Warm me up, buttercup

With the arctic vortex behind us, or at least so we think, I’m still in soup and stew mode – trying to stay warm. My menu for the entire fall season was full of vegetable stews and roasted root vegetable soups thanks to my GFC farm share. Buttercup squash was always my favorite for a soup, roasted with apples or pears and blended to perfection.

Even though the weather this weeks looks promising- holding in the mid thirties, my pinterest board called my name in the middle of the night (I’m serious, I dream about cooking) & yelled stew, Moroccan stew. I had pinned a Moroccan sweet potato and chickpea stew earlier in the week and was dying to try it. So, I went to Weggies super early (it’s the best in the morning because you get cashiers like Hank, an 80 year old man, delightful and precise – making sure that every last vegetable fit into my reusuable bag – making it too heavy to carry, but it’s the thought that counts).

Meet Moroccan sweet potato and chickpea stew, Lisa’s way. I didn’t include all of the vegetables that the recipe called for, leaving out zucchini and substituting tomato paste with mashed cherry tomatoes (just threw two handfuls in my ninja and wa-la mashed!) because I was worried about the sweetness of tomato paste. I bulked up on the sweet potatoes and spices. Garam marsala (high in calcium and potassium) is one of my new favorite spices and I’m obsessed with using it in everything. Oh, and I also added some curry powder (actually a good source of fiber) instead of ginger. Paired with a salad, I think this will be a great lunch to fill me up with energy and spice just before I teach for 3 hours straight πŸ™‚

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And of course that is not all, it’s Sunday, Sunday is my cooking day. I also made my own version of a quinoa breakfast bake. I’ve gotten stuck on this plateau of breakfast for weeks now – eating overnight oats, oatmeal, smoothies, or an egg every once and a great moon and I was yearning for something new. I found some quinoa breakfast bakes and didn’t fall in love with one specific, so I made my own Zellerific version (yes, students came up with that term, not me, though I wish I did cause its awesome!).

Banana Nut Breakfast Quinoa Bake:

Ingredients-

1 cup quinoa dry (cook in 2 cups water)

2 ripe bananas

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (my mom’s homemade, boiled apples nothing added)

1/3 cup coconut milk

1/4 cup almonds

1 tbsp cinnamon (antioxidants!)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp nutmeg

3 tbsp hemp seeds (all needed amino acids, omega fats, fiber and protein source)

2 tbsp chia seeds (omega fats, protein & fiber source)

Directions – mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Grease 8×8 pan with coconut oil, pour in mixture. Bake in 375 degree oven for 25 minutes uncovered. Enjoy slightly cooled. Top will be crunchy with a soft, creamy inside πŸ™‚

8-10 servings, 121 calories (5 g fat, 16 g carbs, 5 g protein)

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A new salad to throw in the mix as well, so simply, yet full of flavor – Broccoli Avocado salad, literally chop the two vegetables, add juice and zest of half a lemon, cracked black pepper, and some nuts of choice – bam! Delicious and fresh and slightly addicting.

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And last but not least, a two ingredient dessert for when I get that sweet tooth every so often – Pineapple Coconut. “You put the lime and the coconut and mix it all up”, just substitute in cubed pineapple and coconut milk – put into blender (I used my ninja storm, cause its the best thing since sliced bread, thanks mom!), store in freezer in mason jar and its like a fresh icey, just without the food coloring, fake flavor and water. It took seconds, literally seconds to make, so do it. Now. I promise you won’t regret it.I plan on using it in smoothies too!

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Enjoy πŸ™‚

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