Sunday, September 25, 2011

Veggie Chili

My friend Rebecca shared this recipe with me a few years ago. The first time I had it at her house, she sent me home with a big tupperware full of leftovers because it makes such a huge amount. Ever since, it has been in our meal rotation every fall and winter. I have kept the basic recipe the same, but bulked up the veggie portion even more (along with adding butternut squash).
I love garnishing this wish a few cubes of avocado and some freshly chopped cilantro- it adds some fresh and creamy flavors to the finished product.
Veggie Chili
(Print Recipe)

2 medium zucchini (or yellow squash), chopped
3-4 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup thinly sliced celery
3-4 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cans diced tomatoes (14 1/2 oz. each)
10 oz frozen corn
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can cannelloni beans drained and rinsed
1 jar salsa
salt and pepper
optional garnishes- black olives, hot sauce, diced avocado, fresh chopped cilantro

Combine all ingredients (except garnishes) in a large slow cooker (stir well). Cover and cook on low heat setting for 8-10 hours or high for 5 hours. Garnish as desired.
I love the slow cooker because I can leave it and forget it. I also love setting it in the morning and coming home to the delicious smell of chili in our house... not to mention, the fact that dinner is done when I walk through the door! I am not a morning person, so I either chop everything up the night before... or put Nate in charge of it.
Such a hearty and delicious recipe!

Yesterday, I completed putting up all my Fall decorations. Have I mentioned how much I enjoy this time of year? I particularly love the orange lights along the top of our fireplace, brightening up the corner of our living room.
Chili and orange string lights... yes, it's the little things.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Acorn Squash with Spiced Couscous

Happy second day of Autumn! I thought I'd welcome in the season with this acorn squash dish. Everything about it tastes perfect for cool crisp weather.
I even took advantage of the pumpkin-like seeds and toasted them for a salty, fall-ish snack.
I am loving all the fall vegetables I am beginning to see in the stores and at the farmer's market!

Acorn Squash with Spiced Couscous
(Print Recipe)
Adapted from Williams Sonoma Vegetarian

2 Acorn squash, halved, seeds removed
1 cup vegetable broth
3/4 cup whole wheat couscous
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons sliced almonds
2 tablespoons currants
1/2 honeycrisp apple, cored and diced (or any apple variety of your choosing)
optional- roasted acorn squash seeds

Preheat oven to 350. Place acorn squash in a baking dish, cut side down. Add a little water and bake for 45 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, bring the broth to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cinnamon, ginger, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and pepper to taste. Cover, remove from heat, and set aside for 10 minutes. Stir in the almonds, currants, and apple. Spoon the filling into the roasted squash (about a cup of filling per squash half). Garnish with roasted acorn squash seeds*, if desired.

*To roast the seeds, separate them from the pulp and rinse. Spray a baking pan with oil, spread out the seeds in a single layer on the pan, and sprinkle generously with salt. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, until slightly browned and crispy. Stir occasionally. Note: If you use these for a garnish, sprinkle them on right before you enjoy the dish- otherwise they will get soggy and chewy.
I'm not sure which I enjoyed more- the meal, or the roasted seeds!
Happy Fall!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Happy Labor Day! To celebrate the long weekend and the beginning of September, I broke out a few Fall decorations and made pumpkin spice lattes! It is rainy here today, so I have had plenty of time to spend in the house. I'm just happy I have the day off. Look at this frothy deliciousness.
I already had all the ingredients (thankfully). The pumpkin pie syrup was leftover from last year. I got it at World Market. Here is everything you need to make this taste of fall latte.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
(Print Recipe)

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup double strength coffee
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie syrup or pumpkin spice syrup (I used sugar free)
a few pinches of pumpkin pie spice
Truvia or any sweetener, to taste (optional) I used one teaspoon

Heat one cup of almond milk in the microwave or on the stovetop, until heated but not boiling. Stir in syrup and a pinch of pumpkin pie spice. Froth with a milk frother, until slightly foamy. Pour into a large mug. Pour coffee on top. Sprinkle with a pinch of pumpkin pie spice. Stir in additional sweetener if desired.

This recipe can easily be adjusted to your taste. Add more coffee for a stronger latte, or use espresso. Or make it a steamer, and don't add any coffee! The only thing that really has calories in this recipe (if you use sugar free syrup) is the almond milk, which is only 35 calories per cup! One of the many reasons I LOVE almond milk.
While drinking this, I may have added a few pins to my Fall Pinterest pin board. And here are a few of my decorations that I put out so far.
Can you tell I'm excited about the change in seasons? The weather hasn't even started to change here yet, but I'm doing as much as I can to make it feel like Autumn! Sipping pumpkin spice latte's always makes it feel a little more like Fall.