Tag Archives: recipe

Creamy Artichoke Basil Chicken Spaghetti (Squash)

5 Oct

Necessity is the mother of creation, isn’t that what they say? Chefs often say their favorite meals are the ones they whip up after a long shift from whatever ingredients are left in the kitchen. I’d like to pretend I’m always prepared– I try to keep a well-stocked pantry, I’m always flagging recipes in magazines or on Pinterest, and I go to the grocery store way too often. But sometimes I’m caught without a plan. More often than not I get into the kitchen and I improvise.

A few weeks later my boyfriend will say something like “Can you make those lamb chops again?” and I’ll have to admit that I really can’t because I only kinda sorta remember what I put on that lamb that one time.

So I’m very proud of myself this time. I created a recipe…and I wrote it down! Granted, this recipe had a little more brainstorming behind it. You see, on Monday I took advantage of the Whole Foods $6 rotisserie chicken special and bought two chickens. I figured my boyfriend could pretty much eat an entire one on his own (he really almost did!), but that still left plenty of chicken behind. What to do with all that chicken?

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I crafted this recipe in my head throughout the day as I ran around town doing errands. Most of the ingredients were things I already had on hand in my pantry. There were just a couple things I wanted and I swung by the store on my way home to pick up the last few essentials to what I hope would be a delicious dinner.

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Sometimes I get a little nervous serving meals like this to boyfriend. He always devours and praises the food I cook for him, but he recently admitted that his favorite food is pasta…which I obviously never cook for him! So when I present him with a plate of spaghetti squash with a dairy-free “cream” sauce, I worry a bit.

There was no need this time. This Creamy Artichoke Basil Chicken Spaghetti Squash was a bowl of warm, comforting, hearty and delicious food that we both gobbled up. Good thing I wrote down that recipe, because I’ll be wanting to make this again soon!

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Harvest Spice Apple Squash Muffins

2 Oct

Fall hit us with full force here in Portland. We were caught off-guard, blissfully sedated by the endless days of hot, cloudless weather we’d had for the past few months. One day it was 90°, our windows were thrown open and we had the fans going, then WHAM, it dropped down to 55°, the clouds barreled in and threw a stormy surprise in our faces. We quickly slammed our windows shut, threw the heavy comforters back on our beds, and put pants on for the first time since July.

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Welcome to fall!

“Don’t you love fall, though?” my hairdresser asked as she colored my locks an autumn-appropriate auburn red. “Yes, I do.” She knows me better than I thought. I love the crisp air, the smell of all the leaves on the ground, the excuse to bake and drink copious amounts of tea and cocoa. I love scarves and cozy sweaters and earth tones. I love boots.

I’ve created a plethora of fall-inspired treats over the years, chock full of pumpkin and pears, apples and cinnamon. But they’re not paleo! This needs to change, and change fast, as fall is most certainly upon us!

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The original version of these Harvest Spice Apple Squash Muffins appeared on my old blog exactly 2 years ago. I loved those spiced muffins so much, I actually developed this paleo version last year, but never shared it with the world. I gifted my mom with the recipe in her birthday card, however, and she adores them (right Mom?). I’m pretty sure she usually substitutes pumpkin for the butternut squash, so that’s definitely an option if pumpkin is what you have on hand. Try to find butternut if you can, though! Give the other squashes a chance!

These little muffins are a perfect taste of fall. Warm spices, tart apple, tender squash. And what a pretty orange hue!

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Raspberry Swirl Orange Loaf

1 Sep

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This sunny, citrusy loaf is for early mornings. Specifically, it’s for Fridays. You see, it’s hard enough resisting treats at work on a normal day, but on Fridays I’m greeted by at least three or four flavors of sweet rolls waiting to be taste-tested. There’s always a cinnamon roll, a pecan-topped sticky bun, sometimes a chocolate roll, all with a knife sitting by them for cutting and sampling. And then there’s my favorite– a raspberry-jam-filled roll topped with a tangy orange glaze that I find irresistible. It whispers to me, I swear it does!

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Well, this Raspberry Swirl Orange Loaf is my defense and my reward for resisting temptation. It’s a tantalizing indulgence in its own right. Tender and moist, sweet and fragrant, it’s a perfect pick-me-up for long work days. I brought slices of this loaf to work and it was quickly devoured by all. No one you serve this to will ever guess it’s grain free, dairy free and refined sugar free! It’s as good as (if not better than!) any decadent coffeehouse treat. This loaf will get gobbled up without so much as a crumb left behind!

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This recipe is a great foundation for a variety of flavor combinations. Try it with cherry or strawberry jam. Switch up the orange for lemon and pair it with blueberry or black currant. The wonderful thing about using jam is you can enjoy the flavors of summer all year round. I know I’ll be baking up loaves of this in the winter to cut through the gray gloom!

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Cherry Vanilla Clafoutis

24 Jul

I didn’t use to like cherries. I can honestly say I’ve never eaten a classic piece of cherry pie. When I was little, I would spend summer days climbing the cherry tree at my best friend Betsy’s house, picking buckets of the shiny red fruits for her mom to make a pie that I didn’t even want to eat. If a piece was ever served to me, I picked away at the crust and the ice cream melting alongside it and strictly avoided the sticky sweet filling.

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It wasn’t until last summer that I realized I actually like cherries now. There was a heaping bowl of freshly-picked local Oregon cherries sitting among the dishes at a friend’s 4th of July party and, to my surprise, I was tempted! They just looked so darn pretty and I figured it was high time to give them another chance. After all, I used to hate squash and rarely ate leafy greens up until a few years ago, and now I eat them all the time. Taste buds change. Don’t keep assuming you’ll still despise something you used to dislike as a kid! You could be missing out on something truly tasty– like this beautiful Cherry Vanilla Clafoutis!

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Of course, you all probably think I’m crazy/weird for hating cherries to begin with. I also don’t care for blueberries. That’s still true.

If you’ve never eaten, made, or even heard of clafoutis before, it’s basically a fancy French word for a baked custardy, pancake-ish dessert that could easily pass for breakfast food. You can really make this with any fruit (I’ve done rhubarb before), but cherries are traditional. Vanilla bean makes this look super sophisticated, but it’s honestly one of the easiest desserts you could whip up for a crowd. Plus, it’s just as good cold or at room temperature as it is warm, which makes it great picnic fare!

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