Butternut Squash and Kale Soup

It’s the season of red Starbucks cups and butternut squash!  Butternut squash is one of those super delicious foods, but sometimes it’s really annoying to peel… and why the heck does it have to be so heavy?!  If you can find the peeled and diced packaged versions, go crazy!  For the rest of you, invest in a good peeler and sharp chef’s knife.  This soup made a ton but it just get’s better as the flavors meld together over a couple of days. This is a great winter comfort dish without all the extra kcals, so enjoy!

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Serves: 2 (+4 lunches- wahoo!)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 32 oz Vegetable stock
  • 1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups chopped kale
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Heat a soup pot on medium and add the olive oil
  2. Add the onions and garlic, saute until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots, butternut squash, oregano, and lemon. Stir frequently for 1 minute.
  4. Add the vegetable stock and allow the soup to come to a boil, then reduce the heat to let it simmer for about 20 minutes until the squash is soft when pierced with a fork. If the liquid evaporates too much, add an additional cup of water.
  5. Use an immersion blender and blend the soup until the desired consistency is reached.  I did mine about 3/4 of the way, meaning there were still some pieces of butternut squash left in it.  You can obviously blend it all the way too… and in a blender if you want!
  6. Lastly, add the beans, kale, milk, and dill. Stir for 2-3 minutes until kale becomes soft and wilted, then serve!
Giant pot of soup. My pot, by the way, is from World Market... and it's amazing ($13). It's made of enamel (think camping bowls/mugs etc.). Super easy to clean and store and its so pretty.

Giant pot of soup. My pot, by the way, is from World Market… and it’s amazing ($13). It’s made of enamel (think camping bowls/mugs etc.). Super easy to clean and store and its so pretty.

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Ginger Sesame Almond Kale Salad

There is nothing like a fresh, homemade salad dressing!  As a person who did not grow up with it, I can truly appreciate homemade dressing and all its wonderful uses.  I can also appreciate something that so delightfully masks the bitter and mostly unenjoyable flavor of kale!  Lets be serious, it does’t taste too good if you only wash it, chop, and throw it into your bowl with a typical bottled salad dressing- not the way to go folks! Don’t get me wrong, I love to eat kale, but there are many things we can do to spice up that flavor.  I hope everyone is feeling more relieved that the Dietitian agrees that kale tastes horrible and simply needs a little TLC, nbd.  Please enjoy your next kale salad as follows!

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Ginger Sesame Almond Kale Salad

Serves: 2 (with leftovers)

Makes approximately 1 cup of dressing, Can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups washed and chopped kale
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp agave or honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 small garlic clove, chopped
  • 3 heaping tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 4 tsp sesame seeds
  • 3 tbsp slivered almonds
  • 3 tbsp dried cranberries

Directions:

1.  Place chopped kale in a large bowl and keep to the side.

2. Place the next 8 ingredients in a blender, blend on high for 10-15 seconds until dressing is completely combined. Please note you can also make this in a bowl with a whisk!

3. Once dressing is complete, mix in the sesame seeds.

4. Dress the kale salad to your liking and mix in the cranberries and slivered almonds.  This salad tastes best if you let it sit for 10-15 minutes prior to serving!

Blending the dressing!

Blending the dressing!

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Kale and Red Potato Soup with Chicken Sausage

I have been feeling like I have a cold coming on this week, and to make it worse it has also been rainy and cold. When you get sick, do you still crave your mom’s chicken noodle soup? I sure do. Unfortunately, she is about 1,000 miles away – so I had to improvise.

I have made this soup twice already this week and am loving it. The best part? It can be done in steps, and cooks while you chop! No need to do all of the cutting beforehand, you can cut up your ingredients while the previous ingredients cook. This way, the soup is ready when you are. No waiting required.

This soup is truly a one pot meal and has everything you need. The chicken sausage provides lean protein, the corn and potatoes provide carbohydrates and the kale, onion and carrots provide your non-starchy vegetables.

I added some shredded Asiago cheese on top, totally up to you if you want to add that or Parmesan. I will definitely be making this soup again this winter – Enjoy!

The Healthy Bachelorette: Kale and Red Potato Soup with Chicken Sausage

Kale and Red Potato Soup with Chicken Sausage 

Servings: 2 (or 1 and 1 leftover!)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 red potato
  • 1/4 vidalia onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 savory Italian flavored pre-cooked chicken sausage (I used Publix Artichoke Parmesan)
  • 2 cups chopped kale (I bought mine pre-chopped)
  • To taste: black pepper, garlic powder, dried oregano and dried thyme.

Directions

  1. Add the broth and water into a large pot and bring to a boil.
  2. While you are waiting for the water to boil, chop the potatoes into 1/4 inch pieces and add to the boiling broth. Reduce heat to medium and let cook while you chop the onion.
  3. Chop the onion, add into the pot and stir.
  4. Add your black pepper, garlic powder, dried oregano and dried thyme to taste. Stir well.
  5. While the onion is cooking, peel and chop the carrots and add into the pot. Stir and cook 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add in the frozen corn and let cook. Meanwhile, cut the chicken sausages into half moons and add into your soup.
  7. Lastly, add in the chopped kale and stir well.
  8. Reduce heat to low and cover. Let cook for 5 minutes and serve!

Option: Top with shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese.

Did you try this soup recipe? Let us know how you liked it in the comments below!

Venerated Veggie Bowl with Quinoa and Bacon

If anyone has been to the lovely Asheville, NC, you have most likely heard of Tupelo Honey Cafe.  It’s a wonderful combination of fresh vegetables and southern flavors with a reasonable price tag. Similarly, if you have visited me in Greenville, we most likely took you to Tupelo Honey Cafe which has now opened in Greenville.

Tupelo Honey Cafe Greenville, SC

The first time I ever visited Tupelo was after running a race downtown, and I ordered this magnificent Venerated Veggie Bowl complete with fried okra and goat cheese grits. I fell in love. I honestly cannot recall a time when I went to Tupelo and did not order this dish (or split it with someone). It is that good. They also served it to me in yellow Fiestaware, and of course then I had to buy Fiestaware. I’m telling you, this place is amazing. So if you find yourself in Asheville or Greenville  – definitely check it out.

Well, here is my homemade version of the wonderfulness Tupelo has introduced me to. Of course, being a dietitian, I used quinoa instead of grits and baked the okra instead of frying it. I promise you though, the combination of flavors and textures are still there. Not to mention, just like going to the restaurant, it filled me right up and I had to save half for lunch tomorrow!

Venerated Veggie Bowl with Quinoa and Bacon

Quinoa, Kale and Bacon Veggie Bowl

Servings: 2 + leftovers

Ingredients:

  • 10-15 okra, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1.5 oz goat cheese
  • 4 cups kale
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 cup black eyed peas, fresh or defrosted from frozen
  • 1/2 cup fresh mild salsa
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Smoked paprika, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Step 1: Make the oven “fried” okra. Scramble the egg in a small bowl, and place the breadcrumbs in another bowl. Coat a baking pan with a small amount of oil. Using an assembly line method, take a small amount of chopped okra and dip them into the  egg wash, followed by the breadcrumbs and place in the baking dish. Continue this process until all of the okra are in the baking pan, and bake on 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until browned. (photo below)
  3. Mean while, Step 2: Quinoa. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil and add in the 1/2 cup of quinoa, reduce to low and let simmer covered for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Step 3: Bacon, Kale and black eyed peas. While the okra is baking and the quinoa cooking, heat a large pan to medium high heat. Add 4 slices of bacon, and cook until crispy. Remove bacon from the pan, pat with a paper towel and let cool. Add kale to the pan and sautee. Cover and cook for about 4-5 minutes. Add in the black eyed peas, pepper and smoked paprika and mix well. Cover and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  5. Once the quinoa is cooked, add in the goat cheese and stir until completely mixed.
  6. Assemble your veggie bowl by adding a 1/2 cup of quinoa to each bowl, followed by half of the kale/black eyed pea mix and 1/2 of the okra. Top with 1/4 cup fresh salsa and 2 crumbled bacon slices.
  7. Enjoy your veggie bowl and save your leftovers for breakfast or lunch tomorrow!

 The Oven fried okra:The healthy Bachelorette: Oven Fried Okra

Easy Pumpkin and Kale Stew &Pumpkin Painting Party

‘They say nothing lasts forever; dreams change, trends come and go, but friendships never go out of style.” -SATC

On Sunday I got to spend some quality time with some of my best girlfriends! I hosted a pumpkin painting party, a perfect opportunity to make my Pumpkin and Kale Stew.

I opted for a pumpkin painting party rather than a pumpkin carving party, because well, knives and pumpkin beer just don’t mix. Plus it’s way cuter!

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Amy’s adorable stackable pumpkins

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My ❤ Upstate SC pumpkin

We had a variety of pumpkins! We had stackable pie pumpkins, a state pumpkin, an address # pumpkin, 2 cobweb pumpkins, a chalkboard pumpkin and 2 creative day of the dead pumpkins. We all painted our pumpkins with either spray paint or acrylic paint, and sealed using Krylon Clear to ensure that they are waterproof and can be outdoors. Everyone did a really great job!

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My Pumpkin and Kale Stew is so easy because you simply put it in the slow cooker, and go on with your day. The recipe literally has 3 steps. Chop veggies, combine everything in the crockpot, cook for 4-5 hours (and paint pumpkins) and then stir in the kale and serve! Anyone can master this yummy fall flavored recipe 🙂 Enjoy!!

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Easy Pumpkin & Kale Stew

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 15 oz  can organic low-sodium garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 medium carrots, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 large vidalia onion,  chopped
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½  teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth (vegan option – sub low sodium vegetable borth)
  • 3 cups chopped kale

Directions:

  1. Chop the carrots and onion.
  2. Place the pumpkin, garbanzo beans, chopped carrots, chopped onion, lentils, tomato paste, ginger, lime juice, cumin, paprika, black pepper and pumpkin spice in a slow cooker.
  3. Top with 4 cups of broth. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours (the longer the flavors mix the stronger they are).
  4. When there is just 15 minutes left, stir in the kale. Cover and cook on high for 15 minutes.
  5. Serve with a crusty piece of bread and enjoy!

Vegan option: Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

Meat lovers option: Try adding in pre-cooked spicy chicken or turkey sausage.

We hope you enjoy this third recipe of the  Healthy Bachelorette #PumpkinSpiceSeries. Check back with us next Thursday for yet another pumpkin recipe!

What are you painting your pumpkins as for Halloween? Share your comments below!

My favorite no-cook fall party dish

When you go to a party you know there will be desserts, cheese, meatballs, chips – the works. So of course the Healthy Bachelorette brings a healthy vegetable dish to the party to add some variety, but also ensure that there are some vegetables to fill half her plate with 😉

Check out my go-to fall veggie party dish. BONUS: it only takes 30 seconds to put together. Yup, it comes in a bag and it’s super healthy. Perfect for that party you gave a last minute RSVP to (oops)!

I absolutely LOVE Eat Smart’s 7 Superfoods Salad. It has amazing fall ingredients like kale, broccoli, Brussels, cranberries and pumpkin seeds.  I have brought this salad to at least 10 parties/dinner parties and every single person who tried it asked me for the recipe.

My Go-To Healthy Party Dish

Here is the salad is in action. See it there looking all healthy among those heavy foods? Gorgeous Healthy Bachelorette Nicole knows what’s good for her!

P.S. that entire large container was gone within 30 minutes.

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Try it out and tell us what you think!

Open Faced Fried Egg Sandwich with Kale

It’s Sunday and though very humid and hot, it is quite gloomy out. I just felt like lounging on the couch and watching SATC on E! (it was the “post it” episode…god I hate Berger!!!). On the weekends I almost never want to eat the same old easy breakfast that I have during the weekdays, I want EGGS! Not just scrambled eggs, I want eggs with some savory Gouda cheese and crunchy vegetables. So, this morning I came up with this yummy open faced egg sandwich with kale recipe!  The kale I had leftover from another dish that I froze, but any fresh or frozen greens (spinach, etc) would do.

HB NOTE: 3 years ago before meeting Meaghan, I did not eat eggs. Not scrambled, not fried, not fritatta, not anything. Thanks Meaghan for introducing me to eggs, for it has changed my life.

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Open Faced Fried Egg Sandwich with Kale

Open Faced Egg Sandwich with Kale

Ingredients:

  • 1 slice Ezekiel bread
  • 1 cup kale, fresh or frozen
  • 1 egg
  • 0.5 Gouda cheese, sliced
  • Parmesan, pepper and paprika to taste

Directions

  1. Heat a frying pan to medium-high heat. Coat in a very minimal amount of olive oil.
  2. Add the egg and sprinkle with pepper and paprika. Fry for about 2-3 minutes, flip and remove from heat (for sunny side up, if you desire a less runny egg keep on the heat).
  3. Toast the bread and steam the kale (I used a microwavable steamer for 3 minutes).
  4. Top the bread with the Gouda cheese, steamed kale and fried egg.
  5. Grate some fresh Parmesan cheese, and you’re good to go!

A healthy serving of whole grains, greens and protein all in one easy dish in less than 10 minutes!

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The perfect 1 egg frying-pan for the Healthy Bachelorette. Get it here: http://amzn.com/B000GWG14Q