Monthly Archives: October 2015

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

hppEach year our church sells pumpkins to raise money for youth programs. We happily support the endeavor by buying more pumpkins than one family of four needs. That usually means we have one pumpkin per child, possibly another one for me to carve, and several tiny pumpkins to adorn the mantle.

This year, I decided to get some small pumpkins for the sole purpose of baking them and making my own puree. I chose the small pumpkins because everything I had read said those would yield the most flavorful puree and they were right! It also didn’t hurt that they were only $1.50 each, less than a 15 oz can of puree in the store. SCORE!!!

Homemade Pumpkin Puree
Small, dark orange pumpkin

1. Slice the pumpkin into six pieces and clean out the guts and seeds.
2. Place skin side down on a baking sheet and bake at 300 for 60 minutes or more.
3. Remove from oven and cool.
4. Peel off the skin.
5. Puree in a blender or food processor. I used my blender which meant I needed to add water.

I am really looking forward to using my pumpkin in all my favorite pumpkin recipes. And I can’t wait to come up with new ways to enjoy it! Stay tuned for a new Pumpkin Soup recipe that I hope to post in the next few days!


Cold Brew Smoothie

cbsHave you tried cold brew yet? I honestly couldn’t tell you what the big deal about it is.

I can tell you I have 12 cans of High Brew Dark Chocolate Mocha that did not live up to the standards set by its brother product, High Brew Double Espresso. Double Espresso was fantastic and I will absolutely get it again.

Now I need to figure out clever ways use it up because it is pretty much the nastiest tasting excuse for coffee I have ever tried.

A co-worker said she was going to put hers (the 15 cans I urged her to buy) in oatmeal and smoothies. That seemed reasonable to me.

Cold Brew Smoothie
10 oz almond milk
4 oz cold brew
1 oz almonds
1/4 cup shredded coconut
6-7 ice cubes

1. Put the ingredients in your blender in the order listed.
2. Start blending on low and gradually increase to high until smoothie is desired consistency.

I also added a half a banana to mine for a little extra potassium boost. All in all, not a bad little breakfast treat. Because my almond milk and coconut are unsweetened, the only sweetness comes from the High Brew and the banana. Very tasty protein filled start to my day!


Asian Fusion Pork Tostadas

AFPTMy Spouse was off this past Monday and decided he wanted to use the smoker. That works for me! It means that I have minimal cooking to do for the many days it takes us to consume all he has smoked.

This go round, he did a pork shoulder and some salmon. We are good for the meat without anything other than sides for the first meal. We all like the freshly smoked goodness. But it quickly starts to get boring and I need to get creative very fast.

My mind went to some sort of Asian fusion thing for the pork. I googled just that and saw some interesting things, including this recipe for Mini Moo Shu Pork Pizzas from a site called Bev Cooks. It’s a beautiful site. Take a look!

I knew I wanted to make sure whatever I made had plenty of veggies in it. I ended up with my Tostadas. Actually, I ended up with Asian Fusion ________. It wasn’t until I described what I made to my friend Aimee that they actually got a name. Aimee is a clever, clever gal!

Asian Fusion Pork Tostadas
4-6 wonton or egg roll wrappers
1 cup chopped pork (previously cooked of course)
4 oz chopped mushrooms
3 chopped green onions
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp Hoisin sauce
Goat cheese
Baby greens
More Hoisin

1. Bake the wonton/egg roll wrappers according to the package instructions.
2. Saute everything else until the mushrooms are done.
3. Spoon your pork mixture on top of the wrapper. Drizzle with more Hoisin.
4. Add some goat cheese and a little handful of greens.

My creation was deemed “Fancy”. I’m not sure that I agree but it definitely looked festive and flavorful. Turns out it was. It was also a little hard to eat. The Spouse chose to break his in half and eat it like a taco. I left mine open-faced and tried to take delicate little bites so the whole thing didn’t land in my lap. I imagined getting this in a restaurant and having the waiters huddled in the corner, laughing quietly at everyone who tried to eat it without having it land, face down on the floor.

The sweetness of the meat and Hoisin sauce was offset nicely by the goat cheese and the greens. This would be super tasty with no meat too! In fact, I think I would prefer it that way! The greens were a combination of radish and sunflower and they were so good. They added a lot to the dish.


Spicy Lentil Spinach Soup

slssMust be getting cold out! The soup recipes have been quite popular on the old blog! Here’s a new one for you. It’s very low in fat, contains good sources of iron and fiber, and, it’s quite tasty!

Spicy Lentil Spinach Soup
1 can or one cup prepared lentils
2 cups frozen spinach or three cups fresh spinach
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
2 or more cloves of garlic, crushed
4 cups of water
Olive oil

1. Saute both types of the onion, celery, and carrots in the olive oil until the carrots start getting a little soft.
2. Add in the spinach, lentils, and spices and stir until combined
3. Pour in the water. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or more.
4. Eat.

This was very good soup, and note that it wasn’t blended. I actually took soup with chunks to work, ate it at my desk, and wore none of it. I was very proud of. I’m so proud that I will tempt fate and try it again tomorrow.

Note the lack of meat in this soup. Completely vegan. It was quite hearty and filling and I didn’t feel sluggish at 3:00 as I am prone to when I have heavier lunches.

This is not a lovely soup. As you may know, I don’t excel at food photography. Lack of true effort often has that effect. But it’s really hard to get a pretty picture of a not so pretty soup. Trust me when I say, what this soup lacks in beauty, it makes up for in really good flavor and excellent ease. You will not be sad you tried it.