October – 4 Ingredient Challenge | The Daily Dish

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October – 4 Ingredient Challenge

9 Comments | Written on October 24, 2011 at 8:00 am , by


Welcome to a very special “Halloween Edition” of the 4-ingredient challenge!  Right about now, we are buying up pumpkins and preparing to carve them for the big day next week.  This month for the challenge, I was inspired to use what is leftover after the pumpkin carving!

This month, the four challenge ingredients are:


Brown Rice



It is the pumpkin where I decided to take a strategic detour.  I figured if everyone was already carving up the pumpkin for Jack-0-Lantern’s, then I wanted to find a way to use the seeds!  Accompanied by some pumpkin pie spice and, if you so desire, a bit of seasonal Pumpkin Ale.  It felt too easy to just grill the chicken, so I decided to also grill the apples to give them some nice color as well as toast the pumpkin seeds on the grill.

In my dish, I prepared grilled chicken breasts with a pumpkin pie spice and sage rub.  This is served along a brown rice pilaf with grilled apples and toasted pumpkin seeds.  I couldn’t believe how pleased I was with the results!  It was a bit of a risk using the pumpkin pie spice, but it balanced nicely with the sage.  The brown rice pilaf tasted like Thanksgiving stuffing!  With the sweet crunch of the apples and seasoned with thyme, this side dish could definitely be served at any Thanksgiving table.  Take a look at the full recipe and then browse around the other challenge entries!  Happy Halloween everyone!


Rice Pilaf:

2 Granny Smith apples, sliced 1/2 inch thick

1/4 cup pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)

4 Tablespoons butter

1/3 cup onion, chopped

1/4 cup celery, chopped

3 cups cooked brown rice

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Pumpkin Spice Chicken:

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon dried sage

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Grill apple slices about 1 minute on each side to soften and create grill marks.  At the same time on a grill-safe pan, toast pepitas until fragrant.  Set grilled apples and toasted pepitas aside.

In a large skillet, melt butter.  Add onion and celery, and saute about 5 minutes until softened.  Stir in cooked brown rice.  Add thyme, salt, and pepper.  Dice grilled apples and add to the pilaf mixture.  Stir in toasted pepitas.  Keep warm while chicken is grilling.

Combine pumpkin pie spice, sage, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Sprinkle over both sides of the chicken breasts.  Grill 8-10 minutes on each side until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.

Serve grilled pumpkin spice chicken with brown rice pilaf.  Serves 4.  Adults can enjoy this meal with a seasonal Pumpkin Ale, or apple cider for children.

Additional participants in this month’s Ingredient Challenge include:

Larry of The BBQ GrailENTRY HERE

The BBQ Grail website was created in 2007, initially to document the author’s quest to find the perfect backyard BBQ experience. Since that time The BBQ Grail has become one of the more popular BBQ blogs on the internet and is listed on Alltop.com as one of the top BBQ blogs.

Paul Haight of No Excuses BBQ – ENTRY HERE

The No Excuses BBQ website was started in January of 2009 as a way to record the author’s goal of cooking outdoors at least once a week throughout the year and showing the results to the world. Somewhere along the way things got out of control…

Hanneke Eerden of The Dutchess Cooks – ENTRY HERE

After years of cooking, grilling, baking and reading other people’s blogs, I thought “why not start my own blog??” And I did, in 2010, but already after a short period of time, a blog wasn’t enough, and I started my own website. It’s not my goal to publish or come up with fancy and difficult recipes: just good and delicious food with an international twist! Straight from my plate to yours!

Curt McAdams of Livefire: – ENTRY HERE

Livefire: Livefire cooking is about taking ordinary cooking and adding the flavor of fire to it, whether in high heat grilling, low heat smoking or indirect heat for baking. It’s about taking the primitive element of fire and harnessing it to make great food.

Marc Van Der Wouw of Grill Adventures ENTRY HERE

Grilladventures by broadcastmarc is started on march of 2010.I started the BBQ thing when I was 30,before that we eat a lot outside.have fun,but when the kids came in our life We start serious cooking.Most of it is really healthy I think;-)The grill has a special place in my heart,We love to do things outside..Everything I make is an adventure,and sometimes we use the books.We try to grill as much as we can year round.

Freek Haan of Freek’s Food Blog ENTRY HERE

Maybe some of you know me from my Dutch blogsite www.freeksbbq.nl. I have a great passion for grilling, since it is always challenging. For me grilling is a time to relax and to have a great time with friends and family. I wanted to reach more people with my blog since there are so many food lovers and freaks out there! So that’s why I decided to blog in English instead of Dutch.

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