Happy Sunday! I hope you’re all recovering well from any Halloween sugar comas… Today, we’re en route home after nearly a week in wine country, so suffice it to say that I’m recovering from other ailments. I can hardly wait to get home, get into my pajamas and cuddle with my pumpkin colored pups…
And speaking of pumpkin and comfort food – here’s a yummy (yet pretty healthy) pumpkin bread recipe that I’ve been making a lot of lately. It’s an update of an old favorite that was one of my first posts around this time 4 years ago (time flies!). This version is vegan, using flax instead of eggs. It’s warm, pumpkiney, and sweet but not too sweet – a perfect way to wrap up the weekend… if only I had some waiting for me at home.
Bread making has become Jack’s new weekend hobby. Over the last few weeks, he’s made some really delicious focaccia and a few loaves of ciabatta which, I have to tell you, were super impressive. I previously had this idea that rustic crusty bread would require wood fired ovens and other non-household equipment to make. It doesn’t. The ingredients are simple, but it does require an afternoon’s worth of babysitting. Knead, fold, wait, rest… repeat… like 15 more times.
After all of this hard work, when the last chunk of ciabatta went stale a few days later I couldn’t bear to toss it. While I commonly talk about my cooking inspiration coming from what I find at the farmer’s market, there are times like this where the ideas come from not wanting to waste ingredients that someone made (or grew) with love.
The bread was way too hard for panzanella, so that was out. Luckily, there’s a soup that loves rock-hard stale bread – ribollita.
Ribollita is a Tuscan white bean stew made from leftover vegetables and thickened with day-old (or in our case many days old) bread. My version starts with a base of onion, carrots, tomatoes, white beans, rosemary, and kale. I cube up the leftover bread and stir it in towards the end, making a thick and hearty soup – perfect for a cold autumn night.
This recipe makes about 3 large servings, but next time I will double it. The leftovers were delicious for lunch the next day and I only wished I had more…
And p.s. if any of you have bread making tips, we’re all ears…
I’m slowly becoming a baked potato lover, but not just any baked potato lover. I still can’t get behind white baked potatoes slathered with sour cream and butter, but I could eat these mega stuffed sweet potatoes for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Case in point, as I started writing this post, I went and polished off the leftovers I was saving for my lunch… for breakfast. I’m telling you, I have no self control sometimes.
A good stuffed sweet potato, of course, starts with the “stuff.” I made my filling by mixing black beans with corn, cotija cheese, avocado, jalapeño and generous squeezes of lime juice. Stir it together while you wait for your sweet potatoes to roast and then assemble your potatoes with (the best part!) dollops of Sir Kensington’s Chipotle Mayonnaise.
If you’re thinking “why mayonnaise?,” hear me out… this chipotle mayonnaise is not just any mayo. It’s become my absolute favorite “sauce” to dip sweet potato fries into. So, as expected, a dollop scooped onto these potatoes is perfection.
I’m a huge a fan of Sir Kensington’s condiments (remember these veggie burgers?) Their ketchups, mustards and mayonnaise are so delicious and are made from non-GMO ingredients. Find them at Whole Foods or on their website (get free shipping with the coupon code “chipotle” at checkout).
I made a lot of things with pumpkin over the weekend – not just because it’s the cliché fall food blogger thing to do, but because I roasted one pumpkin and cooked from it for days! It was the roasted pumpkin that kept on giving…
I’ll admit that when it comes to pumpkin I often reach for a can, but the flavor and texture that comes from a fresh pumpkin is really worth it. I made pumpkin hummus, pumpkin salad, pumpkin soup… and of course the pumpkin coconut red curry sauce that is pictured here.
This sauce is rich and creamy so to keep things light, I topped these bowls with vibrant steamed vegetables and baked tofu. Feel free to change up the vegetables however you like – cauliflower, red peppers, kale, even cubed roasted pumpkin would be delicious here. Just alter the cooking time accordingly.
These bowls are warm, creamy, rich, coconut-ty, and a little spicy… my only regret is that the leftovers are all gone.
What’s your favorite fall vegetable? If you’re not saying “sweet potatoes!” with an exclamation, then, well, you might want to switch over to another post.
My favorite has to be the almighty and ever-so-versatile sweet potato. I love the way my kitchen smells when I roast them and I love how they’re easier to cut (without injury) than most squashes. For some sweet inspiration, here are some of our favorite recipes:
Pictured above: Sweet Potato & Brussels Sprout Skillet
Sweet Potato Tahini Crostini / Curried Sweet Potato Soup
Sweet Potato Avocado Tacos / Sweet Potato Pomegranate Salad
Sweet Potato Quinoa Quesadillas
…and a bunch more in the Sweet Potato section of our recipe index (click!)