October 14, 2013

Hi virtual friends! Happy Monday to you all. Last week I tried my hardest to eat well – lots of vegetables, minimal alcohol and dessert. I’m back in one of my favorite pairs of jeans and am motivated to keep up the momentum. I had a snag on Wednesday night when Matt brought up some pumpkin beers for tasting (never a shortage of beer in our house!) but the other days were good. 



I hate that the sun is no longer up when we are. It makes for some dreary breakfast shots!

This morning I had a dark and stormy piece of toast topped with banana, peanut butter, and chia seeds with a nectarine on the side.


Day two was a bowl of Greek yogurt with some crumbled Great Harvest Carrot Raisin Walnut muffin, chia seeds, raspberries, banana and Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter (mmm!)


Another dark one – baby pumpkin bites (recipe coming – I nailed down the technique!) topped with some strawberry vanilla coconut dip (another recipe in the works), Barney Butter and blackberries.


Karen had some extra tortillas that she passed on prior to her surgery that I needed to use up, so I had one with PB&J alongside some eggs and fruit one morning.


Lastly, scrambleds, raspberries and buttery toast.




On the ball one morning, I roasted a ton of vegetables to have for lunch. Mazen loved the sweet potato fries; I loved the baked apples. I served the mix over a salad with figs, leftover chicken and blue cheese. Ultimate fall feast!


This guy was a salad with chicken, olives, honey almonds, veggies. I had a Dakota bun on the side that had a bite removed when it was hot out of the toaster oven and irresistible!



On a day I didn’t have eggs for breakfast, I had one for lunch. With leftover sweet potato fries, tomatoes, almonds and blue cheese.


And finally a quick lunch of greens, a No Bull Burger, tortilla, figs and goat feta. Consumed shortly after the nap clock started ticking!




This dinner didn’t make it into last week’s post, but it featured the final summer lima bean party. Served over greens with a roasted kabocha squash and a drizzle of maple syrup. The best!


I hit it out of the park with this casserole I found in Better Homes & Gardens: cheesy butternut squash cavatappi bake.


I used my roasted butternut squash from the day before, and subbed out the green onions in exchange for a few handfuls of chopped fresh spinach. I had bowtie pasta on hand, so that’s what I used.


The combination of bacon, mushrooms and butternut were awesome. We served sautéed green beans on the side.


But YOU GUYS!! I was so excited to have this the next day for lunch, for Mazen’s dinner and to take to Karen’s house, and I left it out on the counter cooling all night!!!!!!!!!!!!! SUCH a bummer because I put a lot of hard work into it!


I was so sad that I went out and bought more butternut and cooked it off the next night with lots of barbecue baked tofu (Twin Oaks Tofu baked in bbq sauce for so long it turned super crispy) and Brussels sprouts.


That was also the pumpkin beer night!


Next up: leftover chicken sautéed with peppers, eggplant from our garden, squash and cheese.



Finally we had dinner at Karen’s – some awesome baby meatloaves one of her friends made with bacon and mushrooms on top. Served along with mac and cheese and salad.



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{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessica October 14, 2013 at 8:47 am

I feel your pain on accidently leaving leftovers out all night. One night, I decided to make an entire batch of chilli so that I could pack it up for lunches all week. I made the chilli, put it in individual containers,…and left it out all night “cooling”. Gah!! Not even one bite eaten out of an entire batch. Sooooo disappointing.


2 Sue B October 15, 2013 at 6:54 am

I did the same thing with a beautiful batch of chili!!!


3 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs October 14, 2013 at 8:51 am

These posts always have my mouth watering :)

Have a great day!


4 Ashley @ Hudson on the Potomac October 14, 2013 at 8:54 am

Oh no!!! So sorry to hear about the casserole!! That is the worst! It certainly looks amazing!!!


5 Vicki October 14, 2013 at 8:54 am

I eat food I leave out on the counter overnight all the time and I’m not dead yet! I wouldn’t worry so much as long as you heat it up again.


6 KathEats October 14, 2013 at 11:59 am

It’s the toxins that bacteria can release that make you sick, and those won’t go away from baking. Trust me I brushed up on my bacteria knowledge before making the decision to throw it out!


7 Lolo October 14, 2013 at 1:06 pm

My ex’s family who were eastern European always left food on the counter overnight. His mom was an amazing cook, so food was always top notch. Once though, they reheated some food left overnight and served. I thought it tasted odd (rancid like), but didn’t want to offend her. Well, two hours later, I was puking my guts out for the rest of the evening. I’d also be careful about what I’d eat after leaving out.


8 KathEats October 14, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Oh sad. Lots of people will tell you they do it all the time, but then there’s that one time when it hits you hard that makes you never want to risk it again!


9 Kartki urodzinowe October 14, 2013 at 8:57 am

everything looks soo gooooood!!!


10 Lindsey October 14, 2013 at 8:57 am

The salad with sweet potato fries and baked apples looks so good!!! Would you mind sharing your apple baking technique? Thanks!


11 KathEats October 14, 2013 at 11:59 am

Here it is: I baked them alongside some sweet potato fries and gave them both a rub in coconut oil, cinnamon and cayenne and baked at 400* until they were done. I can’t remember how long the apples took, but I think it was about 2/3 of the time as the sweet potatoes. When they started to brown I removed them.


12 Lindsey October 14, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Thank you, can’t wait to try it!


13 Kinsey October 14, 2013 at 9:00 am

That baked pasta looks so good! It’s too bad that you had to toss the leftovers. Now that it’s fall, I find myself wanting to eat all the sweet potatoes, butternut squash, pumpkin, and mushrooms I can get. Last night I made Smitten Kitchen’s Mushroom bourguignon and it was so amazing! I know you would love it.


14 Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries October 14, 2013 at 9:00 am

Everything looks delicious!

Do you guys have a set of dinnerware/plates that are all the same? Or do you have a mix & match set? I’m in the works of collecting a mix & match set, but I go back and forth as to whether it’s tacky or not. I’m curious as to what you do since I always see so many different shapes, sizes, and patterns of plates that you use!


15 KathEats October 14, 2013 at 11:58 am

We have a set of square white plates that Karen got us when we graduated from college. They are just your basic set. But then I have all kinds of odd plates I’ve collected over the years for blogging.


16 Jackie October 14, 2013 at 9:07 am

I’m roasting up a butternut squash tonight for this week!


17 Kaila @healthyhelperblog! October 14, 2013 at 9:27 am

THOSE LIMA BEANS!!! I love big beans and have never had fresh limas! Gotta try to find some before they’re gone! Also, you’ve inspired me to make some sweet potato fries with dinner tonight! :)


18 Alison W October 14, 2013 at 9:42 am

Hi Kath! Those baked apples sound wonderful… how do you make them??
Thank you!


19 KathEats October 14, 2013 at 11:58 am

I baked them alongside some sweet potato fries and gave them both a rub in coconut oil, cinnamon and cayenne and baked at 400* until they were done. I can’t remember how long the apples took, but I think it was about 2/3 of the time as the sweet potatoes. When they started to brown I removed them.


20 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats October 14, 2013 at 9:51 am

Haha knowing myself I’d probably eat the casserole anyway… granted it’s not warm or anything in my apartment


21 JessicaR October 14, 2013 at 10:08 am

Confession: I have accidentally left a lot of food items out overnight….. and in the morning I stuck them into the fridge and ate them like normal. Is that gross? :) I’ve never gotten sick from it (knock on wood)!


22 KathEats October 14, 2013 at 11:57 am

You were lucky! I do think the chance of getting poisoned is low, but I just didn’t think it was worth it


23 Chelsea @BigBitesLittleBudget October 14, 2013 at 10:21 am

That is such a bummer about the casserole because it looked delish!! I am loving your fall inspired meals. Eggplant and winter squash are favorites of mine right now.


24 Ashleigh October 14, 2013 at 10:26 am

That’s when I discreetly place the food back in the refrigerator and pretend it never happened!


25 MC October 14, 2013 at 10:29 am

I don’t understand what the issue is with leaving out the casserole – I get that it would be cooled and likely not in 110% best condition, but surely you wouldn’t get sick from it since everything’s cooked? Is there a time limit on something like that? I get more concerned when I make a hot dish then put it in the fridge still warm because of the mismatched temps.


26 KathEats October 14, 2013 at 11:57 am

You can, unfortunately. Anything left in the temperature danger zone of 40-140 can have bacteria multiply from 1 to 2,000,000 in a matter of hours. Those bacteria can produce toxins that won’t be gone even if you were to cook the casserole again. Lots of people risk it anyways, but I didn’t want to give Mazen any and I knew that my brain would think it was tainted even if it wasn’t and I wouldn’t enjoy it


27 jillian October 14, 2013 at 10:33 am

YUM YUM, to everything! Now my lunch looks so sad….


28 Alisha @ Alisha's Appetite October 14, 2013 at 10:51 am

I feel your pain in leaving leftovers out over night! THE WORST!! In some rare cases I will still eat it….oops :) Have a great Monday!


29 Dana @ Conscious Kitchen Blog October 14, 2013 at 11:09 am

Yum! I’m drooling over your roasted veggies salad! I love sweet potato fries and I’ve never thought of baking apples like that. I’m going to have to make a batch with some of the apples we have leftover from apple picking a few weeks ago.


30 Marissa October 14, 2013 at 11:42 am

Yum!! All of your meals look amazing! I’ve tried my best to do the same last week. Cutting out the sweets wasn’t too bad, but the pumpkin beers in our fridge are too good to pass up! I figure, they are only in stock for a short amount of time, so I better enjoy while I can!


31 Katy @ Savor Life's Flavors October 14, 2013 at 11:56 am

Your food looks great and very fall-y! :-)


32 Elizabeth October 14, 2013 at 12:14 pm

I have done the “leave the food on the counter” more times than I would like to admit! :) All your food looks so great! You always give me so much inspiration for the weeks meals after reading your lately posts!


33 Hannah moulthrop October 14, 2013 at 1:42 pm

I follow your blog, but I’ve never commented before. What kind of salad dressing do you use, if any?


34 KathEats October 14, 2013 at 6:33 pm

I usually use a drizzle of olive oil, a drizzle of honey and a pinch of salt


35 Mark Knight October 14, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Hi Kath,

I just wanted to stop by and tell you how good your food photos look. I’m sure the food tastes awesome as well.


36 [email protected] October 14, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Butternut, apples and brussels are were it’s at this time of year! Such a good combo! The tofu dinner totally made up for the loss of the pasta dish I’m sure…especially with the side of pumpkin beer!


37 Sara October 14, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Funny story: my dad makes the best dressing/stuffing for Thanksgiving every year. He always makes enough for two casserole dishes just so we can have leftovers. A couple of years ago, we somehow ended up with more food than usual, and ran out of counter space for the second dish of dressing. My dad decided to store it in the oven temporarily, thinking he would pull it out once we finished the first. I guess we never quiet finished the first, because we found the dressing in the oven the next morning and had to throw it out – I was devastated!! Dressing is by far my favorite Thanksgiving leftover, and we only had a couple of servings left from the first dish to go around that year. Long story short, I know your pain!


38 Patrick Ross October 14, 2013 at 3:02 pm

You take such good pictures of your food, amazing! The breakfast looks delicious and nutritive, thanks for sharing the idea. Cheers!


39 Pauline October 14, 2013 at 3:02 pm

I love seeing your meals every weeks, it gives me inspiration for my own. I sometimes tend to eat everyday the same breakfast and I like to change things up!


40 Erin October 14, 2013 at 3:52 pm

What a fun food week! Yummo! Any suggestions for fall snacks that are healthy and filling for between meals?


41 KathEats October 14, 2013 at 6:32 pm

Apple + nut butter or pumpkin in yogurt


42 Erin October 14, 2013 at 6:54 pm

Thank you!!!


43 Lisa C. October 14, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Yum! I just love Fall food.

Where is everyone finding kabocha squash? I keep seeing it being raved about on blogs but can’t find it anywhere!

That tofu looks delicious. I love tofu.

I was excited to see if you updated your kitchen renewal. Tomorrow? I recently spruced up our living room with a new cabinet, new curtains, and a slip cover for the couch and it looks so great- all for under $200. :)


44 KathEats October 14, 2013 at 6:32 pm

We have a few more weeks on the kitchen, but changes are happening today! Another big one comes in 3 weeks : )


45 Amanda @ The Engineering Foodie October 14, 2013 at 6:12 pm

I LOVE fried eggs on my salads!! There is nothing better than egg yolk and spinach :) That’s a bummer about the casserole, but definitely good to know about the bacteria!!! I didn’t realize it could pose that much of a risk. Do the ingredients in the casserole make any difference? Like vegetables vs. meats vs. cheeses?


46 KathEats October 14, 2013 at 6:31 pm

Meats + cheeses have a higher risk, but veggies can still have bacteria that enter when you’re eating and serving.


47 Emily @ Life on Food October 14, 2013 at 6:20 pm

I occasionally leave things out over night too. I always get so mad at myself. In our new house you have to pretty much walk through the kitchen to go to bed from the living room. Hopefully I will spot any stray meals from now on. The pasta looked wonderful.


48 Laura October 14, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Oh I have done that several times and it makes me want to cry every time! That totally sucks!!


49 Heather October 14, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Healthy and beautiful looking food! Thanks for the inspiring food ideas :)


50 Alex @ Kenzie Life October 14, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Those look so good! And by those I mean everything :) I can’t wait for your pumpkin bite recipe and the strawberry dip! Hope Karen is doing well!


51 Kelley October 14, 2013 at 11:48 pm

Do you think you can leave out the mushrooms (or swap with something else) in that casserole recipe? It looks amazing but I’m not a bit fan of the shrooms. Thanks!! So sad it got left out. I’ve done that before, it’s tragic when that happens. =)


52 KathEats October 15, 2013 at 5:24 am



53 Lisa @bitesforbabies October 15, 2013 at 6:34 am

I’m all about sweet potatoes right now! I just made (yesterday) a new take on brunch…sauteed sweet potatoes and quinoa with a fried egg! Seems like something you would enjoy (considering we have the same taste in food, lol!).


54 Heather October 15, 2013 at 7:55 am

Totally with you on not eating the leftovers that were left out overnight. I know the risk is low, but I just find it disgusting. I can’t even bring myself to eat food that I know has been sitting out for a few hours so there is no way I could eat leftovers that had been out all night.


55 Kim October 15, 2013 at 8:05 am

Whenever you make tofu it looks delicious and makes me want to try it but I’m totally unsure of how to make it. Can you make a video to show how you prepare tofu? Thanks!


56 KathEats October 15, 2013 at 11:32 am

We normally roast it in the oven at 400* for about 40 minutes – we like ours very crispy. You can coat it in oil or in a barbecue sauce. There are so many different kinds of tofu though, so you might need to adjust technique and time based on the kind you have. Ours is from Twin Oaks and is SUPER firm.


57 kylie @ immaeatthat October 15, 2013 at 8:39 am

I’m liking that tortilla PB&J idea. And the ultimate fall salad. And that butternut squash bake…I love noodles + sweet potatoes/butternut/acorn squash. All looks delicious:))


58 Melissa October 15, 2013 at 9:01 am

Hi Kath! I’m a vegetarian and a lot of recipes call for bacon nowadays. Do you think they would still be tasty without it (like the cheesy butternut bake)? Or do you have a suggestion for substitute (not necessarily a fakin-bacon, but maybe another vegetable/seasoning that can add that extra oomph)?


59 KathEats October 15, 2013 at 11:31 am

Usually the bacon just adds a topping layer of flavor, so I think you’d be fine. Perhaps a smoked cheese would help replace some of the bacon’s flavor


60 Ashley October 15, 2013 at 9:55 am

Ha, I’ve left casseroles out all night before too…but I still eat them. I just heat the crap out of them first! LOL, bad dietitian!


61 Christina October 15, 2013 at 11:07 am

Hi Kath,

Was wondering, from your casserole research if you learned any food safety guidelines for leaving food out that you could share. I often make dinner during my sons afternoon nap and will leave it out until dinner and just warm. I’d hate for someone to get sick.



62 KathEats October 15, 2013 at 11:31 am

I believe the window is 2 hours out is the maximum time. So if you finish cooking at 4 and eat at 6 it should be OK (especially if it comes out of the oven piping hot) but any longer should be refrigerated and reheated.


63 Emma October 15, 2013 at 11:54 am

It was a dark and stormy … toast! I’m cracking up!

Oh, I HATE when I leave something out and have to pitch it. ugh!


64 Sammy @ Peace Love and Ice Cream October 15, 2013 at 12:15 pm

I’ve said this before – I make eggs (usually scrambled) for the kids for dinner all the time…why do I never think to make some for myself or my hubby??
I’ve left out a couple of dishes before and it is THE WORST feeling! All that hard work and yummy food – gone in a minute….sorry to hear that!!
Glad you’re feeling good….a few days of really watching what you’re eating makes a big difference, IMO, and it sets the momentum for the rest of the week – for me at least! :)
-Sammy @


65 Anna @ Fitness à la Anna October 15, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Looks like some good healthy meals at your place! I just had Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, so I’m also going to focus on a bit of a detox after so many desserts and turkey dinners :)


66 lani October 15, 2013 at 1:53 pm

That’s why I love reading, Kath–and you have the degree to back up your food safety decisions. :) I have to fight Erik every time I refuse to keep food that has been left out. Call me neurotic, but better safe than sorry. BTW, everything looks scrumptious.


67 Angela October 15, 2013 at 9:18 pm

I love all things pumpkin! Can’t wait to get the pumpkin bites recipe! I’m also guilty of enjoying a few pumpkin beers in the fall, it’s just so good!


68 Neil Butterfield October 24, 2013 at 7:42 am

Some nice healthy meals here. Well done and keep those jeans fitting you :-)


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