, without further ado:
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 medium to large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1” cubes
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 small to medium onion, chopped
2 15-oz. cans of Rotel (or store brand if you’re making it on the cheap)
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock
1 (or 2) cans of beans (whatever you like in your chili – black, red, hominy), drained
1 heaping Tbsp. cumin
1 heaping Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp. oregano
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 450.
Toss squash cubes with 1 Tbsp. of the oil and about 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Spread squash cubes out on a small cookie sheet. When oven is ready, place squash in and roast for 20-25 minutes, turning the cubes every 5-10 minutes for even cooking.
In a large pot over medium heat, sauté onion in 1 tablespoon of oil until translucent. Add turkey and continue to cook until all turkey is thoroughly cooked through. When the turkey is cooked, add the crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, beans. Add the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Begin to heat through while finishing off the squash.
To finish the squash: In a food processor or blender, add both cans of Rotel. When the squash is done roasting, put the hot squash into the food processor/blender. Be careful with the lid because the hot food will expand if there is no air (for this I just took off the small attachment for the lid after I started the processor). Pureed the squash and Rotel. Add to chili.
Once all items are combined, bring chili to a boil and then lower the heat to low. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until all flavors are combined. Serve hot with any chili fixings you might like (avocado, sour cream, cheese, tortillas, chips, onions, etc.)
**if you like your chili to be chunky, only blend one of the cans of Rotel with the squash.**
I really love the texture the pureed squash adds to this dish. Besides that, it’s great when you’re wanting to hide vegetables in food. My husband made the biggest grimace when he saw I was adding the squash to the chili, but when it was done he not only liked it, but shared it with some of the guys in the office! There are quite a few recipes out there that incorporate pureed squash into not-so-healthy dishes (i.e. Mac & Cheese) so make them a little healthier, and I’ve had nothing but luck with them! Let me know what y’all think!
Roasted Corn, Jalapeno, and Cheddar Risotto
2 jalapenos, seeded (unless you want some extra hotness)
1 medium red, yellow, or white onion (whichever you prefer), chopped
1-2 Tbsp. vegetable or olive oil
1-1 ½ cups of sharp Cheddar cheese
3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
4 Tbsp. butter
1 cup dry white wine
6 ½ cups chicken stock (I used bouillon cubes because they’re cheaper and I don’t have time to make homemade stock), warmed
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
For the roasted corn, jalapenos, and onions: Toss all veggies with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spread evenly on baking sheet and roast for 10-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so to avoid burning. You’ll want everything to be caramelized (a little bit of brown), but not burned. When you see caramelization, pull the baking sheet out of the oven and let it cool until it’s time to stir into the risotto.
For the risotto: Melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and Arborio rice, stirring constantly for 2 minutes or so to let the rice toast a little bit. Pour in the white wine, and continue stirring until all of the liquid has been absorbed into the rice. At this point, the goal is to be constantly stirring the remaining liquid into the rice, 1 cup at a time. So, when the wine is absorbed, pour one cup of the chicken stock in. Stir until liquid is absorbed into the rice. Repeat until all of the liquid has been stirred in. This creates a slow release of the starch in the Arborio rice, which makes it thick and creamy without having to add cream.
Once all of the liquid has been stirred in and the risotto is thick and creamy, take the pot off of the heat and stir in the cheddar cheese and roasted vegetables. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
I got the idea for this from my friend Emma. She was the first person to ever prepare risotto for me, and after tasting hers (it had summer squash and AMAZING aged parmigiano-reggiano) I knew I wanted to try making it myself. Lo and behold, one night I came up with this recipe and loved it! It’s great with just about any protein, but I especially like it with grilled chicken. This makes a ton of food, so it’s great for entertaining (if you’re ok with standing over the pot while everyone mingles), but the leftovers are also fantastic. Just warm it up with a little extra liquid (I just use water) to make it creamy again.
4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
4-5 ribs of celery, washed and chopped
3-4 carrots, peeled and chopped (should equal a little over 2 cups chopped)
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and cut into 1” cubes
2-3 cloves of garlic, smashed (don’t have to chop since the soup is pureed)
1-2 cups of potato flakes (I just used a Garlic Mashed Potato mashed potato mix)
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3 cups water
½ tsp. dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Toss the squash and onions with 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Spread in one even layer on a large baking sheet, and roast for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway, or until the onions have started to caramelize and the squash is tender. Let cool.
In a large pot, heat remaining 2 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat. Sauté carrots and celery until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Stir in garlic cloves, and sauté another 3-4 minutes, or until garlic is tender. Pour stock and water into pot, add basil and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer for 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are very soft.
Pour the soup (veggies and all) into a blender (better done in batches while it’s hot) or food processor, and process until it’s at a desired consistency. I like mine to still have some texture, but not chunky. Pour back into soup pot, add one cup of water and potato flakes. Stir for 2 minutes to check consistency. Add more water or flakes if needed to adjust soup to your desired consistency. Serve hot and enjoy!
This recipe freezes really well, which makes it super convenient. It’s also great for all seasons, but I recommend making it in the fall because that’s when the squash is at its best.
High cholesterol and high blood pressure tends to run in my family, and I’ve been trying to come up with several recipes that are high in flavor and low in fat and cholesterol. This is definitely one of those recipes! I’ve been eating it by itself or with a whole wheat pita with some melted provolone cheese on it for lunch, and it keeps me full all day. Let me know what you think!
1 red bell pepper, seeded and small diced
3-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 large spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
1 lb. cooked, peeled, and deveined shrimp
2 tsp. olive oil
1-2 Tbsp. butter, sliced thinly
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
juice of 1 fresh lemon
In a microwave safe dish, place squash cut side down in 2 Tbsp of water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 8-10 minutes (I had to do this one half at a time). The squash should be tender and the inside should fluff into “spaghetti” with a fork very easily. It’s important to do this before everything else so it has time to cool before you fluff it up (no burned hands please!)
In a very large pan, heat the 2 tsp of olive oil over medium heat. Sautee the onion and bell pepper until very soft and translucent (about 7-10 minutes). Salt and pepper to taste. Add the lemon juice and shrimp, stirring until heated through, about 5 minutes. Add the squash and stir and cook together for another 4-5 minutes, letting the flavors combine. Salt and pepper to taste one more time.
After plating, top mixture with 1-2 slices of the butter and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
Last week was my company’s yearly sales meeting, and every day we had lunch catered by a great local restaurant. One day they served this dish, although it was made with a LOT of butter (YUM!) and not topped with Parmesan. I thought it was completely delicious, and decided to try and make it last night, just a little healthier. Needless to say, it turned out great (I wouldn’t post it on her if it hadn’t!), and even my squash-hating husband ate it and loved it!
This is definitely a great dish to make when you don’t have a lot of time to cook, don’t want to dirty a lot of dishes, and just need a quick and very healthy meal that will feed 4+ people. Enjoy!
Shrimp Quesadillas and Avocado Cream Sauce
For the shrimp:
1 lb peeled and deveined small shrimp
1/8-1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/8-1/4 cup lime juice
1 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. adobo sauce
1 tsp. salt
For the avocado cream:
1 large, ripe avocado, peeled and cubed
2 cloves chopped garlic
leftover cooked marinade from shrimp
½ cup plain nonfat yogurt
For the quesadilla part:
Shredded cheese (I used a standard Fiesta blend found at grocery stores everywhere)
Any vegetables (onions, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, olives, carrot, cabbage, etc) or
fruit (mangoes or pineapple would be good) you would want in a quesadilla
3 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil
Combine the oil, juice, and spices listed under the shrimp category. Pour over shrimp (raw or cooked) and let sit for 20 minutes in the refrigerator to let the flavors combine. After shrimp has marinated, cook in a nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat until shrimp is pink and firm to the touch. Pull the shrimp out and keep warm. Boil the liquids for another 10 minutes, then take off the burner and let cool slightly.
In a food processor, combine the cubed avocado, chopped garlic, leftover shrimp marinade, and yogurt until smooth and creamy. If the mixture is too thick, add more yogurt. This can also be doubled or tripled accordingly. Chill until ready to serve.
Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Brush two tortillas on one side with the oil. Put one oil-side-down in the skillet, and sprinkle some of the cheese on top, making sure to cover the tortilla to the edges. Add a quarter of the shrimp and whatever veggies/fruit, sprinkle with a little more cheese, and put the other tortilla on top, oil-side-up. You’ll want to cook the quesadilla on both sides about 2-3 minutes, or until the tortillas are crisp and just beginning to brown. When the quesadilla is done, put it on a plate and let cool for 2-3 minutes before cutting. Serve warm with the avocado cream.
Last night, I thawed out some shrimp and thought for the longest time how to prepare them. You see, we LOVE pasta and all things Italian, but being from Texas we love Mexican and Tex-Mex inspired dishes as well. Since we always go the Italian route, I opted to make some quesadillas with the shrimp. After Googling a million recipes (not literally, but you know what I mean) that all required ingredients we just don’t normally have, I decided to take things into my own hands with spices and flavors we have around the house all the time. Thus, these shrimp quesadillas were born! What a delicious (and pretty healthy) meal! Another great thing with the Avocado Cream is that it saves well and still tastes great the next day…as I write this, I’m enjoying a bowl full of dry roasted vegetables with a little bit of the leftover cream, and my husband spread the rest on a turkey sandwich. Delicious!
Roasted Red Pepper + Garlic Hummus
- 2 cans chickpeas
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/8 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 bulb of garlic, roasted (break apart the bulb, but leave the skins on the cloves. drizzle with olive oil, then cover in foil – make a pouch around them. start in a cold oven set to 300 and roast for 30 minutes. take out and let cool before handling with your fingers)
- 2 jarred roasted red peppers
- salt to taste
Throw it all in the food processor and process for 2-3 minutes until creamy. If you like yours a little chunkier, Estela had a great point to throw in some whole chickpeas at the end. YUM!