pumpkin hummus with crispy sage

(Thank you all for the sweet, sweet comments on my exciting news! It means so much.)

Pumpkin Hummus with Crispy Sage | anutritionisteats.com

How was the weekend? We were both a little under the weather but managed to look at two apartments. Neither are good and I’m not looking forward to the massive search ahead of us, but, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen not thinking about it. (It’s good to ignore your problems, right?) I made a sausage & lentil gumbo (from food52), protein pancake muffins, curried tuna salad and THIS pumpkin hummus with crispy sage.

On Friday afternoon, I set out a can of pumpkin on the counter because something, just SOMETHING needed to be made with pumpkin.

Pumpkin Hummus with Crispy Sage | anutritionisteats.com

I know what you’re thinking…just what the world needs, another pumpkin recipe.

But it is the season and I’m 99% certain that it will be the only pumpkin recipe I share this year. So I feel ok about it.

Pumpkin Hummus with Crispy Sage | anutritionisteats.com

Speaking of pumpkin, if you are pumpkin-obsessed, be sure to check out these tempting, healthy pumpkin breakfast recipes:

I’m more of a savory person, so I went with the savory (and appetizer!) route with pumpkin hummus with crispy sage. Do you know what crispy sage is?

Pumpkin Hummus with Crispy Sage | anutritionisteats.com

Let me tell you. It’s sage that’s cooked in sizzling butter. With garlic. It’s definitely what takes this from being regular hummus….to OMG hummus!

Pumpkin Hummus with Crispy Sage | anutritionisteats.com

The pumpkin flavor isn’t too intense in this dip, but it’s there. And it tastes like fall. It would make the perfect appetizer for all of these parties coming up, or you know, just snacking at home as I love to do. :)

Pumpkin Hummus with Crispy Sage | anutritionisteats.com

I decided to serve my pumpkin hummus with crostini because I wanted it to feel a little more special than your run-of-the-mill hummus with pita chips but you could use just about anything. And you’ll want to dip just about anything in this hummus, trust!

Pumpkin Hummus with Crispy Sage | anutritionisteats.com

Pumpkin Hummus with Crispy Sage
 
Author:
Serves: 3 cups (6 servings)
Ingredients
  • 1-15 oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped sage
Instructions
  1. Combine beans, pumpkin, olive oil and salt in food processor.
  2. Process until desired consistency. I like to leave mine a little chunky and rustic.
  3. Set aside.
  4. Heat butter in small pan over medium heat.
  5. Add garlic, turn down to medium-low and stir occasionally for 1 minute.
  6. Add sage and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Drizzle butter mixture over hummus and sprinkle with sea salt.
  8. Serve with crostini, crackers or bread.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 184 Fat: 15 grams Carbohydrates: 11 grams Sugar: 1 gram Fiber: 3 grams Protein: 3 grams

PS. I’m taking any and all apartment-hunting advice…

honey-thyme marinated sharp cheddar

Honey-Thyme Marinated Sharp Cheddar | anutritionisteats.com

On our early-morning flight home from DC last week, I was far too exhausted to read the book I planned on reading (I’m currently reading Steve Jobs), so I picked up the November issue of the Food Network Magazine. (Buying magazines at the airport is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine!)

Honey-Thyme Marinated Sharp Cheddar | anutritionisteats.com

And in between short sleeps on that cross-country flight, I paged through the magazine, ripping out the recipes I want to try. I love the variety that comes in a magazine like Food Network. I currently only subscribe to two food magazines: Bon Appétit, which is great for more modern, upscale recipes and I just re-subscribed to Rachael Ray Magazine, which is great for simpler, family-friendly meals. Often times, I like to merge the two styles into my own cooking style.

Honey-Thyme Marinated Sharp Cheddar | anutritionisteats.com

Given that the Food Network is my favorite tv channel, I always enjoy the magazine from time to time. (Food Network side note: I really miss Rachael Ray’s cooking shows.)

But the cheese! This marinated cheese recipe in the magazine caught my eye, right away! I used to buy marinated feta ALL the time (it’s amazing on salads) and any recipe with cheese as the star…well, it’s bound to catch my eye.

In this recipe, sharp cheddar cheese is marinated with olive oil, honey, thyme, smashed garlic clove and red pepper flakes. It’s a bit sweet and a bit hot with a hint of garlic and so much better than sharp cheddar on it’s own. It’s perfect for snacking straight out of the bowl, or as an accompaniment to crackers, of course!

Honey-Thyme Marinated Sharp Cheddar | anutritionisteats.com

Traditionally, cheese plates include a sweet and spicy component – here, it’s all combined! I have a feeling it will become your new favorite appetizer. Bring it to every party, serve it at every party. You can’t go wrong with this easy crowd-pleaser!

Serving suggestion: remove the garlic before serving so no one accidentally thinks its cheese…it happened.

Honey-Thyme Marinated Sharp Cheddar | anutritionisteats.com

Honey-Thyme Marinated Sharp Cheddar
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 8 oz block of sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 4-6 sprigs of thyme
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt
Instructions
  1. Cut up cheddar into little squares. (Small enough to eat in one bite!)
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in small bowl (red pepper flakes amount depends on how much heat you want!) and toss with cheese.
  3. Marinate at room temperature for at least a half hour, or make ahead and marinate overnight in the refrigerator if possible.
Notes
The flavors get more intense over time, so if it's best to make a day or two in advance!

 

slow cooker brats with sauerkraut + potatoes

Slow Cooker Brats with Sauerkraut + Potatoes | anutritionisteats.com

If Wisconsin had a slow cooker-themed meal, this would be it.

And it feels SO appropriate to share a slow cooker recipe with you today, because I finally felt a bit of fall!

Slow Cooker Brats with Sauerkraut + Potatoes | anutritionisteats.com

We spent last weekend in DC and while our first day was sunny and warm, the rest of the time was cold and drizzly. We’ve been craving this type of weather and while I would have preferred to be snuggled up watching movies to “enjoy it,” walking around the national mall made it really sink in. Cold feet, damp clothes and a yearning for anything hot. Hot chocolate, soup or a hearty slow cooker meal. Without access to a slow cooker, I settled for a coffee one afternoon and the next, some hot tea and a bowl of crab soup. Even with the less-than-ideal weather, DC was amazing. We went to the Capitol, walked down the mall, visited the Newseum (LOVED!) and Arlington Cemetery and had some perfect meals: Founding Farmers, Hanks Oyster Bar, Eat the Rich and the cafeteria at the National Museum of the American Indian.

Slow Cooker Brats with Sauerkraut + Potatoes | anutritionisteats.com

Los Angeles greeted us with warmth and sun upon our return, but that small dose of fall was so very appreciated.

So from oysters to brats…how do you all feel about brats? It’s pretty much part of the culture I grew up in. The local meat market in Baraboo, WI has no less than 22 varieties of brats. We take it very seriously and from the moment it’s warm enough to step outside to grill (and let’s be real – even when it’s not for some) the aroma of brats are essential to spring/summer/fall nights.

Slow Cooker Brats with Sauerkraut + Potatoes | anutritionisteats.com

Typically, brats are a warm-weather meal, but this slow cooker version takes it into fall and winter. Brats, sauerkraut and potatoes are slowly simmered in a mustardy-beer sauce. And though the result may not be the prettiest food around, the warm, comforting meal more than makes up for it.

Slow Cooker Brats with Sauerkraut + Potatoes | anutritionisteats.com

Not only does your home (or tiny one bedroom apartment, in our case) smell incredible, but it takes a mere 10 minutes of prep work and some time in the slow cooker. It’s easy. It’s super-satisfying. It’s divine.

Slow Cooker Brats with Sauerkraut + Potatoes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1½ pounds of baby red potatoes, sliced in half
  • 2 cups sauerkraut, drained
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 5-6 brats (I used a 1lb, 3oz package)
  • 1 cup beer of choice
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • salt & pepper
  • parsley, chopped
Instructions
  1. Layer potatoes, sauerkraut, onion and garlic in slow cooker.
  2. Nestle brats on top.
  3. Combine beer, mustard and caraway seeds in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook on low for about 6 hours.
  5. To serve, top with fresh parsley.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 734 Fat: 27 grams Carbohydrates: 85 grams Fiber: 8 grams Protein: 33 grams

 

broccoli pesto pasta

Broccoli Pesto Pasta | anutritionisteats.com

I’ve received some wonderful cookbooks lately but there’s one problem: I’m drawn to – and therefore bookmarking – all of the cozy and rich, fall and winter meals. And the only problem is that we just came off of another scorching few days (90’s and I’m so over it) and I can’t quite bring myself to make the hearty meals quite yet. (The soup was an anomaly!)

I managed to find something a little more forgiving in the heat: broccoli pesto pasta! We absolutely LOVED this meal.

Broccoli Pesto Pasta | anutritionisteats.com

FRESH and LIGHT by Donna Hay* is the kind of cookbook I would love to write. It’s filled with beautiful pictures (simple ones, not heavily styled, which I’ve come to realize is what I’m drawn to) and recipes, ideas and inspirations for real food, kept both fresh and light. I have about 15 recipes bookmarked, but it’s the kind of cookbook that can be pulled out for inspiration on a regular basis. She has a number of sections in the book with a whole spread of simple variations on meals like pizza, pasta, dips and muffins. It’s my kind of cooking. Simple, no crazy-long ingredient lists or equipment required, just real food that’s full of flavor and perfectly healthy.

Broccoli Pesto Pasta | anutritionisteats.com

(So yes, I HIGHLY recommend the book!)

Let’s talk about this pesto! I’m a pesto fan and so I was drawn to this variation right away. I’ve had kale, arugula and edamame pestos, but never broccoli pesto. It comes together really quickly (about 20 minutes!), requires only a few ingredients and I love that your entire meal is served in one bowl for a simple dinner.

Broccoli Pesto Pasta | anutritionisteats.com

After taking a bite, my first thought was, wow, it tastes so fresh and light. (Yes, the title of the book!) But it really does taste so fresh and it’s while it’s a very satisfying meal, it’s light at the same time. Richie also loved this meal, and not just because it included pasta. :)

I think it would be great for kids who aren’t thrilled by the idea of broccoli on it’s own – it’s hard to resist when it’s combined with cheese, fresh herbs and pasta!

Broccoli Pesto Pasta | anutritionisteats.com

Broccoli Pesto
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups of blanched broccoli
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups hot spaghetti
  • parmesan
  • salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine broccoli, garlic, parsley, pine nuts and olive oil in food processor and process until finely chopped. (You want to keep some texture to it!)
  2. Toss with hot spaghetti and sprinkle with parmesan and an extra drizzle of olive oil if desired.
  3. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 575 Fat: 22 grams Carbohydrates: 77 grams Fiber: 10 grams Protein: 20 grams

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