Vegan Butternut Squash & Apple Burgers with Balsamic Caramelized Onions

I feel like I’ve been avoiding fall. The weather has been really mild here – enough that I haven’t even had to break out a sweatshirt most days and I’ve still been picking tomatoes from the garden regularly. It’s made it easy to pretend summer is just ending.

But, I can’t pretend forever – our first frost is coming tonight and it’s finally kicked my brain into fall mode. I’m officially craving all the autumn flavors – and this vegan burger just hits the spot.

These have just a few simple ingredients but they flavors are incredible – fresh, and perfectly seasonal.

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Vegan Slow Cooker Chickpea Noodle Soup

This post is sponsored in conjunction with#NationalSlowCookerMonth . I received complimentary product from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the #NationalSlowCookerMonth recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

On busy days, my slow cooker is pretty much my best friend. I love being able to set it up, walk away for the day, and have a hot meal ready when we’re walking in the door at dinner time.

Chickpea Noodle Soup 2

And is there anything more comforting than a hot bowl of soup? And this is comfort food you can feel good about – this plant-based meal is full of veggies!

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Black Bean and Pineapple Tacos

One of the things I love about blogging is the community. Getting connected with other bloggers has made this blog better. I’m constantly learning and trying new things.

One of the things I’ve been diving into much more often this year, thanks to being friends with The Baking Fairy, is vegan cooking.

Pineapple Black Bean Tacos 3

I can’t say I think that our family will ever go fully vegan, but even small steps help lessen the environmental impact of our food system. A few meals a week without animal products? That’s something we can totally do.

Today is World Vegan Day and I’m excited to share these super easy, super flavorful tacos – that just happen to be vegan too.

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Dragon Fruit Salsa

This post is sponsored by Melissa’s Produce. All opinions are my own.

I have so much fun with Halloween. My mom was always a big fan, and it’s totally rubbed off. The decorations are up, the kids are already wearing their Halloween shirts, and we are ready.

Dragonfruit Salsa 1

So, how appropriate is it that during this month, I’m participating in #FreakyFruitsFriday?

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Eggplant “Meatballs”

Today is Good Friday, and the end of this year’s meatless Lent Fridays series. Thank you so much for joining me to mark another Lenten season!

Eggplant Meatballs 3

I’m rounding out this year’s series with these awesome, vegan “meatballs”.

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Chickpea Tikka Masala

Another meatless Lenten Friday here, and I’m really excited to share this super easy, super flavorful vegan meal with you all!

Chickpea Tikka Masala

This slow cooker meal is pretty much a dump-and-go.

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Chickpea Caesar Sandwiches

Welcome to our second Lenten Friday and another fabulous, vegetarian, make-ahead meal!

Chickpea Caesar Sandwiches 2

Today I’m sharing a super versatile sandwich base.

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Brown Sugar Butternut Squash

Side dishes are on my list of “things I regularly forget about”. I’m not the only one that can plan main dishes for every night and conveniently forget that I should serve something along with it, right?

Brown Sugar Butternut Squash 1

Except Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is all about the sides for me. And this would be a great one.

Simple ingredients and quick prep make this a winner any night, but it’d be especially great for your holiday table, given how great butternut squash are this time of year.

Brown Sugar Butternut Squash 2

Brown Sugar Butternut Squash
(from Chew Out Loud
Serves 6

1 large butternut squash, peeled/seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.

In a bowl, toss the squash with the oil until evenly coated. Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Spread out on the baking sheet evenly.

Roast for 40 minutes until the squash is fork-tender and the edges are browned.

Fresh Corn Salsa (10)

Slow Cooker Vegetable Stew

This vegetable stew is what we made for Family Dinner Book Club last month, and it’s such a great option for Lenten Fridays. It’s a dump and go slow cooker meal – perfect for the end of the week.

I honestly wasn’t sure how this would be received by the kids since it really is just a big bowl of vegetables – but I was pleasantly surprised that they were happy with it. You could easily switch up the veggies to fit your family’s tastes – or add chicken or pasta.

Vegetable Stew

Slow Cooker Vegetable Stew
(adapted from Chef Sarah Elizabeth)
Serves 6-8

3 red potatoes, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
3 celery stalks, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 cup cut green beans
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. paprika
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
8 cups low sodium vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 lemon, for the juice

 

Add everything, except lemon, to the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours, until potatoes are easily cut with a fork. Stir in juice of the lemon and serve.

Vegetable Stew

Kids in the Kitchen: Easy Guacamole

For Christmas, my cousin gave Jake his own set of cooking tools – a mixing bowl, measuring cups and spoons, a whisk, an apron… the works. He’s absolutely enthralled with it. We rearranged a cabinet so all of his stuff could be kept where he could reach it and – you guessed it – he’s been begging to help with dinner nearly every night since.

I love cooking with the kids. I really do. But on a Thursday evening when I’m just trying to get something on the table before everyone start melting down, the last thing I want to do is slow down enough for toddler hands – so I’ve been working on giving him his own, supplemental project to help with.

JakeGuac

Like guacamole as I work on the burritos.

This, by far, isn’t the fanciest guac recipe out there, but it’s perfect for a kid to help with (or do mostly themselves – Jake did!)

Kids can:

  • Scoop out and mash the avocado
  • Stir everything together
  • Older kids can measure the lime juice and salt, younger kids can add in pre-measured ingredients

Adults will need to:

  • Cut the avocado and remove the pit
  • Chop the tomato
  • Measure ingredients, if working with a younger child

 
Guacamole

Easy Guacamole
 (from Jake’s Amazing Chef set!)
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

2-3 ripe avocados
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
Tortilla chips, for serving

Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits. Scoop the flesh into a bowl and mash.

Stir in the lime juice, tomato, and salt.

Serve with chips.

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