Cakes, pies and cookie pumpkin desserts are everywhere this time of the year. My Mom used to make soft, maple glazed pumpkin cookies when I was younger. I loved them, but as an adult, I decided to create my own version of a pumpkin cookie. I wanted them to be different than the usual soft cakey ones. So I came up with a recipe similar to that of a chocolate chip cookie which is soft in the middle and a little crispy at the edges. I left the glaze off, added plenty of spice and mixed in lots of add ins that remind me of Autumn. Pecans, walnuts, dried cranberries, crystallized ginger, and of course chocolate chips, because who doesn’t enjoy that? If you make these and share them, you will have some very happy friends and family!
When apple season started this year, I was especially excited for the honeycrisps! I cannot get enough of them, and although they are wonderful for simply snacking on as is, I love to use them in desserts. I decided to share my recipe for baked apples because it is perfect on a chilly night to warm you from the inside. This easy to cook recipe, I kicked up the apple cooking syrup a notch with some chipotle pepper and chili flakes, because I feel the warming go beautifully with the sweet apple and maple syrup. If you are not a fan of heat, you can omit the spice, and your apples will still be delicious. If you wish to guild the lily, serve this with some ice cream!
Many people think of slaw as a summer salad, but I believe that there are slaws for every season, depending on what type of vegetables you use in it. I recently made a root vegetable slaw with carrots, parsnips and rutabagas. You may not think of eating these veggies raw, but actually they are rather sweet and wonderful. I dressed it with a silky tahini lemon sauce and topped it off with sesame seeds; it was the perfect side for an autumn meal. I believe in thinking outside the box when it comes to using vegetables, and this was a nice switch off from the typical roasted or mashed potato.
Eating out is great for moms. No making dinner means no dishes! But with the expense of eating out and the uncertainty of what is really in the food, eating out is becoming less and less a tangible want. This is a great pasta to give the feel of eating out without breaking the bank as well as the reassurance of knowing exactly what is in it. As you can tell from the title, this pasta is spicy. My 3-year-old likes spice but not at the same heat level my husband does. To keep it kid-friendly, I let the adults in my house add their own cayenne pepper. This can be scary because a pinch can take you down a spicy road. This recipe calls for shrimp, but I have used chicken or sometimes have just done without. Enjoy, we sure do!
Sometimes I am in the mood for Asian food, but most of the time I do not leave the house to go get some. No, I do not get delivery, but instead I make my own! I figure most of the time the food I make myself is lighter and healthier than what is traditionally served in most restaurants. As well as cheaper, and cannot beat that! One of my favorite dishes to make is sesame tempeh with veggies, which I serve with cooked brown rice. It is warming and flavorful, and I never miss the restaurant food. I change up the veggies depending on the season, but during the Autumn months, one of my favorite vegetable combinations to use is simply carrots and brussels sprouts. I roast them to give them plenty of flavor to combine with tempeh and sauteed shallots in an Asian inspired sauce! If you have not tried tempeh, do not be afraid of it; it is wonderful in dishes like this in place of the usual tofu or meat.
Have you ever walked through the bulk section of Fresh & Natural and taken time to look at everything? I do most of my shopping in the produce department. Dried fruit, nuts, seeds and grains are staples in my kitchen. I make a lot of raw desserts at home, so lately I have been buying a lot of dates and dried coconut (which make amazing desserts). I recently decided to pick up some dried apples to make some apple cinnamon macaroons. They turned out to be a tasty snack that satisfies any sweet craving, perfect for this time of year. The best part is they are easy to make, and would make a great on the go snack perfect for school lunches (or lunch at work, I would include them in mine)!
It seems that I often end up with more bananas than I could just eat, and they get over ripe sitting on the counter. But instead of looking at them as over the hill and ready for tossing, I see them as an opportunity to make something delicious like banana bread or muffins. I have been making vegan banana muffins for a while and have a good recipe, but I wanted to try making them gluten free. There are many options for gluten free flour, but I feel that some of the options, like white rice flour are not all that healthy as they are high on the glycemic scale. So I opted to use quinoa flour which I have had a lot of success baking with. I also wanted the muffins to be sweetened with somthing lower on the glycemic index, so I chose coconut sugar. It has a wonderful, slightly nutty flavor that paired well with the banana. The muffins were deliciously sweet and lightly spiced. You could never tell they were gluten free or vegan. If you have not tried quinoa flour or coconut sugar, you should check them out!
Roasted yams are one of my favorite things. Although I enjoy them plain, they are also delicious in warm salads. I use it as a main dish because it contains edamame for protein. When I thought up the recipe, I wanted it to have lots of flavorful elements, so I added sweet cranberries, savory shallots, toasted pecans and a flavorful vinaigrette. I have served this to a few picky eaters, who were skeptical but once they had finished the salad they loved it! It is also a delicious protein packed side dish and would be wonderful with a holiday spread. Enjoy!
At our house, we have little time to prepare food on Sunday mornings. But without fail, I always have a husband wanting something to eat during the game. A cost effective and time management way to prepare meals is by buying dried beans in the bulk department. After I purchase them from the store, I cook each of them all at once and freeze them in 16 oz. size quantities. This works especially great for black and kidney beans, and it is a fraction of the cost of canned foods. Here is a quick, healthy chili recipe that won’t get you tied up in the kitchen and let you watch the game, read a book or get out to shop.
Autumn is here. The cool air, the beautifully painted trees, and the leaves that crunch beneath your feet as you walk on them. It is when we start to crave warm comfort foods from the oven to warm our bodies from the inside. There are of course savory dishes, but one sweet dish that I feel is very comforting is a warm crisp. They are made often at my house during the cooler months, served warm from the oven with cool ice cream melting over the jammy fruit. Although I love all crisps, apple has to be my favorite. Especially when made with sweet tart apples like the honeycrisp. I have a gluten-free recipe for apple crisp that I would love to share with you all!