The Local Ladle

Vegan Corn Chowder

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I will definitely not take credit for the carved pumpkin soup bowls.  This is a Shirley (my mom) staple for sure!  One of my favorite High School memories was having all of my friends over to my house for dinner before the big Homecoming Dance in the fall.   My mom served up Wild Rice Soup in carved out pumpkins (keep in mind there were about 16 of us…).

Ever since then, I want to eat my soup out of nothing other than a pumpkin!  Warm up in this chilly weather and enjoy this delicious, yet simple Vegan Corn Chowder!  In a pumpkin bowl of course…  Read more

The Perfect Italian Sub

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Ever since I can remember, I’ve grown up eating Al & Joes Italian Subs in Franklin Park when I visited my Grandma.

It was just the best unwrapping that oily paper and digging in to the delicious layers of Italian meat and cheese!  So recently,  I’ve been determined to replicate those amazing flavors and after a few attempts,  I think I might have just nailed it!

Check it out and let me know! :)

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4 Healthy Summer Salads Recipes

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Summer means Famers Markets and beautiful fresh produce, so why not celebrate with a few of my favorite healthy salad recipes! Check out these 4 quick and simple recipes below and feel free to get a little creative with your own favorite ingredients! Read more

Miso Soup with Bok Choy & Tofu

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I work with a restaurant group in Chicago, that has an amazing Asian restaurant called Sunda with a “Build Your Own Ramen” option for lunch.  I’m telling you I eat it about twice a week it’s so delicious and perfect for the chilly weather!

These beautiful ramen dishes really inspired me to dive into Asian flavors and fusion.  Not only was the ramen in general addicting, but to me it was the miso broth that really stole the show.

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Purple Gnocchi with Asparagus & Blue Cheese

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Gnocchi, like perogies, have been a staple comfort dish in my family since I can remember.  My mom would prepare it with a basic red sauce or simply tossed in melted butter.  When it comes to delicious fresh gnocchi, it is always better to keep it simple!

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Eggs Baked In Avocado

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Avocados are hands down one of my favorite snacks and a great addition to just about anything!  When I am getting ready in the morning, I will crack eggs into my halved avocado and toss them in the oven.  In 20 minutes, I have a vitamin packed breakfast that is great to spread on bread or simply to enjoy with a spoon!

One big tip I have is to scoop out about 1-1.5 tablespoons of avocado (wide not deep) to create enough room for your egg. Otherwise it will overflow!

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Soba Salad with Seaweed & Miso-Ginger Dressing

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When I went to school in Ireland, I was lucky enough to live walking distance from the ocean.  It was the first time in my life I could ever say I lived by the smell of sea salt in the air.

At least 3 times a week, I would either walk or run to the water to escape the chaos of class and also at the same time do a little “grocery shopping.”  My favorite things to pick up along the way were blackberries that lined the streets and also my favorite… seaweed.  I was fascinated by the health benefits and also all the variety of uses it had in the kitchen!

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Citrus Ricotta Toast

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Artisanal toast… a trend that has taken off like crazy and even as much as I roll my eyes at the trend, I do admit I have a hard time passing up avocado toast on any brunch menu. The toast below uses ricotta, which is similar the creaminess of the traditional avocado. The creaminess pairs well with the citrus punch and earthiness of the pistachios and pine nuts!

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Grilled Mediterranean Romaine

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This salad is a fun healthy twist on a Cesar salad. Rather than a heavy cream dressing, I have tied in one of my favorite yogurt dressings and substituted a meat protein for chickpeas and pine nuts!

Grilling romaine is actually something I learned from my mom. One of her favorite summer dinners is a large plate of grilled romaine with a light dressing. After picking up romaine at the grocery store today, my plan was to make a fulfilling winter version of her salad!

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3 Easy Zucchini Noodle Mason Jar Lunches

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One of my new year resolutions is to bring lunch from home at least 4 work days a week. As all of us know…. harder said than done, especially working with a restaurant group!

So my plan is to make use of my favorite inventions, my zucchini spiralizer and mason jars! Here are a few recipes below that are some of the most simple and efficient ways to spice up your lunch and by day 4 still not wanting take out!

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