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Quinoa Sweet Potato Chili

Hello friends!

Goodness it’s been a while. Sorry, guys. I’ve been really lagging. I’ve been cooking (kinda), but nothing really worth posting. I’ve been SOOO busy and overwhelmed lately and I haven’t really taken any time to do my favorite things (aka cook, bake, photograph, and blog) but I’ll have this weekend and the entirety of Thanksgiving break to catch up! Yay. I made some super special birthday cookies for a friend that I’ll post about tomorrow, but for now, my soup.

Oh my GOD this soup was so yummy. This chili is loosely based off of this recipe (although obviously not vegan, since I used chicken stock and put chicken AND cheese in mine…I don’t do vegan). I made a huge pot of it and none of my roommates wanted any, so I have it all to myself. I’m not complaining. I put half in the fridge and froze the other half after I ate a hearty bowl. Can’t wait to have awesome leftovers for this weekend/whenever I choose to thaw my frozen batch. Ugh yum. Is there anything better than soup in the fall? Honestly? As far as dinners go, at least (I can think of quite a few desserts I’d rather have than chili, but that’s another story), it’s the absolute best. It’s so cozy and warms you up from the inside out and your tummy is all warm and everything is just great. I love eating soup.

OKAY yeah yeah I know I don’t have a picture. I know. What on earth is a food blog post without a series of beautiful food porn photos? I’ll update it soon, but I’m currently at work so access to my camera is nonexistent. I promise, it looks as good as it sounds. Meanwhile, here’s the recipe:

1 tablespoon olive oil

32 oz. chicken stock

4 oz. tomato paste

1 onion, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 15 oz. can black beans

3/4 c. quinoa (dry)

Tabasco, salt, and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a soup pan over medium high heat. Brown the onions for about 10 minutes until they get soft, then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, cumin and chili powder and combine, cooking for about another 2 minutes while constantly stirring. Add the chicken stock, beans, and sweet potatoes, mix well and cook for about 5 more minutes. Add your quinoa, bring your mixture to a boil, then down to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until your chili gets thick enough and your quinoa is fully cooked.

I garnished mine with some cheddar cheese and leftover shredded chicken. It was perfection. I highly recommend you do the same.

Have a wonderful weekend, lovelies!

Love, Emily

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Hello lovelies,

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This was an experiment. It turned out rather beautifully, if I do say so myself! My one complaint: these were not super solid. In fact, they were rather crumbly, which was unintentional, but unavoidable. Allow me to explain. I had been waiting for a few days until I had time to make something delicious with my sweet potatoes and was shocked and upset to discover upon opening their little bag that I’d been stashing them in that two of them were moldy! I don’t understand why, seeing as they were in a nice, dry spot in my cupboard but apparently that wasn’t good enough. Hmph. (Can you tell I’m bitter?) Anyways, I salvaged two scrawny sweet potato babies, but the two heftier ones were not so lucky, hence my slightly crumbly quinoa cakes. I’m going to write the recipe as I intended to do it and hopefully it will work out better for those of you who might try it. When I make these again (which I certainly will, they were yummy!), I’ll update this post as needed if I alter the recipe. Sound good? Good!

1/2 c. cooked quinoa

1 c. uncooked spinach (once cooked, it will wilt down a ton)

2 cloves garlic

1 large egg, lightly scrambled

1/4 c. pine nuts, toasted

1/4 c. almond meal (or bread crumbs, if you’re feelin’ it)

1/4 c. parmesan cheese

2 sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed

salt and pepper to taste

1-2 Tbsp. olive oil

First, cook your quinoa and set it aside to let it cool. Saute your spinach in a little bit of olive oil on medium heat until it’s wilted–this should take about 5 minutes. Add your minced garlic and cook for another minute or so. Throw your garlic and spinach into your quinoa pot and get ready to toast your pine nuts. I wiped out my pan with a paper towel and just used that to dry toast them on medium-low heat until they were lightly browned. Throw those in with the rest of your cooling ingredients. Next, peel and dice your sweet potatoes and place them in a pot of water. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cooking them for about 10 minutes until they are tender. Drain the water, place them in a separate bowl and mash them up with a fork. Add this to your quinoa pot also. Make sure everything is cool before you move on, you don’t want to cook your egg! Add your parmesan, almond meal (or bread crumbs), egg, and salt and pepper and mix well. Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil on medium heat in a skillet and form patties with your hands (I made 4!). Cook each quinoa cake for a few minutes on each side (mine took 5ish minutes per side) and enjoy!

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Ugh I’M SORRY my pictures are horrible. I’m getting increasingly frustrated with my broken lens issue. Although apparently not frustrated enough to get it fixed. The time will come soon.

Oh and on another, more relevant note, I have a confession: I ate my quinoa cake with a rather weird condiment. And by rather weird I mean very weird. Please don’t make fun of me…….I spread pumpkin butter on top……..I KNOW IT’S STRANGE I don’t even know what possessed me to reach for it when I was surveying my options in the fridge. But I must say…it was oddly delicious. I was super into it. I’d recommend it to you, but most people probably aren’t as weirdly pumpkin-obsessed as I am. Whatever, guys. It was yummy.

Love, Emily


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Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup

Hi friends,

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I made soup! Nothing says fall quite like a warm bowl of soup. I absolutely love soup. I love the preparation, I love eating it, I love how it makes you all warm and cozy from the inside out. Ahhh. So, update on my food-related life recently:

I joined a veggie co-op! Once a week, I get 6-8 lbs. of seasonal fruits and veggies delivered to me. It’s super fun. So far, I’ve gotten a lot of leafy greens, some radishes and turnips, bok choy (lol what), sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and some varieties of peppers and things. It’s quite interesting cooking with things I would never even think of buying (i.e. bok choy); I get to try new things, expand my cooking horizons, and eat delicious organic produce everyday. So far, I’m a big fan.

As you probably guessed, the sweet potato and butternut squash soup idea came from the fact that I had an entire butternut squash and 3 potatoes waiting to be made into something delicious. It has cooled down quite a bit  and been rather drizzly over the last couple of days over here in New York, so in my mind, it is officially soup season. I will be making a lot of soup this fall, get excited.

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2 c. chicken stock

2 c. water

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

1 potato, peeled and diced

1 butternut squash, peeled and diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat and add the garlic, cooking it about a minute until it is lightly browned. Add the water, chicken stock, and all the diced squash and potatoes and let it heat throughout. Once it starts to simmer, turn it down to low, cover, and let it sit for about 45 minutes until all the veggies are nice and tender. Take your pot off the heat and use your immersion blender (don’t have an immersion blender? Get one! This is my baby and I love it) to puree the entire mixture until fully blended and smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and there you have it! Beautiful fall soup!

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I was so proud of this soup. Not that it was really that complicated of a recipe it all, but I figured it out all by myself! Also I took on quite the challenge peeling and dicing all of those things…you guys should have seen my kitchen. It looked like a disaster zone. Or like squash and potatoes spontaneously combusted in my sink and the surrounding areas. It wasn’t pretty. Thank god none of my roommates were home, otherwise I definitely would have gotten some questioning looks. It’s clean now! That’s all that counts. Heh.

This soup is so comforting and delicious. And easy! I’ve seen packages at Trader Joe’s of pre-diced and peeled butternut squash–GET THAT and make this! It would be so easy and great; potatoes are nothing to peel/dice. It was the butternut squash that was the killer. I feel like that was mostly because of the fact that it was such an odd shape and our knives are not the best (in fact, they’re pretty much the worst), but it worked out. Also, if you’re a vegetarian, this soup can easily be made with vegetable stock instead of the chicken, or even just water. I added the chicken stock for some extra body and flavor, but it definitely could stand alone; the potatoes and butternut squash made it plenty creamy and thick.

Happy soup season, friends!

Love, Emily