Happy Autumn!

Standard

I’ve been working out consistently for years now, and there are so many reasons why: to relieve stress, to take a little time just for ME each day, to boost my metabolism, to feel and look my very best, for my health, to challenge and push myself outside of my comfort zone, and to just tune life’s busyness out for a while.

These reasons are all fine and dandy, but I have a confession to make.  The main reason why I work out almost every day?

So that I can hack into butternut squash every fall without killing myself:

Seriously, have you ever tried to wrangle a butternut or spaghetti squash uncooked?  It’s almost as though we weren’t meant to eat it.  I should probably be using a better knife (or maybe a SAW), sure, but butternut squash are particularly difficult to handle no matter what tool you use.  Any squash lovers out there have any tips to make it easier? It takes me for-freaking-EVER to peel and chop one of these babies, and I’m usually grumpy, exhausted and sweating by the end of the whole process.

It ain’t pretty, but the gloriousness that is roasted butternut squash makes it worth all the blood, sweat and tears, oh yes.  It is finally Fall (rejoice!), and I just might try to find a way to consume pumpkin and/or squash at every single meal.  When spring rolls around I usually go through pumpkin withdrawl and buy at least 4 or 5 cans to keep on hand in order to wean myself off of the stuff.  That first sighting of massive displays of pumpkin puree at the grocery store each year makes me incredibly happy.

Ok, so.  Here is this week’s menu!

Breakfasts: In addition to our usual breakfast choices (homemade granola, green smoothies, oatmeal, overnight oats in a jar, etc.), this week we’ll be grubbing on another round of OSG’s Creamy Pumpkin Pie Smoothies and I have two servings of Pumpkin Pie Vegan Overnight Oats ready to go for the work week:

The recipe sounds soooo good and Angela’s pictures make my mouth water.  In the morning I’ll add maple syrup, raisins and walnuts on top.  I think a little warmed coconut butter would be amazing, too!  *drool*  I’m not the world’s biggest coconut lover, but I really like coconut butter.

Lunches: For my usual salads, I made a double batch of classic hummus from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan (using cashews, chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, garlic and nutritional yeast) and the Miso Sesame Dressing from Choosing Raw:

I’ve made both of these recipes before and they’re dynamite.  The addition of cashews and nooch to the hummus make it ultra thick and rich, almost cheezy, and the dressing is a heavenly marriage of sweet and salty from the tamari-miso-agave combo.  Good stuff.  I also roasted some gorgeous golden beets for adding to my salads:

Aren’t they pretty?  :D

Dinners: Two meals planned- I’m happily bringing back a favorite from last year, Oh She Glows’ Red Lentil and Squash Curry Stew (hence the squash hacking above- this stew is SO good!) + FatFree Vegan Kitchen’s Chipotle Barbecued Tofu with a baked sweet potato and spicy coleslaw from the Vegan Diner cookbook.  That tofu looks freaking incredible and I’m pressing my block of extra-firm in preparation as we speak… er, as I type.  The coleslaw recipe is my go-to for classic, creamy, slightly sweet and crunchy ‘slaw: shredded cabbage + Vegenaise + apple cider vinegar + agave nectar + sea salt + white pepper + celery seed + minced garlic cloves, and this time I added a hefty dash of cayenne pepper for a kick.  I’ll post pics of the complete meal later this week!  Betcha can’t wait.  ;)

Dessert: Currently my freezer is stocked with Peanut Butter Fudge Rice Crispy Treats, Oil-Free Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies and a few slices of leftover Chocolate-Pumpkin Pizookie (more on that in a sec), but I went ahead and bought the stuff to make Angela’s No-Bake Peppermint Patty Bars because, well… yum!

Okay, so lets talk about that pizookie…

Last night I finally slipped away for a much-needed girl’s night out with M.  I haven’t been going out much at all lately because of my upcoming exam, so I’d been looking forward to last night for awhile.  We toasted to the new season:

And grabbed dinner at Blue Mesa Grill, which actually has some decent vegan options.  (So happy to have access to this handy Dallas Vegan Tex-Mex Dining Matrix to help guide my choices!)  I ordered the portobello street tacos with black beans and ginger rice, nixed any cheese or sour cream that may have come with the meal and added a side of guacamole instead.  It was so dang tasty.

Anyway, autumn is our very favorite time of year, so I decided to make a fall-themed dessert to enjoy at M’s place after dinner.  Of course it involved pumpkin!

It also involved beans

Friends, make this recipe.  Do it nowChocolate-Covered Katie is a freaking GENIUS.  If you’re new to the beans-in-baked-goods thing, step outside of your comfort zone and try this just once.  I think you will be amazed, and I challenge you to serve it to the pickiest of eaters without telling them that beans are involved.  I guarantee they will demolish every last moist, rich, gooey crumb without question.  My kids can’t get enough, and neither can I- which is why I hid the last few slices in the freezer for later.  ;)

I am so in love with this pie that I had a near-inappropriate photo shoot with it on the back porch yesterday afternoon after it came out of the oven.  Can you say crème fraîche?

Napkin, anyone?  ;)

We enjoyed this pie while watching When Harry Met Sally, which was perfectly fitting since we complained about men and relationships for a good part of the evening.  I think that someday we should podcast these alcohol-induced discussions.  :)  Being single and 30-something is interesting to say the least, and we both have rather unconventional opinions on romance, love and marriage.  Pretty hilare, if you ask me.  (I <3 you, M!)

It has been another great weekend that flew by way too fast.  What have you been up to?  Any foodgasms going on in your world? 

E woke up this morning saying that he wasn’t feeling too well:

And O kept telling me how hungry he was:

So strange.  They both look fine to me…

(I am thrilled that Halloween is right around the corner!)

I’m off to hang with the zombies and then get crackin’ on that chipotle barbecue sauce!  Have a great Sunday afternoon, y’all.

XO,

S.

13 responses »

  1. Love it! For your butternut woes, I usually prick it with a fork a few times, then zap it in the microwave for 5 minutes. This softens the flesh and then I can easily take a peeler to remove the skin. Let me know if you try it this way!

    That pizookie looks great! I love bean based dishes. I once made a black bean chocolate cookie that was to-die for! I’ve had CCK’s cauliflower cake on my radar, too!

  2. Oh gosh the butternut! JUstin use to be paranoid that I would hack off a finger or two peeling those bad boys- now i use a really good vegetable peeler to peel the outside and a really good sharp chefs knife for the rest :)

  3. I always cut the top away from the seedy bottom part, then use the flat surfaces to set each half upright and cut them in half (4 pieces total). Place them in a casserole dish and roast THEN skin. The skin will just peel off with your fingers…which will still be intact because you didn’t have to hack a gourd into bits before starting dinner :-) It does take a few minutes longer to roast in bigger chunks, but it’s no more time than you would spend hacking through raw gourd skin. I hope that helps!

    I just recently found your blog, so this is my first comment. Congrats on your new school program – I finished my MPH just over a year ago and it was a really great decision for me. Good luck!

    Kristin

    • Am having a “why didn’t I think of that” moment over here. THANK YOU. Makes perfect sense! A few minutes more in the oven is no big thang. Especially if it prevents me from becoming angry at a squash. :)

  4. I always just use a veggi peeler and peel mine raw then hack it into pieces! I might try roasting it before next time also. I made the edemame hummus this week and it turned out really good. Hope your boys are feeling better soon….lol

    • Speaking of hummus, I spotted a black-eyed pea hummus recipe on the FatFree Vegan Kitchen blog yesterday! Definitely going to make that one next- yum. I’m always on the hunt for new hummus recipes.

  5. “It takes me for-freaking-EVER to peel and chop one of these babies, and I’m usually grumpy, exhausted and sweating by the end of the whole process.”
    This is why I buy the peeled, cubed versions of butternut squash. Yes, more expensive, but worth the $$$, in my opinion.

    (freaky kids!)

  6. Pingback: With Love « Inside & Out

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s