I realize, given what is happening in two days, that this should probably be a recipe with squash, or brussels sprouts, or sweet potatoes, or regular potatoes, or maybe a pie, if I felt fancy. I don’t though; I pretty much just want to sit here in my sweatpants with my chili and my new Adele CD.
Truth be told, I don’t cook too much on Thanksgiving, so I don’t feel overly excited by recipes geared towards that one meal. My mom, despite being a vegetarian who doesn’t really love food, feels compelled to make a large traditional Thanksgiving dinner every year. She and I usually fill our plates with the sides, which are deliciously carb-focused: stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean and artichoke casserole (with bread crumbs), and, of course, rolls.
Remember that sweet potato obsession I was talking about last week? It only gets more intense when I find beautiful PURPLE sweet potatoes!
The first time I bought those purple beauties I made myself some baked sweet potato fries. The second time I made this dream salad of sorts, with roasted brussels sprouts, tuscan kale, chopped pistachios, goat cheese, and a warm balsamic dressing.
Like this kale salad from last winter, this salad is meant to be enjoyed warm, or at room temperature. You cook garlic, shallot, salt and sugar in olive oil, and then blend it up with balsamic until smooth and emulsified. Rubbing the warm dressing into the kale helps make the greens tender and less bitter. When you toss the creamy goat cheese crumbles with the warm greens and roasted vegetables, it melts ever so slightly, adding extra creaminess to every bite.
This salad has so many of my favorite things:
Garlicky roasted veggies
Healthy and hearty tuscan kale
Crunchy chopped pistachios
Creamy goat cheese
Subtly sweet and tangy balsamic dressing
Since this salad is both pretty and packed with goodness, I brought it to a Halloween party last weekend. Yes, I’m the girl who shows up to a party with a roasted vegetable salad…and beer, of course, because balance.
If you can’t find purple sweet potatoes, you can definitely sub the standard orange variety. If you don’t want to spring for shelled pistachios (they can be pricey – yikes), feel free to swap chopped walnuts or slivered almonds.
This salad would be great for Thanksgiving, but it also reheats well for leftovers (I’ve been eating it on the side of everything this week). Let me know if you make it!
It feels necessary to admit that I have been sitting here playing Adele, Taylor Swift, and One Direction over and over and over on Vevo while editing these photos. The same 3 songs. On repeat. For about 2 hours.
Reminder: I’m turning 30 in January. Just going to throw that out there.
I readily admit that I make a much better grownup than I did a teenager or young adult, but part of me will always be a pre-teen with all the feelings that need to be handled with pop music.
Speaking of pre-teen me, my younger self wouldn’t look twice at these tacos. Until 5 years ago I had no interest in curry. At the time I also didn’t own knives that could cut butternut squash. Our first Christmas together Ryan bought be a pair of nice knives; He couldn’t believe this girl who loved to cook got by with knives from Ikea, but I made it work, with only a few (minor) accidents.
Now that I have nice knives and a taste for curry, these tacos are right up my alley. I usually roast squash, but switched things up this time around by sautéing my butternut cubes, and I might never go back. It takes a little more attention, since you need to frequently stir the squash, but the cooked squash ends up caramelizing on the outside a bit, giving it just the slightest crust with a tender center. Once the squash is softened, I cooked up some garlic in one corner of the pan, then sprinkled on a simple but flavorful blend of curry powder, cumin, and cayenne. Spicy, savory, subtly sweet goodness!
To add some variety, I tossed cannellini beans with fresh parsley, thyme, and lemon. Those beans add some brightness to the curry, along with a healthy protein boost. The cashew cream I posted last week really makes the whole dish, by adding some thick and creamy moisture to the mix.
You don’t NEED to eat the butternut/beans/cream mixture as tacos. You could eat it on its own, OH OR OVER A SALAD (sorry for the caps, that just sounds good right now), but aren’t tacos more fun? I think so. I like handheld food.
If you’re a curry and squash (and spice!) fan, you need to give these tacos a try. Let me know if you do!
Before we get to all the sweet n’ smoky n’ spicy soup business, I have to acknowledge the crickets on this blog over the past few weeks. Turns out working full time, planning a wedding, and being at the age where baby and bridal showers abound equates to little cooking time and LOTS of takeout and delivery. Speaking of delivery, I have to share – Ryan and I had a craving for Indian this week and used Bite Squad for the first time. Have you tried it? Game changer.
I’ve also been going through a phase lately where immediately after I eat something I feel nauseated by the thought of it. For a girl who loves leftovers, this is kind of an issue. I made Ryan broccoli, kale, and cheese soup on Monday, and I enjoyed it as I ate it, but when I went to pack it up for my lunch the next day I realized NOPE, I could not eat another bite of it. No way no how. To Noodles & Company I went.
Although I mourn the end of tomato season, and summer produce in general, I have to say that sweet potato season nearly makes up for it.
For today’s sweet potato love, we’re bringing all the cozy fall feels with a thick, creamy, smoky and spicy soup. The ingredients are a simple but flavorful blend of garlic, onion, sweet potatoes, chili powder, and the star of the show: chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Cashews help add creaminess to the base, along with some healthy (and happy!) fats. To cool down that smokiness a bit, I topped off the soup with a cool and creamy lime cashew cream that takes it to the next level of yum.
Don’t you love a soup thick enough hold a drizzle of cream on top? I do. I love it so much.
Despite my food funk of late, I ate this soup every day for lunch until it was gone, and I looked forward to it. Sweet potatoes are damn magical, I tell ya.
Maybe it’s the time of year, but I’m alarmingly okay with laziness lately. I’m usually someone who needs to plan out every minute of the day. For many years I’d roll out of bed early on the weekends to soak up every bit of work-free life. Lately though? Sleeping until 10am, sitting in pajamas drinking coffee, and not doing a damn thing until around noon sounds juuuuuust perfect.
The type A part of me kind of shudders at this reality and hope it’s short lived. The other part of me, the part that sees the benefits of this much-needed chill pill, is kind of digging it.
1 month agoby veggiebeastblogI feel like my old soul has kind of always been 30 years old, but today that's officially my age, and I'm spending the first day of this new decade with great food and people. As you may have noticed from the silence lately, I've decided to take a little break from the blog. While the break has been great, the one thing that makes me sad is that for the first time in 4 years I'm not sharing a new dessert recipe on my birthday. So, here is another one of my favorites - chai spice cake with vanilla…
2 months agoby veggiebeastblogEating a fancy lunch in my pajamas, because Sunday
I'm Katie: lover of good cheese, cheap wine, and better-for-you baked goods. I live in Minnesota with my carnivorous other half Ryan ("The Beast"), and our funny little mutt puppy Teia. Author of The High-Protein Vegetarian Cookbook, January 2015.