Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

3 Jan

Original recipe found here.  This was great and made for a quick breakfast when leftovers were reheated over the next few days.  We used almond milk in place of regular milk.

(15 oz.) can pumpkin purée

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1.5 cups milk

2.5 cups dry old-fashioned oats

In a large bowl combine all ingredients.  Stir until incorporated.  Grease a 9X9 pan.  Pour mixture in.

Cook for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve topped with milk and maple syrup.


Acorn Squash with Cranberries and Walnuts

2 Nov

I pretty much followed this recipe word for word but cut it in half since there are just two of us.  We served it with couscous and James preferred scooping his squash out and eating them all together.  It would be nice for a dinner party if I added a pretty fall salad.  It was a winner.



  • 2 acorn squash
  • 1-2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut the squash in half and use a spoon to remove all the seeds from the squash then carefully cut each half into 4 wedges.
  3. Place the wedges into a large baking dish then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and brown sugar.
  4. Bake the squash in the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until soft and caramelized around the edges.
  5. Remove the squash from the oven. In a small saucepan over medium heat add the butter, walnuts and cranberries; cook until the butter is melted, then drizzle over the squash


Hominy Chili with Beans

1 Nov

James loves hominy.  Here is my take on this recipe.  Really good for a quick weeknight meal.

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can white hominy, drained
  • 2 cups red beans or kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained

Garnish with:

  • sour cream
  • shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • minced fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Stir in chili powder and next 5 ingredients (chili powder through stewed tomatoes); bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes. Spoon 1 1/4 cups chili into each of 4 bowls; top each serving with 1 tablespoon sour cream, 1 tablespoon cheese, and 1 teaspoon cilantro.

Rice & Corn Cakes with Black Beans

19 Oct

I can’t remember where I got this recipe.  It has been in my file for a long time because it looked like it would be great for leftovers.  We tried it tonight and loved it.  The rice was leftover so I just put all of the ingredients in a frying pan to heat them up for a few minutes.  I also realized that we didn’t have black beans when it was too late and just used red beans.  We will be eating this often.

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 6 scallions, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • thyme leaves, crushed
  • 1 cup frozen sweet white corn
  • 1 cup fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup tomato salsa, mild, medium or hot

Cook rice with the amount of water called for in the package directions, adding scallions, garlic and thyme to the water. Remove from heat and stir in corn, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Let stand for about 5 minutes to cool slightly.

Whisk eggs in a large bowl until frothy. Add the rice mixture and mash with a potato masher until the mixture holds together (it will be fairly soft), about 1 minute. Shape the mixture into 8 patties.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully transfer 4 patties to the pan with a spatula and cook until browned and crispy, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; cover to keep warm. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and repeat with the remaining 4 patties.

Meanwhile, combine beans and salsa in a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until hot, about 5 minutes. To serve, divide the beans among 4 plates and top with 2 patties each. Garnish with sour cream and cilantro.


Mexican Vegetable Casserole

19 Oct

This was really yummy.  It was a great way to use the garden vegetables that were spilling all over our counters.  James found this at I believe.  We really can’t figure out why it is called ”Mexican”- hot sauce, cheddar cheese?  Who knows.  We did cut back on the cheese that we put in the casserole and did not sprinkle any on top and it was still yummy.  Next time I will probably try and add more herbs of some sort.  Oh and several dashes of hot sauce to James meant 20.  It was pretty spicy, but doesn’t have to be.

  • 1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen whole kernel corn
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1/2 c. chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 c. each yellow summer squash & zucchini
  • 1 lg. tomato, chopped
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2/3 c. cornmeal
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • Several dashes bottled hot pepper sauce
In medium saucepan combine corn, onion, green pepper and water. Bring to boiling, reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender crisp. DO NOT DRAIN. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine chopped squash, tomato, 3/4 cup cheese, cornmeal, milk, eggs, salt, pepper and pepper sauce. Add undrained vegetables to cornmeal mixture; mix well. Turn into 1 1/2 quart casserole. Bake, uncovered in a 350 degree oven 45 to 50 minutes or until done. Top with remaining cheese and return to oven until melted only. Yield: 8 servings. Only 160 calories per serving.

Bulgur with Roasted Eggplant and Peppers

19 Oct

This does not look pretty, but it tastes good.  I changed the spices to mint and dill because it was what I had and still middle eastern.  We definitely got our whole grains in for this meal.


  • 5  cups  (1-inch) cubed peeled eggplant (about 1 pound)
  • 3/4  teaspoon  salt, divided
  • 1 1/2  cups  chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 1/2  cups  chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 2  cups  chopped onion
  • 2  tablespoons  and 1/4 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1  whole garlic head
  • 1  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground turmeric
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground ginger
  • 1  (15.75-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1  cup  coarsely ground uncooked bulgur wheat
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped fresh parsley
  • 1  tablespoon  fresh lemon juice



Preheat oven to 450°.

Place eggplant in a colander. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt; toss. Let stand 20 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. Combine eggplant, bell peppers, onion, and 1 tablespoon oil in a large bowl; toss well. Spread eggplant mixture evenly in a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper.

Remove white, papery skin from garlic head (do not peel or separate the cloves). Cut off top 1/4 inch of garlic head using a serrated knife; discard top. Rub 1/4 teaspoon oil over bottom portion of garlic head. Add garlic head, cut side up, to eggplant mixture. Bake at 450° for 40 minutes or until vegetables are browned, stirring occasionally.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add cumin, turmeric, ginger, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Stir in bulgur; cover, reduce heat, and simmer over medium-low heat 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

Remove garlic from eggplant mixture. Separate cloves; squeeze to extract garlic pulp. Discard skins. Stir garlic pulp, eggplant mixture, parsley, and lemon juice into bulgur mixture.


Hummus & Tahini

19 Oct

The recipe calls for a can of garbanzo beans.  Those work well, but I also really like to buy dried beans and make them up myself.  I soak all day, drain soaking water, add new water and cook in the crock pot on low overnight.  They store well in the freezer, just drain before storing or they will get mushy.

I also made my own tahini.  It was so much cheaper than buy a large jar that I knew would take me forever to get through.  Sesame seeds are really cheap when you get them from the bulk foods bins.


  • 1 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
  • 1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
  • 3-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Drain chickpeas and set aside liquid from can. Combine remaining ingredients in blender or food processor. Add 1/4 cup of liquid from chickpeas. Blend for 3-5 minutes on low until thoroughly mixed and smooth.

Tahini- this recipe can be reduced to half or even less
  • 5 cups sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil or vegetable oil

Toast sesame seeds for 5-10 minutes in a pan on the stove top, tossing the seeds frequently with a spatula. Do not allow to brown. Cool for 20 minutes.

Pour sesame seeds into food processor and add oil. Blend for 2 minutes. Check for consistency. The goal is a thick, yet pourable texture. Add more oil and blend until desired consistency.

Tahini should be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly closed container. It will keep for up to 3 months.