Coconut Thai Butternut Squash Soup

For Christmas I got an Instant Pot. I hadn’t really heard much about them, other than they were awesome. I was looking up different things I could make with this new appliance, and came across something that looked delicious and something I’ve never made before. Butternut squash soup. Winter is a great time for soups, and with my husband being vegetarian, I thought to myself, “Hey, lets give this a try”. I bought a butternut squash at the store, only to learn that I’ll only buy pre cut and cubed from now on (what a pain to do yourself haha). I also wanted to give it a little kick and bought some Thai red curry paste. Got all the ingredients prepped and put in the instant pot and let it do its magic. 45 minutes later I was downing this beautiful, flavorful soup!

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash (or 4 cups pre-cut cubes)

2 cloves garlic

1 yellow onion

2 cups of vegetable broth

1 small jar Thai Red Curry Paste

1 can of coconut milk (reserve some for topping later)

1-2 tablespoons lime

½ bunch cilantro (save a few pieces to garnish)

¼ cup dry roasted peanuts (save some for topping if desired)

You can make this in your instant pot or crockpot.

Instant Pot: add all ingredients except curry paste, coconut milk, peanuts, and cilantro into the instant pot. Cook on soup for 35 minutes. Once timer goes off, release and add remaining ingredients and use immersion blender or food processor to combine until fully smooth.

Crockpot: add all ingredients except curry paste, coconut milk, peanuts, and cilantro into the crockpot. Cook on low for 8 hours. After time is done, add remaining ingredients and use immersion blender or food processor to combine until fully smooth.

Very easy and you’re bound to blow yourself away just as I did! Mmmm, enjoy!

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15 Bean Soup

My husband is a pescatarian….I am not. Trying to find delicious, filling recipes that are HEALTHY is a pain in the you know what. Well luckily, Weight Watchers just came out with their new Freestyle program, and now beans and lentils are 0 points (so is chicken, turkey, eggs, corn and some other yummy foods).

Anyways, the beans and eggs being free is a total game changer for our household. For Christmas I got an Instant Pot and I’ve been dying to try it, so last night I made Hursts Hambean Cajun 15 Bean Soup, and holy hot dang, it was delicious…and easy! I thought I would post share my recipe that I used, as it followed fairly close to the recipe on the bag with a few changes. This bean mixture will definitely be a staple in our household now because it’s filling, great texture and you can easily manipulate the recipe to make it different flavors so you’re not stuck eating the same soup.

Recipe:

1 Bag of Hursts 15 Bean Cajun Soup

4 Cups of Vegetable broth (to keep it vegetarian)

4 cups water

1 can of crushed tomatoes (2g sugar)

2 cloves garlic

½ chopped onion

1 tbs lemon juice

That’s it! You can sub the broth for any you like, or just more water. You can add more vegetables such as carrots, peppers, celery, etc. You can add meat. The options are endless; this is just what I did!

Directions for using the Instant Pot.

The morning before you want to cook the beans- before you leave for work:

Open bag of beans and remove seasoning package.

Pour beans into a strainer and rinse the beans.

Pour beans into Instant Pot and cover with water- let sit until you come home- or 6-8 hours.

Strain the beans again once soaked.

Add beans back into Instant Pot, add broth and water.

Add tomatoes, onion, garlic and lemon juice.

Put lid on and pressure cook for 45 minutes.

Once cooked, add cajun seasoning, stir and serve- will be HOT, so I would let it sit for a little bit.

I served with a small loaf of bread and it was perfect for dipping! I could see this going well with some cornbread and a salad as well.

Since this recipe is 0 WWSP you have room for bread and butter…right? Mmmmm, enjoy!

Meatball Bubble Up

As the holiday season is now in full force, I’m sure many of you are busy, busy, busy! I know I am, and I’m a nanny/stay-at-home mom!! Running kiddos around, making travel plans, thinking of what to buy my husband for Christmas, AND thinking of what to make for dinner…it’s draining. Bubble ups are always a great go-to because they are simple, easy and quick to make. All you do is, cut up biscuit dough in a baking dish, add your toppings of choice, throw it in the oven and bam, your dinner is ready. Serve with a side salad and you’ve even got your veggies! Winning!

I’ll be sure to post more of my favorite bubble ups, but this one is a fun one that you can make 2 ways: super easy or a little more homemade. For the purpose of making it fast and simple, I’ll share the super easy way for now, but personally I like to make my own sauce and my own meatballs! Mmmmm.

Meatball Bubble Up Bake
Serves 4-6
WW 7 SP

Ingredients:
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (or 2 cups homemade 0 SP sauce)
1 can pillsbury RF biscuits
1 bag (19-26 oz) of frozen turkey meatballs (or homemade)
2 cups reduced fat mozzarella cheese (or regular if you’re not worried about Fat)
That’s it!

Directions:
Grease a 9×13 baking pan


Cut up each biscuits into 8 pieces each

Place biscuits into the baking dish

Top With Sauce
Top with meatballs

Top with mozzarella cheese
Cover with foil
Bake for 35 minutes
Take tin foil off and broil for 5 minutes on high
Serve. Yum!

Sweet Vinegar Lentils

Finding the happy medium of vegetarian friendly meals for my husband to enjoy, and it not being full of carbs can be a tricky task. Recently I’ve been craving lentils so I mixed up a recipe I found in my Quick Vegetarian Dinner recipe book and made a delicious lentil casserole/chunky soup. I’m not sure which to call it yet, so maybe you can help me decide. It’s not the most aesthetically pleasing, but boy, was it scrumptious.
It has the savory taste of thyme and garlic, and the hearty fillers of lentils and rice. It was the perfect ending to my day, which also happened to be the first snow of the year here in Salt Lake City. The best part was it took less than an hour to prep and cook.
Also, if you follow Weight Watchers, this is only 3 SP per serving (approx 1-1 ½ cup)
Enjoy!

Lentils and Sweet Balsamic Vinegar
Serves 6
WW 3SP
Ingredients:
1 ½ cup lentils ( I used red because that’s what I had in my pantry)
½ cup rice
4 cups water
1 cup vegetable broth (any broth would work)
1 onion, finely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 carrot shredded
2-3 tbs oil (I did 1-2 vegetable and 1 olive)
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
2 tsp honey
1 tsp thyme
1-2 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

Measure out your lentils and pick out any pebbles and rinse.
Add lentils, rice, bay leaf, thyme, salt, pepper, broth and water to a pot of thick pan.


Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a strong simmer for 20 minutes.
While you’re waiting, heat oil in a medium pan to medium.
Add onions, and carrots and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add garlic.
Cook for 10 minutes- mix every few minutes, DON’T BURN.
When lentils are done add honey, vinegar and onion mixture to lentils.
Fold into lentils, do not mix as it will become mush if you mix too much.
Serve immediately.

Steamed carrots and/or bread would go great with this to make a meal.

Tags: Weight Watchers, lentils, vegetarian, vinegar, honey, dinner

Grandma’s Pot Roast

Pot Roast is something pretty new to me, crazy I know!! My husband’s family introduced it to me, and I’ve been hooked ever since. It’s a delicacy that takes about 4 ½ hours to make, but don’t worry, four of those hours involve it sitting in a pot cooking.
If you have company over and want to impress them, make this! It’s simple, yet delicious.
Pot roast. Potatoes. Green beans. SO easy!
You can always fancy it up with a garlic mashed potato or a green bean casserole, but even the simplicity of a basic baked potato (with the fillings) and fresh (or canned to make it easier) green beans, is promised to wow the mouths that are eating.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a Dutch oven pot heat the oil until Hot.
While that is heating up, mix together flour with the spice of your choice. I like paprika, garlic salt and onion powder.


Coat your roast in the flour mixture and transfer to the pot to brown.
Turn roast so all 4 sides are browned.

Add beef broth.
Put lid on pot and transfer to the oven
Bake for 4-5 hours.
Meat will pretty easily tear away when it is done.

With about an hour left, toss those potatoes (washed a poked) in the oven to bake with the roast.

My favorite green beans are canned by Western Family, so I just pop them in the microwave right before we are ready to eat. Add a little salt and serve.

If you’re feeling a little adventurous, you can make a gravy from the leftover liquid of the roast. Put over the stove, heat on medium high, add some flour and spice to taste (I usually just add a little salt and pepper) and whisk vigorously. Add flour to desired consistency. Top on the roast and potatoes.

Weight Watchers Breakdown
3 oz of roast is 4 SP
Medium baked potato 5 SP
⅛ cup Gravy 1-2 SP (depends how much flour you use)
Green beans 0 SP
Swap the green beans or add side salad for additional food and low points.

Pot Roast
Serves 4-6
Ingredients:
2-2.5 lb beef chuck roast
1 carton of beef broth
½ cup flour
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp onion powder
¼ minced onion (optional. I like to use the dried)
1-2 tbs vegetable oil

One Hour Cinnamon Rolls

There aren’t many smells better than hot, fresh out of the oven, cinnamon rolls. Am I right? The thought of cinnamon, sugar and rising bread is making my mouth water as I write this post.

The beauty of cinnamon rolls is that you can customize them to your own personal taste. Classic, nutty, fruity, savory, you name it, you can try it! Here is a recipe for classic, quick 1 hour cinnamon rolls that will get your house smelling amazing and your taste buds dancing!

One Hour Cinnamon Rolls

Makes about 15-20

1 rounded tbs yeast

3 ¼ tbs sugar

1/4 cup Warm water

1 tea salt

1 ¼ cup milk (scalding)

¼ cup butter

2 eggs, beaten

4-5 cups flour

Filling

¼ cup butter (softened)

2 tbs cinnamon

¾ cup brown sugar

Optional: 1 cup pecans, walnuts, raisins

Pre-Heat oven to 400 degrees

In a small bowl mix ¼ tbs sugar, yeast and 1/4 cup water together and let sit.

In a large bowl, mix together sugar, salt, milk, butter and 1 cup of flour.

Add eggs

Add yeast mixture

Add remaining flour. You want the dough to be a little sticky.

Place towel or plastic wrap over the top of the bowl and let dough rise for 20 min.

While waiting get filling ingredients out- and this is a perfect time to start cleaning or cooking other food!

On a flat surface, put a little flour down and place your dough on top of the flour and roll out to desired thickness (¼ to ½ inch is great).

Spread softened butter on the dough all the way to the edges.

Mix together cinnamon and brown sugar and sprinkle over butter.

Roll dough tightly into a worm shape.

Cut into pieces to the thickness liking, using a knife, thread of floss. I like 1-2 inch thickness.

Place rolls into a greased baking sheet/pan of choice.

Bake for about 15 min, until the tops are starting to brown.

Enjoy!

Here are some step by step pictures for your visual learners 🙂

In a small bowl mix ¼ tbs sugar, yeast and water together and let sit.

In a large bowl, mix together sugar, salt, milk, butter and 1 cup of flour.

Add eggs

Add yeast mixture

Add remaining flour. You want the dough to be a little sticky.

Place towel or plastic wrap over the top of the bowl and let dough rise for 20 min.

While waiting get filling ingredients out- and this is a perfect time to start cleaning or cooking other food!

On a flat surface, put a little flour down and place your dough on top of the flour and roll out to desired thickness (¼ to ½ inch is great).

Spread softened butter on the dough all the way to the edges.

Mix together cinnamon and brown sugar and sprinkle over butter.

Roll dough tightly into a worm shape.

Cut into pieces, thickness of your liking, using a knife, thread of floss. I like 1-2 inch thickness.

Place rolls into a greased baking sheet/pan of choice.

Bake for blank min.

Enjoy!

Perfect Flakey Pie Crust

I’ve learned quite a few recipes from my mother in-law. I know so many people who struggle with their in-laws, however I’ve got the best ones out there! I could go on and on about how wonderful she is, but I’ll just get right to the recipe, her recipe. So thank you Karie for sharing this PERFECT pie crust recipe with me.

*This recipe makes 2 pie crusts.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup shortening (butter flavor)

3/4 cup flour

1/4 – 1/2 cup water (add as needed)

1 tbs sugar

1/4 tsp salt

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Pour all dry ingredients into a bowl and use a pastry cutter (or fork) and cut shortening into flour mixture. Will look like large crumbs when done.

Add water slowly and mix until dough is formed. [I like to use my hands for this]

On a flat surface throw a little flour on, and transfer dough.

Roll out until flat, about 1/4 inch thickness.

Transfer to pie pan.

Poke with fork about 10-15 times to let the dough breathe

Bake for 10-15 minutes

Take out of the oven and add pie filling of your choice. (Bake again as directed for filling.)