Pumpkins and Fall Flavors

'Tis the seasons for pumpkin carving! I love carving pumpkins, and mine always comes out as a happy face. I don't like scary! Here are our family pumpkins from the past few years:


Have you ever had pumpkin seeds? They are delicious! You can roast the seeds from the pumpkins you carve, or you can buy pepitas at the store. Pepitas are hulled pumpkin seeds (the shell is removed), so they are a little smaller and less fibrous to eat. Pumpkin seeds from a regular pumpkin are white, whereas pepitas are green. Both are good for you! We like pepitas on green salads, mixed in with grains, and added to trail mix. Here is the kind I usually buy at the store:


Fall is full of many other tasty flavors as well: pumpkin pie, squash, apples, and cinnamon. As the days of summer grilling fade away, I no longer feel guilting turning up the heat with the oven and stove. Here is this weeks meal plan highlighting some fall flavors with some roasted veggies and soup:

  • Sunday: Spaghetti with Homemade Bolognese Sauce (including diced tomatoes, ground beef, carrots, garlic, and oregano). Topped with parmesan and served with side salad
  • Monday: Stuffed Acorn Squash. Based of this recipe here. This is a great recipe for using up whatever you have in the kitchen. I'll fill an acorn squash with a mix of various leftovers including farro, walnuts, mushrooms, mozzerella, and herbs. 
  • Tuesday: Mexican Quinoa. From this recipe here (I've linked to this dish before too!). Topped with cheddar shake and avocado. The recipe is very easy to pull together (you just throw it all in one pan to cook), so it will be perfect while we are trying to hand out candy to all the trick or treaters!
  • Wednesday: Roasted Chicken and Roasted Veggies (sweet potato and parsnips). I'll marinate the chicken in some Italian/herb dressing and toss the veggies with olive oil and salt/pepper. Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes for the veggies and 20 minutes for the chicken. So simple, so good. Served with a side salad for some green. 
  • Thursday: Leftover Mexican Quinoa. I usually try to leave leftovers for lunches (such as the pasta from Sunday and any leftover roasted chicken/veggies will get taken for lunch), but this quinoa stores especially well and makes for an easy weeknight dinner. Similar to many soups/stews/chili, the flavors get absorbed and it tastes better the next day. 
  • Friday: Carrot Ginger Soup with Fried Egg Sandwiches. This soup recipe is from Run Fast Eat Slow, a wonderful cookbook co-written by professional runner Shalane Flanagan. I love to dip the egg sandwich into the soup!
  • Saturday: Roasted Salmon and Roasted Potatoes. Still enjoying the potatoes from the garden! Served with a side salad. 

And in case you were wondering, Cassie is enjoying fall too. She has new Chicken and Apple treats!