Health · Holidays · New Favorite

Maple Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

Breakfast oatmeal in a bar or cake form is my favorite.  Most of this year I’ve been eating my Breakfast Oatmeal Bars, but a favorite fall flavor of pumpkin and maple is calling my name.  Daughter, Megan, told me about these bars and made a batch for me a few weeks ago.  They are absolutely delicious and the original recipe was posted by IowaGirlEats,  a website my girls and I love!

Since I didn’t have Pumpkin Spice, I made my own from a recipe on Taste of Home.

I like my breakfast bar with a dollop of Greek yogurt and fresh fruit on the side with hot coffee! It doesn’t hurt to warm the Breakfast Bar for a few seconds in the microwave, either.  Healthy and delicious breakfast!

Maple Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

2-1/2 cups gluten-free old fashioned oats, divided
1 cup milk, any kind (I used unsweetened almond milk)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup pecan halves, roughly chopped (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees then spray an 8×8″ baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
  • Add 1 cup old fashioned oats to a food processor or blender then process until oats have turned into flour. Set aside. (Alternatively you could use a scant cup oat flour.)
  • Add milk, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, coconut oil, egg, and vanilla to a large bowl then whisk to combine. Add remaining 1-1/2 cups oats, oat flour, chia seeds, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt then stir to combine. Fold in chopped pecans then pour batter into prepared baking pan.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the center has set. Check on the bars at the 25 minute mark – if the edges are browning too quickly, place a piece of foil on top of the baking pan. Cool before slicing into bars then store in the refrigerator, or individually wrap bars in saran wrap and freeze.

Recipe from Iowa Girl Eats

Maple Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

New Favorite

Buttternut Squash and Chicken Chowder

Butternut Squash and Chicken Chowder is a wonderful comfort food, especially paired with a nice biscuit or crusty bread.  Squash is plentiful, the weather is cool, and soups are my favorite fall and winter comfort foods.

It’s great fun to experiment with new recipes.  Growing up the standard soups and stews were Chile, vegetable soup, potato soup, bean soup, oyster stew at Christmas (still not a favorite), and an occasional ham and split pea soup.  Now the sky is the limit, trying new combinations and flavors!

Buttternut Squash and Chicken Chowder

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely minced
½ pound carrots peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into small bite sized pieces
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Few grinds black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs (or both), all fat removed and cut into bite sized pieces
2 cups onion, diced
1 cup celery diced (I substituted 1 chopped green pepper and 1/2 teaspoon celery seed)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons flour
2 14.5-ounce cans chicken stock
1 pound all purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
1 14.5-ounce can kernel corn with liquid
¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Few shakes of Tabasco sauce
2 cups half and half cream

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Toss one tablespoon of the oil in a small bowl with the sage and carrots and pour out onto a small sheet pan. Roast for ten minutes.
  • Add squash and another tablespoon of oil along with salt and pepper to the small bowl and pour out onto the carrots and flip with a spatula to mix.
  • Roast for ten more minutes.
  • Remove from oven and set aside.
  • While vegetables are roasting, in a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil with the butter over medium high heat.
  • Once the fat is hot, add about a third the chicken and cook about five minutes to brown and cook through. Remove to a bowl and cook the another third then finally the last third, adding to the bowl after each batch. Set aside. The chicken should be fully cooked through at this step.
  • Turn the heat to medium and add the onions and celery. Cook, stirring often until the onions are translucent, about five to ten minutes. Add garlic and cook for one more minute.
  • Add flour and cook for two more minutes, stirring often.
  • Add stock and stir with a wooden spoon.
  • Bring to a boil and add potatoes along with roasted vegetables and all pan drippings. Cook for 5-10 minutes until vegetables are tender.
  • Add corn with juice along with Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces.
  • Add cooked chicken with any liquid that collected in the bowl, stir and add all of the half and half cream.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning and bring just to serving temperature.
Home · New Favorite · Vegan · Vegetarian

Spicy Peanut Soup with Sweet Potato and Kale

Wonderful, yummy Spicy Peanut Soup with Sweet Potato and Kale is a new favorite.  I first enjoyed this soup at a Bunco gathering a few years ago and I asked for the recipe.  The source, Pinch of Yum, is a favorite site for my daughters and I and this recipe doesn’t disappoint.

The title says ‘spicy’ but with one chopped jalapeno, it was not hot at all.  If you truly want it hot, I would suggest adding 2+ jalapenos.  With this batch, I only added the curry powder, but next time I will add the tumeric.

This soup is Vegan and Vegetarian.  If you would like protein, adding some shredded chicken would be delicious.  It’s fall y’all, and I’m cooking up a soup storm!

SPICY PEANUT SOUP WITH SWEET POTATO & KALE

2 tablespoons olive oil
half an onion, diced
1 jalapeño, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 14-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes1
14-ounce can light coconut milk
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon curry and/or turmeric
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1/4 cup peanut butter
1–2 cups kale, stems removed, chopped

  • Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat and add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño. Saute until soft and fragrant.
  • Add sweet potatoes. I like to brown them a little bit with the aromatics to get them nice and flavorful.
  • Add tomatoes, coconut milk, water, spices, and peanuts. Simmer until sweet potatoes are fork-tender.
  • Add peanut butter and kale. Simmer until everything is thick, creamy, and delicious. Top with more peanuts and a little cilantro if you’re obsessed like me.

NOTES

Instant Pot: Cook everything except peanut butter and kale on high pressure for about 3 minutes with a quick release. (Sometimes I reduce the liquid when I make it in the Instant Pot by a cup or so, and then just add more as needed when it’s all done. But that is optional – it should work fine either way.) Stir in the peanut butter and kale after cooking. Voila!

Slow Cooker: Cook everything except peanut butter and kale on low for 6 hours. Stir in the peanut butter and kale. Don’t cook the sweet potatoes too long or they’ll fall apart on ya! Just cook until they pierce easily with a fork.

One last note. This recipe is inspired by an amazing West African recipe called maafe, or groundnut soup. I did what I always do and changed/added some ingredients based on what I love and what I had on hand (kale, jalapeño, coconut milk, cilantro, etc.) making it more of a cultural mash-up. That’s why I’m not calling it a proper West African peanut soup even though those are its roots.

Freezer Meal Version

Freeze Together:
3 cups chopped sweet potatoes, fresh or frozen
jalapeños, minced
half of an onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 14-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
1 14-ounce can coconut milk

  1. Instant Pot Instructions: High pressure 8 mins + 10 mins natural release
  2. Slow Cooker Instructions: High setting 6 hours
  3. Final Step: Stir in 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1/2 cup chopped peanuts, and 1-2 cups chopped kale. Add water to thin to desired consistency.
  4. Check out our full freezer meal posts with all recipes and instructions here!

Recipe from Pinch of Yum

Garden · New Favorite

Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Unique Zucchini recipes are always of interest to me and this Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Zucchini Break did not disappoint.  Breads, cakes and cookies with rolled oats are a favorite, now adding coconut and chocolate…what’s not to like!

OATMEAL COCONUT CHOCOLATE CHIP ZUCCHINI BREAD

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat white flour (may be substituted with all purpose flour)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup coconut sugar (may be substituted with granulated or brown sugar)
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled (may be substituted with canola oil)
2 large eggs
2 cups grated zucchini (about 2 medium zucchini)
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a standard size loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Whisk together the oats, flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and coconut oil vigorously, until foamy, about 1 minute. Add the zucchini, coconut, and chocolate chips and stir until combined.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir just until incorporated.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.  Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, remove from pan, and cool completely before slicing. Enjoy!

Recipe from Flavorthemoments.com

 

 

New Favorite

Pork Poblano Stew – Savory Goodness

Savory Pork Poblano Stew was the second version I tried.  Last week I posted Pork Poblano Stew with Citrus Notes.  My girls asked me which Pork Poblano Stew I liked best and the answer is a resounding ‘Both’.   They are different and the flavors are incredible in both versions.    I called this one savory as opposed to a more citrus version shared last week.Next time I work add some fresh cilantro to the stew as well as sprinkling cilantro on top when serving.  

PORK POBLANO STEW

4 to 5 poblano chile peppers (about 3/4 pound)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed, cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces
Salt
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 teaspoon cumin
3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
1 chipotle chili in adobo, minced (I used 1/2 of one–to keep it milder)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 quart chicken stock (use gluten-free stock for gluten-free option)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn (no need to defrost if frozen)
1 large (about 1/2 pound) sweet potato, peeled and diced (about 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubes)
Sour cream or Greek Yogurt
Cilantro
Toasted shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas) Optional

  • Char, peel, and chop the poblano chiles: Char the chile peppers on all sides, directly over a gas flame, or broil, turning every minute or so until the chiles are blackened on all sides.
  • Place in a bowl and cover with a clean dish towel. Let sit for 10 minutes or so, then rub off the blackened charred skin.
  • Cut away and discard the stem, seeds, and internal veins. Roughly chop the chiles into 1 to 2 inch pieces. Set aside.
  • Sear the cubed pork: Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven on medium high heat. Pat dry the pork pieces with a paper towel and brown them, working in batches as to not crowd the pan. Sprinkle salt generously over the pork while they brown.
  • Sauté the onions and garlic: Remove the pork from the pan and set aside. Add the chopped onion and cumin to the pan and cook about 5 minutes, until translucent.
  • Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan while the onions cook. Add garlic and cook for a minute more.
  • Add the chipotle, poblanos, pork, chicken stock and oregano, simmer: Add the chopped chipotle to the onions and garlic. Return the browned pork to the pan. Add the chopped poblano chiles to the pan. Add the chicken stock and oregano. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and let cook for 1 hour.
  • Add sweet potato, corn: After an hour, add the diced sweet potato and corn to the stew. Cook for another half hour to 45 minutes, until the pork is tender and the sweet potatoes are cooked through.
  • To serve, spoon out the stew into bowls. Swirl in a spoonful of sour cream to each bowl. Top with chopped fresh cilantro and toasted shelled pumpkin seeds.

Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes.

New Favorite

Pork Poblano Stew with Citrus Notes

Fall is in the air and I am ready for soup season! A friend shared the Pork Poblano Stew (with citrus notes) recipe with me and we brainstormed a starch to use in the recipe.  I thought sweet potato would be great either added to the stew (which I did) or served over a baked sweet potato.  The flavors are unique and so delicious.  It is great served with cornbread, crusty bread or, as one daughter suggested, with tortilla chips.

Next week I’ll post a second recipe for a savory Pork Poblano Stew.  Both are delicious!

PORK POBLANO STEW WITH SWEET POTATO

2 teaspoons hot or mild chili powder
1 ¼ pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 3/4- to 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 fresh poblano chile pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large red sweet pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium onion cut into thin wedges
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed (optional–I added and it was delicious)
14.5 ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes with garlic, undrained
14.5 ounce can chicken broth (I used a quart of chicken broth)
3 inch stick of cinnamon
2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel
1/4 cup fresh orange juice

  • In a medium bowl, sprinkle chili powder over pork. Toss to combine.
  • In a large saucepan heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Cook the pork, about 4 minutes or until cooked through, stirring occasionally. Remove pork from saucepan; set aside.
  • Add remaining oil to saucepan. Add poblano pepper, sweet pepper, and onion to saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until vegetables are just tender, about 5 minutes. Add sweet potato, tomatoes, broth, and cinnamon stick.
  • Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Uncover and add reserved pork and orange juice. Return to a simmer for 5 minutes more. Stir in orange peel.
  • To serve, remove stick cinnamon. Ladle into shallow bowls.

Recipe adapted from BHG.com

Garden · New Favorite · Vegan · Vegetarian

Cherry Tomato Jam

Sungold cherry tomatoes have become our family’s favorite tomatoes, eating them off the wine as a treat.  They are so sweet and incredibly delicious. Just perfect for Cherry Tomato Jam. 

Each year I seem to have an abundance of tomatoes, making salads with them, roasting them with peppers and garlic and much more.  Tomato Jam recipes were popping up this year and I decided to try it.  It’s so easy and delicious.  I haven’t tried to can it because it disappears from the frig long before the expiration date.  Serve it on a crusty bread or on top of a soft cheese.  I also made a Grilled Cheese with a schmeer of tomato jam.  YUMMO!

CHERRY TOMATO JAM

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
32 ounces (2 lbs.) cherry tomatoes (about 2 1/2 pints)
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 large spring thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Heat the olive oil in a large stainless steel or non-reactive pot over medium heat.  Add the shallot and garlic and sauté for 3-5 minutes until softened.
  • Add the chili powder and smoked paprika and sauté 30 seconds more.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring often, until the tomatoes burst and thicken, for about 10-15 minutes.  If at any time the pan becomes dry and the tomatoes begin to burn, add a tablespoon or two more of water and reduce the heat a bit more.
  • Remove from heat and season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.  Cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 10-14 days.

 

 

Garden · New Favorite · Vegan · Vegetarian

Sweet Yellow Squash Pickles

Zucchini is normally the vegetable that you are drowning in by the end of summer.  This year it was yellow squash.  After making two batches of Lemon Yellow Summer Squash Bread and roasting pans of mixed garden vegetables, I moved on to a new recipe for Sweet Yellow Squash Pickles.  My Mother always made Bread & Butter Pickles and I loved them.  These are very similar and quite delicious.  A new favorite for my yellow squash harvest!

SWEET YELLOW SQUASH PICKLES

4 small yellow squash – cut in thin (1/4-inch slices or less); about 3 cups
1/2 cup thinly slices red onion
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon dry mustard

  • In a large non-metal bowl, combine the squash and onion. Sprinkle salt over the vegetables and stir to combine. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Then, drain the liquid from the vegetables.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, vinegar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, and dry mustard. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Add the squash and onion mixture and then return to boiling.
  • Remove from heat. Ladle the hot vegetables and liquid into sterilized canning jars.
  • At this point, the jars can be processed for long-term canning or covered and stored as-is in the refrigerator for up to one month.
  • Chill at least 24 hours before serving.

Recipe from Inspiredbycharm.com 

Gluten Free · Health · New Favorite

Berry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

These Berry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars are great for breakfast on-the-go or for a snack.  The bars are free of refined sugar and gluten.  The original blueberry recipe from Iowa Girl Eats is delicious (of course everything she makes is!).  My second batch was made with blueberries and raspberries…Yum!  I may try to substitute applesauce for the bananas on a future batch for family members that don’t like the taste of bananas.

Wouldn’t these be great to freeze and have on hand especially for busy Moms once the kids are back to school?

BERRY BREAKFAST OATMEAL BARS

  • 2.5 cups certified gluten-free old fashioned oats, divided (I actually just used the food processor on all of the oats)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana (about 2 small or 1 large banana)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 heaping cup of berries
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees then spray an 8×8″ baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. Add 1 cup old fashioned oats to food processor or blender and process until oats have turned into flour (Note:  I blended the entire 2.5 cups).  Set aside.  Alternatively you can use a scant cup of oat flour.
  3. Add milk, mashed banana, honey, coconut oil, egg, and vanilla to a large bowl then whisk to combine.  Add remaining 1.5 cups oats, oat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt then stir to combine.  Fold in the berries then pour batter into greased baking pan.
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the center has set.  Cool before slicing into bars and store in the refrigerator.  Alternatively, you can individually wrap the bars in Saran Wrap and freeze.

Recipe adapted slightly from: Iowa Girl Eats

New Favorite · Vegan · Vegetarian

Vegan Winter Lentil Stew

Vegan Winter Lentil Stew is a flavorful, hearty winter stew.  I first tried this soup when hosting book club and preparing two stews 1) Vegan and 2) Beef Stew.  The key to the flavor in this soup is the Dijon mustard.  Who knew it could pack such a yummy punch.  Even non-lovers of lentils and beans have enjoyed it.  If you insist on adding a protein, go for it!  I’m sure it would be delicious.

WINTER LENTIL STEW

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
4 carrots (about 1/2 lb.)
4 stalks celery
2 lbs potatoes
1 cup brown lentils
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1.5 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
6 cups vegetable broth
1 cup frozen peas

  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the olive oil, onion, and garlic to a large soup pot and begin to sauté over medium heat.
  • While the onion and garlic are sautéing, dice the celery, then add it to the pot and continue to sauté. As the celery, onion, and garlic are sautéing, peel and chop the carrots into half rounds. Add the carrots to the pot and continue to sauté.
  • As the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots are sautéing, peel and cube the potatoes into 3/4 to 1-inch pieces. Add the cubed potatoes to the pot along with the lentils, rosemary, thyme, Dijon, soy sauce, brown sugar, and vegetable broth.
  • Briefly stir the ingredients to combine, then place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to high, and bring the stew up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Toward the end of the simmer time, when the potatoes are very soft, begin to mash the potatoes a bit as you stir. This will help thicken the stew.
  • Finally, after 30 minutes, stir in the frozen peas and allow them to heat through. Taste the stew and add salt if needed. Serve hot and enjoy!

Recipe from: Budgetbytes.com  

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