Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
  • 1 medium (uncooked) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 sprig fresh sage
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper, or more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or more to taste
  • pinch of ground cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup canned (unsweetened) coconut milk
  • optional garnishes: extra coconut milk and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper (or smoked paprika)

Directions

Add vegetable stock, garlic, carrot, apple, butternut squash, sage, onion, salt, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon and nutmeg to a large slow cooker.  Toss to combine.

Cook for 6-8 hours on low, or 3-4 hours on high, or until the squash is completely tender and mashes easily with a fork.  Remove and discard the sage.  Stir in the coconut milk.

Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth.  (Or you can transfer the soup in two batches into a traditional blender, and puree until smooth, being very careful when working with the hot liquid.)  Taste, and season with additional salt, pepper and cayenne if needed.

Serve warm, with optional garnishes if desired.

*A medium-sized butternut squash should weigh around 2 lbs or so, or about 2 1/2 cups, (so you would need about 32 ounces if buying pre-cut butternut squash).

Source: Gimme Some Oven

Thai Chicken Curry Coconut Soup

Ingredients

32 ounces chicken stock (a little more than 1 carton; 950 mL)
27 ounces unsweetened, full fat, coconut milk (about two medium cans; 800 mL)
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
2 Tbsp. red curry paste
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1 good squirt of Sriracha
1 Tbsp. ginger paste
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup matchstick carrots
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced
Cilantro, for garnish
Lime wedges, for garnish

Instructions

Combine chicken stock and coconut milk in a large pot and turn on to medium heat. Add in fish sauce, curry paste, oyster sauce, lime juice, sriracha, and ginger paste. Bring to a simmer. Add in sliced peppers, carrots, and chicken breast, and turn up to a medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Let boil 4-5 minutes, turn back down to medium. Let simmer 30 minutes until flavors meld and chicken is cooked through. Garnish with cilantro and fresh lime.

Source: easy peazy mealz

 

Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients

24 whole fresh button mushrooms
3-4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tsp. vegetable oil
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
Bread crumbs and minced fresh herbs, for garnish (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully remove the stems from the mushroom caps, setting the caps aside for later. Add the stems to the bowl of a food processor. Add the garlic to the food processor as well, and pulse in brief bursts until them mushroom stems and garlic are finely chopped.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped mushroom stems and garlic and cook until all the moisture has disappeared, about 5-7 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low. Stir in the cream cheese, Parmesan cheese and spices. Stir together until the mixture is smooth and creamy; remove from the heat. Using a small spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of filling. Arrange the mushroom caps on the prepared baking sheet. Top with bread crumbs, if desired. Bake for 20 minutes or until the mushrooms are hot and liquid starts to form under the caps. Transfer to a serving platter, garnish with fresh herbs if using and serve immediately.

Source: Annie’s Eats

Chevre and Roasted Bell Pepper Crostini

Ingredients

For the peppers:
3-4 bell peppers (red, orange or yellow)
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp. red pepper flakes

For the goat cheese spread:
8 oz. goat cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tbsp. heavy cream or half-and-half
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve: 
Baguette slices
Olive oil
1 clove garlic, cut in half
Minced fresh parsley or basil, for garnish

Directions

Preheat the broiler.  Place the bell peppers on a baking sheet.  Broil, turning occasionally, until all sides are partially browned and bubbling.  Remove from the oven, transfer to a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rest for 15-20 minutes.

Remove the peppers from the bowl and peel away the skins.  Remove the stems and seeds from the peppers, and slice thinly.  In a bowl or other container, combine the sliced peppers, olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes.  Refrigerate and let marinate for at least 3 hours.

To make the goat cheese mixture, combine the goat cheese, garlic, and cream, and stir with a spoon until smooth and well blended.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

When you are ready to assemble the crostini, preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Lightly brush baguette slices with olive oil.  Place on a baking sheet and bake until light golden and crisp, about 3-5 minutes.  Remove from the oven and rub the cut side of the garlic over the top of each baguette slice.  Spread a thin layer of the goat cheese mixture over each baguette slice and top with a spoonful of the pepper mixture.  Sprinkle with minced fresh herbs, if desired.  Serve immediately.

Source: Annie’s Eats

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Bites

Ingredients

2-3 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken breasts or chicken tenders
1 package sliced bacon
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. If you have it, place an uncoated metal cooling rack inside a foil-lined large rimmed baking sheet and lightly coat with cooking spray. If not, line a baking pan or broiling pan with foil and lightly grease with nonstick cooking spray. Cut the chicken breasts into large bite-sized pieces. If using chicken tenders, cut them in half (you can fold over the chicken tender pieces when wrapping so they’ll be thicker).

Place the chicken pieces in a medium bowl and toss with the salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, garlic powder and red pepper. Let it hang out while preparing the rest of the ingredients (you can cover and refrigerate up to a day).

In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and chili powder together. Cut the entire slab of bacon into thirds. Wrap each chicken piece with small strip of bacon and holding tightly, dredge them in the brown sugar/chili powder mixture.

Place the chicken pieces in a single layer on the baking sheet (or rack set inside the baking sheet). If the bacon isn’t staying put, you can secure with a toothpick.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the bacon is crisp and the chicken is cooked through. Flip it once if the chicken is laying directly on the baking sheet. Serve immediately.

Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Hot Bacon Cheese Dip

Ingredients

1 unsliced round loaf bread
2 cups (8 ounces) Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup (4 ounces) Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely diced onion
7 bacon strips, diced and fried
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red chile flakes

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Slice the top quarter off the loaf of bread and set aside. Carefully hollow out the inside, leaving a 1 inch shell. Cube removed bread and set aside for dipping.

Combine remaining ingredients in a large bow, spoon into bread bowl. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and cover with the reserved top quarter of the loaf to prevent the dip from becoming to brown while baking.

Bake for 45 minutes or until heated through. Serve with bread cubes and crackers.

From Buns in My Oven

Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup

Ingredients

4 red bell peppers
canola or olive oil, for cooking
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 14 oz. (398 mL) can diced or whole tomatoes, undrained
1 L chicken or vegetable stock
1/4-1/2 cup half and half or light sour cream (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
extra sour cream, for serving (optional)

Directions

Cut red peppers in half lengthwise; pull out the seeds and membranes. Place cut side down on a baking sheet that has been lined with foil. Roast at 450°F or broil on high for about 30 minutes (less under the broiler), until blackened and blistered, rotating the sheet if necessary for them to cook evenly.

Remove from the sheet and place in a bowl; cover with the foil or a plate and let cool. When cool enough to handle, peel off the skins and discard them, dropping the peppers back into the bowl.

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat and sauté the onion for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, add the thyme, tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a simmer; add the red peppers along with any juices that have accumulated in the bowl and cook for about 20 minutes.

Turn the heat down to low and add the cream, salt and pepper. Puree with a hand-held immersion blender or transfer to a blender in batches and pulse until smooth. Heat through, adjust the seasoning and serve warm. If you like, top each bowl with a small dollop of sour cream, and run a bamboo skewer through it to create a teardrop shape.

From Dinner with Julie