This is a perfect soup as we head into the fall season!  

It’s healthy, gluten free and diary free but yet so creamy and comforting!  It has 457% of the daily recommendation of Vitamin A!

This butternut squash recipe was posted long ago on the blog but I’ve changed it just a bit.  Instead of just revising the first one – because that one is perfect all on it’s own.  You can check the original one here.  

Now it’s even better with just a tweak or two to really bring in those rich deep underlying flavors.  I thought it was definitely worth reposting it and giving it’s own glory!

This soup is warming to your soul.  Sip it as a snack in a mug or make yourself a nice big bowl to have as a meal.  It will surely satisfy a comforting craving without any of the guilt!  

Make some soon!

Please post in the comments below if you make it!  I’d love to see how you like it!

Thai Butternut Squash Soup with Spiced Pepitas

(Makes about 4 qts)

Ingredients

  • 5 lb Butternut squash peeled, cut in cubes
  • 1 ea large Vidalia onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 ea barlet pears peeled, cubed
  • 1 container vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp EVOO or coconut oil
  • 1 can organic coconut milk Native Brand
  • 4+ tsp madras hot curry powder 1+ tsp per quart
  • 1+ tbsp Mae Ploy red curry paste buy online
  • 1/2+ tsp garam masala
  • 1/2+ tsp ground coriander
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Himalayan pink salt to taste

Pumpkin seeds

  • 1/4 tsp Smoked paprika
  • pinch Cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Sauté onion, squash, garlic in EVOO in a large deep skillet or dutch oven for a few minutes to release flavor.  Add container of vegetable stock.

  2. Bring to a boil then simmer until soft sightly covered. Approximately 15 minutes. 

  3. Let sit for about 10 minutes before putting it in the blender.

  4. I make this in batches in the blender.  Ladle (do not pour from the pan with the liquid) into a blender about half way up. You might not need all the liquid. It really depends how thin or thick you like it so use your own judgment.  

    Do one quart at a time. 

    I mix them all together in-between jars at the end so all the flavors come together as a whole.  I use 2-2 qt large ball jars for this soup. 😉

  5. Add a large spoonful of the coconut milk (it will be separated) so take a little solid then add a little liquid. The entire can is to be split between the batches. Add spices & salt directly in the blender (adding a little in each batch). Blend on high until it’s completely puréed. 

  6. Adjust seasonings to your taste. I like it a little spicy so I might add more paste which is spicer than powdered curry but has a nice deep rich flavor.

Spiced Pepitas

  1. In a pan, add pumpkin seeds, drizzle with evoo, shake the pan to distribute oil. Sprinkle cayenne pepper and smoked paprika. Swirl it around the pan over med-high heat until it starts to brown in spots and/or pop.  Remove from heat, cool and store in an air tight container.

  2. Ladle soup in a bowl and sprinkle with the spiced pepitas. Enjoy!!

First, I want to tell you a story.

A few weeks ago a friend and I were conversing on health, specifically her gut health. She went on to say that she was eating sauerkraut the day before and it was sooo good.  Plus she was happy that she was doing something good for her health.

Doesn’t it always feel good when you do something good for your health and actually follow through – yasss!

But she had the most terrible, potent, awful gas that her husband had to leave the bedroom!! 🤢  

I’m not mentioning any names because geez we are talking about farting and I wouldn’t want to embarrass her! But I’m sure for a quick second you are trying to imagine who it was, aren’t you 🤣? You don’t know her and she’s not even my friend on FB or IG 🤷🏼‍♀️! But, hey it’s something everyone has from time to time but yet we cringe, hide or look the other way like they did it, I don’t know 😆

Back to the sauerkraut.  She was thinking she was doing good. So I asked her what brand she ate.  She told me Boar’s Head because that was a good brand.

Well any sauerkraut that has been cooked or heated has no beneficial bacteria in it. Despite it promotes “delicate slices of cabbage that are fermented and aged for a crisp texture and slightly tart flavor”.  Notice it doesn’t say anything about it having beneficial bacteria so their fermentation process does not add the beneficial probiotics we need from it. It also has sodium benzoate to preserve it. Needless to say there is no beneficial bacteria in these types of sauerkraut.

You can certainly buy a brand like Bubba’s in Whole Foods or your local health food market that has a refrigerated section.  However, making your own is really simple. It literally requires two ingredients – cabbage & salt!!!

While there are many different reasons people have gas, eating a large amounts of sauerkraut might be too much for ones digestive system to handle. It could have been from  the sugars that some vegetables (especially cruciferous) has that is hard to digest due to the natural types of sugars in it.

In her case, she might have an overgrowth of yeast which will continually feed off of the sugar. Also it’s a good idea to eat small portions of probiotic foods if your gut is not used to it.  Work your way up so your body has the ability to digest it without having digestive upset. And, she did tell me she ate a LOT of it hence the copious amounts of gas that her body was unable to process!!

In any case, having flatulence is natural but have excessive amounts of smelly gas likely means your intestinal bacteria is out of whack.

So that brings me to homemade lacto-fermented sauerkraut.  It’s easy and eating a little everyday or a few times a week is good to build up your good bacteria naturally.

The salt is added at the beginning of fermentation to suppress the growth of the undesirable bacteria. As the fermentation takes place, lactic acid is produced and the pH drops and bacteria metabolism slows.  Through the process, the bacteria is trapped in the brine where they eat the sugars in the cabbage. They multiple like crazy and release large amounts of lactic acid that acts as a preservative and inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. This natural process and without heat also holds onto more vitamins and minerals.

Another awesome way to eat this sauerkraut is topped cold on a delicious bowl of hot pureed squash soup or one of my favorites is a pureed purple turnip soup.  Pureed soups are actually easier to digest since it is already broken down and the sauerkraut topper makes it even more delicious and beneficial for your gut!

Despite how long the directions look, it’s really super simple, shred, salt, massage, sit ~ that’s it.  

Simple Homemade Sauerkraut

This simple homemade sauerkraut is filled with probiotics to help balance your gut flora. 

Prep Time 30 minutes
Author Stacey DIverde

Ingredients

  • 1 head organic green cabbage
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Himalayan pink salt finely grated or fine sea salt
  • sprinkle dill, caraway, anise, or fennel seed (optional)

Tools

Instructions

  1. Clean your jar well.  You can pour hot boiling water if you wish to sanitize it so it will remove any lingering harmful bacteria to prevent mold but it's not necessary.  Good hot soapy water is fine and rinsed well.  

  2. Do not wash the cabbage.  You will need the natural bacteria that is on the leaves to start the fermentation process.  

  3. Cut and quarter the cabbage. Remove some of the larger leaves and put to the side, you will need this to cover the sauerkraut in the jar.

  4. Take out the core but slicing it in a "V" at the core with the knife and remove it.

  5. Shred the cabbage using a mandolin at your desired thickness into the large rectangular bowl.  Or, thinly slice it with a knife on it's side. You can also use a box grater but that is a bit too shredded in my opinion for sauerkraut so if you don't have a mandolin just use a knife.

  6. Sprinkle the fine pink or sea salt over the cabbage. 

  7. Use your hands to massage the salt in.  Gently squeeze and turn the cabbage while you massage it. You will start to see it get a bit softer as you break down cellulose fibers from cabbage. Liquid will start to develop, do not discard, this is the brine.

  8. Let the cabbage sit for about 30 minutes before putting it in the jar.

  9. Massage it again before putting it in the jar.  One head of cabbage should fit in the jar once broken down a bit.  Squeeze it all in there, you can push it in with your hands or wooden spoon (I use gloves when I cook normally).

  10. Top the jar with the large loose cabbage leaves you saved.  Tuck it in so there is no air (you need an anaerobic state).  Once it sits for a few hours it will develop even more brine and be completely submerged in the brine.

  11. Cover with fine cheesecloth or other thin cloth. Put a rubber band around it and let it sit on the counter for 7-10 days (out of direct sun light or heat).  Depending on how the air is in your home will depend how long you will have it out.  I have central air so 10 days is perfect for me.  The slow fermentation tastes the best. The longer it sits the more tangy it will get so test it and see what you prefer in taste.  Also the longer it sits the more beneficial microbes (specifically lactobacillus) there will be.

  12. Once it's fermented to your liking, remove the cheese cloth and cover it with the lid. Store in the refrigerator until ready to eat. This can be stored for months in the refrigerator. 

Beet & Goat Cheese Salad hmmm…I think I have a thing about making and posting recipes with food I really disliked at one time or another. And, believe me there isn’t much I don’t like! Beets are definitely one of them and goat cheese was another. I’m actually still not totally fond of goat cheese but it also depends on the type and what it’s with.  I prefer domestic over imported because it is not as strong of a gamey taste. And, if you love goat cheese you are probably saying well that’s exactly why I like it! Plus, I have always wanted to love beets because they are so healthy for you.  

I can honesty say now I really do like them.  Especially roasted (preferably cubed roasted in the oven then on top of salad if they make it that far!)!  These are not even roasted at least I don’t think they are. And, drum roll…I actually bought them instead of making them myself. Never go shopping hungry – but who picks up “beets” when they are hungry??  I probably wouldn’t of initially done that 1) I rarely buy premade food from the store. Not that I’m a food snob but I honestly haven’t ever tasted anything that is really good or good for you that is pre-made in the supermarket and 2) I had already taste tested these packaged beets at my best friends house a long ago. And, literally couldn’t stop eating them!  3) Plus, the only ingredient on the label was beets and it was whole and vacuumed packed – so what’s not to love, no messy red stains all over.

The only thing I actually made was the balsamic reduction and truthfully you can easily buy that too  – although check the label for any high fructose corn syrup because then that wouldn’t be good!

You could easily put this on top of some bitter greens like arugula and make it extra fancy but I enjoyed it just like this.

Now the most important thing is beets are a powerful nutrient dense root vegetable!  They contain folate, manganese (good for bones, liver, kidneys & pancreas), potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and copper; fiber, magnesium, phosporus, vitamin c, iron & vitamin b6.

Here’s the amazing benefits of why you should add beets to your diet:

  • helps lower blood pressure
  • fights inflammation (contains betaine, a nutrient that helps protects cells, proteins, and enzymes from environmental stress)
  • anti-cancer properties (powerful phytonutrients)
  • immune boosting and nutrient dense 
  • helps detoxify your body

Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

Such an easy delicious beet recipe ~ I really can't call this a recipe because that is how easy it is. 

Course Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Servings 2 - 4
Author Stacey Diverde

Ingredients

Balsamic Reduction

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp honey

Salad

  • 3/4 cup goat cheese domestic (I prefer a log)
  • 1 pckg beets store bought (vacuum packed) whole beets
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • Himalayan pink salt

Instructions

Balsamic Reduction

  1. In a saucepan add balsamic and honey and reduce to desired consistency.  ( until it sticks to a back of spoon)

Salad

  1. Quarter the beets, divide them amongst the plates.  Top with goat cheese and walnuts (optional:  toast or sweeten them with a little honey over medium high heat until they are just starting to brown) and drizzle with the balsamic reduction.  Sprinkle with a little Himalayan pink salt.

I saw this delicious roasted red pepper recipe from Epicurious the other day. Lets just say I couldn’t resist making it right away. So it found my way to my Sunday table this past week. It did not disappoint! I left out the anchovies because I wasn’t sure if my kids would frown upon it if they knew it was in there.  I’m sure it just melts into the dish and would probably go unnoticed adding another layer of in-depth flavor.  

This is definitely going to be on my Easter table this year! It was soooo good! Let me know if you give it a try.  I copied the recipe directly from Epicurious so you can enjoy it.  Bon Appetit! 

Roasted Red Peppers with Cherry Tomatoes & Ricotta

Author Epicurious

Ingredients

  • 4 red bell peppers halved, seeds and ribs removed
  • 6 oil-packed anchovy fillets finely chopped (I left it out)
  • 4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 1 cup basil leaves divided
  • Kosher salt freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved (I used mixed color)
  • 1/3 cup fresh ricotta (I used about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup pitted small black and/or green olives
  • Flaky sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place bell peppers, skin side down, in a shallow baking dish and top with anchovies and garlic. Tear 1/4 cup basil leaves over top, season with kosher salt and black pepper, and drizzle with 2 Tbsp. oil. Bake until peppers are tender but still hold their shape and are slightly charred around edges, 35–45 minutes. Let cool.

  2. Meanwhile, blend remaining 3/4 cup basil and remaining 1/3 cup oil in a blender until smooth; season basil oil with kosher salt and black pepper.

  3. Arrange bell peppers on a platter. Top with tomatoes, ricotta, olives, and more basil, then drizzle with basil oil and season with sea salt and black pepper.

This shaved winter brussel sprout salad is delicious and light!  I’ve made it a few different times over the last few weeks for my clients.  It’s always a welcome addition in the winter.  Although not completely necessary to make the dish with a mandoline, it makes it so much easier to get the thin shreds you want.  You can also use a food processor shredding blade or a sharp chefs knife will work as well but may take you just a bit longer.  These are the times when you wish you had one!

I purchased mine on Amazon – Swissmar Borner V Power Mandoline and have had it for many years and use it often.  It works great because it’s a very sharp blade!  You have to be careful for ones that are not as sharp because that could be dangerous for slipping.  And on the other hand you have to be careful because whatever you are cutting you don’t want to go all the way down to your fingers or you will slice them.

Try this delicious salad as a light lunch or as a side with your dinner.  It’s delicious and comes together so quickly.  It also holds up in the fridge for a few days too so it’s an added bonus!

Winter Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad

Delicious raw winter salad!

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Stacey DiVerde

Ingredients

For the Salad:

  • 2 packages raw brussel sprouts shaved
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup shaved parmesan (or buy pre-shaved) BelGioioso Parmesan Shaved Cheese, 5 Oz

For the Dressing

  • 3 ea lemons freshly squeezed
  • 3-4 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp grated garlic
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2-1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

Instructions for salad:

  1. Shave the brussel sprouts with a mandolin being careful of your fingers in a large bowl.

  2. Add cranberries, slivered almonds and shaved parmesan.

Instructions for Dressing:

  1. In a glass jar or bowl, squeeze lemons, add rest of ingredients and shake the jar or whisk to emulsify and toss well into the salad. Adjust seasoning to your taste. 

This little chia seed is packed with high fiber, protein and omega 3 fatty acids! The raspberries are an extra boost in fiber and one of the highest amount of fiber in berries!

I’ve been hooked on this since I started making this a few months ago.  I eat it several times a week.  It’s a great breakfast because all you need to do is open your fridge – and – wah la – it’s ready!  It also keeps you satisfied for a long period and it makes you feel like you are eating something luxurious due to how creamy it is! It doesn’t seem like it is healthy! 

Chia seeds benefits include promoting healthy skin, reducing signs of aging, supporting the heart and digestive system, building stronger bones and muscles, and more. 

One cup of chia seed pudding has 16.9 grams of fiber, 8 grams of protein (not including the cashew milk that it’s made with) and 14.8 grams of healthy fat!! This one cup is literally half of your recommended fiber intake for the day and we know how hard it is to get a lot of fiber in your diet. It’s a win win for weight loss as well as lowering your risk for heart disease and diabetes!! Fiber slows the rate the sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream! 

It’s loaded with ALL 8 essential amino acids, a host of trace minerals and micronutrients ~  manganese, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, copper & potassium!  It has the highest amount of omega 3 of any plant source. And while the best source for omega 3s is oily fish due to EPA and DHEA – a recent study found (Appalachian State University) that when female subjects tested took 25 grams of milled chia seeds over a 7 week period their EPA plasma increased not just ALA. This is awesome for vegans and vegetarians that need to get their omega 3s from plant sources. I always put chia in my smoothies but I just love the pudding!!

Fiber is a very important part of our diet especially for weight loss and something that is often overlooked. This one is packed with all the essentials – fiber, protein & fat and a little carbohydrates.

You can find chia seeds at your local supermarket or health food store.  However, if you have a local Costco by you they sell a huge bag of organic chia seeds for under $7.00. Can’t beat it!

Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup 8 tbs - chia seeds
  • 2 cups cashew milk (I love Elmhurst Milked Cashews - so good!)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 6-8 raspberries

Instructions

  1. Put ingredients in a container with cover and mix together thoroughly with a whisk. It's not completely necessary but I find it comes out better if you stir it half way or after an hour or so of settling.  Sometimes I will just shake the glass container!

  2. Let it sit in the fridge overnight (or at least several hours) and place a handful of raspberries on top when serving. Enjoy!!

Recipe Notes

You can also make this with coconut milk if you are allergic to nuts.  Use half canned coconut milk and half carton (mixed well before other ingredients are put in)

Achy joints may need extra attention especially in the winter when you may not be moving as much! Do you know that stagnation is not good for achy joints? You need to keep moving if you want to help your joints. I know that sounds counter-intuitive but they need movement to keep them healthy. You just want to make sure you are doing the right exercises. For example if you suffer with bad knees or hip issues, jogging would not be good. You get the picture!

This drink is so comforting – perfect for winter! It’s soothing and immune boosting! Drinking it before bed actually helps you have a more restful sleep while boosting your immunity while you sleep.

The secret spice actually is the curcumin in the turmeric that has numerous health benefits. Curcumin has been extensively studied. It has shown benefits to support digestion as well as alleviate inflammation in your digestion system. Boosts immunity, reduces inflammation due to osteoarthritis to name a few and has numerous studies in reduction in many types of cancer.

Too many benefits not to include this in your diet several times a week! If you aren’t allergic to tree nuts, I find it’s most delicious using cashew milk (regular dairy is inflammatory so I wouldn’t use that). I used cashew milk but it’s commonly made with other non-dairy milk such as almond or coconut or any combo of them both.  

If you can find fresh turmeric it really comes out so delicious vs. dried turmeric in your spice aisle – although that is good too but fresh just has a different flavor.  You can find fresh turmeric at your local supermarket (my stop & shop carries it), Whole Foods, or health food store should also have it if they sell produce.   Here’s a picture so you know what you are looking for:

Anti-Inflammatory Golden Milk

Servings 1
Author Stacey DiVerde

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cashew milk my favorite is Elmhurst Brand (so creamy)
  • 2 tsp grated fresh turmeric or 1 tsp dried turmeric (fresh is best)
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger or 1” sliced
  • Pinch black pepper freshly cracked
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp organic raw coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 tsp raw honey optional

Instructions

  1. Heat in a saucepan, over medium heat until hot but not boiling.

  2. Stir and let steep for about 5 minutes. 

  3. Strain through a fine mesh sieve over a mug. 

  4. Serve with an additional sprinkling of black pepper (helps with absorption) and an extra sprinkle of cinnamon.

Recipe Notes

You can find fresh turmeric at your local supermarket (my stop & shop carries it), Whole Foods, or health food store should also have it if they sell produce.  

 

Lets just say I’m not big on waffles.  But, I am loving these pumpkin paleo waffles especially since they are gluten free and you’d never know it.

Yup that’s me! Not even the kind that you would get wrapped around an ice cream cone. I really never got into what was so special about waffles even before I was gluten free.  I guess it’s because I rarely ate that kind of stuff when I was a kid probably because my mom didn’t buy or make them.  This waffle maker was given to me at my bridal shower 26 years ago – hence the hearts ;).  The recipe would be even better if I had a belgium waffle maker but this did the trick for now.

A few weeks ago one of my personal chef clients requested chicken and waffles for the kids!  Ever since then I’ve been kind of craving waffles plus my kids prefer waffles over pancakes. Happens a lot when I cook for my clients.  When Sunday rolled around, this was exactly what we had two weeks in a row!  

Enjoy!  Let me know if you try them and what you think!

Pumpkin Paleo Waffles

Delicious light and fluffy paleo pumpkin waffles.

Servings 6
Author Stacey DiVerde

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup organic pumpkin puree
  • 4 ea eggs
  • 2 tbs avocado oil
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk (can use vanilla almond milk)
  • 2 tbs organic maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour + 1 tbs
  • 1/2 cup arrow root flour + 1 tbs
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour + 1 tbs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Heat your waffle maker as you are putting together the recipe.

  2. Blend all the wet ingredients (pumpkin puree, almond milk, eggs, vanilla, avocado oil). 

  3. In a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients. 

  4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients while whisking either by hand or with a powered hand blender until it is completely combined.  It will thicken a bit as it sits.

  5. Spray your waffle iron with oil so it doesn't stick.  Pour the waffle mixture in the middle of your iron.  I can't tell you exactly how much because every iron is different.  Mine makes 4 waffles at a time.  Mine also beeps when it's ready although I prefer to check it a little before I know it might beep otherwise mine gets a bit too dark.  You want to cook them until they are golden and crisp.

  6.   Serve with maple syrup and grass-fed butter if you choose.

 

This is the perfect warm and comforting dairy-free vegetarian/vegan dish for a cold NY night!  

I don’t eat rice very often because I have a very slow metabolism and well rice just doesn’t do well when you have a slow metabolism!  Lots of my clients have either a love or a hate relationship with curry but I encourage you to try it.  I didn’t love them years ago but I do now!  They are very comforting and grounding especially in the winter months they are perfect because we need to incorporate more warming foods! Both the inflammatory spices of ginger and turmeric in this dish help with inflammation and are good for your gut as well!

Let me know in the comments if you try the recipe what you think!!  I would love to hear your results!  The recipe is super easy and comes together so quickly – my kind of recipe!  It’s easily a mid-week meal!

Chick Pea Curry with Kale

Dairy-free Chick Pea Curry with Kale & Basmati Rice

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Stacey DiVerde

Ingredients

  • 3 cans organic chick peas drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cans coconut milk organic native forest brand
  • 2 cups vegetable stock I like natures promise (1/2 box)
  • 2 tbsp madras curry
  • 1 1/2 tsp grated ginger heaping
  • 1 dash garam masala optional (it's not completely necessary)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 3 ea plum tomatoes seeded and diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste heaping
  • 1 bunch kale large bunch - stemmed and chopped
  • 4-5 ea carrots sliced
  • 1 med onion small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt or to taste
  • evoo for cooking
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice (dry to cook)
  • crushed hot pepper upon serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prepare basmati rice according to package directions and cook for approximately 18 minutes on low.  Set aside when done.  

  2. Meanwhile, saute onion in extra virgin olive oil in a wide braising type pan or dutch oven.  Add carrots, ginger and garlic and continue heating for just a few minutes more.

  3. Add coconut milk and vegetable stock, diced tomatoes, stir in tomato paste.  Add curry and rest of spices.

  4. Add rinsed chick peas. Add the chopped kale and bring to simmer. Reduce and adjust spices according to taste.  Sprinkle with crushed hot pepper for extra spice when serving.

Coconut bacon seems to be very popular these days and my next post may be just that but I think more with a breakfast type food.  I actually bought the coconut I needed because that was my intention when I went to the store.  I’m so intrigued that you can turn coconut into bacon and I needed to taste it!  Now that I think of it I don’t know why I would think “why wouldn’t that be the norm” you can turn coconut into almost anything these days without it truly tasting like a coconut ~ aka coconut aminos, coconut vinegar (my favorite and actually has more benefits than apple cider vinegar).  Neither of these taste like coconut and are good for you!!

So lets get to the yummy shiitake bacon – that’s what I’ve created here.  It truly does taste like bacon and has a similar texture as well.  It was the perfect topping to my spaghetti squash with spinach & tomato – it made the recipe so much more flavorful.  The best part is it took no time to make.   You can make it in like 5-10 minutes which is less than what real bacon takes.

Here’s the recipe for this delicious meal!

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Sautéed Spinach & Shiitake Bacon

Delicious vegetarian dish adding the extra flavor of shiitake bacon!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 1 person
Author Stacey DiVerde

Ingredients

  • 1 ea spaghetti squash
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes cherubs
  • 1/4 ea large viladia onion sliced
  • 1-2 ea garlic cloves grated
  • extra virgin olive oil for drizzling or as needed
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt

Shitake Mushroom Bacon

  • 1 5oz sliced shiitake mushroom package
  • 4 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika heaping
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt fine grated
  • 1/2 tsp Hickory liquid smoke (found in spice section)

Instructions

Roasting the Squash

  1. Preheat oven to 385. Slice you squash in half lengthwise. Scoop of the seeds/middle with an ice cream scooper for easy removal. Drizzle Extra Virgin Oil over the flesh. Roast squash flesh side down for approximately 30 minutes or until the skin is soft when pressed.  

Shitake Bacon

  1. While the spaghetti squash is roasting, Mix the avocado oil, smoked paprika, liquid smoke and salt together in a bowl. Large enough to toss the mushrooms in (I used a 1/2 aluminum tray).

    Spread out on a large rimmed baking sheet that is lined with parchment or a non-stick foil. Roast on 385 degree preheated oven (convection if you have or bake is fine) - top rack. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until starting to crisp being careful not to burn. Cool on the baking sheet. 

Putting it all together:

  1. While the spaghetti squash and mushrooms are roasting. Sauté the onion and tomatoes in a little extra virgin olive oil on the stovetop in a non-stick pan over med-high heat. Add the garlic last and saute for just a little longer. 

  2. When the squash is cooled to touch, take a fork and scrape one half of the squash into the pan. Add spinach and stir until wilted. Add Himilayan pink salt to taste.

  3. Transfer the squash mixture to a bowl and top with the shiitake mushrooms and serve.