Welcome to Butterbean Eats// caroline

I wanted to start a blog that allows my friends and family to share the food they make, have access to new and fun recipes and connect with one another via the kitchen! If you have something to share, send me an email!





healing butternut squash soup // Caroline

Okay so I realize butternut squash soup is not in season during May and a root vegetable soup is maybe the last thing on your brain. But here in Homer, Alaska (where I currently reside) its cold and rainy. Also, there doesn’t really seem much of a growing culture here so finding seasonal food is really rather impossible unless you know someone or its the summer and the farmer’s market is happening. So alas, I’m stuck with what the grocery store has to offer. However, the real reason I made this soup is because I was feeling under the weather and I like to make this soup when I’m sick or sad because it always manages to make me feel better (even if its for the ~20 minutes while I eat it). It’s also #delicious and fairly easy to make if you plan ahead a bit and do stuff while the veggies are roasted. I originally got this recipe off a blog I like, (Elizabeth Rider) but I’ve adapted it a bit to make it easier to make and for a little richer flavor.


1  butternut squash (mid-large sized)

1 lb carrots (or parsnips would be yummy too!)

1 apple

1/2 yellow onion

3 garlic gloves (leave skins on while roasting)

Olive oil (~2 Tbsp)

4-6 cups veggie broth (if you have a hard time blending use more)

1 Tbsp curry power

1 knob freshly cut up ginger

1/4 tsp ginger powder (opt.)

1/2 tsp ground turmeric  or 1 1/2 inch knob fresh (for the ~healing~ powers) (opt.)

1 Tbsp honey (or maple syrup)

salt and pepper


Set oven to 400 degrees. Peel and chop butternut squash into ~1 inch cubes (alternatively if I am feeling lazy I will just the whole thing in half and roast it that way and scoop the insides out later). Chop carrots. Peel and cut onion half. Core and slice apple in half. Lay squash, carrots, onion, apple and garlic (skin on) on tray. drizzle with olive oil and generously sprinkle salt and pepper on everything. Roast till veggies are slightly brown and soft (about 30-40 min.) Flip halfway through to ensure even roasting, Sometimes the apple and garlic gets done before the others so I will take them out at about 25 min.

After veggies are roasted, add them in a big pot with the vegetable broth and the rest of the ingredients/spices. Bring to a boil and then down to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes until everything is soft.

Okay, here comes the messy part! Once the soup has simmered for a bit, let it cool down a bit (or not if you’re feeling brave) and then slowly using a measuring cup add it into a blender till the blender is half full. Blend it till smooth and then transfer into another pot/bowl. Keep repeating that until all the soup is pureed. Pour all the pureed soup back into the big pot and let simmer for 10 more minutes or until you are ready to eat. Top with quinoa, sprinkle with seeds, pour over rice or eat it alone. I often finish the whole pot in one day!

Happy eating,





argula, cumin, black-eyed pea and roasted veggie salad (aka cooler than you think “salad”) //Caroline

So my current job has me working with kids. All day every day. So I need yummy, nutritious and filling food to feed me. But, I work for a non-profit which hosts school groups at our private facility and field station and technically the school is required to provide the teaching staff’s food. Kind of a weird set-up, I know. But whatever. Unfortunately, the food the school groups normally provide is pretty much in the “hot dogs, chips and lunch meat sandwiches” category (except s/o to the waldorf school which brought homemade curry and rice and beans – keep being weird and awesome you guys). The lack of nutritious and delicious provided food situation brings up a whole slew of questions and interesting things regarding public funding for nutrition and food education in schools and what it means to be able to spend money on good food, but I’ll save that rant/topic for another time. So, instead of opting for a cold turkey with mayo, I end up bringing my own food. This is been a challenge when the school groups stay at our facility for 3+ days of programming and I have to make all my food ahead of time. But I’ve made it work. Mostly because I’ve discovered the power of the “all you need” salad. Don’t worry it’s not really a salad. It’s more of a pile of awesomeness. (If I’m being honest, I don’t really like normal salads. That is, salads mostly made up of tasteless lettuce with a few chopped tomatoes, grated carrots and a light vinaigrette on it. blah. My high school’s boyfriend’s mom used to serve one with dinner every night and I never really got the point. Butttttt this salad, this salad is awesome. It’s loaded with hearty vegetables, leafy greens, plant protein, whole grains, and tons of flavor and creaminess (that word sounds weird in the context of a salad, but it will make sense once you try it). There are lots of similar style recipes out there to it and for a good reason. I pretty much bring a batch version of this type of salad on every school program I do because it makes me happy and full and has all the nutrients/food groups I want/need for a good meal. yay!

also! this uses black eyed peas which I never really used or eaten in the past , but I decided to start because they make me feel really cool for some reason. idk why they just do.

black eyed peas


Argula, cumin, black-eyed pea and roasted veggie salad

Salad Ingredients:

~5 cups mixed greens (I like spicy ones like arugula, mizuna, mustard greens, baby spinach etc)

1/2 large sweet potato (about 1 1/2 cups chopped)

1 large parsnip (cause parsnips are so hot right now)

1/2 cup dry quinoa    (I like the red kind but its also more expensive…)

1/2 can black eyed peas (or just use the whole can if you think you might not use the 2nd half any time soon)

1 Tbsp cumin

buckwheat groats  for topping (not necessary  at all but if you happen to have them in your pantry like I did (they were cheap and I wanted to try them) they will make your salad feel really official)

Dressing Ingredients

1 small shallot minced

2 Tbsp maple syrup (or honey, agave nectar)

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (one of the cases where fresh juice makes a difference)

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp cumin (or more to taste)

salt + lots of pepper


Chop and veggies and coat in olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 425 degrees till soft (about 30 min). Rinse and drain black eyed peas. Drizzle with olive oil and coat with cumin. Roast at 425 for about 25 min or till they reach desired crunchy level.

While that stuff is roasting, cook quinoa (its 1:2 grain to water ratio just in case you don’t have google) and make the dressing. To make the dressing pour everything into a blender and blend till smooth. If you don’t have a blender just whisk everything up with a fork in a bowl.

Once veggies and quinoa are done, add them to a mid-sized bowl with the mixed greens. Mix together until the greens get a little wilty from the warm food. The mix in the dressing and add the toasted black eyed peas. Sprinkle with buckwheat groats, sunflower seeds or sprouts.


Serves 1 large or 2 small.



My very favorite smoothie // Caroline

Okay if I am being honest with you I didn’t really see the appeal in smoothies – especially making one at home. Sure I found them tasty, but I never went out of my way to ensure that I had smoothie making ingredients around in case I wanted one. But now…man… ever since I tried this smoothie I had been hooked! It’s unlike any smoothie I’ve ever ordered somewhere and its so so so so good. Plus it fills me up. Seriously, I’m a near constant snacker and get hungry like an hour after every meal, but this fills me up all morning and beyond. I feel like adding avocado to smoothies is kind of a  foodie/health blog/pintrest trend but oh well its a trend for a reason. It’s so damn good and makes it so smooth. I feel a little weird about it cause I’ve never lived in area where avocados are grown locally (or bananas for that matter!) so this is one of those treats that is only possible by our globalized world.

I put the smoothie in a bowl and add toppings to make it more filling.



1 frozen banana (make sure its frozen b/c the consistency is better that way)

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 avocado

2 tablespoons almond butter

1 – 2 tablespoons maple syrup/honey/agave nectar (add more if you like sweeter things)

~1 teaspoon vanilla

~1 teaspoon cinnamon

Additional Toppings:

granola/muesli, banana slices, other fruit, nuts, cooked quinoa or buckwheat

Also sometimes I’ll add a cup of kale or a little bit of turmeric to the smoothie depending on what I feel like.


(taken on my couch this afternoon while nursing a hangover and watching The Office )

Traveler’s Stew (aka Sweet Potato, Lentil and Turmeric Stew) // Caroline


Truth be told, lentil soup was always kind of blah for me until one day I made this and now I think its the most delicious thing ever…so if you have ever felt blah about lentil soup don’t give it up until you’ve tasted this. Plus eating lentils brings you good luck! Okay, maybe that’s just at the new year, but I like to think its true always.

I’m naming it Traveler’s Stew because I’ve made this soup a couple of times now and without being conscious of it, I realized I’ve made on the night of arrival for two different sets of friends who’ve traveled a little ways to visit me.  The name is also fitting because its a hearty soup that fills you up and grounds you after being stuck in a car for a while. It also has fresh turmeric in it, a natural anti-inflammatory for knees and bodies that have been sitting for too long. (Also gives a nice orangy color).

A side note here is that a lot of recipes will call for ground ginger and ground turmeric. If I can help it, I always prefer fresh. It just tastes better to me. But feel free to use ground if that’s what you have.

Also – I apologize not having a photo, still getting my act together on that part, but  its still SO good so if you try this soup make sure to take a photo for me 🙂 🙂 🙂

Sweet Potato, Lentil and Turmeric Stew

Serves: 4-6            Prep Time: ~20 min.    Total time: ~ 1 hour (but the soup is just simmering for most of that!)


1/4 cup sunflower oil (or olive)

1 medium onion diced

1 cup brown/green lentils

1 can diced tomatoes

1 large knob fresh ginger (double size of thumb), grated or finely minced

1 knob fresh turmeric, (size of thumb) grated or finely minced

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon. cayenne


4 medium sweet potatoes, chopped into ~3/4 inch cubes

7 cups veggie. broth (low-sodium or homemade if possible)

1 cup lentils, (brown or multi-colored)

Half-bunch Lacinato kale, chopped or shredded


Heat up the oil. Add onions and cook until they are soft and smell yummy (about 4-5 minutes). Stir in the tomatoes and ginger and cook for 3 minutes longer. Stir in the rest of the spices – turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne, and a small pinch of salt. (I like to get all my spices together in a bowl before hand so I can just dump them in all at once.) Cook and stir for about two minutes then add the sweet potatoes, broth and lentils. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce, heat, cover and let simmer for 35-50 minutes or until the sweet potatoes and lentils are both soft (in my experience cooking time really varies here depending on stove, heating setting etc). Add the chopped kale in the last five-ten minutes of cooking so it gets wilted a bit.

I ate mine with fresh, crusty bread baked my sister.