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Dairy-free Dinner Gluten-free Seasonal Vegan Vegetarian

Creamy Curry Butternut Squash Soup

November 7, 2019

If there is one thing I love most about cooler temps it is ALL THE SOUP.

I’m one of those people that could live off soup when the temps drop but my better half doesn’t agree and if we have soup he demands something to dip into it, like corn bread, biscuits, crusty bread or crackers, which I agree to ALWAYS so I can have soup.

One of the first soups I always make in the Fall is this soup! Butternut squash starts popping up in my grocery store and I immediately start collecting the ingredients to make this soup. And most of the time I already have all the ingredients in my pantry, sans the butternut squash. This recipe only has 5 ingredients (if you don’t count olive oil, salt, pepper or condiments). Plus I love anything I can prepare with minimal clean up and this one pretty much fits that bill. All you need is two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper (makes for a quicker clean up), large pot and an immersion blender or stand alone blender. Bonus: leftovers. Soup is always better the next day and this one is no exception!

cubed butternut squash, onions & apples

This recipe whips up pretty quick making for a great weeknight meal. Butternut squash, onion and green apples get tossed in olive oil and S&P and nicely roasted…I know what you’re thinking, apples?! YES!! It’s a must, it lends a nice sweetness and balances out the flavors perfectly. Everything gets puréed with some broth and poured into a large pot to heat up while you continue to add more broth to thin out the soup as needed. The addition of curry powder adds a nice spice and with the condiments of toasted coconut and green onions the flavors harmonize perfectly! You’ll wonder why you never thought of curry and apples in butternut squash soup before.

I hope you enjoy this soup as mush as I do. Please let me know if you give it a try by tagging me #platefulnutrition on IG.

Dairy-free Dinner Gluten-free Main Dish Vegan Vegetarian

Vegan Butternut Cashew Cream Sauce

November 4, 2019

I have been experimenting a lot lately with cashews. Cashews are a mild tasting nut, super versatile and nutrition power house. Noted as one of the healthiest nuts it aids in heart health, supports brain function and improves nutrient absorption of foods it is eaten with.

It amazes me how soaking cashews can turn into a creamy decadent sauce when blended. Cashew sauce is an amazing invention (one I wish I discovered but did not). It’s a great alternative for those who cannot tolerate dairy, gluten or wish to eat vegan as it contains only plant-based ingredients and no milk, cheese or flour as most creamy sauces contain. It’s also a great substitute for those looking to increase the nutritional value of their meal as cashews are a great source of protein, essential minerals, mono- and poly-unsaturated fats.

I’ve used the base of this cashew sauce (sans the butternut squash as an all-purpose sauce) for numerous dishes, like alfredo sauce, mac and cheese, twice baked potato filling, topping to my soups or chili, etc. But one of my all time favorite ways to use cashew cream is in this recipe! It’s a very easy recipe and you won’t even realize there are cashews in it.

I blend soaked cashews with some onion, lemon juice and garlic to create a delicious creamy and flavorful base. To this sauce I also blend in nutritional yeast which lends to a “cheesy” like taste. Without the butternut squash, the sauce makes a great base sauce but I wanted a “mac & cheese” type dish. So I roasted fresh butternut squash and pureed this with a little water until creamy and smooth which gives a great orange color to look like “cheese” sauce. To the butternut squash I add the cashew cream sauce until it created a creamy consistency to mix with pasta noodles. Taste is creamy and flavorful with a subtle sweetness from the butternut squash shining through. This sauce pairs perfectly with pasta noodles making for a healthier mac and cheese-like dish, without the cheese!

Nutritional yeast is a type of yeast from saccharomyces cerevisiae. Nutritional yeast is a significant source of B-vitamins and often lends a cheesy flavor to foods it is added to.

I used elbow pasta noodles from Banza which uses chickpea flour to create a high protein, gluten-free (GF) pasta. I really liked this pasta. It was not too starchy and didn’t become a sticky mess like some of the corn-based GF pastas can be. It had a great neutral taste so it worked well with this recipe so the sauce could really be the star.

I also really like broccoli in my mac & cheese so I threw in some of that too but you can absolutely leave that out and by all means add some cheese if you like! I’d recommend something like shredded gruyere or another good melty cheese.

This dish is really perfect for Fall. I’ll be enjoying a bowl of this for a cozy night in!

Breakfast Dairy-free Gluten-free

Pumpkin Spice Waffles

October 4, 2019

I am in full blown Pumpkin everything! I can’t stop. It’s just too good! If you’ve been to Trader Joes lately, you know its pumpkin season! I don’t think you can leave the store without something pumpkin flavored! Pumpkin spice coffee, granola, cereals, desserts, creamer, etc. It’s madness but I also LOVE IT!

So to keep the pumpkin theme rolling, I bring you this delicious & healthy pumpkin spice waffle recipe! It taste like pumpkin pie but in waffle form. Loaded with all the pumpkin flavor from real pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice, these waffles get a nice crisp but remain soft inside. Add all the butter and drizzle with warm maple syrup or my new favorite find from Trader Joe’s, Organic Maple Butter, it’s 100% maple syrup but creamed so it goes on like butter but truly its like icing for waffles! SO GOOD! Finally, top off the waffles with some of the pumpkin spiced pumpkin seeds from Trader Joes to add a little crunch and you will be on your way to pumpkin spice heaven!

Best part is most of the items are basic pantry staples and this recipe has only a few ingredients so you’ll have waffles ready in no time. This recipe uses 100% oat flour keeping it gluten-free and high in fiber however, feel free to sub in regular flour if you prefer. Also, make a double batch, these waffles freeze and reheat wonderfully!

Health Benefits of Pumpkin

Pumpkin is not only delicious but highly nutritious too. Although 94% of pumpkin is water it still packs in a lot of nutrition. In 1 cup of pumpkin you get 2+ days worth of vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C both giving your immune system a boost. Also, all that vitamin A & C will keep your skin glowing in the winter months as these nutrients contain anti-ageing properties and help build collagen. Along with this pumpkin contains several types of antioxidants which helps fight aging and protects against chronic diseases. So if you needed a reason to make these delicious waffles now you know how good they are for you too!

To make the most of the pumpkin spice season I would also highly recommend you make my recipe for the pumpkin spice latte to go with your morning waffles to really embrace the cozy Fall morning. Recipe here

If you make it, share it with me! Tag your photo with #platefulnutrition!


Dinner Featured Main Dish Nutrition Vegetarian


September 29, 2019

With the cooler temps approaching, warm & cozy meals are a must! Many parts of the country are experiencing a dip in temp but here in South Texas we are still above 95 degrees! Despite this, I am making all the Fall foods and this recipe is one delicious bowl of comfort! I’ll pretend I am eating it in front of a warm cracking fire as the leaves are falling outside. Can you tell I miss the PNW much? I do love my seasons, so Texas has been an adjustment for me. In South Texas we basically have Spring and Summer weather, which has its perks but there is something about the leaves changing color, a cooler breeze, and cozier nights that transitions you to a new season. So in preparation of these cooler months to come, this coconut curry “meatless” meatball dish is the perfect meal for a cozy night in.

Coconut and curry are some of my favorite flavors. I love the creaminess coconut adds and curry provides an aromatic warm spice flavor. Together these two make a great combo creating the creamiest flavorful sauce inspired by Halfbaked Harvest’s version. Plus curry provides a ton of health benefits, more on this a little later.

This dish takes a little effort, especially if you are making your meatballs from scratch. In Halfbaked Harvest’s original recipe she uses homemade chicken meatballs however I opted to make this recipe 100% vegetarian so created my all time favorite Lentil Meatballs from Sprouted Kitchen. These meatballs combine lentils, parsley, eggs, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs then cooked in the oven to create a dense but flavorful meatless meatball. It really works perfectly in this creamy coconut curry sauce! YUM!

To save time I use precooked lentils from Trader Joes. I also double the meatball recipe and freeze the extras so the next time I make this I can whip it up in half the time. You could easily double any meatball recipe you are using and do the same thing. Or skip the meatball making process and buy your favorite premade frozen meatballs. Either way, this dish is really all in the sauce!

MEAL PREP TIP: Precooked lentils & double the meatball recipe to freeze and next time you can have this dish ready in 15 minutes!


Curry is a well know spice typically used in Indian and Thai cooking. Curry is not a single spice but a combination of several spices; turmeric, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, etc. Each curry may have a different blend of these spices and therefore may vary some on the potential health benefits.

Turmeric tends to be one of the most researched spices in curry. Turmeric is what gives curry its yellow color and contains the active compound called curcumin; powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.

Most well known benefits of curry are:

  • Reduces inflammation
  • Relieves joint pain
  • Detoxifies the liver
  • Fights cancer causing free radicals
  • Delays degenerative diseases

If you are not a fan of curry but want to reap the benefits you can buy turmeric or curcumin capsules sold at most health food stores. The capsules are actually more potent than curry powder itself and would allow you to see the benefits sooner.

If you like curry, I encourage you to try this recipe if not for the health benefits than the delicious warm bowl of curry and meatballs!

Enjoy and be sure to tag #platefulnutrition in your recipes!

Breakfast Dairy-free Dessert Featured Gluten-free Seasonal Vegetarian

Pumpkin Bread

September 25, 2019

Officially Fall season and nothing says Fall like baking fresh pumpkin bread. The aromas that fill your kitchen when making this bread will get you quickly into the Fall season. Y’all know by now I love Fall and although it may be a little too warm in South Texas (93 degrees today) I am baking up all the pumpkin bread to trick my mind into thinking its cooler out, that logic works right!?

This pumpkin bread is SO delicious! Heavy on the pumpkin flavor, perfectly sweetened, a little crunch from the pumpkin seeds, super moist and spiced with all the Fall spices…cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, YUM!

This recipe is entirely gluten-free. I used Trader Joes all-purpose gluten-free flour. No dairy either but honestly you wouldn’t know it as this bread is incredibly moist thanks to the pumpkin puree and coconut oil. It’s literally the best pumpkin bread I’ve made and not just for gluten-free for ANY pumpkin bread.

Drizzled with Maple Butter from Trader Joes

This pumpkin bread is SO good slightly warm out of the oven, drizzled with some maple butter (a new product I found at Trader Joes.) If you’re like me, you’ll eat this bread in a day but if you have some self control the leftovers are fantastic for breakfast. This bread also pairs perfectly with my Pumpkin Spice Latte, so you really should make both together to really embrace the cozy Fall season. You’re going to love it!

Plus this pumpkin bread would make a beautiful hostess gift and is a must for your holiday gatherings!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do and if you make it please tag #platefulnutrition so I can see your baking skills!

Dairy-free Drink Gluten-free Seasonal Vegan


September 23, 2019

Cooler temps, shorter days, cozy nights, soup season, leaves falling, pumpkins and pumpkin spice lattes. Happy first day of Fall! My favorite season of the year!

I love pumpkin spice lattes. Starbucks version is good but I am not a fan of the ingredients in their syrups. I have found some coffee shops who make their own pumpkin spice syrup with real simple syrup and pumpkin spice flavors and to me these taste a million times better and more authentic to the “pumpkin pie” taste.

Honestly, making a delicious creamy pumpkin pie spice latte at home is really simple. This is my favorite warm cozy drink in the Fall. Move over matcha latte its all about the pumpkin spice latte now. 🙂

I use the pumpkin pie spice from Trader Joes which has the perfect combo of pumpkin pie spices. Regular or dairy-free milk of your choice will do but my favorite is the Califia Farms coconut-almond milk. REAL pumpkin puree gives this latte a more authentic pumpkin pie flavor. SO GOOD. Slightly sweetened with maple syrup and a touch a vanilla to balance the flavors. You can add espresso or skip this entirely if you prefer to not have any caffeine and the taste is just as delicious. And if you want to make this latte creamier add a dollop of whip cream or my favorite So Delicious cocowhip, YUM!

I hope you enjoy this recipe and please remember to use #platefulnutrition so I can see your yummy creation!

Breakfast Dessert Featured Food


August 25, 2019

Seriously, these pops are ridiculously good. Creamy, refreshing, and juicy strawberry flavor. Oh, did I mention this is totally a legit breakfast too!

Made from wholesome ingredients like oats, fresh strawberries, honey and Culina yogurt as the dairy-free star! This nutritious popsicle provides probiotics, protein, whole grains and fruit making it a perfect on-the-go breakfast situation you didn’t know you needed in your life.

Whips up SO fast and stays nice and chilly in the fridge for when you need a quick breakfast, snack, post-workout, healthier dessert or whenever, just because it’s that’s GOOD.

What makes these pops truly AMAZING is the Culina yogurt providing a creamy thick and delicious texture. Plus Culina is a dairy-free yogurt but not just any dairy-free yogurt, this stuff is clean like no gums, fillers or junk that a lot of other dairy-free yogurts contain. Hands down the best dairy-free yogurt on the PLANET and dare I say best yogurt PERIOD. You lactose loving folk will find that this yogurt lacks nothing in taste, texture and quality that you might just forgo your usual cow’s milk based yogurts 🙂

Culina yogurt is based out of Austin, TX. Small run business turning it up in the yogurt community. They have four excellent flavors; Strawberry Rose, Blueberry Lavender, Bourbon Vanilla and Plain & Simple. With pretty low sugar content, only 1-9 grams of sugar (depending on the flavor). PLUS a dose of gut-healthy probiotics and good-for-you ingredients made straight from coconut cream and only sweetened with maple syrup and real fruit!

If you’ve seen my photos of Culina yogurt by now you’re probably asking yourself “is this yogurt in a terra cotta pot?” And the answer is YES and how genius, right?!! Not only are they cute but they are better for the environment too. In an effort to reduce waste of plastic yogurt containers Culina put their yogurt in these adorable little 5 oz terra cotta pots so you can reuse them in anyway imaginable! Snack bowl, new succulent pot, beverage cup, paper clip holder on your desk, etc…

I hope you enjoy these pops as much as I do! Please tag @platefulnutrition in your photos!

Be sure to check out Culina yogurt or @culinayogurt on IG. Get Culina yogurt delivered to your door, click link Culina Yogurt

Dinner Featured Food Main Dish Nutrition

HERB ROASTED SALMON + kale chard caesar salad

August 17, 2019

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, so I have a deep love for salmon. I realize now living in Texas how truly spoiled I was to have fresh wild caught salmon at my fingers tips. My absolute favorite salmon is the Copper River King Salmon that appears around late spring/summer months.

“Every year (May – September) king, sockeye and coho return to the Copper River to make the arduous 300-mile migration up the turbulent waters in order to spawn. Because the Copper River is so long and steep (gains an average elevation of 12 feet per mile) these fish must pack on sufficient fat reserves to fuel their epic journey–resulting in salmon that is rich in heart- healthy omega-3 fatty acids and flavorful oils.”


Copper river king salmon oozes fat and literally melts in your mouth. This fish is also very odorless and only needs salt & pepper to let the natural flavors shine. I had the opportunity to have an overwhelming supply of this fish when I lived near Oregon. My husband’s uncle is a fisherman and dropped of pounds of this gold at our doorstep regularly. Boy was I spoiled! The funny thing is my husband did not like salmon at the time, so I got this delicious fish ALL to myself! Today my husband still gets sad over this lost opportunity now that he enjoys salmon. Copper river king salmon is very expensive but if you ever see it I highly recommend you splurge and savor this delicious seasonal salmon, best money spent in my opinion!

Now that I am in Texas my salmon expectations have had to adjust a little. I continue to buy wild salmon because I do believe it has superior benefits and taste to farm raised. My local Whole Foods will carry wild king salmon and I have also purchased Trident Seafood’s frozen wild salmon sold at Costco or Trader Joe’s frozen wild sockeye.

For this recipe, I used the Trident Seafood’s frozen wild salmon but any type of fresh or frozen salmon will do for this recipe. I find previously frozen salmon can be less desirable than fresh so I really like this recipe, all the fresh herbs add a lot of flavor.

This recipe not only adds a wonderful herb taste to the salmon but it comes together in under 15 minutes and only requires minimum of 3 ingredients; herbs, butter & salmon!

I especially enjoy this salmon over the kale & chard caesar salad! Tossed in the creamiest yogurt-based caesar dressing and pecorino cheese, YUM! This salad & salmon combo really makes the healthiest weeknight meal. Omega-3 fats from the salmon and all the nutrient-dense vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients like iron, calcium and fiber from the dark leafy greens. Best part is this meal whips up quick and the salad makes enough for leftovers! Kale and chard both hold up super well with dressing. You can prep a big bowl of this salad, store it and it will still be crunchy tomorrow.


You can use really any extra fresh herbs you have on hand; basil, parsley, cilantro, thyme, rosemary, dill, chives, etc….all combos work but I only choose about 3 herbs to use at a time. My favorite combo is fresh dill, chives and parsley.

Herbs: dill, parsley & basil

In a oven-safe pan like stainless steel skillet or cast iron add the butter and herbs and place into 425 degree oven for about 5 minutes until the butter is melted and herbs are sizzling in the butter but not burnt.

Make sure to thaw your salmon if previously frozen. Once butter is melted place thawed salmon skin side up and return to the hot oven for another 4-5 minutes.

Carefully remove the hot pan out of the oven and gently pull away the salmon’s skin. It should pull away fairly easy if not return salmon to oven for another minute or two.

Once the skin is removed, season salmon with salt and pepper. Flip salmon over and season again. Return salmon back to oven for another 3 minutes or until done depending on the thickness of your filet. You should see some white fat oozing out and filet glistening.

Remove from oven once cooked through and finish with extra fresh herbs. Feel free to spoon the extra herby-butter over the salmon before serving. I find this cooking method keeps the salmon very moist.

For a variation of this recipe, I used What’s Gaby Cooking All Things Seafood seasoning sold at Williams Sonoma. This Herb rub is great if you don’t have fresh herbs on hand or maybe only 1-2 fresh herbs this seasoning can give a boost of flavor if needed, but not necessary.

If you have extra caesar dressing, try my recipe for Crispy Caesar Sprouts!

If you try out this recipe, please use #platefulnutrition, I love seeing your creations!!