Posts tagged winter
Turnip, Kale and Sausage Soup

Have you cooked with turnips before? To be honest, I had never really worked with turnips until a few months ago. I was looking for a good substitute for potatoes and stumbled into a pile of turnips at the grocery store (literally, I basically fell over three turnips on the floor). I have tried turnips roasted (delicious) boiled (meh) and as a sub for potatoes in soups (amazing). 

By far my favorite use for turnips is added into a soup! This turnip and sausage soup is so full of flavor and good for you ingredients. The turnips add a slightly peppery and delicious root flavor to the soup that is balanced by the smokey kielbasa! White beans are a neutral and filling background to the bold and hearty flavors in this soup. A final handful of kale adds texture and a huge nutrient boost that will leave your tummy happy! 

This soup also meal preps so well! I have made a pot on Sunday and have had it last to Friday with no problem!! Enjoy this hearty winter soup!


Turnip, Kale and Sausage Soup

Makes 6 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups smoked kielbasa, sliced 
  • 3 medium turnips, diced  
  • 1 yellow onion, diced 
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans white beans, drained and rinsed 
  • 1 teaspoon dried savory
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 (32 ounce) container reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups kale, shredded 
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
  • Salt and pepper to taste  


In a large pot add olive oil and bring to a medium heat. Add all ingredients except broth, kale and Parmesan cheese and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onion is crisp tender. Pour in broth and bring soup to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for thirty minutes. Stir in kale and simmer for five more minutes or until kale is wilted. Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. 

Butternut Squash Soup

Helllooo winter!!! It's officially bitter cold here in the Midwest! And when the winds start to howl, what better way to warm up than with a hot bowl of savory butternut squash soup? This decadent soup will warm up every bone in your body!

My Mom was especially happy when I developed this recipe! She absolutely loves soup and had been requesting I create a butternut squash soup that was more savory than sweet. This soup is a perfect blend of subtly sweet squash and a savory blend of herbs. I added coconut milk to give the soup a smooth texture and a luxurious mouth feel. 

Butternut squash is great to eat in winter to help keep your immune system strong! Not only is it rich in vitamin C and other nutrients, one cup of cubed butternut squash provides 582 mg of potassium, more than the amount available in a banana.

This soup is the perfect start to a meal or add a green salad with a fresh loaf of whole grain bread and you have a complete dinner! Enjoy!! 


Butternut Squash Soup

Makes 6 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced 
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped into small pieces 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • 1 package peeled and cubed butternut squash (about 3 cups) 
  • 2 pears, peeled, stemmed and chopped 
  • 1 teaspoon dried savory
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme 
  • Pinch of nutmeg 
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups vegetable broth 
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • 1/3 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 


Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and celery and cook until softened. Add garlic and squash and cook until garlic is aromatic. Add pears, herbs and spices and cook for two minutes. Add vegetable stock to cover squash and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes until squash is soft. 

Carefully remove pan from stove and use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. You can also do this in two batches in a blender. Add in coconut milk and serve with a pinch of pumpkin seeds and smoked paprika! 


Winter Quinoa and Kale Salad

Winter always seems to be a bit of a hard time to eat salads. I don't know whether it's the cold temps or the grey skies, but I struggle to eat salads in the winter! I always end up ditching my salad for a hot bowl of soup or a heavy sandwich. However, after a week of vacation where I basically turned into a human vacuum, I was actually craving veggies and salad! So I whipped up this easy, hearty winter salad. 

I enjoyed eating this salad so much that I meal prepped it for two weeks in a row! The wintery squash paired with the filling quinoa tricked my tastebuds into thinking I was not eating a salad. The cranberries and apple add a sweet zing and the walnuts add a slightly bitter taste that prevents the sweet notes from overpowering the salad. I didn't go crazy with the dressing, just a simple drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar does the trick! 



Winter Quinoa and Kale Salad

Makes 4 servings


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed 
  • 2 cups water 
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil 
  • 2 cups spiralized butternut squash (save time and buy them spiralized at the grocery) 
  • 8 cups baby kale/arugual mix 
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, diced
  • 1 cup dried cranberries 
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 


Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a small pot on your stove, add quinoa, water and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until water is absorbed by the quinoa (about 10 min). Remove from heat and set aside. 

Place spiralized butternut squash on an ungreased baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 10 minutes until noodles are soft. Set aside. 

In four plastic prep containers or plates, evenly divide kale/arugula mix. Top with cooked quinoa, roasted butternut squash, apple, cranberries, nuts and finish with a drizzle of vinegar. Easily saves for 3-4 days in the fridge. 




Thanksgiving Turkey Chili

Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday!! What chef doesn’t love a day that is all about food? And the fact that you have armies of family members to do the dishes :). But after the last dish has been cleaned and you look in your fridge, you see piles of turkey, mountains of cranberry sauce and bags of stuffing! What in the world will you ever do with all of those leftovers? Unless you want to eat Thanksgiving dinner for the next three days, try one of my two favorite ways to clean out the fridge and create delicious dinners! 

Today I’m sharing the most ah-mazing turkey chili, I can’t think of a better way to use up your leftover turkey and your veggies! We always have green beans with our Thanksgiving dinner so I like to add them to my chili with the turkey. Corn or carrots would always be a fabulous leftover veggie to add to the chili.  


Thanksgiving Turkey Chili

Makes 6 servings


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, chopped with seeds removed
  • 1 cup leftover veggies (green beans, corn or carrots)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced 
  • 2 cups cooked turkey, shredded 
  • 2 cups chicken broth 
  • 1 (14 oz) can chili beans
  • 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14 oz) can tomato sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon oregano 
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste


In a large pot, add olive oil. Add peppers, onion and jalapeño to the pot. Sauté in olive oil until veggies are just tender. Add in remaining ingredients and simmer for thirty minutes.