Turkey Day Prep: Pumpkin Hummus

You know you need something to let people snack on before the big meal, but you don’t want them to be too full to eat the meal you’ve been slaving over for days…

This recipe, from November 2015’s Food & Wine Magazine, takes the edge off but won’t ruin anyone’s dinner! #ThisGirlLovesToEat

How to Make It

In a food processor (I used my Vitamix), combine the chickpeas with the pumpkin, lemon juice, garlic, cayenne and 1/3 cup of water and puree until smooth. Season the hummus with salt and pepper and serve with pita chips or crudités.

Make Ahead

The pumpkin hummus can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Time for a Thanksgiving Cocktail

The frantic shopping and prep is done and this girl is doing Tomahawks instead of Tom Turkey at her house. Now it’s time to sit back with a celebratory cocktail! #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Stoli shared the perfect choice via Twitter.

Stoli Turkey Day Martini

  • 1.5 parts Stoli Ohranj vodka
  • 1 part Organic Cranberry Juice
  • 0.5 parts Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 0.5 parts Maple Syrup
  • Prosecco (Approx 0.5 parts to top off with)

Shake all of the parts, strain into your martini (or saucer champagne) glass, and garnish with a sugared cranberry & twist of lime. Cheers!

Sweet Noodle Kugel

NoodleKugel2

When my father-in-law found out I enjoyed cooking, one of the first things he gave me was his Mother’s Jewish Cookbook.  He then opened it to much used page that had a recipe for a traditional #SweetLokshenKugel.  I was behind the 8 ball for a couple of  reasons on this one: I am not Jewish, so many of the words used in the, 70 + year old cookbook were, quite literally, foreign to me and, without the benefit of a picture accompanying the recipe, I was clueless as to what the recipe was actually for.  Dad did clue me in that it was for a noodle kugel that his Mother used to make, but beyond that he was pretty much useless. 😉  Once I #googled some of the words for the kosher ingredients and, what turned out to to be brand names, I was able to modernize the recipe and create something that he loved and requested for many years.

Sweet Noodle Kugel

  • 16 oz Wide egg noodles
  • 1 Cup Sugar (I now substitute 1/2 Cup Truvia)
  • 1 Stick Butter, melted
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 Medium Granny Smith Apple, grated
  • 8 oz Golden Raisins
  • 1 – 20 oz Can Crushed Pineapple (mine came in heavy syrup)
  • 1-2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Grease a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with butter and set aside.

Boil the noodles for 10 minutes.  Drain and put into a large mixing bowl or return to the pan you cooked them in.  Add the butter to the noodles and toss to combine.

Combine the Sugar (or Truvia), Egg, Grated Apple, Crushed Pineapple (undrained), Raisins, Vanilla, Ground Nutmeg and Cinnamon, stirring well.

Add the combined ingredients to the noodles and toss until well distributed throughout.

Pour the noodle mixture into the prepared baking pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, just until tips of the noodles on top begin to brown.  Cool and cut into 16 – 20 equal pieces.  Can be served warm or room temperature.

Nutrition Information (for 16 servings using Truvia)

  • 205  Calories
  • 6.5 g  Fat
  • 26.62 g  Carbohydrates
  • 4.75 g  Protein

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Turkey Day Prep: Creamed Spinach with Bacon

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Creamed spinach may not seem like a side dish that pairs well with the traditional Thanksgiving meal, but the creamy richness is an especially nice companion to turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing, and a nice change from the same old green bean casserole.  It’s also great with ham and, of course, any type of beef.  It’s #GlutenFree when you use #BobsRedMill Paleo Baking Flour and pretty #KetoFriendly too!  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Creamed Spinach with Bacon

  • 2 – 16 oz pkgs Frozen Chopped Spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
  • 3 Cups Warm Whole Milk
  • 1 Pound Bacon, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 Cup Finely Chopped Onions
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 2/3 Cup Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Baking Flour (Grain & Gluten Free)
  • 6 TBLS Butter, melted

Cook bacon slowly until browned but not crispy.  Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate and leave the grease in the pan.  Over medium heat, cook the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent.

RouxAdd the salt & pepper and stir in the flour.  Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes, until a very light brown, fluffy roux forms.  Slowly stir in the warm milk (I microwave mine in a Pyrex measuring cup for about 2 minutes) and stir until smooth.

cookedAdd the bacon back into the pan and cook for about another minute, stirring continuously.  Add the spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, over low-medium heat until all of the spinach is mixed in and warmed through.

Cover the top with the melted butter until ready to serve.

Nutrition Information: (Makes 12 – 14 Half Cup Servings)

  • 165 Calories
  • 5 g  Carbohydrates
  • 6.4 g  Fat
  • 8.2 g  Protein

If you’re interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to, like:  health articles, my favorite recipes, fun drinks, food facts, nutritional information, restaurant reviews, gadget reviews, photos and other things that make my mouth water, I have a community page on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood

Turkey Day Prep: Keto Zinful Cran-Blueberries

SmoothandWholeZCB

A few years ago I created a cran-blueberry sauce that was bursting with flavor and incorporated my favorite thing: wine!  Since then I have tried to limit my sugar consumption and been eating a modified Keto diet, so this year I’ve adapted my recipe, by #CookingWithStevia, for the Keto crowd.  No matter what, I use a good Zinfandel.  The taste matters.  This year it’s a 2015 #TobinJames #FatBoyZinfandel

Keto Zinful Cran-Blueberry Sauce

  • 3/4 Cup Granulated Steviadon’t use Truvia, it has an after taste when not cooked
  • 1 Cup Zinfandel Wine (Best you can afford – if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it)
  • 1 – 12 oz Package Ocean Spray Fresh Whole Cranberries
  • 1 Cup Frozen Blueberries
  • 1 Whole Cinnamon Stick
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Orange or Tangerine Zest

Bring Stevia, wine and cinnamon stick to a full rolling boil in a medium saucepan.

Add remaining ingredients and return to a full boil (cranberries will start to pop), stirring constantly.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring once or twice to make sure nothing sticks.  You may want to use a splatter shield to avoid splashing when cranberries pop.

Turn off heat and, if all cranberries didn’t pop fully, press with the back of a large spoon if desired.  I use my meat mallet and gently press down until all are popped.

Remove and discard cinnamon stick.  Cool slightly then move sauce to serving dish.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours and serve cold.  Sauce will thicken up as it cools.  Garnish with a few cranberries, blueberries and curls of zest.  To save time, and stove space, this can be made ahead and kept refrigerated in a tightly covered container.

*If you want it jellied:  Strain out the berry solids and skins by pressing them using a rubber spatula and fine mesh strainer before refrigerating.  To get the most of the strained pulp, I run it through my mini-chopper (or a food processor / blender) after the first pressing, then run that through the strainer again.  Sauce thickens as it cools and should be stored in a sealed container if not serving immediately (after the 2 hour chilling).

Nutrition Information: (Makes 3 CupsServing Size 2 TBLS)

  • 33  Calories
  • <1 g  Fat
  • 2.2 g Carbs
  • <1 g  Protein

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Instant Pot Spicy Tomato Bisque

TomatoBisque

I bought some organic tomatoes on the vine and a pint of grape tomatoes that I hadn’t finished but didn’t want to go to waste.  Tomato soup is my favorite, but the canned variety is SO full of carbs…enter the #InstantPot and, 20 minutes later, viola #LowCarbTomatoBisque!

Spicy Tomato Bisque

  • 2 TBLS Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Onion (1 Small to Medium Onion)
  • 3 Ribs Celery, Chopped (About 3/4 Cup)
  • 2 Medium Carrots, Peeled & Cut into 1/2″ Slices
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Peeled
  • 4-6 Medium Tomatoes, Quartered (I used 4 + 2/3 Pint of Grape Tomatoes)
  • 1/2 TBLS Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 TBLS Dried Parsley
  • 1/2 TBLS Dried Basil
  • 1 – 10.5 oz Can Beef Consommé (or Vegetable Broth for Vegetarian) + 1/2 Can Water
  • Dried Red Pepper Flakes (if desired)
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese (if desired)

Set the Instant Pot to saute mode and add the oil to warm.  Add onion, celery, garlic, carrots, tomatoes, oregano, basil and parsley cook for about 3 minutes.

Add Consommé/Broth and red pepper if using.  Mix well.  Close the Instant Pot with pressure valve to sealing and set to cook for 9 minutes.

When cycle is complete, set valve to quick release, open the Instant Pot, and puree the soup using an immersion blender.  I prefer mine a little bit chunky.

Set the Instant Pot to Saute mode.  Stir in cream and adjust spices with salt & pepper as needed. Ladle into bowls, and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

Nutrition Information:  Serves 6

  • 152.5  Calories
  • 13g  Fat
  • 6.5 g  Carbs
  • 2 g  Protein

Are you on Facebook?  You might be interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to:  recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water. If so, visit my This Girl Loves To Eat community at:  https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood

Keto Asparagus Soup

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While my market still has asparagus in the produce department, I’m making soup!  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Quick & Easy Keto Asparagus Soup

  • 1 Sweet Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1 TBLS Olive Oil
  • 2 Pounds Fresh Asparagus, chopped into 1″ pieces (discard ends)
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 3 Cups Low-Sodium Chicken Stock
  • 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 Cup Chopped Pancetta or Prosciutto, sautéed
  • 2 TBLS chopped chives
  • Freshly Gound Sea Salt & Black Pepper to taste

In a large dutch oven, over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onion becomes translucent.

Add the asparagus and chicken stock to the pot.  Cover and boil until the asparagus is tender, about 5 minutes.  Check for tenderness by stabbing with a fork.  Add the heavy cream to the pot and cook for an additional minute.  Season with salt & pepper.

Transfer the soup to your Vitamix, blender, or  food processor and process until smooth.  Make sure there are no chunks of asparagus.  You want a really smooth soup.

Divide soup between 6 bowls and garnish with the pancetta/prosciutto and chives.