handmade pasta carbonara

Every New Year’s Day I create homemade pasta. This year was no different. There is something so soothing and rewarding about getting your hands sticky with flour and eggs. Kneading dough is always rehabilitating. I love pulling the pasta through the machine, making it smooth and thin. It’s magical. For me, pasta making is a…

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summer hot dogs + sparkling rosé orange fig ice cream floats

It’s National Hot Dog Day! With that, an all american hotdog fete with ice cream floats are just what you need. To amp it up, I partnered with my good friend and fellow foodie Lindy from Epicuropedia to bring you summer dogs like you’ve never seen before. We spent the day grilling Banh Mi Hotdogs and…

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vegan turmeric cauliflower soup

It’s still the first month of the New Year, so I would assume that, like me, you are watching what you eat. Last month was filled with carbo-loading, creamy dairy products (think egg nog), sugar-laden sweets and gluttonous overeating. If you are anything like me, your body needs a break. It needs a cure. I’ve…

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fresh pasta dough

Fresh made pasta is truly magical. Eggs and flour become a swirled bowl of comfort in no time. It’s a canvas for any amalgamation of sauces, meats and veg. It’s the pantry staple that everyone has but doesn’t think about. This minimalistic dough brought my family together every single Sunday.  For me, it’s so memorable.…

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trahana porridge with lemon & olive oil

I just recently reviewed Try the World, a food delivery service that sends subscribers products and goods from different countries around the world. Since my box was from Greece, I got to try many ingredients that were completely novel to me. One of those items was a box of Trahana. Trahana is a Grecian pasta…

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herbed cauliflower crust

Each new year, I decide to start over with eating healthy. Like everyone else, I eat like a man over the holidays and my pants don’t fit by the New Year. It doesn’t matter how badly I want to get back in shape, I still have major cravings for naughty food. Pizza is always and…

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roasted acorn squash with spinach, brussel sprouts, toasted walnuts & craisins

It’s 2017 everyone! Happy New Year!

Like we do each and every January, the Hubs and I have been doing a cleanse {diet} to lose those extra holiday pounds. Since last year, we have really liked the Eat to Live concept, where eating vegan/vegetarian is best for our health. Yes, yes, we love meat with all our hearts. So eating straight fruits and vegetables has been a major challenge. For this January, we decided to {once in a while} add a tad bit of animal by-products {eggs, yogurt and sour cream} to our diet. This has made it a little bit easier.

Have you ever eaten so much junk food that is grosses you out? After you eat it, you swear that you will never eat it again. Well, it’s funny because now that I am eating vegan/vegetarian again, I am craving pizza and burgers so hard. It’s the grass is always greener effect.

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Winter squash is such a cozy and satisfying health food. Since it’s difficult to find comfort food that is healthy, I made a point to share this recipe with you!

Savannah has been cold. Yes, I know it’s nothing like PA or NY, but 38 degrees in the morning is chilly for this southern city! Everyone is overreacting.

We searched three different stores for fire wood, but they were all out! So we went to ACE Hardware. The girl told me there was one bundle left. She escorted me to the spot, but all that was left was the price and bark pieces from the wood. We searched around and tucked behind a different display was a red burlap bag filled with wood. It looked like someone hid it for later.

“I’ll buy it!”

I ran out to the car and jumped in, “Drive, Drive! It’s like the Apocalypse out there!”

And that is how we got the last bundle of wood on the coldest weekend in Savannah. #drama

So we lit a crackling fire and warmed up the oven for this comfy cozy meal. This dinner comes together easily. I toasted the walnuts on the stove top while the Brussel sprouts and acorn squash roasted in the oven. Then right before serving, I wilted the spinach leaves.

It seems like the most stunning part of this meal is the golden and charred skin on both the sprouts and squash. I also love how the squash becomes its own bowl because bowls are the epitome of comfort {to me}.

All this to say, when the meal came together, the food photographer in me grabbed the camera and took these shots. It was getting dark outside and the Hubs was getting hungry, but a photo op is a photo op.

Ready for the recipe?

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ingredients

  • 2 acorn squash, cut in half & remove seeds
  • 2 cups Brussel sprouts, stems trimmed & halved
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 cups spinach leaves
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 4 tablespoons fat free sour cream {omit for vegan}
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 415 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with non-stick aluminum foil {or use non-stick spray}. Toss Brussel sprout halves with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread out evenly on baking sheet, cut side down.
  3. Line another baking sheet with aluminum foil {or use a cast iron pan}. Rub flesh of squash halves with olive oil, a pinch of brown sugar, salt and pepper. Assemble on pan flesh side down {skin side up}.
  4. Roast Brussel sprouts for 30 minutes {until leaves are charred and golden}. Set aside.
  5. Roast squash for 40-45 minutes {until flesh is soft and skin in charred}.
  6. Heat skillet over medium heat with just enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Add nuts and a pinch of salt; spread nuts in single layer in pan. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes. Watch carefully, so they do not burn. Set aside to cool. Chop into pieces when cooled.
  7. Heat clean skillet on medium and add some olive oil to coat the bottom of pan {1-2 minutes}. Add spinach leaves and stir occasionally until wilted {about 1-2 minutes}.
  8. Assemble: Fill each squash half with a portion of the spinach and Brussel sprouts. Top with a dollup of sour cream, dried cranberries and toasted walnuts. Finish with a pinch of salt and pepper. {Eat left over Brussel sprouts as a side, they are super filling!}

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spaghetti alla carbonara & rosemary artisan bread

Hurricane Matthew. We have lived in Savannah for a year and have heard that the last huge storm was in the 1970’s. “Savannah is due for a hurricane”, they would say. Well, it’s here. We are apparently experiencing a historical event. Listen, we left town the second our area had a voluntary evacuation. Give me…

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watermelon, tuna & quinoa poké bowl with tahini soy sauce

An essentially raw bowl of Asian flavored comfort? Sign me up! This skinny version has Summer written all over it. The light and refreshing natural sweetness of the watermelon counterbalances the nutty and salty flavor of the Tahini Soy Sauce. Each cube of raw tuna offers a meaty bite, while the avocado caters your taste…

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quick {vegan} cashew curry with chickpeas & fingerling potatoes

It’s a weeknight and you want to make a unique meal with a flavorful punch, but refuse to spend forever in the kitchen. Fast food may be fast, but it lacks health benefits and leaves you feeling lousy about your decision. So, if you like it spicy, hearty and healthy, this is the meal you…

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southern bbq ribs | easy fall-off-‘da-bone

This is a funny story. Well, there are two funny stories here. First. We had been vegan {to get on a healthy track and lose weight <– read more here} for about 3 weeks when the Hubs runs up to me in the grocery store with a huge smile on his face. Shaking a pack…

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{vegan} skinny corn chowder

So what’s up with this colorful veg-loaded {vegan} skinny corn chowder? Does it taste as good as it looks? Hell yes, because I made it. This gorgeous {healthy} summer soup is packed with veggies that only enhance the flavor. A bowl of this skinny corn chowder will fill you up without the extra calories from…

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