Tag Archives: Food

Nourishment Lately 11.2.17

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I’m back for a Nourishment Lately – which has become one of my favorite blog things, even if it is infrequently that I post. I just love the idea of nourishment, I’m always thinking about what nourishes me, and I find it so important to share! I’m realizing right now that enjoying things that nourish me is going to be so very important as we enter this next season of cold weather and little light, as I thrive on sunshine and being outside as much as possible. So, with that, I’d like to share with you some things that have been nourishing me lately, so that maybe they can nourish you, too!

Yoga with Adriene’s Movement Medicine – Energy Practice. I’ve shared my love of Yoga with Adriene before, and this won’t be the last time, but this practice has been LIFE for me for a few months now. When we first got Forest (our puppy) I found myself not doing much yoga and missing it a whole lot. So I decided to change that and I now get up early and do yoga before work and this practice is just what I need(ed).

Dreaming Tree Cabernet Sauvignon. I don’t know that I’ve ever shared an alcoholic beverage in my Nourishment Lately posts, but this wine is definitely a worthy first. It’s not the cheapest bottle of wine that I buy (I buy cheap wine) but I love getting this on occasion. This wine + Yoga with Adriene = medicine. 

Jeopardy. Anyone who knows me knows that I am so, so so not into TV. But one of my mantras lately has been ‘small joys = big deal.’ And as silly as it sounds, I’ve got to be honest with ya – that has been Jeopardy for me. I can’t explain it, but watching Jeopardy makes me so happy lately. The message here: find your Jeopardy and roll with it.

Siggi’s yogurt. Just like I’m not a TV person, I’m not a yogurt person, except for apparently, now I am. I have been OBSESSED with this Siggi’s yogurt lately. I get the 4% mixed berry and have been eating one every single day. A siggi’s a day = one happy girl. It’s even better topped with fruit + granola.

National Geographic magazine. Greg got a free subscription to National Geographic magazine a few months ago and I’ve started reading them, sometimes with breakfast and sometimes before bed, and never have I ever come across a magazine with such amazing content! Greg and I both are reading the magazines cover to cover. It always seems like I get a magazine and am interested in one article, but not with Nat Geo. Again – small joys = big deal!

Other things that have been nourishing me lately, but I don’t have specific links for: hot coffee, homemade bread, butternut squash anything and any and all soup.

I would love to know – what has been nourishing you lately??

Also, to view my other Nourishment Lately posts, click here.


Favorite Brussels Sprouts

Less than a week from now, we’ll be sitting around a table for one of my favorite meals of the year!

And these Brussels sprouts will be in front of me.


Greg and I have been cooking together for just about three years now. Over those three years, a few dishes have emerged as a specialty of his, and these sprouts are one of them. 

Greg loves this vegetable and cooks it like a boss. Today, I’m sharing his recipe!



And really, his recipe is not even a recipe. He does it by taste and by smell and sound. He knows what we like and he makes them awesome. But for today, for you, I put these sprouts into a recipe. Because they are too good to not share. 

This dish is simple. It requires few ingredients. It requires some chopping, some slicing and a little, but not much, attention for cooking. Here’s what you need:

Brussels sprouts
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

That’s it!

It is one of our favorite side dishes for the two of us, but we also love making it for groups. We have made it the last couple of Thanksgivings for my family, and this year will be no different.


We often talk about how Brussels are one of the most underrated veggies out there, and that is most likely due to many people having a bad Brussels experience. They were served Brussels that weren’t fresh, or that were simply boiled with no seasoning. If you are one of those people, a Brussels sprouts hater, this recipe could change your mind, I promise! 

Part of the magic of cooking is how so few, simple ingredients can come together to taste so darn good. But this, this is a perfect example of that.

When simple Brussels sprouts and shallots come together and get caramelized together in a pan, it is nothing but pure magic. When you sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper on those sprouts and shallots, it’s even better. The taste is sweet and smoky. You want to just keep eating more and more and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.


 The recipe I give you today is somewhat loose. The amount of sprouts you need is dependent on a couple of things – 1) how many people are eating and 2) how hungry those people are.

When making this for just Greg and I for a side dish for a normal dinner, I usually buy 10 Brussels sprouts for each of us.

For every two servings of Brussels sprouts (so in our case, for every 20 sprouts) I use 10 shallots. Yes, 10. It sounds like a lot and it will look like a lot, but the shallots are what make this dish. They get caramelized and sweet and flavorful and as I always say, the more shallots, the better! When you slice them up, you will feel like you have just as many shallots as sprouts, and that’s okay!

Now, Greg and I are big eaters (especially Brussels sprouts eaters!) so this may sound like too many for you. Or not enough! Use your best judgement on how many sprouts each person could eat when making this. 

If you are making this for a large Thanksgiving-like meal where there are tons of other side dishes, then you can probably plan for less Brussels per serving, maybe 5-7 sprouts per person. You can also plan to use less shallots. It would be unreasonable to use 80-100 shallots to serve a large group of people, in my opinion (but go for it if you want!).  

Have questions about making these for a large group? Leave a question in the comments section!


If you’re still searching for a simple, no-fuss veggie for your Thanksgiving meal, give these a try! They are always a crowd pleaser. Or maybe, you’re just looking for a simple and delicious way to eat Brussels sprouts any night of the week. These are for you, too! Enjoy!

Favorite Brussels Sprouts
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  1. Brussels sprouts (I usually do 7-10 per person, depending on the size)
  2. Shallots (For every 15-20 Brussels sprouts, I do 10 shallots)
  3. Fresh garlic, minced (2 large cloves for every 15-20 Brussels sprouts)
  4. Olive oil
  5. Salt and pepper
  1. Cut Brussels sprouts in half and rinse. Thinly slice the shallots.
  2. Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large pot or pan over medium to medium-high heat. Once hot, add the minced garlic and stir.
  3. Add the sliced shallots and a pinch of salt to the pan and stir. Cook shallots over medium heat, stirring every so often, for about five minutes, or until slightly softened and browned.
  4. Add Brussels sprouts to the pan and stir. Cook sprouts over medium heat, covered but stirring frequently so that they don't burn, for 15-20 minutes. Add oil to the pan as needed. I usually add more oil 1-3 times during cooking, so that the sprouts don't burn and stick. Brussels should get browned, caramelized and soft.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  1. The amounts I provided will serve 2 big servings or 3-4 small servings. See the entire post for info about making these for a large group.
The Dreaming Foodie http://www.thedreamingfoodie.com/

Shrimp Chowder with Veggies + Vodka Sauce

Time for more soup!


The photos of this soup look very similar to the photos I posted a couple weeks ago of sweet potato + black bean chili.

And while the photos look similar, the taste is completely different. This soup is very special and has been a long time coming to you. 


I’ve been making this soup for a few years now. It all started after a visit to Greg’s dad and stepmom. His stepmom made us a version of this soup for dinner, and like a lot of things, after one bite, I was in love. 

I asked for the recipe, and Karen wrote it down on an index card for me. Through a couple of moves, I have misplaced the index card, but I have been making and enjoying the soup ever since. 


Let me tell you how I’ve been making it.

I start with a lot of veggies. I prefer there to be too many veggies over not enough. I use the classic soup combo of garlic, onion, carrot and celery and also add bell peppers. Green bell peppers are excellent in this soup, and in this batch, I added a yellow one as well. 

Next comes shrimp. I suggest using fresh, good quality, large shrimp. It’s hard to choose a “star” of this soup, but it may just be the shrimp. The shrimp make this soup unique, and having really wonderful shrimp makes it wonderful. I buy fresh shrimp and I peel and devein them myself, but choose whatever you feel comfortable with. 

Vodka sauce. Similar to the shrimp, try not to skimp. Use a good quality jar of vodka sauce. Use a trusted brand, with an ingredient list that is short and recognizable. The best thing, really, would be to make your own, if you’re up for it. I tried homemade vodka sauce once, and it didn’t turn out, so I go the good quality jar route. The vodka sauce in this soup is what makes it so special. To the person eating it, it makes them think, “Just what is that flavor?”

The last element of this soup is broth. If I remember correctly, the original recipe called for beef broth. I don’t usually keep beef broth on hand so I have drifted to using veggie broth for this soup. I love it with veggie broth, but like me, feel free to experiment to find what you love!


This soup is: hearty, filling, delicious, warm, a bit spicy and satisfying.

Try adding this recipe to your fall soup rotation, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed! 


Shrimp Chowder with Veggies + Vodka Sauce
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  1. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  2. 1 large yellow onion
  3. 3 medium carrots
  4. 3 celery stalks
  5. 2 bell peppers (I used one green and one yellow)
  6. 1 pound raw peeled + deveined shrimp
  7. 1 jar of good quality vodka sauce
  8. 32 ounces veggie broth
  9. Salt and pepper
  10. Dried oregano
  1. Start by prepping all of the veggies. Chop the onion, carrots, celery and peppers to all the same size. Also, cut the peeled and deveined shrimp into bite-sized pieces. I cut each shrimp into three.
  2. Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and stir.
  3. Add the chopped onions, carrots, celery and peppers to the pot and stir well to coat in oil. Add a pinch of salt and cook 5-10 minutes, until veggies has softened and slightly browned. Add the raw shrimp to the pot and stir. Let cook about 2 minutes, or until the shrimp just begin to turn pink.
  4. Add the vodka sauce and veggie broth to the pot. Stir, and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and let soup simmer for 10-20 minutes, or until shrimp are cooked completely through and veggies are tender.
  5. Season the soup with salt, pepper and dried oregano, to taste.
  6. Enjoy!
The Dreaming Foodie http://www.thedreamingfoodie.com/

Pumpkin Lasagna with Red Sauce, Broccoli + Kale

Lasagna. One of the best meals ever, I think.


The best for the person who eats it and for the person who makes it. 



For the one who eats it: delicious, fulfilling, comforting, all around good.

For the one who makes it: fun, room for creativity, room for error, fulfilling, comforting, all around good. 



Over the years, I’ve made so many versions of lasagna, I’ve lost track. It’s one of those things that if you know the general concept, you don’t really need a recipe. Come up with a flavor combo, figure out how you’ll layer it and you’re set. 


I recently came up with this flavor combo and just had to share. It’s so good that I made it twice in five days. With just two of us here to eat, that’s a lot of lasagna, but Greg and I agree: lasagna leftovers are the best. 


Let’s talk about the recipe:

Per usual, this recipe has no meat and is loaded with veggies. I chose broccoli and kale because I thought they’d go wonderfully with the pumpkin. I chose red sauce because although I love white sauce, red sauce is healthier for everyday. I went with a classic ricotta cheese layer. And then the pumpkin layer. I kept it super simple. Pureed pumpkin seasoned with a touch of salt and pepper, some nutmeg and some parmesan cheese. That pumpkin layer is so good.  


There are several parts to making this lasagna but all are super easy. Once all parts are ready, all you need to do is layer, cover then bake! I love that about lasagna.


Let me tell you quickly about the noodles I use. I use regular lasagna noodles (not the no-boil kind) and I do not boil them before baking. I have experimented with boiling them before and using the no-boil kind, but my preference is to use the regular and not boil them. It works, but it does take longer to bake. Use whatever noodles you like for this recipe, though!




It is cloudy and chilly here today and I am thinking lasagna leftovers will be perfect for lunch. I hope this post inspires you to make this dish and to enjoy something warm and comforting for yourself!

Pumpkin Lasagna with Red Sauce, Broccoli + Kale
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For the sauce
  1. Olive oil
  2. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  3. 6 shallots, sliced
  4. 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  5. 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  6. 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  7. 2/3 cup coconut milk (or any milk!)
For the cheese filling
  1. 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
  4. 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  5. Salt and pepper
For the pumpkin filling
  1. 1 1/2 cups or 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  2. 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  3. Pinch of nutmeg
  4. Salt and pepper
  1. 9 lasagna noodles
  2. ~2 cups fresh broccoli, chopped into small pieces
  3. ~2 large handfuls baby kale
  4. ~1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, for topping
  1. Preheat the oven to 400*.
  2. Start with the sauce. Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to a pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the minced garlic and sliced shallots. Cook several minutes, until shallots have softened. Add the balsamic vinegar to the pot, and cook several more minutes, until the vinegar has reduced. Add the crushed tomatoes, brown sugar and coconut milk. Stir, and cook over medium-low heat while you prepare the other things.
  3. For the cheese filling: combine the ricotta, egg, dried basil and oregano in a bowl. Add salt and pepper and stir well. Set aside.
  4. For the pumpkin filling: combine the pumpkin puree, parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a bowl and stir together well. Set aside.
  5. I used a 9x13 baking pan. Using a soup ladle, ladle one scoop of sauce onto the bottom of the pan. Place three lasagna noodle on top of the sauce. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture on the noodles, followed by 1/3 of the pumpkin mixture. Layer 1/2 of the broccoli on top of the pumpkin layer followed by a large handful of baby kale.
  6. Using the soup ladle, ladle another scoop of sauce on top of the veggies, trying to cover all lasagna noodles.
  7. Do another layer of three noodles, ricotta, pumpkin, the last of the veggies and then more sauce.
  8. Finish the layers with three noodles, the rest of the ricotta and pumpkin, the rest of the sauce and then a large covering of parmesan cheese.
  9. Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 1 - 1.5 hours, or until noodles are soft.
  1. I used regular lasagna noodles and did not cook them before making the lasagna. I always do this and it always works for me, although it does take longer to bake.
The Dreaming Foodie http://www.thedreamingfoodie.com/

Vegan Sweet Potato + Black Bean Chili

Happy November, everyone!


This chili definitely matches the weather here. There is a definite chill in the air, making me crave warm, comforting things. 

This chili also matches the colors here. Oranges, reds, yellows. 

This chili + autumn right now = meant to be. 


Let me tell you about it.


It is packed with veggies. It’s mildly spicy (you can make it spicier!) and has a hint of sweet. It’s warm, filling and comforting. It’s healthy, gluten free and secretly vegan. 


I started with my favorite classic base of red onion, garlic, carrots and celery. I added a ton of assorted peppers – some sweet some spicy. Then came the sweet potato and black beans. You just can’t go wrong with that combo. I added some diced tomatoes and some crushed, for texture. There is chili powder, paprika and cumin for smoky, spicy flavor, and some cinnamon for some sweet, curious flavor. You have got to add the cinnamon, you guys. It adds something so special. And, of course, I added baby kale. I told you I’ve been adding it to everything lately. I finished the chili off with a touch of coconut milk. The coconut milk makes it so creamy and keeps it completely vegan!


Now let’s talk about how to make it your own! Use as many and whatever variety of peppers that you please. Want to keep this chili on the mild side? Use all sweet peppers. Want a major kick? Load it up with spicy peppers! The spices. I used chili powder, paprika and cumin, which is a pretty good combo, but go with the amounts that you like. Start with a little and add more as you go and taste. You can always add more spice but you cant take it away (I learned this the hard way with chili once). 


Make this chili, serve it to someone you love and enjoy this beautiful season! 


Enjoy! 🙂

Vegan Sweet Potato + Black Bean Chili
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  1. Olive oil
  2. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  3. 1 medium red onion
  4. 2 celery stalks
  5. 2 medium carrots
  6. 1 large sweet potato
  7. 1-2 cups assorted sweet + hot peppers
  8. 1 15-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  9. 1 tablespoon chili powder
  10. 1 teaspoon paprika
  11. 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  12. Large pinch of cinnamon
  13. Salt and pepper, to taste
  14. 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  15. 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  16. 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  17. 1 15-ounce can coconut milk
  18. Several large handfuls of baby kale
  1. Start by prepping all of the veggies. Dice the red onion, celery, carrots, sweet potato and peppers to all the same size (mine were relatively small).
  2. Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large pot. Once hot, add the minced garlic and diced onion and cook for several minutes, until the onion has softened.
  3. Add the celery, carrots and peppers and cook several more minutes, slightly softening the veggies.
  4. Add the sweet potatoes, and again, cook several more minutes to cook veggies.
  5. Add the black beans and chili powder, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper to the pot. Stir well to incorporate the spices.
  6. Add both cans of tomatoes, brown sugar and coconut milk to the pot. Stir well.
  7. Bring the chili to a boil and then cover the pot and reduce heat. Simmer over low heat until sweet potatoes are tender.
  8. Taste the chili along the way and add more seasoning according to your taste.
  9. Before serving, add several handfuls of baby kale and stir, until kale has wilted.
  10. Enjoy!
The Dreaming Foodie http://www.thedreamingfoodie.com/