Harvest Butternut Squash with Almond-Pecan Parmesan

IMG_0002Squash, such a versatile vegetable, enjoyed by vegans and omnivores alike.  I enjoy the fact that I can have it both as a main-course meal and as a dessert, but of course not in the same meal.  Did you know you can use butternut squash as you would use pumpkin for biscuits, loaves, soups, cakes and pies? Try it in your next chocolate cake recipe.  You can stuff the squash with your best meatloaf recipe and bake for 40 minutes.  You can even cube the squash and throw it in your best curry recipe for an added bit of yumm.  Steamed and added to chicken broth in a food blender with a bit of butter makes a nice bisque.

HARVEST BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH ALMOND-PECAN PARMESAN

Caramelized roasted butternut squash and thin strips of kale are topped with toasted almonds, pecans and parmesan.  The hardest part of this recipe is chopping up the squash.

If you don’t have kale, use collards, or spinach, blue cabbage.  It’s your choice.

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1/12 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup kale chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly oil 3 quart casserole dish.

Peel the squash, remove seeds and chop into 1” chunks and place in casserole dish.  Cover dish with a lid or foil and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until fork tender.  Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine almonds, pecans, oil and salt and pulse until chunky. 

When squash is fork tender, remove from oven and reduce heat to 350 degrees.  Carefully fold in the chopped kale and sprinkle with nut mixture.  Bake for 10 minutes uncovered until nuts are lightly toasted and kale is wilted.

Recipe adapted as found in Oh She Glows Cookbook Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out.

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Corny Corn Bread

DSCF1994Looking for a nice breakfast idea or something easy to pack into your lunch bucket?

I believe this recipe would be great for kids lunches, for back to school or work where you have to take a lunch box or eat on the go.  You can eat it with your fingers and have it with a piece of string cheese and an apple perhaps.  It is also great made without the corn, which is then called “Johnny Cake” and used for breakfast with butter and maple syrup poured over top.  Always a favourite in my house.

CORNY CORNBREAD

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Combine ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

  • 3 eggs

Crack eggs into a small bowl. Beat well.  Add eggs to large mixing bowl.

  • 2 cups milk, yogurt, rice milk, almond milk or combination
  • 2 cups corn (off the cob) optional

Add to mixing bowl and stir together.  Pour into greased casserole dish, square baking pan or mini bread pans. Bake in preheated oven 40 minutes.  (Toothpick inserted in center should come out clean.) Cut into wedges and serve.

 

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Zucchini Cake with Lemon Glaze

zucchini

Having trouble disguising zucchini cake? Really, who needs to hide zucchini?  Mom’s do, (some moms like me) and here’s the trick.  Peel it before you shred this summer squash by hand or in the food processor.  The bits of green will be gone, and those folks who “think” they do not like zucchini cake will not even notice it is there. Tried and true!  Been there!  Done that! It took my kid years to discover that that cake I had been serving to him for a treat was indeed that dreaded vegetable…zucchini. If you see him, do not tell him. I believe he maybe still does not know; even to this day. Which always begged him to wonder why mom was serving cake again.  Hmmm… not her usual style to go all out like that… (tee-hee)….

ZUCCHINI CAKE WITH LEMON GLAZE

  • 1/4 c extra light virgin olive oil or sunflower oil
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 3/4 c organic granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 4 T fresh Lemon Juice, divided
  • 1/4 c low-fat vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 c shredded zucchini, green or yellow
  • 1 c chopped almonds or walnuts
  • 1 c powdered sugar

Oven 350 degrees F.  Coat an 8″pan lightly with butter.

zucWhisk oil and eggs in a large bowl.  Beat in sugar, zest, 2 T lemon juice and yogurt.  Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; mix until combined.  Stir in zucchini and nuts.  Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.  Cool in pan 10 minutes.  Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.  Stir sugar and remaining 2 T lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth.  Pour over cake and spread to edges.  Allow a little to trickle over the edge of the cake.  Makes 8-10 servings.

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Golden Beets

golden beetGolden Beets…they are the best…they do not bleed and can be cooked by steaming or a sauté, amazing in soups too. One way to make it a quick side dish is to peel it and cut it up like you would home-fries in little pieces, then put in a sauce pan with a lid and about 1/2 cup water and a drizzle of olive oil. Heat up to a boil, and then sauté on medium heat in the liquid for about 9 minutes. Then take off the lid and continue to cook until tender. Throw on a bit of butter and eat…yumm… a tiny bit of salt and pepper if you wish…

Golden beets have an amazing sweetness. They tend to be a bit sweeter and taste a little less earthy and more mellow in intensity than Red beets. Thanks to its beautiful yellow colour, lightly steamed Golden beets can brighten up any food dish and look beautiful in all kinds of salads. This humble root vegetable is a welcomed contributor to our plates.

GOLDEN BEET AND CARROT SALAD

Beets and carrots are such companionable vegetables. They go together “grate” in this simple salad. Such flavourful veggies need only light embellishment — just a little added sweetness, plus the tartness of lemon, which brings out their flavours.

  • 2 medium golden beets, peeled and grated and par-boiled…see below
  • 4 large or 6 medium carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon (2 to 4 tablespoons), to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Leaves from a few sprigs minced fresh herb of your choice, such as
    parsley, cilantro, or dill, or a combination

Combine all the ingredients in a serving bowl.  Allow time to let the salad stand (at room temperature or refrigerated), so that the flavours can blend.

Note: If you like beets partially cooked (they’re also easier to peel and cut that way), you can simmer them whole in water to cover for about 5 to 8 minutes. Or, place them in a heat-proof container with a very small amount of water; cover and microwave for 2 minutes per beet.  With either method, don’t cook for too long — you want to be able to pierce through maybe 1/4 inch, with resistance. Peel and cut the beets into chunks once they’re cool enough to handle, before grating them.
Read more at http://www.vegkitchen.com/recipes/grated-beet-and-carrot-salad/#eXaLQspz7GPmSOHG.99

 PICKLED GOLDEN BEETS

I have used this recipe for purple beets, golden beets and choggia (red and white) beets. I always enjoy cinnamon sticks with mine, although the liquorice taste from the star anise may be a pleasant change in flavour. 

  • 6 medium golden beets, steamed until tender
  • 2 1/2 cups rice vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1  cup granulated sugar (I have used less)
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 4 star anise or cinnamon sticks

Pack beets in clean sterilized jars, either cut in slices or chunks. If beets are tiny, leave them whole. Boil vinegar with sugar, water and star anise or cinnamon until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes.  Pour into jars add star anise at the top and cover with lids.  Let cool completely and refrigerate up to  2 weeks.

Also, try this amazing tasty and awesomely good for you “Tops to Bottoms” Beet Soup

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Romanesque Cauliflower, Broccoflower, Romanesco…it’s all the same

DSCF2041Isn’t this the coolest looking vegetable? I like when they show up in our CSA boxes. Some call it Romanesque Cauliflower, Broccoflower or Romanesco Broccoli. I like it raw with dip or steamed with a huge dollop of butter melting throughout the little “christmas tree” shaped pieces.

There are many different kinds of green cauliflower, and several are the result of the cross-pollination of broccoli and cauliflower.

Broccoflower is generally milder, more tender, and slightly sweeter than either broccoli or cauliflower. For those reasons, they are delicious raw, and make a great, conversation-starting addition to crudités platters.

Broccoflower can be substituted for cauliflower or broccoli in any recipe that calls for them. Beware of overcooking. Just like broccoli, broccoflower can become stringy and unpleasant when overcooked.

EASY BUTTERED BROCCOFLOWER

  • 1 head broccoflower, cut into florets
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper

In large pot of boiling water, cook Broccoflower until tender-crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and transfer to large bowl. Add Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, butter, salt and pepper; toss.

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Asparagus and Kale Salad with Slivered Almonds

4722_82948300980_650935980_2372257_6023578_nSpring always brings Asparagus, but it won’t last for long, as it is a spring-only vegetable, so enjoy it while it lasts. This herbaceous green veggie is tender and sweet, and it’s chock-full of nutrients, too. Asparagus is a very good source of fiber, and is loaded with vitamins E, C, A, and K. Asparagus and dark leafy greens such as kale are both are high in vitamin B12, and kale is a great source of calcium as well, which is essential for strong bones.

ASPARAGUS AND KALE SALAD WITH SLIVERED ALMONDS

This delicious and hearty salad combines both of these nutritious veggies, and it’s easy to make. Add grilled chicken, shrimp, or grass-fed water buffalo or beef steak to make it a complete meal.

  • 1/4 cup almond slivers, toasted
  • 1 bunch asparagus spears, chopped diagonally, 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • Shaved parmesan

Toast slivered almonds in a small pan on medium heat, stirring occasionally for three minutes or until golden. Set aside.

Sauté asparagus in olive oil with a pinch of salt and cracked fresh black pepper for 2 to 3 minutes, just until they lose their raw edge. Set aside.
With your hands, massage kale in a medium bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, and a pinch of sea salt.
Plate kale on a platter. Top with the asparagus and almonds, and freshly shaved parmesan. Enjoy!

 

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Stuffed Collard Rolls

StuffedcollardsEat Your Dark Leafy Greens!

Here is a very cool way to use Collard Greens. Most of the time collard greens are braised, steamed, sautéed or fried.  Collards are tough and leathery greens. They may be the heaviest and thickest greens we know how to cook. They simply have to cook for longer times, with more liquid, in order to be tender. So nearly every classic recipe for collard will call for braising, simmering, or baking for an extended period of time.

This is in contrast to more tender greens like spinach or even kale, which will break down quickly when sautéed or steamed. But this is also what makes collards so delicious: they hold their shape and chewy texture even after long cooking with meats, broth, and other delicious things.

Collard GreensSTUFFED COLLARD ROLLS

You can use your own favourite cabbage roll recipe for this filling.  Making these spawns a whole new way of eating collards.  There are an endless variety of stuffing ingredients you can put inside these tasty green bundles of nutrition.

  • 8 collard leaves, a little bigger than hand size
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked white rice or cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 pound ground chicken or cooked pulled chicken
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes, seeded
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of your favourite seasoning
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth or tomato juice

Blanch the collard leaves in boiling water for about one minute. Rinse, cool and pat dry.

Brown the ground meat in a sauté pan, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as you go until it loses its pink colour. If using cooked shredded chicken skip this bit.

Add the onion, garlic, celery, bell pepper, tomato and seasoning to the meat and sauté until the vegetables soften a bit. Cool the mixture to room temperature.

Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the cooked rice or quinoa and beaten egg.

Place a medium to small mound of the mixture just above the base of the collard leaf. Roll up the bottom, tuck in the sides and roll the rest of the way.

Repeat for the remaining leaves and place in a shallow baking dish. 

Pour the quarter cup of broth or juice over the casserole, cover tightly and bake at 350F for about 1 hour. Serve warm or at room temperature.

A 1-cup serving of collard greens offers 5.2 grams of protein, 7.6 grams of fibre, 268 milligrams of calcium, 2.2 mg of iron, and 14,440 International Units of Vitamin A.

 

MORE Healthy Collard recipes can be found here: http://www.wikihow.com/Cook-Collard-Greens

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