Drunken Pumpkin Chipotle Chili

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Sometimes I feel like I’m on a hidden camera show.

Like I’m waiting for Ashton Kutcher to pop out and tell me I’m being Punk’d.

Or I’m waiting for a news article to come out about the water in Connecticut and how a chemical has been found that makes people loony.

But until this happens, I’m left speechless. And since I’m speechless, all I can really do is share with you a fantastic recipe.

And guess what?

It is NOT a baked good. Crazy right?

I made for you Drunken Pumpkin Chipotle Chili. Made with pumpkin ale, Chipotle peppers, tons of veggies and all the best flavors of fall. This is the perfect meal to make on a Sunday to eat through the week for a quick, healthy, easy AND delicious weeknight dinner.

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Roasted Strawberry and Kale Quinoa Burger topped with Arugula, Pickled Onions and Goat Cheese

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Sometimes I make things other than cookies. And muffins. And pancakes. And breads.

And sometimes I use ingredients other than bananas and chocolate.

And sometimes when I do make these other things they turn out to be pretty disastrous.

For example, I tried to re-create my favorite brussel sprout dish from one of my favorite restaurants in Philadelphia, Sampan, where they cook the brussel sprouts in a chili and fish sauce with puffed rice.

We’ll just say I was a little generous with the fish sauce.

So generous I couldn’t stop coughing for the remainder of the night.

And then my roommate started coughing.

And the apartment smelled like fish sauce for a good two days. Maybe three.

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But sometimes I get really creative and impress myself. And I did just that.

I made for you a roasted strawberry and kale quinoa burger, topped with arugula, balsamic vinegar, pickled red onions and goat cheese.

It’s like my goat cheese salad signed up for eHarmony, met and fell in love with Quinoa and decided to have a baby.

Yep, I just said that.

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Healthy Eggplant Parmesan over Quinoa {easy weeknight dinner that can easily be made vegan}

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Do you have a weeknight routine?

I sure do.

When I leave work I head straight to the gym. I’ll typically get there around 6:30 (after sitting in traffic for over an hour to go 12 miles) and by the time I get home it’s almost 9:00. By this time, the LAST thing I want to do is think about what to cook for dinner. Some nights I’ll eat a protein bar on the way home and make a smoothie after my shower and other times I’ll just have a smoothie from the smoothie bar at the gym (BTW if you live in Connecticut you need to check out the Edge Fitness Clubs- it’s like a playground for adults!) And other nights I’ll whip up a salad or something quick, easy and boring. But there are some nights I envision myself coming home to a cooked meal AKA wishing I had a butler or a Susie homemaker husband or boyfriend. But I don’t, so I decided to be my own butler and whip up something healthy, filling and that I could eat a few nights in a row.

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It’s guilt-free because I used this awesome vegan cheese from Whole Foods with barely any fat or carbs, I used organic and all natural tomato sauce, I made my own breadcrumbs using Ezekiel bread (if you haven’t had this bread yet you MUST check it out) and I served it over quinoa which is one of the most protein-rich foods and full of fiber. And the best part? All you have to do is pop it in the microwave when you get home for a minute and 30 seconds and dinner is served! This is a healthy yet filling dinner that’s delicious and won’t ruin your workout. This can easily be made vegan too by swapping out the eggs for flax eggs, or egg alternative of choice.

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Pizza with gorgonzola, fresh figs, smoked prosciutto, arugula and balsamic glaze {organic, healthy and the best homemade pizza you’ll ever have}

Once upon a time I had a dream that I went to Whole Foods and spent under $100.00. Bad news is that still remains a dream. Good news is I left with the ingredients that made the BEST PIZZA EVER!

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I’ve always been a fan of pizza with a tomato-based sauce.  I’ve never cared much for white pizzas. My favorite part of a slice of pizza, aside from that first super cheesy bite where the cheese always manages to come off of the entire slice and land on my white shirt, or right next to where the napkin is, is that bite right before the crust where it’s just a well-done sauce. I don’t need anything fancy, just a plain cheese slice with some red pepper flakes and some  garlic powder. Unless you’re my roommate Alex, who in Austin, Texas, after a night of having one too many, dumped an entire jar of garlic powder on her slice of plain pizza, and not remembering she did it herself, blamed the pizza place for making a pizza with too much garlic. The best part about that? The new perfume scent in our hotel room that followed us into the cab the next morning… that made its way onto the plane. Those poor passengers…

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Anyway, this pizza. OMG. The nuttiness of the arugula with the bitterness of the gorgonzola with the smokiness of the prosciutto that resembles a crispy slice of bacon perfectly paired with the mild sweetness of the fig and on top of it all?! The sweetness of the balsamic glaze that brings all of the flavors together perfectly. It’s honestly one of the best combinations of flavors I’ve ever had in one bite. Have you ever watched Food Network and pictured yourself competing on one of the shows? Well I always do and I picture If I ever had to make an amuse bouche to win a competition this would be it. This would be the one bite that would win me $10,000 on Chopped. Or the bite that would make me the Next Food Network Star. Or at least one step closer to meeting Michael Symon. What? He’s a famous chef AND he has tattoos! What more could you ask for?

Anyway…on with the recipe for the best homemade pizza. Ever.

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