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White Chocolate Cranberry Chip Pumpkin Cookies + A Perfect Holiday Gift

White Chocolate Cranberry Chip Pumpkin Cookies + A Perfect Holiday Gift

This fall I created what may very well be my favorite pumpkin cookie! Picture a low sugar, high nutrition version of your favorite cookie, and this is it! I don’t think twice about eating a couple of these at a time and the addition of […]

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Pumpkin Lovers

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Pumpkin Lovers

Want to know the best thing about shopping for the pumpkin lover in your life this holiday season?! It will actually save you money! Many of these pumpkin items are discounted this time of year, which means it’s the perfect time to stock up, grab […]

Pumpkin Pot Roast with PRE Brands

Pumpkin Pot Roast with PRE Brands

This blog post is in partnership with PRE Brands. All opinions are my own. Thanks for all of the pumpkin love!

Full disclosure: I’ve never made a pot roast before. Sure I’ve seen a cut of meat turn into something delicious thanks to my mom, but did I know anything about what to do in between? Nope! Enter this pumpkin pot roast! As someone’s whose culinary claim to fame comes from pumpkin desserts and spaghetti squash, I had my work cut out for me roasting up a storm pumpkin-style! I promise you that if I could do it, you can do it too! And with the weather taking a turn for the cold now, a pot roast is really a great meal to warm you up on a chilly night.

When I heard about PRE Brands, I was immediately impressed by their message of quality and the packaging the beef comes in. Never before has finding exactly which cut of meat you need been so easy! Their section at Mariano’s was clearly labeled, so as I walked into the meat area, I could clearly spot their signage. I don’t know about you, but when I usually walk into the meat section it looks like an array of the same meats (very confusing) without any indication on which is which besides the small print on the white label. Shopping for PRE Brands chuck roast was not like that at all–I found exactly what I needed and was on my way!

As a dietitian, high-quality meats, poultry, and seafood are important to me. I purchase wild caught salmon, cage-free eggs, and grass-fed beef when available. I feel confident in my decision to chose PRE Brands beef because it contains no added hormones, or antibiotics–something that is in a lot of the sources of protein we are eating, and we may not even know it.

Grass fed beef comes from cattle that only eat grass and other foraged foods. Other cattle are fed a diet of grains and corn, which leads to a difference in the nutritional make up of the beef. Grass fed meat has more omega-3 fatty acids (the good kind your body needs for many functions!) and less total fat. To me, they taste better, too!

I filled my cart with the chuck roast and the various vegetables and spices I needed to make this pot roast robust with the flavors of the season–squash, onion, garlic, bay leaves, rosemary, potatoes, beets and more! Use my recipe below for roasting in a conventional oven, or make it in a slow cooker! I don’t have one, but it’s  on my Christmas list!

Prep time: 1 hr. Cook time: 3 hrs. 45 min in conventional oven Serving size:4 

Ingredients: 

For the Pot Roast:

  • 1 PRE Brands Chuck Roast
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup red wine, (I used Malbec!)
  • 2 cups unsalted beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 whole fresh rosemary sprig
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 package baby carrots
  • 2 cups butternut squash (1 medium whole squash), cubed
  • 1 small rutabaga, cubed
  • 1 bag baby fingerling potatoes
  • 1 small beet, cubed

For the Pumpkin Glaze:

  • 2 tbsp. pumpkin puree
  • 1 granny smith apple, cubed into very small pieces
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Instructions:

For the Pot Roast: 

Heat the oven to 325°F. Season the chuck roast with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt and the pepper (no trimming required here!). Heat the oil in a 7-quart Dutch oven over ( I didn’t have one at the new apartment, so I bough a roasting pan from Mariano’s and it worked great!) medium-high heat until simmering. Add the roast and brown on all sides, including the ends. This was about 5 minutes per side for me. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté until softened and beginning to brown around the edges. Add the red wine and scrape up the beautiful browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add flavorings and roast to the pot.  Stir in the beef broth, garlic, bay leaves, whole rosemary sprig, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce. Return the meat and any juices to the pot.  Bring to a simmer, then cover and place in the oven. Don’t forget to cover! Braise for 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Now add the root vegetables! Uncover and add the butternut squash, beets, carrots, potatoes, and rutabaga into the braising liquid around the roast. Cover again, return to the oven, and braise until the roast pulls apart easily and the vegetables are tender but not mushy, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours more. The house will be very fragrant!

Since I used a roasting pan, I transferred a cut of my roast to a smaller dish and added the vegetables and pumpkin glaze on top.

For the Pumpkin Glaze:

Saute the butter, pumpkin, cinnamon and small apple cubes until combined. The mixture will be slightly thick and the apple pieces will be soft.

Check out another final beauty shot on my Instagram! I’ve also made a PRE Brands ribeye for Rob and I just recently. He loved it, and I’ll definitely be making one again–the perfect dinner for two!

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PRE Brands beef is available at Mariano’s, grocers across the US, Amazon Fresh, Jet Fresh and Peapod.  I’m also excited to share with you that they are having a 20% off sale on Amazon FRESH this week and next week (12/4-12/11). It’s the perfect time to stock up for the holiday season, and if you’re like me and not into walking to your grocery store when Chicago turns cold, this deal is for you!

Planning a Whole30 in January (I know I’ve thought about it!)? PRE Brands is the first Whole30 approved grass-fed meat brand. Order today, and you’ll be more prepared to kick it off January 1st!

Stay tuned because I’m excited to bring you more info and exclusive offers with PRE very soon!

xoxo,
Pumpkin Girl
The Magic of Pumpkin Seed Oil

The Magic of Pumpkin Seed Oil

This blog post is in partnership with La Tourangelle. All opinions are my own. Thanks for all of the pumpkin love! I often like to say the “pumpkin possibilities are endless”. You’ve seen me cook with pumpkin 1000 different ways, from savory to sweet and […]

Mini Pumpkin Spice Latte Pies

Mini Pumpkin Spice Latte Pies

I realize I’m writing this post a little late in the Thanksgiving dessert game! Perhaps most of you have already made or are making your Thanksgiving desserts right now, but the best part abou this pumpkin recipe are that you can make it in practically […]

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pops

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pops

Let’s make Thanksgiving pumpkin POP this year!

When it comes to Turkey Day at our house, I’m in charge of one thing–the dessert! You could even say that my love for pumpkin grew out of the fact that year after year I have made a pumpkin cheesecake no matter what. I’ve skipped countless night-before-thanksgiving parties to gladly ensure that the cheesecake is signed, sealed, and on its way to our table the next day. And while there have been some cracks in the cheesecake (the waterbath, I know!) I feel like the cheesecake has evolved throughout the years, just like I have.

Thanksgiving is at the top of my favorite holiday list. Sure the food makes the day, but the beauty of spending time with the ones you love reminds you that there should be thankfulness associated with everyday, not just this one. I’ll never forget the year I flew in from NYC for Thanksgiving. My dad picked me up from the airport on a snowy Chicago night, and the minute I saw him I started crying. Many emotions were at play, but realizing that you can always go home bubbled out of me and there was nothing I was more thankful for.

If you’re following my Instagram stories than you know sharing something I am thankful for every day this month. The 30 days of thankfulness! It has felt so great, especially now in the world I feel like finding the beauty in everyday is so, so needed.

Enough talk! Let’s POP some pumpkin! This year these pumpkin cheesecake pops will be accompanying my pumpkin cheesecake. Not only are they so delicious, but they can be whipped up in a hurry, and still look impressive. Perfect for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, and any other holiday get together filled with pumpkin lovers. Made with whole-milk versus cream cheese, these pops are a lighter version of traditional cheesecake. And you can’t deny how fun foods on a stick are…an automatic party hit!

 

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pops
Serves: 12 cheesecake balls
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup whole-milk yogurt (I used siggi's)
  • ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2-3 of your favorite cookies, crushed
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized bowl, mix yogurt with pumpkin puree & graham cracker crumbs. Mix until combined. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll pumpkin cheesecake mixture into small balls, insert sticks, and place on baking sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes. Meanwhile heat the white chocolate chips over a double boiler until melted. Mix in coconut oil. Dip balls into chocolate and place back on parchment paper. While the chocolate is still hot sprinkle crushed cookies on top. Refrigerate and enjoy!

 

 

xoxo,
Pumpkin Girl
FNCE Fun Recap

FNCE Fun Recap

This post is coming to you one week after the annual Food and Nutrition Expo, held in Chicago this year. I had such a fun time seeing fellow RDs, some who I hadn’t seen since my time in New York City, and tasting some cool […]

Dreamy Pumpkin Parfaits

Dreamy Pumpkin Parfaits

This post was sponsored by Wallaby, however all opinions are my own. A taste of fall in every single bite–that’s the best way I can describe this dreamy pumpkin parfait made with Wallaby spiced pumpkin whole milk yogurt! I’ve tried a lot of pumpkin yogurts […]

Pumpkin Turmeric Soup with Quinoa and Brown Rice

Pumpkin Turmeric Soup with Quinoa and Brown Rice

This post was sponsored by Path of Life. My go-to for healthy weeknight meals that are ready in minutes and made with real, wholesome ingredients.  

Soup weather. Chicago has not had much of it yet. During September there was a stretch of a couple of weeks that were extremely sunny, and hot, and I was all like ” I’m over this”! But I will say it has been nice to not pull out the big jackets just yet, and just enjoy the cool breeze and the unseasonably warm temps. So unheard of for this time of year in Chicago!

So while the temperature outside doesn’t quite resemble the true fall I am used to here in Chicago, that doesn’t stop me from making my favorite vegetable into soup–pumpkin soup!

There’s nothing nicer to warm up with on a chilly fall day than a bowl of pumpkin soup, and this one is especially amazing because it’s truly a wealth of nutrients in a bowl. Made with turmeric, an anti-inflammatory spice that is well known for its antioxidant power, this soup marries fall flavors in a healthy way. You’ll be getting plenty of fiber from the pumpkin and quinoa–add that to the extra protein from Path of Life’s Organic Quinoa and Brown Rice mix, and you’ve got yourself a hearty lunch, or a perfect pairing for dinner.

I love making this quinoa and brown rice mix the base of meals because it cooks in less than 5 minutes, has the protein I want, especially if I’m not adding meat or fish, and tastes great combined with other vegetables and by itself. The mix contains exactly what I would put into it if I was making it at home–simply garlic, olive oil, and sea salt. Really, the possibilities are endless, which is why I knew it would be perfect in my pumpkin soup too!

I used homemade pumpkin puree in this recipe when I made it for the first time (you can find my guide to making your own pumpkin puree here!), but you can also use store bought canned pumpkin. Soup is such a perfect staple to have on hand this time of year, and can really be a great vehicle for getting more vegetables into your diet. This recipe warmed me up from the inside out, and I hope it will do the same for you!

 

Pumpkin Turmeric Soup with Quinoa and Brown Rice
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups chicken broth ( I used one from Trader Joe's)
  • ¼ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 package Path of Life Organic Quinoa & Brown Rice Mix
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric
  • 2 tsp. ginger, fresh or ground
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, saute garlic with olive oil until fragrant. Add broth, and pumpkin, increasing the heat. Stir in evaporated milk, turmeric, ginger, pumpkin pie spice and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let soup continue to simmer. In the meantime, follow package instructions for making the quinoa and brown rice mixture in the microwave. Once complete, open the package and slowly stir it into the soup on the stove.
  2. Laddle soup into bowls. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper, Parmesan cheese, and peptias.

 

 

xoxo,
Pumpkin Girl
How To Roast Your Own Pumpkin At Home

How To Roast Your Own Pumpkin At Home

Most of us simply buy canned pumpkin and call it a day. Don’t get me wrong, I love me a pantry stocked with Libby’s pumpkin, but I got to thinking how different is it if you make it at home? Fun fact is that pumpkin […]