Apple Spice Smoothie

This Apple Spice Smoothie is the perfect option for breakfast, a snack, or even dessert. It’s loaded with flavor and even has a hidden veggie, so it’s really wonderful if you’re looking to add more nutrients into your diet but don’t want to skimp on flavor.

Ingredients needed to make Apple Spice Smoothie

The base of this smoothie consists of banana, apple, and…. frozen riced cauliflower. I know you’re probably thinking, “EW,” but trust me here, you can not taste it. It adds a frozen element to this smoothie that makes the final product creamy and nutrient-dense. Then, the smoothie gets some much-needed healthy fats from sources including Greek yogurt, almond butter, and almond milk. Throw in a ton of warm spices and BOOM. Blend and serve. Here’s the full list of what you’ll need:

Tools used to make Apple Spice Smoothie

Smoothies are, well, smooth. That’s because you make them in a blender- which is all you really need to make this recipe! I use this one by Ninja. It’s so versatile and can be used for chopping, processing, and/or blending. In addition to the blender, you’ll need a cutting board and knife to peel and cut the apple before adding it to the smoothie. So easy!

How to make Apple Spice Smoothie

The process to make this smoothie is incredibly simple. You’ll want to start by peeling and cutting your apple into rough 1-inch cubes. This makes it easier for them to blend up with the rest of your smoothie ingredients. Then, simply add everything to your blender and away you go! I like to serve this smoothie with another dash of cinnamon on top. It’s amazing!

Looking for other smoothie recipes?

Try these two options from The Ardent Cook archives.

Citrus Ginger Green Smoothie

“Cake for Breakfast” Green Smoothie

Recipe Ingredients

½ ripe banana

1 apple, peeled and diced

½ cup frozen cauliflower rice

⅓ cup vanilla Greek yogurt (or 1 scoop vanilla protein powder of choice)

1 tbsp unsalted creamy almond butter

1 large medjool date, pitted

½ cup plain unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground nutmeg

⅛ tsp ground cloves

⅛ tsp ground ginger

Pinch sea salt

Recipe Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend on high until creamy. Pour into a glass and enjoy immediately!

There may be affiliate links in this post! By purchasing a product I recommend, I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love and use myself. Thank you for your continued support of The Ardent Cook, it does not go unnoticed.

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Buttered Sage Breadcrumbs

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Buttered Sage Breadcrumbs is the perfect fall comfort dish. A filling of ground pork, celery, shallots, garlic, and apples is finished with delicious golden raisins and fresh sage and thyme. It all gets tossed with cubes of sharp Irish cheddar and stuffed inside tender roasted acorn squash. And the best part? These are topped with buttered sage breadcrumbs, which you can’t even imagine until you taste them. They are phenomenal. Caramelized squash, savory herbs, melty cheddar, crisp breadcrumbs…oh my.

Ingredients needed to make Stuffed Acorn Squash with Buttered Sage Breadcrumbs

These squash pack a lot of flavor, and therefore the ingredient list is semi-long. Don’t fret. It’s a super easy process and everything gets made in one skillet then baked on one sheet pan. Not as overwhelming as you thought, right? Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Acorn squash
  • Olive oil
  • Ground pork
  • Shallots
  • Celery
  • Apple
  • Fresh or dried sage
  • Fresh or dried thyme
  • Fresh garlic
  • Golden raisins
  • Sharp Irish cheddar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sourdough or other crusty bread
  • Butter

Tools used to make Stuffed Acorn Squash with Buttered Sage Breadcrumbs

The filling for these squash comes together in one skillet, which makes for pretty easy clean-up. You’ll also need a sharp knife, large cutting board, a chopper or food processor (to make the breadcrumbs), and a sheet pan or baking dish. That’s a small list, right?!

How to make Stuffed Acorn Squash with Buttered Sage Breadcrumbs

Making these squash requires a few steps. First, we need to prep and chop our vegetables. You’ll want to wash and dry everything before use, then start by halving and cleaning the seeds out of the squash. Set those aside and finish chopping the shallots, celery, apples, and garlic. If you’re using fresh herbs, you can also take this time to mince those up.

The squash get roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper, for about 35-40 minutes until fork tender. Moving on to the filling, begin by heating your skillet over medium heat. You’ll sauté the pork along with the shallots and celery until the pork is cooked, then add the apples, herbs, and garlic and cook for a few minutes more. Stir in the cheddar, stuff into the squash, and top with those delicious buttered sage breadcrumbs (which take about 2 minutes to make by the way). Lastly, you’ll pop them back in the oven to melt that cheese and get the breadcrumbs nice and golden. Perfection!

Looking for other flavorful autumn recipes?

Try these other comforting dishes from The Ardent Cook!

Potato, Leek, and Corn Chowder

Roasted Apricot Chicken

Harvest Steak and Goat Cheese Bowls

Recipe Ingredients

For the Stuffed Acorn Squash

2 large acorn squash

1 tbsp olive oil

1lb ground pork

2 medium shallots, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 medium apple, diced

½ tsp dried or 2 tsp fresh sage

¼ tsp dried or 1 tsp fresh thyme

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup golden raisins

½ cup sharp Irish cheddar, diced into small cubes 

Salt and pepper, top taste

For the Buttered Sage Breadcrumbs

2-3 large slices sourdough or other crusty bread

3-4 fresh sage leaves

2 tbsp butter

Salt and pepper, to taste

Recipe Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and strings. Drizzle each half with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake, cut side down, for 45 minutes or until squash are fork tender. 
  2. In a large skillet, brown the pork, shallots, and celery, about 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the apple, sage, thyme, and garlic and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, until the apple is just soft. 
  3. Make the breadcrumbs. Pulse the bread in a food processor or high speed blender until a crumb forms. Melt butter in a skillet and add the sage leaves. Fry the sage leaves for 1-2 minutes until crispy, then add the breadcrumbs and stir to coat in the butter. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the sage leaves and set the breadcrumbs aside. 
  4. Remove the filling from the heat and fold in the golden raisins and cheddar cubes. Spoon the filling into each half of the squash and top with the breadcrumbs. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are golden brown.
  5. Serve immediately, or wrap tightly in foil and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. When ready to eat, place the entire foil-wrapped squash half on a sheet tray and heat in the oven at 350 for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!

There may be affiliate links in this post! By purchasing a product I recommend, I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love and use myself. Thank you for your continued support of The Ardent Cook, it does not go unnoticed.

Harvest Steak and Goat Cheese Bowls

Harvest Steak and Goat Cheese Bowls were inspired by a seasonal salsa I picked up at Trader Joe’s this past week. I wanted to create the feeling of a Tex-Mex-style bowl but with flavors of fall. This salsa was the PERFECT addition. Featuring cast-iron sirloin steak, crispy spicy broccoli, goat cheese, and pepitas, these bowls are healthy, filling, and remind you of crisp weather.

Ingredients needed to make Harvest Steak and Goat Cheese Bowls

To make Harvest Steak and Goat Cheese Bowls, you’ll need the following:

Tools used to make Harvest Steak and Goat Cheese Bowls

These bowls couldn’t be easier to whip up, making them perfect for a wholesome weeknight dinner. The only special piece of equipment needed is an oven-safe skillet. I prefer to use my cast-iron for the best sear, but any oven-safe pan will work. Here’s the one I use most frequently. In addition to a great skillet, you’ll need the following kitchen tools:

How to make Harvest Steak and Goat Cheese Bowls

I love these bowls because of how quickly they come together. The hardest part is cooking the rice, which is where you’ll want to start, as it takes the longest. After the rice gets going, you’ll season the broccoli with cumin, garlic, and cayenne, then roast them for 15-20 minutes until crispy. The steak takes no time at all, and gets seared on the stovetop for a couple minutes each side, then finished in the oven with the broccoli.

As for the assembly of the bowls, simply arrange the broccoli and sliced steak over the rice, crumble the goat cheese, drizzle the salsa over, and finish with pepitas! It’s so simple and makes enough to serve four. I’m typically only feeding Jeff and myself, so I love saving the other two bowls for a meal prepped lunch for the next day. It’s so delicious!

Looking for other hearty bowls?

Give these recipes a try from The Ardent Cook archives!

Pulled Buffalo Chicken Bowls with Blue Cheese Celery Slaw

Ponzu Greens and Grains Bowl

Red Curry Pulled Chicken with Turmeric-Lime Rice

Recipe Ingredients

1 ½ cups white rice (dry)

3 cups broccoli florets (from 1 large head)

3 tbsp olive oil, divided

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp salt, plus more for seasoning steak 

One 1-1 ½ lb sirloin steak

½ cup roasted, salted pepitas

2oz goat cheese, crumbled 

1 cup Trader Joe’s Fall Harvest Salsa

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Recipe Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium pot with a lid, combine 1.5 cups white rice with 3 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, stir, and cover the rice. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid.
  2. While the rice cooks, roast the broccoli. Spread broccoli into an even layer on a sheet pan and drizzle with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Season with the cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and 1/2 tsp salt. Roast for 15 minutes until the broccoli is tender and florets are beginning to brown and crisp.
  3. Heat a cast-iron or other oven-safe skillet over medium heat on the stovetop. Season the steak on all sides with salt and pepper. When the pan is hot, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and swirl in the pan. Add the steak. Cook for 2 minutes on the first side, then flip and cook an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Transfer pan to the oven and let the steak finish cooking for another 7-9 minutes until it reaches medium. A meat thermometer inserted into the center of the steak should read between 130-140 degrees Fahrenheit. Let steak rest on a plate for at least 10 minutes before slicing it against the grain.
  5. Assemble the bowls. Spoon rice into the bottom of each bowl and divide the broccoli between them. Add a few pieces of sliced steak to each bowl, then top with crumbled goat cheese. Spoon 1/4 cup of Trader Joe’s Fall Harvest Salsa over each bowl, and top with pepitas. Serve bowls immediately, or store in air-tight containers for up to 4 days in the fridge for easy prepped meals! Enjoy!

There may be affiliate links in this post! By purchasing a product I recommend, I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love and use myself. Thank you for your continued support of The Ardent Cook, it does not go unnoticed.