Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

This roasted butternut squash soup is super creamy but light (and easy to make!). cookieandkate.com

This post is brought to you by Vitamix.

roasted butternut squash

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is only fifteen days away? I’m working overtime to make sure I can relax with my family on the holiday. I bet that if you imagine me on Thanksgiving, you’ll assume that I’ll be helping out in the kitchen all day. To tell you the truth, I really love kicking my feet up and being served a home-cooked meal for a change. Sorry in advance, Mom!

butternut squash soup ingredients

I’m not completely useless. I usually help throw together a salad (like this one ) or bring some cornbread with me, which is great because I can make it the day ahead in my own kitchen. This super creamy (yet cream-less) roasted butternut squash soup is another great make-ahead option. In fact, it tastes even better the next day.

Vitamix professional series 750 blender

I designed this traditional butternut soup to complement typical Thanksgiving fare, like green beans and mashed potatoes. (My other butternut squash soup ’s Thai curry spin doesn’t play nicely with turkey.)

how to make butternut squash soup

This version would also be a great accompaniment to grilled cheese sandwiches and salads through the end of winter. Basically, if you ever get a hankering for homemade butternut squash soup, this is the recipe for you.

The only butternut squash soup recipe you'll ever need! cookieandkate.com

I kept the ingredients list simple so the squash flavor can shine through, but the end result offers exceptionally rich flavor. All you’ll need is butternut squash, olive oil, shallot, garlic, vegetable broth, maple syrup and nutmeg.

This butternut squash soup is creamy but light, and perfect for Thanksgiving! cookieandkate.com

A little bit of butter rounds out the flavor and makes it truly irresistible, without weighing down the soup like heavy cream tends to do. (That said, you can substitute olive oil for a vegan soup.) It’s by far the best butternut squash soup I’ve ever tasted, and infinitely better than any canned or boxed option.

Easy butternut squash soup that tastes incredible! cookieandkate.com

Most of this soup’s flavor comes from the cooking method, which starts with roasting the butternut squash to bring out its caramelized best. Bonus! That means you don’t have to peel and chop the squash. Once the squash is out of the oven, you can start sautéing some shallot and garlic.

Then, this soup deviates a bit from other roasted butternut squash soups. You usually have two options. One, you can add the remaining ingredients to the pot and then try to blend it with an immersion blender, which inevitably leaves the soup disappointingly gritty. Or two, you can very carefully transfer hot soup to a blender in batches, which is always a little harrowing but yields creamier results.

I found a better way with this soup, thanks to the features on my beloved Vitamix Professional Series 750 . Instead of warming all of the ingredients in the pot, I just transferred the cooked aromatics and scoops of roasted butternut squash to the blender. Then, I poured in the vegetable broth and remaining ingredients. The container is 64 ounces, which allowed me to fit all of the ingredients for this soup without surpassing the maximum fill line, which is awfully convenient.

At that point, I just placed the lid on the blender and selected the soup preset. My Vitamix blended the soup into ultra-creamy oblivion and heated it up to the perfect temperature. It was like magic. Vitamix magic. If you don’t have one, now is the prime time to add one to your Christmas list!

If you’re planning to make this soup for company, you can serve the soup straight from your Vitamix or make it the day before and reheat it (in your blender or in a pot on the stove). Thanksgiving table real estate is always limited, so you might want to serve this soup in matching mugs or tea cups to leave room for the salad plates.

This soup really doesn’t need a garnish, but feel free to add a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper or some toasted pepitas for some extra visual appeal. For more meatless Thanksgiving recipe inspiration, check out my Thanksgiving roundup here !

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    Author: Cookie and Kate

    Recipe type: Soup

    Source: Cookie and Kate

  • 17 Healthy Sweet Apple Recipes

    17 Healthy Sweet Apple Recipes - apples are in season so enjoy them in all these healthy apple breakfast, snack and dessert recipes!

    Enjoy all the apples that are in season by trying one or more of these 17 Healthy Sweet Apple recipes, including breakfast, snack and dessert recipes.

    I love all the varieties of apples that are in season, especially Honeycrisp, Fuji, and Mutsu apples. There seem to be new varieties every year which keeps things interesting. I’ve put together a roundup of 17 Healthy Sweet Apple Recipes for Parade Magazine’s food site. From apple coffeecake to apple chips to apple crisps and apple pie, you’ll satisfy your sweet tooth with any of these healthier apple recipes.

    Source: Jeanette’s Healthy Living

    Healthy Banana Bread Recipe

    Healthy banana bread—it's so fluffy, moist and delicious that no one will be able to tell! cookieandkate.com

    Want to make someone’s day? Bake them some banana bread! Just yesterday, I said, “I’m going to bake some banana bread,” and watched a full-grown man’s eyes light up like a kid’s on Christmas morning. Banana bread is one of those classic, all-American comfort food recipes that fills the whole house with warmth and makes everything better. Banana bread is magic.

    banana bread ingredients

    I’ve been perfecting this banana bread recipe for my cookbook and wanted to share with you right away. This recipe has all the hallmarks of classic banana bread—it’s fluffy, moist, infused with sweet banana flavor, and beloved by toddlers and adults alike.

    honey and coconut oil

    Unlike traditional banana bread recipes that call for refined flour and lots of processed sugar, this one is made with 100 percent whole wheat flour, so it’ll stick with you. It’s naturally sweetened with honey or maple syrup, which offer some trace nutrients that white sugar does not. Lastly, this one calls for a reasonable amount of good-for-you oil rather than whole sticks of butter (choose from coconut oil, olive oil or vegetable oil).

    mashed bananas

    As you can see, my homemade banana bread has plenty of redeeming qualities, chief being that it won’t send your blood sugar levels for a loop. You can keep them all to yourself, though. No one will be able to tell that this is healthy banana bread! Did I mention that you can whip this up with just one bowl, a few measuring cups and some basic ingredients? Yep, really.

    How to make banana bread

    If this recipe looks familiar, it’s because it’s is actually an improved version of my old banana bread recipe , which has tons of fans already. I know that a lot of readers swear by that one, so I thought I’d just publish my new go-to version as its own.

    easy banana bread

    When I posted that recipe way back in 2011, I was baffled by the step that called for mixing baking soda into hot water and then stirring it into the batter, but I didn’t have enough confidence in my baking skills to try anything differently.

    Banana bread with cinnamon on top!

    Over the years, I’ve tried this recipe a million different ways (it’s actually the base recipe for my popular pumpkin bread , banana muffins and pumpkin muffins ) and can definitively declare that step unnecessary.

    Healthy banana bread recipe—you're only a few simple ingredients and one bowl away from the best banana bread ever! cookieandkate.com

    I’ve also tweaked the baking time and switched from whole wheat pastry flour, which works well but still isn’t readily available, to white whole wheat flour, which I can find at most grocery stores these days. White whole wheat flour is great because it has all of the good-for-you fiber and nutrients that regular whole wheat flour contains, but it has a more neutral flavor. It’s just a more mildly flavored strain of wheat.

    The simplest, healthiest banana bread recipe! cookieandkate.com

    Now that I’ve finally perfected this basic banana bread, feel free to change up this recipe and make it your own. If you wouldn’t dream of making a nut-free banana bread, toss some chopped pecans or walnuts into the batter! Same goes for chocolate chips. You could also add raisins, chopped dried fruit or slices of bananas. If you prefer spelt flour, I’ve heard that works well in place of the whole wheat. You can make muffins, too!

    Healthy honey whole wheat banana bread (it's easy to make, too!) - cookieandkate.com

    This banana bread is also easily adapted for special diets. With a couple of minor tweaks, you can make this bread vegan (so dairy free and egg free, too) or gluten free. Check the recipe notes for details!

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    Author: Cookie and Kate

    Recipe type: Quick Bread

    Source: Cookie and Kate

  • 100+ Gluten Free Holiday Side Dish Recipes

    100+ GLUTEN FREE HOLIDAY SIDE DISH RECIPES - Tons of gluten-free holiday side dish recipes, including stuffing, sweet potato casseroles, green bean casserole, gratins, salads and gravy

    Refer to this huge collection of Gluten Free Holiday Side Dish Recipes for all your holiday entertaining.
    It’s hard to believe the holiday season is right around the corner! To make your holiday menu planning easier, I’ve pulled together over 100 gluten-free side dish recipes from my blogger friends that would be perfect for the holidays. This collection of gluten-free side dish recipes is divided into a couple of sections to make it easier for you to pick and choose your side dishes.

    Source: Jeanette’s Healthy Living

    Lemony Roasted Potatoes & Broccoli Rabe

    Roasted broccoli rabe and potatoes with a zippy dressing make a great side dish (or breakfast hash!) - cookieandkate.com

    This post is brought to you by Andy Boy.

    broccoli rabe potato salad ingredients

    Do you like dares? I do. Well, unless they involve heights, in which case I’ll pass. If you dare me to do something with my two feet firmly on the ground, I’ll be inclined to take you up on it.

    broccoli rabe

    My dare for you is to serve something a little different at Thanksgiving. Just one side dish that deviates from the usual green bean casserole and mashed potatoes, maybe. Or a dessert that’s not pumpkin pie. (This dessert should certainly not replace pumpkin pie, however. Let’s not get too crazy.) Just something that will broaden your guests’ horizons a bit and liven up the standard beige Thanksgiving plate.

    roasted broccoli rabe and potatoes

    Here’s a side dish that fits the bill. It includes broccoli rabe, which we’ve talked about before —it looks like long, flat broccoli but tastes more like kale. It’s bitter in the best way. I really like it.

    How to make roasted broccoli rabe potato salad - cookieandkate.com

    Here, roasted broccoli rabe is tossed with golden potatoes and just enough Parmesan cheese to tempt even the skeptics. The dish comes together fairly quickly—you can prepare the broccoli rabe and dressing while the potatoes roast for the first 22 minutes, then roast the rabe on the upper rack until it’s tender and the leaves are a little crisp. A simple, zippy blend of lemon, mustard and garlic soaks right into the potatoes and makes this dish extra flavorful.

    Roasted potato and broccoli rabe salad - cookieandkate.com

    If you don’t have enough oven space for the big feast, I think this recipe would also make a great breakfast hash situation. Just top individuals servings with eggs cooked to your liking. If you are still a little skeptical of broccoli rabe, click here to learn about its nutrition benefits and find more creative broccoli rabe recipes from bloggers!

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    Author: Cookie and Kate

    Recipe type: Side dish

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    Serves: 4 servings

    Source: Cookie and Kate

  • 15 Healthy Savory Apple Recipes

    15 Healthy Savory Apple Recipes - Enjoy all the delicious apples that are in season by using them in this collection of salads, sandwiches, stuffed chicken and more

    Enjoy farm fresh apples in these 15 Healthy Savory Apple recipes, including salads, sandwiches, stuffed chicken and more.

    Apples are in season and there are so many wonderful varieties to try. I’ve put together a roundup of 15 Healthy Savory Apple Recipes for Parade Magazine’s food site. From salads to sandwiches to stuffed apples and chicken, you’ll see just how versatile apples can be in savory dishes.

    Source: Jeanette’s Healthy Living

    The Making of A Cookbook & Rental Kitchen Tips

    welcome to my kitchen

    Welcome to my messy kitchen! I’ve been so busy living and breathing cookbook recipe development lately that I’ve done a lousy job sharing the process. So today, I thought I’d give you an update and a very real look at my kitchen while we’re at it.

    Kate dishwashing

    On the cookbook front, I’ve created and worked through about half of the recipes for the book so far (that’s fifty recipes, with fifty more to go!), with the help of my lovely and talented assistant, Mara. The chaos is always more organized when Mara is here.

    recipe writing

    I make the most progress on Fridays, when Mara comes to help. She’s in nursing school and has Fridays off. To prepare, I clean my house, try to get most of the groceries we’ll need and edit and print all the recipes we’ll be making. Some days, I’m more prepared than others. She picks up any remaining groceries on the way over.

    Cookie and Kate's kitchen

    Sometimes, we’re making a recipe for the first time; other times, we’re making it for the fifth time. We can usually knock out ten recipes in one day, although we might only be finalizing a few. Imagine Mara as the busy worker bee and me as the mad scientist/absent-minded professor, wandering about and muttering ideas (“But wait! What if we…?”). That’s us.

    my refrigerator

    Mara is super helpful at providing feedback and asking questions about how to make the recipes, which helps me write them more clearly. Sometimes I’ll hand her a bowl of soup with five different garnishing options and ask her which one is best, because I’m nuts like that. I send her home with tons of leftovers to share with her husband. That’s her, in the photo below!

    ikea omar stainless steel shelves

    On the days in between Fridays, I type up notes from our experiments, try more iterations myself, clean my kitchen one million times and make a lot of lists and trips to the grocery store. Sometimes, I park myself at my go-to coffee shop and type up head notes.

    stove with Ikea Ekby Tony / Ekby Bjarnem shelf

    With all of that, plus about three days per week spent on the blog, I’m working between five to seven long days a week. It’s hard. I’m making a very purposeful effort to take Cookie on walks and attend yoga class three times a week, which is helping me maintain my sanity.

    Target Caldrea soap

    I’m way overdue on happy hours with friends, which is ok only because this busy season has an end date. I’m planning to finish the bulk of the recipe development by the end of the year, so I can then, a) get my life back, somewhat, and b) focus on the recipe testing phase and photography. Everything is due at the end of April.

    french maid dog

    By the time April rolls around, I hope to have a cookbook full of recipes that turn out wonderfully in your kitchens. You won’t see the finished product, Love Real Food, until spring 2017, but I’m already bursting with anticipation and hoping that you absolutely love it.

    Now then, let’s talk kitchens! I’ve learned the hard way that an organized kitchen is critical to a pleasant cooking experience. I’m making the most of a rental kitchen and I’m sure a lot of you are, too, so I hope you find some helpful ideas here.

    In summary, my rental kitchen is a far cry from my dream kitchens on Pinterest , but a million times better (and bigger) than my tiny old kitchen and the typical Manhattan kitchen. I try to remind myself of that every time I get frustrated.

    On the upside, the appliances are new and work properly most of the time (looking at you, dishwasher). However, I still wish my landlord would let me paint the walls white to reflect more light, and I curse the ancient, Duct-taped drawers every time I have to yank them open. The tile flooring is literally disintegrating below my bare feet, too.

    When I first moved in, the kitchen was really dark and offered tons of square footage, but not enough storage or counter space. I’ve supplemented with some easy solutions, which began with installing much brighter (100-watt equivalent) CFL light bulbs. You wouldn’t believe the difference that makes. My kitchen no longer feels like a dungeon.

    Source: Cookie and Kate

    Light Pumpkin Pie Gingersnap Parfaits Recipe

    Light Pumpkin Pie Gingersnap Parfait Recipe - this easy to assemble pumpkin pie is served in individual jars, making this perfect for a snack or fun dessert

    These Light Pumpkin Pie Gingersnap Parfaits are perfect for a snack or dessert.

    Light Pumpkin Pie Gingersnap Parfait Recipe - this easy to assemble pumpkin pie is served in individual jars, making this perfect for a snack or fun dessert

    This post is sponsored by Peapod.

    I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t like pumpkin pie. Although pumpkin pie is traditionally served for Thanksgiving, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy all the flavors of pumpkin pie any other time of year, especially if it’s light like the recipe I’m sharing today.

    I developed this recipe for Light Pumpkin Pie Gingersnap Parfaits for Peapod.com . These parfaits are a lightened upversion of pumpkin pie, portioned out into individual servings,so they’re perfect for a snack or dessert without any guilt. All you need to do is layer gluten free gingersnap cookies, pumpkin filling and a light whipped cream topping in mason jars. The pumpkin filling is lighter than most pumpkin fillings, with the help of unsweetened cashew milk, and thewhipped cream topping is lightened up with non-fat Greek yogurt.

    All of the ingredients for this recipe can be ordered online on Peapod.com or on your phone using the Peapod app , including the gluten free gingersnap cookies and cashew milk. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Peapod offers a wide variety of gluten-free and non-dairyproducts. It’s easy to search for gluten-free and non-dairy products on Peapod.com or the Peapod app.The easiest way I’ve found is to type in the item you’re looking for in the “Search” bar, e.g., gluten free ginger snap cookies, cashew milk.

    These individual LightPumpkin Pie GingersnapParfaits would be perfect for a party, or a fun snack.

    Check out more recipes on From The Pod , including these pumpkin recipes: Pumpkin Corn Pudding (use cornstarch for gluten-free version), Whole Wheat Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes (use almond flour or gluten-free flour mix for gluten-free version), and Pumpkin Apple French Toast (use gluten-free bread for gluten-free version).

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    Source: Jeanette’s Healthy Living