Honey Roasted Butternut Squash

If you like sweet and savory in a single bite, this side dish is right up your alley. It pairs really well with chicken or meats. 



Ingredients
3 cups diced butternut squash
3 tbsp vegan butter
2 tsp organic honey
1 tsp cinnamon

*Preheat oven to 375F

Preparation

  • Place diced butternut Squash in large mixing bowl.
  • Melt butter, then add honey and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Mix well making sure the 3 ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • Pour over butternut squash and mix in order to coat all pieces with honey butter mixture.
  • Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes or until fork tender.


This is a healthy delicious side dish and it's super easy to make! Serve warm.

Val's Hearty Beef Stew

Autumn (Fall) is my absolute favorite season; the cool crisp air is so invigorating. Plus I get to wear my boots and scarves and light jackets!!! Ok now let's get to food. You all know that I'm an island girl, but I love love LOVE soups and stews. I'll have soup in the middle of a hot summer day...but I get crazy stares when I do. So here's another reason why I look forward to the cooler temps... I can have my soups and stews in peace :)




Ingredients
1 lb. beef stew meat
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground garlic
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped red onions
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp organic butter
1 tsp dried rosemary leaves
1 tbsp tomato paste
4 cups of water
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 bell pepper coarsely chopped
2 cups diced potatoes
2 bay leaves

Season beef with:
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground garlic
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
(Let sit for 10 minutes)

Preparation
  • Heat oil in Dutch oven then drop butter in the oil.
  • Add stew meat to the pan and brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Add onions, minced garlic and rosemary to the pan and sauté until onions are limp. Scrape the sides and bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon as you stir onions.
  • Add tomato paste and continue sitting until paste liquefies.
  • Now add stew meat back to the pot and combine with tomato paste and onion mixture.
  • Pour in water, cover pan and let simmer on low heat for 1 hour and 25 minutes.
  • Now add potatoes, carrots and celery to the pan, stir and cover pan.
  • Let simmer for 30 minutes or until stew thickens.
*Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Remove bay leaves and serve warm with some good cornbread!



Coconut Creole Conch

I was trying my best to reserve this recipe...but you know what? It's too good to be kept to myself! I don't make this dish often because conch can be a bit expensive at $14 PER POUND!! One has to be extra special for me to even think about whipping out the conch. It's a great appetizer and I really hope you guys try it and like it!




Ingredients
1 lb conch
2 tbsp lemon juice
Water
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 celery heart, chopped
2 tsp garlic, minced
2 tsp creole seasoning
1/2 tsp madras curry powder
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste


Preparation

  • Pound conch then cut into bite size pieces and place in a bowl. Mix 2 tbsp lemon juice 1/2 tsp salt and 2 cups water, pour over conch and let sit for 30 minutes.
  • Pressure cook with 1 tsp garlic and paprika for 30 minutes. Turn off pressure cooker and make sure all the steam is emitted before opening. Remove conch and set aside in a platter.
  • Sauté pepper, garlic and celery in olive oil.
  • Stir in coconut milk, creole seasoning and curry powder and bring to a boil. (add salt to taste)
  • Add conch to pan and continue stirring for 5 minutes
  • Turn off heat and serve hot


Sweet Potato Cheesecake

Saying that this cheesecake was absolutely delicious, would be putting it mildly. If you love cheesecake and you love sweet potato, then this is the perfect marriage. I promise you, your mouth will dance!





Ingredients:
1 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp butter, melted
3 (8oz) packs of cream cheese
1 cup brown sugar
4 eggs

1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup flour

1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch salt
 2 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes

*preheat oven to 350ºF
*grease 10" spring form baking pan

Preparation:

  • Stir together graham crackers, sugar and butter in a bowl; press into bottom of baking pan.
  • Bake crust at 350ºF for 5 minutes, remove from oven and set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl combine cream cheese, sugar until smooth
  • Add in eggs 1 at a time and mix until completely incorporated into mixture
  • Add in sour cream and heavy cream. Continue to mix.
  • Add flour, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt and combine until smooth
  • Stir in sweet potatoes and mix well until your mixture is creamy and smooth.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350ºF for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  • Cool in pan on a wire rack.
Allow cake to completely cool before garnishing with frosting or whip cream.







Chicken Creole

This is one of my favorite recipes...I know I know...I have many favorite recipes! It's sort of a hearty dish with lots of peppers and onions. The chicken is tender, moist and had great flavor. I get compliments every time I make this so why don't you try it out too!




Ingredients
3 lbs chicken thighs, bone in skinless

For marinade
1 large lime, juiced
1 tbsp adobo con pimiento
2 tsp Creole seasoning
2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce

Other ingredients
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, sliced
2 tsp garlic, minced
2 bell peppers, diced
2 cup tomatoes, diced
1 tbsp madras curry powder
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
**Clean chicken under cool running water

Preparation
  • Combine marinade ingredient and marinate chicken for 30 minutes
  • Remove chicken from marinade (discard marinade), pat dry and rub them with brown sugar. 
  • Preheat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet, brown the chicken in hot oil. (about 2 minutes per side and don't burn the sugar!!). 
  • When browned, transfer to a baking dish
  • In a saute pan, heat the other 2 tbsp olive oil and saute the onions and garlic until soft. 
  • Add the sweet peppers, tomatoes, curry powder, water and bay leaf
  • Stir then add salt and black pepper to taste. (I like spicy so I'm a bit heavy handed with the pepper)
  • Simmer for about 5 minutes then pour the mixture over the chicken, cover and bake for 45 minutes. 
  • Remove cover and bake for another 20 minutes

I like having this with a little dressing on the side or smashed potatoes

Black Beans & Italian Turkey Sausage Chili

It's winter and you want comfort food. You want hearty sumptuous, warm meals but you don't want to pack on the pounds. No worries!! We can always make healthier versions of the foods we like without sacrificing flavor. This recipe does just that...it's guilt free chili, eat up!



Ingredients
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
20 oz Sweet lean Italian Turkey sausage
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
2 poblano chile peppers, seeded and chopped
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cup water
28 oz diced tomatoes
2 15 oz cans no-salt added black beans
1/4 cup green onion, chopped

For slurry
2 tbsp all purpose flour
3 tbsp water

Preparation
  • Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Swirl to coat pan.
  • Add onion and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes.
  • Remove turkey sausage from casing and add to pan.
  • Stir in chili powder, cumin, Cajun seasoning, poblanos and bay leaves.
  • Keep stirring to crumble sausage and cook until sausage is brown.
  • Pour in water, then add beans and tomatoes. Stir mixture then bring to a boil.
  • Cover pan, reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes or until mixture becomes slightly thickened.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk water and flour to form a slurry then add to pan
  • Stir to mix thoroughly then cook for 1 more minute.
  • Remove from heat then stir in chopped green peppers
  • Add black pepper if desired
  • Remove bay leaves before serving
Serve hot with corn bread