Instant Pot Vegan Mushroom Barley Soup with Pumpkin Recipe

Instant Pot Vegan Mushroom Barley Soup with Pumpkin Recipe

Warm up with a bowl of this instant pot vegan mushroom barley soup with pumpkin! It's incredibly easy to make - just mix all the ingredients in the instant pot and set for 40 minutes. You'll get a richly flavored soup, packed with whole grains, beans and veggies, perfect for winter months. A perfect make ahead meal! 

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Vegan Pumpkin Pie Parfait

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Parfait

In charge of dessert for Thanksgiving? Headed to a Friendsgiving potluck? Whip up this vegan pumpkin pie parfait! The bottom layer is a buttery whole grain crust, then topped with creamy pumpkin coconut filling, and served with a dollop of coconut yogurt, drizzle of maple syrup and crunchy toasted pecans! 

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Dairy Free Macaroni and Cheese

Dairy Free Macaroni and Cheese

This dairy free macaroni and cheese recipe is made with the most incredible pumpkin-sage sauce that gets it's yummy creaminess from the soaked cashews that get blended it. A lay of herb infused panko breadcrumbs over the top add crunch! The perfect pasta casserole for fall! 

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Cannellini Bean Pumpkin Risotto with Garlicky Mushrooms

Cannellini bean pumpkin risotto with garlicky mushrooms is the perfect comforting fall meal. Vegan and gluten free too! 

Today, I bring you a big, cozy bowl of fall.

This cannellini bean pumpkin risotto with garlicky sauteed mushrooms is basically the food equivalent of wrapping up in your favorite sweater. It's so warm and comforting and stick to your ribs good. The perfect meal for when you want something rich and decadent, but don't want to feel like you just ate something super rich and decadent.

Can we talk about how much I love risotto? I used to make it on occasion, but I haven't in years. Stupid Top Chef ruined it for me. I mean, how many people have been kicked off for failing risotto? If legit top chefs can't make risotto, then I probably can't make risotto. I'll stick with this mock-risotto thank you.

This risotto (can I even call it risotto if it's not made with rice??) is infinitely easier and does not require sitting around a pot constantly stirring. I appreciate that. Not stirring leaves time for doing other fun things.

Fun things like going to art museum parties with friends. This Friday we went to Arts & Draughts, a quarterly event at the art museum with live music, craft beer, and food trucks. And of course, all the exhibits are open, which are always fun to explore with a buzz. The current exhibition is Georgia O'Keefe, which definitely brought out our juvenile sense of humor.

That wasn't the end of fun things this weekend. One of Scott's best friends from high school was in town, so after watching another Clemson victory, we went out for tacos. I was a little sad because I forgot to ask for corn tortillas (>>>>> flour tortilas), but a taco is a taco so how sad can you be?

Most fun of all, my sister-in-law, Rebecca, got engaged this weekend! How pretty and happy is she?? Honest to goodness, I can't think of a more kind and caring person than her. I'm sure you're a lovely person, but I'm sorry, you don't hold a candle to her. So internet world, lets send them lots of happy thoughts and well wishes!

Now, go make risotto!

Cannellini Bean Pumpkin Risotto with Garlicky Mushrooms

Serves 4



  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 14-ounce cans white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 teaspoons miso paste
  • Pinch of nutmeg


  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 lb mixed mushrooms, cleaned and quartered or sliced
  • Large pinch of dried thyme

For serving: 

  • A couple handfuls of arugula, optional

  • Balsamic vinegar, optional


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add onion and garlic and a pinch of salt. Saute until translucent and tender, about 5 minutes. Add beans, broth, coconut milk, pumpkin, tahini, miso and nutmeg. Stir to combine. Simmer 10-15 minutes until thickened then season with salt and pepper.
  2. While risotto is cooking, heat olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Add shallot and garlic and saute 2-3 minutes until tender. Add mushrooms, dried thyme and sea salt. Saute, stirring every so often, until mushrooms have released and reabsorbed their liquid.
  3. Serve risotto topped with mushrooms. Garish with a handful of arugula and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar if desired.

More easy recipes for fall:

Simple White Bean Soup with Feta, Smoked Paprika Oil and Olives
Simple White Bean Soup with Feta, Smoked Paprika Oil and Olives
Chipotle Roasted Kabocha Squash and Kale Salad
Chipotle Roasted Kabocha Squash and Kale Salad
Creamy Pumpkin Pasta with Mushrooms and Leeks
Creamy Pumpkin Pasta with Mushrooms and Leeks

Pumpkin Chipotle Chili

Pumpkin chipotle chili is the perfect fall chili for tailgating. Plus, it's orange to celebrate my Clemson Tigers! Keep it vegan with tempeh or add ground turkey. 

Keeping this short because jet lag (yes, still) is kicking in and I was that girl who did everything last minute! I made this yummy pumpkin chili and you should too. Head over to Healthy Aperture for the recipe!

Creamy Pumpkin Pasta with Mushrooms and Leeks

Canned pumpkin and coconut milk seem like an unlikely duo, but when blended with herbs, spices and bit of citrus, it makes a rich, creamy and complex pasta sauce. Top with sauteed leeks, mushrooms and peas to make it a meal.  

Since my teenage years, on a semi-regular basis, I've been mistaken for Italian. I've got German, Scottish and Latvian blood, but not a speck of Italian, at least to my knowledge. There's been some awkward moments, like when I was walking through Little Italy and a little old lady spoke to me in Italian...then gave me a death stare when I couldn't respond. Then there was that time a woman in Williams Sonoma asked me how I make pasta from scratch, to which I replied "uhhh, I put it in boiling water." And of course, we can't forget the rumor that went around in high school that my dad was in the mafia. Don't even ask how that one started.

I always presumed it was my olive complexion and dark hair, but after creating this dish, I think I've figured out the source of confusion. Rumor must have somehow got out about my excellent pasta sauce making skills.

If you've made my pasta primavera with cauliflower sauce, dairy free mac and cheese or horrendously photographed but amazingly delicious almost cheeseless pasta casserole, then you know this rumor to be true. This creamy pumpkin sauce blows them all out of the water.

This bowl of pasta was one of the most comforting things I've ever experienced, right up there with fleece-lined leggings and snuggles from my fur babies (one of which is doing a little better - thanks for all your well wishes!). Comfort food to the max. Plus, it's got the whole carb and carb thing going on - never a bad thing in my opinion.

I've used pureed pumpkin in pasta sauces before, most notably my vegan mac and cheese (one of the most popular recipes on this blog). But for this sauce, I wanted it to be almost alfredo-like and silky smooth. And for that, you need fat and lots of it!

I used two sources of fats to create this sauce. First, coconut milk, which adds only a faint hint of coconut flavor that actually melds together really nicely with this sauce. I also mixed in a couple tablespoons of almond butter, although you could use cashew butter or tahini even if you have it on hand. Both of these fats lend a nice mouthfeel to the sauce, but also a complex flavor as well.

Dairy Free Pumpkin Pasta with Mushrooms and Peas
Dairy Free Pumpkin Pasta with Mushrooms and Peas

Speaking of flavor, there's so much going on in this bowl! I added lots of sage, picked from our "herb garden," aka sage garden because that's what took over! Fresh orange juice brightens the sauce and sweetens it a bit as well. The turmeric adds a little peppery flavor, but mostly I added it in for the health benefits and gorgeous color.

Creamy Pumpkin Pasta with Mushrooms and Leeks

Serves: 4



  • 14-ounce can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter

Remaining Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 ounces shiitakes, sliced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 8 ounces 100% whole grain spaghetti (I used quinoa spaghetti)


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a medium pot, whisk together sauce ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer 10 minutes to let the flavors combine.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add leeks and saute 5-7 minutes until tender. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds. Add mushrooms and cook until their liquid has released and reabsorbed, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in peas and cook until defrosted and warm. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Toss spaghetti with the sauce. Top with vegetables and serve.