Archives for posts with tag: autumn

Here’s a simple one for those chilly Southern California nights (wink, wink). Soup is a great way to stretch your dollar and incorporate some really healthy items into your food rotation. BONUS: there’s usually leftovers which means for very little time investment, you can have a few meals for the next few days!

Butternut Squash is a seasonal vegetable. It comes around in the harvest time so it’s best eaten in the fall and winter months. It has a delicate and mildly sweet flavor, similar to an acorn squash. Good for soups because it’s not as heavy as sweet potato or pumpkin. Butternut’s versatile flavor pairs well with savory elements like rosemary, bacon, and brussel sprouts as well as sweet ingredients like cinnamon, apples, and golden raisins.

 

Good in a mug or a bowl

 
Butternut Squash Soup
 
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 c. water
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
3 c. organic chicken stock
1 inch ginger root, diced
1 honeycrisp apple, peeled and diced
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt to taste
 
  1. In a large pot, saute the yellow onion until soft.
  2. Add water and butternut squash, heat on med-high until squash becomes tender.
  3. Add ginger, apple and 2 c. chicken stock. Simmer for a bit until the squash is really soft.
  4. Using a blender or immersion blender, begin processing the soup to desired thickness, adding additional stock when necessary.
  5. With the blended soup in the pot, stir in spices.
  6. Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon and some Plantain Chips.
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Layers of Vegetables

Made this beauty for Thanksgiving. It was a hit! Creamy and delicious and FILLING. Use a mandoline slicer or attachment on a food processor if you don’t want to spend the whole day thinly slicing. Other than that, this recipe is a breeze.

Rutabaga, Green Apple, and Butternut Gratin with MacCashew Cream Sauce

Ingredients:

Gratins
5-6 rutabaga, peeled and thinly sliced
4 granny smith apples, cored and thinly sliced 
1 butternut squash, peeled and thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp coconut sugar (optional)
1/4 cup fresh thyme, roughly chopped
1/2 cup cold-pressed coconut oil, warmed to liquid
Fresh ground black pepper
Fine ground sea salt

Cream Sauce
1/4 cup macadamia nuts, not soaked
1/2 cup cashews, soaked for 4 hours
1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. On low/medium heat, slowly sauté red onion with sugar and a tbsp. of coconut oil until onions are brown and caramelized (be patient and careful not to burn.) About 10-15 min.
3. Oil a casserole dish and begin to layer the vegetable slices:
Rutabaga: brush coconut oil, fresh thyme, tiny pinch salt/pepper
Apple: brush coconut oil, tiny pinch salt/pepper
Onion
Butternut squash: brush coconut oil, tiny pinch salt/pepper
4. Whatever layer you finish on, top with a little more salt and pepper as well as some thyme. 
5. Bake for 45 mins. 
6. Make cream sauce while the gratin bakes. Drain cashews from soaking liquid and rinse. Place all ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour over gratin when done. 
recipe adapted from : Yum Universe

Rice? No. Cauliflower Rice? Yes!

Pulsing cauliflower in a food processor is a great way to mimic a rice-type texture in a recipe. I like this particular dish because it reminds me of the flavors of thanksgiving turkey stuffing. The herbs and the golden raisins really satisfy the savory cravings of the season. Try this recipe with different combinations of herbs, spices, nuts, and dried fruit. Dried cranberries and pecans would be great!

Excuse the poor lighting...

 

Cauliflower Rice with Toasted Almonds and Golden Raisins

 4 T grape seed oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup celery, finely diced
5 cups cauliflower, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1 T fresh thyme, chopped
2 T fresh sage, chopped
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup golden raisins
½ cup sliced almonds
1 t sea salt

  1. In a large skillet , heat oil over medium heat
  2. Sauté onion over medium heat for 10 minutes, until soft
  3. Add celery to skillet and sauté for 5 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, place cauliflower in a food processor with the “S” blade and process until the texture of rice
  5. Add cauliflower, thyme, sage, cabbage and raisins to skillet, cover and cook 5-10 minutes, until soft, then add salt
  6. Toast almonds in a skillet, set aside
  7. Serve warm with almonds as garnish.

This recipe was a complete accident… something that happens more often than not, actually.

I work for a family and cook for them every night and the other day I found myself standing in front of the refrigerator trying to decide how to use the random ingredients available to me. The pesto burger stack was born. Being the Paleo Chef that I am, I was not about to try to wrap this burger in a bun but I wanted this dish to have a sense of completeness that is often lacking when you put a burger patty on a plate with a side of whatever. By grilling the butternut rounds with the burgers I created a harmonious visual presentation as well as a protein/starch element that helps the dish have some complexity. And let me say, the mixture of the sweet squash with the salty pesto is heavenly.

The Stack

Pesto Burger Stack

Pesto

3 c. fresh basil leaves

2-3 cloves garlic

¼ c. walnuts

¼ c. parmesan cheese

½ c. olive oil

1 tsp. salt

Stack

                1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into rounds

                1 lb. grass-fed ground beef

                1 small red onion, minced

                1-2 cloves of garlic, minced

Directions

  1. In a blender or food processor, add all pesto ingredients and puree until desired consistency, taste to adjust for more salt, garlic, or basil flavor as you desire.
  2. In a bowl, mix together red onion, beef, and garlic.
  3. Shape into patties about the same size as the butternut rounds.
  4. Oil the butternut rounds and put on a preheated grill on medium heat. About 5-10 min. each side depending on thickness. Test done-ness with a fork.
  5. Grill the burgers, about 5 min. each side on medium heat 
  6. Once the squash and burgers are done, arrange stacks on a plate. Squash on the plate, then spread pesto on squash and top with burger.  

 Option: top burger stack with some shaved parmesan.

Here we are, another fall season upon us. A season full of great comfort meals like soups, stews, and baked goodies galore!

I’ve been a huge fan of squash for a couple years and more recently, as a paleo eater, I have a newfound appreciation for these “starchy” vegetables since starchy grains are relatively forbidden. Spaghetti squash replaces spaghetti pasta, mashed butternut squash replaces rice side dishes, roasted acorn squash is another delightful and filling alternative.

Halloween is upon us and in keeping with the squashy season and the pumpkins of jack-o-lantern and pie fame, I made some pumpkin butter. It’s a nice paleo friendly treat to spread on some coconut pancakes or drizzle over cubed and roasted sweet potatoes. Another bonus: While cooking, it makes the house smell amazing.

Pumpkin Butter

1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup agave syrup or honey
1 Tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Cinnamon
3/4  tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice*
Pinch of salt

* You can make your own pumpkin pie type spice by combining 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg.  You do not need to add cinnamon since it is already included above, however, if using this spice for another recipe; you would want to add 1 tsp ground cinnamon to the mix.

  1. Combine the pumpkin, agave nectar, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over medium heat, mixing until well combined. Stirring constantly, cook for about 15 minutes, or until thickened.
  2. Stir in the spices and salt, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from heat, and transfer your pumpkin butter to a small bowl or jar. Let cool completely before covering and refrigerating.
  4. Pumpkin butter will keep for about 2 weeks in a covered air tight container in the refrigerator.

NOTE

  Continuously stirring is really important in this recipe to keep your pumpkin butter from burning. If you have to walk away, add a few tablespoons of apple juice and turn down the stove heat to low, still continuing to stir as you can. (Add about 5-7 minutes additional cooking time if you do this.)

Makes about 2 cups ~ 32 Tablespoons