I’m in slight denial that summer has come to an end but I know it’s real. The leaves have begun to change (the mountains are BEAUTIFUL right now) and each morning seems to be slightly chillier than the previous. When I’m out watering the garden in the morning, I’m bundled up in a small blanket or a hooded sweater instead of bare skinned, flip flops, and tank tops.
Although I mourn the loss of a summer that could have, should have, would have packed more activities and experiences had I had more time but I’m ready, ready to move on. Ready for new beginnings. Ready to hunker down, cozy under blankets, drink wine, lots of wine, and eat warm, comforting foods.
As I scroll through the archives in this blog, each recipe stirs up a memory of what was happening in my life at the time I was preparing and serving that dish. I share with you the recipes that comforted me this morning, and brought warm thoughts, the dishes that I’ll prepare this season to stir nostalgia and create new memories.
Doods. So I went to Trader Joe’s two weeks ago and they were on pumpkin-overload. I swear to you that every single item in the store was pumpkinized. I wasn’t mad about it however I did end up spending a lot more money that day than I normally do. (I mean, hellloooooo pumpkin cinnamon rolls that aren’t even vegan but I’ll buy anyway because: pumpkin)
I walked in to the store yesterday to find that the shelf that was once pumpkinized had been reverted back to the same ole “new items in stock” that… I’m still not mad about. BUT, what the hell happened to all the pumpkin stuff?? Halloween is over but Thanksgiving is not. I have very high standards on how long you need to keep pumpkin goodies in stock and I’m pissed when you reduce inventory after Halloween. Can ya dig?
To make up for the lack of pumpkin goodies on shelves of TJ’s across the country, I bring you this post that is chock-full of vegan pumpkin recipes. You may want to bookmark it and refer back to it every year between Halloween & Thanksgiving when grocery stores assume it time to remove the pumpkin and introduce the Christmas candy. No one is ready for Christmas candy, anyway. We’re still trying to eat up that Halloween candy…
ThePumpkin Spice Cakefrom Vegan Yumminess looks super moist and full of fragrant spices. Put this cake in the oven, and I bet you’d have the entire house smelling like heaven. Pumpkin heaven, that is.
ThisPumpkin Chai Shakefrom real kids eat spinach recommends you freeze pumpkin in ice cube trays and blend it with awesome ingredients like chai tea and fragrant spices. (who would have thought to blend pumpkin into a shake, let alone freeze it in ice cube trays?? – GENIUS)
Larabars. We’ve all had them. Every time I empty my purse, I find a beat up Larabar at the bottom. I always keep (at least) one on hand to ensure I never starve. Although I’ve got a lot of experience eating these vegan, raw, healthful bars, I’ve never made them. Not until I found this geniusPumpkin Pie Larabarsrecipeby eat, live, burp.
I thought myself to be a genius when I made a Pumpkin Pie Yogurt Parfait inspired by something Martha Stewart did. It’s goooooood.
Isa Did It, just like she promised she would with thisChimichurri Pumpkin Bowl recipe in her book. I could hardly stand to photograph that meal – get.in.my.belly.
My favorite vegan grocery store, NOOCH is selling vegan pumpkin ice cream made by Sweet Action (a local Denver thing) but if they weren’t I’d make an attempt at the Pumpkin Ice Cream recipe from Minimalist Baker. Every recipe I have ever made from Minimalist Baker (SEVERAL!) has been flawless, and I’m sure this one would be no exception – they topped that ice cream with roasted pecans and coconut whipped cream (I mean, does it get any better than that??)
We’re not done yet.
I’m kind of obsessed with baking ingredients IN a pumpkin, then eating the entire thing. I’ve never done it but I will. Check out these Holiday Stuffed Pumpkins from Deliciously Ella. (and, actually – I’m putting the Green Kitchen Stories book on my wishlist)
“The BEST Pancakes I’ve ever had” says my boyfriend about the Pumpkin Spice Pancakes I made him. Recipe by Minimalist Baker (duh, flawless) Don’t top these with fake syrup – you better use pure maple syrup, it’s the only way to go. And anyway, GO, go make these now!
I could go on and on and on. But you must stop reading now and go make one of these recipes.
For the record, I made a triple batch of those Pumpkin Spice Pancakes and I put them in the freezer for “later” …which means I’ll have eaten three batches of Pumpkin Spice Pancakes in a 2-3 day time frame. Psh, my life doesn’t suck.
Do you have any vegan pumpkin recipes to share? Please do.
Tis the season for pumpkin EVERYTHING. Have you been to Trader Joe’s lately? They seriously have EVERYTHING pumpkin. I have to stay away from the place this time of year. Pumpkin cornbread mix, pumpkin cinnamon rolls, pumpkin pop tarts, pumpkin scones, pumpkin ravioli, pumping this, pumpkin that. Almost non of it vegan. Sigh.
For the first time last year, I learned to bake my pumpkins and gather my own puree versus purchasing pumpkin puree in a can. I’m stepping up my game in the kitchen. Watch out November, I’m hot.
I recently purchased a new cookbook, Isa Does It
It’s a book I’ve wanted for quite some time and I finally broke down and got it! I was stoked when I found a pumpkin recipe in the cookbook, it’s the first thing I made. I’m going to give you this Chimichurri Pumpkin Bowl/Plate recipe in this post but then you HAVE to buy this book for the other recipes. The Mushroom Hot Pot, the Baked Garlic Curry Fries, and the Jerk Sloppy Joes are among some of my favorite recipes.
Isa does not know me (yet) but I’m hoping to introduce myself to her next month when I visit her brand new vegan restaurant in Omaha, called Modern Love. Uhm, she’s serving a dish of chili & cinnamon rolls at Modern Love (genius!). I guess that’s an “Omaha” thing (cinnamon rolls paired with chili, that is). I’m down. Sounds like it could be a “Crista” thing. Don’t be surprised when I dedicate an entire blog to chili and cinnamon rolls – pumpkin cinnamon rolls, duh.
So anyway, about this pumpkin bowl (that I plated). I love that it has several different elements and flavors, all reminiscent of autumn. Instead of turning the pumpkin into some fancy baked good, it is baked and eaten as is (seriously, who does that?? it’s GOOD). Along with herbs (that I got out of the garden), the pumpkin seeds are used to make the chimichurri sauce and spread atop the entire dish. Soba noodles are recommended as the starch in this dish, but QUINOA could be used as well. Look, I love noodles AND I love quinoa – it’s a hard choice to make. (good luck to you)
1 (3 pound) sugar pumpkin, sliced in half and seeded
8 ounces soba noodles
For the chimichurri:
2 cloves garlic, peeled
½ cup pepitas
2 cups chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup pepitas
Prepare the pumpkin & noodles:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly grease. Place the pumpkin halves, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes or until tender.
In the meantime, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain, place back in the pot, and set aside.
Prepare the chimichurri:
Place the garlic in a blender or food processor and pulse to get it chopped up. Add the pepitas and pulse into fine crumbs.
Add the rest of the chimichurri ingredients and puree.
Toss the noodles with about ¼ of the chimichurri sauce and divide among bowls.
Scoop cooked pumpkin into each bowl, and add some black beans.
Most of your doggies wag tails and do tricks for what you refer to as a “treat”, my doggy does tricks for what we call a “scooby snack”. My pooch, BJ could be in the deepest sleep… but the mention of a scooby snack has him wide awake and bouncing around. BJ will do two tricks for a scooby: sit and roll over. That’s it.
We ran out of scoobies at the house so I decided to make my own after coming across an recipe on A Beautiful Mess. Just so happened, I had all of the ingredients at home. Oh, AND I had a doggy bone cookie-cutter. Bonus.
For these treats, I used organic crunchy peanut butter, pumpkin puree, oats, and whole wheat flour. I baked the treats for about one hour even though the recipe only recommended 25-30 minutes. After 25-30 minutes, my scooby snacks were still soft on the inside, and I wanted them to be solid and crunchy like a traditional scooby snack.
As you can see, BJ approved of the scoobies. He is on guard just in case someone comes near him, threatening to steal his scooby. I’m not sure why because no one EVER steals his scooby snacks.
All in all, BJ thinks his mom is a good cook, but his favorite thing I’ve ever made are these peanut butter & pumpkin scoobies.
So… I have written about coming across my late grandma’s recipes and I finally had the opportunity to re-create one of the recipes, Applesauce Drop Cookies. There is another recipe that struck my interest, Orange-Pumpkin Pudding. Grandma clipped the recipe out of Better Homes & Gardens in October of 1968. The pudding consisted of beaten eggs, canned pumpkin, evaporated milk, grated orange peel, and a few spices. Sounds yummy, but not my style.
This Pumpkin Pie Yogurt Parfait recipe I found in Martha Stewart Magazine offers the same rich pumpkin-y flavor that Grandma got out of the pudding, and it’s healthier… however, just as sweet.
Martha Stewart. That chick is a genius. Obviously. She’s the only one who can think up something this simple & amazing. I did alter her recipe slightly to satisfy my own needs and taste, but still – she’s got it going on.
Enjoy this yogurt parfait for breakfast and/or as a sweet treat. You can use any type of vanilla yogurt that you’d like, I prefer to use Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt.