Tag: fall

Crockpot White Bean Pumpkin Chili

My cooking club theme this month was “Soup’s On!” and we all made soup, stew, or chili.  I brought this White Bean Pumpkin Chili, and we also enjoyed Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Butternut Squash Apple Soup, Beef Stew, and Blueberry Soup served over vanilla ice cream for dessert.  Many spoons were used and a good time was had by all.

I saw this Crockpot Turkey White Bean Pumpkin Chili on Skinny Taste, and wanted to make a vegetarian version.  I also swapped a jalapeno pepper for the canned chilis.  The chili came out great, and the beans were nice and soft and made the chili thick.  The recipe is easy, and remember that the crockpot can cook while you sleep!



Crockpot White Bean Pumpkin Chili

1 T canola oil
1 large onion, diced
2 t minced garlic
1 jalapeno, deseeded and diced
1 T cumin
2 (15 oz.) cans white beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
3 c. vegetable broth
1 T chili powder

Heat oil in a large frying pan, and saute onion, garlic, and pepper for 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned.  Stir in cumin.  Place mixture in a crockpot, and add beans, pumpkin, broth, and chili powder.  Cook on low for 8 hours.

-Adapted from Skinny Taste

Butternut Squash and Cranberry Brown Rice

I’m baaaack!  I had an incredible time in San Francisco and ate many wonderful meals, including an 11 course Chinese banquet and at least 3 different flavors of wedding cake.  But then I came home to an empty refrigerator, and things went downhill quickly.  Trust me, it was nothing to blog about.

This was my first truly home cooked meal in almost 2 weeks, and it was so good.  I picked up some fresh cranberries, but I wanted to make something different than cranberry sauce.  A short while later, I found this recipe  (scroll down the page) and decided to go for it.  I liked the different textures, and the balance of sweet squash, tart cranberries, and spicy pepper.  It’s hearty enough for a vegetarian main dish, but could be a side dish for chicken or pork as well.

While I did use fresh cranberries, you might be surprised to find that I used frozen butternut squash.  Yes, this is squash season in New England, but I still needed to take a shortcut to make this meal happen.  With about 7 weeks left in the semester, I’ll take whatever shortcuts I need to put a warm meal on the table.



Butternut Squash and Cranberry Brown Rice

1 T canola oil
2 Vidalia onions, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded and diced
20 oz. butternut squash cubes
1 c. fresh cranberries
1/2 c. vegetable broth
1 1/2 c. diced celery
2 c. cooked brown rice
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper

Heat oil in a large frying pan.  Add onions and pepper, and saute for 10-15 minutes until lightly brown.  Add squash, cranberries, and broth.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove cover and stir in celery, rice, salt, and pepper.  Mix thoroughly and serve.

-Adapted from the Vegetarians of Washington

Two-Cheese Pumpkin Spinach Pizza

I saw a Butternut Squash pizza with ricotta and spinach on Green Lite Bites the other day, and was thinking about it this weekend.  I didn’t buy any butternut squash this week, but I did have 3 cans of pumpkin in my cabinet, just waiting to be used.  I added a second type of cheese because when it comes to pizza, more cheese is always better, and the almonds added a little crunch.

Roni seasoned her pizza with sage and nutmeg, which I think would be an interesting combination.  I tried allspice and cayenne, which also turned out to be interesting.  I was trying to balance the sweet and spicy, and  it worked pretty well.  It’s fun to try new spice combinations, and you never know what you’re going to like until you try.  So use this pizza recipe as a template, and make your own fall creation.



Two Cheese Pumpkin Spinach Pizza

1 Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran, and Whole Wheat lavash
1/2 c. pureed pumpkin
1/4 c. ricotta cheese
1 T sliced almonds
1/4 t allspice
Dash cayenne
1 c baby spinach, chopped
1 T Parmesan cheese

Fold lavash in half, and place on a cookie sheet coated with cooking spray.  Mix pumpkin, ricotta, almonds, and spices in a small bowl, and spread evenly on lavash.  Place spinach on topping, and then sprinkle with Parmesan.  Bake at 400F for 5 minutes.


Sweet Dumpling Squash

I feel like it’s been forever since I picked up a totally new piece of produce.  But last weekend, I found this sweet dumpling squash at my local produce market.  It was so cute I had to have it, and at just $0.62 it wasn’t a big splurge. 


After a quick recipe search, it seemed the two most popular options were to either stuff the squash with vegetables and grains, or roast the squash with cinnamon and sugar.  Let’s just say it’s been a ‘cinnamon and sugar’ kind of week.

I think that was the right choice, because the squash turned out great.  I ate the whole thing, right down to the skin.  The taste was similar to butternut squash, but it was so much easier to cut because it was smaller.  This would also be a great dish to serve at a fall dinner party.  Maybe next time I will try to stuff one! 


Sweet Dumpling Squash

1 dumpling squash
2 t canola oil
2 t brown sugar
1 t cinnamon

Cut squash in half and remove seeds.  Mix oil, sugar, and cinnamon in a small dish.  Rub mixture on the inside of each squash half, leaving the remainder in the cavity.  Place in a glass dish, and bake at 350F for 45-60 minutes, until soft when pierced with a fork.


Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli, and Pears

There is so much I like about Real Simple.  I want everything I see in that magazine: rooms which are nicely decorated and perfectly clean, a wardrobe full of clothes that are stylish and functional, and efficient solutions to everyday problems.  Of course, the recipes and food ideas are also an inspiration.  When I saw this one for Broccoli, Sweet Potatoes, and Pears, I was intrigued by the combination of fruits and vegetables.  With a quick trip to the market, I had everything I needed.

I set out to make the recipe myself, changing just a few things but keeping it simple.  It took a while in the oven, but it was worth it when it was done.  Seasoned with just a little salt and pepper, all the flavors worked together really well.  This would be a great side dish for a pork chop if you’re a meat eater, but could stand on it’s own as a lighter meal.  I enjoyed a scrambled egg on the side, which works if you think of this dish as gourmet hashbrowns.



Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli, and Pears

2 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1″ cubes
3 c. broccoli florets
1 T olive oil
2 pears, cut into 2″ cubes

Toss sweet potatoes and broccoli with olive oil, and roast in a glass dish for 30 minutes at 450F.  Add the pears, and roast for an additional 20-30 minutes until all the vegetables are soft.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.


Fall Pear Crisp

When life is busy and someone offers to cook for you, say “Yes”.  Always.  Last weekend, my Mom offered to make this amazing pear crisp because 1) she had all the ingredients in the house; 2) we were hungry; and 3) I could blog about it.  She even used Penzey’s Vietnamese Extra Fancy Cinnamon which filled the house with the scent of fall.


This recipe can be a dessert, side dish, or snack, but it could also be served for breakfast when paired with some plain yogurt.  It’s more decadent than a typical weekday breakfast, but perfectly acceptable for a Sunday morning treat.



This recipe makes the transition back into fall and student life a whole lot better.  That’s all for this week folks, see you Monday!