I don't remember ever eating anything pumpkin flavored as a child. I remember pop tarts and lucky charms... But I don't think I ever even dared to try pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, nor did I ever smell pumpkin bread baking in the oven. And I definitely don't remember pumpkin bagels with pumpkin cream cheese, pumpkin flavored hot chocolate and spiced pumpkin whipped cream.
Oddly enough, I can't stop shoving pumpkin flavored shenanigans down my family's faces and throats. Pumpkin cookies? Pumpkin pasta? How about a pumpkin smoothie?
You know what would taste good with that? Let me just sprinkle a bit of pumpkin pie spice right on top of your dinner there!
It doesn't go over well and I don't understand...
Shockingly when I announced we would be having pumpkin pizza, I was expecting a full blown expression of love but instead I got SO.MUCH.HATE.
I promised they would love it, if they just trusted me. They didn't and my husband started to cry for Papa Johns...But I stood my ground because dang it! It's 2016!! EMBRACE THE PUMPKIN!
The star of the show is this Pumpkin Cream sauce which could be consumed alone! It's so easy and comes together in under 10 minutes, and you could put it on top of any pasta dish! Or on your face! Or on your husbands face! Get pumpkin freaky.
Pumpkin Cream Sauce
- 2 TB. olive oil
- 1 TB. chopped garlic
- 2 TB. shallots
- 1 TB. chopped fresh sage
- 1/2 cream (can sub coconut milk for dairy free, or a non dairy milk for a lighter version)
- 1 c. pumpkin puree
- 1/4 c. parmesan cheese, opt. if you want to keep this dairy free
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/2-3/4 tsp. salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. coconut sugar, or brown sugar
- 1/4-1/2 veggie broth(Depending on how thick you want your sauce. The sauce will thicken once in the fridge, so you can add the broth later on if needed, or all at once.)
- In a sauce pan, heat your olive oil on med heat. Add garlic and shallots, toss and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Next add in fresh sage and stir. Cook for about 1 minute.
- Slowly add in cream, while stirring. Then add in pumpkin puree, spices, sugar, and broth if needed.
- Remove from heat.
- Use for pastas, pizza, etc. The sauce will thicken in the fridge, so if you like the consistency, keep that in mind. To thin add, drizzle a little more broth or cream till desired consistency is reached. May need to adjust spices.
And then we have this...
This pizza. You see that savory pumpkin cream sauce just oozing off the pizza with cheese?! I promise you, this will be a pizza to remember!
Also, we tried are darnedest to make this a 'Jack-O-Lantern' face...I blame my 5 year old.
Pumpkin Pizza w/ Butternut Squash, Tomatoes, and Herbs
- 1 recipe pizza crust, I use [url href="http://www.howsweeteats.com/2012/03/garlic-bread-pizza-crust/"]THIS[/url] recipe all the time!
- 1 recipe Pumpkin Cream Sauce
- 1 c. roasted butternut squash
- 1/2 c. baby tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 TB. fresh sage, chopped
- 1 TB. fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 c. parmesan cheese
- 1-1 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
- Prepare pizza crust according to directions.
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
- Roll out your dough onto your baking sheet or pizza stone.
- Add your pumpkin sauce and spread evenly throughout pizza.
- Spinkle on cheese, then the rest of the toppings. (Herbs, tomatoes, and butternut squash)
- (Toppings aren't necessary but do add a delicious touch!)
- Cook for 10-20 minutes, or until crust is golden and cheese is nice and bubbly!
- Serve and enjoy!
Savory pumpkin recipes may be my new favorite thing! What are your favorite pumpkin recipes, and do you have links to share?
I have about 17 cans of pumpkin puree needing to be used so....
I know everyone is getting so excited for Fall! I'm there with you friends, I promise. I walked into Hobby Lobby and almost maxed out a credit card just so I could decorate my house like Halloween at Disneyland. I want my house so badly to look like a Pinterest inspired Fall Board, but frankly it's more of a 'did someone ransack and rob this house?' vibe...
With Fall, comes squash. Mainly pumpkin if we are being honest. I'm definitely not the type of person who refuses to go there, but for today's recipe it's all about the Spaghetti Squash. I think this is a year round kind of veggie thank goodness because I just figured out THE BEST WAY to cook spaghetti squash!
If you have ever tried to roast spaghetti squash, it takes like an hour. I know this because I've been there done that multiple times. And honestly, every time I've made the squash, the spaghetti comes out a tad crunchy. So I've avoided making it for a while because my mom energy levels at this time in my life requires no longer than 20-30 minute recipes.
Thank goodness for my pressure cooker. I've fallen so hard in love with this thing! Just yesterday I made a bag of dry beans cooked and ready to go in 25 minutes. (No soaking!) I've also cooked sweet potatoes, frozen chicken, bean soups...etc. It's amazing!
So when my lunch time rolled around, and the kids leftover sandwiches weren't looking the best, I decided to treat myself to a yummy quick lunch! I cooked the squash while I got the kids lunch ready, and when they were done I was able to fix mine up and enjoy lunch all by myself...
Just me and Instagram/Facebook/Youtube and back again.
Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Squash + Pesto Spaghetti Squash Dish
It can take an hour to roast a spaghetti squash, but using a pressure cooker it can take 10-15 minutes in one pot!
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 2 cups water
- (For the Pesto Dish)
- 6 oz jar of pesto-Use as much as preferred
- 1 c. chopped sun dried tomatoes
- 2-4 oz. crumbled goat cheese
- 2-4 TB. roasted pumpkin seeds
- Add your water to your pressure cooker.
- Cut the ends off the squash, and then cut it in half. Remove the seeds.
- Add the squash by placing it on the metal stand, or just place it on the bottom of the pot.
- Set the manual timer to 10 minutes.
- Allow it to cook.
- Once it is done, let out the steam and remove the squash. (Careful, it's hot!)
- Using two forks, scrape the squash so the strings come about and add them to a bowl.
- You can add salt, pepper, and a little butter and eat as is. OR....
- You can make this pesto dish:
- Strain the spaghetti in a strainer to drain some of the liquid.
- Add your pesto, sun dried tomatoes, goat cheese, and seeds. Mix and eat immediately.
- If you want to make this later, add toppings in right before serving.
This is the exact pressure cooker I use, and I love it! Click the picture below to find it on Amazon! (Affiliate link)
What is your favorite fall recipe?!
And what other recipes would you like to see cooked in a pressure cooker?
*This is comfort food at it's finest. Meatball and Spaghetti Soup is the perfect combination of two comfort foods, soup and pasta, mixed into one! It's a quick and easy dish, and it's hearty and filling.* *******************************************************************************************
Here's the deal. I know reading blogs is a thing of the past. So 2012. 2010? Either way, we are a visual world. I know that most of you might just scroll past this and not even read what I'm writing, look at a few of the pics, and go right down to the recipe. You will check the ingredients and then, "Hmmm that sounds doable...I'll have to remember that, Oh wait! I have a new Instagram notification!"
So basically, I could really say whatever the flying fargin bastage I want. I could tell you the most embarrassing story about my husband, and no one would know. Except my mom, because I think she still reads my blog? Maybe.
So for now, mom, and maybe some random person from France, thank you for getting to this point. I know it was painful, and excruciating. Have you ever typed out excruciating? It's excruciating.
I'm sorry there is no clever hilarious story, but I'm going to be honest. This day light savings thing has me screwed up and Real Housewives of Atlanta is on. I am not thinking straight.
Here is the recipe you've all been waiting for....The End.
Meatball and Spaghetti Soup
1 onion diced
4-5 cloves garlic, diced
2 TB. olive oil
1 small can tomato paste
1 large can crushed tomatoes
4 c. marinara sauce (jarred or homemade)
8-10 c. vegetable broth**
2 TB. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. cane sugar
12 oz. dried pasta of choice
18-20 cooked meatballs, (Can sub vegetarian meatballs)
1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup freshly chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup freshly chopped basil
salt and pepper to taste, I started with 1 tsp. of each.
In a saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil.
Then add in the onions and garlic. Stir and cook down the mixture until the onions are translucent.
Next add in your tomato paste. Mix it around for about 30 seconds, then add in your crushed tomatoes, marinara sauce, broth, and spices.
Cover and let the soup simmer on a low boil for 10 minutes.
Add in the cooked meatballs and dried pasta, 1 cup of the parmesan cheese, and 1/2 the amount of fresh herbs. Stir and continue to simmer for about 5 or so minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Remove from heat so the pasta doesn’t overcook.
Serve with the extra parmesan cheese on top as well as fresh herbs and enjoy!
**Sometimes with a soup that has pasta, the liquid can keep absorbing into it, which causes the soup to thicken and while also giving you a very soft overcooked pasta. It is key to add the pasta into the last part of the cooking process, and If necessary add a little more liquid. (You will need to adjust the seasonings if doing so.)
A little about this soup. It's the perfect combination of 2 comfort foods, soup and spaghetti. It makes a lot of leftovers if you have children who eat like birds, which makes for a perfect mommy/daddy lunch!
Don't forget a side salad to add some veggies to this heavier carb dish, because you also can't forget the garlic bread! If you make your own meatballs, I LOVE this recipe. It's my go-to every time. I will make the meatballs while the soup is cooking, and then throw them in at the end! It also has veggies in the meatballs, and if you include a side salad you are on track! It's the perfect Sunday dinnel or when you are having guests over. This is a really long paragraph, so hopefully you get my point :).
If you made it this far, go ahead and eat some chocolate. You deserve it! You unique one of a kind son of a gun! Bonjour! xo
I ordered a bathing suit online last week, so... Lightened up Primavera Pasta it is!
If you've never had pasta primavera, it's basically a pasta dish with cooked, yet crisp, veggies and a nice creamy sauce. Cream as in heavy cream.
I love heavy cream.
My grandmother always had heavy cream in her fridge for her tea, and one time I poured myself a glass thinking it was milk. I remember drinking it thinking it was the best tasting milk I had ever had in my ENTIRE life.
I then proceeded to pour myself another.
Eventually someone told me what I was really doing, but unfortunately it didn't stop me. I snuck a glass every time I was at her house. And after that I licked my finger and dipped it in her sugar jar.
Oh my gosh, no wonder...nevermind.
This recipe makes a huge amount of pasta, and would be perfect for your weeknight family dinner. (It only takes about 30 minutes total to make!) You could add a nice herbed lemony protein to it and it's a complete meal! OR, you could do what I did and make it on a sunday so you have a 'mommy' lunch ready for you everyday! Because busy mamas don't always have time for lunch, am I right?
And when that happens, that's when we start drinking heavy cream and dipping our fingers in the sugar jar. Take my word. Make this pasta, and save your digestive system.
Lightened Up Pasta Primavera
This dish takes only 30 minutes to make!
- 2 TB. coconut oil or EVOO
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 4 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 1 head of broccoli, stems removed
- 1 red bell pepper,cut into strips
- 1 TB. coconut oil or EVOO
- 1 zucchini, sliced
- 1 yellow squash, sliced
- 1 bunch asparagus, bottoms chopped off
- 1 box bowtie pasta
- 3/4 c. chicken broth or veggie broth
- 2 TB. EVOO or butter
- 1 1/2 c. non dairy, unsweetened, regular milk (Like cashew, coconut, soy)
- 1/2 c. chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 bag frozen peas, 12 oz
- Salt, Pepper
- 1/2 lemon, juiced and zested
- Bring a pot of water to boil on the stove and cook your pasta until al dente. Do not over cook.
- Meanwhile, in a sauce pan add your oil and cook your onion and garlic for a few minutes, until translucent.
- Add your carrot and broccoli and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove ingredients from the sauce pan and add to a plate and set aside.
- Next add the peppers and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove and add to the plate and set aside.
- Next add the additional oil and add the zucchini and squash. Cook for 1 minute, then remove and set on the plate.
- Next add your asparagus, toss, and cover. Steam for a few minutes until it has softened a little. Remove and add it to the plate.
- Drain your al dente pasta.
- Next add your broth and butter. Using a whisk, scrape the bottom of the pan and allow the mixture to come to a boil. Then add in your milk and fresh basil and cheese. Let it cook for about a minute, then add the frozen peas, pasta and cooked veggies. Toss and season generously with salt and pepper. Then add the lemon juice and zest. Toss and adjust seasonings and extra cheese if desired.
Thank goodness my grandma doesn't read my blog, otherwise I don't think she would be too happy...
*Need a quick weeknight dinner? Meatballs are one of our family favorites and it's super fast to whip together! Add the meatballs to your favorite pasta and you are done! Plus, these meatballs have a hint of veggies in them!* I find myself making meatballs almost weekly for my little family because it's fast and one of the dinners that my kids eat without hesitation.
I think it's their Italian blood that doesn't have a problem eating meatballs and pasta. It's also that same Italian blood that makes our family look like a performing broadway show with all the singing, yelling, animated gesturing and dramatic exits...
Dramatic as in when you are picking up your 2 year old from preschool and she doesn't want to leave. So then you have to drag her to the car as she screams, flailing every body part only for the unlock button to stop working. Don't worry, the kids and their parents stopped in their tracks and watched every single moment.
Why do moments like that feel like slow motion?
Back to meatballs. Italian hot headed or not, your family will thank you for these meatballs. And, this recipe is pretty versatile! This recipe originally came from THIS meatball recipe, and I've adapted it so many times and tried new flavors! Add your favorite pasta, or simply use the rest of your pest0 and sun dried tomatoes to your pasta (kind of a version of THIS recipe), and you have a complete meal!
Side Note: I can't guarantee that the side effects from these meatballs won't be a little dramatic...
Sun Dried Tomato and Pesto Meatballs
- 1 1/4 pound ground turkey
- 1 beaten egg
- 1/3 c. parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1/3 c. bread crumbs
- 1 large carrot, finely grated, plus extra for topping
- 4 TB. pesto
- 1/3 c. chopped sun dried tomatoes
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1 grated garlic clove
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a bowl, add all ingredients together and gently fold and incorporate until combined. Do not over mix.
- Using a large casserole dish, 9 X13, coat the bottom of the dish with 2 TB. olive oil.
- Using a cookie scoop, shape meat into 1 inch size meatballs and arrange in the baking dish. Sprinkle the top with more parmesan cheese, lightly coated.
- Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked all the way through. Cover with foil and allow them to sit for a few minutes before serving.
Preschool again today...Wish me luck!
*This is probably one of my families favorite meals to eat, and my favorite meal to make. Chicken Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes & Artichokes. It's the easiest thing to throw together on a busy weeknight, and it's great dish when you have to bring meals to others!*
When Boo was first born, I will never forget all of the emotions I was experiencing. Scared, excited, overjoyed, blessed, freaking out, worried, emotional, irrational, tired, delirious, thirsty, and hungry.
And probably 456 other emotions that I can't remember...
Oh yea, memory loss.
When Boo was about two weeks old, and all of the family had headed back home, I remember feeling like "Oh my gosh...what do I do? How do I take care of her? What if she coughs? How come I can't hold my pee when I laugh? Also, I am I seeing things or am I just tired?"
My husband was deep in the middle of finals for grad school and I was scared out of my mind every time he left that morning for school. I knew it would be at least 10 hours before I saw him, and probably 6 hours before I talked to him. I was eating random things here and there, and drinking straight from a bottle of cranberry juice...
It was kind of...a beautiful mess. (So to speak.)
I was fully in love with my little new born, but hadn't quite figured out how to live life as a new mom. I felt alone a lot, but at the same time so comforted knowing that she was always with me.
Then one night when my husband was studying late at school, there was a knock on my apartment door. I opened the door to find a lady and her young daughter smiling so big with handfuls of food. I knew this lady just a little bit from church, and had maybe talked to her once. She had just moved to our area after going through a horrible experience in her life and had ended up living in our apartment complex.
She stood there with this hot pasta dish, bread, a huge salad, and a delicious homemade strawberry pie.
I'm pretty sure I balled my eyes out (and tried not to pee my pants) as she told me she had brought our family dinner because she knew the joys and stresses of being a new mom. As they held sweet Boo in their arms, all I could think about was how in that moment I wasn't alone, and there was someone watching out for me. And even despite what this beautiful woman was going through, she had found the time to serve someone else, and help someone in need.
I'll never forget that experience, and to this day I can still taste that strawberry pie.
At the beginning of this month, my girls and I made a goal to bring someone food every week. Not always a full meal, maybe some homemade bread or fresh cookies. For me, food is such a comfort, and I love sharing that with others.
This pasta dish has been one of my tried and true recipes from time to time as I've brought dinners to others. It's SO easy, which is kind of a necessity if you are making dinner for not only YOUR family but someone else's.
Chicken Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes & Artichokes
This dish is SUPER simple and can come together quickly when you need a quick weeknight dinner! Also, it's the perfect dish to deliver to other families!
- 1 pound, or a little more, pasta of choice. (The recipe works best with a tortellini pasta filled with cheese.)
- 1-1 1/2 c. pesto, jarred or fresh (or 1 jar.)
- 1-2 cups sundried tomatoes, we prefer more :)
- 1-1 1/2 c. chopped canned artichokes
- 1-2 cups shredded chicken
- 8 oz mozzarella pears
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Strain pasta and place in a large bowl. Add the pesto, tomatoes, artichokes, and chicken and mix until combined.
- Sprinkle the top with the mozzarella pears.
- Serve and enjoy!
I'm so grateful for moments like that. Times where I felt comfort even when I was scared.
Also, I'm grateful I don't pee my pants any more. Unless I cough, sneeze, jump on a trampoline, and run...
So so grateful.
Would you guys like to be apart of something amazing?! Join my girls and I bring others a food of comfort one time each week for at least a month! Let's make others feel loved! xoxoxo
Say What?!? A Post!!!
That's right! I'm sure there are pigs flying somewhere right?
Well today's post is featured on Venus Williams Eleven By Venus Blog!
Zucchini Pest Pasta! I am LOVING myjulienne peeler! I have so many ideas in my head on how I can play around with it!
To check out the recipe, GO HERE!
We are back home as of yesterday, and we aren't leaving town for another week and a half so I have PLENTY of time to share things with you! Be looking out for new recipes and etc.!
Thanks again for all of your support! Much love!!
Did you know that by the time Sunday comes around we have half a box of cereal in our pantry, a bag of carrots in the fridge, an almost empty jar of peanut butter on the counter, and a full bag of dark chocolate chips in the freezer? Hashtag Priorities.
I'm never ready for Sunday dinner. I plan dinner out for the whole week, but then it's like I forgot about Sunday and just pretend that there will be something in the pantry to make and all will be well...
No, Arielle. Every Sunday this happens, and every sunday you forget, and every Sunday you suck.
Sunday is basically like an episode of chopped. I open the pantry, the fridge, and the freezer. Swear a few times because I'm an idiot and should have prepared better for this, hope that honey nut cheerios would make a great crouton on a salad, and pray that everything works out...
Like most families, I assume that by the end of the week everyones fridge holds the least exciting food in the produce drawer. Its all the leftover produce that didn't get eaten during the week, which means there wasn't a desire there to eat them to begin with.
This Sunday, I just so happened to have a Costco amount of tomatoes, carrot sticks, one zucchini, and an 'older' bag of celery. Wouldn't it be great if I could combine all of that into one and my kids would eat it?!
And that is how this Pasta Sauce was born. I'm sure it could work with the majority of veggies you have in your drawer, which makes cleaning out the fridge all that more successful. If you don't have fresh tomatoes on hand, you can definitely used canned. Add your favorite toppings, seasoning, or even make it a meat sauce.
If you are lucky enough to have more than the end piece of bread in your pantry, serve it along with an herbed garlic bread for dipping!
Did I mention it's full of veggies?!
- 2 TB. coconut oil/olive oil
- 3 lbs. tomatoes (I used plum)
- 1 sweet onion
- 4-5 cloves garlic
- 2 large carrot sticks, or a handful of baby carrots
- 2 celery sticks
- 1 zucchini
- 4 TB. tomato paste
- 4 TB. balsamic vinegar
- 1 heaping TB. dried basil
- 1 heaping TB. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. garlic salt
- salt/pepper-to taste
- hot sauce (a few dashes-optional)
- Dice onion and garlic. Add them to a pot on the stove.
- Turn the heat on the stove to medium heat, and add the coconut oil.
- Toss the onion and garlic and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until the onions are clear.
- While the onion/garlic is cooking, dice the rest of the veggies.
- Add the rest of the veggies to the pot and stir. Add in the paste, seasonings, and vinegar.Cover and let simmer for 15-30 minutes on med-low heat, stirring occasionally. Get the rest of the dinner ready while the sauce cooks. (You can cook the sauce as long as needed, just until the veggies are somewhat tender)
- Transfer to a blender, and blend sauce until pureed and thick.
- Transfer the sauce back to the pot, taste, adjust seasoning, and serve along with pasta, meat sauce, chicken, etc.
And for dessert?
A bag of chocolate chips. Seriously...
Every so often I'll make my girls this homemade, incredible rich, alfredo pasta. As I'm making the sauce, I watch as I whisk it's creamy consistency around and around, and I can't help but think..."Who needs bathing suit season anyway! I'd much rather just drink this."
I'm not saying eating alfredo sauce means that you won't fit into a bathing suit.
I'm saying the way I WOULD EAT alfredo sauce means...I wouldn't be able to get off the couch.
I've been wanting to make an incredibly delicious and healthy alfredo pasta for The Diva Dish for a long time. I still haven't perfected it, but I did however come up with this recipe when I was having a rough day and wishing for some comfort food.
It's a quick and easy version of a creamy pasta that is EXTREMELY easy, so much so that you might actually be able to sit down and enjoy lunch. Not a lot of cleanup, serves 1-2 people...Oh, and it's good for you!
Creamy Hummus Pasta Sauce
- 1/2 c. hummus-I used regular, but there are so many flavors that would work!
- 1 TB. Melted coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp. garlic salt
- 1/4 tsp. onion powder
- 3 TB. non dairy milk-or you could sub vegetable broth for a little different flavor
- 1 TB. greek yogurt-or more non dairy milk
- salt, pepper, spice-such as paprika, basil, oregano, etc.
- Cooked pasta/vegetables
- In a bowl whisk together all of the ingredients until combined and creamy. Pour over warm pasta or warm vegetables.
- Sprinkle with a little parmesan cheese if needed.
- Sauce makes enough for 1-2 c. of pasta or veggies!
I'm headed off to Virginia this weekend, so there might not be a video on Friday...SHOCKER!
In the mean time, pray for me that I don't have a complete anxiety attack on the airplane. I'm incredibly afraid of flying, I might need a horse tranquilizer pill to calm my nerves...
I can't even tell you how long it took me to find a butternut squash here in Nevada...
Ever since September, I've searched all the local grocery stores for SOME TYPE OF SQUASH! Every time they would tell me they don't have any all I would say was, "I'm sorry...All I heard was Bla Bla Bla I'm a dirty tramp..." (Name that movie?!)
Finally this past week I spotted a teeny tiny box full of tiny little butternuts just waiting for me at the grocery store! I've had a harsh reality this year with produce since moving to this deathly hot dessert...Pretty sure I'm gonna hide produce from California in my trunk next time I visit.
Don't tell the produce check point.
Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced, seeds removed
- 2 TB. olive oil/ coconut oil
- 1/2 sweet onion
- 3-4 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 small carrots, diced
- 2 small celery sticks, diced
- 1 TB. tomato paste
- roughly 2 cups coconut milk, or other non dairy milk,
- salt, pepper, preferred spices
- freshly chopped italian herbs; basil, thyme, oregano, etc.
- 1-2 TB. melted butter/coconut olive oil
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 lb. pasta of choice
- First thing you need to do is cook your butternut squash. You can either roast it or boil it. To boil, place diced butternut into salted boiling water, and boil until tender, roughly 15 minutes. If roasted, preheat oven to 400 degrees and add diced butternut to baking sheet. Toss with 1-2 TB. olive oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Roast for about 45 minutes or until tender.
- While the butternut cooking, grab a large pan and add oil and onion. Cook for a few minutes until onion is clear, then add diced garlic. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Next start cooking your pasta according to package directions.
- Add in carrots and celery and cover pan with a sheet of tinfoil. Toss every so often, and cook for about 5-7 minutes, until vegetables are somewhat tender.
- Next add in Tomato paste and cooked butternut squash. Toss and coat, then remove from heat.
- Add ingredients to blender, along with coconut milk. Blend until creamy. You might have to add more or less liquid depending on the butternut you used, and if it's more dry or not.
- Pour sauce back into pan and turn on low heat. Add spices, such as salt, pepper, few red pepper flakes, etc. It's really versatile!
- Add in your cooked and drained pasta, toss until coated. Add in the 1-2 TB of butter/oil, and toss. (I didn't use all of the sauce that this recipe makes! I actually only used half. So make sure to watch how much sauce you actually need. Save extra sauce for leftovers or for pizza sauce!)
- Toss pasta with fresh herbs and a generous helping of fresh parmesan cheese.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
My main goal in making this pasta was to please the kids, while giving them nice helping of one of my favorite vegetables! It's so creamy and orange like regular boxed mac n' cheese, so it's somewhat of an easy transition.
It's also more of a sweeter sauce, which I think appeals to a lot of kids palates...or maybe just mine. Either way I was happy to see them gobbling it up!
If anyone would like to trade produce for an abundance of rocks....You know where to contact me...
It's 10:30 p.m., and I am finally sitting down to relax. I've got a chocolate chip muffin with a dollop of peanut butter on it, i'm tired, still hungry, and for some reason i'm sucked into the HGTV channel staring at people with large muscles smash their walls with large hammers...
The days seem longer now that the littles are getting older, and I swear having one kid versus two kids feels like you jumped the gun and had 5 more. Yet these two little smiley gals bring me more joy than I thought possible, a long with the dirtiest yoga pants known to man.
I love it.
I talk a lot about dinner time, and I figure I'm like most busy mom's & dad's when I say dinner time can end up being, "Freak, it's already 5 in the afternoon?! What the heck am I going to make? I have bread, chocolate chips, and some oranges..."
No one wants to chop a bunch of veggies or prepare a meal with tons of steps because let's face it...Cutting one single carrot with two kids demanding attention feels like an ETERNITY! Or you do what I did when your attention is focused on the littles and not the task at hand, and decide 5 fingers is too many for one hand...4 sounds much better...
Any who I'm rambling, let's talk about a quick dinner that I made with only a few ingredients.
*I've always wanted to make my own roasted peppers, because I LOVE roasting veggies. To me it brings out the better flavors that food has. This dish is simple, quick, and requires only a few ingredients!
First step is roasting your pepper. You can do this under your broiler, over a grill with fire, or on the stove top right above the flame. For this recipe I used 1 1/2 red bell peppers. You could definitely use more, but I was just using what I had. Roast and charr that red pepper like no other.
While it's roasting, toast a few TB. of walnuts in a pan over low-medium heat for about 1-2 minutes. Meanwhile, cook some pasta. I used about 6-8 ounces of spinach pasta because it was all I had.
When your red pepper is roasted and charred, it should look somewhat like this:
Place it in a plastic baggy and seal it up! You need that pepper to get nice and schweaty! :)
While it's sweating it out, cut and dice one large shallot and 2-3 garlic cloves, (like the one pictured above with missing finger.)
When that is done, remove red pepper from bag and peel off skin and scape a few seeds away. Discard skins.
In a blender puree the red pepper until smooth, then throw in the walnuts and puree for about 20-30 seconds, or until no large chunks appear. (Walnuts are optional, but add great protein and flavor!)
In a saucepan over the stove heated to medium/low add your diced shallots in a pan along with 1-2 TB. of oil (I used coconut.) Once the shallots begin to cook and brown, add your pureed bell peppers/walnuts. Stir until combined, then add in about 1/4-1/3 c. of coconut milk. Stir until creamy.
Turn heat down to low and season the sauce. Add salt, lots of pepper, and a variety of fresh or dry herbs. I did some oregano and basil, and really anything would work! Then toss in your cooked pasta.
Top with parmesan cheese and serve warm!
I could emphasize over and over again how easy this is for those busy days, but let's face it. Nothing is easier than a bowl of cereal..Especially when you only have 4 fingers. :)
So keep in mind, a few extra easy minutes of time can give your family something filling and healthy! Save the cereal for the bum crack of dawn when the littles wake up and you can barely function! :)
Every year on Halloween I've always had chili and cornbread. It just seems like the right thing to do.
This year we will do the same, but I do know that there are some non-chili and cornbread believers out there. Aka my husband.
He's so freakin' weird.
So if you are still searching for comfort, but don't want it to go straight to your hiney, then I would suggest this ultimate creamy and definitely comforting pasta. It's similar to macaroni and cheese...minus the cheese.
And my friends, we can thank the star of the show for that ultra creamy and delicious pasta...
No not Boo...Although she might be a STAR...She did nothing to help with the pasta. Except inhale it.
The real star of the show is the one and only Butternut Squash.
And to show you how big butternut squash really is, I decided to show you the comparison between one and Sweet Pea.
Then Boo got jealous and wanted me to take a picture of her with her best friends...
I feel I am getting sidetracked here.
Ok so for starters, the recipe calls for butternut squash puree. You can buy canned squash, but fresh is and always taste better. So if you have the time, it's definitely worth it! It's actually pretty simple to cook and make puree. Here is how:
First you need to cut the squash is half, which if your weak sauce like me, it may seem practically impossible. But I promise it's not.
First stab that butternut squash in the middle, till the knife goes all the way through.
Pull the knife down to cut half of the squash, then do the same on the other side.
Next scoop out the seeds.
Then take a baking sheet with raised sides and fill the pan with just a little bit of water, like 1/4 inch.
Place the squash face side down and roast in a 400 degree oven for 30-45 minutes, or until done and soft.
Using a spoon, peel off the skin from the squash.
Then puree the squash in a food processor. If you have to, add a few TB of water to make it completely smooth.
I stored the extra puree in freezer bags to use when Sweet Pea starts eating.
Ok...now to that comforting dish all you chili haters have been waiting for...
2 c. dry pasta
1 TB coconut oil
1 TB. whole wheat flour
1 c. coconut milk from can-full fat
1 c. butternut squash puree
3 TB. Nutritional yeast
1 tsp. ground mustard
1/4 tsp. tumeric
1 TB. oregano
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1. Cook pasta according to directions. Heat a sauce pan on med-low heat over stove. Add oil. Next sprinkle in flour and whisk until combined. Add milk and continue whisking until all lumps are out. When it begins to simmer and thicken add in puree as well as spices. Whisk until combined and let simmer and thicken.
2. Once pasta is cooked, fold it into sauce. Serve immediately.
Hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween!!
And for all our friends on the East Coast, our prayers are with you!
I am going to be completely honest and say that I hate making dinner.
That being said, why the in the flying trapeze am I a food blogger...well that's a different story. I love to cook...
Just not when it's 5 o'clock, I still haven't showered, Baby Boo all of the sudden won't leave my hip, and I have yet to put away all the laundry.
Or for that matter, take said CLEAN laundry out of the toilet that Baby Boo so kindly put 'away' for me.
(Just what you want to see right...A picture of my toilet. Gross.)
To top it all off, a lot of times dinner is just me and Boo, and after a long day I am tempted to pour a bowl of peanut butter puffins and call it good.
Baby Boo won't mind, she loves puffins!
And then I remember that I am trying to be everything and super woman, and sometimes I can do better than a bowl of cereal...no matter how tempting it may sound.
But...There are some guidelines that this so called dinner has to follow:
It must not take longer than 30 minutes.
It won't require a lot of effort. That means, not too much chopping, whisking, watching, blending, and baking.
Oh, and it has to be delicious, because if it isn't then I'm going straight for the puffins.
15 minute Lemon Parsley-Spinach Pasta
6-8 ounces pasta
1 bunch parsley
1 c. fresh spinach
2-3 cloves garlic
zest and juice of 1 lemon
3-4 TB. olive oil (or more depending on how 'oily' you like your sauce)
1/4 c. sunflower seeds
salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook pasta according to directions.
2. While pasta is cooking, puree the sunflower seeds in a food processor until crumbs appear. Next add in the rest of your ingredients to food processor. Blend a couple of minutes, scraping down the sides when necessary, until you have reached a 'pesto' like consistency.
3. Once pasta is done, drain, and pour into bowl. Toss pasta with about a tsp. of olive oil (optional), and then add parsley sauce to pasta. Toss until combined. Can squeeze additional lemon juice on top if desired.
Seriously so easy and so fast.
And I almost didn't miss the puffins!
Have a great weekend everyone!!