Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree, canned

2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tbsp butter

1 cup milk

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1 lb pasta, cooked and drained

Directions:

  1. Combine pumpkin, garlic, salt, butter and milk in a sauce pan over low heat. Stir until mixture is hot and slightly bubbly.
  2. Add in the cheese and stir until smooth and cheese has completely melted.
  3. Turn off heat and add in pasta, tossing to evenly coat noodles in the sauce.

Harvest Kale Salad

Yield: 1-2 servings

Ingredients:

5 cups kale, stems removed

3 Tbsp olive oil

3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 apple, diced

1/3 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled

Salt & Pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Chop kale into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl.
  2. Drizzle kale with olive oil and balsamic, season with salt and pepper. Massage kale with dressing for 3-5 minutes until dark green and softened.
  3. Add in apples, dried cherries, pecans, and goat cheese. Toss salad to combine.

Individual Apple Crisps

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

4-6 apples (any kind)

1 1/2 cup oats

1/4 cup maple syrup or honey

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

3-4 Tbsp butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut apples in half (vertically through the core). Scoop out the seeds and place apples on a lined baking pan.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together oats, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and butter until well combined.
  4. Pour 2-3 Tbsp of the oat mixture into/onto each apple.
  5. Cover with aluminum foil or a lid and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the top and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the apples are soft and the crumble is crispy. Serve with ice cream!

Summer Zucchini Corn Fritters

Yield: 10-12 fritters

 

Ingredients:

2 cups zucchini, shredded

1 cup corn kernels, cooked or canned

2 eggs

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp mustard powder

2-3 Tbsp olive oil

Optional for topping: plain Greek yogurt, fresh basil

 

Directions:

  1. Mix together all ingredients except olive oil and toppings until fully incorporated.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place 1/4 cup sized scoops into the oil about 2 inches apart.
  3. Cook for 2-3 minutes before flipping. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes before removing from the pan. The fritters should be golden brown and crispy.
  4. Serve with plain Greek yogurt and fresh herbs!

 

 

Blackberry Frozen Yogurt Bars

Yield: 10-12 servings

 

Ingredients:

8 graham cracker sheets

1/4 cup almonds (or any other nut)

1/3 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)

2 Tbsp butter, melted

2 cups Greek yogurt

1/3 cup honey

1 tsp lemon zest, optional

1 cup blackberries (or other berry of choice)

 

Directions:

  1. Pulse together the graham crackers, almonds, peanut butter and butter in a food processor until a crumble forms. Press into a loaf pan.
  2. Mix together the yogurt, honey and lemon zest. Pour over crust and spread evenly.
  3. Sprinkle blackberries over the yogurt layer and freeze for 1-2 hours or until firm.
  4. Cut into squares and enjoy!

 

 

Swiss Chard, Zucchini & Ham Quiche

This recipe is so versatile: use any seasonal, fresh or frozen veggies you have ready to go! I like using hearty vegetables like spinach, kale, swiss chard, zucchini, squash, onions, garlic, etc.

 

Yield: 1 quiche (6-8 servings)

 

Ingredients:

1 prepared pie crust, thawed

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp garlic, minced

1 small onion, finely diced

1 small zucchini, finely chopped

2 cups swiss chard, chopped

1/2 cup deli or spiral ham, diced (or breakfast sausage, chicken sausage or bacon)

5 eggs

1/2 cup milk or half & half

1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Salt and Pepper, to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Evenly unroll the prepared pie crust into a pie pan. Bake for 5-8 minutes or until just set (not browned).
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add garlic, onion, zucchini, swiss chard and ham. Cook on medium-low heat until for 8-10 minutes or until vegetables are tender and ham is heated through.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, milk, cheese and seasonings until well incorporated.
  4. Place the vegetable mixture in the bottom of the pie crust and spread evenly. Carefully pour over the egg mixture.
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until crust is brown and eggs are fully cooked and firm.

 

 

 

Homemade Vanilla Extract

The easiest and most simple homemade gift for anyone! Feel free to double this recipe to have more on hand!

 

Ingredients:
5-6 vanilla bean pods (I bought mine on Amazon!)

8 oz 80-90 proof vodka (You could also do Brandy, Whiskey or Rum)

 

Directions:

Place vanilla bean pods into a glass jar, pour over vodka until beans are fully covered. Tightly screw on the lid and place in a cool dry place for 8-12 weeks. Be sure to shake the jars every few days. The extract should be dark in color and have a rich vanilla smell!

 

 

Apple Butter

Yield: 1-2 cups

 

Ingredients:

4 apples, cored and cubed (any kind works! use your favorite)

1 cup water

1/2 tsp each: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg

2-3 Tablespoons maple syrup (honey also works, sweeten to your taste)

 

Directions:

  1. In a sauce pot, combine all ingredients and stir until incorporated.
  2. Cook over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once apples are softened and somewhat broken down, place the sauce into a blender.
  4. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes or until completely smooth.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

 

 

Cranberry Sauce

A little late for Thanksgiving dinner, but cranberry sauce can be the perfect addition to your Christmas buffet. Using whole, fresh cranberries instead of canned adds extra fiber and decreases those added sugars (so you can enjoy even more!).

Cranberries are a natural anti-inflammatory, and saturated with Vitamin C, A & K. These underrated lil guys can be incorporated into stuffing, added to apple sauce for a nice twist, or just scooped over your favorite protein!

*For a less bitter sauce, add 1/3 cup honey*

Yield: ~ 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

1 bag fresh or frozen cranberries (no cans here)

1/4 cup honey

1 cup water (or you could do apple cider for something extra yummy!)

zest + juice of 2 oranges (about 1/4-1/2 cup)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Sprinkle of salt

Optional: Sprinkle of nutmeg

 

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a small sauce pan and stir to combine.
  2. Cook on medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Sauce is done when cranberries have popped and water is dissolved!