Delicata Squash, Rosemary + Cranberry Flatbread

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Like many people, I struggle in winter and it usually hits full force in early to mid-February. This year, it hit along with our first snow/ice storm before winter had technically even begun. This time around, I think the combination of having to set aside plans repeatedly due to weather, feeling trapped at home, and the end of a successful training cycle and race (my first marathon), all culminated in a bit of feeling glum and fearful about the what’s next–as I inevitably tend to be fearful that there’s no way I can possibly live up to my own expectations in each new year.

To be sure, I’m slowly working my way out, and coming up with colorful, yet seasonal meals is one outlet for doing so. Along with this super tasty flatbread, I’ve got a few links to share that have been helpful in this “season.” Enjoy!

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In this New Year:
Trust the light, face the darkness, and live with the questions.
The One Thing.  Absolutely love this video.
17 Recovery Goals for 2017
I don’t have a resolution for the new year, per se, as I’m continuing what I’ve been working on for the last couple years. One of the little things that feeds into that process is Filtering Out the Noise.

Nutrition:
Sugar is the ‘alcohol of the child’, yet we let it dominate the breakfast table
Big Sugar’s Secret Ally? Nutritionists

Social Skills:
Tired and not wonder woman. Applauding and nodding along to Emma’s frustration about the blogging world these days. I’ve had similar experiences. And while expecting and/or demanding instant replies is endemic in our current culture, I’m glad Emma was willing to speak out against it.
On having conversations with those from a different perspective. And progress.

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A good book:

The Whole-Food Guide to Strong Bones by Annemarie ColbinLike her previous book, Food and Healing, this one calls into question our skewed reliance on dairy for bone health. As an individual who was allergic to cow’s dairy as a baby, “grew out of it,” and then had many symptoms come back in my early twenties, I’ve long been taking calcium supplements and have been fearful that I’m not getting enough, even as I’ve researched and constantly questioned whether I need to take a supplement. After reading this book, which is supported by all the research I have read, I finally feel comfortable and confident that my calcium supplement is not necessary and may be doing more harm than good. This is an individual journey for sure, but if you’re interested in nutrition and bone health in particular, it is a great read.

To Eat:
Grapefruit-Roasted Beets with White Beans– I made this with a cashew cream thinned with additional grapefruit juice instead of the pistachio butter. Yum!
Moroccan Butternut Squash, Wild Rice + Garbanzos
Moroccan Quinoa Salad– This was the meal that fueled the before and after of my December marathon. Add a little kale and garbanzos (my go-to’s) and it becomes a full meal. The best.

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Delicata Squash, Rosemary + Cranberry Flatbread, serves 2-3
There are three components here, but they’re each easy and can be made ahead. Combined, they make a nutritious post-holiday meal that tastes like winter should, in my opinion. Sub out any other type of winter squash but if you do, you might want to remove the peel. If you can no longer find fresh or frozen cranberries, dried can be used, but you’ll want to use less and add more liquid. 

Cranberry Chutney:
1 tsp. good quality canola oil
1/2 large or 1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup sherry, vegetable broth, or water
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
3 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper

1 large delicata squash, halved, deseeded, and chopped
1 sprig fresh rosemary, minced

Flatbread:
2/3 cup garbanzo flour
1/3 cup brown rice flour, plus more for dusting
1 Tbs. good quality canola or other high-heat oil
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup poultry seasoning or combination of dried sage, oregano + thyme
1/4-1/3 cup water

  • Make the chutney by heating the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add in the onion and saute until soft and translucent. Add in the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 more seconds. Then add in the remaining ingredients, bring to a strong simmer and then turn down to low and cook until it becomes thick and chutney-like, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • While the chutney is simmering, roast the squash on a parchment lined baking sheet with a little water added at 400 degrees F. It should take 20-25 minutes to become soft. Remove and set aside.
  • Then make the flatbread dough: Mix the flours, oil, baking powder, poultry seasoning, salt, and water. Add enough water to make a dough that can be handled and rolled. Then allow the mixture to rest for about 10 minutes.
  • Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Transfer to a baking pan or pizza stone and top with the cranberry chutney. Depending on your preference, you will likely only use half of the chutney.
  • Then top the dough with the roasted squash and minced rosemary, and bake at 400 degrees F for 16 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, slice, and serve.

Cranberry-Cherry Chocolate Bird Cookies

Are you ready for New Years, 2011, a new resolution, and some positive change? Do you want to clean up your health in the coming year (finally), but aren’t ready to cut yourself off from everything good and wonderful? Or do you simply want try a new take on an old tradition?

If so, I have a wonderful little recipe for you.  It’s actually a combination of two of my favorite cookie recipes.  And really, it’s amazing.  This is a classic chocolate chip cookie with a twist (or several), and you can customize it any way you like.  Personally, mine has an addition of millet and brown rice syrup.  The latter is what keeps these cookies moist for days and days and days, if you’re in the mood to limit yourself, and adds a bit of a unique taste that everyone adores.

I added dried cranberries and cherries, and only a teeny bit of chocolate chips, a combination with a great festive flavor, but certainly feel free to omit and add whatever you like.  To get oat flour without searching at a specialty shop, simply put oatmeal (any kind) in the food processor for a quick whiz.  You’ll find the oat flour adds a bit of earthy- flavor and texture. In a pinch, you can substitute part molasses for the brown rice syrup, but it will really change the taste!

Cranberry-Cherry Chocolate Bird Cookies, adapted from Whole Living & Culinate
To make gluten-free, swap in 2 cups of  Gluten Free Flour Mix instead of the wheat flours. 
 
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup brown-rice syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 Tbs. water
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup millet
3/4 cup dried cranberries and cherries
a handful chocolate chips
  •  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, rice syrup, sugar, egg, water, and vanilla until completely blended. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients; fold in the millet, fruit, and chocolate. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or as long as overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Scoop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto the baking sheet, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake until light golden brown, 10 to 13 minutes.
  • Cool cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.