Monthly Archives: November 2015

Curried Pumpkin Chickpeas

One of my favorite things about fall is the food – go figure! I love pumpkin and squash – they are so satisfying, nutritious and versatile!

This recipe works equally well with canned pumpkin or roasted mashed fresh pumpkin or squash – buttercup is my favorite for this recipe because of its density – but any will work.

I first tried creating this recipe for my husband who has recently gone to several meatless meals each week. My inspiration came from a recipe a friend made at deer hunting camp; very appropriately he made the recipe with venison.  It was a hit!  The spicy curry playing off the earthy sweetness of the squash is a warm nourishing way to fuel body and soul after a day in the great outdoors.

I enjoy this served over roasted cauliflower (recipe follows) – I serve it to my husband over brown rice.


2 tbsp (divided) safflower, canola or grapeseed oil (use something that is appropriate for high heat that is free of GMO)

1 onion, minced

3 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced

2 tbsp curry powder

1/4 tsp red pepper flake                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp ground allspice

1 tsp ground coriander

1 15 oz can diced tomatoes or 1 1/2 cups diced fresh tomatoes

1 – 2 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 – 15 oz can pumpkin or 1 1/2 cups diced fresh pumpkin or winter squash (such as buttercup, butternut or acorn)

3⁄4 cup vegetable stock

2 cans chickpeas or 3 cups cooked from dried (I find it very easy and cost-effective to cook my own beans.  I soak them overnight and cook them in large batches.  I freeze them in measured quantities covered in their cooking liquid – then have them on the ready for recipes like this!)

2 handfuls finely julienned kale or spinach (if using kale that has a thick mid rib – remove the mid rib, chop finely and salute along with the onion at the start of cooking.

If you like cilantro – it goes well in here – I don’t care for it so I leave it out.  It’s one of those love it or leave it kind of flavors – you choose(:

Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper


Preheat large dutch oven or soup pot over medium high heat.  Meanwhile mix pressed garlic with 1 tbsp oil.   Add 1 tbsp oil to heated pan.  Add onion, sprinkle with a small amount of salt.  Saute, stirring frequently for 3-5 minutes or until translucent and just beginning to brown.  Stir in curry powder, red pepper flakes, turmeric, allspice and coriander to release their flavors – cook for about 30 seconds, then stir in garlic and oil mixture.  Cook, stirring for an additional 30 seconds.  Pour in tomatoes, tomato paste, vegetable stock, chickpeas and pumpkin.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer.  Simmer for 45 minutes or until pumpkin is tender if using fresh.  Finely stir in kale and allow to rest off heat for 5 minutes before serving to tenderize the kale.  Serve over brown rice or roasted cauliflower.  This also freezes well – making it ideal for make ahead lunches!

Curried Pumpkin Chickpeas

Curried Pumpkin Chickpeas


Recipe for Roasted Cauliflower


1 head cauliflower

high heat, non GMO oil for rubbing

parchment paper

rimmed baking sheet

aluminum foil


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Trim off parts of the stem that you don’t care to eat.  After washing it, pat dry and rub the head with a small amount of oil.  Drizzle a couple of teaspoons onto the parchment lined sheet.  Set the head of cauliflower on a cutting board, stem side down.  Cut the head in half – lay each half on its flat side and cut each half into 4 wedges.  The wedge shape gives nice flat surfaces to maximize browning and caramelization.   Arrange wedge on the sheet so thick ends are towards the rim and skinny tips are towards the center – this will facilitate more even cooking.  Loosely cover with a sheet of aluminum foil.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Turn each wedge and return sheet to oven without the aluminum foil and continue baking for another 20 minutes or until tender.

I often throw some carrots on the tray as well – they are such a treat roasted!


Carrot Salad with Almond Butter Dressing

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In the beginning…

I made this recipe for the first Goldie get-together… but before the Goldies were “The Goldies”… before I knew Gina existed… before we knew all of the things we had in common… before we knew we would become lifelong friends… before we dreamed we would ever have a food blog documenting all the fun times and great food we enjoy together…before we knew we would create a bond that would be inseparable.

A little history on how it all started (from Jaime’s eyes)….  Jaime, Annie, and Tiffany were all at the same conference in 2009.  It was a MN Waters conference in Rochester and we were all staying overnight.  Jaime and Tiffany had been in some of the same meetings prior to this conference, so we knew who we were, but never really talked to each other (mostly because I was totally intimidated by Tiffany!).  Tiffany and Annie knew each other well because they worked in the same county, so they were hanging out in the hall together between sessions.  The details are fuzzy, but somehow we all ended up talking and realized we all had horses!  That’s were it all started… at least for me… an instant bond!  We spent the rest of the night together, along with a few other friends we made at that conference, enjoying drinks and giving ourselves a tour of some Rochester bars, including some behind the scenes adventures.

Romeo, Sunny, and Mischief feasting on some organic greens.

Romeo, Sunny, and Mischief feasting on some organic greens

We didn’t want the fun to end, so we decided we should rent a farm and go horse camping.  Honestly, I didn’t really have high hopes that it would actually happen

since I barely knew these girls, but that’s one of the things I’ve learned about the Goldies… they make things happen!

Nevertheless, we rented a farm near Wild River State Park and stayed for the weekend.  Our horses had stalls and a luscious pasture to forage in, and we had a beautiful home in the woods on the picturesque Sunrise River!

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The Sunrise River viewed from our temporary home

We had so much fun getting to know each other!  We quickly realized we had a lot of things in common, but we were probably most excited to find out that we all enjoyed eating and learning about healthy food.  It was during this discovery that I learned about some girl named Gina that was also a health nut and decided that we should do ANOTHER trip including this other girl too.  Gina doesn’t have horses, but she does have a cabin up north and the three of them had been up to her cabin the previous year to go cross country skiing at Sugar Hills.  They invited me to join them that winter and meet the infamous Gina and complete the circle that is now known as The Goldies!  But that’s another adventure with more great recipes that will certainly be covered in other blog posts.

Oh yeah… food… and back to the Sunrise River horse camping trip… this is one of the recipes I made and it went over quite well!  It’s been made several times since then.  It has a fun kick and a creamy comfort-ness that will surely please everyone!


  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup creamy almond butter
  • 1 T. fresh lime juice
  • 1.5 T. tamari
  • 1 t. agave nectar (try substituting honey or maple syrup)
  • Pinch red pepper flakes

Using a box grater, shred carrots and place in a large bowl. Add bell pepper, cilantro, and raisins. In a small bowl whisk together almond butter, lime juice, tamari, agave and pepper flakes. Add dressing to carrot mixture and mix thoroughly. Allow to marinate for ½ hour and serve cold or at room temperature.

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I added broccoli to this version and it turned out very well.

Nutritional info per serving (106 grams): 190 calories (90 from fat), 10g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 4g protein, 25g total carbohydrate (2 gram dietary fiber, 14 g sugar), 0mg cholesterol, 330 mg sodium

I found this recipe from the Whole Foods Website.

Wild Game Recipes

Do you know what I love about Fall in Minnesota? I love the colors of the leaves and the sweet smell of them decaying on the northern forest floor.  I love walking quietly through the woods with Shane keeping a keen eye out for grouse and lobster mushrooms.  I love fall walks with my mom and the get-along-gang (dogs). I love the opening day of rifle season, northern MN ablaze in orange like a national holiday.

Side Lake Shroom and Grouse mission.

Side Lake Shroom and Grouse mission.

Rifle season means that I get to spend time with my dad’s side of the family.  I will forever cherish our tradition of hunting with my Aunt Nina and Uncle Russ.  I always look forward to walking out to the deer stand(s) with my Dad, Russ and Nina, in the cold (who am I kidding, freezing) morning darkness not knowing what the day will bring and then sharing the days stories over homemade wine at Steve’s cabin!

Hunting is by no means my favorite thing to do, but I do feel it is necessary.  First, it’s necessary to keep  populations in check;  without it wildlife populations would be too high and there would be a high occurrence of disease.  Second, high populations of wildlife such as deer cause a lot of destruction to both automobiles and people.  Finally, I feel it is important that I can pull the trigger on my own meat.  Since I am going to eat meat I want to know that had a great life and died humanly.  I think it is my obligation to know how it feels to take and animals life and to be thankful for it.  Don’t get me wrong, most of the time I purchase my meat from a local small farmer, I just want a small amount of the meat to be something that I harvested on my own.

Anyways, this post isn’t about me  it’s about a blog that my friend Zach shared with me which has recipes for everything wild- from mushrooms to berries, from deer to pheasant.  If you are looking for new ideas on what to do with your harvest this year I highly suggest you check it out!  Also, this guy has a really good perspective on food!

Honest Food– all good things found here!

More Fall Fav’s:

Big Aspen with Momma!

Big Aspen with Momma!

Get-along-gang! Love!

Get-along-gang! Love!

Crock-pot Fall Squash Soup

Aside from chopping, this soup comes together with minimal effort.  Last time I made this I did all of the chopping on Sunday morning, tossed all of the ingredients in the crock pot and took off to the Rum River Park on a great fall horse ride.  When I got home some five hours later my soup was done! Score!

This is my FAVORITE fall soup.  The first time I made it I questioned whether or not I should add fresh chopped ginger.  I made the right choice in doing so because it adds a great new dimension of flavor! Do not, I say do not leave this out!!

This recipe will make approximately 6-8 serving (2 cups each).  Don’t worry too much about exact amounts (i.e. size of squash, onion, cauliflower…). I have made it with differing size veggies and it’s always superb.

Ingredients (use organic ingredients if possible):

1 butternut squash (I bet you could use just about any fall squash)

1 head cauliflower

1 yellow onion

2 cloves fresh garlic

2 inches fresh ginger

1 cup red lentils

2 Tbsp Cumin

vegetarian or chicken base (3-4 Tbsp or to taste)- my favorite is: Organic Better Than Bouillon

8 cups water


Peel squash. Chop all veggies including garlic and ginger.  Toss everything into a large crock pot and add water and lentils.  Close the cover and cook on low for 5-8 hours until everything is tender.  Let cool slightly.  I use a submersion blender to create a nice somewhat smooth consistency. I be

t you could also cool the soup and blend in a food processor or blender or even mix by hand.  Add bullion, salt and pepper to taste.  That’s all folks.

Steamy soup, ready for slurping.

Steamy soup, ready for slurping.

Here’s a tip: make this soup on a Sunday. Let it cool and scoop 2 cups of soup into zip-loc freezer baggies. Lay flat and freeze. Take a baggie with you to work and it will thaw by lunch time.

Beautiful fall ride at Rum River park in Anoka! Thanks for bringing me and Siz Cherrie!

Beautiful fall ride at Rum River park in Anoka! Thanks for bringing me and Siz Cherrie!