Friday, October 24, 2014

{recipe} Halloween Pumpkin Potluck: Pumpkin Quinoa Chicken

Next in our series of Halloween Potluck inspired recipes is a fantastic fall recipe that will fulfill all of your pumpkin and yam cravings when the weather starts getting cooler.  A quick weeknight meal that is not only delicious, but nutritious with the addition of quinoa.  A hit for kiddos and adults alike!

Prep Time:  5 minutes

Stove Top: 20 minutes

Wonderbag Time: 2 ½ to 3 hours
Servings: 6


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 ¼ pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 Tbsp minced dry onions or onion powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups yams, cubed (rinse yams but no peeling required)
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes or 4 medium diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree, canned
  • 1 cup artichokes in oil, drained & coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup quinoa, dry


In a 5-6 quart pot, heat olive oil, add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.  Add chicken thighs to pot and brown lightly on both sides, about 2 minutes.

Add pumpkin spice, onion powder, salt, pepper and bay leaves to pot, stir to combine.

Add chicken stock, yams, tomatoes, pumpkin puree, and artichoke hearts, bring to a boil for 5 minutes.  Add the quinoa, place the lid on your pot and gently boil for an additional 10 minutes.

Place the lidded pot in the Wonderbag for 2 ½ to 3 hours.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe Credit: iFoodReal, adapted by Heidi Otto

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

{recipe} Halloween Pumpkin Potluck: Pumpkin Tofu Coconut Curry

The perfect fall dish with just the right amount of spice to enhance the rich flavors of pumpkin and yams. This recipe is vegetarian and uses tofu, but is also fantastic with chicken (just lightly brown with the onion and garlic and complete the recipe as below).  Can be used as a side or main dish and makes the perfect addition to a potluck or holiday meal.

Prep Time: 15 mins
Stove Top Time: 20 mins
Wonderbag Time: 3 to 4 hours 
Serves: 6

    2 Tbsp olive oil
    ½ large onion, diced
    1 garlic clove, minced
    3 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
    3 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
    16 oz medium soft tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
    Juice of 1 lime
    1-15 oz can of unsweetened coconut milk (full fat, not light)
    1-15 oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
    1 cup vegetable stock
    ½ Tbsp curry powder
    ¼ tsp tumeric powder
    2 tsp garam masala
    ½ tsp Kosher salt
    ¼ tsp ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in 5-6 quart pot.  Add onion and garlic, sauté for 5 minutes, until soft and golden brown.  Add the carrots, sweet potatoes, tofu, and lime juice and cook for another five minutes.

Add the coconut milk, pumpkin puree, vegetable stock, curry powder, tumeric powder, garam masala, salt, and pepper. Stir together until well combined and spices are evenly distributed. Cover and bring to boil for 10 minutes.

Place the lidded pot into your Wonderbag for 3 to 4 hours.

To Serve: Pour 1-2 cups of curry over ½-1 cup of Jasmine rice.

Note: Do not omit any of the spices as they are all essential for this curry to taste as prepared.

Recipe Credit:  Julie at Table for Two, adapted by Erica Henderson

Thursday, October 16, 2014

{recipe} Halloween Pumpkin Potluck: Pumpkin Soup

{Recipe & Photo Credit: Heidi Otto}
Halloween is the official start of the holiday season. The air is turning crisp and there is a buzz in the air of spending time with friends, family and community. It's the perfect time to bring people together for a Halloween inspired potluck party (idea: everyone brings a dish that uses "pumpkin" in the ingredients). 

This month, we will be posting pumpkin recipes for your Wonderbag. These recipes are perfect to bring to a potluck, serve at a party or to enjoy before trick-or-treating. Do you have a recipe idea? We'd love to hear about it! Please email your recipe to

To kick off the series, our first recipe is Pumpkin Soup. Pumpkin Soup is so perfect for fall days when the weather is cooling. Using a sugar pie pumpkin adds a special richness to the soup that is sure to delight ghouls and goblins alike.

Prep Time: 15 mins
Stove Top Time: 20 mins
Wonderbag Time: 4-5 hours
Serves: 6

    2 Tbsp olive oil
    2 cloves of garlic, minced
    ½ cup onion, diced
    2 pound sugar pie pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cubed
    1 tsp curry powder
    1 tsp cumin
    Salt and pepper
    4 cups chicken broth
    ½ cup heavy cream
    ¼ cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)


Heat olive oil in 4-6 quart pot.  Add onion and garlic, sauté for 5 minutes, until soft and golden brown. 
Add the pumpkin, curry, cumin and salt and pepper, stirring well to combine.
Add the chicken broth, cover and bring to a boil for 15 minutes.
Place the lidded pot into your Wonderbag and seal for 4-5 hours.  After set time, remove pot from bag and blend mixture using a hand blender.  Additional chicken broth can be added for desired consistency.

To Serve: Drizzle with cream and garnish with 1 Tbsp of pumpkin seeds.

Tip:  If fresh pumpkin is not available, 8 cups of pumpkin puree can be substituted.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

{recipe} Campbell's Slow Cooker Sauce: Tavern Style Pot Roast

Another Wednesday has torn through our house like a tornado... Morning bus drop off, busy day of work and errands and the troops are home and stating "I'm hungry". What's a busy mom to do?  Today over my (second) morning cup of coffee, I prepared a stew dinner using Campbell's Tavern Style Pot Roast slow cooker sauce. And - voila - dinner was piping hot and cooked perfectly by 5:30 p.m.

  • 1 packet of Campbell's Slow Cooker Sauce: Tavern Style Pot Roast
  • 1lb stew meat, cubed
  • 1.5 cups baby carrots
  • 4 red potatoes,cut in quarters
  • 1 can of green beans
  • 1 tbsp oil (I used avocado oil)
  • In a 3.5qt pot (it will fill to the top), brown the meat in a table spoon of oil 
  • Stir in slow cooker sauce
  • Add potatoes and carrots, stir
  • Add in can of green beans and their juices, stir
  • Allow to simmer for 15 minutes covered, then transfer to your Wonderbag
  • Allow to cook for 3-7 hours (depending on your time line)

{donation chronicles} The Rotary//Highway Aged

On July 18th, Nelson Mandela Day, The Wonderbag Foundation worked with The Rotary to distribute Wonderbags to the elderly through Highway Aged. Highway Aged is a registered non-profit organization that provides a professional social work service to the elderly in the Pinetown and surrounding areas (just north of Durban in KwaZuluNatal) in South Africa.

Highway Aged now has 14 senior citizen clubs where they facilitate social and recreational activities for the elderly, as well as awareness programs and inter-generational programs. Some club members engage in gardening activities, beading and sewing. They often sell the items they make to generate a little additional income.

The Senior Citizens that belong to the clubs receive a government pension of R1375.00 per month (that is just under $126). These funds are all they have to cover their expenses and purchase food. Many of them also take care of grandchildren or even children who are unable to find employment. Additionally, many of them live in tin shacks, mud houses with tin roofs  or very small RDP** houses with the bare essentials.

The Wonderbag Foundation was thrilled to be able to donate bags to the members of Highway Aged through the Buy One, Donate One program and teach them how to use the bags to help improve their household circumstances.

** Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) is a South African socio-economic policy framework implemented by the African National Congress (ANC) government of Nelson Mandela in 1994 after months of discussions, consultations and negotiations between the ANC, its Alliance partners the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party, and "mass organisations in the wider civil society". The ANC's chief aim in developing and implementing the Reconstruction and Development Programme, was to address the immense socioeconomic problems brought about by the consequences of the struggle against its predecessors under the Apartheid regime. Specifically, it set its sights on alleviating poverty and addressing the massive shortfalls in social services across the country. (Definition taken off web)

Friday, October 3, 2014

{recipe} Poblano Pepper & Pork Tenderloin Chili

This hearty recipe is not only beautiful, but delicious. Perfect for fall slow cooking to feed your family, bring to a tailgate or holiday potluck to share. Recipe credit: Jerilyn Brusseau, adapted from Fine Cooking

Servings: 10-12

Difficulty Rating: 2

Prep Time:  20 minutes

Stove Top: 30 minutes

Wonderbag Time: 5 hours


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 lbs. pork tenderloin, cut in ½ inch bits
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon + ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons each: fresh thyme, fresh oregano
  • 4oz can green chilies (mild or medium), diced
  • 2 fresh poblano chilies, seeds removed, chopped ¼” bits
  • ½ cup scallions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 28 oz canned, diced tomatoes
  • 7 cups cooked beans (pinto, kidney, black, navy)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons toasted whole cumin seeds
  • To serve: chopped fresh cilantro, lime wedges, queso fresco, sour cream.


  • Heat olive oil in 5-6qt heavy cooking pot with tight fitting lid.  Add pork, salt and pepper, brown lightly on all sides. 
  • Add spices (2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 tablespoon cumin) directly to meat, let cook 2 minutes, add garlic and onions, sprinkle lightly with salt.  Add additional olive oil if needed. Cook until onions are lightly browned.
  • Add remaining chili powder and cumin, paprika, coriander, cinnamon, bay leaves, thyme and oregano.  Gently stir to combine.
  • Add chilies, scallions and tomato paste, season with salt and pepper.
  • Add 2 cups chicken stock and diced tomatoes.
  • Add 5½ cups bean to the pot.   Puree remaining 1 ½ cups beans and 1 cup of stock to thicken chili, add to the pot and stir well.
  • Bring to slow boil for 20 minutes.  Stir bottom to prevent scorching.
  • Place lidded pot in Wonderbag for 5 hours.
  • To serve: Stir in 1 tablesppon fresh lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with cumin seeds. Serve with chopped fresh cilantro, lime wedges, queso fresco and sour cream.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

{wonderbag diaries} Introducing...


We are thrilled to introduce our new Wonderbag website. Stop by to learn more about Wonderbag and join in the conversation.