Monday Munchies: Sweet Potatoes and Pumpkins

Happy Monday! I’ll admit, I have dual motives in sounding so peppy. The first of course is that I’m excited to be sharing tasty things with you. The second, I am wiped and need some energy on this cloudy and cool Monday. We had a whirlwind of a weekend, and I did NOT want to heed my alarm this morning. But we press on right? So with some extra caffeine in hand, here’s some yummy things to share.

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1. I found this awesome barbecue chicken stuffed sweet potato recipe this summer, and it is awesome! I was surprised by how much I love the combination of a baked sweet potato with barbecue chicken: savory + sweet is an equation that can only equal yummmmm….
True confessions – I didn’t make my barbecue sauce from scratch like the lovely Foodie Bride. I needed a quick fix. So let me pass on my shortcut. I cooked and shredded my chicken and then poured some Sweet Baby Ray’s in a skillet with the chicken to coat it. I also sautéed some diced peppers and onions (I’m not a fan of the raw red onion taste) and then mixed these in with the barbecue chicken. I also topped mine with cilantro and cheddar cheese because you simply can’t go wrong there. Delicious!

I’ve realized that this fall I have developed a sort of pumpkin regimen. I have made one pumpkin recipe a week. It’s a pattern I don’t mind developing! I’ve been buying my pumpkin in the mega cans, which gives me incentive to use it often because the pumpkin I have leftover makes eyes with me from its Tupperware home every time I open our fridge. To jog your memory, so far I’ve told you about my adventures with pumpkin donuts, pumpkin pie pop tarts, and pumpkin chip cookies. And it’s time to add another delight to the list!

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2. Pumpkin Pancakes! I had some at IHOP recently and was super excited to make some on my own! I browsed the web for the recipe that looked just right for me, and found that I did a bit of adapting/combining in the process. My base recipe, which was followed almost exactly to the T, was from two peas & their pod. This recipe also has streusel on the pancakes, which I did not want. And then I found that Skinnytaste had pecans incorporated into pumpkin pancakes, and man oh man do I love pecans! Not to mention she incorporated maple syrup into the pancakes themselves, which I thought was an ingenious idea!

AND, just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, I added a game changer: vanilla bean paste. I bought it from Williams Sonoma and now we are the dearest of friends. The end.

So, in case you wanted a visual of how I merged these two delights, I’ve broken it down for you:

Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes

Ingredients:
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 large egg
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or you could be super fun and substitute with 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste!)
3 tablespoons chopped pecans

Instructions:
In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, pumpkin, egg, oil, syrup, and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until combined. Fold in pecans, stirring until just incorporated.

Heat a large skillet on medium low heat. Add cooking spray or a small dab of butter to coat. Pour 1/4 cup of batter per pancake, spreading gently with a rubber spatula (the dough is not super watery and doesn’t spread well on its own). Cook until pancake begins to bubble and edges begin to set, about 2-3 minutes. Flip over and cook for 2 more minutes.

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