Bowl Food Season – Pt. 1 Pumpkin Chili

In the words of my good friend Hillary, “I’m calling it. Its officially bowl food season” & shes right. Although I am still wearing flip flops outside, they are now generally accompanied by crops & a sweater of some kind. The tree colors are starting to change & we are no longer leaving the windows open at night.

While I’m never ready to say goodbye to the summer season & all it entails, I do love the initial days of fall where you find joy in wearing cozy sweaters, drinking warm spicy coffees & when you start to make dishes in your kitchen that fill your home with mouthwatering smells before dinnertime.

Today started off early as I am switching back to the ‘days’ portion of my rotation at work [my body never does do it well] but Maddie & I had plans for a productive morning so off we went. Once home this afternoon I decided that the chill in the air called for some chili to be cooked on the stove hence the recipe that follows for Pumpkin Chili!

Enjoy xo

Ingredients

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 medium sized onion [ I used Red – use whatever you want]
  • 2-6 cloves garlic [Mine seemed to be mini today & I LOVE garlic so…see photo below]
  • 2 bell peppers [color doesn’t matter here – maybe avoid green they can be bitter]
  • 2 banana peppers [optional – I like it spicy]
  • 2 chicken breasts cubed
  • 1 can black beans [does anyone else find that recipes say 14 oz can &  you’ve got NO idea what size that is? Use whatever you have – I promise you will not be sad if you’re short 5 oz of black beans]
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 medium sized can tomatoes
  • 1 can pureed pumpkin [please do not use pie filling]
  • 1 C frozen corn
  • 1 t red pepper flakes
  • 3 T chili powder
  • 2 T smoked paprika
  • 2 T cumin
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 2 C Vegetable broth
  • 2 T Braggs Liquid Aminos [Soy or Tamari works too!]

How To:

  1. In a medium/large pot [I used my dutch oven] heat olive oil over medium/high heat, add the onions & let them brown up a bit. My Nonna used to say the brown bits added flavor  so don’t be afraid of them, if its getting too sticky add a little water to loosen everything back up. When your onions are browned up & translucent add in the garlic cooking till fragrant
  2. Add in the peppers, let them sweat a bit. When everything is well combined pour it all into a separate bowl where it can wait. I know you’re thinking I’m nuts but trust me you don’t want salmonella okay?
  3. In the same pot toss in the chicken and red pepper flakes, brown the chicken and cook through.
  4. Add the pepper mixture back in & all the rest of ingredients mixing well.
  5. Allow to boil and then reduce heat to low and let simmer for a while [this is the part where the house smells good and all the flavors meld together] stirring every so often.
  6. Serve garnished with toasted pumpkin seeds, avocado & sour cream/plain greek yogurt, cheese – or just plain!

IMG_5972

“Body Type: not terrible but definitely enjoys pasta”

Voila

That quote really should include cheese & wine….& then I should get it printed on a t-shirt or tattooed on my forehead.

 

Hi!

*insert usual comment about how I am the most irregular blogger [Can I even call myself that?] ever*

moving on…

This summer has flown by, while we [as a city] have been pretty blessed with some spectacular weather [sunshine and storms included],we [as in my family & I] have had to say ‘goodbye’ to a few spectacular people [silver lining we also got to say ‘hello gorgeous’ to a new one but more her later]. I have watched people around me deal with grief & stress in many different ways & I’ve noticed I always seem to gravitate towards the kitchen. No, no, not to eat everything in sight, although some days I definitely eat every single one of my feelings. I find myself needing/wanting to cook [well and the wine is there too]. I then either bring said food to those I know dealing with a stressful event/loss or alternatively cook all day,  realize at 11pm that  I have cooked enough for 35 people & am going to be eating moussaka till it tastes like moose caka [for the record I’m not sure this point exists]. In any case the kitchen is how I cope.

If you follow me on instagram, you’ve seen this dish already, not because I was cooking all day when I made it but I had a few lingering ingredients to use from the last cooking binge & a huge supply of fresh grape tomatoes from my parents that I wanted to use. Now I’m not one to follow a recipe but here’s what I used and how I did it.

Enjoy that 1st bite

xox

 

Pappardelle v 2.0

IMG_5927

Ingredients 

  • 250g-ish Pappardelle Pasta [I used dried noodles from the Italian Centre]
  • 4 slices Pancetta [optional, could sub bacon]
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • Grape Tomatoes [as many as you want – I probably used 30]
  • 1/4-1/2c Feta Cheese crumbled
  • 2T Fresh Basil sliced into ribbons
  • 1/2 c parmigiano reggiano [+ some extra for on top]
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 T milk [I used almond – Sorry Nonna – you SHOULD use heavy cream]
  • 1/2 lemon juiced [Can add the zest too if you like]
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

How

  1. Set your oven to 425, toss the tomatoes in a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover a baking sheet in tin foil, put the tomatoes on it & pop them in the oven till they are good & roasted. Roll them around every 10 minutes or so till some are a little burnt, mine took about 30 minutes total
    IMG_5923
    Tomatoes and Pancetta
  2. Slice up the pancetta & crisp it up in a frying pan, when ready remove from heat add garlic to the pan and allow to saute in the warm pancetta fat [yum right?]
  3. When the tomatoes are done get your pasta water boiling. Nice big pot so the noodles have room to swim, salt when its at a rolling boil & cook your pasta according to directions (usually 7-8 min)
  4. Whisk the egg yolks, milk/cream, lemon juice & parmigiano together in a separate container. *it helps to have close at hand for this next step IMG_5925IMG_5924
  5. When your pasta is done, remove from the heat, take out 1-2 oz of the cooking water & slowly whisk into the egg mixture. Drain the pasta , you want to leave some of the water on the noodles. Toss them back in the pot, add the egg yolk mixture & gently stir around, the egg yolks will cook slowly turning creamy, add in your feta, basil, tomatoes & pancetta and continue to stir till combined. When your ‘sauce’ is creamy & thickened you can dish up!
  6. Top with parmigiano,&  fresh ground black pepper!

 

 

Late Night Snacks (And blog posts)

So I did this “thing” today.

Its kind of a big deal. I think so anyways know!

I wrote my licensing exam for this thing I’ve been doing for the last few years called Nursing School. Its done! Now in 4-6 weeks they hopefully will tell me I’ve passed and I can move on to my next professional adventure.

Anyways, this evening I spent time with biggest cheerleaders/my parents as they have been away working their buns off at the cabin. We had a yummy dinner and then relaxed with wine, coffees, some Fiasco’s Gelato [Dad] and lots of good laughs. Plans have been set for an annual event held at their place this weekend for a staff BBQ and I have volunteered to bring appetizers. So naturally when they decided it was time to go home, I poured myself another glass and jumped on Pinterest looking for some new and exciting inspiration.

One other thing I discovered today? If you’re drinking red wine, cruising pinterest and mildly peckish, you’re going to end up making a snack [The recipe is coming, I promise] and also likely to repeat something you made last night that was tasty! So here comes the late night, Bri version of a ‘snack’ that has been made in my kitchen two nights in row! #byebyebikini

‘Caprese Quesadilla’

The Goods:

Tortillas [taco sized, full – it don’t matter]

Fresh Tomato, slice thin

Mascarpone Cheese [or cream cheese, something spreadable]

Pesto [Tonight mine was Costco, Sorry Mom/Nonna]

Black Pepper

IMG_1332

The How To:

  1. Preheat your non-stick pan over medium-high heat [this depends on how fast your willing to move and how hungry you are – tonight… I was on high]
  2. Line those tortillas up, spread the cheese on 1/2 and the pesto on the other IMG_1333
  3. Layer the tomato, crack some black pepper over them and toss into the pan, flat/open face
  4. Wait till the cheese begins to melt and you get a bit of sizzle action happening

    See that cheese?
    See that cheese?
  5.  Fold in half using a spatula and allow to brown a bit more on one side, flip and brown the other.
  6. Now remove them using that spatula and place onto a cutting board [Careful, they’re hot]
  7. Allow to cool for a minute, then slice into whatever size you want
  8. Serve them straight up, napkins are a good idea.
  9. Savor that 1st bite.
Yum
Yum

Cheers

xox

Holy Sh*t Cookies

D, this one is for you.

[I promised her this recipe weeks ago and keep forgetting to give it to her]

Anyways, Hi to the rest of you! Hope it is as hot as it is here [not burning though], wherever you are and you’re soaking up every second of it.

Have you ever heard of Corin Mullins and Brian Mullins? No, I hadn’t either [Actually. I just had to Google them], but I have heard of their product ‘Holy Crap’.  Its a mix of a seeds, grains, etc.. that not only tastes great [in yogurt or whatever you like] but its damn good for you and your GI tract.

If you don’t like the ‘keeping yourself regular’ discussion, stop reading.

Now, I’m a nurse, most of my family and some of my friends all work in healthcare, or just doesn’t give two sh*ts [bad pun] if conversation turns to that of a “bathroom” nature. Keeping your body regular is not only important but heck it makes you feel THAT much better when you’re not full of ‘it’ [sh*t].

Anyways… A few weeks ago I was baking some road trip snacks for my roommates who were cabin bound the next day [its a 10 hour drive] and I remembered a discussion I had earlier with my pregnant girlfriend about the struggles with “regularity” when growing a person or two.  I thought about the Holy Crap cereal and as I had already planned to bake my yummy breakfast cookies [I’ll get that recipe to you too], I figured I could try and create a new version of said breakfast cookies with an added ‘punch’. Thus the ‘Holy Sh*t Cookie’ was born.

Make em, Bake em, Love em.

xoxo B

Bri’s Holy Sh*t Cookies

The Goods

  • 1 c flour
  • 1 c oats [I used porridge oats from costco but whatever you have is fine]
  • 1/4 c Chia seeds
  • 1/4 c bran flakes
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/3 c brown sugar [I used coconut sugar]
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 T oil [I used 2 T + 1 t melted coconut oil]
  • 1 very ripe banana MASHED
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 c dried dates, chopped [could use prunes too!]

The How To:

  1. Heat your oven to 350F
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together
  3. In a separate bowl mix the wet ones together
  4. Add the wet to the dry and mix till combined
  5. Use your favorite cookie scoop or a tablespoon, place them about 1 inch apart on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet
  6. Bake for 12 minutes
  7. Enjoy that 1st bite

The Big ‘C’

Taco Time

Hõla!

Its starting to feel like summer and better yet the food around us is starting to TASTE like summer again [Read this post if you aren’t sure what I’m getting at].

Now if you don’t know me that well, there is a bit of a back story you need to know before the title and the rest of this post will make sense.

I used to loathe cilantro. Not just dislike it. Nope. Straight up hated it. Would lie [sorry Mom] and tell restaurants I was allergic to the stuff.  Anyways, a few years ago I was in Mexico and made friends with the taco chef at the resort. Every night he would make us the most unreal tacos and guess what was on almost all of them? You got it cilantro [If that wasn’t your guess go pour yourself a drink and start again]. Now the cringe/gag/shudder reflex slowly started to diminish and over the last few years I would eat it if it was already in something or if it was on a taco. Fast forward to myself in Mexico a few weeks ago and I was eating it on most things and enjoying it. Yes I was just as shocked as everyone watching me.

The point of me rambling on about said herb is there was a LOT of it in the recipe I made for dinner tonight. So without further adieu the recipe for Roasted Cauliflower Tacos with a whole lot of the Big ‘C’. I adapted the recipe from the one found in my new favorite, most bad ass cookbook ever “Thug Kitchen“.

Make em, enjoy em, Savor that 1st Bite

xo

The Goods I Used

^ That's the Book!
That’s the Book! ^
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 3/4 c Beer
  • 1/4 veggie broth
  • 2 T lime juice (Fresh)
  • 1 1/2 t Braggs [Soy Sauce or Tamari would work too]
  • 1 1/2 t hot sauce [Franks, Sriracha whatever you want]
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 t chili powder
  • 2 t smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cumin
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 T grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped [I used white but you can you whatever you have!]
  • Tortillas
  • Garnish
    • Cilantro!
    • Salsa
    • Avocado Slices
    • Tomato slices
    • Cilantro/Lime Slaw (See quickie note at the bottom)

How I did it

  1. Preheat the oven to 450
  2.  Break the cauliflower into florets about the size of a quarter. I started with a knife, got fed up and ended up breaking it up with my hands.

    Cauliflower Florets
    Cauliflower Florets
  3. Put the beer, veggie broth, lime juice, braggs, hot sauce and garlic into a pot and heat it up till it starts to boil. Add the cauliflower and simmer for 2 minutes and drain it! [Don’t leave it sitting in the hot liquid or you’re going to have soggy tacos – yuck]
  4. Mix the spices in a large bowl, add the oil, then add the cauliflower and onion and toss to coat WELL.

    Ready for the oven
    Ready for the oven
  5. Spread evenly onto a baking sheet and bake for ~ 20 minutes tossing them around once in the middle.
  6. Serve it while its nice a hot with whatever you want to garnish and enjoy it!
Yum!
Yum!

Quickie Note:

For the “Slaw” I grabbed a few handfuls of a kale salad mix, put about 2 1/2 T of lime juice, 2 T vinegar [I used a citrus vinegar I had but almost anything would work, maybe stay away from Balsamic], 1 t grapeseed oil, a pinch of salt, some shredded carrot and a packed 1/4 c of [drumroll please] Cilantro!

Slaw
Slaw

Quick ‘n Easy Breakfast

Breakfast

Its Spring Time!

Or now that the snow [from last week] is gone it sure feels like it.

I’ve finished school finally and am now trying to sort through a busy busy schedule before taking off to my little brother’s wedding for a week!

This morning my travel partner Nenn and I ran stairs in the gorgeous sunny river valley. It sounds much more glamorous than it was, but nothing like a good sweat/gasping for air to work up an appetite for some breakfast.

We have a fridge full of leftovers so I whipped up some breakfast with those, topped with my new favorite condiment… French’s Spicy Mustard [yes its as good as it sounds] and voila!

The Best Thing
The Best Thing

Happy Monday! Savor that 1st Bite

xoxo

Breakfast
Breakfast

Bri’s Quick ‘n Easy Breakfast Hash

The Goods

  • 1 t coconut oil – separated
  • 1/2 cup roasted veggies [I had squash and baby potatoes]
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • 1/3 cup roast beef
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • Spicy Mustard!

The How To

  1. Dice up the veggies and the meat into bite size pieces
  2. Melt 1/2  a teaspoon of coconut oil in a pan over medium high height
  3. Add the veggies and toss to coat with coconut oil, continue till they are warmed through then add the paprika.

    Veggies and Paprika
    Veggies and Paprika
  4. Toss in the meat and allow it to crust just a little! Then remove from heat and place into a bowl.

    Add the meat
    Add the meat
  5. In the same pan melt the rest coconut oil add the egg and egg whites and scramble.
  6. Once eggs are cook add to the same bowl and drizzle with your condiment of choice [Plain mustard, spicy mustard, Franks] and you’re done!
1st Bite
1st Bite

“Are you on the meat free kick too?”

The Sauce

No would be the short answer.

I do love to experiment though! Two of my cousins are both health and fitness buffs and the one that lives here IS vegetarian! When we get together, amongst other things, we love to cook. This past weekend we decided to try this Sriracha Tofu Recipe found on this great blog  “i am a food blog”. 

Naturally… We altered a few things but it turned out SO WELL I could have made it again the next day! Here is what we did and how we did it:

The Goods

  • 1 Brick FIRM tofu
  • 2 Limes, juiced
  • 3 T Sriracha Hot Sauce (Decrease this if you don’t like spice!)
  • 1 T Honey
  • 1/2 C Potato Starch
  • 2 T Coconut Oil (Could use avocado, olive, anything you want)
  • Original Recipe did call for green onions – I forgot them but they would be a nice touch

The How To:

  1. Slice the brick of tofu into 6 even wedges
  2. Place them on 2 sheets of paper towel and then one more on top. Don’t press on them you just want the exterior moisture gone.
  3. Melt the oil over medium high heat in a medium fry pan.
  4. Roll the tofu in the potato starch – clumping on the tofu is okay! This is what will give you the crisp!
  5. Place the tofu in the pan and toast it. This took a lot longer than I thought! I did all edges/sides and it took 10 minutes or so.

    Rolled and Ready
    Rolled and Ready
  6. When you’re done the original recipe said to place them on a wire rack however I forgot this step as we were both HUNGRY!

    Gettin Toasty
    Gettin Toasty
  7. Mix the sriracha, honey and lime in a container and then pour over the tofu. (This would be where you garnish with the green onions – it would be a nice taste and make it look pretty too!)

    The Sauce
    The Sauce
  8. We served it with a nice big green salad and it was fantastic.
Couldn't wait to try a bite
Couldn’t wait to try a bite

Savor that 1st Bite!

B