Thursday, October 25, 2012

October Recipe of the Month

I think everyone has those days where they figure out something incredibly simple but in the moment feel like they've climbed over a mountain and conquered it. Yesterday was that day. I sat in my kitchen writing a blog about what I love about the fall while I was roasting a pumpkin. I then wanted to roast the seeds of the pumpkin (because that's just plain fun) in an interesting way and after curiously searching, I found a recipe with some flavor that tantalized my taste buds!

After I was done taking my photos and posting the blog, I was hearing my stomach growl so I figured I would make myself something to eat. I had some left over green beans in the fridge and since I don't like wasting food I warmed them up in the microwave. When I set the bowl down on the counter I saw the seeds next to my green beans and paused . . . then, that proverbial light bulb went off! I was no longer going to eat boring greens beans for dinner - I threw some of the sweet and spicy pumpkin seeds on top and found myself feeling very gourmet. It was amazing, truly! The warmth and juiciness of the green beans combined with the sweet and spicy crunch of the pumpkin seeds to make a flavor that had my mouth feeling like the angels were singing hallelujah inside it! Maybe I was just hungry from all the cooking or maybe the dreamy smell of the roasted pumpkin still hung in the air but, this is definitely a dish I will continue to make during the fall and into the winter!

The best part? I can put the rest of the seeds in a container and take it to lunch to throw on a salad or mix with another veggie. I could even use them on top of the pumpkin muffins I'm going to make! How awesome is that? It's the little things in life, right?

Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

October joys . . .

Instagram photo of my drive home everyday
My house smells amazingly of roasted pumpkin right now! I love the warmth of the smell and the way it puts me in the mood for snuggling on the couch with my hubby and watching the fire flicker. Fall is my husbands favorite season and although I love the warmer weather there is something magical about autumn. The changing colors, the warm sweaters, yummy food, and the sight of snow creeping down the mountain all have their charm.
Some of you may remember an older post about Pumpkin muffins (which are my favorite this time of year) and that is the reason I'm roasting the pumpkin. That recipe is actually one of my favorite gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free ones and my little sister and I practically survived off them a few autumns ago because we were too lazy to make anything else and they taste amazing anyway! So, after I cleaned my pumpkin out and as I am waiting for it to roast, I find myself in a quandary. What do I do with the seeds? Sure, I could roast them, but I don't want just regular old pumpkin seeds! I want some with kick! Some with BAM! So, I started looking around on the internet and found Heidi Swanson's website "101 cookbooks" and she has several recipes that make for some very interesting pumpkin seed flavors, such as curried or black tea and butter!! You can find the original recipes here, but this one was my favorite:

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
1 egg white
1/4 cup natural cane sugar (I actually used Stevia)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grained sea salt
1 cup fresh pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 375. In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the egg white, sugar, cayenne and salt. Add the pumpkin seeds and toss well. Drain off any excess egg white (using a strainer) and place seeds in a single layer across a baking sheet. Try not to use a cookie sheet or a sheet with a very thin bottom or they may burn easily. I also sprayed with cooking oil just to make sure they didn't stick. Bake for about 12 minutes or until seeds are golden. Sprinkle with a bit more sugar and cayenne pepper when they come out of the oven. Taste and season with more salt if needed.

Makes one cup.

Friday, October 12, 2012

October Gluten Free Support Group meeting

Please join me for the October Gluten-Free Support group meeting at Natural Pantry on Old Seward Highway. We meet in the Natural Pantry Cafe located in the University Center Mall from 6-8 pm.

I have boxes and boxes of samples from the conferences I attended this month!! You don't want to miss out!