How to Make Applesauce

The best homemade applesauce! This applesauce recipe is naturally sweetened with maple syrup and tastes like the inside of an apple crisp! #healthy

Forget everything you’ve ever disliked about store-bought applesauce. Homemade applesauce is another animal. It tastes like the inside of an apple pie!

Homemade applesauce is a healthy and delicious snack on its own. Don’t stop there, though. I love to serve it with ice cream like it’s an apple crisp. Pile homemade applesauce onto toast with almond or peanut butter. Swirl it into your oatmeal.

Layer applesauce between yogurt and granola for an apple parfait and people go wild. The apple crisp parfaits in my cookbook were a favorite with my recipe testers.

chopped apples

I use maple syrup (or honey) instead of plain sugar to naturally sweeten my applesauce. Bonus? With liquid sweetener, you can easily add more to taste at the end, so you won’t risk ending up with too-sweet applesauce. If you’re a fan of tart applesauce or if you’re using particularly sweet apples, you can leave out the sweetener altogether for no-sugar-added applesauce.

I like my applesauce on the chunky side, but you can blend it smooth if you prefer. Since this applesauce is thick, I found that my food processor does a better job of blending than my immersion blender.

Bottom line, this applesauce is a fun and easy recipe to make. It’s apple season, so let’s get to it! If you have extra apples, check out my apple steel-cut oatmeal, apple muffins and favorite green salad. More apple recipes here.

Continue to the recipe…

The post How to Make Applesauce appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Could You Imagine This…

Lebanese Roast Ratatouille with Hummus--3
Lebanese Roast Ratatouille with Hummus RECIPE HERE

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Imagine coming home after a long day. You’re tired. You’re hungry. Then imagine having dinner waiting for you.

Imagine something healthy AND super tasty prepared by one of your favourite food bloggers… Me!

As much as I’d love to come around to your place every evening and cook, I’d hate for Fergal, Finbar and my Irishman to feel neglected. So I guess we’ll have to leave that scenario for another day.

Luckily I’ve come up with the next best thing…

So how did this all come about?

A few years ago, my friend Caroline told me about a weight loss program she was following which came with an exercise schedule and meal plans.

Months later Caroline was looking amazing. I asked her how she had found the whole experience.

Her answer surprised me.

While the motivation and commitment had helped, the thing she loved the most were the meal plans. Each week she’d print out the shopping list and buy what was on it. Or better yet, get her husband to do the shopping.

Each night she’d walk into the kitchen, look at her notes and just start cooking. No having to ‘think’ at the end of a long day.

Then she said,
‘You know what would have made it even better?
Some of the recipes were a quite time consuming, it would be brilliant to have meal plans using your simple Stonesoup recipes.’

And so Soupstones Meal Plans, my done-for-you meal planning service was born…

Of all my products this is the one that has helped the most people

Here’s how Soupstones has helped change the lives of some of its members…

Daunine, Soupstones Meal Plans Member.

Daunine lives in the US. Here’s how her life has changed since joining Soupstones Meal Plans…

Daunine, Soupstones Member.
Daunine loves the variations included for the meal plans and recipes. She loves that the meal plans focus on whole foods and ingredients she can get at the store. Since starting to use the meal plans Daunine only does one shop a week so she’s saving time.

She also finds that she’s saving money because she’s not running to the store as often and she’s wasting less because she is using what she buys. Both Daunine and her husband are food lovers and they often find themselves saying ‘I can’t believe how good this is and it’s only got a few ingredients. It’s amazing that it’s so simple and so good!

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Crystal, Soupstones Meal Plans Member.

Crystal is a Canadian living in Colombia. Here’s how her life has changed since joining Soupstones Meal Plans…

Crystal, Soupstones Member.
It was so revolutionary for me as a cook. I could not boil water, and now I make all three meals for my boyfriend and me, with confidence. I actually, GASP, go off the recipe and add my own flair with what I have in my fridge or my spice rack… something that I could have never done without your meal plans holding my hand and helping me through the hard stuff – decision making. Fun bonus, all the recipes are delish!”

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Sherrill, Soupstones Meal Plans Member.

Sherrill recently turned 65 and moved from New York to Philadelphia. Here’s how her life has changed since joining Soupstones Meal Plans…

Sherrill, Soupstones Member.
Prior to joining Soupstones I had determined that …once again… something needed to be done about my weight. Other than chubby, I’m quite healthy with much thanks given to the genetics that have pretty much overridden my self-abuse. And, seeing as how I recently became a member of the 65-year old community, figured this is a last hurrah to really enjoy feeling, being and looking well.

Intrigued by Soupstones and Jules’s ever-growing, non-preachy beliefs about eating, I initially purchased one of her e-cookbooks, eventually becoming a member of the Weekly Meal Plan “club”. Jules’s recipes, philosophy, research, weekly e-mails and general chattiness continually feed and stoke the fires of my becoming more mindful, educated/questioning and cooking creatively.

In addition, shopping with the Meal Plan lists makes cooking sooooo much easier while at the same time helping cut food and money waste way back. As a single person, I am particularly happy to move from the 20-ingredient, calorie-laden, 4-to-6 servings meal to a 5-items-or less, healthy plant-based meal for two. Having always considered myself to be a good food eater [while eating too much of that good thing!] even some of the small changes [Cauliflower Rice or Zucchini Pasta] are really satisfying substitutes.

Combining Soupstones Meal Plans and Recipes with a new, regular exercise program has had the extra added benefit of making me even healthier — and 25 pounds [1.78 stone] lighter!!!”

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Like to Try It?

NOW is a brilliant time to experiment with Soupstones Meal Plans for 2 reasons:

1. New Feature!
Because I believe in this product so much, I’m creating two separate seasonal streams for the Northern and Southern hemispheres. So each meal plan will be even more fresh, useful and easy-to-shop for.

2. The Soupstones Sale!
To encourage you to try my meal plans for yourself and get this healthy habit on board before all the craziness of the ‘holiday silly season’, I’m having a quick 50% OFF sale on all Soupstones Meal Plans memberships.

Will you be eating as well as you’d like over the coming months?

To start getting the benefits of having your meals planned AND lock in the lowest ever pricing,
Join HERE.

With love,
Jules x

ps. The sale ends in less than 48-Hours!

Doors will be closing to new members until 2018.

I’ll be raising my pricing in the new year. There will no longer be a lifetime membership option.

To get in before the price rise,
Join HERE

“What I love most about it is that I don’t need to think of what’s for dinner. Thinking of a healthy meal during the working week is tricky so I really appreciate the inspiration from your meal plans. The hard work is done”.
Emma, Soupstones Member.

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Lebanese Roast Ratatouille with Hummus

Lebanese Roast Ratatouille with Hummus-

Lebanese Roast Ratatouille with Hummus

I love love love roast veggies, especially eggplant and zucchini. Usually I keep the veg plain to make a traditional ratatouille but was inspired the other day to try some Lebanese spicing and serve on a bed of hummus.

Baharat is a Lebanese spice blend I use all the time. It’s worth ordering some from a specialist spice merchant but if you don’t have any you know I’ve got you covered in the variations below 😉

enough for: 2
takes: 40 minutes
2 med eggplant
3 small zucchini
2 teaspoons baharat spice blend or 1 teaspoon each coriander and cumin
4-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
300g (9oz) hummus
salad greens, to serve

1. Preheat your oven to 250C (480F). Chop eggplant and zucchini into 1 inch chunks (2.5cm). Toss eggplant, zucchini, spices and oil in a roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt.

2. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring about half way. Or until eggplant and zucchini are well cooked and starting to brown.

3. Divide hummus between 2 plates. Top with roast veg and salad leaves.

Wine Match: A medium bodied red like a Tempranillo or cool climate Shiraz.

Variations

no baharat – use 1 teaspoon each ground cumin and coriander, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika will work as a spanish alternative. Or use another spice blend like berbre spice or the Moroccan spice blend ‘Ras el Hanout’

low carb / no hummus – replace with Tahini Yoghurt Sauce by mixing 150g (5oz) each tahini and natural yoghurt. Or just serve with a big dollop of mayo and some roast nuts instead.

more substantial – use more hummus or serve with roast almonds or other nuts. Also see the carnivore option. Or toss in cooked chickpeas or lentils.

carnivore – add chorizo, bacon, sausages or chopped chicken thigh or breast fillets to roast with the veg.

carb-lovers – serve with cooked rice, quinoa or couscous. Or serve with warm flat bread or tortillas.

different veg – onion, capsicum (bell peppers), mushrooms, tomato (fresh or canned), cauliflower, broccoli.

herby – use coriander (cilantro), mint or parsley instead of the salad leaves.

Prepare Ahead

Vegetables can be roasted ahead but don’t add the hummus and salad. Store roast veg in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze. To Serve warm in a frying pan with a little extra oil, pile on top of the hummus and top with the salad leaves.

Video Recipe

Watch the Video Version of the Recipe

Enjoy!

With love,
Jules x

ps. Tired of deciding what to cook?

Looking for a weekly meal planning service where someone else comes up with the ideas for what to have for dinner?

Then check out my Soupstones Meal Plans.

For more details click here.

______________________________

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Creamy Pumpkin Marinara

This creamy pumpkin marinara recipe tastes indulgent, but it's full of vegetables! #vegetarian

This sauce came to be when I opened up my refrigerator and saw a jar of leftover pumpkin purée next to leftover diced tomatoes. They reminded me of a pasta sauce I bought at Trader Joe’s last year, called Autumnal Harvest Pasta Sauce.

“Autumnal Harvest Pasta Sauce” might be a more accurate title for this recipe, since it’s not overtly pumpkin-flavored. It’s a mouthful, though!

how to make pumpkin marinara

This sauce tastes like fall, with a hit of spice. The bell pepper’s flavor really shines through, so if you want a more pumpkin-y sauce, omit the pepper. Maybe add some extra cinnamon, too, since “pumpkin spice” flavor is more about the spice than the pumpkin. While pumpkin doesn’t offer a lot in the flavor department, it does make this blended sauce nice and creamy, without any cream.

This sauce is comforting like mac and cheese, but full of vegetables. It’s the perfect way to warm up on a chilly fall evening. I hope you love it like I do! Please let me know how it turns out in the comments.

Continue to the recipe…

The post Creamy Pumpkin Marinara appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Italian Eggplant Parmesan

This Italian eggplant Parmesan recipe is lighter than most—it's made with roasted eggplant slices (not fried) and no breading (you won't miss it). #vegetarian

I see you rolling your eyes over there. “Kate, all eggplant Parmesans are Italian!” Let me clarify. In Italy, true eggplant Parmesan (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) is breading-free. Apparently, we Americans decided to coat our eggplant in egg wash and breading.

Another shocker? Italians don’t pour any cream into their fettuccine Alfredo! Let’s now turn to give a collective eye roll at Olive Garden.

eggplant Parmesan ingredients

The eggplant Parmesans I’ve ordered over the years at restaurants have varied considerably, but I’ve grown to expect heavy, greasy, breaded eggplant served with marinara and standard-issue spaghetti. I usually walk out with a stomachache and a side of regret.

Then I ordered the eggplant Parmesan at a local restaurant here in Kansas City called Ragazza, which gave me hope for eggplant Parm. Their eggplant Parmesan comes in a cute little cast iron skillet, with layers of eggplant cut lengthwise and sliced like lasagna. It includes lightly breaded eggplant, but it isn’t overtly greasy, and the marinara sauce tastes like it’s been simmering on the stove for hours.

Continue to the recipe…

The post Italian Eggplant Parmesan appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Indian Spiced Salmon with Minty Yoghurt

Indian Spiced Salmon with Minty Yoghurt--3

Indian Spiced Salmon with Minty Yoghurt

It’s asparagus season here! And while my baby asparagus patch has some shoots showing, I’m waiting until next year to start harvesting.

Of course, you don’t need to wait until spring to enjoy this crispy spiced salmon with its cooling herby yoghurt. Just substitute in green beans, snow peas or skip the green veg and just serve it all with some cauliflower ‘rice’.

enough for: 2
takes: 20 minutes
2 bunches asparagus or 2 handfuls green beans
1 tablespoon garam masala
2 salmon fillets
8 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
1 bunch mint, leaves picked

1. Bring some water (about 2cm / 1in) deep to the boil in a frying pan. Trim asparagus / beans and simmer for 2 minutes or until tender. Drain and discard cooking water.

2. Combine 2 tablespoons oil with the garam masala and a good pinch of salt to make a spicy oil. Pat salmon dry with paper towel and toss in the oil to coat.

3. Return the frying pan to a medium high heat. Cook salmon for 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked to your liking (I like it still quite pink in the middle and crispy on the outside).

4. While the salmon is cooking finely chop most of the mint, saving some whole leaves to garnish. Stir the chopped mint into the yoghurt with some salt and pepper.

5. To serve, spread minty yoghurt on two dinner plates. Top with salmon, asparagus / beans and reserved mint leaves.

Variations

different veg – snow peas, sugar snap peas or even regular frozen peas would all be lovely. Or just use a few handfuls baby spinach instead. In the cooler months some wilted kale, spinach or other greens are a great choice. Grilled summer veg like eggplant, zucchini and bell peppers (capsicum) will also be fab.

different spice – curry powder would work instead of garam masala or just use 1 teaspoon each ground cumin, coriander and smoked paprika.

vegetarian – serve cooked lentils, spiced with some garam masala with the asparagus and minty yoghurt.

carnivore – use lamb or pork chops instead of the salmon.

different fish – feel free to use any fish fillets.

carb-lovers – serve with steamed rice or warm chappatis or other flat bread.

more substantial – serve with a generous handful roast cashews or almonds. Or use larger pieces salmon. Or replace some of all of the yoghurt with mayonnaise.

dairy-free – use coconut yoghurt or replace youhurt with hummus. Or make a minty oil by stirring chopped mint into a few tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.

different herbs – use coriander (cilantro) basil or flat leaf parsley or a combo of any of these.

Watch the Video Version of the Recipe

Enjoy!

With love,
Jules x

ps. Tired of deciding what to cook?

Soupstones Square Logo no border

Looking for a weekly meal planning service where someone else comes up with the ideas for what to have for dinner?

Then check out my Soupstones Meal Plans.

For more details click here.

______________________________

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Mini Peanut Butter Cups

Delicious homemade mini peanut butter cups—this recipe is so easy and only requires 3 ingredients! (Ok, 4 if you want to top them with flaky sea salt, which I recommend.) #Halloween

Do I have your full attention? Excellent. These little treats are essentially grown-up, homemade Reese’s peanut butter cups. I make mine with dark chocolate and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. They are next level delicious.

These are for you if you’ve ever walked down the freezer aisle at Trader Joe’s and grabbed the mini dark chocolate peanut butter cups and the salted dark chocolate-covered almonds. Also, we should be friends and eat chocolate together. I’ll bring some red wine.

mini peanut butter cup ingredients

You can make these peanut butter cups with milk chocolate and skip the fancy salt, if you’d rather. Either way, it’s all too easy to pop more than a few of these babies per day. Have I mentioned that the insides are sweetened with maple syrup?

I’ve been hanging onto this recipe for Halloween. They’re a variation that I discovered when making Jessica’s chocolate peppermint cups earlier this year, which is kind of mean, now that I think about it. I’m sorry.

Bottom line: these peanut butter cups are far more tasty and somewhat more redeeming than your average Halloween haul. They’re also easy to make, requiring just a few basic ingredients. What are you waiting for?

Continue to the recipe…

The post Mini Peanut Butter Cups appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

3 Surprising Discoveries from Using my Meal Plans

Indian Spiced Salmon with Minty Yoghurt--2
Indian Spiced Salmon with Minty Yoghurt RECIPE HERE.

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I never thought I’d be saying (or rather writing) this. But sometimes it’s nice to be told what to do.

When my friend Caroline was first encouraging me to create a done-for-you meal planning service, my biggest hesitation at the time was I thought I’d ‘never’ use it myself. I thought I’d hate someone else telling me what to cook and eat.

But fast forward almost 4 years and here I am. Using my own meal plans, pretty much every week.

Lucky I have a policy to ‘never say never’.

So today I’m super excited to share some of the discoveries I’ve had.

3 Surprising Discoveries from Using my Meal Plans

1. It can be lovely not to ‘think’ about dinner.
As much as I love cooking and thinking about what to eat, on those busy work days when I’m tired and hungry it’s wonderful to be able to walk in the kitchen, check my plan and then just start cooking what it says.

2. Simple recipes are the best!
I remember seeing a weekly meal plan in a cooking magazine and thinking ‘what a great idea’, until I looked at the shopping list. Sooo many ingredients, sooo overwhelming.

Cooking my simple 5-ingredient recipes for weeknight dinners has been a huge reminder of how good simple food is.

Plus my meal plans have manageable shopping lists. Some weeks I only need to pickup a handful of ingredients, so few I could almost shop just from memory (if only said memory wasn’t so rusty!).

3. You can plan AND be flexible
It’s not an either / or situation. So now I use the weekly meal plan shopping list as a base. Then as the week progresses, I adapt and change as needed. It’s wonderful to be rediscovering old faves — or giving them a new twist.

Like to Try It?

NOW is a brilliant time to experiment with Soupstones Meal Plans for 2 reasons:

1. New Feature!
Because I believe in this product so much, I’m creating two separate seasonal streams for the Northern and Southern hemispheres. So each meal plan will be even more useful and easy-to-shop for.

2. The Soupstones Sale!
To encourage you to try my meal plans for yourself and get this healthy habit on board before all the craziness of the ‘holiday silly season’, I’m having a quick 50% OFF sale on all Soupstones Meal Plans memberships.

Will you be eating well over the coming months?

Join HERE.

With love,
Jules x

ps. After the sale, doors will be closing to new members until 2018.

I’ll be raising my pricing in the new year. There will no longer be a lifetime membership option.

To start getting the benefits of having your meals planned, and lock in the lowest ever pricing.
Join HERE

______________________________

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Vegetable Paella

The best vegetable paella recipe! It's loaded with vegetables, chickpeas, and savory spiced rice.

I’m so excited about this paella recipe! I hope you are, too. Paella is a beautiful rice dish hailing from the east coast of Spain, near the port city of Valencia. I tried it for the first time in Barcelona about ten years ago, and none of the American versions I’ve sampled since then have come close—until now.

Paella often includes seafood or meat, but I made this paella vegetarian by mixing chickpeas into the rice and adding extra vegetables. If you were to order this in a Spanish restaurant, it would be called paella de verduras (vegetables). My version is fresh, colorful, and hearty, thanks to brown rice and chickpeas.

paella ingredients

This paella is a great party option if your guests are following special diets. It’s vegan/vegetarian/dairy free, gluten free, nut free, and soy free. Although, I’d say it’s a great party option in general! Just add a big green salad and Spanish wine (red or white would work).

If you’re a fan of my baked risotto recipes, you’re going to love this recipe. The method is similar—you cook some aromatics in a pot, then add the rice and bake the pot on the lower rack of the oven while roasting the vegetables on the upper rack. Layer the vegetables on top of the baked rice, and you’re basically done.

Continue to the recipe…

The post Vegetable Paella appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Epic Baba Ganoush

The best baba ganoush recipe, made with oven-roasted eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic!

“But why would I make baba ganoush if I could just eat hummus?” Mara asked when we set out to make the ultimate baba ganoush recipe. At that moment, I couldn’t help but shrug my shoulders. Hummus is generally awesome and baba ganoush is often, well, weird.

Then we nailed the method and ingredients you see here, and neither of us could stop scooping up more. Baba ganoush, when you get it right, is a smooth and luxurious, smoky and savory. It’s made simply with eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Cumin, smoked paprika and fresh parsley take it to the next level.

eggplant, raw and roasted

Baba ganoush is similar to hummus, but calls for grilled or roasted eggplant instead of chickpeas. Both originated in the Eastern Mediterranean, and they’re often served together with pita bread and raw, crisp veggies. You can use baba ganoush like you would hummus—as a dip or spread.

There are a few considerations when it comes to baba ganoush. First up: do you grill the eggplant or roast it? I don’t have a grill, so I roasted my eggplant. To make up for that smoky grilled flavor, I halved the eggplants and roasted them cut-side down for caramelized deliciousness. (Roasting them halved also means that your eggplant cooks faster, and you don’t risk an entire eggplant exploding inside your oven.)

Continue to the recipe…

The post Epic Baba Ganoush appeared first on Cookie and Kate.