Recipes, Seasonal, Sunday dinner

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Happy Fall Ya’ll! We may not have the fall weather here in Florida but we can create those delicious fall flavors! 

Acorn squash gets roasted to perfection and tossed with chicken sausage, kale, cranberries, pecans and melty goat cheese for the perfect salty and sweet combo.

Ingredients

Acorn squash

  • 2 acorn squash medium
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt or more
  • black pepper freshly ground

Squash filling

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion small, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pint mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 10 oz chicken sausage, crumbled
  • 4 oz kale, chopped 
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • 4 oz goat cheese 

Instructions 

Roast acorn squash

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Cut off the top and the bottom of each acorn squash to create a flat base. Make sure not to cut too deep into the base of the squash. 

Slice each squash in half. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and fleshy strands tangled with the seeds.

Place acorn squash cut sides up on a baking sheet. 

Drizzle the cut sides of acorn squashes with olive oil and rub the oil into the squash. Season generously with salt and pepper. 

Turn the squash over, and place it cut sides down on a baking sheet.

Roast in the preheated oven at 400 F for 30 minutes.

Make squash filling

Make the sausage filling while the squash is being roasted in the oven.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil, add diced onion and garlic, and cook it on medium-high heat for about 2 minutes until cooked and a bit charred.

Add the chopped mushrooms, and saute until soft. 

Add crumbled sausage and rosemary, cook on medium heat until the sausage is completely cooked through.

Add fresh kale and cook for another 5 minutes on medium heat until the kale wilts.

Add dried cranberries and chopped pecans and mix everything.

Season with salt and pepper. 

How to stuff acorn squash

By this time, you have roasted the acorn squash for 30 minutes. Remove them from the oven and turn cooked squash halves cut sides up.

Divide the sausage filling among the 4 halves and stuff the squash until the mixture is leveled or a little bit higher. Sprinkle each half with goat cheese. 

Bake the stuffed acorn squash in the preheated oven at 350 F for 10 or 20 more minutes until the sausage mixture is heated through.

Cookies, Recipes

Butter Beer Cookies

If you love Harry Potter then these cookies are definitely for you! 

But if you’re not much of a fan, no worries- you will still love them! These cookies are chewy flavored with butterscotch, vanilla and white chocolate. 

My friends and I are Universal Studio Annual pass holders so we visit the parks and Harry Potter world regularly. Butter beer is always a must when we are there so when a friend sent me a recipe for cookies, I was inspired to create my own! I hope these cookies transport you right into the wizarding world!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 sticks Unsalted Butter Melted
  • 1 cup Light Brown Soft Sugar
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Medium Egg
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups all purpose Flour
  • 3 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 box Butterscotch Cook & Serve Pudding
  • 1 ½ cups White Chocolate Chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large bowl, using an electric/stand mixer, combine the butter and both sugars on medium speed for several minutes, until fully combined. Add the egg and vanilla and mix again.

Add the flour, baking powder, butterscotch pudding mixture and white chocolate chips, and fold until combined. 

Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit .

 Line 2-3 large baking trays. Roll into about 12 balls or use a medium size cookie scoop. 

Place on lined baking sheets.

Bake 10-12 minutes, until golden and just crisping up at the edges 

Let cool on a wire rack

Healthy, Recipes

Summer Zucchini Skillet

This quick, one-pot ground turkey skillet with zucchini, corn, tomatoes, and black beans is great for weeknight dinner or meal prep!

INGREDIENTS

  • 14 ounces from 2 medium or 1 large zucchini, quartered and sliced 3/4 inch
  • 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 1 can diced tomato, drained 
  • 1 jalapeño, diced
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon honey 
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup white wine or water
  • lime wedges, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

Spray a large skillet over high heat with oil and brown the turkey, season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon cumin.

Cook, breaking the meat up until the turkey is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Push the meat to the side, add the onion and cook 1 minute.

Add the black beans, corn, tomato, jalapeño pepper, garlic, and stir with 1/4 cup wine/water.

Add the zucchini remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and cumin.

Mix and cover, cook low 4 to 5 minutes or until the zucchini is tender crisp.

Serve with lime wedges and more cilantro if desired.

Healthy, Recipes

Zucchini Noodles with Sausage and Kale

This zucchini noodle recipe is keto friendly and packed with flavor!

Using a simple zucchini spiralizer or a vegetable julienne peeler, this meal just requires a few ingredients. You can adapt it any way that you want. Add sausage, tomatoes or more vegetables to make it a perfect fit for your family. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 medium zucchini, spiralized
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound sweet Italian ground sausage 
  • 4 cups kale, chopped
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS 

Using your favorite vegetable spiralizer, turn your zucchini into noodles; set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, sauté for 30 seconds or until fragrant. 

Add sausage to the pan, using a wooden spoon to break down meat into bite-sized pieces. 

Cook until cooked through and golden brown, about 7-9 minutes. 

Add kale to the pan and sauté until it starts to wilt and turn bright green, about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. 

Toss in remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and zucchini noodles to the pan, sauté until zucchini is just cooked through, about 2-3 minutes. 

Right before removing from the heat, stir in the parmesan cheese and toss until melted. Check for seasoning then add salt or pepper to taste.

Healthy, Recipes

Taco Cauliflower Skillet

Dinner in under 30 minutes!

This Taco Cauliflower Rice Skillet is quick, easy, healthy, low carb and incredibly delicious. Loaded with ground chicken, vegetables, cauliflower and melted cheese. 

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 lb ground chicken 
  • 1 head cauliflower, riced 
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced 
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced 
  • 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced 
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic powder 
  • 1 packet Taco Seasoning 
  • ½ cup shredded cheese
  • Chopped cilantro 

INSTRUCTIONS 

Add the olive oil to a skillet over medium heat.

Sauté mushrooms until translucent. Then add in the peppers and garlic powder. Sauté until veggies are cooking through. Transfer to plate. 

Add the ground chicken to the skillet and cook while breaking up into small pieces until the chicken is cooked through. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Add the cauliflower rice to the skillet with the cooked ground chicken. Stir to mix well. 

Bring to a simmer and then add the taco seasoning 

while stirring add ⅔ cup water. Simmer until the sauce is thickened, taste for seasonings. Add the cheese, stirring until melted. 

Serve with cilantro. 

Healthy, Recipes

Spicy Peanut Ground Chicken Stir Fry

Asian-inspired Stir Fry skillet, prepared in just one pan within minutes.

Enjoy this delicious meal to the fullest, because it’s keto friendly & low-carb plus perfect for meal prepping!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1-3 tbsp red thai curry paste adjust to taste. 
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 bag Coleslaw
  • peanuts, garnish optional
  • cilantro, garnish optional

Instructions

In a large pan, heat the oil.

When the oil is hot, add the turkey and cook until it is about half way cooked. 

Add the curry paste, garlic, peanut butter, and soy sauce, and broth/water to the pan. 

Let it simmer and stir until the pork is fully cooked.

Add the slaw mix to the pan.

Cover and let simmer for 2-3 minutes until the veggies cook down to desired crunch level!

Remove from heat. 

Garnish with peanuts and cilantro.

Healthy, Recipes

Cheeseburger Stir Fry

Are you looking to cut out carbs but love burgers?

This recipe is for you! It’s packed with that burger flavor we all love minus the carbs!!

You can switch out the ground turkey for beef or even pork and feel free to add a drizzle of ketchup if you are not too worried about the carbs!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground turkey 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bag coleslaw salad bag 
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 
  • ½ cup diced dill pickles
  • ¼ cup diced pickled jalapeños 
  • 3 tbsp Dijon mustard or your favorite mustard 
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt & pepper 
  • Fresh parsley for garnish 

Instructions

In a large skillet, heat the oil on medium heat.

Once hot, add the ground turkey and break it up to cook.

When turkey is no longer pink, add the garlic and onions, salt and pepper, and saute for 2 minutes.

Add the coleslaw bag, jalapeños and pickles. Put a lid on the skillet and let the coleslaw cook down for about 3 minutes – until cabbage is tender.

Once cooked down, stir in the mustard and water. Allow excess water to cook down, and if your mixture is really dry, add a tablespoon of water in.

Stir in the shredded cheese.

Garnish with parsley. 

Adapted from 

https://mealplanaddict.com/low-carb-cheeseburger-stir-fry/

Cakes & Pies, Recipes

Blueberry & Lemon Mini Cakes

Loaded with blueberries and bright flavor, these blueberry lemon mini cakes make a delicious treat!

These mini cakes are moist with lots of bright flavor thanks to lots of lemon zest, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a tart lemon glaze.

I love fresh blueberries with this recipe but you can use frozen ones.  Just make sure to thaw them before using, then dry off and toss with the flour.

INGREDIENTS

For the cake:

  • 2 cups blueberries 
  • 2 and ¾ cups all-purpose flour, spooned & leveled plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup full fat sour cream, room temperature

For the lemon glaze:

  • 1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  •  1/4 cup lemon juice
  •  1 zest of one lemon
  •  1 teaspoon salted butter

INSTRUCTIONS

To make the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

Add the blueberries and 1 tablespoon of flour to a mixing bowl and toss together until all of the blueberries are coated with the flour. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar for about 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.

Mix in the eggs one at a time until well combined, then mix in the vanilla. Slowly mix in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and oil.

Add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients on low speed. 

Mix in each addition until just combined, making sure not to over mix the batter.Then add the blueberries and gently fold them into the batter until just combined.

Spray a 10-inch bundt pan well with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan or cupcake pan and evenly spread it around.

Bake at 350°F for 50-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. 

Cover loosely with foil if needed for the last 5-10 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning.

Remove from the oven and cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then invert the cake onto the wire rack to finish cooling.

While the cake cools, make the glaze.

In a large microwavable measuring cup, the 4 cup capacity ones are the best, combine the sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest.

Add in the butter then microwave on high for 45 seconds.

Take out the measuring cup and whisk until smooth, making sure there are no lumps.

Let it sit for a few minutes. 

Top with the lemon glaze. 

Recipes, Small Bites

Asian Ceviche

I love ceviche! This twist on the traditional Ceviche is loaded with seafood, red onions, peppers, cilantro and Thai chili peppers; all marinated in sake and fresh lemon juice. Yup, I said sake! I created this recipe to serve at my family’s Christmas eve dinner! 

It’s such a vibrant dish that’s perfect for weekends or parties. Truly a recipe seafood lovers will instantly fall in love with! 

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 bag frozen seafood mix
  • 1 pound medium-sized shrimp, cleaned
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro , chopped
  • 1 medium size red onion, chopped small
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped small
  • 1 red sweet pepper in vinegar, diced
  • 1 Thai chili pepper, diced 
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 lemons, juiced
  • ½ tablespoon Sake
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Toasted sesame seeds

INSTRUCTIONS 

Boil frozen seafood mix (15 minutes), shrimp (3 minutes). Strain and place into a bowl. Refrigerate until chilled.

Chop shrimp in small pieces. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl. 

Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top before serving. 

Serves 8–12

Recipes, Small Bites

Buffalo Chicken Tater Tot Nachos

Crispy tater tots with layers of spicy buffalo chicken and melted cheese, topped with ranch dressing, crumbled blue cheese and green onion.  These tater tot nachos are fully loaded and perfect as a meal or as an appetizer for sharing.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bag (2 LBS) frozen tater tots
  • 2 boneless chicken breast, shredded
  • 1 cup bacon, crumbled 
  • 1 cup plus Frank’s Red Hot Wings sauce, 1 tablespoon  for garnish
  • ½ cup blue cheese crumbles, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
  • ½ cup ranch dressing, plus 1 tablespoon for garnish 
  • 1 block cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese
  • 2 green onions, garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil.

Bake the bag of tater tots for 30 minutes, flipping them halfway through the cooking time.

In a large bowl, Stir together the shredded chicken, bacon crumbles, ranch dressing, wing sauce and blue cheese crumbles.

In a medium bowl, Mix together the two cheeses.

Place the cooked tater tots in a cast iron skillet. Spoon half the chicken mixture on top of the tots. Sprinkle half the cheese. Repeat the layers. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Garnish with the remaining dressing, wing sauce, green onions, and blue cheese. 

Serve immediately.