Tag Archive for autumn

Autumn Bestie: Delicata Squash Skillet Cornbread

I didn’t mean to take such a break from writing, but it came to find me, I suppose. Sometimes life is like that. Nanny Bert once told me, “If you wanna her God laugh, Sara, tell him your plans.” And so, that’s how it went. Gus died and I got quiet. Other things happened too:

Me and Ginger built a shed with our friend John.

I got good with a nail gun and looked like this most days.

The trees are putting on a big show where I run along the Green River.

AND, of course, I’ve been in the kitchen. Ginger’s garden was a hug success this season and I have plenty to work with. I am especially delighted by the hill of stowed delicata squash we have waiting for service. So when I saw this beautiful recipe for a pumpkin cornbread, I knew it was my shot to get in the game. I did a little dip and roll with the ingredients and between both our versions, I bet you can too. It’s so earthy and gorgeous for the season. I hope you enjoy. NOTE!!! Roast your squash before you make this. (pop the whole thing in the oven on 375 for 45 minutes.

Delicata Squash Skillet Cornbread
1c yellow cornmeal
1c oat flour
2t baking powder
1/4t alder smoked sea salt
1t Vietnamese cinnamon
1/4t nutmeg
1/2t pressed ginger juice
1/8 t ground cloves
1c plain whole milk yogurt
1 roasted delicata squash, seeded
1/3c pure maple syrup
1 egg
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1T vanilla extract
1 ground vanilla bean
1T butter

Directions

First You wanna get that 10″ skillet hot. Put it in the oven at 400 degrees while you do your thing. Mix together all your dry ingredients in one bowl, and whisk the wet ones in another. Then combine both bowls into a little cloud of heaven. Pull your hot skillet out, drop your butter into it and swirl it around so the sides and bottom are covered. Plop the batter into the skillet and bake for about 25 minutes or until your oven slightly browns the top. Wait for 10-15 minutes (THIS IS THE HARDEST PART OF THE RECIPE), slice it and serve warm. Preferably with someone you love. This could be yourself.

Maple Miso Delicata Squash with Chickpeas and Kale

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sliced my hand open working with butternut squash. And don’t even get me started on the kabocha. I’ve since found a U-shaped peeler that makes these endeavors quicker, easier, and a whole lot less bloody, but before I made that discovery, there was the: (angels singing) Delicata squash.

I love this squash because you can bake the skin and eat it. Plus the edges come out like scalloped moons, lacy little things that look fancy. I suppose you’ve gathered by now that I really go for low-investment, high-yield kitchen work. I want a lot of flavor, pretty plates, and solid nutrition without breaking my back about it. Unless I’m throwing a party. Then I love to fuss. But just for the day-in, day-out kind of cooking, I like it fast and easy. I won’t make jokes about myself in college, but it’s tempting.

ANYHOW!!! Roasting a delicata squash is so easy. It’s delicious. It’s good looking. It’s cheap as hell, and it’s good for you. Great. Let’s cook some. I got this idea originally from this recipe over at Sprouted Kitchen. The original recipe is QUITE different from this and you can try that one next!

1c cooked chickpeas
1/2 bunch dino kale
1 delicata squash
1t chickpea miso
2t pure maple syrup
3T olive oil, separated
juice of 1 lemon, separated
1t toasted sesame oil
1T pumpkin seeds
1T crushed walnuts
crushed black peppercorns

Preheat your over to 400 degrees. Slice the squash open the long way and run a spoon along the inside to get rid of the seeds. Make 1/4 inch moons from both halves and toss them into a small mixing bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the miso, the syrup 2T olive oil and half the lemon juice. When the miso smoothes out, and the sauce to the squash and toss with your hands until covered. Turn out onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with black pepper. Cook at 400 for about 30 minutes. Toss it around once at about 20.

Meanwhile, slice your kale up into ribbons and put in a mixing bowl with the chickpeas, a dash of sea salt, a teaspoon of the olive oil that’s left and the rest of the lemon juice. Mix everything until it’s all covered with the liquid. Let it sit and the kale will soften.

In a skillet, use the rest of the olive oil and the toasted sesame oil to warm the seeds and the walnuts. Use a low heat and just until the sesame oil is fragrant. If you begin to hear sizzling, turn it down.

As soon as your squash is ready, add it to the kale and chickpeas and mix it all up. Then toss the warm seeds and walnuts in and mix again. Enjoy!!!

The World’s Best (and EASIEST) Squash and Cauliflower

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With even less light these days, it can feel like we have even less time. Dark when we wake up, dark when we’re done with work, and often, dark gothic hearts. It makes sense. The change around us from Summer to Fall is a pretty intense one. The physical world we live makes enormous shifts, the weather changes (in this case more drastically and heartbreaking than we’ve ever experienced), and it seems like pretty much everyone around us gets a cold or the flu. This especially sucks for my pals who are parents. The kids get sick. The parents get sick and by the time the whole house is better, it can be time for another mutated bug to make its way back to the doorstep.

I thought now would be a great time to pass on two recipes that are incredibly easy, warming foods for the season and nutritionally fortifying for our bodies. Their easy prep gives you plenty of time to unwind and enjoy them. Plus: they’re both super easy on the old wallet. Win, Win, WIN.

Robust Roasted Cauliflower

This is one of my very favorite recipes. My friend Christa taught it to me, I modified it, and proceeded to eat it every day for like two weeks. You can use the very same method with good result for broccoli, but the cauliflower is special.

It’s difficult to believe how delicious this is. Plus in the nutrition corner, cauliflower is packed with phytonutrients which are, easily stated, substances plants produce to protect themselves. Organic varieties of vegetables are higher in phytonutrients than commercial ones because they have to defend themselves harder against the elements inorder to thrive. The more a plant is forced to protects itself, the healthier and more robust it is sharing its nutrients with us and helping us to them fortify our own systems of protection. These things basically build protection of our cells, defending our systems against all manner of difficult foes: from heat to virus and they buoy healthy gene expression. In addition, cauliflower is an abundant course of source of vitamin C, an antioxidant helps fight against free radicals, boosts immunity and prevents from infections and cancers. It’s also rich in B vitamins to aid in protein and carbohydrate metabolism PLUS it’s a great source of a whole slew of nutrients such as manganese, copper, iron, calcium and potassium.

Plus nutritional yeast, in our house known as hippie dust, packs a punch as well. Its a GREAT source of Vitamin B12 which is especially important for vegans and vegetarians, delivers fiber to the system, as well as offering protein.

How should you cook the damn thing? I’m glad you asked.

1 head cauliflower
1T olive oil
1t black sesame seeds
1/4c nutritional yeast

Preheat your oven to 350. Take all the ingredients and drop them in a mixing bowl. Toss it with your hands until all is coated. Spread on a cooking sheet with parchment paper or foil and cook for about 20-25 minutes. Cauliflower should be a golden light brown. THAT’S IT!

 

Warming Fall Squash

You’ll find me cooking kabocha squash in the photos, but you can use this method and flavor profile for any of the incredible varieties available right now: butternut, acorn, pumpkin, delicata and the list goes on. Squash is perfect for the fall and supports healthy lung function. In fact anything orange does. That orange flash is a sign of beta-ceratene, an antioxidant that supports lung function. (More orange foods to eat in the fall, warding off your susceptibility to colds and flu: carrots, magoes, melons, and sweet potatoes) I’ve added a warming spice mix that also serve to relax the digestive process and help the fiber work more easily in your system.

1 squash (any variety)
1T olive oil
1 anise star
1t black peppercorns
1t white Peppercorns
1t dried lavendar
5 allspice pods
2 cardamom pods
1t coriander pods
1t ground cinnamon

*There will be spice mix left over for you to use in other recipes as you wish

Preheat oven to 350. Slice your squash in half and remove seeds. (You can toast these and eat them later) Massage each half with olive oil. Put all the whole spices in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind. Add in your cinnamon. Cut squash into wedges and sprinkle the spice mix onto them. Place in the over for 30-35 minutes or until the flesh is browned and the squash is soft. (Alternatively you can sprinkle the spice mix on each half, turn the squash split side down onto a foiled sheet and bake until the skin gives when you poke it with your finger) Voila.