Pumpkin Muffins

1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup melted butter, cooled
1 egg

Mix all ingredients until batter is just lumpy. Do not over mix.
Sprinkle 1/4 tsp sugar on each muffin just before baking to create a crust.

Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 mins.


Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna

For the Butternut Parmesan Sauce:
1 lb butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh grated parmesan cheese
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Lasagna:
9 lasagna noodles, cooked
10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, heated and squeezed well
15 oz fat free ricotta cheese
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
salt and fresh pepper
9 tbsp (about 3 oz) part skim shredded Italian Blend Cheese
1 tablespoon parsley, minced

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add butternut squash and cook until soft. Remove squash with a slotted spoon, reserve about 1 cup of the water and set aside, then blend until smooth with an immersion blender, adding 1/4 cup of the reserved liquid to thin out.

Meanwhile, in a large deep non-stick skillet, add the oil, sauté the shallots and garlic over medium-low heat until soft and golden, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add pureed butternut squash, season with with salt and fresh cracked pepper and add a little more of the reserved water to thin out to your liking. Stir in 2 1/2 tablespoons of the parmesan cheese and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Ladle about 1/2 cup butternut sauce sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish.
Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dry. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.

Ladle about 1 cup of sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top each one with 1 tbsp Italian cheese blend. Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts and everything is hot and bubbly. Top with parsley and serve. Makes 9 rolls.

To serve, ladle a little extra sauce on the plate and top with lasagna roll.

(I put the butternut squash sauce inside the lasagna and then put a simple tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish and then over the rolls).

From skinnytaste.com

Autumn Panzanella Salad

serves 2 as an entree, 4 as a starter/side dish

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 apples, chopped (I left the skin on)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3-4 cups fresh arugula
4-5 thick slices multigrain bread, cut into chunks
1/3 cup pomegranate arils (or the arils from one pomegranate)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix salt, pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, and garlic powder in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, mix sweet potato and squash chunks, then drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil on top and mix to coat with your hands. Add about 3/4 of the spice mixture, and mix again to coat. Lay on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, flipping once.

After 20 minutes, toss apple chunks with remaining spice mixture. Add apple to the baking sheet and bake for another 25 minutes, tossing once or twice.

Let squash, potatoes and apple cool, then add bread chunks to the baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil if desired.

In a large bowl, combine arugula with roasted fruit, veg and bread cubes. Toss with about 1/4 cup of dressing (or more/less) then sprinkle with pom arils. Serve immediately.

Spiced Pomegranate Vinaigrette
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup pomegranate juice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
pinches of: salt, pepper & nutmeg

Combine mustard, honey, pom juice, vinegar, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a bowl and whisk. Stream in olive oil while constantly whisking until dressing emulsifies. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

from How Sweet It Is

Warm Autumn Salad

1 small butternut squash, chopped
2 apples, chopped (I used gala)
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 cup chopped brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons olive oil (I used pumpkin seed oil)
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
chopped parsley for garnish
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Lay chopped squash, apples, brussels sprouts and onions on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and add cardamom, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Roast for 45-50 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes.

Remove vegetables and let cool for 5 minutes. You want them to be warm, but not piping hot. Add veggies to a bowl and combine with feta and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

from How Sweet It Is blog

Pumpkin No-Bake Energy Bites

8 oz. (about 1 packed cup) chopped dates (or cranberries)
¼ c honey
¼ c pumpkin puree
1 T chia seeds or flax seeds
1 t ground cinnamon
½ t ground ginger
¼ t ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 c old-fashioned oats (dry, not cooked)
1 c toasted coconut flakes
1 c toasted pepitas

Combine the dates, honey, pumpkin puree, chia (or flax) seeds, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt in a food processor, and pulse until smooth and combined.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, and stir in the oats, coconut flakes and pepitas until evenly combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Once the mixture is cool (and easier to work with), use a spoon or cookie scoop to shape it into your desired size of energy balls. (Mine were about 1-inch in diameter.) Alternately, you can line a small baking pan with parchment paper, and press the mixture evenly into the pan, let it cool, and then cut into bars.

Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. (Storing them in the refrigerator especially helps the energy bites hold their shape.)

(from gimmesomeoven.com)

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

1 (1 ½-pound) butternut squash, peeled and 3/4-inch diced
Good olive oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dried cranberries
¾ cup apple cider or apple juice
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 ounces baby arugula, washed and spun dry
½ cup walnut halves, toasted
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the squash on a sheet pan. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper and toss. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Add the cranberries to the pan for the last 5 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about ¼ cup. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard, ½ cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper.

Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture, the walnuts, and the grated Parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten, and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

(courtesy of Barefoot Contessa)

White Bean Soup

3 T extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion sliced
3 garlic cloves
2 pinches of red chile flakes
1/4 t oregano
1/4 t black pepper
2 14-oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 pints vegetable stock
coarse salt

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sautee. Turn heat to as low as it can go and cook for 1/2 hour, stirring here and there. A little color is okay, but you want the vegetables to get soft and sweet. Add the chile flakes, oregano and pepper and cook for a minute. Add the beans and stock, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, add salt to taste and cook on low for 1 hour.

(adapted from My Father’s Daughter)

Pumpkin Bread

3 c sugar
1 c vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 can pumpkin
2 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 t baking powder
2 t salt
2 t baking soda
1/2 t ground cloves
1 t ground allspice
1 t ground cinnamon
1 t ground nutmeg
2/3 c apple juice

Preheat oven to 350
Beat the first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Stir in pumpkin.
Combine all-purpose flour and next 8 ingredients; stir into pumpkin mixture. Stir in apple juice.
Pour mixture into 2 (9”x5”) or 5 (5”x3”) loaf pans.
Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 5-15 min (for large loafs) or 1 hour for small loaves.

Apple Pie

5 Granny Smith apples
1 T juice and 1 t zest from 1 lemon

3/4 c sugar
2 T all-purpose flour

1/4 t salt

1 t cinnamon

1/4 t ground nutmeg

1/4 t ground allspice
1 package of store bought pie crust
1 T unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400.

Peel, core and cut apples in half, and in half again width-wise; cut quarters into 1/4-inch slices and toss with lemon juice and zest.

In a medium bowl, mix 3/4 cup sugar, flour, salt and spices. Toss dry ingredients with apples.

Follow directions for crust (in terms of chilling or preheating). Turn fruit mixture, including juices, into chilled pie shell and mound slightly in center. Place top crust on pie. Brush with melted butter.

Bake pie for 40 minutes (or until top is golden brown).

Pumpkin Granola

1½ c old-fashioned oats
½ c slivered almonds
⅓ c pepitas [pumpkin seeds]
1 t cinnamon
⅛ t nutmeg
⅛ t cloves
⅓ c pumpkin puree
⅓ c pure maple syrup
½ t vanilla extract
⅓ c dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a large bowl, mix together oats, almonds, pepitas, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, maple syrup, vanilla, and cranberries.

Fold the pumpkin mix into the dry ingredients. Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring every ten minutes, until granola is golden brown and crisp. Granola will continue to harden as it cools, so don’t over-bake. Store in an air-tight container.