Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Tuesday Recipe: PUMPKIN SOUP

Every October I do #PunkinChunkin #31DaysOfPumpkin as a fun expo of all things pumpkin and squash and pumpkin spice. I try the newest packaged food, restaurant offerings and other pumpkiny products giving my two-cents-worth of opinion. Going with the creative flow, I try out recipes or generate some of my own concoctions.

Momma wasn't feeling too perky and I was getting pretty hungry, so we needed a quick-fix dinner. Time to either get creatively nutritious or run through the drive-thru for something not good for us. I tend to prepare to the size of the pot and end up with way too much food. So, I chose the smaller pan to limit the recipe and here's what popped out of the pot...

PUMPKIN SOUP

2 cups 100% Pumpkin (not the pie filling)
1 cup Almond Milk (or your choice of "milk")
32 ozs Vegetable Broth (the entire package)
2 Shallots, thinly sliced (or a small mild, sweet onion like Vidalia)
1 tablespoon Olive Oil, your choice
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup Maple Syrup
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
**optional: 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
**optional: 1/2 teaspoon Curry Powder
Salt, to taste
**optional: Sriracha Sauce, added to each bowl, to taste

Note:  I did not have a clove of garlic to sauté with the onion, but the veggie broth had enough essence of garlic for this recipe.
  • Sauté thinly sliced shallots (and garlic, if you choose) in just a little Olive Oil until transparent.
  • Add spices to shallots and slowly stir-in "milk" and broth and maple syrup.
  • Spoon-in pumpkin stirring until loosened.
  • Let simmer.
  • Salt, to taste.
  • If you want a velvety bisque, use an immersion blender to zip all ingredients down.
  • If you don't mind the thinly sliced shallots (or onions & garlic), just stir occasionally making sure the soup doesn't scorch on the bottom.
  • Serve with a good bread and perhaps a dollop of sour cream. ENJOY!
Tip: Each person can add the curry or sriracha to their bowl. Add a little at a time and taste.

Go play with your food!

Friday, September 7, 2018

Recipe: Apple Betty Bites

I feel as summer gives way to fall, there is a monthly order to my food. September is for apples and candy corn! It's a natural progression! Next month, I will consume more pumpkin and pumpkin spice than any one human should be allowed.

I know, you're rolling your eyes. But, I bet you have an order for preferred special delights. 

Momma, known as "Granny" to our son, recently moved to Tennessee to share our home, which makes for cooking magic! Yesterday, we celebrated the arrival of autumn in name only, because it's still 93-freaking degrees, and mixed up some snack bites using her favorite apple, the Granny Smith. 

APPLE BETTY BITES
(or Apple Pie Bites or Granny's Granny Smith Bites)

1 1/2 cups Old Fashioned Oats (...not quick-cooking)
3/4 cup Nut Butter (We used creamy peanut butter.)
3/4 to 1 cup Granny Smith Apple, grated
1/2 cup Nuts, finely chopped (We chose walnuts, because the other option was almonds)
1/2 cup Flax Seed (We used the whole seed instead of ground, because ground tends to suck the moisture right of nut butters.)
1/3-ish cup Louisiana Honey (Momma brought some with her.)
2 tablespoons Chia Seeds (...because I love the little "pop" when you bite into them.)
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract (I imagine freshly scraped vanilla seeds would taste amazing!)
1/2 - 3/4-ish teaspoon Cinnamon, to taste

  • Shred or grate the apple using a box grater. One apple didn't warrant me pulling out the food processor. Know what I mean?
  • Using a spatula or a mixer, stir all ingredients together until completely combined.
  • Your choice, cover and chill for, at least, 30 minutes -OR- skip to next step...
  • Using a 1" scoop is much faster and less messy than rolling each 1" ball between your hands. As you scoop, release onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet and transfer to either the fridge or freezer.
  • Once chilled or frozen, store in airtight container, separating each layer of bites with parchment.
  • Yes, parchment paper was invented by God.
  • Great to pop into your mouth when you need a little something or a little energy!

Tips:

  • Use your choice of nut butter, keeping in mind some butters are drier than others requiring more honey.
  • Speaking of honey... to make these little bites plant-based, use Agave! We did not have enough Agave for this recipe; thus, the honey from Louisiana.
  • You could totally dust the top of the bites with cinnamon prior to chilling or freezing!
Go play with your food! Then, let me know how your bites turned out or how you changed up the recipe!
---"Sam"