Category Archives: Recipes

Creamy Butternut Squash Bisque

Creamy Butternut Squash Bisque

So, my friend Durenda was here for Thanksgiving with her family.

See?

That's what friends are for

This is me watching her cook dinner in my kitchen. ūüėČ (Yep. I’m¬†that kind of friend.)

Anyway.

There are a lot of things I love about her‚ÄĒbut one is that she knows how to cook! I have always wondered how to make butternut squash soup‚ÄĒand she shared her recipe with me. I now feel like I can do it myself. This soup has a wonderful, creamy texture and the flavor is out of this world.¬†In fact, it was so good, we made it two weeks later for the Tyndale team when they came out for a few days of meetings. There may or may not be bisque in the book now. :)

You’ll love this more if you have an immersion blender. The one Durenda is using above didn’t survive our initial foray … so I bought this one. Yep‚ÄĒthis one is better: Kitchen Aid immersion blender¬†has a larger blade and two speeds. It’s amazing.

Don’t forget to top it with more cheese. Cheese makes everything better.

Thanks, Durenda!

This recipe serves eight. I have doubled it both times we made it ‚ÄĒ so if you’re serving a crowd, be sure to double it!

Enjoy xoxo
Heidi

Creamy Butternut Squash Bisque

41

Serves 8

Creamy Butternut Squash Bisque

Creamy, delicious and a great way to feed a crowd! Perfect for a cold winter night.

Ingredients

  • 1 2 1/2 pound butternut squash (or 1 pkg from Costco of cubed winter squash)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large Braeburn or Gala apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 6 oz smoked Gouda or smoked cheddar, finely shredded
  • {optional} toppings - crumbled bacon, smoked paprika

Instructions

  1. Peel, seed and cube butternut squash
  2. In 6-qt Dutch oven, melt butter over med-high heat.
  3. Add squash, onion, carrot, celery and garlic
  4. Cook, stirring frequently, until veggies are tender
  5. Add apples, broth, cider and peppers
  6. Bring to a boil; reduce heat
  7. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until veggies and apples are tender
  8. Allow to cool slightly
  9. Using an immersion blender, puree while in pot. You can also puree in a blender, in smaller batches.
  10. Blend in sour cream
  11. Blend in smoked Gouda
http://heidistjohn.com/recipes/creamy-butternut-squash-bisque

For my fellow visual learners ‚ÄĒ here are a few pictures from our bisquey adventure:

 

This is my faithful friend showing me that I don't have to be afraid of butternut squash. Veggie Tales may or may not have affected my ability to cut up butternut squash. Turns out... once you peel it and seed it, it's not that hard. :)

This is my faithful friend showing me that I don’t have to be afraid of butternut squash. Veggie Tales may or may not have affected my ability to cut up butternut squash. Turns out… once you peel it and seed it, it’s not that hard. :)

Saute veggies in butter until they are tender

Saute veggies in butter until they are tender; add apples

 

Cover with broth and apple cider. Let it cook for about 25 minutes. It's okay if your mouth starts watering.

Cover with broth and apple cider. Let it cook for about 25 minutes. It’s okay if your mouth starts watering. The chipotle peppers give it a wonderful smoky flavor and ¬†a little kick, too!

 

Using an immersion blender, puree mixuture. Add sour cream when bisque is smooth.

Using an immersion blender, puree mixture. Add sour cream when bisque is smooth.

 

Add a bunch of smoked Gouda. Mmmmmm. You won't be sorry if you add more.

Add a bunch of smoked Gouda. Mmmmmm. You won’t be sorry if you add more.

 

Got this at Costco. I may or may not have had extra. :)

Got this at Costco. I may or may not have had extra. :)

 

Enjoy!

Northwest Seafood Chowder

It’s that time of year again‚ÄĒtime to snuggle in your favorite snuggling spot with a bowl of piping hot chowder and binge-watch your favorite Christmas movies. (It’s a Wonderful Life wins for me.) This is also the time of year for having kids come home and hopefully, bring a guest or two with them. You know me, I love a houseful, and this meal is a crowd-pleaser.

Northwest Seafood Chowder

We are pacific northwest people‚ÄĒand as such‚Äďwe like all things salmon – okay – and shrimp. Okay. We like it all.

I discovered that my favorite chicken provider (hail, Zaycon!) also contracts with local fishermen for NW salmon so I decided to give it a try. It came vacuum sealed and it’s wonderful!¬†After we knew we loved the salmon, I decided to try Zaycon cod and eventually,¬†wild Argentine red¬†shrimp (yum!). All this seafood comes frozen and ready to use from Zaycon. Check it out‚ÄĒand have wonderful seafood in your freezer all year!

Give it a try and let me know what you think! My hunch is that you’re going to love it.

From one busy mom to another,
heidi

Northwest Seafood Chowder

41

1 hour

Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

2 hours

serves 15

1.5 cup

Northwest Seafood Chowder

Ingredients

  • 1 cup celery
  • 1 cup red pepper
  • 1 cup onion
  • 2 cloves garlic (or from a jar is fine)
  • 30 oz chicken broth (about 3 cans)
  • 2 cups peeled, diced potatoes (can mix red and russet)
  • 2 cups shredded carrots (hello, food processor!)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 cans creamed corn
  • 1 can sweet corn
  • 4 cups half-and-half
  • 5 sprigs fresh dill, stems removed (dried will work too)
  • 4 cups fully cooked salmon
  • 1 cup cod
  • 2 cups frozen shrimp, tail off
  • 1/4 cup flour in chicken broth for thickener

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, saute celery, onion, red pepper and garlic in butter until the vegetables are tender.
  2. Add broth, potatoes, carrots, salt, pepper and de-stemmed dill
  3. Bring to a boil
  4. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until the vegetables are nearly tender.
  5. AT THE END:
  6. Stir in the corn, cream, salmon, cod and shrimp.
  7. To thicken - whip flour with 1/2 cup chicken broth and add to hot soup, stirring slowly
  8. Simmer for 15 minutes or until heated through.
  9. Add whatever dill is left and stir gently
http://heidistjohn.com/recipes/northwest-seafood-chowder

ZayconFresh

Easy Creamy Bacon Chicken

When you remember to invite company for Easter dinner, but forget to buy ingredients to prepare the dinner with, you know you are just slightly busy, and that’s the pickle I found¬†myself in this year.

creamy-bacon-chicken

The day before Easter was crazy, too, so after church I was scrambling to prepare food with the ingredients I had in my house.¬† Surprisingly, a new invention was created that wound up being a family favorite. It is simple, easy to prepare, and delicious. It has a nice visual appeal, as well, and my guests loved it. They even requested the recipe, so I guess “flying by the seat of my pants” isn’t always bad.¬† Remember that hospitality doesn’t mean you have to host in absolute perfection, and that¬†new creations can be born out of chaos.

Easy Creamy Bacon Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
  • Chicken Tenders (amount may vary according to crowd size)
  • one medium size onion, diced
  • 2-3 fresh, minced garlic cloves
  • 2-6 cups cream cheese, depending on crowd size (I used six cups for fourteen people)
  • bacon, cooked and diced (I used a pound of Hempler's Organic Bacon for my large crowd)
  • salt to taste (I use Himalayan salt)
  • pepper to taste (I use fresh ground)
  • organic no salt seasoning to taste
  • 2-6 cups mozzarella cheese ( used six cups)

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, add coconut oil, and sauté the onion and garlic until translucent.
  2. Set veggies aside
  3. In a large casserole dish, add as many chicken tenders as you need.
  4. Season the tenders with salt on one side
  5. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour
  6. While the chicken is cooking, whip the cream cheese until it is soft and add in salt, pepper, no salt seasoning, veggies, and some of the mozzarella cheese.
  7. Add the cream cheese mixture to the chicken tenders and mix well.
  8. Top the chicken with a good layer of mozzarella cheese, the chopped cooked bacon, and place in oven until cheese is bubbly and brown.
http://heidistjohn.com/recipes/easy-creamy-bacon-chicken

 Serve hot and enjoy!

East Texas Zesty Garlic Guacamole

I remember when I was growing up, my dad used to come home from work and pull out an avocado and chips for an evening snack before dinner.¬† I would watch him from a distance as he sliced into the avocado and began to mash it up in his bowl, making guacamole.¬† I thought it was Soooo Gross!!!¬† Why would he want to eat that slimy green stuff?¬† I mean, come on Daddy, how weird can you be?¬† 30 years later, it’s one of my favorite appetizers!¬† I guess Daddy knew what a good thing was back then.

guacamole-recipe

Here in East Texas you’ll find guacamole on the menu of almost any restaurant you go to.¬† We have an overabundance of Mexican food restaurants in Huntsville…¬† so many that we sometimes roll our eyes when we learn someone else has opened up yet another Mexican food place.¬† But, none of these restaurants have our favorite guacamole.

The best guacamole was discovered during our annual Christmas party at our house.¬† Our best friends showed up¬†with their homemade guacamole that had a noticeable ingredient in it that was new to us… Garlic.¬† Ever since then, I’ve always put garlic in my guacamole.¬† I have modified it a bit by adding ranch dressing.¬† Here is my guacamole recipe that is sure to be a hit at any party!

East Texas Zesty Garlic Guacamole

East Texas Zesty Garlic Guacamole

Ingredients

  • 3 large avocados
  • 1 Roma tomato
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1 lime
  • 2 tsp. Ranch dressing
  • 1 tsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Dice your tomato and garlic cloves and set aside.
  2. Peel and pit your avocados. Then, place avocados into a medium sized bowl and dice them, gently mashing with a fork.
  3. Add juice of a lime, Ranch dressing, mayonnaise, garlic, salt, and pepper. Continue to mash and stir until desired consistency.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes and serve with your favorite tortilla chips!
http://heidistjohn.com/recipes/east-texas-zesty-garlic-guacamole

Simple Gluten-Free Chicken Salad

gluten-free-chicken-salad

I love healthy, tasty, satisfying, and simple meals that are appealing to the eye. Simple is the key word here, and one of our favorite meals is an easy, gluten free chicken salad. Actually, you don’t have to use chicken. You can leave it out for a vegan meal, or you can use tuna, salmon, or lunch meat as variations. Flexible recipes are my favorite!

Simple Gluten Free Chicken Salad

Simple Gluten Free Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • One Costco Asian Salad mix sans the dressing packet and seeds/wantons
  • Baked Chicken Tenders seasoned with (pink) salt, pepper, and garlic powder (as many tenders as you like in your salad)
  • One bunch (or more) Green onions, chopped
  • Fresh grated, parmesan, cheese
  • Dressing:
  • Pure virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Open salad bag and add to a large salad bowl
  2. Add grated parmesan cheese, onions, and chicken tenders and mix well.
  3. Serve on individual  plates, add vinegar and oil and enjoy!
http://heidistjohn.com/recipes/simple-gluten-free-chicken-salad

Cream Cheese Chicken Tenders And Green Bean Tomato Medley

Last night I needed a super simple, healthy, gluten free meal that was quick to prepare. We were just coming down from the high time demands after talent show week for our kids. Since I direct the choir, and work with small ensembles, this kept me running with¬†extra practices, along with other extras thrown in each day of the week. Consequently, time for planning and preparing meals was pretty much non-existent. Time didn’t allow for a trip to the store, so I began¬†searching our cupboards, freezer, and refrigerator, and gathered some ingredients that seemed like they would compliment each other. In other words, I totally winged it! This was a cooking experience on the fly, so when my family decided they love it and want me to make it again, it was a pleasant surprise. If you need a meal that meats this criteria, you just might like this one.

gf-chicken-green-bean

Cream Cheese Chicken Tenders

Ingredients

  • Chicken Tenders (as many as your family will eat)
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • Salt (Pink Himalayan salt is the best)
  • Fresh, ground, pepper
  • garlic powder
  • Organic No Salt Seasoning (Costco)
  • Cream cheese to taste

Directions

  • In a large skillet, heat coconut oil, and add chicken tenders
  • Season the chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and no salt seasoning.
  • When the first side is browned, flip the tenders to brown the second side, and cover.
  • Cook until chicken is no longer pink in the middle.
  • Add cream cheese and stir well.

Serve and enjoy!

 

Green Bean Tomato Medley

Ingredients

  • Frozen or fresh green beans
  • One medium onion
  • One clove garlic, minced
  • Salt (pink)
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • One tablespoon coconut oil
  • Grape or Cherry tomatoes to taste

Directions

  • In a medium to large size skillet, heat coconut oil
  • Add chopped onion, garlic, and seasonings and¬†saut√© until translucent.
  • Add green beans, stir well, and cover.
  • Cook thoroughly for about fifteen minutes, stirring from time to time, until beans are tender, but not overly soft¬†(for frozen beans. Less for fresh).
  • Add a handful or two of grape or cherry tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes to warm them.

Serve hot and enjoy a delicious, hot, healthy, gluten free meal with your family! <3

Gluten Free Protein Pancakes

gf-protein-pancakesBreakfast is my favorite meal, and I have always loved¬†pancakes with whipping cream and berries.¬†Over the past four years, we have significantly changed the way we eat. With food sensitivities in our¬†family,¬†and with my slow thyroid, we have to be careful to get the right foods into our diets, and¬†avoid consuming too many carbs. When I found this recipe, I was so excited because it meant that I could enjoy a meal I had always loved, with just a little twist on the ingredients. I have added my own little flare to it because I just can’t resist playing around with recipes to make them a little more personally enjoyable. These pancakes fit the criteria for our family in every way. They are gluten free, they taste good, they¬†are appealing to the eye, they are light like a crepe, they¬†have an¬†excellent protein to carb ratio, ¬†and they are filling and satisfying.

Gluten Free Protein Pancakes

Gluten Free Protein Pancakes

Ingredients

  • Topping -
  • Mixed berries pre-heated on stove
  • Whipping cream sweetened with stevia
  • Pancakes -
  • 1 cup gluten free oats
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup egg whites
  • 2 tsp. aluminum free baking powder
  • dash of vanilla
  • dash of cinnamon
  • Dash of Himalayan Salt

Instructions

  1. To your blender, add the oats and blend into powder
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend well.
  3. Spray a pre-heated griddle with coconut oil spray and add medium size circles of pancake batter. Usually six to eight pancakes will fit on a griddle. When batter bubbles, it's time to flip them. After cooking on second side, remove from griddle, top with berries and whipping cream and enjoy! Remember to spray the griddle with coconut oil spray in between batches.
http://heidistjohn.com/recipes/gluten-free-protein-pancakes

We serve with mixed berries lightly sweetened with stevia, and we flavor the whipping cream with a dash of vanilla and stevia.

Options¬†–¬†

    • To keep the carbs low, limit the amount of whipping cream you top your berries and pancakes with
    • For our family of seven, I triple the batch, use half of it, and refrigerate the rest for a second meal later in the week.

A healthy lifestyle is an important aspect to taking care of your body. God has only given us one body to house us while we are on this earth, and it matters greatly, how we care for it.

Caring for your body and feeding it well doesn’t mean you can only eat things you don’t like because they are good for you. God created food and intended it to be pleasurable as well. He is the creator of the taste bud, after all!¬† Researching new, healthy,¬†recipes is one of my favorite past times and I have discovered many delicious new ways of preparing foods that my family loves. We don’t feel deprived because of our “limitations” due to foods we can’t eat, rather we see it a fun challenge to implement new ways to enjoy the core nutrition our bodies need for health and vitality.

 

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” ¬† ¬†I Corinthians 6:19-20

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” ¬†¬†I Corinthians 10:31