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.