Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Bar

Pumpkin season is here. I try not to fall into the “pumpkin everything” but it’s hard. There are so many wonderful things to do with pumpkin and other beautiful squashes. Here’s one of my many quick bread recipes. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

16 oz unsweetened pumpkin puree

1½ cups coconut sugar

2 eggs, beaten

2¼ cup all purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

16 oz chocolate chunks

Directions

Grease an 8″ square baking dish, set aside. In a large mixing bowl, add pumpkin puree, sugar and eggs. Beat on low speed about 2 minutes and ingredients are well combined. In small bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt.

Next, add flour half of flour mixture to wet ingredients. Beat on low speed about 1 minute being careful not to over mix. Add remaining flour and beat. Stir in chocolate chunks. Spoon batter into greased pan, spread evenly if necessary. Bake in a 325° over for about 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean.

Serve hot with vanilla ice cream!

A photo posted by Aly Richardson (@calired121) on Oct 23, 2016 at 4:18pm PDT

Spicy Jerk Meatballs

Cooler months always call for delicious comfort foods. Nothing says comfort like meatballs in brown gravy. Try this recipe for your family and see if it’s not an immediate hit in your home as well.

 

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Ingredients

2 lbs ground beef

1 small onion chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped

1 large egg, beaten

1 cup thick rolled oats

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp cloves

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp black pepper

2 tsp smoked sea salt

red palm oil for searing

Gravy mix packet (or jar gravy)

 

Directions

In large bowl, add ground beef, chopped onion, garlic, egg and rolled oats. Mix ingredients together and add ginger, coriander and remaining six spices. Using hands really helps to incorporate all the spices into the meat.

Roll meat into about 12 – 16 equal balls using the palms of hands to roll and shape meat. Lay each meatball on lined cookie sheet. Heat a large heavy bottom skillet with red palm oil on medium high heat. Sear meatballs in skillet about 3 minutes on each side. Remove seared meatballs from skillet when browned on each side. Use skillet drippings to make a brown gravy. Once gravy is made, add meatballs back to gravy.

Place meatballs and gravy in 400° oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Serve with rice or as desired.

 

Chipotle Honey Mustard Chicken

Nothing better than using what’s in the pantry to create a delicious meal the whole family enjoys.

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Ingredients

2 lbs chicken thighs (i used boneless)

¼ cup red palm oil for searing

3 TBSP Ground Chipotle Seasoning

1 TBSP Ground black pepper

2 TBSP coarse ground sea salt

¹/³ cup all purpose flour

½ cup raw honey

2 TBSP stone ground mustard

About 2 cups water

chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Directions

Clean and pat chicken dry. Place clean chicken to a large glass container with lid. Season chicken with chipotle, black pepper and sea salt. Be sure that each piece of chicken is seasoned. Cover and let sit 30 minutes.

In a large flat skillet, on medium high heat, add red palm oil. Once oil is sizzling hot, add chicken 1 piece at a time to pan. Be sure not to crowd the chicken in pan. Sear chicken on each side for about 3 minutes. Repeat process until all chicken is seared. Set chicken aside on platter.

In same pan used to sear chicken, add flour. Whisk flour rapidly so as not to burn. Add water as needed to make a gravy. Turn fire to medium-low and continue to whisk. How much water is added depends on how thick or thin desired gravy consistency. Be sure to scrap the chicken drippings from bottom of pan. Once gravy is desired consistency, add raw honey and mustard. Continue to whisk until honey is melted. Remove from heat

Place seared chicken in honey gravy. Cover with fitted lid. Place in a 375° degree oven for 20 minutes. When chicken is done, turn off oven, remove lid and let chicken stay in oven for about 10 minutes until it crisps.

Top with fresh herb and serve.

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Banana Muffins

There’s never a moment when i don’t have extra bananas in my kitchen that seemingly are left to eternally rot. Therefore, i’m always finding creative ways to use them, even when they’re EXTREMELY brown. Besides, who doesn’t like a little chocolate with their banana?

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Ingredients

1 stick butter (softened)

1½ cups powered sugar

3 ripe bananas

½ cup plain yogurt

1 egg

1 cup raw cacao powder (unsweetened chocolate powder can be substituted)

2 cups self-rising flour

1 tsp salt

 

Directions

Mix butter and powdered sugar in large mixing bowl, set aside.  In medium bowl add 2 bananas, yogurt and egg. Mix thoroughly, insuring that bananas are smashed.

Next, add banana mixture to butter mixture. Beat ingredients using a wire whisk. Combine raw cacao powder, flour and salt in separate bowl. Add flour mixture to banana mixture 1 cup at a time and stir after each addition. Be sure to scrap down sides of bowl.

Last, thinly slice remaining banana directly into mix and gently stir. Scoop mix evenly into lined 12 cup muffin or cupcake pan. Bake in 350°degree oven for 15-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle of muffin comes out clean.

chocolate-muffin-overview

 

 

Moroccan Inspired Lamb Burger Pie

I know the name of this recipe is a mouthful. I really didn’t know what to call this dish since it’s a cross between Hamburger Pie and Shepard’s Pie.  It’s one of those one pot dishes i LOVE to make when i’m using up food in the fridge and pantry.  Also comes in handy when i don’t feel like standing over the stove or oven for hours.  This recipe is in pics since there’s really no one true way to make it.  Feel inspired!

Ingredients

Yams
Japanese Sweet Potatoes
Onion
Fresh Ginger
Fresh Garlic
Rainbow Carrots
Celery
Dried Yogurt Balls (or greek yogurt)
Ground Lamb
Pamela’s Gluten Free Baking Mix (make according to package instructions)
Spices (any you desire)
Cheese is optional

Directions

Boil potatoes until tender. Drain and mash to desired consistency. Chop onions, celery, onion, garlic and grate ginger and slice carrots. In a large pan saute onions, garlic and ginger in olive oil until onions release flavor. Add yogurt mix and spices. Next add remaining vegetables. Let cook about 10 minutes. Add meat and cook until done. Remove pan from heat.

Gently layer yam mixture over lamb and veggies. Be careful to spread slowly so each layer will be separate. Next add cheese over yam layer (if using). Last add layer of baking mix over cheese.  Be sure to cover entire surface with mixture.  Bake in a 350° over until baking mix is completely done. Remove from oven gently since pan is heavy and some contents may spill over the sides.

Cool slightly, cut, eat and enjoy!

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Happy New Year

I’m still here, just living and being. I’ve been making videos mostly. Come on over to my YouTube channel and see what’s happening with my family and cooking.  I tend to update there more than my blog.  My plan for this year is to try and update my blog with recipes or helpful kitchen tips weekly.

Stay tuned for some goodies i have planned.

 

– Aly

Spiced Pear Bread (Vegan and Gluten Free)

 

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As with many things in my world, i tend to make recipes from different food items i want to get rid off.  In this case i had some pears that were about to go bad and i needed to find something to do with them besides toss them into the trash.  I LOVE baking so i figured why not throw them into a quick bread.  Here’s my recipe. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients

1 cup fresh puree pear

½ cup almond milk

½ cup vegetable oil

½ pure maple syrup

2 ¼ cup Pamela’s GF Baking and Pancake Mix

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

¼ tsp ground all spice

¼ ground cloves

¼ ground cardamom

½ tsp ground cinnamon

 

Directions 

Combine wet ingredients and then add dry ingredients. Mix well and pour into a small baking dish or muffin pan. Bake at 350° F until golden brown or toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

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“Add in” Heirloom Tomato Base Soup

Tomato Corn Soup 9-2014

So i’ve totally been on this heirloom tomato kick lately.  I can’t seem to live without them these days. That being said, i sometimes tend to over buy them and find myself stuck with pounds and pounds of heirlooms just WAITING to be used.

Recently i found a new use for my tomatoes that includes more than just sauce.. I made a delicious soup with lots of herbs, spices and goodies tossed inside. I call this “add in” tomato base soup because you can basically add in ANYTHING you want once the base of the soup is how you desire it. Here is how i’ve been making mine these days.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

Fresh Heirloom tomatoes (pureed)
Fresh cut sweet corn (or frozen corn)
Large shrimp
Dried herbs de Provence
Sea salt
Black pepper

Directions

Puree tomatoes in high-powered blender to your desired consistency.  (I like to leave my a bit chunky for more texture).  Heat a large dutch oven or use your crock pot.  Pour in tomato puree and add your favorite spices.  (I’ve typically added ground ginger, fenugreek, black pepper, turmeric, paprika, herbs de Provence and salt).  Allow mixture to cook down until base is bright red and has become thicker.  This process typically takes about 1-2 hours, depending on how many pounds of tomatoes used.

Once tomato based has cooked down and is desired consistency, add whatever extra ingredients you desire.  At this point i add my fresh-cut corn and shrimp.  Once they’ve cooked, which usually takes about 10 minutes or so, i turn off heat and serve.

Also the tomato base can be frozen and stored for later uses.

Tomato Corn Soup cls 9-2014

Aly’s Island Crockpot Chicken

So i was cleaning out my fridge and noticed i had some leftover fresh pineapple and rhubarb that i need to either use THAT DAY or toss within the next few days.  I also had some chicken thawing that i wasn’t quite sure how i wanted to prepare it.  Then it hit me, why not throw the rhubarb and pineapple in with the chicken and toss it all in the crock pot? Thus my “island chicken” was born.

Ingredients

Whole chicken cut into parts
Lime
1 tsp ground cardamon
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp fenugreek
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp paprika
1 TBSP herbs de provence
1 TBSP crushed red pepper flakes
Large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
5 rhubarb stalks, quartered
2 cups fresh-cut pineapple
1 Large carrot sliced (or 3 small carrots)
1 bunch of spinach
6 medium yukon potatoes, cubed
Red palm oil

 

Directions

Wash chicken throughly and pat dry.  Place chicken in a large bowl and squeeze fresh-cut lime over entire chicken, set aside.  Next, blend rhubarb and fresh pineapple and set aside.  Season chicken with ground cardamom and next 4 spices. Heat a large heavy bottomed skillet on medium high.  Add red palm oil and when oil is ready sear chicken on both sides until nice and brown.  When chicken is ready, remove from skillet and set aside. While skillet is still hot add onion and garlic and sautee until translucent. Add pureed fruit to skillet and cook for about 10 minutes.  In 7 quart crock pock add seared chicken, pureed fruit mix, carrots, spinach and potatoes.  Cook on low until chicken and vegetables are done.  Salt and pepper to taste.