Butternut Squash Soup

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At the whisper of cooler weather..I jumped at the chance to make a Autumn Flavored Soup!  So simple and comforting.   No Dairy & is Primal/Paleo Friendly

Total Cook time: 1 hr   ( I allowed extra time for it to cool before I ran it through my Blendtec)

Difficulty:  2/5

What you will need:

  • 1 large Butternut Squash – peeled and chopped
  • 1 large yellow Onion, – chopped
  • 1 qt of Chicken Stock (Veg. stock would work too)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (ground)
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • Pecans (optional)

How it’s done:

  1. In a large pot (I prefer a deep Canning Pot when I make soup) Add your coconut oil & sauté onions until translucent.
  2. Add Butternut squash, Stock, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Salt
  3. Bring the pot to a boil, allow squash to cook until it is fork tender
  4. Once tender, I set it aside to cool slightly…I waited about 30 min… Run it through a food processor, blender, or Immersion blender to puree ingredients until smooth.
  5. Serve!  Garnish with Cinnamon and pecans

Lime, Shrimp & Avocado Salad

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I think LIME and CILANTRO are some of my favorite flavors…add shrimp and we may have reached perfection!  I made this as a side, but it would be fantastic as a filler for lettuce cups.

Total Prep Time: 30 min (Shrimp cleaning/deveining & cooking takes the bulk of the time)

Difficulty: 1/5

What you will need:

  • 1 lb jumbo cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, chopped* (Note: I always grill my shrimp over open flame…better flavor!)
  • 1.5 c of halved grape tomatoes
  • 2 hass avocado, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced fine
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 3-4 Fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1c chopped cilantro (I may have added more)
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste

How it’s done:

  1. In a small bowl combine red onion, lime juice, olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper.
  2. Let them marinate at least 5 minutes to mellow the flavor of the onion
  3. In a large bowl combine chopped shrimp, avocado, tomato, jalapeño.
  4. Combine all the ingredients together,
  5. add cilantro and gently toss.
  6. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe adapted from: http://www.skinnytaste.com

Scallop BLT

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Prep/Cooking time: 20-30 min

Difficulty 3/5 

(for me the “3” comes from trying to get a decent sear on the scallops in a stainless-steel pan)

It is great as first course or appetizer!!

What you will need:

  • 10-12 (or an even number of scallops)
  • EVOO & Butter for frying scallops
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes sliced
  • Butter lettuce – cut into small pieces
  • 4-5 thin slices of prosciutto – baked in oven until crispy

For Tartar Sauce:

  • 1 c Mayo
  • 1c Dill relish (I NEVER use sweet)
  •  tbsp minced onion
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • S&P to taste

How it’s done:

  1. Assemble ingredients for Tartar sauce and refrigerate
  2. Scallops – rinse and pat dry before frying
  3. Add EVOO and Butter to hot frying pan, sear scallops (light brown color on each side…BUT be careful NOT to overcook)
  4. Assemble the stacks as shown…may require toothpicks for presentation

Roasted Cauliflower with Whipped Goat Cheese

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Note:  We each ate our own SMALL head of Cauliflower.  I served this with Lamb Rib Chops…very simple dinner, but a VERY fancy presentation and very tasty! 

What you will need:

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER
2 1/2 cups dry white wine
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup kosher salt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon sugar
1 bay leaf
1 head of cauliflower, leaves removed

WHIPPED GOAT CHEESE AND ASSEMBLY
4 ounces fresh goat cheese
3 ounces cream cheese
3 ounces feta
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for serving
Coarse sea salt (for serving)

How it’s Done:

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER
Preheat oven to 475°. Bring wine, oil, kosher salt, juice, butter, red pepper flakes, sugar, bay leaf, and 8 cups water to a boil in a large pot. Add cauliflower, reduce heat, and simmer, turning occasionally, until a knife easily inserts into center, 15-20 minutes.
Using 2 slotted spoons or a mesh spider, transfer cauliflower to a rimmed baking sheet, draining well. Roast, rotating sheet halfway through, until brown all over, 30-40 minutes.

WHIPPED GOAT CHEESE

While cauliflower is roasting, blend goat cheese, cream cheese, feta, cream, and 2 tablespoons oil in a food processor until smooth; season with sea salt. Transfer whipped goat cheese to a serving bowl and drizzle with oil.
Transfer cauliflower to a plate. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with sea salt. Serve with whipped goat cheese.

FROM: http://www.bonappetit.com

Roasted Margarita Spaghetti Squash

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Such a pretty looking dinner. 

This may qualify as one of my new comfort food dishes… Fresh flavors and super filling…and SO easy!

What you will need:

1 large spaghetti squash
2 tbsp. olive oil
3-4 Roma tomatoes
1/2 c. Finley chopped fresh basil
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tsp. each salt & pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder

How it’s Done:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Using a large knife or a cleaver, slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise down the middle. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and center strings.
Drizzle the two halves with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Place the squash, open side down on a cookie sheet and bake for 35 minutes.
Remove from the oven, check to see if the squash is soft and easily comes up with a fork into a spaghetti like texture. (If it’s too hard to remove, cook for another 10 minutes.)
Remove from the oven, scrape and fluff the stringy squash with a fork. Leave the squash in the skin.
Turn the oven up to broil. Add the tomatoes and fresh basil into the squash, stir and top with the mozzarella cheese.
Place in the broiler for 3-4 minutes, until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving the squash.

Recipe inspiration: http://acurvygirlsjourney.com

Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Mash

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This is the dish that used to make me miss potatoes like CRAZY…until I found that this works so well!  It is a Fantastic cold weather dish, although I am pretty sure I made it 3 times this summer!  We love it!  Legumes and all!! (gotta cheat sometimes, right?)

What you will need:

  • 8 oz Grass fed Butter (I use Kerrygold)  
  • 2 lbs Grass fed Ground Beef or Bison
  • 2 c. Fresh Peas (yes, these are legumes…we make an exception on this dish)
  • 3  Heads of cauliflower
  • 1 yellow or white onion
  • Yellow Cheddar cheese (grass fed)
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • Salt

 

How it’s Done:

Preheat 350 degrees

  • Make Cauliflower Mash: rinse and cut cauliflower, steam until VERY tender.  If you are short on time you can mash these by hand.  I will add salt to taste and about 4-5 oz of butter to them as I mash.  IF you have time to let them cool a bit I will “mash” them in my Blendtec…just creates a smoother texture.  Both ways taste GREAT!
  • In a large frying pan add oil, chopped onion, & ground beef.  Only cook Ground beef about 75% of way…you should still see a bit of pink. Drain meat of grease, set aside.
  •  I usually just wipe down the same pan … add the remaining butter and peas.  I sauté them for about 5-7 minutes.  You basically just want to get them a little soft.  Drain off excess butter.
  • In a 3 qt Corningware dish I layer:  The ground beef & onion, the peas, then cauliflower mash. 
  • Bake for 30-35 min.  The edges with slightly brown and pull from the sides of the dish.  I shred the cheddar cheese and sprinkle on top generously and bake for an additional 5-10 min   … until I like the way it looks 🙂
  • Let in sit for at least 5 minutes, contents will be VERY hot!