White Bean Tomato Mushroom Soup

White Bean Tomato Mushroom Soup

Last month, I came home from chilly, rainy Chicago with a sore throat, a cold, and a mad craving for soup. I’ve been trying all kinds of new soup recipes since then, but this one really hit the spot. It’s made with hearty cannelini beans, butternut squash, mushrooms, tomatoes, herbs, and a little kale wilted in at the end.

It’s the perfect “cozy up on the sofa and start a new TV show” (we just started Stranger Things) kind of soup. Also, the leftovers are great reheated for lunch the next day.

White Bean Tomato Mushroom Soup

This post is in partnership with Randalls and Albertsons for their O Organics® line of groceries. For this recipe, I used O Organics vegetable broth, beans, tomatoes, spices, and herbs. What I love about their products is that they are made of quality organic ingredients at very reasonable prices.

If you don’t live in Austin, O Organics products are available at the Albertsons family of stores across the country, including Safeway, Vons, Jewel-OscoShaw’sACME MarketsTom Thumb, Pavilions and Star Market.

White Bean Tomato Mushroom Soup

Aside from visiting my family in Chi town (my hometown), I was in Chicago for a few days attending a really fun Organic for All event that O Organics put on at Kendall College. Here’s a little behind the scenes look of what went on.

I spent the day with some of my favorite blogger friends (Ashlae from Oh Lady Cakes, Irvin from Eat the Love, Nik from A Brown Table). Here’s a photo of a photo of a photo of a photo of our us trying to style and shoot oatmeal jars breakfast before we eventually ate them.

Organics for All Event Organics for All Event

After breakfast, we watched a lovely cooking demo by Annessa Chumbley, RD – her oat flour peanut butter pancakes are to DIE for…

Next, we were on our own to cook up anything we wanted in Kendall College’s professional kitchen. I made a delicious potato, pepper hash with lemon & thyme along with my friend Jane (a Taste of Koko) and Ashley from Edible Perspective.

Organics for All Event

This was our pretty potato hash (go get the recipe on Ashley’s site), and a gorgeous fruit crisp that Ashlae and Nik made:

Organics for All Event

And now for the soup recipe!

Fall Weeknight Meal Planning Tips

Fall Weeknight Meal Planning Tips

A few months ago, I wrote this post about how I go about my meal prep for a week of healthy eating. Since then, so many of you expressed how helpful it was so I’m back here again with a fall version. I love this season because the produce is so beautiful and cozy… it all just makes me want to get into the kitchen and cook! To me, there’s nothing better than the smell of squash and onions roasting away in the oven.

We’re partnering with Wolf to bring you these tips as part of their Reclaim the Kitchen initiative. This topic is near and dear to my heart because I actually used to hate cooking… or rather I thought I hated to cook until I found my kitchen bliss.

It turns out I wasn’t alone. Wolf conducted a “State of Cooking in America” survey to pinpoint some of American’s cooking attitudes and behaviors so they can help provide solutions to the problem. These statistics may sound surprising to you, but I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all experienced them at some time or another:

– Nearly three in ten adults (28%) have spent more than one hour thinking about what to make for dinner, then ended up ordering takeout.

– One-fifth of adults would rather work late than cook.

– Nearly one-quarter of 18-34 year olds (23%) indicate not being able to put together a meal with what is in their fridge and pantry is a reason why they haven’t cooked even when they had the time.

In time, I’ve realized that putting together meals was not as overwhelming as I thought. Cooking at the end of a hard day was just the thing I needed – the act of chopping vegetables helped me relieve my stress, putting together colorful vegetables helped me feel creative, and then enjoying a home cooked meal with my husband helped me feel connected.

Now onto my fall game plan!

I’m going to walk you through my shopping & prepping strategy, followed by 3 easy dinner ideas.

Step 1: Start with seasonal produce

I started with the beautiful vegetables pictured at the top of the post – sweet potatoes, squash, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, apples, kale, onions, and leeks.

Fall Weeknight Meal Planning Tips

Step 2: Stock up on some basics
These are things I generally try to keep in my pantry:

– Grains like farro or quinoa, soba noodles, or whole grain pastas
– Proteins like chickpeas, eggs, or tofu (or any protein you like)
– Pantry basics like olive oil, sesame oil, vinegar, tahini, maple syrup, and tamari
– Extras like nuts, seeds, and dried cranberries
– And a few fresh basics: lemons (of course!), limes, garlic, and ginger

  Fall Weeknight Meal Planning Tips

Step 3: Make a sauce to have on hand

I will commonly make a sauce once and use it over multiple meals throughout the week. I made a maple apple cider tahini sauce for the delicata squash grain salad, then I changed up the flavor by adding sesame oil and ginger for the next night’s soba bowl meal. The sauce can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.

maple tahini sauce:
1/2 cup tahini
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoon maple syrup
6 tablespoons warm water, more as needed
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fall Weeknight Meal Planning Tips

Step 4: Roast the vegetables

You can roast your vegetables all at once and store them in your fridge to have handy for salads and grain bowls throughout the week, or you can roast them as-needed for each recipe below. I prefer to roast as-needed for dinners and save the leftovers for easy toss-together lunches.

To roast: toss the vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 375° F until golden brown. The timing will depend on the vegetable. I also roast chickpeas while I’m at it – you should too.

Fall Weeknight Meal Planning Tips

Step 5: Make a grain to have on hand

This time I went with farro. I love this chewy, nutty grain for fall. I cook it like pasta in a pot of boiling water until it’s tender but still chewy and not mushy. Its cooking time varies greatly – sometimes it’s done in 20 minutes, sometimes 45. Just watch it and taste. Make a bunch and store the extra in the fridge.

And now here are 3 simple meals that I put together that build on each other:

Fall Weeknight Meal Planning Tips

1. Roasted Delicata Squash Salad

Thinly slice a small bunch of kale and massage it with a drizzle of olive oil, minced garlic, a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt. Toss in some farro and a healthy drizzle of the tahini sauce. Assemble salads with roasted chickpeas, roasted squash, roasted onions, chopped apples and dried cranberries. Season to taste. (Get the full detailed recipe here)

Fall Weeknight Meal Planning Tips

2. Soba Bowls with Roasted Broccoli

Start with your leftover tahini sauce and add a drizzle of sesame oil and some minced ginger. Cook your soba noodles according to the package directions. Drain and rinse them to keep them from getting gloopy. Toss the noodles with a bit of sesame oil and a generous scoop of the tahini sauce. Top bowls with roasted broccoli, roasted sweet potato, tofu (optional: sesame seeds and avocado). Serve with the remaining tahini sauce and lime slices.

Fall Weeknight Meal Planning Tips

3. Farro Fried Rice

This is a great way to use up leftover farro from recipe #1.

Heat oil in a medium skillet, add sliced leeks and a pinch of salt and sauté until soft. Add shredded Brussels sprouts and cook until soft and golden. Add minced garlic, ginger and rice vinegar and toss. Add the farro, a drizzle of tamari (or soy sauce). Cook until warmed through and season to taste. Serve with a fried egg, chopped green onions and sriracha on the side. (alternatively, you could mix a scrambled egg into your fried rice). Click to see the full recipe.

For more handy kitchen tips, recipes, and inspiration visit: reclaimthekitchen.com

This post is sponsored by Wolf, thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep us cooking!

10 Favorite Soup Season Recipes

Cauliflower Minestrone with Kale Pesto (vegan, gluten free) untitled-1 Creamy Vegan Corn Chowder

First off, I owe a huge THANK YOU to all of you who nominated and voted for us in this year’s Saveur Blog awards – we won!

Now to celebrate with… soup! I spent the past few weeks in Chicago where I watched summer turn to fall over night. One day we were eating corn on the back patio, the next morning I was hugging a hot bowl of oatmeal. Yes, I am the biggest wimp when there is even the slightest bit of chill in the air. I’m back in sunny Austin now but I caught this cold on the airplane and now all I can think about is tea and soup. Here are 10 of my favorites that would hit the spot right about now. (Click on the photos to go to each recipe)

pictured above:
Cauliflower Minestrone with Kale Pesto
Creamy Vegan Corn Chowder

Red Curry Lemongrass Soup

Red Curry Lemongrass Soup

Carrot Soup with Carrot Top Pesto (vegan & gluten free)

Carrot Soup with Carrot Top Pesto

Ribollita (Tuscan White Bean Soup)

Ribollita (Tuscan White Bean Soup) 

Red Lentil Sweet Potato Stew

Curried Red Lentil Sweet Potato Stew

Butternut Squash Black Bean Chili

Butternut Squash Black Bean Chili

Easy Vegetarian Pho (vegan & gluten free)

Easy Vegetarian Pho

Creamy White Bean & Tomato Soup (vegan & gluten free)

Creamy White Bean & Tomato Soup

Butternut Squash Kale & Quinoa Stew

Butternut Squash, Kale & Quinoa Stew

10 Favorite Weeknight Dinners

Simple Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowls

Happy Wednesday! If you need a healthy mid-week dinner idea, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 10 recipes that part of our regular dinner rotation. Some of them are super simple, all of them are pretty darn delicious.

And, speaking of weeknight dinners, today is the last day to vote in the Saveur Food Blog Awards. It would mean the world to me if you would take a second to vote for us – click HERE and scroll down to the “Most Inspired Weeknight Dinners” category. THANK YOU!

And now for the recipes!

Simple Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowls (pictured above)
When I’m tired and don’t know what to make for dinner, this is what I make. I keep these ingredients on hand so a filling sweet potato bowl is always within reach.

Easy Vegetarian Pho

Easy Vegetarian Pho
Pho used to be one of my favorite take-out foods until I learned to make it myself. This version is surprisingly simple to make. Bookmark this recipe for cold season – it’s full of shiitake mushrooms and warm, healing spices.

Curried Red Lentil Sweet Potato Stew

Curried Red Lentil Sweet Potato Stew
With fall around the corner, keep this one in your back pocket. It’s hearty, warming and full of flavor. This is one of my favorite recipes.

Sweet Potato Avocado Tacos

Sweet Potato Avocado Tacos
This one is at the top of the “most made” recipes on this blog. I get so many emails raving about this recipe, and when I meet friends or readers in person, I hear “I love those sweet potato tacos!”

Rainbow Bowls with Almond-Ginger Dressing

Rainbow Bowls with Almond-Ginger Dressing
Mix this flavorful dressing together and pour it into veggie bowls all week.

Seared Tofu Banh Mi Sandwiches

Seared Tofu Banh Mi Sandwiches
I’ve just listed a lot of soups and salads – if you’re in the mood for something heartier, go for these Tofu Banh Mi Sandwiches. If you’re scared of tofu, just sub in whatever protein you like.

  Spiralized Daikon “Rice Noodle” Bowl

Spiralized Daikon “Rice Noodle” Bowl
This one is my personal favorite. If you’ve gathered the ingredients for the Banh Mi (above), then you have almost everything necessary to make this healthy “noodle” bowl.

  Grilled Corn & Poblano Tacos

Grilled Corn & Poblano Tacos
Technically, it’s still summer and these ingredients – corn, poblanos, etc. – should all be in season.

Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowl

Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowl
... and by rice I mean “rice” in quotation marks because the base of this bowl is made of cauliflower. It doesn’t get much more veggie-ful than this.

Broccoli Pesto Mac & Cheese

Broccoli Pesto Mac & Cheese
Sometimes even we don’t want to cook more than a box of mac and cheese – to make it a tad healthier, dress it up with broccoli florets and broccoli pesto.

9 Recipes To Make Before Summer Ends

Pattypan Panzanllla

As a self-declared “summer person” August is always a little bittersweet for me. Five minutes ago it was May, and all of a sudden back-to-school supplies are on store shelves. Which shouldn’t matter to me – it’s been years since I’ve been in school – but the thought of notebooks and number two pencils still sends a little chill up my spine. No matter how old I am, I’ll never be quite ready to let the summer go.

Today’s recipes use all of my favorite late summer produce – zucchini, summer squashes, peppers, corn, eggplant, and (the one I’ll be most sad to see go): peaches. These are some of our all-time favorites and I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Patty Pan Panzanella: (pictured above) A hearty veggie-filled salad using sauteed summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, day-old bread and tons of herbs.

Summer Squash Vegetable Pizza:

Summer Squash Vegetable Pizza: When it comes to pizza, I usually think less is more – but when you’ve got tons of zucchini and you’re up to your ears in corn – pile it all on. This one is messy to eat, but it’s a fun way to eat SO many summer vegetables.

Summer Squash Orecchette:

Summer Squash Orecchette: More zucchini, I know, but don’t you have tons of it? This simple pasta with rosemary and lemon is a light, yet satisfying. We like to make this one on Sundays with a glass of rose, but it’s easy enough to pull off any night of the week.

Peach Salad with Mint and Pistachios:

Peach Salad with Mint and Pistachios: This salad is one of my absolute favorites – peaches and mint are not only a winning combo, but they’re so delicious over a f zucchini noodles with a dollop of savory spiced coriander yogurt.

Peach & Plum Crumble

Peach & Plum Crumble: One of my summer goals is always to consume as many peaches as possible. This crumble recipe will work with any in-season fruit, but it’s my absolute favorite with peaches.

Grilled Eggplant Pesto Sandwiches

Grilled Eggplant Pesto Sandwiches: I always get asked “what do I do with eggplant,” and my first reply is always “grill it!” If you’re afraid of working with eggplant, give this one a try.

Eggplant and Roasted Tomato Farro Salad

Eggplant and Roasted Tomato Farro Salad: When we came home from Rome last summer, this was the first meal that I recreated, inspired by a terrific salad I had at Roscioli’s. I love the concentrated super sweet flavor of slow roasted tomatoes – they’re so good with meaty eggplant, chewy farro and peppery arugula. Make a big batch and keep this salad around all week. Its a great picnic lunch.

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Tostadas with Smoky Sweet Corn Hummus: A corn trifecta – smoky sweet corn hummus on top of corn tortillas, topped with grilled corn (and avocado and tomatillo salsa).

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Corn, Cucumber, Peach & Avocado Salad: Last but not least, my favorite salad that I created so far this summer – the name kind of says it all – it’s full of all my favorite fruits and vegetables, tossed with a creamy chile-lime dressing. It’s summer in a bowl.