Want to know how many recipes I have just waiting in my queue? I’ll give you a hint, it reminds with smive. I’ve been utterly CRAZED with work lately and barely have enough time to eat better yet cook, style and photograph something. I will say I have a few weeks of calm before a crazy travel schedule, so I’m hoping my eating and blogging habits get more regular.
In the interium, let’s talk soup. I know, it’s almost April, why would you want to talk about soup? Well, funny story – it still feels like winter where I live. Although we’re expecting highs of close to 65 this week, the mornings are still shrill and I can’t leave my house without a scarf, jacket and boots.
So soup is happening more regularly than I’d like it to in the beginning of spring, but I’m not complaining. Especially because most of my soups look like this creamy crock pot spicy thai curry. As you know, I spent a bit of time in Thailand last year and I’m still so incredibly inspired by the flavors of the country. The spices, the focus on fresh, seasonal produce and the creamy coconut sauces.
I’m planning a return trip next year (for the lantern festival) and I’m already salivating at the thought.
Even though this soup is so incredibly delicious, the best part about it is it can be made in a crock pot/slow cooker. That means all you have to do is toss ingredients in, stir every now and then, and wait until the aroma fills your house and you’re transported to the fresh markets Southeast Asia.
If we’re being honest, the smell alone was enough to inspire me to book another trip. Whoever said smells are one of the biggest triggers for nostalgia and memories was SPOT on. I should send them soup to thank them.
Crock Pot Spicy Thai Curry Soup
Serves about 8. Slight adapted and inspired by Foodie Crush.
Prep time: >10 minutes
Cook time: 5 hours
Total time: About 5 hours & 10 minutes
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons thai red curry paste
- 2 cans (14 ounces) light coconut milk (I used Goya)
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure clove honey
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts (boneless-skinless), sliced
- 3 sweet peppers, chopped
- 2 jalapeños, chopped
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Handful fresh cilantro
- Chives for garnish
- About 3 cups Thai jasmine rice
*For added heat, add a few teaspoons of sriracha or additional thai curry paste.
- Mix everything (until the cilantro) into the basin of a crock pot/slow cooker. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well so the sauce/base of the soup is evenly distributed.
- Cover and cook on low for about 4 1/2 – 5 hours, or until chicken is tender.
- Serve soup with jasmine rice, cilantro, chives and bean sprouts.
Nutritional information per serving (about 1/2 cup of rice and 1/2 cup soup):
Fat: 13.65 grams
Carbohydrates: 31.25 grams
Protein: 57.61 grams
Fiber: 14.5 grams
Weight Watchers Points: 11
Ready for another installment of recipes I’ve been hoarding for no good reason at all? Okay, fantastic. Because there’s just not any better day than a Friday to share this incredible chunky m&m quinoa dessert dip.
I’m fully aware that the name is less than desirable, but i can’t actually think of a better title for this recipe. It’s chunky (in a good way, not like the way my thighs look right now), full of m&ms and, shockingly enough, has quinoa!
I’ve been a huge fan of chunky desert dips for a while, but could never find a way to really make them healthy. Or you know, worthy of posting. Sure, i’ve made the cookie dough dips for work, but those aren’t exactly something I’d advise eating more than a spoonful of.
While this stuff? You can have 1/4 cup without any guilt. You may go into a quick little sugar coma or pass out due to a peanut butter overload, but you could still do it. I paired this sweet, decadent little dip with my favorite Food Should Taste Good chocolate tortilla chips and it was DIVINE. The sweet, salty mix from the chips and the dip was truly phenomenal.
However, the best thing about this snack is you can pair it with anything. Cookies, bread, cake, a spoon, your mouth, a straw. It’s up to you. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you with how addictive it is, because you’ll definitely have trouble sticking to the serving size.
Chunky M&M Quinoa Dip
Serves about 8-10.
Prep time: About 8 minutes
Chill time: About an hour
Total time: 1 hour and 8 minutes
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 ounces low-fat cream cheese
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked
- 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup candy coated chocolate
- In a large stand mixer fitted with a whisk beater, place the butter, cream cheese and peanut butter. Beat on high until mixture is thick and creamy.
- Stir in the powdered sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, quinoa and whole wheat flour. Mix to combine.
- Remove from the stand mixer and stir in the chocolate chips and m&ms.
- Cover with saran wrap and chill for at least an hour. Serve with chips and enjoy!
Nutritional information per serving (about 2 tablespoons):
Fat: 12 grams
Carbohydrates: 30 grams
Fiber: 2.5 grams
Protein: 5.1 grams
Weight Watchers Points: 7
After St. Patrick’s Day, these quinoa and almond granola bars are exactly what we all need to be eating. To be honest, I didn’t really veer off diet much yesterday. No green beer was consumed, I only partook in one square of chocolate and we had a really healthy, low-fat salad for dinner.
Does this mean I’m getting old? As I walked past a few Irish pubs on my way home from work yesterday, I was actually GLAD I wasn’t out. I was glad that in 20 minutes I would be in yoga pants with a big glass of wine snuggling with my dog (who I sadly dyed green 6 years ago for St. Pats).
I think that makes me old. But I’d much rather be old than sit in a crowded bar drinking green dyed Miller Lite while some guy who is 0.5% irish tries to pinch me because I’m not wearing green. Yes, that has happened and yes I promptly walked away from him. If that happened today, I most likely would have thrown that cheap beer in his face, but alas.
Now that I think about it, there aren’t really many holidays where I’d rather be stuffed in a bar with a bunch of strangers than at home with my loved ones. Maybe I am getting old, but I’m a firm believer in going to bed at 10, wearing yoga pants as much of the day as possible and drinking good craft beer. I’m a huge fan of long brunches, Snapped marathons, comfortable shoes and big cozy blankets.
And If that’s being old, well shoot, I don’t mind it one bit. Bring on the walkers, canes and early bird dinners, baby!
Almond, pumpkin seed & peanut butter granola bars
Yields about 14.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Chill time: 3 hours
Total time: 3 1/2 hours
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 2/3 cup chopped roasted almonds
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup flaxseeds
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (I used creamy Jif)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Add the oats and pumpkin seeds, spread evenly over the parchment paper. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until fragrant and toasted.
- Once toasted, remove from the pan and place in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the quinoa, flaxseeds, almonds and chia seeds.
- In another bowl, whisk the butter, peanut butter, syrup and honey together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
- Line a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Press the mixture into the foil. Place in the fridge and chill for about 2-3 hours. Cut into bars and enjoy!
Nutritional information per bar:
Fat: 8 grams
Carbohydrates: 25 grams
Fiber: 3.25 grams
Protein: 5.5 grams
Weight Watchers Points: 5
Can we briefly talk about how much I fail at holidays? Most of my food blogging friends have been posting St. Patrick’s Day recipes since the end of February and here I am, the day before, with an St. Paddy’s themed dessert. Oops? However, I’m a firm believer in better late than never so I’m going to pretend like I’m not an epic failure and move on.
And what better thing to move on to than chocolate and whiskey? I must admit, I was never a huge fan of bread pudding as a kid because we didn’t really eat much of it. My mom made such a wide assortment of other delicious desserts that there was never really a need to branch into the puddings. However, I will say, the first bread pudding I ever had completely changed my perspective.
It was an eggnog rum and chocolate chip bread pudding that was serving during a holiday party. As a 17 year old, I wanted anything with any sort of alcohol in it so I completely devoured like 3 pieces. Of course, I didn’t realize that the alcohol actually bakes out of it and I was just eating 15,000 calories, but it was that bread pudding that converted me into a BP lover.
Sadly, my husband doesn’t share my love for it, but I will say he ate two pieces of this without batting an eyelash. Most likely because this pudding was covered in a chocolate whisky sauce, but it’s still a win. I think the best way to get him to eat things he normally doesn’t like is to slather it in chocolate and whiskey.
Now there’s an idea!
Chocolate Whiskey Bread Pudding
Serves about 10 -12. Slightly adapted from My Recipes.
Prep time: 30+ minutes
Cook time: 1 1/2 hours
Total time: 2 hours
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 7 cups chopped whole wheat french bread, slightly stale
- 2 cups low-fat milk
- 3/4 cup light cream
- 2 1/2 tablespoons honey/maple flavored whiskey (I used Jim Beam)
- 8 ounces milk chocolate chips
- 5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Fresh whipped cream for garnish
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the bread cubes and toss to coat with tongs. Remove from heat and pour into a grease 9 x 13 baking dish.
- Bring the milk, light cream and whiskey to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately whisk in chocolate chips. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, the brown sugar, honey and vanilla. Continue to whisk until thick and smooth.
- Pour the mixture over the bread, tossing the cubes so they are all evenly coated. Cover with foil and let sit for about 30 minutes. Add a few pokes into the foil to allow steaming.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours. Let sit until slightly cooled.
- Meanwhile, melt the remaining chocolate chips and oil in a microwave safe bowl for about 60 seconds, stopping to stir at 30 seconds.
- Serve the bread pudding with a dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of melted chocolate.
Nutritional information per serving:
Fiber: 3.5 grams
Protein: 11 grams
Weight Watchers Points: 10
You know what I haven’t done in a long time? A giveaway. Which is both sad and depressing since giving away free things to the people I adore is what makes me happy. This reason is precisely way I’m hosting the world’s best giveaway today!
My awesome friends at McClure Tables are so graciously offering to give one of my very lucky readers their own handcrafted maple cutting board! Started by Todd and Judy McClure as a gaming and shuffleboard company, they’ve since branched into amazing cutting boards (like this one that you can win!), beautiful butcher blocks, island tables and more. I’ve spent many an hour oogling the gorgeous products on their site.
Be sure to check out their other products when you get a chance! Now, to enter to win your own maple cutting board, fill out the prompts below. The giveaway ends on March 21st and midnight!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLAIMER: McClure Tables graciously provided me with a butcher block for review and are sponsoring this giveaway. As always, opinions are 100% my own.