an unlikely pair.

No matter how unlikely it may seem, you just never know who you’re going to hit it off with.

Who might suddenly be your new best friend.

Chick peas and pumpkin are a very unlikely combination.  Slightly unexpected.  And while they’re not quite on the level of black bean brownies, they’ll still make you step back for just a moment or two.

Chick peas and pumpkin? Who would have thought.

I still haven’t decided if this is a smooth and creamy hummus or a sweet and spicy, gingerbread dessert spread.

I have decided that I love these flavors together.  That blackstrap molasses makes everything (yes, everything!) better.  That walnuts and molasses were meant to be.  And that next next year I need to stock up with one or two more cans of pumpkin.

Serve the spread on a crispy cracker.

Or swirl it into your yogurt with a sprinkle of Natures Path Pumpkin Flax Granola.

No matter how unlikely it may seem, you just never know who you’re going to hit it off with.

Who might suddenly be your best friend.

Gingerbread Hummus

Serve this sweet and spicy spread with crackers or yogurt.  Or, top off your morning bowl of oats (or pancakes!) with a scoop or two.  There’s not a trace of “bean” flavor to be found, and—like me—you will probably find yourself wondering why you didn’t stock up with more cans of pumpkin as well.  Enjoy!

  • 1-15oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp. blackstrap molasses
  1. In a food processor, combine all ingredients together.  Adjust salt and molasses to taste.  Enjoy! 😀

QUESTION: Hummus…yay or nay?  What is your favorite hummus flavor?

pumped with pumpkin

Pumpkin seems to be floating around blog land these days.

Some of us continue to eat it in everything.  Some of us are screaming “enough already!” 

And then there are those of us who still have a good dozen cans waiting in our pantry.  Just sitting there.  Lost, confused, alone.  Desparately looking for some way to be used and appreciated.

Now, I’ve always been one to err on the side of sweetness when it comes to pumpkin, which is why I always pair it with warm, creamy oatmeal.  Or yogurt topped with crunchy granola.  But now—with November being over and all—I felt that I needed a change.  A bite of something completely new.

With that in mind, my lunch evolved.

Thursdays require me to pack a lunch the night before.

I’ve learned to embrace this time spent alone in the kitchen at night, trying to think up what it is that I want to eat the following day.  I flick on some Christmas music, pull my comfiest of wool socks on, and dance around the kitchen while preparing my meal.  Speaking of which, whoever said cooking is serious business, obviously did not know what they were talking about.  The less serious you are, the better things will turn out.  Having fun and enjoying the creation of a meal is the key to success! 😀

First, I tossed a couple handfuls of baby romaine leaves with a tsp of olive oil and sea salt.  This is a simple way to up your veggie intake.  It also creates a nice bed for whatever foods are tickling your fancy at the moment. 

With pumpkin on the brain and a bag of leftover whole wheat pasta sitting in the fridge, I created what I now call “pasta with pumpkin and sage.”

I didn’t take any exact measurements, but I did taste a little as I went, just to be sure that the seasonings were exactly where I wanted them to be.  Remember, when you are cooking solely for yourself, there is no need to primp and ponder whether everything tastes exactly like it should.  If you love it, that is all that matters. 😉

The rest of my snacks and lunch itmes included a mini whole wheat bagel smeared with roasted red pepper hummus… 

…a handful of almonds…

…a mini luna white chocolate macadamia bar just for fun…

…and a container of pineapple and red pears.

I received this Luna bar at the recent nutrition expo that I went to.

My thoughts were that it was just “okay.”  Honestly, I don’t think I would actually ever buy one for myself, as all the flavors seem to blend and taste the same to me after awhile!  But it did make for a nice mini-sized snack, and I can see how it would come in handy for an “emergency snack.”  They’re small enough to stash in a purse or to have on hand before or after a visit to the gym.  Still.  I think I’d rather have a handful of almonds or a fruit instead.  Much more satisfying. 😀

Pasta with Pumpkin and Sage

 If you’re looking for a new way to use your canned pumpkin, give this simple, savory dish a try!  I never thought I’d live to see the day, but I can honestly say that I much prefer savory pumpkin to sweet!  There’s something wonderful about sage and pasta mixing and mingling with creamy pumpkin.  These three simple ingredients really do go very well together. 

The addition of lemon juice is a must in this dish!  It (along with the garlic!) gives the dish such a lovely bite, pulling it all together.  Feel free to change things up as you go!  I’m pretty sure nutmeg and/or thyme would be two interesting ingredients to play with as well.  

  • 1 c. cooked whole wheat pasta
  • 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 c. canned white beans, drained and rinsed
  • a few dashes of sage
  • one or two sprinkles of cinnamon
  • garlic powder to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • sea salt to taste
  • a few splashes of lemon juice (be semi-generous with this!  It offers a wonderful flavor)
  • lettuce, olive oil, sea salt (optional)
  • toppings (optional): walnuts, cranberries, pepitas, etc.
  1. Combine all ingredients from pasta to lemon juice together in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Toss together lettuce, oil and sea salt.
  3. Top the lettuce mixture with the pasta mixture.  Place in fridge for following morning’s lunch or eat right away.
  4. ENJOY! 😀

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My room is officially filled with Christmas cheer! :mrgreen:

This little tree stands a meer 2 feet tall, but it’s sending such a warm glow throughout my room.  I love it!  I can’t wait until the official tree is put up next week. 😀

Question: When do you usually put up your Christmas tree?

Breakfast Bonanza, Day 4 (don’t forget to layer!)

I went for my first chilly run this morning. 

Yes, the temperatures have previously reached 45.  Even 40.  But today it was a meer 28.  This is also known as “nose burning, bring a kleenex, wear your winter tights” kind of cold.  It was, in one word, blissful.  :mrgreen:

Come January, after I’ve run through my third or fourth blizzard in the dead of winter, I give you full permission to taunt and tease me.  Yes, you may.

“Sarah, you said you like winter running!  Stop complaining!!”

As for now, I am fully enjoying these chilly morning runs.  They feel so refreshing. So invigorating.  Filled to the brim with energy!  Besides, I’m not really cold during these runsThat’s what mittens, wool socks and warm winter tights are for.  It’s all about the layering!

Kind of like breakfast.  Layer after layer after layer of goodness. 

Layer 1: Pumpkin mixed with yogurt.

Layer 2: 1 T. ground flaxseed

Layer 3: 1/2 c. cooked millet

Layer 4: 1 sweet banana, sliced

Layer 5: walnuts, cranberries, coconut.  Just because.

The Mighty Millet Mish-Mash

I’m a creature of habit when it comes to whole grains.  The bulk of my diet is made up of oats, oats, and oats.  But sometimes it’s fun to try something completely new and different.

I was a little unsure of how much liquid I needed to cook the millet, and ended up going with a 2 1/2:1 ratio of water to millet (that would be 1-1/2 c. of water to 1/2 c. uncooked millet.)  It seemed to work out pretty well for me, but I did use the strainer to get rid of some excess water afterwards.

Millet is sweet, soft, and very mild flavored.  It reminded me of quinoa without the slightly “exotic flavor”.  Another plus is that it’s gluten free, making it the perfect grain option for people who have celiacs and/or a gluten intolerance.  I’m a new fan of this humble little grain, and plan on incorporating it regularly into many future breakfasts and side dishes. 

  • 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
  • 6-oz. plain yogurt

Combine above together and place on bottom of bowl.

  • 1 T. crushed flaxseed
  • 1/2 c. cooked millet, mixed with cinnamon and nutmeg if desired
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • toppings: walnuts, craisins, coconut

Layer the flaxseed, the millet, and lastly the banana on top of your yogurt mix.  Top with walnuts, craisins, coconut and whatever else suits your fancy.  Enjoy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Since we’re on the topic of breakfast, have I previously mentioned that I’m slowly weaning myself off of coffee?

 

It’s true. 

During the weekends, I find no greater pleasure than sitting down with my big blue mug, sipping on a dark, roasted coffee with soy.  Filled, filled, filled to the brim with warmth and goodness.  But during the weekday, I find myself guzzling the contents of my mug in 5 minutes flat.  The result is an overheated, slightly delirious, over-caffeinated girl.  Not pretty.

I’d like to save coffee for the weekend, when I can thoroughly enjoy each and every sip.  But since I’ve never been a cold turkey kinda gal, I’m slowly decreasing the amount that I drink each week.  Right now I’m about 3/4 of a mug full, and slowly making my way to half.  We’re getting there. 😉

Question: Are you a coffee drinker?  Do you go for “regular,” straight up coffee?  Do you have a favorite signature drink?  I like my morning cup with soy and no added sweetener, but whenever I go out to a cafe, I always order a grande soy misto with extra foam and a pump of toffee mocha, pumpkin, or cinnamon dolce.  I consider this my signature drink. 😀

breakfast and a bowl of soup

So—well—I kind of lied.

Breakfast did start with ‘p.’  And it did end in ‘umpkin.’ 

But there were oats involved too.  I have nothing more to say, other than I simply couldn’t help myself.

Breakfast Bonanza, Day 3: “Pumpkin Pie Smoothie”

Pumpkin is perfect for smoothies.  Where frozen bananas supply the frothy sweetness, canned pumpkin gives you that creamy, indulgent texture.  They’re really a match made in smoothie heaven.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Don’t be afraid to add the oats!  Some people don’t like the texture of raw oats in things, but the blender does a fine job of grinding them up into a texture that’s similar to oat bran.  This whole grain addition gives you fiber, nutrients, and energy for a busy morning. 

(p.s. Have fun with the toppings!)

  • 1/2 c. regular rolled oats
  • 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 banana, frozen and cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp chia seeds (optional)
  • cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and a splash of vanilla
  • toppings: sweetened coconut, Trader Joe’s apple cranberry butter, walnuts

Blend everything together, except for toppings.  Pour into a large bowl, top with your favorite of things, and enjoy each delicious bite!

~~~**~~~     ~~~**~~~     ~~~**~~~

Today was a very productive day.  I cleaned.  I set up appointments that needed to be set.  I ate.  I completed many homework assignments.

I made a pot of soup.

I know I’ve stated this before (probably more than once,) but it deserves repeating.  If your recipe calls for chicken, beef or vegetable broth and you don’t have your own homemade version on hand, buy this broth base!

The name says it all: “better than bouillon.” 

I’ve never tried their beef base, but I’m a huge fan of the chicken and veggie.  The flavor is as close to homemade as I’ve yet to find.  Way better than bouillon cubes or cans. 

As much as I love whisking things, I also love simmering soups.  Who  needs therapy? 

Once the vegetable soup was simmering long enough to cook the barley, I added in some crushed tomatoes…

…and white beans.

This soup was such a quickie to throw together.   Ready in a matter of minutes (about 30, to be exact…even less if you had a batch of cooked barley or brown rice on hand.) 

The rich tomato flavor was a lovely reminder of being welcomed home with hot tomato soup after playing outside all day long.  It warms you, heart and soul.

Tomato Vegetable Soup (serves 4-6)
Idea taken and tweaked from a Taste of Home cookbook

Veggie soups are one of my favorite autumn eats.  This tomato soup takes on more veggies and protein than your typical tomato soup version might, giving you more nutrition per bite. 

I ate my hot bowl of soup with toasted honey wheat bread.  But I’m thinking that a grilled cheese sandwich would make this meal perfect and complete. 

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 c. vegetable broth (preferrably low sodium)
  • 1/4 c. uncooked barley
  • 1-1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cans (15-oz. each) white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (28-oz. each) crushed tomatoes
  1. In a medium pot, saute onion, carrot and celery in oil until crisp-tender.  Add garlic, saute 1 minute longer. 
  2. Add broth, barley, Italian seasoning, and pepper flakes.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until pasta is tender.
  3. Add beans and tomatoes, simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
  4. ENJOY!

Question: What do you consider to be the perfect autumn meal?

Tomorrow is *Day 4* of the Breakfast Bonanza.  If you haven’t started yet, that’s okay!  You can jump in any time.  Just let me know what breakfast(s!) you want to include on the breakfast post for next week.  Even if you want to throw just *one* breakfast into the mix, go for it.  And, most of all, have fun! 😀

when fear meets confidence

Some people are afraid of heights. 

Some people are afraid of dogs.

Some people are afraid of tofu. 😉

My fear?  Public speaking.

Today I had to give a 2-hr lecture on both customer service (which I hardly know much about, other than my what my common sense has told me,) and food allergies.  Despite the fact that I knew everyone in the group by name, I was literally shaking.  My voice.  My hands.  My feet.  Shaking.  Shaking with fear.

But at the same time, I’m confident.  Confident with the fact that I can deliver the presentations.  Confident because I’ve done so before.  Confident that the shaking will subside after the first few slides.  Confident. 

This confidence has come with a few tricks that I’ve developed along the way.

First, I don’t admit my fear to anyone.  I convince myself that I’m the most confident of all public speakers.  For an hour or two, I become the most knowledgeable person on the topic at hand.  Ready for any and all questions.  (Just FYI, this is one situation in which it is a-okay to lie to yourself. 😉 )

Second, I eat well.  This is hard for me, as public speaking is the one thing in life that makes me lose my appetite.  But there’s nothing worse than feeling lightheaded from fear and from hunger. 😉 

Lastly, I practice.  Over and over and over again.  Convincing myself that people are there to listen.  To learn.  I’m not being judged or criticized for my performance.  I try to think of it as a discussion between friends (only with me doing all the talking…ha.) 

I’m not saying that I’ve completely overcome my fear.  It’s still there.  And really, it’s okay to have fears.  We all have some form of a fear in our life (new job?  a long road race?  flying?)  What’s important is that we learn how to take control of these fears instead of letting them control us.  It’s a journey, but it’s a journey worth taking.

Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Cookie

I don’t actually like pumpkin pie, but I love this breakfast cookie version!  I’m sharing it, because I believe that you’ll love it too.  Spiced with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, each bite is a delicious taste of fall.  Perhaps my favorite part is the texture, which is a mix between the regular breakfast cookies (firm) and overnight oats (doughy soft.) 

I love sprinkling the top with granola for an extra bit of crunch.  You could also add 1-2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder to the cookie mix before refrigerating overnight.  The sweetness from the bananas will sweeten it right up, giving you the well loved combination of pumpkin and chocolate.  It’s wonderful. 😀

  • 1/2 c. regular rolled oats
  • 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1 very ripe banana, mashed well
  • 1 T. peanut butter
  • 1 tsp chia seeds (definitely optional)
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • granola for topping (optional)
  1. Mash together all of the ingredients except for granola (which is optional.)  Spread evenly on a plate, cover with saran wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The following morning, enjoy with a fork and a glass of milk for the extra protein boost.  😀

Question:  Do you have any fears?  How have you learned to deal with them?

so long sorry

I’m not rude.  I don’t block the grocery isles with my shopping cart so that nobody else can walk through.  I don’t cut people off on the highway or honk my horn because you didn’t go through the green light fast enough.  I don’t snub people–ever–even when I’m being treated rude in return.

So why am I constantly saying “sorry”?

As my sister and meandered through Barnes and Noble, we found ourselves saying the “s”orry word at least a dozen times.  It’s the way we were raised.  Always be polite.  This thought process has traveled with me even into adulthood, where I find myself sheepishly saying “sorry” for everything.  Sorry for the inconvenience in asking you to move so that I can gently squeeze through the grocery isle.  Sorry that it took me just a little too long to move forward in the service line at the book store.  Sorry that I’m confusing you on my coffee order even though you’re being overtly rude to me.  Sorry.

Sorry. 

Here and now, I am setting a pact.  I refuse to be sorry.

Wait.  That sounds a little silly. 

I don’t mind being sorry.  Really, I don’t.  I’ll be the first to jump up and apologize if I’m truly in the wrong.  But I’m realizing more and more, the importance of standing up for yourself.  Because the instant that you say that you’re sorry, you’re also saying “I’m in the wrong.”  This opens up not only a feeling of disrepect for yourself, but also an opening for people to walk all over you.

In other words, I’m saying “so long to sorry” when it’s unnecessary and wrong.  I choose to respect myself enough to stand up for the fact that I’m not always the one who should be apologizing. 

So long “sorry!” 😀

Pumpkin “Un”Overnight Oats

Pumpkin is one of my favorite oat mix-ins, especially now that the fall weather is officially here to stay.

Summer and fall collided this morning, as I mixed together a sliced, frozen banana into a bowl of “un”overnight, pumpkin oats.  The combination was delightful, and I plan on doing it again tomorrow.  Sorry to be so repetitive (pun intended.) 😉  

  • 1/2 c. uncooked oatmeal
  • cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger
  • 6-oz. plain, nonfat yogurt
  • 1 banana, frozen and sliced
  • toppings: 2 T. walnuts, sweetened & dried coconut, Trader Joe’s apple cranberry butter

Today’s Challenge: Respect yourself!  Don’t be afraid to say “I’m sorry”, but also don’t be afraid to realize that you’re not always the one in the wrong.  Stand up for yourself, respect yourself, and don’t let people walk all over you.  You truly do deserve better, and don’t ever let anyone tell you differently!

pumpkin gets personal

One of the things I love most about cupcakes is how personal they are.  I discussed this last week, when I found myself greedily dunking a finger into a white chocolate espresso cupcake in Boston. 

It’s just plain silly that I never thought to personalize the muffin too.

Because, let’s face it, there is a time and a place to purchase—and eat—a cupcake.  They’re one of my favorite foodie pleasures.  Muffins, on the other hand, can be eaten more often: as part of a breakfast, as a snack, or even as a dessert. 

And now that pumpkin isn’t such a rarity in the grocery isles any more, I’ve been going all crazy with it.  Oats.  Smoothies.  Yogurt Messes.

Pumpkin muffins.

If you ever make one…just one!…of the recipes from my blog, I beg that you please try this one.  I’ve tweaked and molded this recipe into what I now proclaim as being my favorite muffin ever.  I know that’s a bold statement, but let me assure you: this muffin can handle it.

Step 1: Mix Dry Ingredients

Step 2: Mix Wet Ingredients

Step 3: Mix Dry and Wet Together

Step 4: Personalize (this is the FUN part!)

There was the plain jane pumpkin muffin, topped with walnuts. 

The dark chocolate pumpkin muffin for the die-hard chocolate fans.

And the “everything” pumpkin muffin which was topped with walnuts, dark chocolate and white chocolate chips.  These are already gone, FYI.  Next time I’ll make the entire batch as “everything” muffins. 😉

Personalized muffins.  Why did I wait so long to do this?

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Raisin Muffins

  • 1-2/3 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 c. water
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. raisins
  1. Combine dry ingredients (up to and including salt)
  2. Combine wet ingredients (pumpkin through raisins.)
  3. Stir dry ingredients with wet ingredients just until moistened (do not overmix)
  4. Spoon into 12 sprayed muffin cups.  Bake at 350 for about 20-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  5. Cool for 10 minutes.  Remove and place on wire rack.  Cool completely.

Question: What are your favorite flavor combinations in a muffin?

a rainy day

If I’ve learned one thing about running in the rain, it is this: you will reach a point where you can’t possibly get any wetter.

Somehow that’s a consolation for me, and I absolutely love reaching the poing where I quite literally become one with the run. 😉  That point where avoiding puddles becomes meaningless.  The point where the rate of the rain determines my pace. 

A hard downpour makes my legs turn over quicker.  Sprinting, almost.  

A slow, methodical rhythm of a drizzle is my favorite.  My pace becomes slow and steady, as I take in the pleasures of a rainy day.  One drop at a time.

Running through the rain is one of life’s simple pleasures.  I highly recommend it.

And—remember—you will reach that point where you can’t possibly get any wetter.  😉

With the temperatures dropping, dropping, dropping, hot oats are once again becoming my breakfast of choice.  

I’ve always enjoyed pureed pumpkin in my oats.  I’ve always enjoyed cottage cheese in my oats.  I don’t know why I’ve never thought to combine the two.

But they marry perfectly together, they really do. 

I stirred in the cottage cheese at the very end of the cooking time, to avoid “melting” the cheese.  Been there, done that.  Nobody likes a stretchy cottage cheese.

This produces a very voluminous bowl of oats, and it’s super filling to boot.  Between the protein from the cottage cheese ‘n’ milk and the fiber from the oatbran and pumpkin, you’ll be going, goin, going all morning long. 😀

Spiced Pumpkin and Cottage Cheese Oat Bran

  • 1 c. milk + 3/4 c. water
  • 1 tsp cinnamon + a dash of nutmeg
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • 1/2 c. pureed pumpkin
  • 1/4 c. oatbran
  • 1/4 c. 1% cottage cheese, nuked for 10 seconds to take the chill off
  • toppings: Natures Path Pumpkin Flax Granola with almond butter
  1. Bring milk, water, spices, banana and pumpkin to a boil in a small saucepan.  Add oatbran, lower heat, and cook until thickened (about 3-5 minutes), stirring after every minute or so.
  2. Add cottage cheese, turn heat off, and pour into bowl.  Top as desired.

Question: How do you most enjoy a rainy day?

orange you glad?

Prepare yourselves.  This post is about to explain to you why my hands are orange. 😉

Reason #1: It all started with a humble carrot.

Carrots never crossed my mind as a kid.  I ate them, yes.  But they were nothing special.  And then my tastebuds discovered carrot cake, which is when I realized that carrots were God’s gift to man.  And then—then!—a whole new world of flavor opened up, and I realized that carrots were not meant solely for cakes (although some might argue this fact.)  I ate them roasted.  Honey glazed.  Plain.  Raw.  With dip.  Grated in oatmeal.  Dunked in peanut butter. 

Yes.  I ate carrots.  Lots and lots of carrots.

Reason #2: After my newfound love for the carrot, I discovered canned pumpkin. 

I grew up hating pumpkin pie.  Absolute hatred!!  To this day, I can not eat it.  Which is such a shame, because I’m convinced that aside from a roasted turkey, pumpkin pie is the heart and sole of Thanksgiving. 

However, once I discovered that it was just pumpkin pie that I didn’t like, and not so much the actual pumpkin, a whole new world opened up.  Pumpkin bread.  Pumpkin lattes.  Pumpkin muffins.  And now that I’ve fully stocked up on Libby’s canned pumpkin, I’m including pumpkin in my breakfasts as well.

Breakfast Pumpkin Cookie—(the texture of this “cookie” most closely resembles that of “overnight oats”)

  • 1/2 c. uncooked oatmeal
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 T. peanut butter
  • 2 T. cranberries (I use ‘Craisins’)
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl, mashing well with a fork.
  2. Spread evenly across a plate.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. ENJOY! 😀

Reason #4: Lastly, I am obsessed with the sweet potato, which destroys any hopes of my hands ever returning to normal.

Tonight I opened up my Moosewood Cookbook and pulled out a recipe for Samosas.  Sticking mostly to the recipe, I did make some substitutions.  Like using all whole wheat flour in place of the white.

I also turned up my nose to the white potatoes and subbed in 1 large sweet potato instead.  I’m sure you would agree that the sweet potato makes for a much more colorful, tasty filling.  😀

The dough to these Samosas was so fun to work with.  It was super stretchy and flexible.  I pulled it, smashed it, rolled it, and stretched it. 

And then I preceded to fill, fill, fill these babies up.

I may have overstuffed these guys just a little, but the dough was very forgiving.

The results were worth the 2 hours of prepping and baking time.  So, so, so worth it!

It was love, my friends.  Love at first bite.

Reason #5: Eaten with herbed carrot soup.  Of course. 😉

So there you have it.  I have an obsession with all things orange, and there’s just no stopping me.

Samosa Recipe—from Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook, as seen on the Food Network website

The Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups flour (used whole wheat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk or yogurt
  • Extra flour as needed

The Filling:

  • 2 large potatoes (the size of a large person’s fist)–used sweet potato
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup finely minced onion
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried coriander (if available)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked green peas (frozen, thawed=fine)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Cayenne, to taste

Directions

Dough 1) Place the flour in a medium-sized bowl. Mix in the salt. 2) Make a well in the center, and add the buttermilk or yogurt. Mix first with a spoon and then with your hand, to make a smooth dough. 3) Add extra flour, as needed, to keep the dough from being sticky. The dough will be quite soft. knead in the bowl for about 5 minutes. Cover tightly and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the pastries.

Filling: 1) Peel the potatoes and chop them into 1-inch pieces. Place in a saucepan, cover with water, and boil until very soft. Drain and transfer to a medium-sized bowl. Mash and set aside. 2)Melt the butter in a heavy skillet. Add onion, garlic, ginger, mustard seeds, coriander, and salt. Saute over medium heat about 8 to 10 minutes, or until onions are quite soft. Add this to the mashed potatoes, along with the remaining ingredients. Mix well, but try not to smash the peas. Cool for at least 15 minutes before filling the pastries.

To Assemble and Bake: 1) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Generously oil a baking sheet. 2) Keep a small container of flour, a fork, a small bowl of water, and a pastry brush close at hand. Flour a clean surface, and, one by one, roll 1-inch balls of dough into 5-inch circles, using a rolling pin. 3) Place approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons filling in the center of each circle, and fold over, just like a turnover. Brush the inside edges of each circle with a little water, and fold the edges together to make a small hem. Crimp the edges firmly with a fork. Note: If you are storing the samosas to bake later on, place them on a heavily floured plate or tray, dust the tops with more flour, and cover tightly. Store in the refrigerator or freezer until baking time. 4) To bake: Place the samosas on the oiled baking sheet. Brush the tops with oil. Bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees F., then reduce heat to 375 degrees F. and bake for 10 minutes more. For maximum crispness, turn the samosas over when you turn the oven down. 5) Serve within 5 minutes of baking, with Dipping Sauce. A nice way to serve the sauce is in individual saucers or tiny bowls, so each person can hold both samosa and sauce directly under his or her face while eating, and the sauce bowl can catch the drips. (It does drip, but that’s one of the charms of this ritual.)

The Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt

1) Place all ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir until the sugar dissolves. 2) Heat to boiling, then let simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes. it will reduce slightly. 3) Serve warm or at room temperature with hot samosas.

Question: If you turned the color of what you eat the most, what color would you be?