Thursday, November 8, 2012

Recipes for Chilly Days

This past week was the annual Chomp and Stomp Chili Festival in Cabbagetown, a neighborhood close to us. John and I biked to our friends Brant and Anna's house and walked over to the festival with them for bluegrass music and all you can eat chili. Local restaurants as well as ambitious individuals make their best chili, and you can sample as much as you want. It was all very delicious with some unusual types like brisket chili, smoky vegetarian, and one sweetened with maple syrup.

It was an usually warm and sunny day, so we met up with several friends, sat on picnic blankets in the park, and enjoyed the music and festivities. After all that spicy chili, we cooled off with King of Pops popsicles - the best!
Anna and me at the Chili Festival
After the beautiful weekend, we were greeted this week with chilly and rainy weather, which left me craving some more warm, hearty food. As a result, I've compiled some more fall recipes that I've made this week... enjoy!

For breakfast, pour a bowl of this delicious granola with some almond milk, and heat it up in the microwave for a warm start to the day!

Pumpkin Granola

Pumpkin Granola
Makes 3 2/3 cups
1/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten free if making GF version)
1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup chopped almonds (or slivered almonds)
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp canola oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Spread oats and quinoa on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Toast in oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove oats from oven, pour into bowl and add flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, and raisins.
  4. Reduce oven to 300 degrees.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine honey, pumpkin puree, oil, spices, salt, and vanilla. Pour over oats and stir with a spatula.
  6. Spread mixture evenly onto baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes. 
  7. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet.
This next recipe I made for dinner one night, but it made delicious lunch leftovers! I've shared a spaghetti squash recipe before, but this one is more like your typical spaghetti dish.

Spaghetti-style Spaghetti Squash 

Serves 4
1 spaghetti squash, halved and deseeded
1 onion, sliced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
Dash of red pepper flakes
1/2 Tbsp. oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1 15 ounce can of diced, roasted tomatoes 
1 cup spinach
Parmesan cheese, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place halved and deseeded squash on greased baking sheet, with cut sides down. Bake for 30 - 45 minutes (depending on size of squash) or until inside is tender.
  2. Once squash is done, remove from oven and let cool.
  3. Heat olive oil in a pan and add onion and garlic. Caramelize onions over low heat for about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Increase heat to medium. Add in mushrooms and spices. Cook for an additional five minutes.
  5. Add in spinach and tomatoes; let simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Scrape flesh out of spaghetti squash with a fork into a large bowl. 
  7. Add tomato mixture into bowl with spaghetti squash, and toss to combine.
  8. Top with cheese if desired.

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