Veggie Quesadilla

Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture for this recipe but it is simply worth posting so I remember it.

The filling is butternut squash, kale, black beans, and cheese. Steam the ingredients separately to keep it healthy. Serve with fresh salsa, guacamole, and or sour cream.

These were amazing. If you don’t have kale just substitute spinach or simply take it out.


Hominy and Bean Soup with Acorn Squash

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Jeff loved this soup. A LOT! He has been talking about it all week. I’ll have to make this again. It was inspired by a soup my mom made over the holidays. I just took out the cream and added more veggies:)

2 can hominy, rinsed and drained
1 can small red beans or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 acorn squash, roasted (cut in half, seed, and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes or until soft 350-400 degrees); sliced and cubed
a handful of cilantro, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
1 clove garlic chopped
About 4 cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper
Serve with sour cream and Monterrey Jack cheese

In a large soup pot, saute onions, carrots and celery in 1 T. olive oil. Cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and yellow squash. Cook for 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, except for the cilantro. Simmer for 1 hour. Add cilantro. Serve warm with optional toppings.

Barbecue Chicken Chili



Recipe from Skinny Taste’s blog for BBQ Chicken Chili:

I enjoyed the bbq flavor in the chicken chili a lot! I thought 1/2 cup wasn’t enough and added more bbq sauce, but it was too much. So…follow the recipe:) Also, I added corn and carrots. It compliments the sweetness of the bbq sauce.

Warm Kale, Apple and Chickpea Salad


Recipe from Elaine Granata from Granata Farms CSA.

I joined a CSA for the first time. It is AMAZING! I am cooking with new ingredients and finding new recipes for things I don’t typically buy. Kale was one of this weeks vegetables. I’m not typically enthused about eating and cooking with kale. BUT….Elaine, the urban farmer, sent out this recipe and it’s amazing!!! It’s a great as a side dish or as a vegetarian main dish. It’s flavorful, healthy, and packed with flavor. If it doesn’t sound appealing, I totally get it, but try it and you’ll be surprised how much you enjoy it!

1 1/2 green apples, sliced thin
1 clove garlic
1 can chickpeas; rinsed and drained
1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
1/2 cup raisins
goat cheese, crumbled (or feta)
salt and pepper

Saute apples in 1 T. olive oil for about 2 minutes. Add garlic. Cook another 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add chickpeas and kale. Saute for 2 minutes, stirring ingredients together. Add about 1/4 cup-1/2 cup water. Cover and cook for 10 minutes on medium-low. Remove the cover. Add raisins and cheese. Stir gently to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.



Cinnamon Sugar Coated Pecans


Recipe from for Sugar-Coated Pecans:

I made these as part of our family trail mix for our upcoming hike in Rocky Mountain National Park for Easter. They are delicious and super easy. I didn’t use quite as much sugar as the recipe calls for. I thought it was a bit unnecessary. I’ll definitely make these for company and visitors as a little table munchie:)

Spicy Beef Chili over Noodles



Every time I make chili, it is entirely different. This one was worth recording and sharing. I loved the addition of the eggplant and the kick from the serrano chilies.

1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
1 serrano pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup water
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. crushed dried adobo chilies
2 T. chili powder
2 T. red wine
salt and pepper

Serve over noodles ( used a combination of leftover noodles:))

Top with greek plain yogurt combine with freshly chopped cilantro and a dash of salt

In a large pot, cook onions in 1 T. olive oil for 5 minutes. Add ground beef and cook until browned. Add peppers and cook for addition 5 minutes. Add wine and spices. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer chili for 20 minutes. Serve chili over a bed of noodles. Top with yogurt sauce.


Pecan Cheesecake Bars




Recipe taken from This is Happiness’s blog for Pecan Cheesecake Bars:

My mom and I made these while I was visiting Virginia last week for her birthday. They were heavenly. The shortbread crust, cheesecake filling, and pecan pie topping went so well together. Although, my mom disagrees, I would use less brown sugar in the shortbread crust next time. It was slightly too sweet for me. Other than that, these are a serious must try.

Chicken Tortilla Soup



This post is specifically for my brother, Benji. He loves this soup! There is nothing better than cooking for my brothers and having them enjoy it. It makes me incredibly happy.

1 chicken breast
1 can diced tomatoes (plain or with green chilies)
1/2 jalapeno, diced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
other optional veggies= red bell pepper, mushrooms, or zucchini
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup frozen or fresh corn
1 can kidney beans
4-5 cups chicken broth
2 t. cumin
salt and pepper

toppings: avocado, cheddar cheese, cilantro, and sour cream (optional)

I like my chicken tender, so I cook it in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes. I place the chicken in a small casserole dish with about 1/2 cup of chicken stock, salt, and pepper. Cover it with foil and bake. Let the chicken cool, then shred it with your hands for a fork.

In a large soup pot, heat about 1 T. olive oil. Add onions, celery, jalapeno and green pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic. Cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and stir till combine. Add beans, cumin, and chicken broth. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the chicken and corn. Cook for another 5 minutes. Spoon out the soup and add desired toppings!

Healthy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

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Recipe slightly adapted from Skinny Taste’s Broccoli and Potato Soup:

This soup is warm and cozy for a winter night. It tastes like its less healthy than it is and is a perfect balance of broccoli and cheese. It isn’t too cheesy, but it tastes perfectly creamy.

1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 cloves garlic, coarsely minced
1 T. Olive oil; 2 t. butter
2 T. all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups  chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarian)
1 c. skim milk
2  potatoes, peeled and diced
salt and pepper
4 cups (about 2 heads) broccoli, florets and stems, chopped into small pieces (when using broccoli stem, cut off the outer layer and only use the center of the stem
1-1/2 cups  sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 T. Parmesan cheese

In a large soup pot, heat olive oil. Add onions, celery, and carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add potatoes and garlic. Cook for 1 minute. Add butter. Once melted, add flour, salt and pepper. Stir. Add chicken broth and milk. Bring to a boil. Add broccoli, then reduce heat and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes or until potatoes and broccoli are tender. Add cheeses and stir till melted and combine. Place half of the soup into a blender and puree. Return to the remaining soup. Add desired amount of salt and pepper.