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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!

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!