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Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Lentils and Kale

Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Lentils and Kale

Hey there – it’s me, Grace. Remember me?

Yeah, I know. It’s been awhile.

But I’m back, just in time to bring you this bowl full of all things fall and all things that’ll nourish you as we prepare to take on the changing of the seasons.

Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Lentils and Kale

Is it just me or is everyone seemingly getting sick a few weeks too early this year?

No one likes being sick. But nearly everyone likes butternut squash soup.

And this one packs a punch of healthful ingredients – i.e., a powerhouse, germ-fighting tonic of turmeric and ginger. (Praise hands emoji.)

Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Lentils and Kale

I love this soup because it’s both warming and hearty, yet at the same time it’s clean and light. Lentils add both a solid source of protein and some crunch while kale adds to the texture swimming in this soup’s oh-so velvety base.

Place it in a blue or green bowl, and its golden goodness really shines. Inside and out.

I’m telling you, it’s a winner all around.

Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Lentils and Kale

 

Serve with a side salad or a crusty slice of bread, or both. And then you’ve easily got a full meal – one that’s perfect for the autumn days that surround us!

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Vegan Peach Pie with Spelt Rye Crust

Vegan Peach Pie with Spelt Rye Crust

Summer becomes real when you have a slice of peach pie on your plate from fresh fruit just picked from the nearby orchard.

This, my friends, is true summer beauty.

Vegan Peach Pie with Spelt Rye Crust

I may have to declare this as one of the best pies I’ve ever made. And it’s the peaches that went inside that must be bestowed with a large portion of the credit.

Peach season here in Pennsylvania has reached its prime, and the fruit on the trees this year is thriving.

Vegan Peach Pie with Spelt Rye Crust

Juicy and sweet, peaches are certainly undergoing a stellar year.

And as a result, the pies that are produced from those peaches are reaping all of the benefits.

After all, a pie is only as good as the fresh fruit that’s going inside of it. Which is why the filling needn’t be anything too fancy or complicated.

Vegan Peach Pie with Spelt Rye Crust

The project in undertaking the creation of this pie isn’t the filling, but the crust, which you’ll find true of most pie recipes. After some slicing and dicing, the filling takes minutes to make.

Meanwhile, the crust takes a little finesse. But nothing unmanageable, even for the novice baker.

I like to consider pie-making as the perfect put-on-a-few-records and chill-in-the-kitchen-all-Sunday-afternoon activity. Nothing wrong with that, right?

Vegan Peach Pie with Spelt Rye Crust

If you’ve never done a lattice before, basically you’re just attempting to weave the top strips of crust over and under each other. You may wish to refer to a simple tutorial when you get to that step, as I admit, my instructions may not be the most extensively written-out.

The warm slice of pie that comes out of the oven, (one you’ll top with cold ice cream…perhaps vanilla coconut!) is certainly worthy of every last second of effort that goes into creating this. As I said earlier, this is true summer beauty on a plate and certainly summer baking at its finest.

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Vegan No-Churn Chocolate Coconut Banana Ice Cream

Vegan No-Churn Chocolate Coconut Banana Ice Cream

We’ve been sweating through a major heat wave here in Philadelphia, and with 97-degree temps set for well into next week, it doesn’t look like the ice cream weather is stopping anytime soon.

That’s alright with me. As just mentioned, it’s perfect ice cream weather. Or should I say, Nice Cream weather.

Vegan No-Churn Chocolate Coconut Banana Ice Cream

I’ve been watching the “Nice Cream” trend spread over the past few weeks, keeping it on my to-make list for some time now. I love ice cream. I love niceness. I knew I’d probably love nice cream, too.

A no-added-sugar, vegan, cool summer treat? Count me in.

And so, on a temps-nearing-90-before-8AM morning, I set off in the kitchen to make my own version.

Vegan No-Churn Chocolate Coconut Banana Ice Cream

 

What was awesome about this ice cream is that it came together with a quick 2-minute assembly and a spin in the blender. From there, all the work was left up to the freezer. No ice cream machine needed, no fancy ingredients. Nor too many ingredients that’ll weigh you down on a hot day.

Dates and bananas add the sweetness. This did provide a noticeable, but not overbearing banana taste. If you’re opposed to that, you can play around with cutting down on the banana and maybe even adding additional dates.

It gets its creaminess from coconut milk, also lending an element of richness you want in an ice cream, dairy-free or not.

Enjoy after three hours in the freezer for a soft-serve-like consistency. If you leave it in there much longer, then you’ll want to sit it out for a few minutes before serving and dip your ice cream scooper in hot water. And be sure to finish it with whatever crunchy, salty and fresh toppings your heart desires!

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Vegetarian Stuffed Eggplant

Stuffed Eggplant

As discussed in my last post, I was recently asked if I’d like to review two of Urban Outfitters’ cookbooks,?Power Snacks and the one from which today’s recipes came,?The Clean-Eating Kitchen.

Stuffed Eggplant

Even more so than?Power Snacks, this particular cookbook takes an easy-to-make, weekday-kind-of-meals approach. Most of its recipes, like the Squash, Kale and Farro Stew or the Roasted Beet and Barley Salad or this recipe, the Stuffed Eggplant, are conscious of both time and ingredient list length.

Use fresh, quality ingredients, and you don’t need a recipe that spans across three pages. This cookbook gets that.

Stuffed Eggplant

From breakfast (think Raw Buckwheat & Almond Porridge) all the way to dessert (Mango Fruity Crush Ice Pops),?The Clean-Eating Kitchen offers pages of healthy eats to fill all meals of the day.

The recipes are considerably light and wholesome, and rather fitting for the summer season we’ve just begun. (Happy first day of summer!)

I decided to kick things off with a lunch/dinner option that would utilize fresh mint from my garden and two creamy roasted eggplants.

While stuffed eggplant can sound a tad daunting, this one was super quick to make. And tasty, too.

Stuffed Eggplant

Topped with toasted almonds for some crunch and a salty touch of feta, the eggplant here gets filled with a hearty quinoa and classic onion-garlic saute. Mint freshens it all up and adds a punch of flavor that completes the entire dish.

Feel free to add a spoonful of chickpeas to this Mediterranean-inspired meal for a little extra protein, and definitely consider serving it alongside a side salad. While this will get you’re oven going, I consider the light and freshness of this meal perfect for a hot summer’s day and a great compliment to some sweet, sliced tomatoes picked straight from the garden or snagged at your local farmer’s market.

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Kale and Banana Muffins

Kale Banana Muffins

When I first saw the title of this recipe over on Prevention RD, I was immediately intrigued. Kale…in muffins? Genius. But could it actually taste good?

One look at the batter creation that ended up in my bowl, and I was feeling rather doubtful.

Kale Banana Muffins

It was beautiful nonetheless, so I decided to give it a go in the oven and see where the baked version would take me.

Somehow my final result ended up looking like those dyed green bagels on St. Patrick’s Day but in muffin form. Luckily, in my case, I could boast of this color being au naturel.

Kale Banana Muffins

I’m not sure if I packed my cups of kale tighter than Prevention RD, but the vibrancy was unexpected.

I would only be pleased with this verdant color if the muffins were edible though, so let’s get to the first taste. How were they?

Well, I wouldn’t be posting about them if they weren’t going on my repeat list.

These were surprisingly good. I’m talking eaten-in-two-days good by my surrounding friends and family. In fact, I’m already ready to make them again.

Kale Banana Muffins

My initial reaction was that these tasted like a Green Smoothie in muffin form. If that sounds strange, well, these are a tad on the unique side. They’re not going to resemble your average blueberry muffin…but who wants average? And who wants a muffin loaded with sugar and empty calories? Not me.

Despite the absence of a bunch of sugar, these are rather sweet, and given how healthy their makeup is, I’m declaring them a real winner on the muffin scale. Add some peanut butter to your first bite, and you’ll feel like a champion holding a golden green medal. Delish.

I love these as a nourishing option for breakfast or as a midday snack, and I love that these provide a muffin choice that you can finally feel good about, one that will make you feel good, too! If you already enjoy green smoothies, banana muffins, or simply beautiful bites to awaken you in the morning, then I 100% recommend giving these a try. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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