Real Food Menu for Week of 10.5.2020

Virginia’s Blue Ridge showed off this weekend with cool nights and gorgeous, sunny days! Early morning temps were perfect for running, while late morning invited lazing around on patios and catching up with friends.

We did a little prep work for the secret garden we’re creating in our woods. And by that I mean we pulled all the Japanese stiltgrass we could get our hands on, and laid out the perimeter of our garden spot. We’ll work on that more as the weather gets colder. Read: after the snakes have gone to bed for the winter. If you’ve got suggestions for shade tolerant plants and native screening shrubs, I’m all ears.

Here is our menu for the new week:

Mark’s Breakfast:
Pumpkin Seed Granola – I use a 50:50 mixture of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice, plus a dash of nutmeg. Bonus points for making your house smell like pumpkin pie while it’s baking. This would be delicious with diced apples on top.

Mark’s Lunch:
Creamy Tuscan Soup – I used leftover shredded chicken in this savory bowl o’ goodness.


Chipotle Lime Cauliflower Tacos – New recipe, and so, so flavorful! The smoky flavor of the chipotles in adobo make this dish sing. I blended the entire can of chipotles and adobo and portioned into tablespoon size puddles on a parchment lined cookie sheet. I popped them into the freezer and once frozen solid, transferred the discs to a freezer bag for later use.

Simple Pumpkin Soup

  • Servings: 4 servings
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Gluten-free, dairy-free and delicious, easy comfort food


  • ½ c. onion, diced
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 T. maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • pinch of cayenne
  • ¼ tsp. ground pepper
  • 2.5 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarian)
  • 1 (13.5 oz.) can coconut milk
  • Garnish with pepitas, if desired


  1. Dice the onions and gently brown with olive oil in a large saute pan.
  2. Add pumpkin puree, salt, maple syrup, nutmeg cayenne and ground pepper.
  3. Slowly add chicken broth and coconut milk. Heat through, but do not bring to a boil. Garnish as desired and serve.

Marinated Salmon – Simple and delicious. Pair with your favorite green vegetable and call it dinner.

Spinach and Roasted Beet Salad – New Recipe! If you’re like us and love earthy, roasted beets, you’ll enjoy this salad. This recipe serves one, so scale it for your crowd. You’ll need one beet per salad.

Fresh Veggies with Chili-Lime Dip – While you’ve got the hot sauce and lime out for the cauliflower tacos, let’s whip up the perfect dip to accompany them. Sub Greek yogurt or full-fat sour cream here. Add a touch of cayenne or a few dashes of hot sauce for a little extra kick. If you don’t have jicama, cucumber slices and bell peppers are nice low calorie dippers.

Maple Vanilla Baked Pears – If your pears could use a little something extra, try this recipe. It’s the perfect fall dessert.

Have a wonderful week!

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