Pumpkin Pomegranate Pancakes

pumpkin-cakesSundays are usually our day to be home, stay in our PJs, turn on some music, and play in the kitchen. Lately life has been crazy even on Sundays with travel, family and events. So this past weekend, we went back to enjoying a little family time and found some play time in the kitchen. The kids and I decided to make a little mess with these pumpkin pomegranate pancakes. Grab the recipe below!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can organic pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon-ground
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg-ground
  • 1/2 pomegranate-seeded
  • 1 cup pancake mix
  • 1 farm fresh egg
  • 1 Tablespoon melted butter
  • 1- 1 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

Pancake Mix

  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup white rice flour
  • 1 cup GF oat flour
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup yellow corn meal
  • 3/4 teaspoon xantham gum
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup sugar in the raw

Directions:

  1. Add all dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk together.
  2. Add egg, butter, milk, and spices and mix until combined.
  3. Add pumpkin puree and let rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Pre-heat griddle on medium heat. Lightly grease the surface of the pan, add batter (use amount for size of pancakes you prefer.) When the cakes begin to bubble.
  5. Top with pomegranate seeds and flip when ready. Cook for about another 1-2 minutes and pile them to the plate. Add syrup and they’re ready to go!

 

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Arugula, Pear Salad with Cashew Nut Cheese & Honeyed Vinaigrette

Anyone else out there complete cheese lovers? I love my cheese…goat, Gouda, stinking blues, fresh mozzarella! I actually get a hankering for all my favorites. But when I do let myself indulge, these are the cheeses I run for! As for the typical cheese you find on every supermarket shelf or find in the deli, I avoid like the plague. Read the ingredients list and you’ll know why! See cellulose on the list, that’s saw dust so your shredded cheese won’t cake together! As for Kraft singles and Velveeta, you should just eat the plastic, it’s better for you than the actual so-called “cheese.” Ok, off my rant!

So when I’m really in the mood for something different and in the mood to play in the kitchen, I’ll make my own nut cheeses. This is the  perfect salad to make your own homemade nut cheese! Light and seasonal with a touch of sweetness from the honey vinaigrette, you’ll be busy making batches of homemade cheese and searching for the best pears you can find! A little time-consuming but well worth it I promise!! Change up your nuts to make different cheeses!

 Makes 2-3 Servings

  •   2 cups arugula
  •   2 cups pears- sliced thin

 Glazed Pecans:

  •   ¼ cup pecan halves
  •   ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  •   1 tablespoon maple syrup
  •   1 tablespoon butter   

Preheat oven for 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In a sauce pan, add butter, cinnamon, and syrup and heat until butter melts or it begins to bubble. Add in pecans and coat well. Spread over baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Until they turn brown. Keep an eye on them, they will burn fast!!! Let cool for 10 minutes.

Nut Cheese:

  •   2 cups cashews-soaked 4 hours
  •   1 tablespoon rosemary
  •   1 tablespoon parsley
  •   1 tablespoon thyme
  •   ¼ teaspoon salt
  •   ½- ¾ cup water- as needed
  •   2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  •   2 tablespoon nutritional yeast

Add nuts, yeast, vinegar, salt, and water in a food processor until smooth and buttery. Fold in herbs. Store in refrigerator for up to a week in an air tight container. Fresh herbs are better but you can also use dried.

Honeyed Vinaigrette:

  •   1 tablespoon local honey
  •   2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  •   2 tablespoons good cold-pressed olive oil

In a mason jar or empty container. Add all ingredients and shake well.

On a plate, add arugula, pears, and glazed pecans. Top with crumbled nut cheese. Pour on honeyed vinaigrette and serve!

Grab more recipes like this one from my new fall/winter cookbook. www.farmfoodiefitness.comwww.farmfoodiefitness.com.

Autumn Harvest Bowls

www.farmfoodieandfitness.comI love the fall…windows pried open for crisp mornings, leaves casting shades of orange. red. purple, and yellow across the sky, harvest and huntress moons, and pumpkin galore! (I can’t get enough of pumpkin!) As the weather cools, we dig out our favorite pair of jeans from the back of the closet, the comfy sweater for those chilly mornings, we tend to linger outside till the last rays of sun dip behind the trees, and we find ourselves dancing more in the kitchen while preparing a little heavier and more comforting food. All the glorious things we fall in love with each autumn.

I woke up late yesterday morning to gray skies, cool 50 degree weather, 2 sluggish little ones that were not too crazy that daddy was planning on taking them to school. Just so mommy didn’t have to rush around like a lunatic to make herself presentable to go through the drop off-line at preschool, let alone dragging her 2-year-old to daycare distributing 50 hugs and kisses before he actually lets me out the door. Ahhh free morning for a jump-start!

Craving heavier and warmer foods, proteins, good fats, and hearty grains. I threw together what I could gather from the refrigerator and made a recipe. I love it so much I may add it to my new fall and winter cookbook! (If I can get myself to complete it finally! 😉 ) So, here’s 2 recipes for Autumn Harvest Bowls. One I threw together on a cool fall morning and one my sweet friend Molly and I made at the end of the summer after we’d had enough of our Pilates session for the morning and we’re starving. Both are perfect for any time of year, healthy, high in protein,hearty, filling, full of nutrients and vitamins, and honestly only takes about 15 minutes to make. Less if you keep quinoa, farro, or wild rice already cooked off in the fridge. Sub or replace anything you may not be too fond of and make your own harvest bowl. Happy Cooking!!

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Get You Pumpkin On! New Smoothie Recipe

2013-09-23 23.58.32Well it’s officially fall! Cooler temperatures mean heavier and heartier foods, like squash, sweet potatoes, garlic, not to mention all the pumpkin we can stand through Thanksgiving! Pumpkin is loaded with all the good stuff including vitamins and minerals. You just have to go easy on all that pie!!

Pumpkins are high in fiber, almost 3 grams per cup!! Fiber aids in weight-loss, slimming your waist-line, and helps to keep you feeling fuller, longer. Pumpkins are also low in fat, help boost your immune system, reduces the risk of cancer, and are high in Vitamin A which helps to improve vision.

So here’s my new fall recipe for Pumpkin Smoothies! So easy and quick to make! Stay tuned for my fall/winter cookbook coming soon!!

Pumpkin Smoothie

1 banana

1 C almond milk

1 C pumpkin chopped

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp all spice

¼ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp nutmeg

1 Tbsp agave nectar or honey

Ice

Add in all ingredients including ice, then blend until smooth.

When Life Gives You Tomatoes, Make Gazpacho!

photo credit: www.detoxdiva.comSummer never really got here on the East Coast this year, with mild 80 degree temps all of July and August it’s been feeling like a fabulous long fall. But with cooler temperatures, gardening was a little tough making tomato crops lagging way behind. Until these past weeks I’ve hardly had any all summer but with summer starting to peak her head out this week and bringing on the humidity, tomatoes seem to be abundant so what better to do with all those tomatoes but make Gazpacho!!!

One of the most desired soups ever invented. Cold soup is best for those sweltering hot summer days and even better for those warm fall afternoons. Perfect for using all those fresh tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers straight from the garden or farmers market. Add your other favorite ingredients or load up on different kinds of peppers to turn up the heat. Make large batches and eat it all week! DSC_6074

Makes 3-4 Servings

2 cups yellow tomatoes

2 cups red tomatoes

2 cups peeled and diced cucumbers

1 ½ cup red onion

1 cup orange bell pepper

1 teaspoon garlic minced

1 jalapeño seeded (or keep seeds to add heat)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup sherry vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh parsley

2 tablespoons fresh basil

1/2 cup scallions- chopped

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

¼ teaspoon cayenne

1 avocado-sliced

Puree peppers, tomatoes, red onion, and jalapeño in a food processor. Add garlic, tomato paste, herbs, olive oil and blend well.  Transfer to bowl, and then add lemon juice and vinegar. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Stir together. Cover and let chill for at least 3 hours or overnight to let flavors settle in. Pour into separate bowls. Garnish with scallions and avocado. Enjoy!!

Enjoying the Fall Bounty

photo credit: www.farmfoodieandfitness.comAs the seasons change new fruits and vegetables come into play. Going to the local farmers market is always exciting and so much fun for my family and I. My three-year old asks every week if it’s farmers market day just so she can pick out her pasture raised eggs, fresh kale, golden beets, of course she hits up the home-baked good table, and most times she cons the local farmers into giving her a few flowers for her room. (At 3 she already knows how to flirt her way into getting what she wants-I may be in trouble in the years ahead)  🙂

Now that fall is full swing and the more familiar vegetables of summer are gone. She will often ask “What is this?” or “Can we try to cook this at home?” I love that she gets so excited about her veggies! Even my husband this past weekend went to Wegman’s with me for our first time experience together. He bounded around the store, snatching up celery root, Italian black
truffles, burdock root, and even asking about romanesco. Often my clients ask about different vegetables and how to prepare them. So here’s a little mini guide to all the yummy fall produce.

  • Romanesco- A broccoli and cauliflower hybrid- Great for steaming, mashing like potatoes, add it to dips, salads, soups, even saute it. Great way to get your greens in if you don’t like broccoli and great for the kids!
  • Sweet Potatoes- We all know what these are. But have you ever eaten one for breakfast. Guaranteed to keep you feeling full longer. Just bake it, cut it open add some walnuts or almonds, rolled oats, olive oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Healthy, hearty, and a great source of vitamins and fiber.
  • Greens- Tis the season for these guys! And there are so many we don’t know where to start! Kale, collards, watercress, Swiss chard, spinach, mustard greens, cabbage, and bok choy. So good for you and so many ways to prepare them. Make raw kale slaw, saute spinach with tomatoes, watercress-add to salads for a peppery bite, bok choy is prefect for stir fry, and cabbage is great for soups, steamed, even raw.
  • Root Vegetables- These are some of my favorites! Beets, turnips, radishes, burdock root, celery root, parsnips, carrots, Brussel sprouts, and rutabagas. Mix them together and roast them with fresh herbs, add them to soups, salads, burdock root is great for asian dishes, Brussel sprouts so good sautéed with sea salt, ground pepper and olive oil.
  • Mushrooms- Love these because of they’re wide variety of tastes! Mushrooms are huge cancer fighters too so include them into as many meals as you can. Oysters, portabellas, creminis, morels, hen of the woods, shiitake, and truffles.
  • Fruits- This time of year is great for fruits and even better the more exotic fruits! Pomegranates, blood oranges, clementines, Meyer lemons, pears, apples, grapes, and of course cranberries. All these can be eaten alone, added to salads for color and sweetness, desserts,  breakfast, even incorporate them into side dishes for dinner!

Hope this little guide helps on your next trip to the grocery store or farmers market. Enjoy and reap the benefits from the fall bounty.

Planting Garlic for the Fall

Garlic is one of my favorite things to grow in the fall. Probably because it is so easy to do and then you can just forget about it for the winter and go on about your business. Then in the spring the stems start shooting up as the soil begins to warm and then by the end of June to the middle of July you can harvest! It’s probably the lowest maintenance vegetable I grow all year. After it’s harvested as long as you hang it to let it dry and store it in a cool dark place you’ll have garlic for up to a year or longer depending on how much you grow and how much you use!

Garlic is packed with anti-inflammatory agents; it’s an anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. It’s great for the skin, helps fight infection, prevents cancer, boosts the immune system, and helps with ear aches, coughs, and sore throats. It’s loaded with Vitamin-C, helps with fatigue and digestive problems, while it detoxifies your entire system.

Garlic is great to naturally add incredible flavors to spice up your food. I think the best way to enjoy it is to roast it with some olive oil until the cloves soften and then spread it across crusty bread. It’s so good you could possibly eat the whole thing! But hopefully the next day you won’t be going anywhere because garlic’s only downfall is that it can leave you smelling pretty ripe! But if you have garlic coming from your pores you know it’s doing what it’s supposed to!

Here’s how to add it to your garden and then forget about it till next spring!

  1. Prepare your soil with some good compost or soil.
  2. Dig 1 ½” or 2” holes and space them about 3” apart.
  3. Take your bulb of garlic, (don’t get it from the grocery store-they’re sprayed so they won’t sprout-so make sure you buy from a seed/plant company-see some companies below.) break the bulb into smaller cloves
  4. Place root down into soil and then cover with soil.
  5. Cover soil with organic or “clean” straw, pine shats, or anything organic to keep the soil as warm as possible throughout the winter.
  6. Water, just to moisten the soil.
  7. In about 2 weeks you should see little green sprouts. Then you can pretty much leave it till the soil warms back up in the spring.

I check on mine once a month to make sure they’re still covered up and if we go through a dry spell and the ground hasn’t frozen I’ll continue to water until we get a freeze. Then in the spring when it’s time to start gardening again just give them some more compost and some organic fertilizer and they should be good to harvest by late June into mid July for zones 6 and 7!

Where to buy garlic:

www.cooksgarden.com

www.burpee.com

www.territorialseed.com

Go Tailgating! It’s Football Season!

My favorite day of the whole year is tomorrow! I know this sounds bad because I love my summers, but I count down the Saturdays to get to the first day of football season.

For those of you that know me well, know I am a die-hard Clemson fan and that I am obsessed with college football but I also love my Redskins. (Even though they are often disappointing!) My husband would say I’m a little crazy when it comes to my Tigers, between jumping on the couch and screaming at the t.v. I’ve seemed to even rub off on my 3-year old daughter who screams along with me and throws her arms in the air for every touchdown. I think my hubby may even dread this time of year, because quite often football leaves me in a bad mood with anxiety-ridden chest pains! 🙂

But, no one does college football better than the south! (a place I hold dear to my heart) Ladies are dressed to the nine’s in their pearls and heels, guys in their seer-sucker and bow ties, the best teams, and the biggest tailgating parties. If you’ve never been to a southern football game before, definitely add it to your bucket list-so you don’t miss out!
If you’re looking to party, this is the place to be…trucks, campers, and U-hauls loaded down with flat screens tvs, grills, smokers, and kegs. You can enjoy bourbon sweet tea cocktails or array of fest beers and pumpkin ales! Hop from tailgate to tailgate indulging on lobsters, low-country boils, fried turkey, and BBQ ribs; just to name a few.

Waiting for the game to start? Spend time playing corn hole or ladder golf. Add a little Johnny Cash or Zac Brown Band and there’s no better way to spend a fall Saturday or Sunday afternoon than with friends and family at a football tailgate!

So here’s to a long Labor Day weekend, fall, football, the best Saturday of the year, having fun, and enjoying some down time!