Food

My First Fall Night In and Sweet Potato Soup

You guys, it really feels like fall now! Yesterday was the coldest day we’ve had so far (in San Diego it would have been considered the coldest day of the year!). I think Bart is still getting used to the cold and rain. I tried to take him out while it was raining and he was not having it. On that note I’ve seen several dogs in raincoats here! I didn’t know that was a thing. Anyway! Back to my fall night in.

Because it’s now October and it was a rainy cold night here in DC, I decided to make a homemade soup. You’re probably sick of all my sweet potato recipes but cooking for someone eating according to a paleo diet, they are kind of a staple!

Here’s the sweet potato soup we whipped up for dinner.

You will need:

1 tablespoon flour

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

½ of an onion, diced

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 1/2 cups diced sweet potatoes

1/4 teaspoon ginger paste

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup half and half

Garnish with a little bacon (because… bacon is delicious on everything!)

In a heavy sauce pot, over medium heat, melt the butter and add the flour, stirring until the mixture is a light caramel color. Add the broth and brown sugar and bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Stir in the sweet potatoes, spices and ginger paste, bring to a simmer again, and cook for 10 – 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. In a blender, puree the soup in batches and return to the sauce pot. Add the half and half and reheat the soup to desired temperature.

I love that this recipe had just a few ingredients but tasted like something we slaved over all day! It was savory, filling, and delicious!

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Matt had class last night so Bart and I hung out at home. I got caught up on laundry, chatted with my parents, and sipped a delicious glass of Malbec. I hope you all are enjoying this season change as much as I am!

 

Paleo Chicken and Sweet Potato Chili

Another week, another adventure in the world of paleo cooking for two! It’s finally dropped below 85 degrees here in DC and I’ve already broken out the cinnamon smelling things and vampy lipsticks in anticipation of fall temperatures — I figured our meals should follow suit! This week we made a twist on one of my all time favorite cool weather dishes: chili!

This chili is paleo friendly and has no beans. It could also be dairy free if you’d like — just ditch the sour cream and cheese at the end.

What You’ll Need:

20 oz ground chicken or turkey

kosher salt, to taste

1/2 cup onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed

10 oz can Rotel mild tomatoes with green chilies

8 oz can tomato sauce

3/4 cup water

1/2 tsp cumin, and to taste

1/4 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp paprika

1 bay leaf

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes

sour cream and cheese for garnish

In a medium pot, brown chicken over medium-high heat, breaking it up into smaller pieces as it cooks; season with kosher salt and cumin to taste.

When the meat is browned and cooked through, add onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the can of Rotel tomatoes, sweet potato, tomato sauce, water, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt and bay leaf.

Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until potatoes are soft and cooked through, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a bit more water if needed. Remove the bay leaf. Top with a bit of sour cream and cheese, and serve!

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Spaghetti Without The Pasta

Since Matt started eating Paleo a few months ago, saying goodbye to pasta has been hard! Before the diet switch it was a staple in our weekly dinner menu rotation. But we’ve actually found a way to completely get our pasta fix without the noodles! It takes just three ingredients, and the base is delicious spaghetti squash.

You Will Need:

1 spaghetti squash

1 pound ground beef or turkey

1 jar pasta sauce (I’m usually not particular, Prego was on sale this week.)

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Start by slicing off the stem of the squash and carefully poking four or five holes with a knife for ventilation while cooking. Place the squash on a microwave safe dish and cook in the microwave for 5-8 minutes, depending on the size of your squash.

While that’s cooking, brown the meat in a medium skillet until all of the pink is gone. Drain any grease and add the pasta sauce to the meat, then simmer for 3-5 minutes.

After the squash has cooked 5-8  minutes, rotate it and microwave for another 5 minutes or so until it’s squishy to the touch on all sides. Now slice open the squash and remove the seeds. Grab a fork and use it to pull the meat of the squash away from the rind. Scoop onto a plate and top with the meat and sauce mixture. That’s it!

I was very hesitant to try this at first but it really does taste just like real spaghetti and meat sauce — and no noodles are involved! It’s now one of Matt’s favorite at-home dinners.

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Enjoy!

Something New: Korean Food

Okay, first off, I fully intended to cook dinner at home last night. I was planning to make chicken tacos. I had minced my garlic, sliced up the red peppers and was all set to start cooking. Then, as I grabbed the can of chicken, I had a realization: we don’t have a can opener.

I informed Matt of the predicament. As he had just worked out, the idea of me running (actually running, since we don’t own a car) to the store, getting a can opener, running back, and then cooking, seemed like it would take an eternity. So, we went out!

I was craving Asian food and Matt didn’t object. Just across the street we’d seen a little Korean place called Mandu that looked like a popular spot around happy hour. As I said, we were quite hungry so something across the street sounded great!

Since it was happy hour, Matt got a beer and I tried a sojutini — $3 and $4 respectively. Not just any sojutini, an aloe sojutini! Apparently I was feeling very adventurous. You guys, it was the most delicious cocktail ever! Light, crisp, perfect on a hot muggy city night, and paired deliciously with our appetizer of mandu — little pan fried dumplings filled with beef, pork, and vegetables.

For dinner, Matt tried the Dak Gui, a spicy marinated chicken breast served with lettuce and various pastes to wrap the chicken in. I went with the Dolsot Bibim Bap, a bowl of rice, meat and various vegetables topped with a fried egg and served in an extremely hot stone bowl that kept the dish hot the entire duration of the meal. It also came with a yummy spicy sauce to drizzle over the top for an added kick. They also served us a plate of little side dishes that went along with the meal, including the Korean classic, kimchi, fish cakes, and sprouts. Everything was absolutely delicious! I haven’t had much Korean food in my life, but I’m excited to try more!

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I wish I’d brought my camera to take high quality pictures! These quick iPhone snaps will have to do until I can go back with my camera.

While I felt a little guilty not cooking at home, it turned out to be a fun night out with the one I love, filled with trying new things and failing miserably with chop sticks!

Don’t worry, I have since remedied the can opener situation and we are having tacos tonight.