If there is anything more quintessentially Fall than carving pumpkins into Jack-o-Lanterns, I dare you to find it. Ok, apple picking, dressing up as a “kitten”, and snapping pics of your boots in the leaves are decent contenders. But do any of those activities end with Salt & Pepper Roasted Pumpkin Seeds? I think not.
Had to do it.
I’m a pretty nostalgic person in general, but something about Fall hits me like a ton of bricks every year. The smell of wood burning stoves and fires, trees that could be painted in the scenery, great football, cozy hoodies… I could go on and on. But there’s just nothing like scooping the guts out of a pumpkin and carving a face into it.
Now, just because I love carving pumpkins does NOT mean I’m good at it. I’m terribly inartistic and usually just copy off a picture from a magazine… It’s the thought that counts, right?! Or maybe it’s snacking on the toasted seeds that really counts….
Pumpkin seeds in stores, aka pepitas, have been hulled and look different than the ones you pull straight from the orange stringy mess inside the squash. Not to worry, though, the hull is perfectly edible! Once toasted, it is crisp and crunchy and packed with nutty flavor. Both versions have their merits, but I definitely prefer husk-on for snacking. So crunchy!
Lace up your Bean boots, layer on your puffy vest, and go pick yourself a pumpkin. Just don’t throw out the seeds!
Salt & Pepper Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Don't throw out your Jack-o-Lantern's "guts" this year- turn them into a crispy, delicious snack! Salt & Pepper Roasted Pumpkin Seeds are a win!
- 2 cups fresh pumpkin seeds
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 tsp. sea salt
- 2 tsp. black pepper
- To clean the “guts” off the seeds, place them in a colander, run water over them, and rub between your fingers until clean, picking out large pieces. Spread the clean seeds out on a towel and pat dry.
- Preheat oven to 300F and line two baking sheets with foil or parchment paper, grease generously.
- Toss seeds with oil and seasonings until well coated. Spread evenly in one layer on baking sheets and roast for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Check frequently after 25 minutes as they can begin to burn quickly. Allow to cool completely and store in an air-tight container. Enjoy!
I’m on a serious curry kick these days. The weather change has my body all sorts of confused and my sinuses have been on the front lines of the barometric battle. I wake up stuffy and puffy and generally tired. Curried Cauliflower Soup is comforting, warming, and ready to save the day!
I recently learned a fun new fact about curry. Curcumin is one of the main compounds in curry powders, namely the turmeric within curries. Curcumin has antioxidant properties that help calm inflammation, prevent cancer, fight bacteria, and more. It’s been called the “Spice of Life”!
But I knew all that. And now you do too. What I learned recently is even more rad. By adding freshly ground black pepper to dishes with turmeric or curry blends, the curcumin in the spice becomes more bioavailable and can be better absorbed. Meaning more antioxidants and less cancer!
Curry spice + black pepper = allllllll the health benefits!
So with all the yuckiness I’ve been experiencing lately, my body has been craving foods loaded with this seemingly magical healing power. Amazing how our bodies just know, huh? The good news is you don’t have to down any creepy vitamin sludge or pills to reap the benefits. You can just eat soup!
This soup is creamy, dreamy, spicy, savory, warming, and a comforting blanket of soup bliss. And it’s about as easy as laying on the couch wrapped up in said soup blankie. I’m a huge fan of throwing everything on a baking sheet, roasting it, and blending it. Literally zero dishes involved. Hollaaa.
Make this soup, snuggle up in a cozy sweater, and feel the delicious healing.
Creamy, warming, and hands-off cooking, Curried Cauliflower Soup is what your cool evening dinner dreams are made of! A nutritional powerhouse!
- 1 small head of cauliflower, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 5 carrots, peeled & chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed with the flat side of a knife
- 3 Tbs. curry powder
- ½ Tbs. turmeric
- 1 Tbs. vindaloo spice (or sub more curry, or omit)
- 1 tsp. ginger powder
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 can lite coconut milk (or full fat)
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water
- Sriracha and cilantro, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 450F and line a baking sheet (or two) with foil and grease with oil or spray.
- Mix all vegetables and spices in a large bowl and toss to combine. Roast for 45 minutes, tossing once or twice. Allow to cool slightly before blending.
- Add vegetables, broth, and coconut milk to a blender and blend for 4-5 minutes until very smooth, scraping the sides as necessary. Top with sriracha and cilantro, enjoy!
It’s late, my legs are jello from working out, and John is out of town this week. On nights like these, having leftovers in the fridge are basically the only thing between me and eating an entire jar of peanut butter for dinner. Luckily, dishes like this Mediterranean Stuffed Eggplant make delicious leftovers. Dinner crisis averted.
Eggplant can go so wrong if not treated right. Sometimes even everyone’s favorite fried eggplant dish turns out soggy and limp. Well, not this dish! By using the vegetable as a vessel, you can pack maximum flavor into an ordinary food. See also my Zucchini Taco Boats. #vegetablesasvessels. Can we make that a real thing?!
Baking the eggplant softens the skin until it is perfectly edible. I actually think it’s one of the most delicious parts of the eggplant!
How about a few more pictures because I don’t have a lot to say?
But seriously, how pretty is that basil plant??
Make this Mediterranean Stuffed Eggplant and have a feast for the whole week!
Mediterranean Stuffed Eggplant
Hearty and filling yet light and simple, this Mediterranean Stuffed Eggplant is the perfect dinner to make once and eat all week long!
- 2 medium eggplants, halved
- 2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cups arugula or spinach
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed & drained
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 1/3 cup fresh basil
- 1 Tbs. za'atar (or sub Italian seasoning)
- 1 tsp. salt + pepper
- Preheat oven to 375F. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high with a splash of olive oil.
- To prepare the eggplant, use a spoon to scoop out the seedy part of the eggplant, discard. The part of the vegetable closer to the stem has less seeds, scoop this portion out and chop it into ½“ pieces, set aside.
- Add onion to pan and sauté until soft and translucent, 5-8 minutes. Season with za’atar, salt, and pepper and add tomatoes. Sauté for a few minutes until softened. Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined and arugula is wilted.
- Divide the filling between the hollowed-out eggplants and place on a lightly greased and foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes until eggplant is soft. Top with fresh basil and enjoy!