Butternut and Apple Soup

Creamy Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Boost your immune system, fuel and nourish your body this winter with a hearty, healthy homemade soup.

Butternut Squash is one vegetable in particular that flourished in my garden this last year.  I am still picking some end of year produce and have been overjoyed with the harvest from the last year.  Not only is it incredibly healthy and pairs well with other fruits and veggies, but it’s perfect for this season.

After a weekend of snow and ice, I am craving the cozy clothes, fire pits and warm comfort foods. During this season, I often crave chili, stews and soups.  I welcome you to check out my Healthy and Hearty Slow Cooker Beef Stew here.  Whether you’re making a warm batch of Healthy Homemade Bone Broth Recipe or gathering ingredients to create your own comfort food, you’ve come to the right place to nourish your body with seasonal eating and simple recipes.

Today I am sharing one of my favorites….
Creamy Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

I love squash this time of the year and it aligns with the many benefits of seasonal eating.  Winter is a great time for a variety of squash dishes.

Butternut Squash dishes up a ton of benefits: 

  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • Aids digestion and gut health
  • Supports healthy blood sugar levels
  • Contains disease fighting antioxidants
  • Loaded with vitamins, potassium, magnesium and fiber
  • Anti-inflammatory


Serves 4

1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
2 apples, cored and chopped
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried sage
5 cups chopped butternut squash
4 cups organic vegetable broth and 2 cups dairy-free milk


Add all the ingredients to a large soup pot over medium heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir well. Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Alternatively, you can blend the soup in batches in a high speed blender and serve.  Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite butternut squash dish? I’d love to hear!

Stay cozy,


Summer Heirloom Tomato and Fruit Salad

When it comes to summer foods, simple salads and summer produce dishes are often the option of choice for cookouts, picnics and delicious meal options.  With the summer markets and gardens offering a bounty this time of the year, it’s pretty easy to find salad options.  When it comes to this simple dish, I invite you to get creative with different flavors and textures.

This recipe can be created as written or you can choose to opt out ingredients for others.  With summer slowing down, I am finding an abundance of fresh produce that needs to be used or canned.  Therefore I loaded this goodie up with things I had from the market and garden.  Fresh herbs can be altered and include basil, mint or dill. Not only do herbs provide an additional flavor and garnish but they also help with detoxification.

Heirloom tomatoes are one of my favorites to grow in the garden.  Though I do love all fresh off the vine tomatoes, I’ve really grown to love the heirloom variety.  This year in the garden, I am growing black prince, green zebra and persimmons (which have been called a tree fruit).  These tomatoes have an added health benefit in that they contain lycopene.  One of the most powerful natural antioxidants.  These tomatoes are rich in Vitamin C, which helps to nourish different parts of the body and has been linked to stress reduction.

Watermelons are another staple often found in the garden and at markets during the summer season.  This juicy and tasty fruit helps to keep us hydrated during the hot summer months.  Watermelon has been linked to reduced inflammation, heart health and weight loss.

The combination of these two beauties are not only gorgeous but also healthy and delicious.  I often top my dishes with goat or sheet cheese, which is easier on the digestion at times.  You can play with different dressing ideas like oil and fresh squeeze lemon, balsamic glaze or dressing or you can make your own like the simple recipe below.  You can add additional toppings like avocado, nuts and seeds too!

Have fun with summer produce this season.  There are so many fun and delicious combinations to experiment with.

Summer Heirloom Tomato and fruit Salad


  • 4 heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges or bite sized pieces
  • 4 cups watermelon, cubed
  • 2 peaches, nectarines or plums (you can add all if you like)
  • 2 ounces of goat cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • small handful of mint leaves
  • small handful of Microgreens https://www.marylandmicrogreens.com
  • Optional: Bed of arugula or spinach 

To Prepare the Salad:

1. In a bowl or serving platter, place greens as a base.
2. Mix the microgreens (if using) with the salad greens or reserve for topping
3. Top the greens  with tomatoes, fruit and then goat cheese.
5. Sprinkle nuts, if using and serve with dressing.

Dressing Directions:

In a mason jar with lid or mixing bowl, mix oil with a gradual drip of balsamic to taste.  Depending on the desired sweetness.  Add the honey for desired texture and taste.  If using, finish with salt and pepper.  Shake or stir to combine ingredients before serving with the salad.


P.S. if this salad sounds appealing to your palate, I welcome you to check out this summer beet salad. Summer Peachy Beet Salad




Chicken with Zoodles, Tomato and Feta

It’s prime season at the farmers market and I have been loading up.  I made chicken with zoodles, tomato and feta this week and it was amazing!  I had some zucchini and roma tomatoes left over and decided to try the combination.  WOW!  Especially when you throw in some spices and fresh herbs.  Looking for some lean protein?  Add in some healthy organic chicken.  The presentation is pretty too.  No chef skills needed here, friends!

Zucchini has a ton of benefits and is pretty inexpensive when found locally.  Zucchini is known to help with weight reduction and boosts a healthy nutritional value.  It helps to promote eye health, has been shown to lower homocysteine levels and helps with asthma symptoms. Zucchini contains high quantities of Vitamin A, folate, potassium, Vitamin C and fiber.

About a month ago, I was asked to be a guest vendor at my local farmers market.  I knew I was going to be preparing simple, healthy and delicious dishes from ingredients at the market.  I had such a wonderful time shopping around and chatting with the local farmers.  I love asking them about their farming practices and hearing their recipe ideas.  A few of the many things that I love about shopping local and supporting the farmers in my community.  While at the market last month, I made these zoodles and they were a HIT!   Since the event, I’ve been receiving zoodle recipe requests and wanted to create a delicious but simple combo.

I thought the zoodles would pair well with my  Farm Fresh Tomato, Basil and Feta Salad recipe and some healthy chicken.  I grill chicken throughout the week as part of my food prep, but you can cook it on the stove or bake it as well.  The recipe pairs well with the farm fresh tomato, basil and feta recipe (as a topping or side), but you can keep it simple with diced roma tomatoes pan cooked in a little avacado oil and spices.  I’ve made it with homemade pasta sauce too!  I encourage you to be creative and experiment with the different options when combining flavors and ingredients in this meal.


Chicken with Zoodles, Tomato and Feta

2-3 Large Zucchini (4-5 small)

4 Chicken Breasts (organic if possible)

3-4 Roma tomatoes, diced (or use the recipe above and cut the portions)

Feta Cheese (unless using the farm fresh recipe above)

Fresh Basil (small handful)

1 to 2 tsp Fresh Garlic, chopped (I love garlic, so I use a lot!)

1/2 Tbsp of Italian Seasoning

Salt and Pepper (optional and to taste)

Avacado or Grapeseed Oil


zucchini:  using a zucchini spiralizer, carefully prepare your zucchini into spirals. in a large skillet, boil a cup to a cup and a half of water. gently toss and cook (steam) your noodles until they are a little soft but not falling apart.  once cooked to your desired texture, drain and set aside.
*I am not a fan of boiling with a lot of water because the vegetable has water and makes the noodles runny. i prefer to cook in a skillet and slightly steam with a little hot water.
tomato mixture: In a stove top pan, heat a little oil and add your garlic.  cook just a few minutes while stirring around.  it will not take long for it to cook.  add in your tomatoes and italian seasoning.  once cooked down, remove and set aside.
chicken: if you’re cooking your chicken on the stove, pound or butterfly your chicken to thin it out for cooking.  season with salt and pepper (if desired).  heat your skillet and add a TBSP of oil. add your chicken to the pan and cook on both sides until the center is no longer pink.
let’s plate it up:  carefully dish out a serving of your zoodles onto a clean plate.  add your chicken and top with your desired tomato seasoning.  add feta (unless you’re using the above recipe with feta in it) and some chopped up fresh basil to create your meal.  I served mine with a side of asparagus, but additional veggies are not necessary.
Note:  I used the Veggetti Pro Spiralizer (click on the link below).

Veggetti Pro Table-Top Spiralizer, Quickly Spiral Slice Vegetables into Healthy Veggie Pasta


i would love to hear your feedback and comments about the recipe.  do you have a favorite zoodles recipe that you would love to share? comment below and share your tips or favorites.  enjoy, friends!




Growing up as a child, I loved picking farm fresh, ripe tomatoes right off of the vine.  I didn’t care if they were washed or not.  I would bite into them and enjoy the sweet, juicy and oh-so-fresh taste!  I wouldn’t need any salt or pepper.  Just a sweet, juicy and ripe tomato.

Even as an adult, I still enjoy those simple pleasures and load up every time I see them at the farmers market.  I love checking out and learning about the different kinds.  If you see one that looks unfamiliar to you, I encourage you to check it out.  There are so many wonderful varieties.

Even though I love all kinds, I use roma tomatoes with a lot of my dishes.  This one in particular pairs well with roma tomatoes.  They have less seeds and are not as soft, so they prepare well and combine the flavors and textures nicely.  Throw in a little olive oil, seasoning, some feta, fresh basil, and you have a spectacular dish.

I love taking this dish to events, picnics, parties and get together’s.  I love making it at home as well.  It’s delicious with some healthy pita chips or veggies while relaxing on the deck with a chilled glass of vino.  With the holiday approaching, this dish would make a lovely appetizer at your event or picnic.  I also add it to my chicken dishes and zoodle recipes.  It’s always a crowd pleaser.




10 Fresh Roma Tomatoes (chopped)

1 container of feta (I love the Mediterranean feta from Wegmans)

Small handfull of fresh basil

3 Tablespoons of dry Italian Seasoning (or half of a seasoning pack if desired)

Organic extra virgin olive oil


Wash and dice all of your tomatoes.  Mix them in a bowl with the feta cheese.  Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over your ingredients.  Combine and mix in the seasoning.  Lay your ingredients out on your serving tray.  Sprinkle a small amount of seasoning on top.  This may be more than the three tablespoons.

*I recommend you taste as you go and adjust accordingly.  This is a very simple dish, but some prefer more of less of the seasoning, oil and feta.

*The same goes for your fresh basil.  I love basil, so I chop up a small amount and sprinkle the dish with this fresh herb.  It’s just as delicious without, so don’t worry if you don’t have it or don’t love it.  I do love to garnish the ends of my dish and create a farm fresh display (as shown above).

Chill to combine flavors before serving.  I recommend a chill time of one to two hours, but it’s not necessary.

Serve alone, with veggies or organic pita chips.  ENJOY!


Wishing you a wonderful and safe holiday week!






Summer is the perfect time for farm fresh watermelon popsicles!

Summer is officially here and the weather forecast is calling for a HOT weekend here in Maryland.  When I think of summer and hot days, it reminds me of the pool, summer foods and fun with family and friends.  I love fresh watermelon on hot summer days.  Even better…cool popsicles made with fresh melon.

I love to make popsicles because they are fun, easy and a great way to enjoy your fresh fruits.  If you have kiddos, I recommend getting  them involved in the fun.

There are so many options for this tasty, healthy treat.  You can turn so many drinks and fruity concoctions into a frozen popsicle.  Experiment with it and have fun!

Popsicles take about 5 to 6 hours to fully freeze, so you want to allow time for the freezing process.  We make ours the night before or early the next day.  I love a cold, juicy popsicle in the middle of the day when it’s nice and hot!  If you’re like me, I recommend that you prepare yours the night before.

You can find popsicle molds in many home stores, the dollar store, online and where kitchen items are sold.  When shopping for your molds, I recommend looking for BPA-Free molds.  Dishwasher safe options would be great for quick and easy cleanup.

As I mentioned before, you can create a ton of options for your popsicles.  The popsicle will taste just like the drink or mix, so make sure it’s oh-so-delicious before your start pouring.  I suggest sticking to natural sugars like fruits, instead of adding sugar filled ingredients and junk.

Do you have a favorite mix for your summer popsicles?  I would love to hear what you think about this recipe.


Watermelon Popsicles

Serves 6 to 8
4 cups seedless watermelon (no rind)
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon honey
BLEND THE INGREDIENTS: Blend the watermelon, lime juice, and honey in a blender. Pour the mixture into Popsicle molds and place in the freezer until solid.