Roasted Squash Coconut Curry Soup

Happy Friday!

As you are likely well aware, this week has had a bit of a fall theme {can you tell we love this season?}, so we decided to end the week on a similar note and share one more recipe with you to get you pumped up about fall.

This recipe comes from Skinny Taste, one of our favorite blogs. It combines squash, which is so quintessentially fall, and Thai curry, which you know we are a fan of, to make a warm, hearty dish that fills for only 98 calories a serving….We don’t hate that!

Photo Credit: Skinny Taste

Roasted Red Kuri Coconut Curry Soup

Ingredients: 

  • 4.25 – 4.5 lbs kuri red squash (You could also sub acorn or butternut squash, or sweet potato)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • 1/2 tsp roasted cumin
  • 1 3/4 tsp garam masala
  • 2 1/4 tsp madras curry powder
  • 1/2 medium onion, minced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 4 cups fat free, low sodium vegetable or chicken broth (or make your own to eliminate sodium altogether)
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • hot chili pepper, diced (optional)

Directions:

Heat the oven to 400°F. Using a heavy, sharp knife, cut the squash into quarters.Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour.

When the squash is cooked and cool enough to handle, peel the skin away from the squash flesh. This should make about 3 cups.

Add oil to a medium soup pot, on medium heat. When oil is hot add onion, shallots, chili pepper (if using) and garlic; sauté on low heat until golden. Add roasted cumin, masala and madras curry powder and mix well cooking another minute. Add broth, light coconut milk, roasted kuri pumpkin and cook covered 20 – 25 minutes. Remove cover and using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth.

Season with salt and fresh pepper to taste and serve with fresh cilantro.

The Skinny:

Servings: 5 • Serving Size: just under 1 1/2 cups
Calories: 98 • Fat: 4.0 g • Protein: 1.7 g • Carb: 14.1 g • Fiber: 2.2 g • Sugar: 1.6 g   
Sodium: 807.5 g  without salt (varies by brand of broth)

We definitely can’t wait to try this one! Sounds like the perfect precursor to a weekend of college football! May all your teams win this weekend… unless you’re playing the Cougs of course!

GO COUGS!

Have a great weekend!

❤ Sarah&Jamie

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Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo

I love entertaining. This is largely due to my obsession with Pinterest, as I was never much of a party-thrower before I opened my account last year. In fact, even though I was my sorority’s Activity Chair, I was never all that good at putting together a fabulous function. But Pinterest helped me discover this new passion, and I’ve been running with it ever since.

To be honest, it had been awhile since I’d organized something, and I’d been itching to have a little get together. Luckily, it was my turn to host my team at work’s monthly “Supper Club,” so I got my opportunity.

I’m a freak about themes {{I LOVE a good theme party}} so I decided to pick a relevant but simple “Welcome to Fall” theme…AKA a perfect excuse to bust out some pumpkin recipes! I asked everyone to bring a seasonal dish to ring in the new season, although that basically meant we ended up with a ton of carbs.

As the hostess, I provided the main course and the dessert. I decided to make a vegan, gluten-free pumpkin alfredo for my guests, followed by a pumpkin bread recipe that is so moist it’s almost more like custard. Although my coworkers are not vegan or gluten free, both dishes went over extremely well. I definitely impressed myself with my cooking skills 🙂

My coworker Emily, super excited about my main course

For the pasta, I used Tinkyada’s organic brown rice spirals. It’s not usually my first choice GF pasta {{I usually prefer Andean Dream quinoa pasta for a little added protein}}, but it worked amazingly well with this dish.

This recipe is the perfect hearty but healthy meal to kick off the season, and really wasn’t all that hard to make! It’s also easy to make in large quantities, so it’s perfect when you need to feed the masses 🙂

VEGAN PUMPKIN ALFREDO

For the sauce:

2 cups canned pumpkin
1 cup fresh basil
3/4 cup vegan milk (I used coconut)
1/3 cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
2-3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp dried Italian herbs
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

For the pasta:

2 bags gluten free pasta

1/2 bunch kale

2-3 c. mushrooms

coconut oil, for sauteing

Cook the pasta according to package directions. While the pasta cooks, place all sauce ingredients in a food processor or high powered blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan and heat over medium heat to desired temperature. In a frying pan, melt coconut oil and saute mushrooms until soft. Add a little water and kale, heating until the kale is just barely wilted. Mix the pasta, sauce, kale and mushrooms together and serve.

This recipe makes 10-12 servings, so either make a big batch with the intention of having leftovers, or cut it down to feed less people.

What is your favorite fall dish?

❤ Sarah

Bridgeport Brew Pub

Here in the Northwest we LOVE Breweries…the city of Portland has more breweries per capita than any other city in the country! Since I’m a total beer girl {fruity beers to IPA’s and everything in between} and tend to frequent the Pearl District quite often, I manage to make it to Bridgeport Brew Pub from time to time. Although I have the tendency to become a creature of habit and stick with what I know I like (especially when it comes to food choices), I’ve been trying to branch out!

//Seasonal IPA and Dirty Kettle One Martini//

That said, I must call myself out and say what keeps bring me back to Bridgeport (besides the beer of course) is the same dish that I can’t seem to break away from: The Vegan Bowl – quinoa, black beans, grilled tofu, kale, sweet potatoes, edamame, red peppers, carrot salad, and your choice of spicy cashew sauce (I asked for the spiciest one of course) or Korean red dragon sauce. I’m no vegan, but though you can sub a chicken breast for tofu (which is what I’d typically prefer), I feel I’m obligated to keep this dish meatless.  I make my own version of veggie quinoa bowls often for weekday lunches but they don’t ever include kale, sweet potatoes, or spicy cashew sauce… That is about to change—the texture of each ingredient all paired perfectly and the spicy sauce made for the perfect light topping that didn’t drown the dish.  It doesn’t hurt that their beers are off the charts as well and I honestly can’t even pick just one to share with you.  In the spirit of branching out and since I no longer have my picky tendencies I love asking for recommendations or trying the seasonals.

//The Vegan Bowl//

My friend ordered something not so vegan… PIZZA so I managed to get the best of both worlds. The pizza we chose was “The Hawthorne”: artichoke hearts, red onion, spinach, feta, Parmesan  sun-dried tomatoes, and roasted garlic olive oil.  While it may not be vegan it is vegetarian, but was still a very well-rounded pizza. Plenty for 2 people to share with an app and while we had leftovers to go, I wiped it clear of artichoke hearts… my bad 🙂 Fun fact: all their pizzas are named after Portland bridges which I am now a clear master of after doing the Portland Bridge Petal.

//The Hawthrone//

The Skinny- Bridgeport Brewery

  • Hours: Tues-Thurs: 11:30am-11pm, Fri/Sat 11:30am- 12pm, and Sunday 11:30am- 10pm
  • Location: 1313 NW Marshall Street, Portland, OR 97209
  • Average Meal Price: $8-13
  • Phone: 503.241.3612
  • Facts: Vegetarian/vegan friendly, local and organic ingredients, great beer!

I would clearly recommend this place and I would highly suggest branching out!  Also stick to their flavorful beer, you can get a dirty martini anywhere!

❤ Jamie

Sparkling Fall Sangria

Jamie and I had yet another fabulous girl’s night out last Friday, perfect timing to celebrate the first day of fall! I’m a total summer girl, but fall is easily my next favorite season. There is nothing I love more than football weekends, pumpkin recipes and cozying up in sweaters and boots as the weather cools off. I mean seriously, Halloween is my favorite holiday – I’m all about this time of year!

We decided to pre-funk with a classy cocktail before we made our way downtown Portland (in skirts and ankle boots – a fall fashion fave of ours), opting for a sangria that features apples- a seasonal staple here in Washington. This cocktail is the perfect segway from summer to fall boozing, as it features fall produce while staying light and fresh.

SPARKLING FALL SANGRIA

1 bottle white wine (we opted for pinot grigio but any white will do – chardonnay makes for a a dry finish and Moscato or Riesling will make it super sweet)

1 bottle sparkling wine or champagne (you could also use hard cider)

2-3 (depending on size) seasonal apples, cut into chunks

Add all the ingredients to a pitcher and refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving.

I’ll be making this for a work dinner party later this week…it’s a fall theme (shocking, right?), so more recipes to come!

❤ Sarah

Fridge Clean Out Salad

You know those times when you’re traveling or been so busy it feels like forever since you ate at home? When eating out it’s not as easy to make the heathy swaps you can from the comfort of your own kitchen. I was in much need of a healthy and light salad, so last week I decided to do a fridge clean out by throwing everything I had into a salad for lunch. This is what I ended up with:

Ingredients:

  • 1 romaine head
  • 1 broccoli head, diced and then steamed, then put in the fridge to cool
  • Hand full of cherry tomatoes (or grape)
  • Snap peas
  • Diced carrot
  • Diced cucumber
  • Purple cabbage
  • Cashews
  • Sesame seeds
  • Protein of choice (I had leftover halibut)

Dressing: (This was a little guess and check w/ no measurements but turned out with the perfect amount of spice– which for me is a little spicier than most:))

  • Dash of Honey mustard salad dressing
  • Squeeze of Dijon Mustard
  • Little squeeze of lemon
  • Finished with a little chipotle sauce

You can also skip the halibut and make it a Meatless Monday option by adding tofu, tempeh, or beans! Here’s to a good start to the week!

❤ Jamie

Single-Serve Superfood Protein Oat Cakes

Happy Friday!

Last night, Jamie and I went out on the town for a little karaoke, Skinny Bliss style. Then proceeded to paint the town red {{evidence below}}

{{Lovin’ Life}}

We didn’t get too wild, as we both had to work this morning, but because I stayed out later than I normally would on a work night, I decided to cook myself a more-substantial-than-usual breakfast. The best breakfasts mix lean protein, healthy fats, and fibrous carbs, so I opted for a breakfast pancake that combines oats with superfoods such as hemp protein and maca powder. Disclaimer: this is a pretty dense pancake, so if you prefer something light and fluffy, be warned.

Maca Powder comes from a Peruvian root and has a number of health benefits. It provides the body with over 20 different fatty acids, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B12 and B1 & B2, vitamin C as well as many other vitamins and minerals. It works to support the nervous system, digestive system, reproductive system and help to reduce adrenal stress to bring our bodies back in to balance. It’s also said to increase libido and stamina!

I also used hemp protein, which is one of my favorite vegan protein sources. It’s high in fiber and nutrients, and although it turns everything green, doesn’t taste half bad!

The oat cake is a great on the go breakfast, as it cooks in the microwave in under 3 minutes and makes a single serving. And it has definitely done the trick, I’m feeling more energized already!

SUPERFOOD PROTEIN OAT CAKE

1/4 c. rolled oats

2 tbsp. coconut sugar (this is a low glycemic sweetener that tastes a lot like brown sugar, but boasts more health benefits)

1/2 banana, mashed

1-2 tbsp. hemp protein

1 tsp. maca powder

1 tbsp. cocoa powder (optional)

dash of cinnamon and allspice

Combine all ingredients and cook in the microwave for 2.5-3 minutes. Serve with syrup, fruit jam, peanut butter, butter, or eat alone.

The Skinny

  • 313 calories with cocoa powder, 288 without
  • 2.4g fat
  • 8g protein

I’m off again this weekend for a Seattle trip, but not before Jamie and I spend another night out on the town! Hope to see you there 🙂

❤ Sarah

Pumpkin Palooza

Pinned Image

//Pumpkin Pie Martini//

With the first official day of fall almost here, I figured it was the perfect time to share some of my favorite pumpkin inspired recipes. I’m a sucker for anything seasonal and while pumpkin pies, lattes, smoothies, cocktails, oats, bread, muffins, soup, etc. tend to frequent my kitchen year round, this is the time it goes into overdrive.

I’ve made this individual serving of pumpkin oat bread and the best part is you can eat the entire mini loaf all to yourself! Pop it in the oven when you’re getting ready in the morning and take it to-go with a little cream cheese!

My co-worker made this pumpkin roll and said it was the best she’s made yet. It’s currently up on our Health Board… (wonder who’s idea the health board was!) One roll makes 10 servings and each serving is 400 calories so don’t eat half the roll!

Chai pumpkin spice thumbprints… Chai annnnnnnnd pumpkin… I think so!

Healthy (and nut free) pumpkin pie granola 250 calories per 1/2 cup serving, mix w/ yogurt or just add a little almond milk to it for a fall morning kickstart.

I love smoothies after a morning run! This pumpkin pie cider smoothie def deserves a try!

Lastly, since Saturday is the first official day of fall, I’ll be sure to mix up one of these pumpkin pie martini’s!

Bonus of this overcast day? Breaking out all those stowed away fall clothes for dinner tonight!

❤ Jamie

{Photo credit: DayDreamerDesserts}

Jinx Kitchen and Lounge

After a far-too-long period of separation, we finally got the chance to reunite and catch up after over a week of traveling and being crazy busy. And in true Skinny Bliss fashion, we figured delicious food, and of course, cocktails 🙂 would be the best way to celebrate this reunion. We decided a try out Jinx in the Pearl District, as it’s one of the few places in Portland with happy hour until 7 (darn work commutes!), and neither of us had ever been before.

{{Nothing satisfies like a well-mixed cocktail after a long day at work}}

JAMIE:

Testing out something new! I honestly thought I had an issue with being indecisive but Sarah easily takes the cake 🙂 So after going back and forth about where to meet last night for happy hour (clearly not being able to make a decision) we ended up with “just park in the Pearl District and we’ll figure it out!” With both of us fighting the traffic in different directions, I made it first and wound up popping into Jinx. I’d heard of it many times before  and walk past it frequently since it’s neighbors with Vault Martini Bar.  I hadn’t heard a lot about the food before but when I saw tofu on the menu (right up Sarah’s alley) and happy hour till 7, I figured it was worth giving a try!

SARAH:

I’d seen Jinx in passing multiple times as well, and even stopped in for a late-night round of drinks on the way to other bars, but never scoped out the earlier scene. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect food-wise, as I’d always just assumed it was more bar than restaurant focused. After checking out the menu, I was pleasantly surprised!! Jinx offers an extensive happy hour food menu, featuring appetizers and small plates with a Thai flair for dirt-cheap prices (at least for the Pearl). Additionally, their cocktail menu is rich with fabulously eclectic concoctions that made my mouth water, it was hard to choose just one! I ended up choosing the Deer Hunter (not a fan of the name, but what can you do), which was a refreshing mix of cucumber, Thai chili vodka and lime. I opted out of the simple syrup since I prefer to keep my sugar consumption down, which I didn’t feel had much effect on the taste – but I’m not into sweet drinks usually so I’m a little biased.

JAMIE:

For my drink I chose the champagne cocktail of course! The Pomegranate Fizz had vodka, champagne and just a touch of pomegranate. It was very flavorful while not being overly sweet. For food, we started by sharing the crispy tofu and tofu salad rolls, both of which were fairly small, so we were glad we still had entrees on the way.

Salad Rolls with Peanut Sauce

The appetizers were the perfect amount to hold us over till our entree!  The sauces(<– Because I’m clearly a sauce girl!), peanut with the salad rolls and tangy plum with the tofu, were super flavorful, and rounded out both dishes nicely.

Crispy Tofu with Tangy Plum Sauce

SARAH:

For our entrees we both ordered the yellow curry, Jamie’s with chicken, and mine with tofu and no potatoes, since I’m allergic. The portion was a quarter the size of a normal Thai curry, which couldn’t have been more perfect – I always overeat when I eat Thai. And, it was delicious! Probably not the best curry I’ve had in Portland, but definitely top 5.

Yellow Curry

The overall verdict? Definitely a spot worth checking out! We know we’ll be back!

The Skinny – Jinx Happy Hour

  • Hours: HAPPY HOUR: MON all evening ; TUE-SAT 4-7PM ; TUE-WED 9.30pm-late, DINNER: 4-LATE, CLOSED SUNDAYS
  • Location: 232 NW 12th Ave, Portland
  • Price Range: $2-6 for both drinks and food during happy hour
  • Phone: 503.922.0178
  • Menu
  • Special Diets: Gluten free items are marked on the menu, and many dishes are vegan/vegetarian friendly.

❤ Sarah&Jamie

Vino in the Valley

Vino in Napa Valley

//Mumm’s sparkling tasting//

After living in Italy for 4 months and drinking wine more than water, I turned into a complete wine addict. I love it in all contexts: paired with a nice home cooked meal, sappy chick flick, dinner date, girls night out/or in 🙂 , post work drink or of course… an afternoon of wine tasting! As I mentioned, this past weekend I headed down to Napa Valley to do just that.  Although the trip was too short (around 24 hours, tops) I tried to keep it as relaxing as possible while squeezing in as many wineries at the same time.

//My good friend Peder and I sparkling tasting round 2 at Domaine Carneros//

Not only is wine one of the most waist friendly liberations but there are a number of health benefits as well. I mean any excuse to drink more wine or validate the addiction, right? Studies have shown that wine can reduce your risk of heart disease… in moderation of course! Per ounce, wine is lower in calories, cholesterol, sodium and fat than most any other alcoholic beverage. No added juices with sugar and extra calories just puuuuure wine. Although I also have a minor mimosa addiction so I prefer me some bubbly and sometimes a little topper of grapefruit… or another waist friendly swap –> The Bellini!  Add about a tablespoon of your favorite fruit puree to a glass of bubbly and it only adds around 10 calories. Way lower in cals than a vodka cran!

//The locals! (aka College friends) at their favorite Darioush//

NAPA NAPA NAPA:

In the short time I was there I managed to make it to: Mumm’s, Darioush, Domaine Carneros and Beringer.  All 4 were beautiful, Mumm’s and Domaine Carneros were both sparkling wineries <– Clearly these had to be on the top of my list to try. At these wineries you were seated (we chose outside of course) for your tasting.  We then met up with some friends of mine from college who now live in Napa at Darioush, where the wine tasting is done typically standing at the bar. Lastly, we hit Beringer, which has most of its tastings at the bar as well but we opted for snagging a glass and a cheese tray and sitting outside.

//Smoked salmon at Domaine Carneros= perfect palate cleanser//

The facts tend to say “a glass of wine is around 100 calories” although it’s important to remember the pour size. Most restaurant wine pours tend to be around  5oz which come in closer to 110-120 calories with champagne being slightly under that.  Typically, the sweeter the wine, the higher the calories and while one glass wont kill you, wine is easy and smooth to drink so it can go down quickly. If you drink as much wine as me, might be smart to invest in these little guys on Etsy! 🙂

Caloric Cuvee: The calorie counting wine glass

Another great wine tip: Ever worry about drinking too much red vino that your teeth turn that purplish color?  According to Dr. Brian Kantor (“dentist to the stars”) swipe a thin dab of vaseline over your teeth to prevent this (and lipstick) from messing with the pearly whites!

//Dinner @ Bistro Don Giovanni and Brunch @ Bouchon Bakery//

For more tips on restaurants, wineries and hotels let me know! In the spirit of wine, Sarah and I are going to meet out tonight for a post work glass – Have a good Tuesday!

❤ Jamie

Motivation Monday

Good morning beautiful readers!

I’ve had a truly amazing last week; between all out craziness in Vegas and quality girl time in Vancouver BC, I’ve got a ridiculously positive outlook on life. Now, I’m back to the grind and ready for my eating/working out/sleeping schedule to normalize. If you’re in the same boat, here’s a little motivation for today:

Photo Credit: Fit Sugar

The idea of little steps has always been big for me. I get easily overwhelmed with a diet and exercise overhaul and I’m the first to give up when things don’t work as quickly as I’d like them to. Over the years, I’ve learned that making small changes as you are ready, rather than big hard-to-sustain changes, lead to lasting success.

Getting in shape this way truly changes you. You start craving healthy foods and getting cranky if you don’t work out. I was the perfect example of this last weekend – I didn’t prioritize nutrition or exercise my first day in Vancouver BC and by Saturday afternoon, I was honestly chomping at the bit for a run {and I hardly EVER run…}. After a gorgeous sunset run on the waterfront, I was back to my cheerful self and ready to face the evening, and ended up having the energy to stay out till the bars closed {staying sober helped too}. It felt amazing.

Vancouver BC: If this isn’t motivation to get your butt out the door, I don’t know what is!

I hope you all are as motivated as I am to kick this week off right! Eat a salad, do some yoga, and maybe even tag along on your roomates morning run 😉 let’s make it a great week!

❤ Sarah