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Community Recipes + Best OATMEAL!


The art, calligraphy, inspirations, and ponderings of Riana Nelson.

Riana Nelson Blog


Community Recipes + Best OATMEAL!

Riana Nelson

A couple weeks ago I made a crazy pink BEET SOUP and shared the process on Instagram.

From a single, quickly expiring, random story post, I started my first ever GROUP COOKING CHAT on Instagram with eleven amazing followers & friends! Though I know a couple of them personally, as a collective we’ve all never met in real life. And yet, here we are. A cool tiny community chatting about the weirdest foods we’ve ever tried, where we’re from, my brother’s recent engagement, and what our moms make around the holidays.

These people’s willingness to digitally “meet” each other inspired me. In 1999, I knew about this type of activity, but it was labeled “ENTERING CHAT ROOMS WITH STRANGERS” so I’m super happy that this was far more harmonious (and that twenty years of everyone trusting the internet has created so many awesome ways to share this stuff.)

Today, I’m highlighting a few favorite fall recipes THEY (these 11 people) posted about and shared in the group thread. I haven’t tried their recipes yet, but I’m excited to add to my recipe collection, and hope you are too. Later down the page, I’m sharing MY favorite autumnal breakfast recipe: ILLUSTRATED, with a complimentary artwork download for you to save if you like it :)

All reaches of the world are represented in the thread including Arizona, Washington, Oregon, California, North Dakota, Kincolith (a tiny village in British Columbia near the Alaskan border!), and even the fascinating country of Albania!

I think one of the best gifts we give to each other is connection, and whether it happens in person, or online via a random cooking chat with a bunch of people (we have yet to meet in person), I think it’s beautiful every time. So, in the spirit of celebrating this digital community we’re all part of, here’s several recipes to try this fall, submitted in their own words by Amanda, Eva, Iliana, and Prashant!

Pumpkin Risotto

From Prash (Seattle, Washington)


  • 1 small pumpkin or butternut squash- after peeling and scraping out the seeds, you need about 400g/14oz

  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus a drizzle for the pumpkin

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 8 spring onions

  • 25g butter

  • 200g risotto rice

  • 2 tsp ground cumin

  • 1l hot vegetable stock, plus extra splash if needed

  • 50g grated parmesan (or vegetarian alternative)

  • small handful coriander, roughly chopped


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4. Chop up the pumpkin or squash into 1.5cm cubes (kids- ask for help if it’s slippery). Put it on a baking tray, drizzle over some oil, then roast for 30 mins.

  2. While the pumpkin is roasting, you can make the risotto. Put the garlic in a sandwich bag, then bash lightly with a rolling pin until it’s crushed.

  3. Cut up the spring onions with your scissors.

  4. Heat 1 tbsp oil with the butter in your pan over a medium heat – not too hot. Add the spring onions and garlic. Once the onions are soft but not getting brown, add the rice and cumin. Stir well to coat in the buttery mix for about 1 min.

  5. Now add half a cup of the stock, and stir every now and then until it has all disappeared into the rice. Carry on adding and stirring in a large splash of stock at a time, until you have used up all the stock – this will take about 20 mins.

  6. Check the rice is cooked. If it isn’t, add a splash more stock, and carry on cooking for a bit. Once the rice is soft enough to eat, gently stir in the grated cheese, chopped coriander and roasted pumpkin.


From Amanda (Livermore, California)

“This is a really great sweet potato soufflé recipe, that my mom makes for Thanksgiving. It’s a little time consuming but it’s my favorite part of the holidays!”


  • 3 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

  • 1 tablespoon white sugar

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

  • 3/4 cup white sugar

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 5 eggs

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add sweet potatoes, cover, and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Drain, and set aside.

  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a 2 quart souffle dish. Sprinkle dish with 1 tablespoon white sugar, shaking dish to evenly coat bottom and sides.

  3. Place the sweet potatoes into the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter, 3/4 cup sugar, heavy cream, eggs, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Process until mixture is smooth. Pour into prepared souffle dish.

  4. Bake the sweet potato mixture in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  5. Bake the sweet potato mixture until edges are slightly browned, about 40 minutes more. Serve warm or at room temperature.

original recipe posted by Tina Hayes, allrecipes.com

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

From Eva (Williston, North Dakota)


  • 2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

  • 1 tsp. baking soda

  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

  • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

  • 3/4 c. brown sugar

  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar

  • 3/4 c. pumpkin purée

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

  • 2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°, and line two larger baking sheets with Parchment Paper.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, pumpkin spice, and salt.

  3. Using a large mixer, cream together butter, and sugars until light and fluffy.

  4. Scoop 1" balls onto prepared baking sheets. 2 inches apart, and bake until puffed up and golden around the edges, about 12 minutes.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

From Prash (Seattle, Washington)


  • 3 tbsp. olive oil

  • 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

  • 1 1/2 tsp. pure honey

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced

  • 1 large Gala apple, cut into matchsticks

  • 1 small shallot, chopped

  • 1/4 c. toasted hazelnuts

  • 1 oz. Pecorino cheese, shaved


  1. Whisk together oil, lemon juice, and honey in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

  2. Add Brussels sprouts, apple, shallot, and hazelnuts; toss to combine.

  3. Fold in Pecorino.

Oven roasted butternut squash

From Iliana (Phoenix, Arizona)


  • 1 large butternut squash (diced)

  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil 

  • Salt and pepper (to taste)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F

  2. Lightly spray baking sheet with cooking spray

  3. Lay out the diced butternut squash on the sheet and drizzle with olive oil and spices

  4. Toss to make sure evenly coated

  5. Roast for 35-40 minutes. Best if served right away!


from Riana

This is one of my favorite breakfasts to whip up on blustery autumn mornings in the Pacific Northwest. I adapted this recipe from McKel’s over at Nutrition Stripped. Also, don’t worry if your measurements aren’t exact. I always eyeball it. If you like oatmeal, but have never tried it BLENDED, give this a try!

ingredients (Makes 1 gigantic serving, or 2 small servings)


  • 1/2 cup rolled oats

  • 1/2 can full fat coconut milk

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (+ more as needed to thin oatmeal consistency as you cook, if desired)

  • 4-5 medjool dates (pits removed)

  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (like, just a splash)

  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon


Riana’s Favorite Topping Combo (tastes like Christmas)

  • raw pine nuts (lightly toasted immediately before serving)

  • raw pecans

  • pure organic maple syrup

  • himalayan pink salt

  • almond butter

Blueberry Topping Combo

  • organic blueberries

  • coconut flakes or chips

  • raw walnuts

  • chia seeds

  • hemp hearts

  • raw honey drizzle


  1. In your high speed blender, combine all the oatmeal base ingredients and blend until consistency is ultra-smooth.

  2. Pour the oatmeal mixture into a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, until bubbling. Stir frequently. It will naturally thicken as you cook it, so don’t worry if it’s weirdly watery at first. (I almost always add more liquid as I cook it, because I like my oatmeal a little bit thinner.)

  3. Pour into your favorite bowl, and add your favorite toppings to taste. Enjoy!

Some other tips:

  • for lower sugar, use 1 or 2 dates instead of 4-5. Deglet Noor dates also work well. If your dates are too firm to cut easily to remove the pits, soak them in a little glass of hot water for a minute or two to soften.

  • for an extra creamy version, use 1/2 can coconut milk, 1/4 cup almond milk, and 1/4 cup Picnik Creamer! If you don’t consume dairy, they have a new vegan creamer, too.

  • toast the pine nuts in a little pan on the stove, dry (no oil) over low-medium heat as your oatmeal cooks. Just don’t walk away: pine nuts burn super easily.

  • doubling the recipe: I almost always double this recipe to utilize an entire can of coconut milk when I open it, and to keep some for the next day! If you decide to double the written recipe, once you blend all of the mixture, keep half (one serving’s worth) of the uncooked oatmeal base mixture in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Heat it over medium-high heat until warm just before eating.

  • I use a Nutribullet RX blender and I love it. I definitely recommend a high powered blender (like a Vitamix) to ensure the texture comes out completely smooth.

And, I illustrated the recipe!!

I thought it would be cool to create an #ArtByRiana element to this recipe, because cooking + art = SO FUN! Here’s a few snaps of the illustration process:


If you like my illustrated recipe, you can download it right here (it’s free!) to save or print it, for when you try this recipe! :)

Let me know what you think about this post in the comments below. Do you want to see more illustrated recipes, or nah? What else would you like to see/read/experience here? Also, if you try any of these recipes Eva, Amanda, Prash, Iliana, or I shared above, please leave a comment below and let us know how it turned out!! SO CURIOUS to know what you’re cooking this fall, too, so stay in touch.

And of course, Instagram is always a great way to see what I’m up to regularly, and I’m usually checking in daily there, so please say hi! :)