Slow Cooker Green Chili Chicken Soup

 

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I purchased this fancy All Clad Slow Cooker for a Chili cook-off this past Fall (which we won), but have not used it since – to be totally honest I have never been a huge fan of the Crock Pot. The thought of just throwing raw chicken (or any meat) in with a bunch of ingredients and just letting it all cook kind of grossed me out and made me a little nervous regarding food safety. Plus, I am a huge proponent of browning chicken and any aromatics I plan to cook with, and if I am going to have to dirty my Dutch oven for this step, I might as well just use the Dutch oven on the stove top for the whole dish. Major downside to this is that if you have your gas range fired up, you really can’t just leave your house 🙂

Anyway, a huge selling point for me on this All Clad Slow Cooker was that it had an “All in One Browning Function” – upon further research I discovered that you can simply switch the cooker to “Browning” mode, let it heat up, add a little oil and brown your chicken and aromatics right in the slow cooker! I was a tad bit skeptical about how this would work, but it worked PERFECTLY, was incredibly easy and my chicken turned out DELICIOUS!

This soup is so so so quick + easy to make and was a definite hit with my husband and his brother. Oh, and it is uber hea;thy – low cal, low carb,…ENJOY!

 

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Ingredients

  • 1½ – 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 – 3 chicken breasts)
  • 1 white onion, small dice
  • 4 stalks celery, small dice
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1½ tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
  • ½ tablespoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon Cayenne pepper (more if you like heat)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • A little extra salt + pepper to season chicken with
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 16 ounces salsa Verde – I used Central Market’s Hatch Green Chili Salsa Verde
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 4 ounces canned diced green chilies
  • 15  ounces canned white navy beans, rinsed very well and drained
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

If you like extra heat you can seed and dice a few jalapeno peppers or Serrano peppers and add them during the last hour of cooking

 

 

Directions 

  • Stir together the cumin, oregano, onion powder, Cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper, set aside
  • Wash chicken and pat dry, trim any fat
  • Lightly brush the chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
  • Add about 1 tablespoon of oil to your slow cooker and switch to “Browning” mode – wait for cooker to preheat – once it is heated (to about 350 degrees F) add the chicken
  • Brown for about 8 – 10 minutes per side
  • Remove chicken and set aside
  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil
  • With your slow cooker still in the “Browning” mode, add your onions and celery and sauté for about 4 minutes, stirring constantly
  • Add the garlic and seasoning mix and stir well to combine
  • Switch your slow cooker to low
  • Add the chicken stock, salsa verde, green chilies, white navy beans and the chicken
  • Cook on low for about 5 hours or on high for about 3 hours
  • Test your chicken with a thermometer to make sure it has reached 165 degrees F
  • Remove chicken, shred and return it to the soup
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro

 

Makes 6 servings

 

Jenn Likover, RD

  
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Pesto Zucchini Noodles (Paleo + Vegan)

This recipe is my healthy makeover of one of my all-time favorite dishes from one of my all-time favorite restaurants, Acquolina. At Acquolina, this dish is made with Trofie pasta and the most divine pesto, at home I opt to use zucchini noodles and this Against All Grain pesto recipe to lighten it up a bit. I promise it is still unbelievably delicious and savory…but if you ever find yourself in Aspen, I highly recommend you have dinner at Aquolina and try the real deal.

…..and this recipe is PALEO + VEGAN – very rare that I create such a yummy dish that checks both those boxes!!!

 

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Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchinis, spiralized
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered (depending on size)
  • ½ cup Haricot Verts, trimmed, and cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pesto sauce – I like this recipe or sometimes I buy it pre-made from Central Market.  If you want to keep this recipe 100% paleo + vegan you can leave out the 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese

 

Directions

  • Spiralize both zucchinis – see here for instructions on how to make zucchini noodles
  • Blanch the haricot verts
  • Heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat
  • Add the haricot verts and cook stirring constantly for about 4 minutes
  • Add the tomatoes and continue to cook and stir for about 2 more minutes
  • Add the zucchini noodles and use tongs to toss noodles with haricot verts and tomatoes, cook for about 2 more minutes
  • Add the 2 tablespoons of pesto and toss well to combine

 

Makes 2 servings

 

Jenn Likover, RD

  
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A Grain Free Thanksgiving

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Happy almost Thanksgiving! Here are a few of my a lll-time favorite healthy, grain free, low carb and almost Paleo Thanksgiving recipes. I PROMISE you won’t miss the potatoes!

 

 

Green Beans with Caramelized Onions, Dried Cranberries and Pecans

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh Haricot Verts (French green beans)
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup sliced pecans
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet
  • Add the sliced onions and cook over medium heat until onions are caramelized, about 20 minutes
  • Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the green beans and cook beans until just tender (best to cook beans al dente)
  • Drain beans and add them to the skillet with the caramelized onions
  • Reduce heat to low and add the dried cranberries, sliced pecans and remaining tablespoon of butter, toss to combine
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste

 

Makes 6 servings

 

 

Boursin Cauliflower Mash

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Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • ½ Boursin wheel
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Parsley, chopped for garnish

 

Directions

  • Remove leaves and stalk of cauliflower and cut into florets
  • Place the cauliflower and broth in a large saucepan (don’t worry that the liquid does not completely cover the cauliflower, you are just using it to steam the cauliflower)
  • Bring broth and cauliflower to a boil, cover and steam for about 20 minutes, until cauliflower is very tender, but not falling apart. Use tongs to move around cauliflower a few times during cooking so that all pieces are able to absorb some of the broth
  • Drain the cauliflower and transfer to a food processor
  • Add the Boursin cheese and pulse until smooth
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish with parsley

 

Makes 4 servings

 

Maple Glazed Rainbow Carrots with Goat Cheese and Tarragon

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Ingredients

  • 2 pounds rainbow carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil  (or 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼ cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • ½ tablespoon tarragon, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat
  • Add the carrots and sauté until tender (about 20 minutes), cover with a lid to expedite cooking time and keep the carrots from drying out
  • You may need to add 1 more tablespoon of olive oil or 1 tablespoon of butter if carrots get too dry during cooking
  • Once carrots are tender add the 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, salt and pepper and toss to combine
  • Reduce heat to low and cover and cook for about 5 more minutes
  • Mix in goat cheese and tarragon before serving

 

Makes 6 servings

 

 

Jenn Likover, RD

  
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Zucchini + Goat Cheese Frittata

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I’ve been making this frittata once a week now for the past month. I was trying to think of new ways to utilize the plethora of zucchini I have growing in my garden and frittatas are an excellent way to use any extra veggies you have laying around your kitchen! This dish is awesome as it is so simple to make and you can refrigerate the leftovers and just warm a slice up each morning throughout the week. I would not normally add bacon, but Clay insisted, and it ends up just being half a slice of bacon per piece…and really we all know bacon makes everything better!

 

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Ingredients

  • 9 eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ cup goat cheese
  • ½ cup zucchini, chopped
  • ½ cup red onion, chopped
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon herbs de Provence
  • 3 slices of bacon

Directions

  • Heat oven to 425 degrees
  • Cook bacon in the non-stick skillet you plan to use for your frittata (I recommended an 8 – 10 inch non-stick skillet)
  • Once bacon is cooked, set aside, let cool and then chop
  • You can use the remaining bacon fat to coat the skillet and to cook the veggies. If you choose to skip the bacon, coat the skillet with a little bit of olive oil
  • Once oil is hot, add zucchini, peppers and onions. Cook until veggies are soft, about 5 minutes
  • Whisk together eggs and milk and then pour the mixture over the veggies
  • Crumble the goat cheese and bacon into the skillet
  • Sprinkle the herbs de Provence on top of the frittata
  • Let cook over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes, do not scramble. Once edge just begins to brown transfer the skillet into the oven
  • Cook for about 15 minutes or until done
  • Let frittata cool for a minute or two and then slide onto serving platter. Cut into 6 slices

 

Makes 6 servings

 

 

Jenn Likover, RD

  
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Mexican Garbanzo Bean Salad

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Garbanzo bean salads are my current go-to lunch. You can make them over the weekend (or whenever you have free time) and enjoy them all week! Garbanzo beans are packed with protein and fiber so they keep you fueled and feeling full throughout the day. It is so easy to pack these salads with tons of nutritious and delicious vegetables!

 

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Ingredients

  • 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained well
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained well
  • ½ medium red onion, diced
  • 1 – 2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper

 

Directions

  • Rinse and drain the garbanzo beans and black beans
  • Chop/dice/mince all veggies and combine them with the garbanzo and black beans
  • Whisk together the apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil and all seasonings
  • Drizzle dressing mixture over salad
  • Stir to combine
  • Let sit in refrigerator for at least one hour before serving – best if can sit overnight

 

 

Jenn Likover, RD

  
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True Foods Kitchen Inspired Inside Out Quinoa Burger

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I enjoy eating vegetarian for lunch most weekdays, but find that just a green salad leaves me starving and then I tend to binge snack later in the day. What these green salads are missing is some source of protein. Protein equals satiety. Quinoa and garbanzo beans are both vegetarian sources of protein that are also high quality + low glycemic load carbohydrates. The more fiber and protein and the less processed a carbohydrate is, the higher quality and lower glycemic load it is. A low glycemic load carbohydrate won’t cause your blood sugar or insulin levels to spike (it is the spike in blood sugar and insulin levels that cause your body to store food as fat instead of using it for energy). So in a nut shell, high quality carbohydrates, such as quinoa and garbanzo beans, wont cause a spike in your blood sugar or insulin levels and won’t be stored in your body as fat, but will fuel you with energy.

Ok, enough nutrition and science. Here is my take on True Foods Kitchen’s inside out quinoa burger (one of my all time favorite things). I make a batch of these and enjoy them as inside out burgers (as pictured) or over a green salad as an added protein source.

 

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I usually bake the burgers, but you can also grill them!

 

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Ingredients

  • 3 ½ cups cooked rainbow quinoa
  • 1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 1 ½ tablespoon tahini
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Cavander’s Greek seasoning or salt and pepper

 

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Cook the quinoa according to directions on package – it will be more flavorful if you cook using vegetable broth
  • In a food processer combine 2 cups quinoa, garbanzo beans, flour, coconut aminos, tahini, egg, cilantro, cumin, garlic powder and paprika
  • Process until well combined

o   You are basically making a “hummus” – you can be creative at this stage. Feel free to add, substitute or delete any of the seasonings or herbs I used. Other ideas – parsley, jalapenos, roasted red peppers, Indian seasonings, etc. – the sky is the limit!

  • Transfer mixture to bowl and stir in 1 – 1 ½ cup remaining quinoa. You want this mixture to be about the consistency of ground meat if you were making a “traditional meat” burger
  • Season the mixture with Cavander’s or salt and pepper
  • Form mixture into patties. You should have enough to make 6 – 8 patties
  • Place patties on a baking sheet lined with non stick foil
  • Bake for 30 minutes, flipping once half way through
  • Garnish with tomatoes, red onion, lettuce, avocado and Tzatziki sauce

 

 

Jenn Likover, RD

  
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Healthy Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps

 

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Currently craving Shinsei’s chicken wraps – here is my take (made with ground turkey). Super easy and insanely delicious…and husband approved (which is always nice + not an easy accomplishment in my house). Serve with brown rice or cauliflower rice!

 

 

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 small bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 (8 oz) can sliced water chestnuts, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 12 Boston lettuce leaves

For the Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons roasted red chili paste
  • Salt + pepper

 

Directions

  • Chop onion and mince garlic
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat
  • Add the ground turkey and diced onions, cook until turkey is completely browned
  • Add garlic and ginger to turkey and stir to combine, lower heat and continue to cook for about 2 – 3 minutes
  • In a bowl combine turkey mixture, water chestnuts and green onions
  • Whisk together all ingredients for the sauce
  • Drizzle sauce over turkey mixture and stir to combine
  • Spoon one large spoonful of turkey mixture into each lettuce wrap

 

Makes 12 wraps

 

Jenn Likover, RD

  
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Baja Fish Tacos – “Sea to Table”

 

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We recently went on a spear fishing trip and we (and by “we” I mean Clay) got sooooooo many fish! We made this fish taco recipe over the weekend with some of the Hogfish snapper we caught and it was AMAZING. Seriously, the best fish tacos I have ever had.

You can use any white fish you want for these tacos – snapper, halibut, mahi mahi, etc.

We pan fried the fish, but grilling the fish would be equally delicious. Each taco has only about 1-½ ounces of fish and the batter we used is so light, frying the fish only adds about 50 calories per taco.

 

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Ingredients

 

For the Tacos

  • 12 ounces white fish such as snapper or mahi mahi, cut into strips about 1” wide
  • 8 corn tortillas

 

For the Batter

  • 1 cup tempura mix
  • 1 cup beer

 

For the Slaw

  • ½ red cabbage, shredded
  • ½ red onion, shredded
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt + pepper to taste

 

For the Sauce

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise or sour cream or Fage Greek yogurt
  • 3 chipotles in adobe, roughly chopped + a spoonful of the sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt + pepper to taste

 

Directions

 

For the Slaw

  • In a large bowl combine the cabbage, onions, carrots and cilantro
  • In a separate small bowl whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, lime juice and salt + pepper
  • Drizzle vinegar and oil mixture over cabbage mixture and mix well to combine
  • Best if slaw can sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving

 

For the Sauce

  •  In a food processor combine the mayonnaise (or sour cream or Fage Greek Yogurt), chipotles, lime juice and garlic
  • Process until smooth
  • With the food processor running, drizzle in the olive oil
  • Season with salt and pepper

 

To Cook Fish

  • Slice the fish into 1 inch wide strips
  • Whisk together the tempura batter and beer, careful not to over mix
  • Heat the cooking oil (peanut oil is the most flavorful – but you can use others) to 350 degrees in a Dutch oven using a candy/frying thermometer to monitor the temperature
  • Once the oil is hot, add the battered fish in batches, being careful not to crowd it. Cook the fish for 5 minutes total, it should be golden brown when done. Remove to a paper towel and cook the remaining fish

 

To Assemble the Tacos

  • Heat the corn tortillas
  • Place a small amount of fish on each tortilla, top with slaw and drizzle sauce over slaw

 

Makes 8 tacos

 

 

A note about frying + batter making from Clay

The key to great fried fish is using a very light tempura beer batter. The easiest way to do this is to buy a pre-made box of tempura mix.   The secret to making a great tempura batter is to keep it very cold. I use two metal mixing bowls. In the bottom one I create a mixture of ice and water, then set the second bowl into the first one to cool prior to making the batter. Then, when making the batter you want to add the cup of beer first and then whisk the tempura mix into the beer.   Mix the batter using a whisk – but do the absolute minimum amount of mixing possible to combine it – too much mixing causes gluten formation, which causes the batter to become doughy and not light. Once the batter is made, you can drop all the fish into the batter to coat it completely.

 

If you want to grill the fish –Jenn’s preferred way….

Simply brush the fish with olive oil and season with salt + pepper

 

 

Jenn Likover, RD

  
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Healthy King Ranch Casserole

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King Ranch casserole is by far one of my favorite comfort foods, but I rarely prepare it because all the recipes in my cookbooks for it are filled with so many processed ingredients and an excessive amount of fat. I decided to do some experimenting in the kitchen and here is my attempt at the healthiest King Ranch possible. This recipe probably has about a tenth of the calories of a normal King Ranch Casserole but is just as delicious….I swear!   Here is what makes this casserole so much healthier than your typical KR casserole

  1. It has NONE of those super processed cream of “whatever” soups
  2. It is loaded up with non-starchy vegetables
  3. There are only 2 layers to this casserole so that cuts way back on the amount of cheese and tortillas you need to use

Enjoy!

 

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Ingredients 

  • 3 cups shredded chicken – I used the chicken breast from a Rotisserie chicken from Central Market
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 jalapeno peppers, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 1 – 10 oz can Rotel
  • ¾ cup half and half
  • 2 teaspoons Ancho chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 4 oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 8 corn tortillas, each cut into 4 pieces

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Shred the chicken. If you are not using a pre cooked Rotisserie chicken you can use about 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper or Cavender’s Greek seasoning. Cook chicken until completely done. Here is a “how to” on making perfect + juicy chicken breasts on the stovetop via my friends at Chowhound  http://www.chowhound.com/food-news/55474/the-basics-how-to-make-seared-chicken-breast/
  • Heat the 4 tablespoons of butter in a large sauté pan (high sided). Once butter is melted add the peppers and onions. Sauté until vegetables are soft, about five minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for about 2 more minutes
  • Add the flour and coat the vegetables with the flour
  • Add 1 cup of the chicken broth, Rotel and half and half. Stir well and then cover and simmer for 15 minutes
  • Add the chicken to the vegetable mixture and stir well. Add the remaining cup of chicken broth. Add the chili powder, ground cumin and Cayenne pepper. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary
  • To assemble casserole. Spoon about 1/3 of the vegetable and chicken mixture into the bottom of a casserole dish. Next cover mixture with 1/3 the shredded cheese. Cover these layers with ½ the tortilla pieces. Repeat making a second layer. Finish by sprinkling the remaining shredded cheese on top of the casserole (chicken/veggie mixture, cheese, tortillas, chicken veggie mixture, cheese, tortillas, cheese)
  • Bake for about 30 minutes. Until golden brown and bubbling

 

Jenn Likover, RD

  
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Pumpkin Soup

Fall is BY FAR my favorite time of the year.  There is just something so romantic + beautiful about the cool crisp nights + the colors, makes me want to curl up in a cozy sweater with a warm bowl of soup!

I returned to CO to find our backyard looking like this!  HOW BEAUTIFUL?!?!

Fall is in the air

And then our sweet neighbor gave me this lovely little pumpkin from her garden + thus came the inspiration to whip up some pumpkin soup.

Pumpkin

This soup is packed with tons of veggies + awesome warm fall flavor.  ENJOY!

Veggies for pumpkin soup

 

Pumpkin Soup

 

Ingredients

  • 1 small pumpkin
  • 1½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • ½ cup carrots, diced
  • ½ cup celery, diced
  • ¾ teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons good quality maple syrup
  • Salt + pepper to taste

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  • Cut the pumpkin in half and remove seeds
  • Place the pumpkin, skin side up, on a foil lined baking sheet + bake for 1 hour
  • Prepare all veggies
  • Heat the olive oil over medium high heat and sauté  the carrots, celery and onion for about 5 minutes (until onion is translucent)
  • Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger
  • Remove the pumpkin from the oven and scoop pumpkin from its skin and add to veggies
  • Add vegetable broth, maple syrup, salt + pepper and bring to a boil
  • Cover and simmer for about 20 – 30 minutes
  • Blend with an immersion blender

 

 

Jenn Likover, RD

  
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