Panera Bread Coffee and My New Favorite Fall Recipe

Question for you: When you are given access to the self-service coffee station at a restaurant such as Panera Bread, is there a limit to how often you can refill your cup even if it is assumed the refills are free?

And, is it wrong to refill your cup one more time to take with you only to be enjoyed the next day heated up in the comfort of your own kitchen?

I only ask because this is my method. Easily 3 days a week.

I find that working from Panera Bread can be quite lovely. I stay focused on my tasks while drinking (and refilling more times than I care to admit) delicious coffee.

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I was even treated to passed appetizers yesterday. Well, not exactly, they were just passing around samples of some type of spinach quiche. Don’t mind if I do…

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But, um, where is the spinach?

Anyway, I situate myself at Panera Bread because I find that working only from my house leads me to distraction. I end up doing laundry, cleaning a closet or cooking. Or baking.

Or all of the above.

I came across this recipe for the Harvest Roasted Veggie Curried Avocado Coconut Rice Bowls the other day while reading the blog, Iowa Girl Eats. If you don’t already read her blog, you must. Great recipes. Great blog.


She shared the link to the recipe which is actually from the blog, Half Baked Harvest  and I just couldn’t get it out of my head.

Any recipe that involves butternut squash, acorn squash, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts roasted and mixed with coconut rice topped with nuts, cranberries, avocado and cheese? How could I not make it immediately?

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When you read the recipe, it will look like there are a ton of steps and ingredients. It appears that way, but in reality, it’s not all that difficult. Roast your veggies.

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Add in your cranberries and nuts (I went with walnuts instead of pecans).


Cook your rice. I took a short cut here by heating up a steam bag of Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice and then added it into a pot of the coconut milk/coconut water.

I never cook with coconut but let me just say, it is my new favorite comfort flavor and craving making me super excited to try out some of the other recipes my fellow bloggers have posted using coconut milk.

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I mashed up with the avocado with the ingredients listed in the recipe but in all honesty, I think plain avocado would have complimented the dish just as well.

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Assemble your bowl with all the fixins – topped off with goat cheese.


I did a good job, right?

When I say this is my new favorite comfort fall meal, I mean it. I could eat this bowl every single night for dinner.

I think it would work with or without the cheese (I actually left it off of my plate last night), with or without the avocado (even though I LOVE  avocado)….The flavors from the roasted vegetables combined with the creamy coconut rice mixed with cranberries and nuts is enough to put a smile on my face.

I would consider next time adding a can of organic chick peas and/or possibly throwing some quinoa into the rice or doing all quinoa.

So many possibilities I tell you…

Here is the link again to the recipe. I would repost it fully but since I really did follow it, it is worth just clicking over to view the post.

While I had the oven on, I decided to go all out and make my famous fudgy brownies.


You know you want one.

I actually halved the recipe since I didn’t need a full tray of brownies and it worked out perfectly.

I don’t know about you but I always get nervous when halving or doubling a baking recipe; I have found that when I double cookie recipes, they never come out the same to me.

Based upon the activity that took place in my kitchen, I turned a random Tuesday night into something special, yes?

Even if the Islanders did lose to the Rangers.

I am off now to get some work done. I swear there are not enough hours in the day lately!


Do you cook with coconut milk?

Favorite fall vegetable?

Do you have trouble doubling/halving recipes?




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