Wednesday, November 13, 2013

whipped sweet potatoes with coconut and ginger

Here is an easy way to change up a traditional fall or Thanksgiving dinner side dish. This version uses coconut cream and ginger to give delicious flavor.


6 lb yams or sweet potatoes (6 large)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted (if you are wanting to go lighter use less)
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut cream (I used the cream off the top of a can of coconut milk, you may need 2 cans)
1.5 Tbsp. finely grated peeled fresh ginger
unsweetened shredded coconut for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 400º. Bake yams on a baking sheet for about 1 hour, until tender. Let cool slightly.
2. Peel the yams and transfer to a food processor or blender (may need to do in batches). Add butter, coconut cream, ginger and blend until smooth.
3. Reheat, sprinkle with coconut and serve.

Friday, November 1, 2013

maple glazed squash stuffed with quinoa and mushrooms

The maple thyme glaze is incredibly delicious and turns this squash into an exceptional side, or main dish if served with the quinoa. If you want even more substance serve with roasted root vegetables brushed with the same glaze. from food and wine
serves 6


salt and pepper
1 3.5 lb kabocha squash, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into 6 wedges
olive oil for brushing
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
3 thyme sprigs

1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 thyme sprigs

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced plus 2 shallots thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
4 thyme sprigs
2.5 cups water
salt and pepper
1.5 cups quinoa
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb mushroom, preferably oyster, chantrelle, or shiitake (or combination), sliced
1/3 cup chopped parsley

1. to prepare the squash, preheat the oven to 350º. Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper; arrange on a baking sheet cut side down and roast for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Flip wedges and roast for 20 minutes, until just tender.
2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt the butter with the sugar, maple syrup and thyme. Cook over medium-low heat until the sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Turn the squash skin side down and brush all over with the maple glaze. Roast for 10 minutes longer, until the squash is lightly browned and glazed.
3. For the sauce: In a saucepan, whisk the cream and maple syrup. Add garlic and thyme and simmer over med-high heat until reduced to 1/3 cup. Discard garlic and thyme and keep warm.
4. To make the filling: In a medium saucepan, melt the 2 Tbsp. of butter. Add minced shallot and cook over med. until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the bay leaf, thyme, and water and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper then add quinoa. Cover and cook over med-low heat until tender and the water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
5. In a large skillet, melt the remaining 1 Tbsp. butter in the oil. Add the sliced shallots and cook over med-high heat, stirring until lightly browned. Add the mushrooms and cook until browned on the bottom, 3 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned and tender, 5 minutes or so more. Stir in quinoa and parsley and season with salt and pepper.
6. Arrange the roasted squash on plates. Fill each wedge with quinoa stuffing, drizzle with the sauce.

autumn arugula salad

yum! caramelized squash, spiced pecans, avocado, pomegranate and pomegranate ginger vinaigrette. adapted from howsweeteats
serves 4-6


2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 acorn squash, sliced in 1/2-inch thick rounds then in half, seeds removed
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
6 cups baby arugula
1 avocado, sliced
1 pomegranate, arils removed (check out these easy instructions)
1 long english cucumber, sliced

pomegranate ginger vinaigrette
1/3 cup pomegranate juice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

1. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add squash slices, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until golden, about 5 minutes per side. If desired, add the brown sugar to help the squash caramelize. Set aside
2. Heat a small saucepan over low heat and add the pecans. Toast until slightly golden and fragrant, stirring and shaking pan as they toast, about 5 minutes. Toss them with pumpkin pie spice.
3. For the dressing: combine pom juice, vinegar, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper in bowl and whisk together. slowly add olive oil while constantly whisking until the dressing comes together.
4. Add arugula to large bowl. Add in avocado, pomegranate, cucumber, pecans, and squash. Drizzle with dressing.

roasted pumpkin soup

How fun is this? Eating this pumpkin soup out of a pumpkin is a clever idea (and it saves doing dishes). You scoop out pumpkin with each spoonful of creamy vegetable soup.You can also try a kabocha squash.

serves 2-4
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 stalks celery
1 large ripe tomato, seeded, chopped
2 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
3 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 sugar pumpkins
grated parmesan and chopped flat-leaf parsley for garnish

1. Heat oven to 375º
2. In a pot over medium heat, melt butter with olive oil. Add onion, garlic, celery, tomato, and herbs. Saute 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 2 tsp. of the salt, 1/2 tsp. of the pepper, and chicken stock. Bring mixture to a boil, remove from heat, stir in cream and set aside. (if you prefer a creamy vs. chunky soup then puree).
3. To prepare pumpkins, cut off tops and reserve and scoop out seeds. Season insides with remaining salt and pepper. Ladle soup into pumpkins discarding herb sprigs. Place tops on pumpkins.
4. Roast on a foil lined cookie sheet for 1-1.5 hours or until pumpkins are tender when pierced with a knife.
5. Serve soup out of pumpkins or ladle into bowls and divide pumpkin flesh. Garnish with parmesan and parsley.