Wednesday, October 7, 2009


i love all things Fall... the cooler weather, college football, pumpkin displays at the supermarket, soups stewing in the kitchen, holidays just around the corner, boots and tights and sweaters, oh my!

happy pumpkins outside of Whole Foods

inspired by my mom's tortilla soup we had for dinner on Monday (lovingly frozen and tucked away for such an evening by the woman who can freeze anything), i dove headfirst into fall cooking last night, tackling a hearty rice salad that seemed simple enough but ended up being quite the ordeal (lots of chopping if you're an idiot like me who returned her Williams-Sonoma Multi-Chopper whilst uttering those infamous last words: "i'll never use this.").  luckily, this recipe made quite the vat-o-salad, so my efforts will easily carry forth to the end of the week.

Fall Basmati Rice Salad (adapted from Fresh 365 - photo credit from F365 as well)

  • 2 c. brown basmati rice (next time, i think i'll try mixing white and brown)
  • 4 c. vegetable broth
  • 1 medium squash (the recipe says "cube and seed" but i like my seeds)
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 1 c. coarsely chopped celery (i'll reduce to 3/4 next time)
  • 1/2 c. fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 c. dried cranberries (i'm pretty sure i ended up adding almost another 1/2 c.)
  • 1 c. toasted walnuts, chopped
for the dressing:
  • 1/4 c. olive oil (personally, i thought this was way too much)
  • 1/2 t. rice vinegar
  • 3 T. soy sauce
  • juice of one lemon
  • 3 t. ground cumin
  • 1/8 t. sugar
in a saucepan, combine rice and broth - bring to a boil.  cover, reduce heat to simmer, and cook 40 minutes, until tender.  transfer to a large boil.   meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425.  arrange squash on a baking sheet (spritz with olive oil or Pam) and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, until tender.  add to bowl with rice.  stir in the rest of the salad ingredients.  in a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.  pour over salad, and toss to coat.  serve warm.

i'm going to take a gander and say this recipe yields about 8+ cups.  after refrigerating the leftovers, i added some orange plum tomatoes to the cold remnants this morning and would be pretty damn excited about my lunch prospects had i not forgotten my Tupperware at home.  fail.

Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce (adapted from Cooking Light)
  • 1 lb. pork tenderloin - ask the butcher to trim off all fat and slice into 1 in. medallions (should yield about 9 or 10)
  • 3 T. whole grain or Dijon mustard 
  • 1 c. dry white wine (or diluted apple cider vinegar - this is what i used as our damn neighborhood only sells alcohol in liquor stores - highly annoying)
  • olive oil for searing pork (i'm an eye-baller)
heat olive oil on medium-high.  sear medallions on each side, then reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes, flipping once.  whisk mustard and wine together and pour over pork.  reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

at this juncture, you can opt to take the pork out and congeal the remaining sauce with 3 t. of cornstarch and some water... this made my stomach turn, so i just served the pork sans gravy-like sauce (i did separate out some of the mustard grains and pour that on top... yum!).

to round out my Festive Fall Mood, AF surprised me with a new coffee choice this morning - Green Mountain Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice (Fair Trade Certified, what-what!).  this makes me ridiculously happy for no real reason.

Happy Wednesday, chickadees!


  1. Never really thought to make rice salad. I'm doing this. Thanks!

  2. Oooh this recipe looks yummy. Jealous of your yummy coffee! I am really into pumpkins this year...

  3. Oh yum! I always love cooking this time of year- it's about time for me to haul out my Cheesy lasagna soup recipe... *rubs hands together*

  4. yummy! and those pumpkins don't look too happy :(

  5. This is depressing and only slightly has to do with your post....
    I heard on NPR the other day that pumpkin crops (or batches or whatever they are called) are down big time this 30% or something. Sadness.


happy little comments!