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

Healthy Spaghetti Squash with Lemon, Thyme, Asparagus, & Ricotta

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So what’s this big trend around Spaghetti Squash?  This gorgeous yellow squash is available year-round in most grocery stores and can be considered both a summer or winter squash.  By adding this vegetable to your table, you will easily get hooked on this delicious treat and the several health benefits it can bring to your body.

That moment you realize you may have waited a little too long shed that winter coat and jump into that new tiny bikini… this summer squash might just be a life saver!   With only 42 calories and 10 carbs in a 1-cup serving of cooked spaghetti squash, this vegetable is a safe addition to any diet!

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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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Coffee Roasted Carrots

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The talented Daniel Patterson, Chef owner of Coi, in San Francisco’s North Beach brought to life the idea of “Carrots/Coffee.”  Daniel’s “Coffee Roated Carrots with Chicory Granola” dish has meat lovers even leaving his restaurant saying that the carrot course was the standout favorite.  Experimenting with these two unique ingredients brought together a genius combination of sweet, smoky, and earthy flavors.

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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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Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

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Quinoa is one of those ingredients that I would use as a substitute base for almost everything! If I was feeling Italian… Thai… Mexican… I’d mix in the flavors with a big bowl of quinoa and didn’t even miss the rice or pasta! Spaghetti squash has stepped up as my new favorite low cal, low carb replacement.

I usually roast a few spaghetti squash at one time, scrape out the “spaghetti” with a fork, and put it in a large Tupperware to use for different dishes throughout the week! This Pad Thai recipe below is a great one to start with. It’s fairly simple and packs in some amazing flavor!

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Balsamic Fig & Blackberry Avocado Toast

Balsamic Fig & Blackberry Avocado Toast

I am going on my 3rd week of sticking to a vegan diet and I must say these past few days have been the hardest for me! Being vegan is easy…. until your faced with the challenge of saying no to every egg dish on that glorious brunch menu or it’s your moms birthday at a restaurant known for their succulent and mouthwatering duck. Going out to eat hands down brings out every vegans little devil on their shoulder. That guy doesn’t seem to shut up until the menus are gone!

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