Adaptable Recipes, Dinner, Easy Preparation Meals, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meal Quick and Easy International Edition

Many people are experimenting with new flavors and trying out recipes to make meals a little less boring and repetitive. That’s great on the weekend or on a holiday when you have time. Trying that during your busy work week is something else altogether.

Fortunately, most supermarkets and grocery stores’ produce sections offer many of the usual suspects when it comes to building flavors such as onions, shallots, garlic, and bell peppers, diced, chopped, and ready to use. For this recipe, most people have curry, turmeric, and ginger powder in their spice racks. If you want to add the yellow curry paste to the mix for an added kick, you can find it in the international aisle of your supermarket, or you can order it online.

This ginger curry coconut shrimp recipe also contains coconut milk, which can also be found in most stores. Just be sure to get unsweetened coconut milk, creme de coconut is great for Pina Coladas, but it’s not right for this recipe.

Another ingredient, riced cauliflower can be found in steam-in bags in the frozen section. All of this comes together to make a healthy and easy Monday night meal that you can make in thirty minutes.

This recipe is easily adapted for vegetarians, and vegans, and is gluten-free. The recipe is fairly straightforward. You can adjust the seasoning to fit your taste.

 

Ginger Coconut Curry with Vegetables over Cauliflower rice.

1 large or 2 small shallots, diced finely

1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger or 1 ½ tablespoon of ginger powder

4 cloves of garlic, minced

½ teaspoon yellow curry paste, optional

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 ½ tablespoon curry powder, or to taste

1 medium red bell pepper sliced into strips and halved

1 medium orange bell pepper sliced into strips and halved

½ a large green bell pepper or 1 small green bell pepper sliced into strips and halved

1 can of light or full-fat coconut milk

1 package of snow peas or sugar snap peas

Juice of 1 lime

2 teaspoons coconut sugar

1 can (14-ounces) of crushed or whole peeled tomatoes

1 pound of large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Vegetable oil

Chopped cilantro, optional to garnish

1 package of frozen riced cauliflower prepared according to the directions on the package.

In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil until it shimmers. Add shallots and sauté until they begin to soften. Add the ginger and garlic, and cook until fragrant. Add the bell peppers and continue sautéing. Then add the curry, turmeric, ginger powder (if you didn’t use fresh ginger), yellow curry paste if using, and stir in the coconut milk. tomatoes, followed by lime juice and coconut sugar. Allow it to simmer for five to eight minutes. Add the shrimp and the sugar snap peas. If it seems too thick, you can add a little water. Cover and let it simmer on low for an additional six minutes or until the shrimp has cooked through. Serve over cauliflower rice. If you’d like top with chopped fresh cilantro and serve.

Makes 6 servings.

To make vegetarian or vegan- omit the shrimp.

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Cooking With My Nanas Discovering Family, Traditions, and Love in The Kitchen

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Breakfast, Healthy Food Makeover, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meal- Breakfast and Snack Edition Edition

 

Blueberries are little berries that pack a big punch. Not only are they delicious, but they are also good for you.

 

Blueberries are nature’s candy. Whether you eat them by the handful, in a salad, or in a pie, blueberries are nature’s candy. Not only are they delicious, but they’re also good for you.

Here are seven science-backed health benefits of blueberries:

  • Blueberries are an incredible source of nutrients.
  • Are high in antioxidants.
  • Improve cholesterol levels.
  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Improve insulin sensitivity.
  • Boost cognitive functioning.
  • Contain prebiotics.

July 12th is National Blueberry Muffin Day, which is fitting since blueberries are at their best in terms of flavor in the summer.

If you’d like to enjoy the bounty of blueberries now, this recipe for a blueberry corn muffin is a tasty way to begin your Monday morning and it only takes fifteen minutes from mixing it to putting the muffins in the oven.

 

This recipe is based on Martha Stewart’s Blue-Barb Corn Muffins in the May 2022 issue of Living

 

Blueberry Corn Muffins by Still A Chick Lit

Active Time 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Makes: 12 muffins or 6 jumbo muffins

1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, white rice, brown rice, millet, or sorghum flour. If the flour doesn’t contain a binder add ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum)

¼ cup fine yellow cornmeal

¾ cup granulated sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit sweetener granulated, golden sugar, coconut, raw cane, or turbinado sugar, pulsed finely)

2 large eggs at room temperature (2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon Aquafaba, ½ cup silken tofu pureed with ¼ teaspoon baking soda, vegan egg replacer, or liquid vegan egg replacer= 2 eggs)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

 

8 ounces or 2 scant cups of fresh or frozen blueberries

¾ cup whole or 2% milk (non-dairy unsweetened almond milk, rice, soy, or light coconut milk)

1 stick unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled (unsalted vegan butter)

2 teaspoons vanilla

 

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Line a standard 12-muffin tin with baking cups. In a medium-size bowl whisk together, flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Reserve 6 tablespoons of blueberries and set them aside. Stir into the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center of the mixture; add eggs and whisk. Then whisk in the melted butter, milk, and vanilla.

Divide the batter evenly among muffin cups, about 1/3 cup ( they will be very full) Press a few pieces of the reserved fruit into the tops of each muffin., then sprinkle with sugar. Bake until tops spring back when lightly touched, about 24 to 30 minutes. Let the muffins cool for five minutes in the muffin tin. Remove the muffing and transfer it to a wire rack. Let cool completely for about 30 minutes.

 

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Living Your Best Life North of Forty and Fifty Plus

Makeover Monday Meal- Breakfast and Snack Edition

 

 

The humble banana is low in calories and has no fat, no sodium, and no cholesterol. They also contain vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and vitamin B6. It’s no wonder that over 100 billion of them are being eaten all over the world every year, making bananas the fourth most popular agricultural product. The average American eats about 27 pounds of bananas each year. So, it’s more than likely that most people find themselves with a few overripe bananas to make banana bread or banana muffins. Most of those recipes call for at least two or more bananas. However, what can you do with one lone overripe banana. You can make a one-banana mini- banana loaf. It’s the best way to use it in a delicious and healthy way.

This is an adaptation of Dominique Ansel’s banana bread recipe by  Baking Mischief 

Mini Banana Bread loaf recipe by Baking Mischief adapted by Still A Chick Lit

This mini version bakes in a 5.5 x 3-inch loaf pan (or can be baked as muffins in a muffin tin)

 

Prep time: Quick 10 minutes

Bake time- 22-24 minutes (depending on your oven)

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

½ cup (60g) all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, white rice, brown rice, or sorghum flour. If your flour blend doesn’t contain a binder, add ½ teaspoon xanthan gum)

½ cup granulated sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit granulated sweetener, coconut, turbinado, or raw cane sugar, pulsed fine)

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon baking powder

⅛ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 medium overripe banana

1 large egg (3 tablespoons Aquafaba, ¼ cup silked tofu pureed with 1/8 teaspoon baking soda, vegan egg replacer, or mung bean liquid egg replacer= 1 egg)

3 tablespoons (42g) unsalted butter melted (unsalted vegan butter)

Cinnamon Sugar Crust

1 teaspoon (4g) granulated sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit granulated sweetener, coconut, turbinado, or raw cane sugar, pulsed fine)

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a mini loaf pan, line with parchment paper sling (optional), and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate medium bowl, mash the banana and whisk in the egg until well-combined. Pour banana mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Add melted butter and mix until butter is incorporated into the batter. Don’t over mix, but there should not be pools of butter remaining around the edges of the batter.

Transfer the batter to your prepared loaf pan, leaving ¾ inch of space from the top of the pan (discard extra batter if there is too much).

Optional Cinnamon Sugar Crust

In a small bowl, stir together sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter.

Bake

Bake for 30 to 38 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Allow cooling in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes before removing and slicing.

Serve and enjoy.

Store the bread tightly wrapped at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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Adaptable Recipes, Dinner, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meals- Takeout Dinner Edition

A quick and easy takeout meal made at home.

 

 

There’s nothing like takeout after a long day at work or after you’ve run a ton of errands. I think everyone has a favorite local Asian restaurant for takeout. It seems like there’s something magical going on in the kitchens that keep everyone coming back. While it’s certainly faster to call up your favorite takeout place, it’s not necessarily something you want to do all of the time. Not only can it add up in terms of dollars, but it may not be great for your overall health. My great-grandmother never went on a diet, she believed in moderation. I’m not rejecting your favorite Asian takeout out of hand, but you can make your own takeout at home without taking too much time.

My sons have always been vegetable eaters. There were very few vegetables that I had to force on them. In fact, they even eat some of the veggies I hate, including lima beans and green peas.  The best part about this recipe is the ability to switch up the veggies to your liking. This recipe works with corn, green beans, or squash. It’s up to you. It’s also vegetarian and vegan adaptable. Moreover, you can buy the vegetables prepped in the produce section or in the freezer section of your supermarket. You can also put the steak or tofu cubes in the marinade the night before, or you let it marinate for ten minutes before proceeding with the recipe.

Stir-Fried Beef with vegetables and garlicky cauliflower rice.

1 pound stir-fry beef strips, you can also use a sirloin steak, cut into strips (if using a steak, put it in the freezer for up to 30 minutes, it will make it easier to slice into strips)

Marinade

½ cup low sodium- soy sauce

½ cup low sodium teriyaki sauce

3 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar (Swerve light brown sugar substitute, coconut sugar, turbinado, or raw cane sugar)

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 ½ tablespoons of minced fresh ginger root

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

Vegetables

2 broccoli crowns, sliced in quarters or 1 package of frozen steam in bag broccoli

½ cup julienned carrots

4 ounces or ½ cup snow peas

1 bunch green onions, sliced on the diagonal, including green parts

1 steam in bag of lemon garlic, garlic, or plain cauliflower rice

1 tablespoon of cornstarch or gluten-free cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water

Vegetable or peanut oil

Place the beef strips in a resealable plastic bag. In a large bowl mix together the ingredients for the marinade. Reserve 3 tablespoons, then pour the rest over the meat. Seal the bag and let marinate for as little as ten minutes up to overnight.

Steam the cauliflower rice according to directions. Empty out into a paper towel or cheesecloth-lined colander to get as much of the excess water out.

Heat water to boiling in a saucepan. Add the broccoli for three minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside. If you’re using the steam in bag broccoli, follow the directions. Open the bag when done and allow it to cool for a few minutes.

In a wok or large skillet, heat about 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the cauliflower rice, green onions, and carrots to the pan. Sauté for 4-6 minutes. Add the sugar snap peas and broccoli and continue to sauté for 3-5 minutes.

When heated through, add contents to a bowl. Add an additional 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan and allow it to get hot. Using tongs or a fork, remove the beef strips and add them to the pan. Cook over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, moving the meat around with a spatula or spoon.

Add the vegetables back to the pan and stir. Make a well in the center. Add the marinade you set aside along with the cornstarch slurry (mixture). Stir thoroughly until you have coated the meat and vegetables completely.

Serve hot. This meal will keep in a plastic container for three days. It also freezes well for up to one month.

| Yield: 4-6 servings | Cook Time: 30 minutes |

Inactive time: 10 minutes to overnight

 

 

 

 

Stir-Fried Tofu with vegetables and garlicky cauliflower rice.

 

1 package of drained extra-firm tofu, cut into cubes

Marinade

½ cup low-sodium vegan soy sauce

½ cup low sodium vegan teriyaki sauce

3 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar (Swerve light brown sugar substitute, coconut sugar, turbinado, or raw cane sugar)

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 ½ tablespoons of minced fresh ginger root

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

Vegetables

2 broccoli crowns, sliced in quarters or 1 package of frozen steam in bag broccoli

½ cup julienned carrots

4 ounces or ½ cup snow peas

1 bunch green onions, sliced on the diagonal, including green parts

1 steam bag of lemon garlic, garlic, or plain cauliflower rice

1 tablespoon of cornstarch or gluten-free cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water

Vegetable or peanut oil

Place the tofu in a resealable plastic bag. In a large bowl mix together the ingredients for the marinade. Reserve 3 tablespoons, then pour the rest over the tofu. Seal the bag and let marinate for as little as ten minutes up to overnight.

Steam the cauliflower rice according to directions. Empty out into a paper towel or cheesecloth-lined colander to get as much of the excess water out.

Heat water to boiling in a saucepan. Add the broccoli for three minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside. If you’re using the steam in bag broccoli, follow the directions. Open the bag when done and allow it to cool for a few minutes.

In a wok or large skillet, heat about 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the cauliflower rice, green onions, and carrots to the pan. Sauté for 4-6 minutes. Add the sugar snap peas and broccoli and continue to sauté for 3-5 minutes.

When heated through, add contents to a bowl. Add an additional 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan and allow it to get hot. Using tongs or a fork, remove the tofu cubes and add them to the pan. Cook over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, moving the meat around with a spatula or spoon.

Add the vegetables back to the pan and stir. Make a well in the center. Add the marinade you set aside along with the cornstarch slurry (mixture). Stir thoroughly until you have coated the tofu and vegetables completely.

Serve hot. This meal will keep in a plastic container for three days. It also freezes well for up to one month.

| Yield: 4-6 servings | Cook Time: 30 minutes |

Inactive time: 10 minutes to overnight

 

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Adaptable Recipes, Dinner, Fall Comfort Recipes, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meal- Cast Iron Baked Ziti

 

 

There are basic factors recipes must meet in order to be the Makeover Monday Meal:

  1. It has to have a fairly short prep time, and the meal or dish should come together in less than an hour.
  2. The ingredients have to be easy to find in your grocery store, freezer, or fridge. The use of pantry items is a plus.
  3. The recipe has to be adaptable, even traditional meat recipes.
  4. It should be healthy

 

This week’s recipe for Cast Iron Baked Ziti comes from America’s Test Kitchen. This is a wonderful weeknight meal that comes together quickly and is easily adapted for a vegan/vegetarian or gluten-sensitive diet. The sauce is a combination of fresh tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, basil, mozzarella, and grated parmesan cheese. Moreover, as good as it tastes when you first make it, the leftovers actually taste better overnight in the fridge.

 

Cast Iron Baked Ziti America’s Test Kitchen

GATHER YOUR INGREDIENTS

1 ½ pounds grape tomatoes

1 tablespoon

extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon tomato paste

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

12 ounces (3 3/4 cups) ziti (gluten-free ziti)

3 cups water, plus extra as needed

1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup) (vegan parmesan cheese)

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (1 cup) (vegan cheese like Daiya Provolone or mozzarella shreds are quite good)

INSTRUCTIONS

Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Heat 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. Toss tomatoes with oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Add tomatoes to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly charred and blistered, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, tomato paste, and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Off heat, coarsely mash tomatoes using a potato masher.

2

Stir in pasta and water and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to vigorous simmer, cover, and cook, stirring often, until pasta is tender, 15 to 18 minutes.

3

Stir in Parmesan and adjust sauce consistency with extra hot water as needed. Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Transfer skillet to oven and broil until cheese is melted and spotty brown, about 5 minutes. Serve.

 

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Dinner, Fall Comfort Recipes, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meal- Soup’s On

 

Well, November is here, and we are about to head into the heart of the holiday season. That said, Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away, and many of us will be gathering with family and friends to celebrate and give thanks together.

All of it means there’s a lot of planning underway to put family favorites on the table, and you might be looking to try a few new recipes to include for your get-together. As the unusually warm air gives way to colder temps, you might be looking for something that makes your feel warm inside, and a nice bowl of soup fits the bill.

This recipe comes to us courtesy of Catherine Fulvio of the Ballyknocken Cookery School in County Wicklow, Ireland. Catherine’s Kitchen Quarantine Edition had a wonderful recipe for red lentil soup, that’s soothing, delicious, and 100% vegan. The addition of coconut milk makes this soup creamy and velvety.  Many of us will have people with different dietary needs at our tables this Thanksgiving, and this is a soup that is sure to please.

Finally, the soup comes together quickly with a minimum of prep time. You can season the soup to your taste. Be mindful of the fresh ginger, it can have quite a bite. Keep tasting as you go along, and remember to use salt and pepper to balance everything on the palate. Also, Catherine has a tip for ginger that I always use. Store fresh ginger in the freezer. Use a freezer bag and use it as needed. Not only will it keep, but it also makes it far easier to use in recipes.

This recipe is Vegan. Vegetarian, Gluten-free, and low-fat.

I hope you give this a try.

 

Red lentil and ginger soup by Catherine Fulvio

 

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1 Onion finely chopped
  • 1 ½ Red Chilies deseeded and finely chopped
  • Pinch of Freshly Ground Nutmeg
  • 2 Red Peppers deseeded and diced
  • 4 oz Red Lentils soaked for 10 minutes in water and drained
  • 20 fl oz Vegetable Stock
  • 14 fl oz Can of Coconut Milk
  • 1 tsp Fresh Ginger grated
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Toasted Desiccated Coconut and Fresh Herbs to garnish

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion for 10 minutes until transparent.
  • Add chili and ginger and cook for a further minute.
  • Add the peppers, lentils, and nutmeg and stir to mix. Add the coconut milk and the stock to the soup. Leave to simmer until the vegetables are fully cooked through and the lentils are soft. Remove from heat and blend until smooth. Season to taste.
  • Sprinkle over the toasted coconut, garnish with fresh herbs and serve.
Adaptable Recipes, Breakfast, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meal- Breakfast and Snack Edition

 

Breakfast cereals have long been a big business. They’re a quick and easy way to enjoy a good breakfast on busy mornings. There are a number of delicious granola brands on shelves to choose from, but there’s something special about making your own. Not only can you make it any way you like, but it’s also economical and the recipe is fairly simple.

The best part is, granola isn’t limited to your breakfast bowl, it makes a great topping on yogurt or you can dress it up to top a fancy yogurt parfait.

I did love granola as a kid. Now, instead of buying granola, I’ve found it’s easier and more economical to make it.  This way It allows me to make it my own. I hope this recipe will inspire you to do the same.

This recipe is based on a mash-up of Ina Garten and Catherine Fulvio’s homemade granola recipes.

Homemade Cinnamon Granola

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

½ cup quinoa

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

1 cup desiccated coconut, unsweetened

3/4 cup vegetable oil

½ cup liquid raw cane sugar or clover honey (liquid monk fruit sweetener)

1 cup raisins, soaked for 1 hour

1 cup dried cranberries

Cinnamon or Vietnamese Cinnamon (your taste)

 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Whisk the oil and liquid raw cane sugar together in a small bowl. Toss the oats, quinoa, cinnamon, and coconut together in a large bowl.  Pour the liquids over the oat mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until all the oats and nuts are coated. Pour onto a 13 by 18 by 1-inch sheet pan. Bake, stirring occasionally with a spatula, until the mixture turns a nice, even, golden brown, about 40 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees, then add the soaked raisins, toss with a spatula and continue to bake for an additional 15 minutes.  Remove the granola from the oven and allow it to cool, stirring occasionally. Add dried cranberries.  Store the cooled granola in an airtight container.

You can also add cashews, almonds, walnuts, or pecans, along with other dried fruits like cherries, figs, or apricots.

 

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Dinner, Easy Preparation Meals, Food Glorious Food, Healthy Food Makeover, Living Your Best Life North of Forty and Fifty Plus, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meal- Soup’s On Edition

 

Most of the country has been enjoying a longer Indian summer than usual. However, fall is beginning to make its presence known with temperatures beginning to dip all across the country. Although many are sorry to see the warmer temps go, I enjoy the cooler temperatures. Sleeping weather is also a perfect time to enjoy a nice bowl of soup.

Squash is available year-round everywhere, but there are seasons when certain varieties are more plentiful. I love the hearty gourds like acorn and butternut squash.  Both are versatile and can be used in many recipes. This Makeover Monday puts the spotlight on butternut squash soup.

This soup has been on my fall and Thanksgiving table for many years. The recipe is very simple, and you can adjust the ingredients according to your flavor palate. It’s a wonderful combination of roasted butternut squash, sweet onions, and ginger.  To make it even easier, you can buy butternut squash that’s already prepped. It’s a time saver.

This recipe is vegan/vegetarian, low-carb, and gluten-free.

Total Time: Approximately 1 hour 

Active time: 15 minutes Estimate

Inactive time: 45 minutes

Butternut Squash and Ginger Soup

2 large butternut squash (Cut in halves and seeded) (or 2 packages of pre-cut butternut squash)

4 medium sweet onions, rough chopped

1 small fresh ginger root (peeled and minced)

3 tablespoons Canola oil

Virgin Olive Oil

4 ½ – 5  cups Unsalted Vegetable Stock

Preheat oven to 375-degrees.

Split the butternut squash in half and take the seeds out. Line a large sheet pan with foil. Place the squash on the pan, skin down, and drizzle olive oil until the squash is coated. Place it in the preheated oven and roast it for 45 minutes to an hour. When you can easily pierce the squash with a fork, take it out and let it cool to room temperature.  Once it’s cool enough to handle scoop the softened squash into a bowl.

In a Dutch oven or large soup pot, heat the canola oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the onions. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook until the onions are soft, then add the minced ginger, and cook until the onions are translucent.

Add 1 cup of the vegetable stock and the squash. Using an immersion blender, blend the onions, ginger, and butternut squash. Add the remaining vegetable stock, one cup at a time, blending well after each addition. Cover, and let simmer on low heat for ten minutes. How thick or thin the soup is up to you. If you like a thinner soup, add more stock, if a thicker soup is to your liking, add less.

Tips

  • You can save money buying fresh butternut squash and cubing it yourself. Split the squash in half, and then into quarters. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin, then cut into medium-sized chunks.
  • You can use unsalted or low salt vegetable broth
  • You can also use unsalted chicken stock or broth to add a little more depth to the soup
  • How much ginger you use is up to you. Remember, you can add more ginger, but you can’t take it out. If you use a bit more than intended and it has a little too much bite, you can a little applesauce to add a bit of sweetness and tamps the spiciness down.
  • If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a blender. Be careful to do it in small batches, and make sure the mixture isn’t too hot to avoid making a mess.
  • You can store the soup in the fridge for up to 11 days
  • This soup freezes beautifully in an airtight container for up to three months.

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Adaptable Recipes, Fall Comfort Recipes, Food Glorious Food

Makeover Meal Meal-Fall Comfort Edition

Summer is the season of hot weather, going to the beach, cool drinks, grilling, and long lazy days. Conversely, autumn is the season of cooler temps, leaves changing, sweaters, hot apple cider, comfort food, Halloween, Veteran’s Day, and Thanksgiving. For so many of us, it’s time to put the oven on and head back into the kitchen.

 

Comfort meals are just the thing to help us hit the reset button in the midst of the stresses of work, school, and other obligations that can make us feel a bit off balance. During the week, we often don’t have the time or energy to deal with a long complicated meal. Even a slow cooker can be hard when you don’t have time to put the ingredients together, or some of us have even forgotten to put it on.  However, we came across a recipe in Southern Living that is easy, healthy and comes together in less than thirty minutes.

Chicken soup is one of the ultimate comfort foods and cure for all that ails you. The best thing about this soup is you can buy many of the ingredients pre-cooked and pre-chopped.  We’ve adapted the recipe for vegans and vegetarians ( no chicken, vegan noodles, and non-dairy milk) as a way to be sure that everyone can find comfort in a hot, creamy soup perfect for the cooler evenings ahead.

 

Enjoy and Happy Fall!

Creamy Chicken Soup recipe by Southern Living Magazine adapted by Still A Chick Lit

Total Time 25 minutes

¼ cup unsalted butter (unsalted vegan butter)

1 medium-sized yellow onion, finely chopped

3 medium carrots, sliced into 1/2 -inch rounds (about ¾ cup)

2 medium celery stalks, chopped

4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 cups fresh spinach or 1 cup frozen peas

1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1 bay leaf

¼ cup all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, sorghum, white rice, or brown rice flour)

¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

6 cups unsalted chicken stock (unsalted vegetable stock) (I like Kitchen Basics)

8 ounces Old-fashioned wide egg noodles (you can use pasta, such as orzo or even angel hair spaghetti to keep it vegan/vegetarian)

1 cooked or rotisserie chicken, torn into bite-size pieces (omit for vegan/vegetarian soup)

½ cup heavy cream (dairy: light cream or half and half) (non-dairy: rice, soy, or almond milk)

1 tablespoon Sherry Vinegar

2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Melt butter in a large pot. Add onions, carrots, celery, bay leaf, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until softened. Add flour, garlic, and smoked paprika. Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture is fragrant and the flour begins to turn brown.

Add stock to the mixture and increase the heat to bring to a boil. Stirring occasionally. Add the noodles, spinach, or peas and cook, stirring occasionally until the noodles are tender. Reduce the heat to low, add the chicken. Cook until the chicken is heated through, about one minute. Stir in the cream, sherry vinegar, and remaining salt. Before serving top with thyme leaves. Serves Four.

Notes

  • For a vegan or vegetarian version of this soup, double the vegetables for an extra-yummy creamy vegetable soup.

There isn’t a lot of knife work for this recipe, however, if you’re not comfortable, most grocery stores and supermarkets have pre-chopped vegetables in their produce section. It’s also a time saver.

 

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Adaptable Recipes, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meal- Copycat Breakfast Edition

Even though the official beginning of fall is still a few days away, many of our favorite coffee shops and/or coffee houses have begun to offer fall-themed, or more specifically, pumpkin-spiced hot and cold beverages. The pumpkin theme also extends to donuts, muffins, and quick bread. If you would like to try something a little different that’s easy to make and save you a little money, we have two terrific recipes for you to try.

At the beginning of the pandemic, there was a banana bread baking movement that seemed to be everywhere. As time went on, interest in making banana bread waned. Many people enjoy Starbucks banana bread, so we made a concerted effort to find a recipe that most closely replicates the taste. This recipe was found on the Butter Your Biscuit Blog.

If you are not into pumpkin-spice flavored coffee, we came across a recipe for an Iced Maple Frappe Coffee by Dan McLaughlin on TikTok. It’s super easy and if you’re into maple this is a wonderful twist on a delicious fall-themed beverage.

Both of these recipes are quick and easy. Start the week off on a deliciously thrifty note.

The recipe has been adapted for:

  • Vegan/Vegetarian
  • Gluten-Sensitivities
  • Low Sugar diets

 

Copy Cat Starbucks Banana Bread recipe by Butter Your Biscuit adapted by Still A Chick Lit

  • 2 cups flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, sorghum, sweet or brown rice flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg (2 tablespoons Aquafaba, 1/4 cup silken tofu pureed with 1/8 teaspoon baking soda, 1 flaxseed or chia seed egg, or vegan egg replacer)
  • 1 1/8 cup sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit sweetener granulated, coconut sugar, turbinado, or raw can sugar, pulsed fine)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (Canola oil)
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk (dairy: whole fat buttermilk or low-fat buttermilk)  (non-dairy: 2 tablespoons rice, soy, almond, or light coconut milk mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, let sit for 5 minutes before using)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 extra ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees, spray an 8 x 5 loaf with nonstick spray and line it with parchment paper if desired.
  2. In a medium bowl add flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and whisk just until combined.
  3. In another medium bowl add egg, sugar, and oil and whisk until combined.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well, the mixture will be thick and dry.
  5. Add in the buttermilk, vanilla, and mashed bananas and mix until combined.
  6. Pour into a loaf pan, sprinkle walnuts over the top.
  7. Bake on the center oven rack for 60-75 minutes or until the knife comes out clean.

NOTES

 

  • You can adjust the cinnamon to up to 1 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, depending on your taste.

Maple Greek Frappe by Dan McLaughlin @softpourn on TikTok

1 tablespoon maple sugar

1 tablespoon light brown sugar (Swerve brown sugar substitute)

1 tablespoon good quality instant coffee

Cold Water

Ice

8 ounces of Milk (Whole, Low-fat, 2%) (non-dairy: Almond, Rice, Soy, Oat, Light Coconut, or hazelnut milk)

  • In a glass or travel mug add the maple sugar, brown sugar, and instant coffee.
  • Add enough cold water to cover, but don’t add too much
  • Using a frother, a small immersion blender, blender, or something like a Nutri-bullet. Mix the ingredients together until it’s thick
  • Add ice
  • Pour in your choice of milk, stir, and enjoy,

 

 

 

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For more coffee beverage ideas, follow Dan on TikTok @softpourn