Butternut Squash White Bean Naan Pizza

I am loving all things butternut squash right now! Looking for comforting and versatile ways to cook with it that are a little out of the ordinary. Taking one ingredient and working it so that you can have multiple meals is my jam – saves time and money! Outside of the traditional, yet delicious butternut squash soup and roasted butternut squash – this is a roasted butternut squash and white bean naan pizza! Yes, this is as good as it sounds!


Everything starts with a peeled butternut squash – it seems daunting but really is quite easy with a good vegetable peeler! I roasted my squash at 425 degrees for 22 minutes flesh side down and then flipped over and cooked for 18 more minutes! I add a generous amount of olive oil all around the squash so that it can cook evenly. So now that we have the basics, let’s break down how to make this naan pizza!

Ingredients

1/2 roasted butternut squash
1/2 cup cannellini beans (cooked in the can is what I used) + more for topping
2 T olive oil
1 T minced garlic
2 whole grain naan
TOPPINGS
1 link chorizo sausage
sliced red onion
sage & thyme
goat cheese


Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place in the preheated oven. Follow directions above for roasting butternut squash. Hot out of the oven, combine the squash with the cannellini beans to a blender and mix until nice and smooth (you may need to add a pinch of water to get the consistency you want). Remove pan carefully and place naan on pan. Combine olive oil and garlic and spread on top of the naan. Split the squash and bean mixture across both pieces of naan and spread so that it almost reaches the sides. Now the fun part: toppings! I added cooked chorizo, red onion, cannellini beans, thyme & goat cheese to one. A vegetarian version would be everything minus the chorizo and I added sage and a balsamic glaze for an extra kick of flavor!

This one is EASY, good and you can get creative with the toppings! Let me know how you like it and what else you like to make with butternut squash!


News Ways to Eat: Sweet Potatoes

Since I shared with you in my last post the best way to cook a sweet potato, I thought I would share a few of my favorite Stuffed Sweet Potato recipes to help inspire you next time you make them! Yes, sweet potatoes are a great side dish; baked, fried, roasted, smashed – seriously you can eat them so many ways… but why not make these the star of the show, the roots of the dish that bring it all together.


Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Sweet Potato
Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potato
Balsamic Chicken & Tomato Stuffed Sweet Potato
Breakfast Stir Fry Stuffed Sweet Potato

a fullbellythyme secret – leftovers are GREAT resource for your next stuffed sweet potato creation! Also, before you start stuffing, the easiest way to reach your full stuffing potential is to take a fork to the center of the sweet potato and mash in the middle so there is a hollow area for the deliciousness that awaits!

Philly Cheesesteak

This one was a no brainer – who doesn’t love a philly cheesesteak? I prepped about half a pound of ground beef and cooked it with diced onions, peppers & mushrooms in a sauté pan over medium heat. I added a little Worcestershire Sauce, salt, pepper & red pepper flakes! Create some space in the center of your sweet potato, stuff with the ground beef mixture then top with a handful of mozzarella cheese – microwave for 1 minute until the cheese has melted. Top with sliced green onion & enjoy!

Buffalo Chicken

This is a sweet and spicy combination you will want to run to make! Buffalo sauce is a hit or miss for me, I like it in moderation but down enjoy it on everything. Grilled chicken cooked in a cast iron skillet with The New Primal Medium Buffalo Sauce. I added a bit of butter to the pan to help the flavors of the buffalo sauce blend! I steamed so broccoli florets and added them to the pan once I flipped the chicken over. After the chicken has cooked through, I shredded it using two forks. Again, carved out a little hole in the sweet potato and got to work stuffing! This combination was so good – the heat from the buffalo paired so well with the natural sweetness of the sweet potato!

Balsamic Grilled Chicken & Tomato

This one kind of happened on accident. It was a combination of trying to use up produce in my fridge, using that last piece of chicken and trying not to waste! But am I glad this one happened – holy cow!! This one screamed summer and this balsamic tomato mixture is something I can’t live without. A whole pint of cherry tomatoes into a cast iron skillet with olive oil. Stir frequently until they really start to blister and get soft. Take any utensil and pop them so they burst! Now add about 2 T of balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes until the flavors are combined. I ended up cooking the chicken in this very mixture so that all the flavors would bleed together. Slice the chicken. Stuff with tomatoey jam first then add chicken on top with more tomatoes. Finish it with basil! YUMMMMMMM.

Breakfast Stir Fry

You might be curious what a breakfast stir fry is? Well, simply, it’s leftover stir fry with an egg added to it! I am a culprit for taking leftovers and adding an egg and calling it breakfast – but hey why not! This one was GOOD! And could be perfect for lunch or dinner. This stir fry was a clean out the fridge stir fry; mushrooms, broccoli, peppers & corn mixed with a combination of rice vinegar, coconut aminos, garlic, honey & red pepper flakes. Rejuvenated in the microwave, stuffed into a sweet potato and topped with a delicious runny fried egg. This combo was extra tasty because the runny yolk doubled as a tasty sauce.

Now go stuff some sweet potatoes and share with me what you create! xx


Easy Sweet Potatoes

Ok, taking it back to the basics and breaking down the best way to cook a sweet potato. Yes, sweet potatoes can be cooked MANY ways but when you eat them as often as I do you need something simple, easy & foolproof.


What You’ll Need:

Sweet Potatoes
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with tinfoil
  2. Carefully cut both sweet potatoes in half long ways. Place the sweet potatoes down on the baking sheet flesh side down. The skin should be facing you at this point.
  3. Add about 1 T of olive oil to each piece of sweet potato (4 T total). Drizzle the olive oil so that the sweet potato is fully covered
  4. Place the sweet potatoes in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and carefully with tongs flip the sweet potatoes over
  5. Season the flesh side of the sweet potatoes with salt & pepper
  6. Place back in the oven for 18 minutes
  7. Remove & enjoy! The center of the sweet potato should be soft to the touch with a fork

I love incorporating sweet potatoes into all my of meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner! They are versatile, filling and healthy. An added bonus is that they can be transformed into french fries, and if you know me you know I LOVE french fries! In all seriousness, I made a batch of these sweet potatoes on Sunday and had them ready to go for the week ahead! They can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. They reheat very well in the microwave, air-fryer or oven!

Now go make some sweet potatoes and let me know what you think!

Cut sweet potatoes in half long ways
drizzle about 1 T of olive oil over each sweet potato. Cook at 425 degrees for 20 minutes
remove & flip, season with salt & pepper and cook for an additional 18 minutes
perfectly cooked sweet potatoes!


Strawberry Paloma

Weekends mean cocktails and the only beverage I am reaching for this weekend is this refreshing, delicious Strawberry Paloma. Traditionally a Paloma is a tequila cocktail mixed with grapefruit soda, lime & salt. I have taken the traditional and kicked it up a few notches – because duh!

I love love love tequila – yes I know this particular spirit isn’t everyone’s favorite BUT my fellow tequila lovers will love this cocktail! When it comes to tequila their are three different varieties – blanco (silver), reposado & anjeo. There is a huge difference amongst the three! Blanco Tequila is not aged – meaning the agave has not had time to develop over time. This particular type of tequila is the best for mixed drinks like paloma’s & margarita’s! Reposado Tequila which is a little golden in color is aged (for at least two months) in oak barrels. The aging process allows for the tequila to develop flavor from the oak barrel. Anjeo Tequila is aged for at least a year – the flavors are very robust and is a dark golden color. Anjeo Tequila is great for sipping!



What You’ll Need:
Tequila – I am using Espolon Blanco Tequila
Grapefruit Sparkling Water – I am using Spindrift Grapefruit
1 Cup Strawberries
2 Limes

Instructions:
First, I cut up the strawberries, remove the stems and quarter the berry. Add the cut strawberries into a jar and squeeze the juice of 1 lime into the jar. Muddle the mixture until there is a good amount of liquid and the strawberries are mashed up. TIP: If you don’t have a traditional muddle you can use other kitchen essentials – I used a beater that goes to my hand mixture. Transfer the muddled strawberry and lime mixture to a shaker or large glass jar (make sure it has a lid). Fill the jar up half way with ice. Add three ounces of tequila – or more if you are trying to feel good! I added a little more lime juice for balance! Close the jar and shake shake shake! Add ice to your glasses and strain the liquid into each glass evenly. Top with Grapefruit Sparkling Water and add extra strawberries as garnish! Enjoy!


Strawberries in jar
Add juice of one lime and muddle with any kitchen utensil you can find
After you shake the strawberry lime mixture with tequila, strain it over a glass with ice in it
Top with Grapefruit Sparkling Water and garnish with strawberries!

The Perfect BLT

If you know me, you know I LOVE a good BLT. If you don’t know me, here is me telling you I LOVE a good BLT! I don’t know what about the combo makes me smile but it does. I think it’s the crispy bread, the lush lettuce, juicy tomatoes and crispy bacon! The moment you bite into the sandwich and the bacon, lettuce & tomato meet for the first time – it’s like a salty, lush, juicy combination that is truly delicious. I know that it’s a classic combo and can be found in most deli’s and even on restaurant lunch menus – but I am here to tell you how to make the perfect, and I mean MOST perfect BLT at home. I am going to break down all the different types of lettuce and tomato, tips on how to get that perfect crispy bacon & even a little homemade bagel recipe. Get your pen and paper out, take notes and then go try it out for yourself!

Ok – so it’s in the name – bacon, lettuce & tomato. Those are the important factors to this sandwich.
BACON: needs to be crispy. Half of the beauty of this sandwich is the crispy bacon. It gives the sandwich and the perfect bite definition and meaning. The salty component of the bacon also makes my mouth water and pairs perfectly with the tomato. Quick tip getting the perfect crispy bacon every time; the oven! So here it is and you’ll never make bacon differently again.


Preheat your oven to 375
Place bacon on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and place in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove and flip bacon and place back in the oven for 3 more minutes. **all ovens are a little different so after the initial 10 minute window watch the bacon so it doesn’t burn (but also if you don’t like it as crispy)

LETTUCE: this piece of the puzzle is important because you want to make sure the flavor and texture of the lettuce doesn’t overpower the other flavors of the sandwich. I know that some sandwiches can become complex and people are into that now so I am giving you options; Bibb Lettuce, Romaine Lettuce & Arugula. Bibb lettuce tastes like butter – I love it. The texture is soft and lush. Romaine has the crunch factor! I love a good crunch on a BLT. The arugula is for the out of the box BLT lover. With a spicy flavor and more of a earthy texture this one is perfect if you are looking to kick up your BLT game!

TOMATO: The tomato can arguably be the toughest decision. Given our current season (summer) all tomatoes taste like pure heaven. This one might truly be a convenient factor (homegrown if you are fortunate to have them), local because we all love to support local! Heirloom because well they are gorgeous, juicy and come in so many different colors! And the sweet cherry if you like little pockets and bursts of tomato in your sandwich. All are great options – just find the ripest and you’re good to go!

Ok, so now we have the basics identified. There are two other factors that are very important (to me at least). The bread and the sauce! Any homemade or local bread would taste amazing, bagels are my personal favorite (and I have even tried corn tortilla’s – hello BLT tacos!) I truly think the biggest make-or-break factor with the bread is it has to be TOASTED!!! I don’t have a toaster so I heat my oven up and place it in the broiler section to give it some color – if you go this route you should check on it ever 2 minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn!

What ever sauce you go with it just make sure YOU like it! Nothing worse than having this amazing sandwich and a sauce you can’t stand. My two favorites are spicy mayo (mayonnaise + sriracha) & honey mustard (dijon mustard + honey + olive oil). You can obviously buy these from the store but I usually have the staples at home to make a small batch whenever I need!

Remember, toasting the bread is crucial so that it can hold up to all of the internal components – no one likes soggy bread!
Now to assemble:
Toasted Bagel
Spicy Mayo (on both sides)
Bibb Lettuce
Heirloom Tomato
Crispy Bacon

Now add the other side of the bagel on top and baboom, you have just created the best dang BLT, ever!!

I did try to make homemade bagels back in April and they actually turned out really good – so linking the recipe below if you don’ t have access to delicious bagels (we are so spoiled in NYC). I have no clue why but this sandwich is seriously next level for me on a bagel! My go-to is usually an everything bagel but the bagel shop accidently gave me sesame (I love sesame too) so we worked with it!
EASY GLUTEN FREE BAGELS – makes 4
>Gluten Free/Whole Wheat Flour
>Fat Free Greek Yogurt
>Baking Powder
>Salt
>One Egg
>Bagel Seasoning of Choice
Preheat oven to 375. Combine 1 cup of flour with 2 teaspoons of baking powder & 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine. Then add 1 cup of fat free greek yogurt. Mix together until a dough forms. Remove from the bowl onto a floured surface and knead the dough (use your fist to press down on the dough. This helps the gluten strands to warm and stretch in the dough which makes it springy & elastic). Then separate dough into four sections. Roll each section in a ball and create a hole in the center. Spread out until a bagel shape forms – repeat until you have four complete bagel shape pieces. Whisk one egg and wash each bagel (taking egg mixture and essentially painting it on the bagels – this will help the bagels get golden and allow the seasoning to stick!) Top with your favorite bagel seasoning and bake in the 375 degree oven for 25 minutes! Remove and let cool for 5 minutes. Cut in half, toast accordingly and ENJOY!