Weeks 40 through 43:Cauliflower Leek Soup; Pumpkin Pancake; Blueberry Protein Pancakes; Horseradish Mashed Potatoes; Slow Cooker Cinnamon Roll Pull Apart Bread; Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing; Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Squash with Dried Cranberries and Dijon Vinaigrette; Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Ham; Green Bean Casserole; Ruben Soup; and Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lasagna Soup


The last few weeks with the holiday I have been cooking up a storm. Cooking a new recipe each week this year has really re-ignited my passion for cooking. I love trying new recipes and hearing what feedback family and friends have.  Here is the round up from the last few weeks.


Cauliflower Leek Soup

This soup was delicious, but it needs some chunks in it. When I make it again, I would roast some cauliflower to add into the soup after it is pureed.


Ingredients: ▪ 1 Tbsp butter ▪ 1 Tbsp coconut oil ▪ 1 large potato, chopped ▪ 3 leeks, sliced and tops tossed out ▪ 1 large head cauliflower, chopped ▪ 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped ▪ 3 tsp salt ▪ 1.5 cup Great Lakes Gelatin ▪ 4 Tbsp coconut oil ▪ 1 dash black pepper ▪ 8 cups broth (ideally bone broth, but any works)

Instructions: ▪ Heat the butter and oil in a large pot over medium heat and sauté the potatoes for 5 minutes then add leeks, cauliflower, and garlic and sauté another 10 minutes. ▪ Stir in broth and bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat and cover to simmer for 45 minutes. ▪ Remove from heat and blend in a blender, food processor, or with a hand mixer. Season with salt and pepper and continue to blend until desired texture is reached. Serve hot or store for up to a week.


Pumpkin Pancake

This recipe was super simple and really delicious. I would definitely make this again but making sure to cook them all the way through. Some of the pancakes I made weren’t cooked all the way through but the flavors were very good.

Ingredients: ▪ 1/4 cup pumpkin purée ▪  1 egg + 1 white ▪ ▪ 2 Tbs coconut or tapioca flour ▪ 1 Tbs Great Lakes Gelatin protein powder ▪ 1/4 tsp baking soda ▪ 1-3 tsp cinnamon ▪ handful dark chocolate chips

Instructions: ▪ Mix all ingredients EXCEPT chocolate chips. ▪ Preheat frying pan or griddle on medium heat, coat with coconut oil. ▪ Pour 1/3 batter on griddle, cook until bubbles form, about 2 mins. ▪ Sprinkle some chocolate chips on top, wait another minute. ▪ Flip and cook for about 3 more minutes or until cooked through.


Blueberry Protein Pancakes

This recipe did not turn out as well as the pumpkin pancakes… the pictures show that. They kind of turned into scrambled eggs that kind of tasted like flour? The last couple of pancakes that went into the pan tasted the best, but still not great. I would like to try these another time to see if I can get them to turn out.


Ingredients: ▪ 1 large eggs ▪ 1 large egg white ▪ 1/2 tbsp organic honey ▪ 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice ▪ 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
▪ 2 Tbs coconut flour ▪ 4 Tbs Great Lakes gelatin protein powder
▪ 1/8 tsp baking powder ▪ 1/4 tsp baking soda ▪ Tiny pinch of salt
▪ Coconut oil or butter, for greasing the skillet ▪ 1/3 cup fresh or frozen blueberries ▪ 1-2 Tbsp Maple syrup ▪ 1% milk, to texture

Instructions: ▪ In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and add the honey, lemon juice, and vanilla and whisk until well blended. ▪ Add the coconut flour to the wet ingredients continuously whisking. ▪ Mix in the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. ▪ Grease a large skillet and place over medium heat. ▪ Once hot, use a ladle to pour 3-inch pancakes in the skillet. ▪ Once holes begin to appear in the surface of a pancake, drop a few blueberries onto it and flip, cooking each side for 2 to 4 mins. ▪ Repeat with rest of the batter and top with maple syrup or have on side for dipping.



Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

I used this recipe, but instead of sour cream I used Siggi’s icelandic yogurt. This recipe turned out well, but I needed to add extra salt, a little more butter, and extra horseradish. The recipe as indicated was good, but I LOVE horseradish and I need the extra kick!

Ingredients: ▪ 5 potatoes (diced) ▪ 2 tablespoons butter, divided ▪ ground black pepper to taste  ▪ 1/2 cup siggi’s icelandic yogurt ▪ 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish ▪ 2 teaspoons minced parsley

Instructions: ▪ Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, and mash with 2 tablespoon butter and black pepper. Stir in sour cream, horseradish and parsley. Whip potatoes and place in medium serving bowl. 


Slow Cooker Cinnamon Roll Pull Apart Bread

I made this recipe for a group of guys one morning for breakfast. This  recipe took a bit of time to make, I had to make it in a smaller crockpot so the dough balls weren’t able to cook in one layer, they had to be stacked on top of each other. I had to pull the center ones out, and cook them at a later time for another hour or so. The guys agreed that the best part about this recipe was the cream cheese frosting (I did double the recipe for the cream cheese frosting). Needless to say, I don’t think I will be making this one again.


Ingredients Bread: ▪ 24 frozen dinner rolls ▪ 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter. melted ▪ 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar ▪ 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Ingredients Cream Cheese Frosting: ▪ 4 ounces cream cheese, softened ▪ 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened ▪ 1/2 cup powdered sugar ▪ 2 tablespoons french vanilla creamer ▪ 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions: ▪ Place frozen dinner rolls on clean counter top or cutting board to thaw enough to cut, about 15-30 minutes. Meanwhile: melt butter in medium bowl and prepare cinnamon sugar. To prepare cinnamon sugar, combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a 1 gallon resealable plastic bag. Seal and shake to combine. ▪  Add 1/4 cup of melted butter to the bottom of  a 6 quart slow cooker, brush butter up the sides or use a paper towel. Set aside. ▪ Using clean kitchen shears, cut dinner rolls into 1/4’s. Place a handful of the cut rolls into the butter. Stir to coat. Remove from butter and toss in cinnamon sugar. ▪  Place half of the cinnamon roll bites into the slow cooker in an even layer. Repeat to make 2 even layers. Pour any remaining cinnamon sugar over top and pour remaining butter over top. Cover and cook on high for 1 1/2-3 hours (mine were perfect at 1 hour 45 minutes). ▪ Meanwhile prepare the cream cheese frosting. ▪ In a tall bowl beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar and continue to mix until incorporated. Add creamer and salt. Mix until light and fluffy. ▪ Drizzle frosting over the entire batch of pull apart bread or serve on the side.


Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

I used this recipe to make this salad for thanksgiving. This salad was  hit! The dressing was great and the fruit as a nice way to break up the traditional heavy food associated with thanksgiving.

Ingredients Dressing: ▪ 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice ▪ 3 Tbsp granulated sugar ▪ 1/4 cup olive oil ▪ 1/4 cup vegetable oil ▪ 3 Tbsp honey ▪ 2 tsp poppy seeds

Ingredients Salad: ▪ 8 mandarine oranges, peeled and segmented ▪ 4 apples (preferably 2 gala and 2 golden delicious) ▪ 4 ripe kiwis peeled and diced ▪ 4 bananas, peeled and diced ▪ 1 1/2 cup pomegranate arils (from about 1 large)

Instructions for Dressing: In a mixing bowl or jar whisk together lemon juice and sugar until sugar has dissolved. Mix in olive oil, vegetable oil and honey until well blended. Stir in poppy seeds.

Instructions for Fruit Salad: In a salad bowl toss together all of the fruit then pour dressing over top and gently toss to coat. Serve immediately for best results.


Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Squash with Dried Cranberries and Dijon Vinaigrette

This recipe was a huge hit at my thanksgiving! The guys were all skeptical because of the sprouts and the squash but they all admitted that I converted them!

Ingredients Salad: ▪ 1 lb Brussels Sprouts, stems trimmed and sliced lengthwise in half ▪ 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + 1 teaspoon ▪ 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt ▪ freshly ground black pepper ▪ 1/4 cup dried unsweetened (or sweetened) cranberries

Ingredients Dijon Vinaigrette: ▪ 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard ▪ 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (or rice vinegar) ▪ 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil ▪ two pinches of kosher salt ▪ freshly ground black pepper

Instructions for Dressing: ▪ Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the butternut squash chunks and halved Brussels sprouts on a large baking sheet. Drizzle them with the 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and toss them with your hands to distribute the oil evenly. ▪ Sprinkle the vegetables evenly with kosher salt and pepper, and toss them again with your hands. Spread the vegetables out evenly onto the baking sheet (tip: flip the Brussels sprouts so they are cut side down, they will caramelize much more evenly this way). ▪ Roast the vegetables at 450 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes (this will vary depending on the size of your Brussels sprouts and butternut squash chunks), tossing them gently 1 to 2 times during the roasting time to ensure that they caramelize evenly on all sides. Scatter the dried cranberries onto baking sheet in the last five minutes of roasting time. Place the baking pan on a rack, toss the vegetables with the remaining teaspoon of olive oil, and allow them to cool slightly while you prepare the Dijon vinaigrette. ▪ In a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard and rice wine vinegar. Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking continuously with your other hand, until the ingredients are emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste. ▪ Gently place the roasted vegetables in a large serving bowl or platter. Pour on the Dijon vinaigrette and toss the vegetables gently until they are lightly dressed. Serve warm, lukewarm, or cold.


Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Ham

I had never attempted to cook a ham, let alone attempt to use the slow cooker. I found this recipe on pin-terest and it was super easy and the ham turned out well. I would definitely make this again. We used a 9 lb ham, and I think it was a little big for the crockpot. I would make it again using a smaller ham.


Ingredients: ▪ 5-7 lb. picnic pork shoulder ham (this ham will say ready to eat) ▪ ⅛ cup or so of mustard ▪ ½ cup brown sugar ▪ 1 (20-oz.) can crushed pineapple – DO NOT DRAIN

Instructions: ▪ Add the ham into the slow cooker, I put the part that looks sliced down. Squirt over the mustard. Pat over the brown sugar. Now pour over the pineapple, letting the juices fall down the sides, spread the crushed pineapple over the brown sugar. ▪ Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours. Don’t open the lid while it cooks, so heat doesn’t escape. ▪ Using a carving fork, turn the ham around so the sliced side is on the side. Carve the ham, it’s ok the let the ham drop down into the juices, they are SO good.


Green Bean Casserole

I didn’t get green bean casserole over the holiday so I wanted to attempt to make my own. This recipe is from Alton Brown at the food network. This recipe was rather simple and the results were great. I used whole wheat flour but I think I would use all purpose flour next time. I will be making this recipe in the future.


Ingredients for topping: ▪ 2 medium onions, thinly sliced ▪ 1/4 cup all-purpose flour ▪ 2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs ▪ 1 teaspoon kosher salt ▪ Nonstick cooking spray

Ingredients for beans and sauce: ▪ 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided ▪ 1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed and halved ▪ 2 tablespoons unsalted butter ▪ 12 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces ▪ 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ▪ 2 cloves garlic, minced ▪ 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg ▪ 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour ▪ 1 cup chicken broth ▪ 1 cup half-and-half

Instructions: ▪ Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. ▪ Combine the onions, flour, panko and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Coat a sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray and evenly spread the onions on the pan. Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes. Toss the onions 2 to 3 times during cooking. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside until ready to use. Turn the oven down to 400 degrees F. ▪ While the onions are cooking, prepare the beans. Bring a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil in an 8-quart saucepan. Add the beans and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside. ▪ Melt the butter in a 12-inch cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and nutmeg and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and simmer for 1 minute. Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the half-and-half. Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, approximately 6 to 8 minutes. ▪ Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 of the onions and all of the green beans. Top with the remaining onions. Place into the oven and bake until bubbly, approximately 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.


Ruben Soup

I was craving a ruben but this time of year just screams SOUP! I found this recipe while walking around the store because I forgot the original recipe I found. This recipe was a good start, but it was rather cheesey and very heavy. I think I will attempt a ruben soup again, but I think I am going to try a different one that starts with a roux.


Ingredients: ▪ 5 cups chicken stock ▪ 1 pound cooked corned beef, chopped and trimmed of fat ▪ 8 ounces Frank’s sauerkraut, drained and rinsed ▪ 1 small onion, chopped ▪ 2 cloves garlic, minced ▪ 1 teaspoon oregano ▪ ¼ teaspoon white pepper ▪ 1 bay leaf ▪ ⅓ cup cold water ▪ 3 Tablespoons corn starch ▪ 2 cups shredded carrots, chopped coarsely ▪ 12 ounces sliced Swiss cheese, cut into small pieces ▪ 1 cup heavy cream

Instructions: ▪ In a 5 quart Dutch oven, combine chicken stock, sauerkraut, corned beef, onion, bay leaf, oregano and white pepper. Bring to boil and reduce heat, and simmer covered 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf. ▪ Stir cornstarch into water. Add mixture to soup as well as the carrots. Cook and stir for a couple of minutes, soup will begin to thicken. ▪ Reduce heat to low, add the Swiss and stir until combined and melted. Stir in cream. Heat through. ▪ Serve topped with shredded Swiss cheese and Rye Croutons.


Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lasagna Soup

I needed something hearty, warm, and vegetarian friendly for a work potluck and this recipe did just the trick! Without adding the ricotta cheese mix on top the soup tastes like a minestrone soup, but with the cheese – pure lasagna. I think I will make this again, but add some meat 🙂

Ingredients: ▪ 1 yellow onion, diced ▪ 2 cups brown mushrooms, sliced ▪ 2 zucchinis, sliced ▪ 4 cloves garlic, minced ▪ 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce ▪ 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes ▪ 6 cups vegetable broth ▪ 2 bay leaves ▪ 2 teaspoons dried oregano ▪ 1 tablespoon dried basil ▪ ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes ▪ 2 teaspoons kosher salt ▪ 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper ▪ 12 ounces lasagna noodles ▪ 4 cups fresh spinach leaves ▪ For the ricotta cheese topping: ▪ 1 8 ounce container ricotta cheese ▪ ½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded ▪ ¼ cup parsley, chopped ▪ ¼ cup basil leaves, chopped ▪ generous pinch of kosher salt

Instructions: ▪ Add the onion, brown mushrooms, zucchini, garlic, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, bay leaves, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, kosher salt and black pepper to the liner of a 6 quart slow cooker, I use this one. Set the slow cooker on low and cook for 7 hours or on high and cook for 3½ to 4 hours. ▪ Once the cooking time is done, cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions, drain and rinse and add to the soup. Cut them into smaller pieces if you’d like. Add the spinach and warm until wilted then ladle into soup bowls and top with a dollop of the ricotta cheese topping. ▪ For the ricotta cheese topping: Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


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