Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas

Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas

New York City, and the surrounding area are about to get dumped on by a massive snow storm.  People are flocking to the store, raiding the aisles, and stocking up on supplies to last them until Spring. Me? I cooked up this delicious pot of stew, and plan on holing up in my apartment and eating leftovers while the storm blankets the city’s sidewalks with snow.  I can’t think of a better home-cooked meal to welcome the storm than this satisfying and healthy Italian Stew.

Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas

Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas

This dish is every bit as comforting as some of it’s meatier, culinary cousins, but is incredibly healthy and accidentally vegan! I say accidentally because I never purposely set out to make vegan meals. Being a vegetarian I tend to use a lot of cheese in my cooking, especially for comfort food, but this stew is so vibrant with flavors you definitely won’t miss the cheese.

Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas

Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas

This dish is really simple to make, and I can bet that most of the ingredients can be found in your pantry.  Feel free to be creative as well if you don’t have certain ingredients. Frozen spinach can be swapped in for the fresh kale; sweet or regular potatoes, or any other type of winter squash can be subbed in for the butternut squash.  Can we also talk about how healthy this dish is? Every ingredient in this stew is nutritious – potassium, iron, calcium, fiber…this list goes on. So many positives in this stew I can’t think of a reason not to make it. It can be time consuming to chop all these veggies, however, so if you have a friend, partner or family member that you can enlist to help chop, I strongly encourage it!

Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas

Hope everyone in the Northeast stays safe, and eats lots of delicious comfort food during the storm!

Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas

Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Note: Bunches of kale vary in weight and in the amount of wilted leaves or large stems.  You’ll probably need ~1 pound of kale to yield 5 cups (after sorting, stemming and chopping). Kale cooks down significantly so don’t be alarmed by the large amounts of greens.
Adapted from The Moosewoods Restaurant Cooking for Health


  • 2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and diced (about 1/2 cup) – optional
  • 5 cups kale, stemmed and chopped (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups cooked whole-wheat couscous, brown rice or quinoa for serving


  1. In a large soup pot on medium-high heat, cook the onions and salt in the olive oil, stirring often, until very soft and starting to caramelize, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, coriander, thyme, black pepper and red pepper flakes and stir for amount a minute.  Add the water, butternut squash, chickpeas, tomatoes, carrots and bell pepper.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the vegetables until very tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the kale, cover, and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the greens are tender but still bright in color.  Stir in the basil and vinegar, and add additional spices and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve over couscous, brown rice or quinoa.

Coconut Orange Bundt Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream #Bundtbakers

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Coconut Orange Bundt Cake

For the past few weeks, I’ve been making a conscious effort to eat healthy, which hasn’t been that difficult considering the endless amount of nutritious and delicious recipes on the internet. Eating more healthfully, for me, often means opting for cooking rather than ordering in, and I’ve been having a blast researching so many different recipes from some of my favorite cookbooks and blogs. I’ve been stocking up on veggies,healthier flours (buckwheat pancakes anyone?), and cutting back on sugar. The hardest part about conscious eating, for me at least, is that I can’t resist my incessant sweet tooth. As hard as I try, my hankering for baked goods can not be denied. In addition to my pathetic lack of self control when it comes to sweets, I also didn’t want to miss out on this month’s #bundtbakers theme: Coconut (one of my faves!)

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Coconut Orange Bundt Cake

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Coconut Orange Bundt Cake

Coconut cakes are notorious for unhealthy ingredients – Ina Garten’s recipe calls for 1 1/4 pounds butter, 1 pound of cream cheese and 1 pound of confectioner sugar – yikes! So I spent a long time researching lower fat, healthier options.  I came across a gluten-free, dairy-free cake from Nourishing Days, that used coconut flour and oil instead of all-purpose flour and butter.  Oranges are in season – one of the few fruits that are at this time of the year, so I thought, why not, I’ll give it a try!

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Coconut Orange Bundt Cake

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Coconut Orange Bundt Cake

I doubled the recipe to fit the size of a bundt pan.  I also subbed out coconut oil for olive oil because I thought that would pair really nicely with the orange juice, and seamed “healthier” to me. Taking a quick glance at the doubled recipe, I noticed that the cake now called for a dozen eggs! I’m trying to avoid overindulgence here, so I needed to be creative to cut that down. I thought maybe if I separated the eggs, and beat the egg whites to add more volume, it would make up for cutting out half the eggs. I also added a bit more baking soda to help the cake rise, and the modifications seemed to do the trick!

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Coconut Orange Bundt Cake

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Coconut Orange Bundt Cake

I generally find gluten-free, dairy-free desserts to be pretty lifeless, but this cake is really moist, super light (thanks to the beaten egg whites) and incredibly delicious! I brought the cake into work the next day and got so many compliments on how delicious it was. Everyone was surprised and impressed that it was gluten-free! While I’m not sure this would take home first prize at the county fair, especially when compared to a cake like Ina’s, it certainly satisfies the sweets craving with less than half the fat, and definitely a fraction of the guilt.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Coconut Orange Bundt Cake

Coconut Orange Bundt Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream #Bundtbakers

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Note: This cake stuck to the pan for me, so underneath all that delicious whipped coconut cream is a big gaping hole from where it stuck.  That’s the beauty of the cream, it covers up any imperfections without anyone knowing! If you don’t want to make a bundt cake, simply 1/2 the recipe and use an 8×8″ square pan, or 9×5″ loaf pan. Regular whipped cream can be substituted for the coconut whipped cream if you prefer.  

Cake adapted from  Nourishing Days and Whipped Coconut Cream adapted from Shutterbean


For the cake:

  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk, well mixed, whole fat
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 medium oranges (juiced and zested) – zest of 1/2 orange reserved for whipped cream
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Coconut Whipped Cream

  • 1 13.5 oz. can of coconut milk, whole fat
  • 1 tablespoon honey plus more for drizzling
  • zest of 1/2 orange


For the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Heavily grease a 9-cup bundt pan with olive oil or non-stick spray (this cake can be sticky) and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, olive oil, coconut milk, honey, and juice and zest of 1 orange.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the coconut flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the egg yolk mixture, and whisk until evenly mixed.  Gently fold in the egg whites until just incorporated, do not over-mix.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan.  Bake for 35-4o minutes, until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove the cake from oven and place on cooling rack.  While the cake is still in the pan, poke holes in the bottom of the cake and pour juice of the remaining 1/2 orange over the cake.  Allow to cool completely before removing from pan.

For the coconut whipped cream:

  1. Place the can of coconut milk upside down in the freezer for at least an hour (or in the refrigerator over night).
  2. Turn the can right side up, open, and pour the coconut water into another container (the water should be relatively clear), reserving the creamy, white coconut cream.
  3. Scoop the thick coconut cream out into the bowl of a stand up mixer.  Beat on high speed until soft peaks form.  Add the honey and orange zest and beat until combined.
  4. Generously pour the whipped cream over the bundt cake and spread to smooth. Drizzle about a tablespoon of honey decoratively over the cake before you serve.

Cake will keep for 2 days, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated.

Check out what others in our #bundtbakers group are up to! Links below!

Almond Joy Bundtlettes from Sew You Think You Can Cook
Candy Bar Chocolate Coconut Bundt Cake from Love and Confections
Chocolate Italian Cake from Magnolia Days
Coconut & Banana Bundt Cake from Just One Bite Baking
Coconut Banana Bundt Cake from Basic N Delicious
Coconut Carrot Bundt Cake from Media Racion Doble, Por Favor
Coconut Cream Bundt Cake from Adventures in All Things Food
Coconut Hummingbird Bundt Cake from Patty’s Cake
Coconut Milk Bundt Cake from I Love Bundt Cakes
Coconut Milk Bundt Cake from Un Mordisco Un Pecado
Coconut Oil Pound Cake from The Spiced Life
Coconut Sugar Banana Cake from A Kingdom for a Cake
Cranberry and Coconut Bundt Cake from La Cocina de Aisha
Cranberry, Orange and Coconut Bundt Cake from Kids & Chic
German Chocolate Bundt Cake from The Freshman Cook
Glazed Chocolate Macaroon Bundt Cake from Food Lust People Love
Gluten-free Coconut Orange Bundt Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream from Cassie’s Kitchen
Gizzada Mini Bundts from Passion Kneaded
Key Lime Coconut Cream Bundt from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Mini Samoa Bundt Cakes from Making Miracles
Orange & Coconut Bundt Cake from Living the Gourmet
Oreo Coconut Bundt Cake from Indian Curries/Stew
Pina Colada Bundt Cake from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Rhubarb n Rose Coconut Frosted Bundt Cake from Baking in Pyjamas
Rum Bundt Cake with Coconut and Lime from Bourbon and Brown Sugar
Toasted Coconut and Sweet Potato Bundt from Tea and Scones
Toasted Coconut Lime Bundt Cake with Chili Lime Glaze from Brooklyn Homemaker


If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to If you are just a lover of Bundt baking, you can find all of our recipe links by clicking our badge above or on our group Pinterest board.

Cranberry and Walnut Buckwheat Pancakes

Cranberry Walnut Buckwheat Pancakes

As much as I curse winter – when the temperature outside approaches single digits and the walls of concrete skyscrapers lining 5th avenue turn into gale-force wind tunnels with threatening speeds that almost knock you into oncoming traffic; as much as I loath hurdling over the puddles of dirty ice water on every street corner, and the tingling sensation you get from defrosting your extremities on the overpowered radiator in your apartment, the same heat source which causes you to wake up in the middle of the night with feverish sweats because your management company decides to blast the heat with no concern for the environment or your sanity, much as I think I hate winter, I’m reminded on lazy, Saturday afternoons, gazing out the window overlooking snow covered sidewalks littered with discarded Christmas trees, that winter is really not so bad.  Continue reading

Roasted Brussels Sprouts Flatbread with Creamy Greek Yogurt

Roasted Brussels Sprouts Flatbread with Creamy Greek Yogurt

If your holidays were anything like mine, they were filled with an heart-warming array of family, friends, laughter, and cheer.  Our celebrations were also filled with copious amounts of cookies, cakes, gratins, casseroles, cheese, bread, sugar, and of course, lots and lots of wine. To top it all off, I went with a big group of friends on a ski vacation to Whistler, BC over New Year’s, and while we spent the days skiing and working off some of that holiday “cheer”, we spent the nights more than making up for it, stuffing our faces and drinking like we were back in college. Needless to say, I’m ready to get back to conscious eating and a healthy lifestyle.  Continue reading


ChallahI learned to cook at a very early age, always attempting to emulate my mom and dad in the kitchen.  My parents love to entertain, and I remember endless dinner parties growing up, always filled with loud laughter, fragrant food and lots and lots of wine.  Even when we were young, my parents would often include my sister Sam and me at the table when they hosted dinner parties, and I think we channel our parents’ passion for entertaining as adults.  Continue reading

Chewy Chocolate Cookies with Crystallized Ginger

Chewy Chocolate Cookies with  Crystallized Ginger

No Christmas, in my opinion, is complete without a tray of cookies to finish off a fabulous meal. This year, I’m participating in Patience Brewster’s online cookie exchange! If you’re not familiar, Patience Brewster is an artist and designer of handcrafted ornaments. What a fabulous way to share recipes and get in the holiday spirit! I’ve been baking up a storm at Chez Bowman –  so far I’ve made 3 or 4 types of cookies (including these – ahem, famous ones), English toffee that I distributed to my coworkers in cute holiday packaging (all Martha Stewart-like), and my favorite holiday culinary tradition, Challah (a Jewish holiday classic, that’s become a staple in my family’s WASPy Christmas breakfast – more to come on that recipe in the coming weeks).  Continue reading

Candy Cane Chocolate Bundt Cake #BundtBakers

Candy Cane Chocolate Cake

Sometimes I think there’s nothing better than Christmas time at home with my parents. My mom and dad live in a 19th century, stone town house in Pennsylvania, and every Christmas, with wood fires burning, we hang our stockings and sit by the fireplace laughing, eating and drinking until it’s well into the early morning. My parents go the extra mile when decorating the house for Christmas. Their tree is adorned with antique ornaments, beads, garlands and Christmas lights. Every fireplace mantle is swathed with fir tree branches, and our front door is crowned with a homemade Della Robbia, welcoming all family and friends that come to share the holiday spirit.  Continue reading

Bourbon Molasses Cookies with Bourbon Buttercream (a.k.a the “Drunken Debbie”)

Bourbon Molasses Cookies with Bourbon Italian Meringue Buttercream

Last weekend, my friend Soffia and I competed in the Brooklyn Cookie Takedown, a cookie competition held at the Bell House in Gowanus, Brooklyn.  To compete, all you have to do is bake 250 cookies, and show up to the venue and hand them out. Not too bad, right? Um…yea – easy, except that it’s 250 cookies (think 20 dozen cookies!).  These were to be made in my tiny, tiny kitchen that lacks a stand up mixer. That’s right people, everything you’ve seen on this site to date is made with the use of my handy-dandy (pun intended) handheld mixer.  Continue reading

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Creamy Caesar Dressing

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Creamy Caesar Dressing

One of the many amazing things that I love about living in New York City is the endless list of restaurant options.  It can be overwhelming for an avid home cook, because while I enjoy staying home and cooking, I also thoroughly enjoy discovering new restaurants and dining out. Often when it comes to choosing between cooking something at home, and going out to eat, I’ll choose the latter.  While this significantly depletes my wallet, it contributes heavily to my recipe catalogue.  I love sourcing recipes from restaurants that I visit, and whenever I am feeling a lull in creativity in the kitchen, I look to some of my favorite restaurants and dishes for inspiration.  Continue reading

Kentucky Bourbon Cake #BundtBakers

Kentucky Bourbon Cake

I’m trying so hard not to talk about the weather, because it’s so boring, I know, but I just can’t help myself.  It’s frigid here in NYC, and I’m just not ready for it. Yesterday marked the lowest recorded high temperature since 1882.  That’s right, at a muggy 33 degrees, this time of the year has not seen these kind of temperatures in over a century.  So what can we do to keep ourselves warm? I’ll tell you what – drink (responsibly of course).  Because when life brings you frigid temperatures, keep yourself warm with a strong drink and a slice of this Kentucky Bourbon Cake.  It’s cold outside, and bourbon keeps you warm, it’s really just science. Continue reading