Category Archives: Recipes

Pumpkin Pomegranate Quinoa

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Pumpkin_Pomegranate_Quinoa

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Hunting for the ultimate Thanksgiving side dish? You’re in luck!

For those of you who haven’t crossed over to peppermint-flavored everything and are still pumpkin-obsessed like me, I present to you the perfect pumpkin recipe!

Since I’m far too impatient to wait for Thanksgiving for more pumpkin recipes, I made this delectable dish this weekend. It was a great lunch by itself, very filling and full of so many incredible and unique flavors.

Then I got to thinking that this would be the best Thanksgiving side dish as well. Imagine it aside your turkey, green bean casserole, and large pile of mashed potatoes. You can thank me later!

 

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Directions:

 

1. Cook quinoa according to directions on the package for approximately 15 minutes.

2. Once the quinoa has cooked to completion, add pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins. Stir thoroughly.

3. Top with pomegranate seeds. Sprinkle a few walnuts and raisins on top if you desire.

 

Enjoy!

 

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Pomegranate & Artichoke Salad

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I got in a serious fight with a pomegranate this weekend.

 

Last week one of my classmates brought in a huge bag of pomegranates to class from the tree in her yard. I happily took one home because I love the taste of pomegranates but I’ve never actually bought one myself or tried to cook with it.

Holy moly are those things messy!

 

I’ve heard this before and even read these instructions on how to seed a pomegranate. However, I am far too impatient (and have a hard time following directions) so I dove right in without any direction. Big mistakeHuge mess.

 

In the future, I’m going to take a different approach and follow those directions to avoid the killer mess I made in my kitchen.

 

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Despite all this, I made this incredible salad after I got the seeds out. The pomegranate adds the most delicious flavor and texture to the mix of kale and spinach.

Since I’m trying to add new ingredients to my salads, I threw some artichokes in there. I’ve been on a big artichoke kick lately. I ordered them as a pizza topping last week (which is phenomenal by the way) and I can’t seem to get enough of them.

I bought a can of artichoke hearts at Trader Joes and washed and drained them before I added them to the salad. You could go the lazy route like me, or buy fresh artichokes for this salad. Your choice!

I tossed it with my favorite balsamic vinaigrette and called it a day! I seriously cannot wait to make this salad again. It was that good!

 

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup tuscan kale, chopped
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1/4 cup artichoke hearts
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette

 

Directions:

Place kale, spinach, pomegranate seeds, chickpeas, and artichoke hearts in a medium mixing bowl. Pour balsamic vinaigrette over the ingredients and toss until dressing is evenly distributed. Transfer the contents to a plate and enjoy!

 

What are your favorite pomegranate recipes? 

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Autumn Harvest Kale Salad

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I’ve been enjoying the beautiful 80 degree temperatures lately, but this kind of weather makes it hard to justify the comforting recipes that are normally associated with autumn.

Not to mention, I have quite a few exams this week and wanted something that I could easily put together for dinner. You know that “I have so much material to study I don’t even know where to start” feeling? If you don’t, you are a lucky person! I’ve been so focused on school lately that I even had to resort to make a to-do list for when I have free time again. You know, for normal everyday tasks like getting my car washed, making a hair appointment, and calling my friends back. I promise I’m not ignoring you!

 

In the spirit of fall, I whipped up this salad quickly to incorporate all the wonderful flavors of autumn (all while trying not to overheat).

Often times when I make a salad at home I end up putting the same ingredients on it. Does anyone else do this? Why can’t I branch out from my typical salad toppings when I make them myself?

 

This salad, was the exception the rule! I used a variety of new ingredients that I don’t normally put on my salads, and it worked! This salad is as easy as it gets, everything can be quickly purchased at the store and I even used one of my favorite dressings from Trader Joes. One of these days I will experiment with making my own dressing, but I haven’t gotten there yet (sorry, I’m not sorry).

 

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Autumn Harvest Salad:

  • 2 cups Tuscan kale
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup red apple, diced
  • 2 tbsp Trader Joes balsamic vinaigrette

 

Place all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and toss until evenly distributed. Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy!

 

 

What are some of your favorite “at home” salad recipes?

 

 

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Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Well it’s official. I’ve jumped on the pumpkin bandwagon. In my defense, this isn’t anything new. I’ve been on the bandwagon ever since the creation of Pinterest.

 

Last week I was really craving baked goods, specifically something with pumpkin in it. I was out to create something that combined two of my favorite things in life: pumpkin & dark chocolate. I used pumpkin puree from a can, and also added pumpkin spice to make it extra pumpkin-y (is that a word?) If you don’t have any pumpkin spice on hand, you can find it in the spice section of the grocery store.

 

Obviously, I added whole wheat flour to the recipe to make this slightly healthier. Hey, A for effort, right people?

 

I was very pleased with the way these turned out! I can always tell how good my baking is by my fiance’s willingness to eat whatever it is I made. He liked them so much that we asked me where I hid them a couple days later. Unfortunately, I had to break the news to him that I finished the batch the night before. Sorry honey. No regrets here, they’re that good!

 

Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

makes approximately 2 dozen cookies

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine (softened)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice (you can find this in the spice section of the grocery store)
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

 

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl using a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla, and pumpkin and mix until combined for 2-3 minutes.

3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt, baking soda, and pumpkin spice until combined.

4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips

5. Scoop cookie dough into round balls and disperse evenly on the baking sheets. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely then serve.

 

Bon appetit!

 

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Simple Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

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I felt the need to add the adjective “simple” to the title of this recipe because it really doesn’t get much easier than this when it comes to making bread. Seriously, I promise you won’t be able to mess this one up!

Ask my fiance, I have screwed up a fair share of baked goods in my day. Baking is very particular when it comes to measuring everything out precisely to find what works best, which is something that I didn’t understand until recently.

I shop at Trader Joes a lot and a majority of their fresh produced is pre-packaged in various containers. When I want to buy zucchinis, I’m forced to buy a minimum of 5 of them at a time. I bought some for veggie tacos last week, and they were laying around in my fridge for far too long. Eventually I had the urge to make zucchini bread to put them out of their misery  put them to good use.

 

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Simple Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 2 medium zucchinis, grated
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup raisins (optional)
  • 3/4 cup walnuts (optional)

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray a standard loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray

2. Lightly beat together the eggs, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla until it is combined well

3. In a medium bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, pastry flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon

4. Mix the dry ingredients into the egg/sugar mixture and stir thoroughly

5. Stir in the zucchini, raisins, and walnuts until well-combined

6. Pour the mixture into the loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the bread cool for 15 minutes before serving

 

Enjoy!