Fall is here and I’m adding pumpkin to everything, including savory entrées. The creamy texture that pumpkin brings to the plate is just fantastic! And I’m pretty sure I just bought out the entire stock of canned pumpkin at my local grocery store. Oops.
I know using fresh pumpkin purée is the way to go, but when you need to make a quick meal come together, canned pumpkin is the way to go. Actually, I hadn’t seen any fresh pumpkins in my grocery store until Sunday! I guess it makes sense that they would only bring them out when the first day of autumn comes around.
I think as a food blogger, my brain is always WAY ahead of holidays, brainstorming and making recipes for the website. 🙂 I needed fresh pumpkins back in June. Once we hit Halloween, I’ll be thinking of Christmas!
Since I’ve become increasingly busy as a stay-at-home mom, running my website, cleaning house and making sure I’m on top of what meals my family will eat for the week, I can’t emphasize meal planning enough.
I usually plan 4 meals in advance, because that’s as far as I can really remember, and I do have the great advantage to live near a grocery store, which always saves time!
There’s a new meal planning app that just hit the iTunes store that I’ve been working with for the past year and a half, called Five Plates. I really love how I was part of the ‘testing team’ for the app so that I could give my feedback about how the app worked and how I liked/didn’t like it. Now that all the bugs are worked out and the recipes are loaded, it’s ready for you to buy and start using as your way to meal plan.
Some great benefits of Five Plates are:
- Eliminates meal planning time, saving up to two hours per week.
- All recipes are made with whole foods so it’s easy to substitute ingredients.
- All recipes can be prepared within an hour, or are slow cooker recipes.
- Grocery list built in where you can add groceries or delete things you already have at home.
The simple design is helpful, too, for easy reading. To tell you the truth, I have a laptop, iPad mini and iPhone and 9 times out of 10, I’ll make a recipe from my phone than any other device. So, all of my weekly meals are right there and ready to go.
You can buy Five Plates in the app store now for just $2.99. Think about it, $2.99 to save you hours of time. Deal.
What do you do to help get wholesome meals on your family’s plates? Do you meal plan? If so, where do you get your inspiration from?
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- 1/2 cup water
- 15 ounce can pumpkin purée
- 4 ounces light cream cheese
- salt and pepper, to taste
- dash of cayenne pepper
- dash of ground cinnamon
- 16 ounces rigatoni noodles (or your favorite noodles)
- In a sauce pan, sauté the carrots and onion in the olive oil until tender.
- Microwave the water and bouillon cube for 30-60 seconds, stirring to combine.
- In a blender, such as the Blendtec, purée the carrots, onions, and bouillon water together.
- Pour back into the sauce pan.
- Add in the pumpkin, cream cheese, salt, pepper, cayenne and cinnamon, putting the heat on low, slowly whisking until combined.
- Meanwhile, cook the noodles as the package instructs.
- Put the noodles in the pasta sauce, stirring to coat.
- Serve warm!