Archive for November, 2013


Vegetarian Chili

November 30, 2013

I made this on one of the early fall nights this year. It’s a perfect option for a Meatless Monday main course. I cooked it on the stove top, but it could easily go in a slow cooker.

20131015 Veggie Chili

You will need:

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 2 T oregano
  • 1/2 t celery salt
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 can (4 oz) chopped green chili peppers, drained
  • 1 package (12 oz) veggie crumbles (burger substitute)
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) stewed tomatoes with garlic, celery and green pepper
  • 1/8 c chili powder
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 t cayenne pepper
  • 1 t pepper
  • 1 beef bouillon cube (optional)
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans, drained and rinse
  • 1 bottle of lager
  • 1 can (12 oz) whole kernel corn

Then you will…

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium. Add the onion, bay leaves, cumin, oregano and celery salt.
  2. Saute until the onion is tender.
  3. Stir in the green pepper, jalapeno pepper, garlic, zucchini and green chili peppers. Allow to heat through.
  4. Add the veggie crumbles and tomatoes (with their juices), breaking up any large bits of tomato.
  5. Mix in the chili powder, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Add the bouillon cube if using.
  6. Stir in the black beans, kidney beans and bottle of beer.
  7. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a low simmer. Allow to cook on low for about 45 minutes, or until reduced to the desired consistency.
  8. Taste test and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  9. Mix in the corn about 5 minutes before serving, and allow to heat through.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

November 21, 2013

I made these brownies for a pumpkin-themed birthday party recently, and I cheated with a boxed brownie mix (which I actually really enjoy from time to time!). These don’t have egg or oil in them, so you will find them to be a bit fudgier than your average brownie. I happen to like that, so hopefully you will too! If not, check out another version I made awhile back.

You will need:

  • 1 can (14.5 oz) pureed pumpkin (be sure not to get the pumpkin pie filling by mistake)
  • 1 stick (8 oz) reduced fat cream cheese at room temperature
  • 4 T brown sugar
  • 1 T honey
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 t ground ginger, scant
  • 1 box brownie mix (I used Ghirardelli double chocolate)

20131012 Pumpkin Brownies 02

Then you will…

  1. Blend together 1/2 cup of the pumpkin with the cream cheese, brown sugar, honey and spices. Mix until smooth and well combined. Set aside.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 pan with tinfoil and lightly grease with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the brownie mix with the remaining pumpkin puree.
  4. Spread the brownie batter in the pan.
  5. Top with the cheesecake mixture. Use a knife to swirl the brownie and cheesecake mixtures together.
  6. Bake until set in the middle, about 25 minutes.

Pumpkin Pecan Bars

November 16, 2013

These are another yummy fall dessert. The pecans and Greek yogurt keep it from being too sweet, but it has the yumminess of pumpkin pie to keep you coming back for an extra little slice.

You will need:

  • 1 c flour
  • 1 1/4 c + 2 T brown sugar, divided
  • 1/2 t salt, divided
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 2 t ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/2 c (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 1/4 c chopped pecan, divided
  • 3/4 c old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/4 t vanilla extract
  • 1 pkg (8 oz) light cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 c canned pure pumpkin
  • 1/3 c fat-free evaporated milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1 c Greek yogurt

Then you will…

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×9 square baking dish with tinfoil. Lightly grease with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Add the flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until well mixed.
  3. Add the butter and 1 cup of the pecans. Pulse until chopped and mixed well.
  4. Add the oats and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Pulse until well mixed.
  5. Press the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake crust about 30 minutes until golden and set.
  6. In the same food processor bowl (no need to clean), blend the cream cheese, pumpkin, evaporated milk, 1/2 cup of brown sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Mix well until smooth.
  7. Spread filling over warm crust and bake until set, about 20 minutes.
  8. In a small bowl, mix the Greek yogurt with 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 cup of the pecans.
  9. Spread the topping over the hotel filling. Bake until it sets and bubbles on the sides, about 5 minutes.
  10. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before covering and refrigerating until cool, about 2 hours.

20131030 Pumpkin Bars 06


Spicy Coconut Lime Shrimp

November 11, 2013

This would be a great side for a party or an appetizer for your game day feast. I like the spiciness and the crispy coconut, and I am a big fan of the zesty lime too!

You will need:

  • 1/2 c shredded coconut
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 3 limes, zested and juiced
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper
  • Dash of salt
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lb shrimp, deveined and peeled (tails left on)
  • 1/4 c olive oil

Then you will…

  1. In a small dish, combine the coconut with the flour, lime zest, chili, and cayenne.
  2. In a small bowl, beat the salt and pepper into the eggs.
  3. Dip the shrimp in the egg mixture and then coat with the coconut mixture.
  4. Heat 1/4 c of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet.
  5. Cook the shrimp about 2 minutes on each side.
  6. Allow to cool slightly on a paper-towel lined plate.
  7. Serve with the lime juice for drizzling.

20130929 Coconut Shrimp


Honey Poached Pear

November 5, 2013

20130928 Honey Poached Pear

This is a lighter dessert that you can make in advance. It can be served cool or warmed. We topped it with some creme fraiche mixed with cinnamon, but vanilla ice cream would also be yummy. You can make this up to a day in advance.

You will need:

  • 1 c honey
  • 1 1/2 c water
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Pinch salt
  • 6 medium firm pears, peeled, quartered and cored

Then you will…

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the honey with the water, anise, cinnamon, cardamom, lemon and salt.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add the pear and reduce to a simmer until tender, 4-6 minutes.
  4. Transfer pears to a bowl.
  5. Allow the syrup to reduce to about one cup. This should take about 20 minutes over medium-low heat.
  6. Pour the syrup over the pears. Cover and chill at least 2 hours.
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