Pumpkin Coconut Curry with Chicken

With the arrival of fall—and pumpkin! Who doesn’t loooove pumpkin?—personal chef, KEEN speaker and the brains behind The Wicked Noodle, Kristy Bernardo, sent us her favorite autumn feast.

Pumpkin CurryTo roast butternut squash, place on a sheet pan, toss lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast at 450 degrees until caramelized and fork-tender (about 15 minutes, depending on size). If your curry and cayenne have been sitting in your cupboard for a while (more than six months), add at the same time as the garlic. This will help bring out some of the flavor.


  • 3 T olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ onion, sliced
  • 1 T minced ginger
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (low-sodium)
  • 1 cup coconut milk (not sweetened)
  • 2 t curry powder
  • 1 large pinch cayenne powder
  • 2 cups butternut squash, chopped into bite-size pieces and roasted
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnishing
  • RiceSelect Texmati rice, cooked, for serving


  1. Heat 2 T olive oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Add chicken and cook on high heat until browned on all sides. Remove chicken and set aside.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-high and add remaining 1 T olive oil to Dutch oven. Add onion and ginger. Cook for a few minutes until onion is soft. Add garlic and cook for about one minute more.
  3. Add tomatoes and pumpkin puree to pan. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, until puree is lightly browned.
  4. Add broth, coconut milk and curry and cayenne powders; bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add chicken and butternut squash and simmer for 10 minutes longer.
  5. Stir in limejuice and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over rice.


Steak and Avocado Hoagie

The dog days of summer may be but a fading memory, but with football season gearing up, there’s never been a more perfect time to fire up the grill. Our friends and KEEN speakers John Carruthers and Jesse Valenciana, cookbook authors and co-founders of virtual grilling club ManBQue, share their favorite game day feast.

Regional note: People use “hoagie,” “grinder,” “hero,” and “sub” interchangeably in different areas of the country. We don’t care what you call it. Get a nice soft oblong roll, split it in half, and go to town. Use a spinach wrap or your two mitts if it makes you feel better—just nothing that’s going to take your beautifully cooked steak and make it taste like straight bread.

Steak Hoagies

The Setup

  • One 2-lb flank steak
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed or other oil
  • 4 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tbsp freshly crushed (not fine-ground) black pepper
  • 1 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 3 avocados, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 red onions, sliced thick
  • 1 cup hot water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • ¼ c cider vinegar
  • 12 oz refried black beans, heated through and covered
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Cotija cheese, to top
  • 4 hoagie rolls, split


1. Pat the steak dry and brush lightly with oil. Cut a cross-hatch of shallow diagonal slash marks in the steak on both sides, taking care not to cut through.

2. Mix the salt, paprika, pepper, and mustard powder. Rub evenly on the steak.

3. Mix the diced avocado with the salt and garlic. Squeeze over a wedge of lime, mix, and cover with plastic until you’re ready to use.

4. Place the sliced onions in a heatproof vessel large enough to fit the onions, packed loosely. Mix the water, sugar, vinegar, and salt. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat, and pour over the onions, enough to cover. Cover and let sit at least 20 minutes while you prepare everything else.

5. Preheat the grill to high. Scrape and oil the grate.

6. Place the steak on the grill over direct heat. Cook 7 minutes per side, rotating each steak 90 degrees halfway through cooking each side.

7. Remove the steak to a cutting board and cover loosely with foil. Let sit at least five minutes while you spread the bottom of the hoagies with beans and avocado.

8. Slice the steak thinly against the grain and cut slices into bite-sized pieces. Throw the steak on the roll, give it a squeeze of lime, and top with onions, cotija, and any leftover avocado. (Wasting avocado makes California Baby Jesus cry.)

9. Slice in half and serve with a cold craft beer.


Parmesan Cilantro Skillet Corn

KEEN speaker Beth Sachan lives, eats and breathes all things delicious. She’s a talent in the kitchen, one of the most well-known names in Nashville’s food industry, and the marketing director for beloved Tennessee candy brand Goo Goo Cluster. She shared with us one of her favorite summer recipes, the perfect side for a Labor Day feast.

skillet corn

Serves: 4-6


  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 cups fresh corn kernels (approx. 6 large ears)
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro


In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. When butter is foamy, add the garlic and corn, stirring to coat with the butter. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add lime juice, cumin and cayenne pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in cheese, and then add heavy cream. Continue to stir so corn won’t stick to pan. Add salt and pepper. Cook corn until almost all of the cream has been absorbed, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in cilantro and serve hot.


Mini Strawberry Shortcake Milkshakes

Courtney Dial Whitmore, the styling and entertaining expert behind the popular lifestyle blog Pizzazzerie (and KEEN speaker!) shared with us a recipe she concocted for one of her favorite summer treats.

Strawberry Shortcake Milkshakes

Yield: 4 mini milkshakes


  • 1½ cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled
  • ½ cup pound cake pieces
  • ¼ cup crushed graham crackers
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Whipped topping, for garnish


1.Rim glasses in honey followed by crushed graham crackers.

2.You can use your favorite pound cake recipe or a store-bought one. Combine the ice cream (I used a vanilla bean but any vanilla flavor is delicious) with strawberries and cake pieces. Blend until smooth.

3.Fill glasses, top with whipped cream, and enjoy!


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