Are you guys excited that it’s pumpkin season? I love seeing pumpkins in grocery stores right now, because they make me dream of all of the delicious recipes I can make with them!
One of my favorite Fall salads is this roasted butternut squash salad. I use my Magic Bullet to quickly mix up a sweet honey balsamic dressing and toss it together with some spinach, pecans and pumpkin seeds, while my chopped butternut squash is roasting in the oven. This recipe makes enough salad for two people as a side, but you can double it if you want to serve it as a main.
I was trying to think of a cheese that would go with this salad, but I couldn’t think of any. What do you guys think? Would you add some cheese, or leave it as is?
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
- 2 cups chopped fresh butternut squash
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 4 cups fresh spinach
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- 2 Tbsp roasted pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup olive oil + 1 Tbsp
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp honey
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Grease a baking sheet and set aside.
- Toss the butternut squash with 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper and pour onto the baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Add the remaining olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey to a small Magic Bullet cup and blend.
- Toss the dressing with the spinach, pecans and pumpkin seeds.
- Once the butternut squash has finished roasting in the oven, add on top or toss into the salad.
Sigh. I’d say summer is ending, but that wouldn’t be true: summer is over. Pretty soon it’ll be all stews, braises, and chili around here, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, comfort yourself just a little bit by finding one of the last tomatoes of the season and fresh basil at the farmers market and making this delicious fresh tomato sauce.
With really good tomatoes, you make a great sauce with no cooking at all; just blend them up in the Magic Bullet. I like a slightly deeper and richer flavor, so I rough chop the tomatoes with a knife and sauté them in some olive oil and garlic and use the Bullet for garlic, parmesan and basil duty. You can seed or skin the tomatoes, but I don’t think it makes much difference here, since any bitterness is sort of nice as a foil to the rich, sweet pasta sauce.
A little secret here that makes a big difference: pull the pasta out of the water slightly before it is done and finish it in the pasta sauce. The pasta will absorb the sauce, eliminating any wateriness and really flavoring the noodles.
Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce
- 1 pound pasta
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 3 tomatoes (about 1.5 pounds), cored and roughly chopped
- leaves from a big bunch of basil, preferably from a farm (not a greenhouse)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- hunk of parmesan cheese
- Cook pasta in heavily salted water until just short of al dente.
- Blend garlic in Magic Bullet.
- Add olive oil to a heavy pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, until tomatoes start to break down, about five to ten minutes.
- Drain pasta and mix together pasta and tomato sauce in pot over medium-high heat. Cook for two minutes or until sauce begins to become absorbed by pasta.
- Blend basil leaves in the Magic Bullet and set aside. Blend parmesan in the Magic Bullet.
- Serve, passing basil and parmesan.
Ketchup is something we often put very little thought into purchasing. And for good reason – aside from branding, there aren’t many variations that are popular. It’s a common flavor that we’ve trained ourselves not to think too deeply about.
Two of the best benefits of the Magic Bullet are the abilities to have control and to get creative with everything you eat. In this recipe for ketchup, we’re able to have fun creating a spin on the classic flavor from the ground up – I’ve also chosen to give it a spicy kick!
- 2 pints grape tomatoes
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- Cut tomatoes in half.
- Combine all ingredients in frying pan or skillet and simmer for approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
- When liquid boils off and you’re left with a thick jam, remove from heat.
- Add mixture to Magic Bullet and blend.
Enjoy with potatoes, hamburgers, hotdogs or any other of your favorite dishes to splash some ketchup on!
The other day, I came up with a new recipe that seriously surprised me. The title of this post already gives it away, but there you have it: avocados really do make delicious, creamy pasta sauce!
After the first bite of my avocado pasta, I scarfed down the rest of the entire dish in a matter of seconds. It may sound strange to use avocados in pasta sauce, but I promise it is so good! Don’t you just love it when healthy foods taste amazing?
Avocado Pasta Sauce
- 1 ripe avocado, chopped
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp fresh grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for topping)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley for topping
- Add all ingredients to a Magic Bullet cup and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Toss with freshly cooked, hot noodles.
- Top with Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley before serving.
Makes ~3/4 cup sauce
When I was a kid, I had a dog that used to collect rocks. She used to dig in the ground for them and pile them up under trees and chew on them and steal them from children. She would have liked this crisp!
I’ve always thought “stone fruit” was a funny name for something edible. It’s not exactly that stones are unappealing, but when I think “inedible rock-like substance,” I don’t exactly think, “name of a delicious, sweet, ripe, juicy snack.”
Anyway, it is stone fruit season, and you should be taking advantage by making crisps for the people you love. Or… the people you like. You may not realize it, but crisps are an incredibly easy, overwhelmingly delicious dessert. Here, I paired fresh peaches from the farmer’s market with half a pint of blackberries, also from the farmer’s market, which add tang and some chewiness.
Taking a cue from Cook’s Illustrated, I’d recommend quickly peeling the peaches first and then straining them with some sugar. This sort of “macerates” them, by which I mean that you drain off a bunch of liquid, which helps prevent a watery final product.
Peach Blackberry Crisp
- 1 lb peaches, peeled and cut into big chunks
- ½ pint blackberries
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch (optional)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup sugar plus 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 unbeaten egg
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- Put the peaches in a strainer or colander with the tablespoon of sugar. Let drain for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Blend the dry ingredients in the Magic Bullet with the egg.
- Put all the fruit in a baking dish and cover with the dry ingredients. Pour the butter on top.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until the topping is as brown as you like.
Coconut makes just about everything better. Adding it to an already delicious scone recipe? Sign me up!
With the Magic Bullet, you’ll be able to whip up a batch of these delightful snacks in a shockingly small amount of time. And by preparing them on your own, you get to avoid all the nasty preservatives and other hard-to-pronounce ingredients that you’ll find in store bought versions of a similar treat.
- 1/2 cup of coconut flakes
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 egg (we’ll be separating yolk from egg white)
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup buttermilk*
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking Soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
* If you don’t have buttermilk, you can stir together yogurt and milk to create a buttermilk substitute – I’ll go through how to do this in the instructions below.
- Combine sliced butter, sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in Magic Bullet and blend until mixture is coarse and sand-like.
- Buttermilk is not something found in every refrigerator, so we’re making a substitute in this step – skip if you happen to have it! Combine plain yogurt and milk (in a ratio of about 3/4 yogurt to 1/4 milk) in a small bowl and mix together until creamy. You’re looking to end up with approximately 1/4 cup buttermilk, so you don’t have to use too much milk or yogurt here.
- Stir together buttermilk and egg yolk. Side aside egg white to use later in this recipe.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients (including coconut flakes) in a bowl and massage together.
- Flatten mixture on baking tray lined with parchment paper. Separate into small triangles.
- Brush uncooked scones with egg white.
- Bake scones in oven at 425 degrees for 10 – 13 minutes, or until slightly brown.
Serve with jam or on their own – they’re delicious either way!
Living in San Francisco has turned me into sort of a fish taco snob. There are so many incredible fish taco places here! For me, the one thing that makes a delicious fish taco (besides the fish, of course) is the creamy “dressing” lathered on top.
Most fish tacos I’ve had here are topped with a delicious, flavorful, creamy topping that I have not been able to reproduce… until now! I finally perfected a fish taco crema topping that tastes just like some of my favorite fish taco places in the city. This cilantro lime crema is made with fresh lime, cilantro and green onion, plus a little mayonnaise for a bit of tangy flavor.
Cilantro Lime Crema
- 1/4 cup light sour cream
- 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 3 Tbsp sliced green onions
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Add all ingredients to a small Magic Bullet cup and pulse a few times until well blended, but not smooth.
- Chill in the refrigerator for up to 3 days until ready to serve.
Makes ~1/2 cup
Three different seeds add a lot of protein, fiber and healthy fats to these energy bites. They are a perfect post-workout snack to refuel your muscles and give you a boost of energy. You can add other nuts and seeds if you like, but remember that the more stuff you add to these the more peanut butter you will need to add to compensate so they don’t fall apart! They are really easy to make, no baking required.
Three-Seed Energy Bites
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 3 Tbsp flax seeds
- 3 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Add all ingredients to a Magic Bullet cup, with the oats going into the cup first so they are at the bottom.
- Pulse the ingredients a few times to blend the top portion above the oats (not until completely smooth, but just mixed!).
- Use a large spoon to stir in the rest of the oats that were not mixed into the rest of the ingredients after pulsing.
- Roll spoonfuls of the mixture in your hands and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving for best results.
Makes 12 energy bites
If you find yourself craving pumpkin pie this holiday season, why not skip the extra calories and make a healthy pumpkin mousse instead?
This pumpkin mousse is vegan and gluten-free, and tastes just like a delicious pumpkin pie filling. The secret ingredient is tofu, which makes it really thick and creamy. You can sweeten it with almost any sweetener, from honey to maple syrup to brown sugar. I’ve tried a few different sweeteners in this recipe and they all work really well. I have found that firm tofu works best.
It’s an incredibly easy dessert to whip up (literally) for guests, or simply a treat for yourself. For best results, chill the mousse in the refrigerator for an hour before serving.
- 1 can (15 oz) organic pumpkin
- 1 package (15 oz) firm or silken tofu
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ginger
- ¼ tsp. allspice
- Add all ingredients to a Magic Bullet cup and blend until smooth. Add more honey or other sweetener, depending on your tastes.
- Top with whipped cream and cinnamon before serving.
Makes 2 cups
Lately I have been making a lot of my own nut and seed butters. They are cheaper and easier to make at home, plus you don’t need to add any preservatives or stabilizers if you make them in small batches at a time every few days.
I made this creamy cinnamon nut butter the other day. It can be used as a spread for apples for a healthy snack, or on a piece of toast for a protein-rich breakfast. The most important ingredient is the sunflower seeds, because depending on the type of seeds you buy, you will get very different results.
First, make sure they are roasted. Roasting the seeds really brings out their flavor. Second, make sure you buy unsalted, otherwise your butter might be too salty. I like to add the salt myself to control how salty it tastes. For a creamier texture, add more oil. For a sweeter butter, blend in more honey.
Cinnamon Sunflower Seed Butter
- 1 cup unsalted roasted sunflower seeds
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. honey
- Add all ingredients except for the honey to a small Magic Bullet blender cup and pulse a few times.
- Add the honey and stir with a spoon, then twist the blade back on and pulse a few more times until your sunflower seed butter is nice and creamy. Add more coconut oil if needed for a creamier texture.
Makes 1 cup