Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Chili

I made this for a few friends before trick-or-treating and realized it's the perfect Halloween dish, because it's black and orange. It's also filling, makes a pot full, and uses seasonal favorites. Meat could be easily added, if desired. And I would certainly add or serve it over greens.

Grapeseed oil*
1 onion, finely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1-2 T chili powder
3-4 cups sweet potatoes, washed and cut into bite size chunks
1 cup quinoa, rinsed thoroughly (optional)
32 oz box low sodium chicken stock (or enough to cover potatoes)
3-4 cups cooked black beans (or 2 cans, drained and rinsed)
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
salt to taste
cilantro (optional)
sour cream (optional)
* email here to order

  1. Place oil in bottom of stock pot and warm over medium heat. Add onion and saute 4-5 minutes until translucent. Turn the heat to medium low.
  2. Add the garlic and saute a couple more minutes before adding the chili powder. Stir to coat well.
  3. Place sweet potatoes and quinoa in pot and cover with chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer, cover, and cook 15 minutes. No need to stir--just set a timer.
  4. Add the black beans, tomatoes, and salt to taste and warm through.
  5. Serve topped with cilantro and/or sour cream.
  6. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Butternut Soup

I found 2 small/medium size butternut squash on my counter this week and wanted to try something new, so here's what came of the experiment. It is yummy and soothing. We served it over leftover wild rice and steamed greens.

1-2 butternut (or other winter) squash, peeled & chopped (about 3 cups or so)
1 onion, chopped
4 cups of chicken stock
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon or so tumeric
2 teaspoons or so curry powder
sea salt to taste
chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

  1. Place peeled, chopped squash and onion in stock pot, sprinkle a little salt, and cover with stock. Bring to a boil, cover tightly, reduce heat, and cook (about 30 minutes) until squash is tender.
  2. If time allows, let cool. If not, no worries. Use an immersion blender (very handy tool for this recipe!) or pour squash into blender and puree. It might require multiple batches in a blender.
  3. Return to stock pot and add milk, curry, tumeric, and salt to taste.
  4. Garnish with cilantro.
  5. Enjoy!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Guest Recipe: Quinoa Spinach Casserole

I have a superstar client who is jumping in with both feet experimenting with grains. She told me about this fabulous dish she prepared and shared with friends this week, and I invited her to share it with everyone. Because she made it up (love that!), I'll post in the original way it came to me. Comments are welcome on how you make it your own!

Combine 1 cup of well-rinsed quinoa with 2 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of your favorite hot sauce (I prefer homemade vinegar hot sauce) and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

While your quinoa is cooking, combine 1 package of Smart Ground Original Veggie Protein Crumbles [JL NOTE: ground turkey would be awesome here] with 2 cloves of garlic, half of an onion, and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in skillet.  Add 1 tablespoon of crushed fennel seed, half a tablespoon of dried sage, and just a touch of salt and pepper (to taste). Stir regularly because the Smart Ground has a tendency to stick to your pan! Sauté on low for the same amount of time your quinoa is cooking.

When both the quinoa and Smart Ground are good and cooked, layer them in a casserole dish and stick them in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes.

While your dish is in the oven, in a skillet, bring a couple of cups of water (and if you're feeling, "saucy" add a tablespoon of your hot sauce as well) to an ALMOST boil. Once it's good and steamy add your freshly washed spinach leaves. Cover the pan and let them steam for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.

Take your casserole dish out of the oven and spread your spinach over the top. Then dive in and enjoy!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Apple Crisp

It's fall, which means apples--lots and lots of apples! We got a box of winesap seconds at a local orchard, which make a great apple crisp, and I have made one a week for almost a month now. It's easy to throw together and tastes delicious served warm with ice cream on top. Come to think of it, what doesn't taste delicious with ice cream on top?

I modified Mark Bittman's original recipe in How to Cook Everything (which you should put on your Christmas list, if you don't have a copy) to make it my own. Here's the skinny:

Apples, washed, quartered, and thinly sliced (I didn't peel mine) to fit into an 8" square or 9" round baking pan
Cinnamon (1-2 teaspoons depending on taste)
Juice of 1 lemon (or lime--it's what I had on hand tonight!)
1/2 cup sugar (or to taste)
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup or so rolled oats
1/2 cup or so whole wheat pastry flour
dash of salt
1/4 cup or so walnut pieces

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. While oven is preheating, grease dish lightly with butter or oil (I have an aerosol sprayer I put oil in to make this so easy) and fill with apples, cinnamon, a sprinkling of your sugar, and the lemon juice. Mix well.
  3. Put it in the oven for 15 minutes. Set a timer.
  4. Meanwhile, combine remaining sugar, more cinnamon (again to taste), butter, oats, flour, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse it all together until everything is, according to Mark Bittman, "well incorporated but not uniform."
  5. When timer goes off, spread topping over apples and bake for 12-15 minutes. Again, set a timer.
  6. When timer goes off, add the walnuts and return to oven to bake for 5-10 minutes until the topping is brown and your house smells like fall. I actually turn the oven off and leave the crisp in it to stay warm until ready to serve.
  7. Top with ice cream and enjoy!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Beet, Butternut, and Turnip Soup

We got a couple of beets with their greens and some tiny turnips with massive greens and butternut squash in our CSA box this week. Truthfully, I don't particularly like turnip greens, but I don't like to throw good, fresh, local, organic food away either, so I got busy trying to figure out what to do with them. What started as an experiment turned into a nice dinner. AND it is full of great nutrients like calcium, vitamins A & E, iron, and potassium, not to mention the grounding energy the beet and turnip roots give it in addition to the sweet flavor of the butternut squash.

1 T coconut oil
2 onions, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 small beets, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces
some really small turnips (just washed and trimmed them)
1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces
6 cups water
salt to taste (FYI: I used quite a bit)
1 bunch beet greens, washed and chopped into bite size pieces
1 bunch turnip greens, washed and chopped into bite size pieces
leftover cooked quinoa--maybe a cup or 2 (use any whole grain)
1 can garbanzo beans

  1. In a large stock pot, melt the coconut oil on medium-high heat and add the onions. Saute about 10 minutes, add the garlic and keep sauteing about 5 more minutes.
  2. Add the beets, turnips, butternut squash, water, and salt. 
  3. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer on medium-low heat for about 20 minutes (don't let things get too mushy).
  4. Add the greens, leftover quinoa, and beans and continue cooking for about 10 minutes (try to keep the greens green!).
  5. Adjust salt to taste and serve hot.
  6. Enjoy!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Pumpkin Bread

This is a lovely fall recipe my mother-in-law shared from years ago. I modified it to fit the ingredients I typically use for baking, and it turned out delicious. It makes quite a lot (two 9x5 loaves), so I made some muffins and mini-loaves to share with friends  (be sure to reduce cooking time significantly) in addition to two small loaves for the freezer.

2.5 cups sugar
1 cup Butter Grapeseed Oil (click here to order) or other oil
(I might try coconut oil next time)
4 eggs, beaten
2.5-3 cups cooked winter squash or pumpkin*
2 cups pastry wheat flour
1.5 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 t soda
2 t salt
1 t baking powder
1 t nutmeg
1 t allspice
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t cloves
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup walnut pieces

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. With a mixer cream sugar and oil together.
  3. Add eggs and pumpkin--mix well.
  4. Sift together dry ingredients and add to mix slowly.*
  5. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts by hand.
  6. Pour into two well greased and floured 9x5 inch loaf pans.
  7. Bake 1.5 hours or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  8. Let stand 10 minutes.
  9. Remove from pan to cool.
  10. Enjoy!
* I had pumpkin in the freezer, so it was plenty moist. If you find the batter is a bit dry, add water a little at the time to make it pourable. The original recipe calls for canned pumpkin and 2/3 cup of water, but I found I didn't need the water.