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Make 3 Easy Meals in Mugs
Bright and beautiful, this velvety pumpkin soup is autumn in a mug. Its rich flavor belies the minimal prep time.
Pumpkin Sage Soup
16-oz (500 mL) mug
3⁄4 cup ready-to-use chicken or vegetable broth
2⁄3 cup pumpkin purée (not pie filling)
1⁄4 tsp dried rubbed sage
3 tbsp half-and-half (10%) cream or milk
Salt and ground black pepper
In the mug, stir broth, pumpkin and sage until blended. Microwave on High for 1 1⁄2 to 2 1⁄2 minutes (checking at 1 1⁄2) or until hot but not boiling. Stir in cream. Microwave on High for 30 to 60 seconds (checking at 30) or until hot but not boiling. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Canned pumpkin purée can vary in sweetness. If needed, add a pinch of brown sugar or a drizzle of maple syrup to enhance the flavour of the soup.
Consider topping with seasoned croutons or toasted pumpkin seeds.
This simple, speedy chili gets loads of spice and flavour − thanks to green chile tomatoes and seasoned chili beans. Quinoa adds extra protein, making this vegetarian chili hearty as well as homey.
3 tbsp quinoa, rinsed
1⁄2 cup water
1⁄2 can (10 oz/284 mL) diced tomatoes with green chiles, with juice
1⁄2 cup canned seasoned chili beans, with juice
Salt and ground black pepper
Nonfat plain Greek yogurt; fresh cilantro leaves; chopped green onions; chopped radishes; crumbled queso fresco or shredded Cheddar cheese; lime wedges.
In the mug, combine quinoa and water. Microwave on High for 4 minutes. Stir. Microwave on High for 3 to 5 minutes (checking at 3) or until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender.
Stir in tomatoes and beans. Microwave on High for 11⁄2 to 21⁄2 minutes (checking at 11⁄2) or until heated through. Cover mug with a small plate or saucer and let stand for 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with any of the suggested accompaniments, as desired.
Beef and Quinoa Chili: Thaw 2 frozen cooked beef meatballs according to package directions and crumble. Add with the beans.
Cranberry Nut Scone
This scone is a cinch to prepare. Nevertheless, it’s important to follow the instructions for working the cold butter into the flour − melted butter or oil will not suffice. Cranberry nut scones are a personal favorite, but you can vary the flavors and mix-ins in multiple ways.
Packed brown sugar can be used in place of the granulated sugar.
12- to 16-oz (375 to 500 mL) mug, sprayed
with nonstick cooking spray
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp wheat germ
4 tsp granulated sugar
1⁄4 tsp baking powder
1⁄8 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
4 tsp cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 tbsp dried cranberries
1 tbsp chopped pecans or walnuts
1 large egg yolk
2 tbsp buttermilk or milk
1⁄8 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
In the mug, use a fork to whisk together flour, wheat germ, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon (if using) and salt. Using your fingers, work in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cranberries and pecans. Using a fork, stir in egg yolk, buttermilk and vanilla (if using) until blended.
Microwave on High for 11⁄2 to 2 minutes (checking at 11⁄2) or until center is set and top of scone appears dry. Gently remove to a small plate and let cool for at least 5 minutes before eating.
Gluten-Free Scone: Replace the all-purpose flour with an
all-purpose gluten-free flour blend. Replace the wheat germ with ground flax seeds (flaxseed meal). Be sure the baking powder is gluten-free.
Apricot Almond Scone: Replace the cranberries with chopped dried apricots, and replace the pecans with chopped plain or roasted almonds.
Ginger Lemon Scone: Omit the cranberries and pecans. Add 1⁄2 tsp (2 mL) ground ginger and 1⁄2 tsp (2 mL) finely grated lemon zest.
Brown Sugar Oat Scone: Omit the cranberries and pecans. Replace the granulated sugar with packed brown sugar and add 1⁄4 tsp (1 mL) ground cinnamon.
Prep Ahead Option
Whisk the flour mixture in the mug and work in the butter as directed, then stir in the cranberries and pecans; cover and refrigerate. Place the egg yolk, buttermilk and vanilla (if using) in a small airtight container; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
The scone can be made in advance. Remove from mug and let cool completely, then tightly wrap in plastic wrap, parchment paper or foil, or store in an airtight container. Store at room temperature for up to 1 day or in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Courtesy of “250 Best Meals in a Mug” by Camilla V. Saulsbury © 2019 www.robertrose.ca. Reprinted with permission. Available where books are sold. Image credit: Colin Erricson