Category Archives: Autumn

Moroccan Butternut Squash + Wild Rice with Garbanzos

 

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so this is the sound of you
here and now whether or not
anyone hears it this is
where we have come with our age
our knowledge such as it is
and our hopes such as they are
invisible before us
untouched and still possible

– from To the New Year by W.S. Merwin

 

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Moroccan Butternut Squash + Wild Rice with Garbanzos, serves 4-6
Near the tail end of winter last year, I made a rendition of this off the Kinfolk website. I declared it the best thing I had eaten all winter and couldn’t wait until squash season came back. This year, I realized the recipe had disappeared and so I set about to recreating it. Unlike the original, I added cooked garbanzo beans and a good couple handfuls of winter greens. It is now more of a one-dish main grain salad than the original, which served as a side. It’s a good one for a cold winter evening and makes an excellent leftover lunch. Enjoy!

1 cup uncooked wild rice
1 1/2- 2 lbs. butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large onion, diced
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
2/3 cup parsley, minced
2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
4 cups chopped kale or other winter greens
1 tsp. sea salt, or to taste, divided

Dressing:
2 Tbs. coconut or good quality canola oil
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3/4 tsp. cumin
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1/4 tsp. coriander
1/16 tsp. clove
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
splash of water, as needed

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Cook rice by combining with 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan and bringing to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook until the rice is light and fluffy and the water is completely absorbed, 50-60 minutes.
  • Mix the dressing ingredients in a small dish or jar.
  • Place squash cubes  and diced onion in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle 2/3-3/4 of the dressing over the vegetables, and sprinkle with salt. Mix it well with your hands or wooden spoon until the vegetables are evenly coated. Place them in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes until the squash begins to brown on the edges and completely soft.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss together the garbanzos, parsley, greens, dried fruit, and hazelnuts. When the rice and vegetables are done cooking, allow them both to cool slightly and then add to the bowl ingredients. Stir in the remaining dressing and season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.

comforting red flannel hash

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And so it goes. A brand new year. If you have experienced anything like the collective, 2016 was a tough one. The excitement for new goals, resolutions, and the prospect of being better and different is all around us. Honestly though, there were a lot of exceptionally good happenings in the last year too and I’m not so quick to wish it all away.

Even so, I went home for Christmas week to my parents and I admit I ate more than I’d have liked. Not too much, but more than “enough.” More cookies, more servings, more mindless chomping to fill a void I didn’t realize existed until I was there, in it.

 

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And here we are back at it.

We’ve been a whole year now in our new house. I’ll call it new even though it’s the oldest on our street by far and we’ve been here all these months. It still feels new and not quite a home just yet. There’s a blank wall in the living room still, waiting for the right photo, a total lack of rugs on cold tile floors, and the dog fence and house in the back I want torn out. There’s talk though of a kitty–even as there’s the one of us that’s extremely allergic. Let’s just never mind that for now.

Yet we’ve made the place our own in small ways that feel significant. I’ve had food to eat growing since last February and even as I keep kicking myself now for not putting in more of an effort at a winter garden, there are leeks, greens, and roots to be harvested yet, we just finished the last of the Brussels sprouts, and we sat down to a NYE meal that was largely from our own back yard. Small gains that mean a lot.

 

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What do you eat in this new season of reset to get back on track? I tend to forego the cleanses, green juice/smoothies, and cold salads, and just focus on what sounds good. This time of year, that means gently warmed greens that grow through the winter like kale and collards, roasted or steamed roots including beets, parsnips, carrots and the like, warming spices (cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, rosemary, sage, nutmeg and cloves!), hot drinks, and squash.

Lots of squash. I eat it in my oatmeal often, and spoon little cupfuls of plain roasted puree in between or to round out meals because that’s how I like it best. I know. I know. William curls his nose and tells me so.

 

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Comforting Red Flannel Hash, serves 4-6
1 pound potatoes (2-3 medium), diced into 1-inch pieces
1 pound sweet potatoes (1-2 medium), diced into 1-inch pieces
1 pound red beets (3 medium), diced into 1-inch pieces
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive or coconut oil
1 large onion, medium-diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 Tbs. each minced parsley and fresh dill or 1 tsp. dried dill
add-ins such as tempeh, diced greens, etc.

  1. Steam the potatoes and sweet potatoes in a steamer basket set in a pot of simmering water, covered, until it is fork tender, which will take about 12-15 minutes. Drain, remove, and repeat the same steaming process with the beets.

  2. Meanwhile, heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high and add in the oil. Cook the onion until it is translucent.

  3. Then stir in the garlic, potatoes, and beets and season them with salt and pepper. Flatten the vegetables with the back of a spatula to compact them a bit. Cook the hash until it is brown and a little crispy on the bottom. Stir occasionally, and once the bottom is nice and crispy, flip it over to crisp up on the other side. Once the whole mixture is browned to your desired consistency, sprinkle over the herbs, and serve or stir in the add-ins, as desired.

 


Apple Cinnamon Doughnuts

 

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I made it to the end of a whole year of nutrition grad school and on the last day of finals I made doughnuts to celebrate bake off the mad I experienced when the server went down and locked me out of my four-hour final.

If this sounds overly dramatic, it is. I had really been looking forward to resting my mind from amines, amides, carboxyls, thiols, esters, etc., and waking up on a Saturday morning to finish it all off was last on my favorite list when all I really wanted was to go visit farmers at the market and finally get in the holiday spirit. In any case, I eventually got to take my final and do all of that because I finally regained access at 8:00 pm Friday evening and I decided to forge on and finish the class rather than waiting another day. Perhaps it was the extra study time, that I was better prepared than I thought, or that some of my fellow students are even more dramatic than me, but the final only took a little over three hours, wasn’t nearly as painful as I was envisioning, and I landed a solid score off the whole ordeal.

 

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Or maybe it was the doughnuts.

These apple cinnamon doughnuts are brought to you by my forced change of plans and at 2:30 pm on a Friday before the big final, they 1. tasted absolutely delicious 2. did not cause a sugar rush/crash that would have made a fun* experience even better and 3. may or may not taste exactly like a bakery doughnut because I haven’t had one since early high school.

You have been warned.

 

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As I mentioned in my last post with pie, and also back when I made cookies, I’ve really been torn when it comes to sugary, indulgent treats around the holidays–but also generally. I tend to eat a “treat” every single day after dinner, but often it is fruit and cereal or a bit of dark chocolate. When I do indulge in the more decadent desserts, I’m often shocked at how sweet they are and I retreat back to fruit pretty quickly. This wasn’t always the case.

Also, I get the urge to experiment for this space every few weeks or William requests some sort of dessert or friends bring over treats–so my life is not entirely devoid of sweets.

I learned about carbohydrate and sugar metabolism this last term and also did a bunch of research on which alternative sugars to recommend. The important thing is that all types of sugar are hard on our systems in too high amounts and we as a society eat way too much of them. Second, I favor alternative sugars because they contain just enough other nutrients to not tax our systems quite as much and most are a little less sweet. Fructose in its refined state, (think high fructose corn syrup and/or white table sugar) heavily taxes the liver and according to some research, leads to decreased leptin, our satiety hormone, and increased grehlin, which is our hunger hormone. So we crave more and more and are never really satisfied. Unlike refined fructose, the sugar in whole fruits doesn’t have the same effect and there is evidence that this is the case because some of the phyto (plant) nutrients like quercetin in whole fruits block or slow down sugar absorption.

One of the less processed sugars that I hadn’t tried until recently was coconut sugar. I had avoided mostly because I’ve slowly been reducing all sugar over the years but also because the coconut craze has had me questioning the sustainability of coconut water, oil, sugar, flour, etc., with it all being so popular. I was handed a big bag of coconut sugar recently, however, and after trying it out here, I liked the results. It didn’t make me jittery or crave more like regular white sugar and the doughnuts were quite sweet enough, but not too much so. Coconut sugar does have a lower glycemic index and more nutrients than regular sugar, and can be used cup for cup in recipes. If you’re baking this season, it might be a nice ingredient to experiment with.

 

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Apple Cinnamon Doughnuts, makes 4-5
1 Tbs. ground flax
3 Tbs. warm water
1/4 cup millet flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
2 Tbs. coconut sugar
2 Tbs. almond meal
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup almond milk
2 Tbs. applesauce
1 Tbs. coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 an apple, peeled + medium-diced
2 Tbs. coconut sugar + heaping 1/4 tsp cinnamon for the topping
1-2 tsp. coconut oil, melted

  • Oil and flour the doughnut pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. If you’ve no doughnut pan, these can be made in a standard muffin pan; they won’t be doughnut shaped but they’ll taste just the same.
  • Whisk the ground flax together with the water in a small bowl and set aside for a few minutes.
  • Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well and then go back to the flax mixture and add the remaining liquids to it. Stir it all together to combine.
  • Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients and stir briefly until the whole thing is just combined. Gently fold in the apples.
  • Spoon the batter into the doughnut pan, making sure not to overfill. Bake for 15-18 minutes until they are lightly golden brown at the edges. Remove from the oven and pan, and cool.
  • For the topping, switch the oven over to broil and then place a bowl of melted coconut oil and a plate of cinnamon sugar in an assembly line next to the doughnuts.
  • Dip the top of each doughnut into the oil mixture briefly and then dip and roll it in the cinnamon sugar. Set on a baking sheet or sturdy foil and repeat with the others. Then transfer them all to the oven, just under the broiler, and allow the sugars to caramelize briefly. This should take no more than 2-3 minutes and may take less. Be careful not to scorch their tops!
  • Remove from the oven and serve warm, if possible.

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