Pumpkin risotto

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Pumpkins are certainly on the brain lately and I love it! I have been trying to incorporate more pumpkin into our diets this month and this recipe has proven to be a winner. Another fun new recipe I tried was pumpkin banana muffins and they were incredibly moist and went over particularly well in our house. Here is the recipe I used with a few substitutions. Anyway, back to the risotto! I don’t make risotto often because it always sounds like a lot of work. I wanted to try it out in the crock pot to see if I could achieve a good risotto but also be super lazy about it. Turns out it worked really well. *and the crowd goes wild for team lazy

pumpkin rissotto

The ultimate lazy cook challenge: could I make a meal out of this without making anything else to go with it? Enter, chicken apple sausage. The apples from the chicken apple sausage and the pumpkin go together so well. Give me anything apple this season, the apples are incredible this year!  You can’t keep us away from the apple orchards these days, especially now that the honey crisps are coming around. Yum. You know that saying an apple a day… keeps the doctor away. Let’s just say we shouldn’t be needing to see any doctors for a long long time.

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Ingredients
  • 1-15 oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 cups short grain white rice
  • 32 oz vegetable(or chicken) broth
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced OR 2½ tablespoons Tastefully Simple's Garlic Garlic
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or grapeseed oil)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 package chicken apple sausage (Costco carries delicious apple sausages stuffed with gouda!)
  • ⅘ handfuls spinach
  • water as needed
Instructions
  1. In a large crock pot toss in uncooked rice, broth, butter & pumpkin.
  2. Turn crock pot to high for an hour to let the rice cook.
  3. In a medium sauce pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Toss in garlic.
  4. After about a minute toss onions into pan with garlic. Heat until onions are translucent.
  5. Next, slice chicken apple sausage into small, bite-size slices. Toss into the same pan with the onions and garlic. Heat until lightly browned.
  6. Add sausage mixture to the crock pot, stir and turn heat down to low.
  7. Cook risotto for at least 5 hours or until rice is fully cooked.
  8. Toss in fresh spinach right before serving.

A few other favorite pumpkin recipes:

*updated Here is the link to the pumpkin caramel apple crisp. The recipe is in a free downloadable e-cookbook under dessert recipes!

pumpkins (2)Speaking of pumpkins, check out our pack this year! In order, Liam’s, Jack’s, Remy’s and baby’s. Pumpkin seeds are roasting in the oven as I type!pumpkins (1) pumpkinsHappy Halloween festivities this week and next, to you and your littles! Remember to follow us over on Instagram for picture updates. I am excited to see all the fun costumes this week.

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Teriyaki peanut stirfry

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Annndd this is my solution for all my leftover farmers market veggies that needed to be used.  Yellow zucchinis go bad before green zucchinis? Seriously, why do they? It’s a mystery to me. Also it should be noted that zucchinis are a HOT item at the farmers market this summer. If you need zucchinis you had better get to the farmers market RIGHT when it opens because those puppies fly off the stands. Zucchinis were hard to come by early in the summer ,due to the weather, I was told, so as soon as they were available, they were in high demand. And we have been eating them every which way for about a month.stirfry (5)

I don’t usually do a lot of stir fry meals in the summer but I was running out of ideas for all these yummy veggies. This has been my go-to stir fry recipe for a long time and God-forbid the day Tastefully Simple stops making their Teriyaki sauce and I will have to make my own! I always add a bit of peanut butter because I am sassy like that. Sometimes I will even throw in a hand full of peanuts. SCANDALOUS. Oh deary…please forgive this post. It has been a long, busy, exhausting week with 3 boys that have way more energy than me.

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Teriyaki peanut stirfry
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Ingredients
  • 2 zucchinis, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, peeled & sliced
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas, washed & ends cut off (if they are store bought, you can skip this step)
  • 4-6 carrots, peeled & sliced
  • 2 cups mushrooms, rinsed & sliced
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons Tastefully Simple Honey Teriyaki Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and garlic on medium heat for about a minute.
  2. Toss in onions and heat until translucent.
  3. Mix in carrots, sugar snap peas, and mushrooms. Turn heat to low and cover for 15 minutes.
  4. Toss in zucchini, turn heat up to medium, and heat for 3-4 minutes.
  5. In a separate dish whisk together peanut butter and teriyaki sauce.
  6. Combine sauce with veggies in the skillet.
  7. Serve warm and top with sesame seeds for garnish.
Notes
You can really use any veggies for this dish or any meats, these are just the ones I had on hand and chose to use.

 

 

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Spicy corn & bean stuffed zuchinni

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Todays recipe is brought to you by simple math. 1 lunch time craving for mexican food + 1 bag full of zucchinis from the farmers market= a spontaneous, satisfying recipe. I am proud of how delicious these colorful beauties turned out and even more proud that they are “better the second day warmed up in the oven” material. Making up your own recipe, having it turn out really well, AND making a dish that heats up well is a big deal in my kitchen. You know what I mean about the second day thing right? All the best comfort food in the world is better the second day, so when something I make happens to be really good the second day, I get really excited. Because let’s be honest, my spontaneity in the kitchen doesn’t always prove to be successful.stuffed zucchinis (4)stuffed zucchinis (6)

I have to warn you though, the zucchini filling is really really tasty and can stand alone, BUT the fresh avocado topping is really what makes this dish. Fresh tomatoes, avocados and crumbled bacon, heavenly. I am loving zucchini this summer by the way! I just can’t seem to get enough, although I think my boys are pretty sick of eating it. I have another really yummy zucchini recipe coming up next week as well if your a zucchini nut like me. Stay tuned for that and some other exciting new things coming soon.

stuffed zucchinis

* a little FYI note: I used yellow and green zucchinis but I found that the green zucchinis tasted the best.

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Ingredients
  • 6 zucchinis
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 ears corn, corn cut off OR 1 bag frozen corn
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained & rinsed
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 slices bacon, fried & crumbled
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Slice zucchinis in half the long way.
  2. Use a sharp spoon or melon baller to scoop out the guts of the zucchini, leaving the skins for you to fill. Save the zucchini parts in a separate bowl.
  3. Drizzle olive oil on a large baking dish to grease and place zucchini skins on baking sheet.
  4. Dice up zucchini parts that you set aside.
  5. In a large skillet drizzle about a teaspoon of olive oil on medium heat.
  6. Toss in your garlic. Let the garlic heat for about a minute, then add the onions.
  7. When onions become translucent, add your corn and beans to the skillet.
  8. Add zucchini chunks you set aside to the skillet.
  9. Season skillet with cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
  10. After about 10 minutes, or when the corn is warmed up, start filling your zucchini skins with the filling from the skillet.
  11. Top zucchinis with grated cheddar cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  12. Mix together tomatoes, avocados and bacon and serve fresh over the zucchinis.

Thanks for your visit!

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Salted no-bake peanut butter bars

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Besides looking delicious, these bars might look familiar…I posted a recipe for no-bake peanut butter bars not too long ago ,that is almost identical. Here they are. But these bars are SALTED. A couple years ago I tried Trader Joe’s salted dark chocolate caramels, and my love for regular old sweets has slowly been fading ever since. All I want are salty and sweet desserts. Enter :this gem of a recipe. 
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First of all NO BAKE. Are there any better dessert recipes than ones that start with NO BAKE in the title? Especially in the summertime… keep that oven off as long as possible I say! Secondly, pretzels mixed right in the peanut butter batter, right in there! It’s almost like crunchy peanut butter, right?! You still have the creamy-ness and smoothness of the peanut butter but a perfectly salty crunch in your bite. And lastly, peanut-buttery chocolate topping sprinkled with sea salt. Yes please. Oh yeah, did I mention these take a whopping 10 minutes to throw together?

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To make this recipe gluten-free use a gluten-free brand of pretzels like Glutino’s.

Salted no-bake peanut butter bars
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Ingredients
  • 2½ cups creamy peanut butter, divided
  • ¾ cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 cups broken pretzel pieces, divided (Glutino brand if you are making them gluten-free)
  • 1½ cups chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
Instructions
  1. Grease a 9x13 pan with soft butter.
  2. In a stand mixer beat 2 cups of peanut butter and butter until smooth.
  3. Turn mixer to low and slowly add in powdered sugar until incorporated.
  4. Stir in 3 cups of the pretzel pieces.
  5. Press the peanut butter batter into your greased pan.
  6. Melt chocolate chips and ½ cup peanut butter in a small sauce pan on low heat, stirring continuously.
  7. Pour the melted chocolate mixture over top of the peanut butter layer.
  8. Smooth with a spatula.
  9. Top with remaining pretzel pieces and sea salt.
  10. Place in freezer for 15 minutes, then store in fridge for at least an hour before serving.
  11. Cut into squares before serving, dipping your knife in warm water to make clean cuts.

 

 

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Loaded baked potato crisps

loaded baked potato crisps (1) loaded baked potato crisps (2) I have made these at least twice a week for the entire summer so I thought it was time to quick photograph a batch ,and share them with you. These happened sort of by accident really. One night while I was making supper, I realized I only had 3 potatoes left and my plan was to have baked potatoes on the grill for everyone. I needed a compromise, so I started slicing the potatoes, still unsure of the direction I was heading. Before you know it the olive oil was a-drizzlin’ and the spices were a-shakin’! As a snack food lover at heart I thought, I realllly like chips and chips are made out of potatoes, so let’s see how close I can get to chips! Yahoo!

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I started out with the oven temp at 350 degrees but soon realized it would need to be at 400 degrees for the potatoes to turn out crispy. Really great story, I know, just riveting. Don’t judge me. Anyway I have been making them ever since with whatever I have on hand for spices and cheeses. You must dip them in sour cream, ketchup, or better yet both because its the best part! You can really leave them in the oven a while longer if you like them real crisp and burnt too. And can we agree that these are sort of “healthy”? Also: the thinner you slice them the crispier and more “chip like” they will turn out.

loaded baked potato crisps (4) loaded baked potato crisps (5)

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Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Drizzle olive oil over a large cookie sheet.
  2. Arrange sliced potatoes on cookie sheet making sure they are only overlapping slightly.
  3. Season with seasoning salt, bacon, and cheese.
  4. Drizzle additional olive oil over the top of the potatoes.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-35 minutes depending on how crisp you want them.
  6. *optional- broil on low for an additional 5 minutes for extra crispy.

I hope your week is going well!

 

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