Roasted Acorn Squash with Wild Rice Stuffing (from

Roasted Acorn Squash with Wild Rice StuffingI made this yummy vegetarian dish for Thanksgiving. I’d definitely make it again, but would want to try it with Butternut squash instead.

Serving size: one half of a squash (makes six)

379 calories, 12.4 g fat, 65.7 g carbs, 7.3 g fiber, 8.2 g sugar, 7.3 g protein


  • 3 one pound acorn squash
  • 3 tbs unsalted butter, melted(I used salted and added less salt at the end)
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (the original recipe also called for shallots, but I went without)
  • 4 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • Three cups wild rice, cooked (I used an Uncle Ben’s mix for some extra flavor after reading that some people found the taste a little bland)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 tbs fresh thyme, minced (I would use more if you’re not using a mix with spices in it already)
  1. Heat the oven to 450°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  2. Place squash cut side up on a baking sheet, brush 1 tablespoon of the melted butter over the tops and insides of the squash halves, sprinkle with brown sugar, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast in the oven until just fork tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. (I cooked mine for a little longer, around 35 minutes, and it could have used a few more)
  3. Meanwhile, place 1 tablespoon of the melted butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. When it foams, add the onion, shallots, and celery, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in the thyme and cook until just fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the rice, pecans, cranberries, and measured salt and pepper.
  5. Divide the rice filling among the roasted squash halves (about 1/2 cup for each) and drizzle the remaining tablespoon of butter over top. Continue roasting until the squash is completely fork tender, the edges have started to brown, and the filling is heated through, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Three Bean Chili (original recipe)

Three Bean ChiliThis quick, easy chili packs a great nutritional punch while still being delicious. It’s perfect for these chilly winter months.

Serving size: one cup (10ish per batch)

208 calories, 3.9 g fat, 37 g carbs, 9.5 g fiber, 7.2 g sugar, 9.8 g protein


  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2.5 cups corn (I used frozen)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  1. Saute garlic over medium heat in olive oil in large pot for two or three minutes to release flavor.
  2. Add diced pepper and let soften while you prep the onions. Add onions and saute to your liking (I like mine a little crunchy still, it’s up to you!)
  3. Drain and rinse beans and add them to pepper and onion mixture.
  4. Add both cans of tomatoes. Don’t drain – this gives the chili its soupy base.
  5. After beans and tomatoes are mixed, add corn. Mix.
  6. Add cumin and chili powder and mix well.
  7. Cover and let simmer, over low to medium heat, for at least 30 minutes. The longer you let it cook, the better the flavors will mix.
  8. Taste and enjoy!

Chunky Banana Bran Muffins (from Barefoot Contessa at Home)

Chunky Banana Bran Muffins

This is a fairly easy recipe for delicious, nutritious muffins. I’m planning on bringing them for breakfast as an easy meal on the commute.

Serving size: 1 muffin (24  per batch)

239 calories, 8.4 g fat, 39.9 g carbs, 3.4 g fiber, 19.2 g sugar, 5.3 g protein


  • 2 cups unprocessed wheat bran (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 cups buttermilk, shaken
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used salted and omitted the salt)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed (I ended up having to use a quarter cup dark brown sugar and granulated)
  • 4 extra large eggs (4.5 large)
  • 3/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (if using unsalted butter)
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 2 cups large-diced bananas (I used two and a half bananas for this)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
  3. Combine the bran and buttermilk and set aside.
  4. Using either a hand mixer or electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on high speed for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  5. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time. Scrape the bowl and then add the molasses and vanilla (the mixture will look curdled).
  6. Add the bran-buttermilk mixture and combine.
  7. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt (if using). With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the batter and mix just until combined. Don’t overmix it!
  8. Fold in the raisins, bananas and walnuts with a rubber spatula.
  9. With an ice cream scoop or large spoon, fill the muffin cups full and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans.

Pumpkin-Raisin Oatmeal Cookies (from Happy Herbivore)

I haven’t tried these yet, but they look delicious! I’ll have to wait until post-Challenge though. Darn.

Serving size: 1 cookie (10 per batch)

149 calories, 1 g fat, 33.2 g carbs, 2.4 g fiber, 18.10 g sugar, 2.6 g protein


  • 1/4 cup raisins (optional, if you don’t like them like me!)
  • 6 tbs canned pure pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (I’ll probably end up using Mrs. Butterworth’s)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 whole banana, mashed
  • 2 tbsp milk (original recipe calls for non-dairy)
  • 1 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, maple, sugar, banana and non-dairy milk together. In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice together and then transfer it into the wet mixture. Stir a few times then add raisins.
  4. Continue to mix until combined. It may look too dry initially, but keep stroking, it will incorporate perfectly.
  5. Drop spoonfuls on a greased cookie sheet and bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until firm to the touch and spring-like.