Saturday, October 20, 2012

Autumn Quinoa with Yams and Mushrooms

I am absolutely loving yams right now!  They are chock full of good vitamins, warm and sweet, and just scream fall.  I found this recipe on All Recipes, link below the picture.  It's a wonderful vegetarian dish that is rich in protein and other good for you vitamins. Be sure to rinse the quinoa well before you cook it to ensure you remove all of the bitterness that is a natural part of the grain.  You could substitute any kind of mushroom that you like.  Sweet potatoes would give a similar flavor if you can't find yams.  I suggest using yams though.  They give a wonderful color to the dish and are rich in beta carotene (vitamin A). 

1/3 cup quinoa

Monday, October 8, 2012

Curried Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

This is a great fall soup.  I like it for a lunch or a light dinner with some crusty bread.  It's easy to make vegetarian by using vegetable broth rather than chicken.  Personally, I like the richness the chicken broth gives it.  You could use sour cream instead of yogurt if you like.  You could even prep the recipe, let the veggies cook down in the slow cooker and puree when you are ready to eat.  You can find the original recipe here.
1 butternut squash, halved and seeded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Place squash halves and onion onto the prepared baking sheet. Wrap garlic in foil and set with other vegetables.

Roast in the center of the oven for 45 to 60 minutes, until the squash is tender. Remove from oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Squeeze garlic cloves out of their skin like paste into a food processor. Scrape the flesh from the squash and place into the food processor along with the roasted onion. Puree until smooth. Add vegetable broth if necessary. Transfer the pureed mixture to a stockpot and stir in vegetable broth. Season with the bay leaf, brown sugar, curry powder, oregano, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in yogurt.

Remove bay leaf and serve hot. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

From Scratch- Pumpkin Crescent Rolls

Ah, fall is in the air!  Don't you just love autumn?  It is by far my favorite season.  The heat of summer is over and the air feels crisp and clean.  There are still flowers in the garden, and the leaves on the trees are adding their beauty to the season.  I love pulling out my cute boots, scarves and sweaters.  In my opinion there just isn't anything to not like about fall!

We've been having a fairly busy few weeks.  My awesome hubby is almost done with his graduate program and we are getting so excited/nervous to see where the road of job-hunting will take us in the next year.  We've narrowed down our list of "ideal" places to a top-10.  Hopefully one of those will have a position available for him.  If not, we'll cast the net a bit wider. 

My new preschool is going really well.  We had an awesome fieldtrip to a local organic farm and it was by far the coolest fieldtrip I've ever taken a class on.  They use horse-drawn plows and harvest and plant most things by hand.  The kids got to pick pumpkins, tomatoes, kale, lettuce, beans, gather walnuts, pet goats and cows and so much more!  It was a great learning experience for them to see where their food comes from and how much hard work and dedication goes into putting food on our tables.

Another favorite thing about fall to me is the wonderful seasonal flavors- pumpkin, nutmeg, apples, squash.... I found this great pumpkin recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Money Saving Mom. and just had to share.  This blog is a great resource for savings in just about any area of your life. What I love the most about it though is that she makes so many things from scratch which, though they do take more time, are much easier on your wallet and healthier for your family. She has many GF recipes and freezer recipes for those of us that like to plan ahead.  The recipe and all photos are from MSM.

  • 1 ½ cups pumpkin puree (canned or homemade), slightly warmed
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 4 T sugar
  • 3 T softened butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour*
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour (or use additional all-purpose flour)
  • 1 package instant active dry yeast
  • 3-4 additional T softened/melted butter, divided
*Depending on the kind of pumpkin you use, you may need a little more flour than this. Start with this amount, and check your bread machine after the initial mixing (most bread machines “beep” at the end of this time), adding more flour if necessary.

In a 2-lb bread machine, add all ingredients in the order listed (except additional butter), or in the order recommended by your specific bread machine. Run the short dough cycle.
On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into 2 pieces. Roll each into a 12-inch circle. Brush with 2-3 tablespoons additional butter. Cut each circle into 10-12 wedges.
Starting at long end, roll each wedge to the tip of the dough and pinch to seal. Place on greased cookie sheets and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Bake at 375 for 12 minutes, or until starting to brown. Brush with remaining melted butter.

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