Pumpkin Pom Salad

Oh yum!  I want to make this again.  It sure was tasty!

I found this recipe on pinterest.  They used sweet potato but my husband prefers pumpkin and I love both so no biggie!  I didn't really measure the salad ingredients.  I just grabbed a big plate and piled stuff on.  Is there really any need to measure when good, wholesome, salad ingredients are involved?!

kent pumpkin (I just roasted a bunch thinking I'd keep the leftovers, there were no leftovers!)
baby salad greens (baby kale, spinach, rocket (arugula), etc.)
pomegranate seeds
crumbled feta
pistachios, toasted & chopped
coriander (cilantro), chopped
2-3 chopped spring onions, white and green parts

I did the dressing just as the recipe called for, adjusting just a little bit to taste:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 clove minced garlic
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
salt & pepper, to taste
Preheat your oven to 400F/200C. Chop the pumpkin into bite size pieces. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast in the oven for 20ish minutes.  I just keep tasting after 20 minutes til they are the consistency I like. (possible reason there were no leftovers?!)

Mix all dressing ingredients.  I just threw them all in a mason jar and shook it up.

Assemble salad.  I started with greens and coriander (which is technically a green), then added the pumpkin, pomegranate seeds, spring onions and feta.  Top with dressing and pistachios.

Haloumi and Lime? Ok, I'll try it!

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This is delicious. We all really liked it.  I'm making it again this week! I don't have to tell you that I found the recipe through Pinterest, my go to place for recipe searching! I did take a few shortcuts though ... like, I cooked the quinoa in my rice cooker and I used lentils out of a can.  And you may notice that the recipe calls for asparagus but there is none in my photo.  Would you believe that both stores I went to were SOLD OUT!?!  Ugh.  I substituted mushrooms and that was delicious but I can't wait to try it again this week with asparagus!  I doubled this recipe but you didn't really need to double everything (like the haloumi) so here is how I did it and the measurements I used.

1x400g can puy lentils
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
200g cooked quinoa (I did mine in the rice cooker with a bit of chicken stock)
2 bunches of asparagus, chopped
a handful of mushrooms, sliced
180g piece haloumi, sliced 
2 to 4 limes 
500g cherry tomatoes, halved
6 spring onions, chopped
1 long green chilli, deseeded and finely diced
a handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped

Sautee the asparagus and mushrooms with a little bit of olive oil.  

In a big bowl, combine lentils, quinoa, asparagus and mushrooms.  Add olive oil, red wine vinegar, tomatoes, spring onions, chilli, mint and zest of 2 limes (add zest to taste).

Heat a fry pan (or chargrill pan if you have one) over medium heat.  Add haloumi,  drizzle with lime juice and cook on both sides til golden brown.  Cut into smaller pieces and add to salad.  Season entire salad with salt and pepper.

Garnish with extra limes if desired.

We served with chunks of toasted turkish bread, buttered, sprinkled will all-purpose seasoning and toasted in the sandwich press.

Cheats Philly Cheesesteak Grilled Cheese

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These were simple and delicious and the whole family liked them.
 I found this recipe through pinterest.  I mostly followed the recipe ...

I doubled their recipe to make 4 sandwiches but we ended up being able to make more than that.

Olive oil
1 green bell pepper (capsicum)
1 small onion
Bread, 8 slices
Roast Beef from the deli, 450g
Cheese, I used tasty (white cheddar) and mozzarella

Thinly slice pepper and onion.  Sautee in a bit of olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat. 

Pre-heat sandwich press (or frying pan if doing the old fashioned way!) 

They buttered the bread, I never do when making sandwiches in the the sandwich press.  You can do what you like. 

Chop up the roast beef into long thin strips. 

Layer sandwich like this ... bread, cheese, pepper/onions/ roast beef, cheese, bread. 

Toast until cheese is melted.

Pink Smoothies

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These were delicious!  
I changed the original recipe a bit ... mainly I didn't add celery ... eww!  
Here's what I did ...

1.5 cup water or coconut water (I used water)
1/2 a medium avocado, pitted
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 a medium raw beet, chopped
1/2 a lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon coconut oil

a handful of ice cubes

1 sweet apple cored and roughly chopped

Throw all ingredients into blender.  Blend.  I started with one cup of water and then added the other 1/2 cup as necessary to keep the blender moving ...

Garlic Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters

Since I am now feeding the masses and chicken leg quarters is definitely the cheapest way to buy chicken, I've been looking for recipes that will add some variety to the bbq sauce or Italian dressing I had been seasoning the chicken with (both yummy...but I was getting ready for a change).  I found this recipe somewhere online (can't remember where!) and it was given a hearty thumbs up by the boys last night.  In parentheses are changes I made and the amounts I used to feed 7 (including 3 teenage boys) with a few leftovers for lunches.


  • 4 (12) cloves garlic, finely minced (I used my nifty Pampered Chef garlic press)
  • 1 (3) teaspoon dried leaf oregano (I didn't have any, so used basil instead)
  • 1/2 (1 1/2) teaspoon salt
  • 1 (1 1/2 - PJ and I are what the Japanese call kitten tongues) teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 (1) teaspoon ground cumin (I love cumin and made up for the lower amount of chili powder here)
  • dash freshly ground black pepper (I used white pepper because I like it better)
  • 2 (6) tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 (12 - three family packs) chicken leg quarters
  • 1/2 (1 1/2) cup chicken broth (part dry white wine, if desired)


Heat oven to 425°.

Combine the garlic, oregano, salt, chili powder, cumin, and black pepper. Add olive oil and mix well. Use a mortar and pestle to make a paste consistency, or mash with a fork.  (I used a fork and it worked well)

Wash chicken leg quarters and pat dry. Snip off any excess skin (Glenn also cut the pieces apart). Arrange the chicken pieces in a baking dish and pat the garlic mixture over each quarter. (I spooned it on and then spread it around with my fingers) Pour 1/2 cup of chicken broth (part dry white wine, if desired) into the baking dish. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until juices run clear.
Serves 4 (or the masses!).

Creamy Butternut Squash Risotto

Hi! I'm Marissa. I'm new here. Well, actually, I've been making Beans Blog recipes for years now, but I have one of my own to contribute for the first time! I am married and have an almost year-old baby.
Here's a picture of the three of us (picking apples this fall):

My husband is picky (nothing green and leafy, white and creamy, or too chunky), and my baby is slowly adding to his repertoire of solid foods. Hopefully, I'll be able to contribute some recipes that work well for picky eaters but are also healthy enough for a little one.

Mostly the baby eats healthier food than we do (vegetable, protein, grain, dairy, and fruit for most meals), so I figure that rather than changing his diet to accommodate ours, maybe I should change our diet (more processed food than is good) to accommodate his. This creamy risotto was a favorite for all three of us. The creaminess comes from the rice and a tiny bit of butter rather than fatty cream, so 100 grams is only about 75-80 calories. 200 grams is a nice size helping of rice and only 150 calories. It made a flavorful, simple side dish without adding too many calories.

Here is a picture of the baby enjoying it (the rice is sticky enough for him to eat with his fingers):

And here is a picture of the grown-up food (rice, green beans, and marinaded chicken thighs):

The recipe from The Baby & Toddler Cookbook is below.

Creamy Butternut Squash Risotto
1 cup Arborio or short grain rice
3 cups vegetable broth
2 tsp unsalted butter
1 cup pureed butternut squash
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the rice and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is soft and creamy, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.

Stir the butter, squash puree, and nutmeg into the rice.

Serve warm.

NOTE: I started with a whole butternut squash. To cook it, cut in half longways. Scrape the seeds out. Lay flesh side down in pan. Pour water 1/4 inch up the sides of the squash and cook in oven at 375 degrees for 45-60 min. Remove the skin and puree. (I used my immersion blender, which worked perfectly.)

Rio Verde Breakfast Special

The weeks that the boys are with us, we like to make sure they get a protein filled breakfast to start their days out.  A good hearty breakfast for very active boys!  They are fine having eggs and pancakes every morning, but I like to mix things up a bit.  Today I tried a new recipe from Tortilla Lovers Cook Book.  It was quick (something I appreciate since I'm cooking AND getting myself ready for work) and was a yummy hit!  I altered it just a bit.

6 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
pinch or two of salt
1 TBS butter
1/2 cup Jack cheese (I used Monterey jack), cubed
small can of green chiles
6 tortillas (I used flour, but the recipe called for corn)

Garnish with green salsa, sour cream, and/or avocado

In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, and salt and mix well.  Melt butter in skillet.  Add eggs and cook, stirring gently.  When eggs are almost set, add cheese and chiles.  Cook until firm, or desired consistency.  Heat the tortillas and fill each with egg mixture.  Garnish as desired.  I served it with orange slices.