Herbed Squash and Sweet Potato Soup (Vegetarian)

Herbed Squash and Sweet Potato Soup (vegetarian)

Fall is coming. The morning air is crisper. The leaves are taking on bright new colors. It’s all apples and pumpkins until further notice, people. The days may be warm yet, but the night air dipping down into the 50’s (even the 40’s) is becoming harder to deny.

Experiencing some mixed feelings? Me, too.

I adore summer. The summer sun, bluebells, garden-fresh veggies, poplar trees, waves on the lake, singing chickadees–*nostalgic smile*. Even though, I love all those things, there is something so cozy and comforting about a Midwest fall. Wouldn’t you agree?

Still, I can’t say goodbye to summer all at once. I need to ease into it, and this delicious soup is helping me welcome the transition.

Print Recipe
Herbed Squash and Sweet Potato Soup (Vegetarian)
Perfect for welcoming fall.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Passive Time 10 minutes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Passive Time 10 minutes
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cube the squash and sweet potato. Slice and half the onion. Unpeel and slice the garlic.
  3. Place everything from step 2 on a baking sheet and evenly drizzle the extra virgin olive oil over top.
  4. Roast for 35 minutes.
  5. Once the ingredients are finished roasting, place in a large stockpot on the stove top.
  6. Prepare the vegetable broth and add to the large stockpot.
  7. Boil for 20 minutes.
  8. Cool for 10 minutes
  9. Transfer the contents of the stockpot to a food processor and process until smooth and creamy.
  10. Return to the stockpot and stir in kefir or non-dairy yogurt, fresh herbs, salt and pepper.
  11. Heat for another 5 minutes until warm enough to serve.
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6 Ways to Work Vegetables into Breakfast

Do you find it hard to get in veggies as you go about your day? I’m sure most people would answer “Yes”. It can be a struggle to get them all in. The reality of it is that we have a whole meal *ahem* breakfast that doesn’t usually get any veggie love. Here are six ways you can fit some vegetables into your breakfasts.

1. Eat leftovers for breakfast. Yes, leftovers. You say, “stir-fry”. I say, “Morning, sunshine”. If you have leftover roasted vegetables, eat them with toast and an egg. If you have leftover rice and sautéed veggies, heat them up. Leftover stew, soup or chili would be just as warm and cozy as a bowl of oatmeal. Just because it’s breakfast time doesn’t mean you’re limited to breakfast foods.

soup2. Make yourself a breakfast salad. Who says you can’t start your day with spinach? Not me! I feel like the salad queen over here. I eat salads every day and at any meal (even for snack)—no joke. Breakfast is a great time to eat a salad. Mix some shredded carrots with a bed of greens, add some cooked sweet potatoes, a little avocado, maybe a fried egg and you have yourself a complete breakfast.







3. Make a veggie-loaded quiche, egg bake, frittata, or scramble. The magic word here is “loaded” make sure your egg dish is not all eggs and sausage. Try making it with half the eggs you usually use and add in kale, spinach, chopped potatoes, bell peppers, onions, garlic, leeks and whatever else you like.





4. Try veggies and hummus along with toast and nut butter—seriously good. There are some days were I’m running late or just don’t want to cook. *gasp* What? Hayley, not wanting cook? Tell me it isn’t so. Well, let me assure you friends, it is. On those days I literally eat hummus, cold veggies, toast and nut butter. It’s delicious and provides a grain, a protein, and a vegetable.


5. Blend up some green smoothies. Kale, cucumber, spinach… the possibilities are endless. Green smoothies can be hard for people to get excited about. Sometimes they are a weird color, they smell funny or don’t taste good. If this is you, I would suggest starting out with something very simple. Try blending an overripe banana, 1-2 cups of spinach, 1 cup or so of nut milk and a handful of ice cubes. If you don’t like that switch to some other green vegetable or fruit.





6. Try your hand at homemade pancakes, waffles, or muffins with shredded carrots, beets, zucchini or your favorite veggie. Any baked good that has secret vegetables is     a winner in my book. There are so many ideas out there, you are bound to find one that works for you. Ideas like these are perfect for picky eaters.







Sun-dried Tomato Spread

So excited about this one, people!

(Less than) 10 minute, vegan, protein & healthy fat-based tomato spread– if that doesn’t make you happy… uh, it better make you happy because its simple and so darn delicious. 🙂 It is perfect for parties. It is great for dinner, lunch, or snack. Hey, I’ve even eaten it for breakfast. What can I say, I’m obsessed.

THIS IS SO GOOD. I’m serious. I’ve actually, truly, never tasted a spread I like more. Believe me, I could go on and on (for an entire paragraph–don’t tempt me) about how tasty it is, but I won’t. You’ll just have to try it for yourself.


8 oz. sundried tomatoes, chopped

15 oz. canned great northern or cannellini beans, drained

4 TB. olive oil (I used a basil garlic infused olive oil—regular is fine)

¼ cup fresh basil chopped

1/8 tsp. black pepper

1/8 tsp. salt

3 TB. water



  1. Using a food processor, pulse all ingredients on high for 1-2 minutes until well incorporated.
  2. Serve on your favorite toasted bread, with crackers, over pasta, over rice or as a sandwich spread.

Cilantro Taco Topping

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This mind-blowing taco topping is so simple you’ll be wondering why you didn’t think of it before… at least I sure was. It will add a surprising amount of flavor and freshness to you tacos.

Makes: 6 cups

Time: 10 minutes


1 lb any kind of tomatoes, chopped

3 cups (about 1 bunch) of cilantro, chopped

1 small white onion, minced

¼ lb. mini bell peppers, chopped

½ – 1 tsp. garlic or plain olive oil

sprinkle of salt


  1. Cut all ingredients
  2. Mix in a large bowl
  3. Serve on tacos!

*The pictured tofu was baked and mixed with low sodium taco seasoning.

*The pictured corn tortillas were toasted in the oven.

Seasoned Green Beans

greenbeans4 (1 of 1)

2 lbs. green beans

2 cups yellow onions, coarsely chopped

2 TB. garlic olive oil

2 TB. fresh ginger, minced

1.2 TB. salt-free seasoning

sprinkle of black pepper

sprinkle of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Snap off stems of beans and place in a large bowl along with onions and ginger.
  3. Pour olive oil over veggies and toss.
  4. Sprinkle seasoning, pepper and salt over the mixture and toss.
  5. Spread on a large baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes.




Bean & Snow Pea Tomato Soup

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This soup has quite a few ingredients, but it is as easy and sautéing the first few and throwing the rest in the pot to simmer. I opened my refrigerator, found all of these items and made an entire meal. You, too, can easily make adjustments to accommodate what you have (although it is fantastic on its own).


1 medium red onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

5 celery stalks, chopped into bite size pieces + handful of chopped celery leaves

1-2 TB olive oil

64 oz. low sodium chicken or vegetable broth

10 oz. can diced tomatoes and green chilies (or just the diced tomatoes if you don’t like the heat)

8 oz. can LS tomato sauce

½ 15 oz. can garbanzo beans

½ 15 oz. can cannellini beans

½ 15 oz. can black beans

2 ½ cups of snow peas, rinsed

½ pint whole grape tomatoes

1 TB of salt-free seasoning

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

¼ tsp black pepper

feta, cilantro and green onions to top


  1. In a large stalk pot, sauté the first 4 ingredients (onion, garlic, celery, olive oil) for 4 minutes on medium heat.
  2. Add chicken or vegetable broth, can diced tomatoes and chilies, the beans (may add extra if you like), snow peas, grape tomatoes, celery leaves, and spices.
  3. Cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until all ingredients are tender and warmed through.
  4. Top with feta, cilantro and green onions.

Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken and Veggies


This dish is pretty easy and completely delicious!


PREP TIME: 30 minutes

COOK TIME: 3 hours




3 garlic cloves, minced

1 medium red onion, sliced and halved

2 lb. sliced chicken breast (~3 in. by 1 in.)

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

½ tsp. crushed red pepper

1/3 cup low sodium teriyaki sauce

3 TB. rice vinegar or white vinegar

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

½ red cabbage head, thinly sliced

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

1 TB. lime juice

1 TB. olive oil

*green onion, cilantro, unsalted peanuts to top

*serve with rice noodles or jasmine rice



  1. Layer cut chicken in the slow cooker.
  2. Top with garlic and onions.
  3. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper and crushed red pepper.
  4. Pour teriyaki sauce the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix together.
  5. Cook on low for 2 hours.
  6. Cut the red bell pepper and add to the slow cooker.
  7. Cook for another 30-45 minutes.
  8. In a large skillet, sauté red cabbage in olive oil until tender and set aside.
  9. Turn off slow cooker and add both the peanut butter and lime juice to slow cooker. Mix thoroughly.
  10. Serve with sauce spooned over the top, rice noodles or jasmine rice and top with chopped green onion, chopped cilantro, and unsalted peanuts.


Chicken and Snow Pea Peanut Sauté with Basmati Rice


If you have never enjoyed something sautéed in peanut oil, you are in for a treat. It is a very distinct oil, bold and flavorful. It is similar to olive oil in its caloric amount and fat distribution (less monounsaturated fats and more polyunsaturated ones). I designed this recipe to showcase this oils unique qualities and as you can see it is strong enough that very few spices and other flavors are required. Don’t forget to add the uncooked peanuts at the end. They add a satisfying crunch!

Ingredients & Directions:


3, 4-ounce chicken breasts, cubed

1TB. soy sauce

1TB. peanut oil

pinch of salt

  • Dice the chicken into bite size pieces
  • Place in a large skillet and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
  • Pour the soy sauce and peanut oil over the chicken.
  • Sauté over medium heat for 10-15 minutes. (internal temp must > 165 degrees F)
  • Set aside in a large bowl.


Snow Peas/ Veggies 

16 ounces snow peas

1 medium red onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 TB. peanut oil

1 red bell pepper, diced

¼ tsp. ground black pepper

¼ tsp. salt

¼- ½  cup peanuts (your choice)

½ TB. sesame seeds

  • In a large skillet, sauté onions and garlic in peanut oil for 5 minutes over medium heat.
  • Sprinkle pepper and salt over the onions and garlic.
  • Add in the snow peas and red bell pepper, sautéing for another 10 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add in peanuts and sesame seeds.


Basmati Rice

1 cup Basmati rice

2 cups of water

  • Prepare as directed

(bring water to a boil, add rice and simmer for 20-25 minutes).

Salsa Chicken & Roasted Peppers

Serves 4

40 minutes


Ingredients and Directions:


4, 4-ounce chicken breasts

1 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. onion powder

2 TB. olive oil or other mild tasting oil

1 tsp. cumin

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

½ cup salsa of your choice

  1. Combine the garlic powder, onion powder, olive oil, cumin, and cayenne pepper in a large plastic bag.
  2. Trim and rinse each chicken breast and add to the plastic bag.
  3. Shake to evenly coat the chicken with the spices.
  4. Marinate for 2-6 hours.
  5. Once the chicken is finished marinating, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  6. Place the chicken on a baking sheet and cover evenly with the salsa.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature of all pieces of chicken reaches 165 degrees F. Be sure to flip the chicken half way through the cooking process.



1 cup brown rice

1/3 cup lime juice

1 2/3 cup water

  1. Prepare the brown rice by adding the lime juice and water to a medium saucepan.
  2. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce to medium heat and add the brown rice.
  3. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the rice is soft and chewy.



2 red bell peppers, halved and slicedimg_0004

1 green bell pepper, halved and sliced

1 medium red onion, halved and sliced

2 cloves of garlic, sliced

3 TB. olive oil

sprinkle of black pepper

  1. Prepare all of the peppers by washing and cutting.
  2. Cut the onion and garlic.
  3. Spread on a baking sheet so every ingredient is flat and not touching any others.
  4. Evenly pour the olive oil over the peppers, onions and garlic and sprinkle with black pepper.
  5. Place in the oven at the same time as the chicken and cook for 25-30 minutes.

Vegetable, Black Bean & Beef Tacos

Serves 8

45 minutes

This recipe pairs traditional protein with a less expensive one, black beans. By using a mixture of beef and beans, you can save money and still achieve an appropriate amount of protein.

Using a blend of spices in addition to the taco seasoning allows the sodium content of this recipe to be better controlled. Spices that you purchase already blended, such as taco seasonings, often are made with more sodium than is necessary or healthy.



4 garlic cloves, minced

12 green onions, chopped

4 TB. olive oil

1 pound ground beef

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 TB. taco seasoning

1 ½ cups bell pepper, chopped (color of your choice)

1 cup green beans, chopped

½ cup black beans, drained and rinsed

~ ½ cup cilantro, chopped

3 roma tomatoes

feta cheese (optional)

8 whole grain/whole wheat tortillas


  1. Add 2 TB. olive oil, garlic and half of the green onions in a large skillet.
  2. Sauté for 2 minutes over medium/high heat.
  3. Remove from the skillet and set aside in a large container.
  4. Add the ground beef, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and taco seasoning to the skillet.
  5. Over medium heat, prepare until the ground beef is thoroughly cooked.
  6. Drain the fat from the ground beef and remove it from the skillet, adding it to the container of sautéed garlic and onions.
  7. Rinse skillet out with hot water. Wipe out excess grease with a dry paper towel.
  8. Add 2 TB. of olive oil and green beans to the large skillet and sauté for 5 minutes.
  9. Add the bell peppers and the remainder of the green onions to the skillet of green beans and sauté for about 10 minutes, until all the ingredients are soft.
  10. Add the prepared items from step 9 into the container with the cooked ground beef, green onions and garlic.
  11. Mix a ½ can of black beans into the large container with all the other ingredients.
  12. Serve on top of tortillas, sprinkled with chopped (uncooked) cilantro, tomatoes and feta cheese.