Well. Now’s as good a time as any, right?

I’ve missed the kitchen. I’ve missed the cooking. I’ve missed the sharing.

Sure I haven’t eaten everyyyyyy meal out since the last time we spoke, however I’d say perhaps a bit more than I would like to admit 😉

And with life very busy these days, the easy go-to’s were all that seemed to happen otherwise!

But with colder weather just around the corner and a creative side resparked, I decided there has to be a happy middle ground here :)

So. Recipe-a-week. That’s where we’re at. Fits oh-so-perfectly with my recent Sunday cooking extravaganzas in prep for those fast-paced work weeks. I’m sure you can relate.

And after a week of indulgent Thanksgiving fare this one will get things back on track, with lots of veggies, healthy protein and of course, delicious and family-approved flavor :)

Serve plain, with bread for dipping, over rice, or just a shake of hot sauce if you so desire!

Coconut Lentil & Sweet Potato Stew

Serves 4-6

Coconut lentil & sweet potato stew

– half an onion
– 4 large carrots
– 4 stalks celery
– 2 cloves garlic
– 32 oz. container chicken broth
– 2 cups dry lentils
– 14 oz. can lite coconut milk
– 3 cups cubed sweet potatoes (I used frozen)
– 2 cups water
– 1 tsp smoked paprika
– salt & pepper

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Chop onion, carrot, and celery. Sauté in a medium sized pot with 1 tablespoon olive for a few minutes until vegetables start to soften. Add garlic (chopped) and season with salt, pepper, and paprika.

Cook another minute, stirring until you smell garlic, then pour in broth and water. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook 10 minutes.

Wash and drain lentils and add to pot. Turn down to simmer and cook, covered, for 20 minutes.

Add coconut milk and sweet potatoes, extra water (if necessary), and reseason if needed (taste it). Cook, covered, 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Serve plain or with whatever carby delight you might like, enjoy!

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If you follow me on instagram I think you know it’s safe to say that even if I haven’t been blogging… that sure doesn’t mean that I haven’t been cookin’!!

Or eating for that matter 😉

musselsclams
Fresh Clams & Mussels in a White Wine Broth w/ Garlic, Tomatoes & Thai Basil

Okay okayyyyy. I can’t take the credit here.

“CookinFanatic le sous chef” doesn’t sound tooooo shabby now does it? 😉

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Spicy Ginger Asian-style Chicken Thighs w/ Peppers & Rice Noodles

Not if it means eating meals like this it sure doesn’t!! 😛 #souschefalldaye’eryday?

Of course that doesn’t mean that I haven’t thrown together some delicious treats of my own with some summer inspired flavors as well…

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Turkey Bacon & Summer Vegetable Frittata

Just can’t get enough of how pretty and fresh warm weather eats can be!!

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Israeli CousCous Summer Vegetable Salad w/ Cumin Spiced Pepitas

And if y’all know me well enough by now, you know that in between all this cooking there have been just a few visits to some local dining establishments. Ones that really represent some of the best food that Richmond has to offer…


Squid Ink Pasta w/ Shrimp & Calamari. Dinamo.

This quaint but oh-so-cute restaurant is one of my favorites in the area. With a menu only a handful of items long, everything is sourced fresh and cooked to perfection. Killer service and the cutest atmosphere too. If you live in the RVA and haven’t visited yet, I feel sad for you. Do it 😀


Fried Clam Sammie. Pasture.

Reminds me of all the years I spent with my Pop ordering clam strips at our favorite Newport News seafood shack. Talk about nostalgia. Plus… hey, it’s perfect for day-drinking, even the menu says so 😉

And speaking of… what would a CookinFanatic summer be without a signature favorite drink?!? This year I just happened to stumble upon this lil’ combo from the beverage gods and if you “happen” to do so too I think you’ll be quite pleased.

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DRY Vanilla Bean Soda (Fresh Market). Key Lime Juice. Vodka.

Who can say no to delicious flavor and hardly any calories. Sounds like a “healthy” warm weather choice that I can support, let’s be real haha!!

Cheers 😛

This past week I was excited to be given the opportunity to give Blue Apron a try, thanks to a recommendation and the generosity of a friend who raves about the service!

Ingredients for 3 full recipes…

Delivered to my doorstep…

And based on my food preferences…

Now I can get with that :)

Blue Apron delivery

Delivery day and food preferences all up to me, then Blue Apron does the rest!!  

Once dropped on my doorstep, everything to make the chicken, seafood, & vegetarian dishes as selected came beautifully labeled and organized, all in the exact amounts that I would need!

Blue Apron ingredients

Now we all know that I’m not big on recipe following. Never been my style. But after what has been a few crazy work weeks and a past weekend spent out of town, my brain was more than ready for an easy work week meal plan…

Thanks Blue Apron  😉

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Instructions. Ingredients. Good to go here!

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To put together this Chicken, Baby Artichoke, and Spinach Casserole with Gouda BĂ©chamel there was just a little bit of washing and chopping…

Blue Apron Chicken, Baby Artichoke & Spinach Casserole

Some sautĂ©ing…

Blue Apron Chicken, Baby Artichoke & Spinach Casserole

BĂ©chamel making…

Blue Apron Chicken, Baby Artichoke & Spinach Casserole

And baking!

Blue Apron Chicken, Baby Artichoke & Spinach Casserole

I wasn’t sure how much I’d rave about these recipes but I have to say that overall, after the first go-run, I was beyond pleased with how this dish turned out!!

It took some time to prep, but nothing that wasn’t manageable even after a 10 hour day at work :)

And y’all, seriously, this garlic gouda cheese sauce spiced with a touch of paprika could probably be poured over anything and make it a million times more delicious. Just sayin… it was really freakin’ good!!

I still have two dishes left to give a try and am looking forward to them both, as they are both right up my food alley…

Ginger-Soy Glazed Salmon w/ Broccoli Rabe and Soba Noodles

Blue Apron Ginger Soy Glaxed Salmon
Photo courtesy of Blue Apron

Roasted Butternut Squash w/ Stewed White Beans, Gremolata, & Brussels Sprouts

Butternut
Photo courtesy of Blue Apron

Overall I have to say that I would definitely consider giving Blue Apron another go based on my experience.

For those that have limited time but still enjoy the comfort of a home cooked meal, I think this offers a great option for a great price!

Do tell, have you ever tried a food delivery service before?