Chipotle Red Kuri Squash with Chickpeas

Close-up overhead photo of Chipotle roasted Red Kuri Squash with Chickpeas and herbs

Over the past few months, I’ve been sharing off-the-cuff recipes on instagram (which I save in highlights). This has primarily been because at the heart of cooking, I don’t measure anything. Exact recipes aren’t my thing (which may come as a surprise, given I’ve run this site for 10+ years). While I’m more than happy to help people out with a solid recipe, my passion for cooking is rooted in using my knowledge and senses to make a delicious meal.

This also comes in handy when I’m trying to use up odds and ends of what I might have left. And so, I created a series on instagram stories where I cook through a recipe I’m making up on the spot. And after the fact, I’ll occasionally post the more successful ones on the site. That’s where this red kuri squash comes into view.

Red Kuri Squash, not your pumpkin

In the realm of winter squash, those that do not need peeled reign supreme in my kitchen. Delicata, acorn (in some instances), and red kuri squash are my go-to varieties. This thin-skinned variety looks similar to a pumpkin with it’s orange outer shell. However, it’s better than pumpkin (and yes, those are fightin’ words).

Red kuri squash has a slightly sweeter flavor that is often compared to chestnut. I find the flavor to be a bit more robust. This, paired with the thin skin, make it a great ‘star of the show’ squash.

Can’t find red kuri squash? Go for delicata or peeled butternut squash. This roasted squash would also be delicious with sweet potatoes (you don’t have to peel those either!)

The heat: Chipotle

You can pick up chipotles in adobo sauce in most aisles that house all the good Mexican ingredients. However, if you can’t find those, a sprinkle of chipotle powder will work. You will need to add a bit extra oil (about ½ tablespoon or so) to accommodate for the wetness of the canned peppers.

An unexpected bean

Most of the time with these flavors you’ll find pinto beans or a softer bean. I love this meal because the chickpeas add texture and soak up all the flavors. You could swap in white beans or pinto beans, but the texture won’t be quite the same.

Add some grains

If you’re looking to bulk up this dish a bit more, add 1 to 1 ½ cups cooked grains. I’d prefer to go with a grain that has texture. Spelt, einkorn, or sorghum would be up there as top choices. All of these grains would pair well with the sweet flavor of the red kuri. Of course, you could always go with quinoa for quick cooking.

Go green

Finally, I love leftovers of this red kuri in salads. Simply toss with your favorite greens and a bit of lemon vinaigrette for an easy next-day/transform leftovers dish.

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Lemon Ginger Turmeric Wellness Shots

Lemon Ginger Turmeric Wellness Shots

When considering what type of beverage to share for New Year’s Eve celebrations this year, my mind initially went to mocktails. They’re fruity and booze-free—what’s not to love? Well, if I’m honest, I’m not a huge mocktail fan.

Then I thought, “What would be something I’d actually be excited to drink if walking into a NYE party?” Answer: Healthy shots. Call me a grandma, I don’t care.

Lemon Ginger Turmeric Wellness Shots from Minimalist Baker →

Ribollita – The Tuscan Stew you Should be Eating Regularly

Ribollita is a thick Tuscan stew – dark greens, lots of beans, vegetables, olive oil, thickened with day-old bread. It is hearty, filling, infinitely nourishing, and flat-out, the sort of food I crave. The amount of kale you collapse into each pot is impressive, and you’ll be patting yourself on the back before, during, and after you eat. Here are the details – it’s a soup I make constantly this time of year.
Ribollita, a beautifully thick Tuscan stew with dark greens, lots of beans, vegetables, olive oil, and thickened with day-old bread
I should mention, with ribollita, it’s one of those things where there are as many ways to make it as there are cooks. I normally use whole canned tomatoes this time of year – torn up. But had crushed tomatoes on hand, and they worked out nicely. You can use canned beans, beans cooked from dried, or cooked beans you’ve frozen and thawed. As far as guidelines go? Your ribollita should be thick – eventually. A sloppy sounding, bread stew. Use day old bread, preferably a rustic loaf cut (or torn) into big chunks. The bread absorbs the broth and simmers into beautifully plump zones of pillowy dumplings.
Ribollita, a beautifully thick Tuscan stew with dark greens, lots of beans, vegetables, olive oil, and thickened with day-old bread

Shortcuts

This isn’t a difficult soup to cook, although it does require some chopping. If you’re looking for a few ways to shave off some prep time. Use canned beans, and buy pre-washed & chopped kale.
Ribollita, a beautifully thick Tuscan stew with dark greens, lots of beans, vegetables, olive oil, and thickened with day-old bread

Ribollita adaptations & toppings

There are a bunch! In addition to the tweaks I mentioned up above, I suspect a number of you will want to know how to make it GF. Yes, you can absolutely make it without the bread. it’s not the same stew, and not really ribollita, but it is still wonderful – just bump up the amount of beans you use (both the whole & mashed).  I like to add a bit of lemon zest to each bowl for a bit of brightness, and because I can’t help myself. And I also like the saltiness of a few olives alongside the kale, so that’s a little bonus as well. I’ll also drizzle a little thinned out pesto on top if I have it on hand, or, an herb oil made by pureeing olive oil, a couple garlic cloves, parsley, and marjoram together.Ribollita, a beautifully thick Tuscan stew with dark greens, lots of beans, vegetables, olive oil, and thickened with day-old bread

Freezer-friendly

This is a freezer friendly stew. I like to make an extra-large pot of it, let it cool, and transfer it to freezer-safe containers. It’s good for a month or so frozen. If I know it’s a pot primarily bound for the freezer, I sometimes hold off on adding the bread. I’ll add it when I reheat later. But really, you can do it either way.

I hope you love this, and I hope you make it. It has all the good stuff in one pot. Enjoy! -h

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Blood Orange Gin Sparkler

For a good part of the year I have rosemary floating about the kitchen. It’s typically crowded in a wide-mouth jar, standing stick-straight, quietly waiting to be called upon. Sometimes it sits on the windowsill here, other times it migrates to the island, or, on rare occasions, the dinner table. I tend to buy a bunch, then work my way through it little by little (you’ve likely seen it in the background of photos on previous posts). Said another way – rosemary is often in my line of sight, and I’m always looking for ways to use it. This cocktail caught my attention a couple weeks back, and I’ve been making my own citrus-spiked riff on it in the days since.
Blood Orange Gin Sparkler
So…my initial idea was that I’d do a winter citrus version using freshly-squeezed pink grapefruit juice, gin, and tonic water or sparkling water. I thought the evergreen notes in the gin would blend nicely with the tart pucker of grapefruit, and I’d take the edge off with a hint of rosemary syrup.

Not meant to be.
Gin Sparkler
I walked into a box of beautiful Moro blood oranges at the store, and here we are. The blood orange juice worked beautifully, it added a lovely burst of color, and generally lent itself agreeably to what ended up being a long, bright, winter-time quencher. One that goes down a bit too easily, in fact. As I mention down below, if blood oranges are hard for you to come by, this drink is great with navel oranges as well. I mean it when I say, I hope you like this one as much as I do.

Gin Sparkler

I kept thinking the gin / citrus combo would make for a striking DIY cocktail set-up at a holiday party, or New Year’s brunch /gathering. Particularly if you offered a selection of juice mixers. I’m imagining small glass pitchers of blood orange juice, pink grapefruit juice, orange juice, oro blanco grapefruit juice, and or sweet lime juice? It would be a beautiful spectrum. Let me know if you give it a go.

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Spiced Butternut Squash Soup with Chimichurri

While you may be thinking to yourself in a sarcastic voice, “just what we need need, another butternut squash soup!” I urge you to think of this more as inspiration and less as a direct soup recipe. Take your butternut squash soup recipe and jazz it up. Add some spices. Use a sauce. It doesn’t have to be boring!

Squash for days

On any given week, I have some kind of puree hanging out in the refrigerator. It’s a staple that can easily be used in soups, fillings, sauces, or porridges. When I don’t feel like cubing squash, it’s into the oven, sliced in half, and roasted cut-side down with a bit of water to help steam/cook. Once the squash is tender, it’s time to get to work on a few recipes.

Butternut Squash Soup

One of the easiest ways to use squash puree is in soups. Add it to a few cooked onions, stock, and herbs. This recipe is built on my base butternut squash soup recipe (usually without the spices and lime juice). However, this version is great when I have chimichurri on hand (which is most weeks!)

Chimichurri, make it weekly

I have a rotation of sauces that I make depending on what I have on hand already. Chimichurri is a great way to use those herbs in the fridge (or a great reason to buy herbs regularly or even try your hand at growing). This chimichurri was actually leftover from this adobo acorn squash dish (I can never get too much squash!)

Go vegan

This recipe is about as easy as it gets to take it vegan. Drop the heavy cream and replace it with your favorite vegan-cream sub (cashew cream, oat milk, etc). I’ve also been known just to leave it out. The butternut squash makes for a fairly creamy soup.

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2-Ingredient Sweet Potato Hash Browns

2-Ingredient Sweet Potato Hash Browns

When testing our Garlicky Sweet Potato Noodle Pasta, I experimented with the best way to turn sweet potatoes into pasta. One such experiment led me to discover that frying them in a skillet makes the perfect hash brown-style sweet potatoes, while steaming yields the best pasta “noodle” texture. The rest is history.

Let me show you this quick and easy method for making perfect sweet potato hash browns every time!

This 2-ingredient, 1-pan, 15-minute recipe starts with preparing your sweet potatoes.

2-Ingredient Sweet Potato Hash Browns from Minimalist Baker →

1-Pot Butternut Squash Quinoa Chili

1-Pot Butternut Squash Quinoa Chili

Cut through those bitter winter nights with this comforting 1-pot meal that’s easy to make, big on flavor, and made with ingredients you likely have on hand right now. Let’s do this!

This 1-pot recipe starts with the basics: Onion, garlic, pepper. We went for jalapeño for added heat. But if you’re looking to avoid spice, opt for a bell pepper instead!

Next comes the star of the show: Butternut squash!

1-Pot Butternut Squash Quinoa Chili from Minimalist Baker →

Favorite Cinnamon Buns

I make a version of these cinnamon buns nearly every year for Christmas. The first time I made them was in 2010, inspired by the version in Lotta Jansdotter’s book. They’re beauties. I thought I’d do a bit of an update to that initial post today, where I list off some of the tweaks I’ve made over the years, in addition to some insights I’ve had. The base recipe is for a version of Lotta’s beautiful, homemade, hot from the oven, loaded with sugar and spice, golden, buttery, classic cinnamon buns.
Favorite Cinnamon Buns
One of the great things about them, is that you can prepare them ahead of time, and freeze the pre-baked rolls. The night before you’re ready to bake them, leave them to thaw, covered, on your counter, and bake them in the morning. I’ve done versions with whole grain flours, different spice blends, and boozed-up icings – which I’ll note in the recipe and headnotes. There are some great insights in the comments as well.

Cinnamon Bun Basics

To make cinnamon buns you start by making a buttery yeast dough. I know some of you shy away from all recipes yeasty, but these really are fun to make. They take some time, because you need to let the dough rest and rise at various points, but most of that time isn’t active. Once you get the hang of things, you can play around with all sorts of different fillings in future batches. If you want to explore something beyond cinnamon sugar, the filling can be anything from jam, a sweet compound butter, a flavored cream cheese filling…you get the idea.

Favorite Cinnamon Buns

How to Make Cinnamon Buns: The Process

So, in short, making cinnamon buns goes like this: Mix the dough. Let it rise. Roll it out. Put down the filling. Roll. Slice. (Freeze here, if you’re going that route). Another rise. Bake. Lotta sprinkles her cinnamon buns with pearl sugar before baking, which gives them a nice crunchy top, but I know a lot of people like a thick slathering of icing – to the horror of some Swedes, I might add ;)… I served these w/ raw sugar on top and icing on the side, and used the icing from these hermit cookies. Might I suggest a splash of bourbon as well? You can actually flavor the icing any number of ways…

Favorite Cinnamon BunsCinnamon Buns Recipe

Happiest holidays and Merry Christmas to all of you. xo -h!

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What to Eat Christmas Morning (12 Recipes)

After the blizzard of wrapping paper quiets, a cozy (but casual!) brunch is one of my favorite Christmas traditions. Everyone is in good spirits and happy to celebrate together. My family typically does a Christmas dinner later in the day, but having a little something special in the morning is always welcome. That said, preparing for the holidays can be tiring, and everyone appreciates recipes you’re able to prep ahead of time – which is (thankfully) a lot of breakfast recipes. Here are a dozen recipes to consider for Christmas morning – a little mix of both naughty and nice. 😉 xx, -h

What to Eat Christmas Morning (12 Recipes)

1. Green Shakshuka (Bon Appétit) Probably not what your 7-year-old wants to see on her plate, but it will bring a smile to the faces of grown-ups, especially if they’ve had one too many glasses of prosecco on Christmas eve.

What to Eat Christmas Morning (12 Recipes)

2. The Best Waffle Recipe (101 Cookbooks) My friends and family might be tired of these. But, seriously, they are so good. These waffles are a year-round go-to, and perfect for Christmas morning. Setting up a waffle bar with toppings is always a hit.

What to Eat Christmas Morning (12 Recipes)

3. Breakfast Baked Sweet Potato (Ambitious Kitchen) This one’s a wild card – a baked sweet potato for breakfast? I get that not everyone is going to be on board, but it’s such good for you food with the almond butter and bananas. Maybe a dollop of Nutella to convince the younger eaters?

What to Eat Christmas Morning (12 Recipes)

4. Wild Mushrooms on Truffle Toast (By Rosie) I love a savory breakfast, and mushrooms are my jam – so, this has my name on it. Source the best bread you can find (or bake your own!), mushrooms and this is simple perfection.

What to Eat Christmas Morning (12 Recipes)

5. Classic Cinnamon Buns (101 Cookbooks) This is a great recipe to prep a day ahead. And if you’ve never baked cinnamon rolls, this is a totally doable recipe. Start a Christmas morning cinnamon bun recipe this year.

What to Eat Christmas Morning (12 Recipes)

6. Black Bean and Tofu Scramble (Anna Jones) Yes, to this. If you are over cookies, mulled wine and the rest, this is going to be a good first post-holiday breakfast.

What to Eat Christmas Morning (12 Recipes)

7. Roasted Sweet Potato Kale Hash (Minimalist Baker) Welcoming a solid dose of sweet potato and kale into your morning will give you the energy to face cleaning up that mountain of wrapping paper. Laugh / cry.

What to Eat Christmas Morning (12 Recipes)

8. Perfect Healthy Granola (101 Cookbooks) If you have a household of granola lovers, consider making a double batch of this. You can set up a topping bar and make granola parfaits. 

What to Eat Christmas Morning (12 Recipes)

9. Spinach and Mushroom Quiche (Low Carb Maven) Another recipe for the savory breakfast lovers. This one has an interesting flavor profile: a hint of nutmeg, Dijon mustard and smoked cheese.

What to Eat Christmas Morning (12 Recipes)

10. Heuvos a la Plaza de Mercado (Sprouted Kitchen / Tara O’Brady) Sara’s version of Tara’s recipe is a reminder to let your friends and family bring their influences to your table. Make the red sauce and the charred green onion dressing (!) a day or so ahead of time and it’s much easier to put this one together on Christmas morning.

What to Eat Christmas Morning (12 Recipes)

11. Coconut Baked Oatmeal (101 Cookbooks) There are certain recipes people tell me (in person) are their favorites and this is one of them. I think the reason is the coconut and grapefruit elevates oatmeal beyond basic.

What to Eat Christmas Morning (12 Recipes)

12. Vegan Pumpkin French Toast (Love and Lemons) French toast that works for the vegans in your family as well.

What to Eat Christmas Morning (12 Recipes)

13. Chia Breakfast Bowl (101 Cookbooks) I couldn’t leave out this quick California-style breakfast that you can prep the day before. A diverse array of toppings will make everyone merry.

What to Eat Christmas Morning (12 Recipes)

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186 Easy Vegan Christmas Recipes

186 Easy Vegan Christmas Recipes

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—and the most delicious time of the year. And we’re back at it again with our round-up of easy vegan recipe ideas, including everything from breakfast to dessert, to help keep the holidays jolly (and tasty).

Whatever holiday you and your loved ones may celebrate, we hope you’ll find the recipe inspiration you need to create a delicious holiday spread. Let’s do this!

Check out these 54 easy vegan Christmas breakfast ideas to make your holiday morning simple and delicious!

186 Easy Vegan Christmas Recipes from Minimalist Baker →