Tuesday, October 11, 2016

WOOHOO! In October, Squash, Pumpkins and Sweet Potatoes are all in season. I’m working with the fun folks at Atlanta & Company this morning to create three fun and different recipes, where any of the three delicious veggies can be used interchangeably!

Pumpkins are a traditional, delicious food of the fall. Whether incorporated in soups, stews or breads, it adds a creamy and tasty goodness to all kinds of foods. The word pumpkin comes from the word “pepon”, the Greek word meaning “large melon”. Pumpkins and melons are big - The largest pumpkin ever grown is 1,502 pounds.

AND WONDERFUL Sweet Potatoes are:
  • ·      high in Beta Carotene and vitamins E and C, manganese, calcium, potassium, iron.
  • ·      No need to put sweet potatoes in your refrigerator!
  • ·      Sweet potatoes even made it to the “Clean 15” list – no need to buy organic.
  • ·      Sweet potatoes can be Baked, Steamed, Boiled, Microwaved, Fried, Juiced, Pureed, and even made into smoothies!
  • ·      Sweet potatoes are the official vegetable for North Carolina – and Sweet Potatoes are the official state vegetable, (Georgia’s is the Vidalia Onion)

And did you know that Butternut Squash:
  • ·      Is called “butternut” from the nut called the butternut. The butternut is type of walnut Butternuts were used sometimes to home-dye fabric in the 1800s – what color? The color of a butternut squash!
  • ·      It has a sweet, nutty taste and is almost indistinguishable from pumpkin - the Australians call it  “butternut pumpkin”
  • ·      It didn’t make its debut on the American market until the 1940s when it received its name.

 Creamy Pumpkin Pepper Soup

1 TB Olive Oil

2 Large Red, Yellow or Orange Bell Peppers, chopped

2 Cups Shredded Carrots or Parsnips

1 Cup Chopped Red Onion

1 Tsp Smoked Paprika

1⁄2 Tsp Cumin

1 Tsp Sea Salt

1⁄2 Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

2 Grated Garlic Cloves

4 Cups Veggie Stock

1 Can (15 OZ) Pumpkin Puree
2 TB Lemon Juice

1⁄4 Cup Pumpkin Seeds, Toasted
1 TB Chopped Sage, Thyme or Rosemary

Step One Warm the olive oil in a stockpot and sauté the peppers, carrots, and red onion with the paprika, cumin sea salt and black pepper over medium heat until soft. (about 6 -7 minutes.) Add in the garlic and cook and stir until fragrant. Add in the Veg Stock and simmer for 10 minutes.

Step Two Using the immersion blender, puree the ingredients in the pot. Whisk in the pumpkin and warm for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and sprin- kle with pumpkin seeds and herbs.

Maple Sweet Potato Brownies

1 Cup Pecan Meal (or Almond Meal)
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp Fine Sea Salt
1 Cup Cooked Sweet Potato
1/2 Cup Maple Syrup (Grade B if you can find it)
2 TB Canola or Grapeseed Oil
1 TB Almond Butter
1 Tsp Vanilla
5 Large Eggs

Step One Preheat oven to 350F. Combine the almond meal, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

Step Two In a food processor, combine sweet potato, maple syrup, oil, almond butter, vanilla and egg yolk. Purée until combined and smooth.

Step Three Gradually mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients, until JUST combined.

Step Four In the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Then, using a rubber spatula, gently fold egg whites into batter. Place in a parchment lined, non-stick sprayed 9 x 9 x2” square pan and bake for about 15 – 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow the brownies to rest until cool before cutting them.

7-Layer Squash and Apple Salad

1 ½ Cups Quinoa, Prepared as Package directs, divided
Apple Cider Dressing*
1 Cup Chopped Green Apple
1 Cup Chopped Red Apple
2 Cups Chopped Roasted Butternut Squash
1 Cup Chopped Dried Apricots or Cranberries
½ Cup Crumbled Blue Cheese
½ Cup Chopped Toasted Almonds
3 Thinly Sliced Green Onions for Garnish                                                         

Step One Toss the Quinoa with ½ of the dressing. Toss the chopped green apples in a bowl 1 TB of the dressing. In another bowl, toss the chopped red apples with 1 TB of the Dressing.

Step Two Layer the ingredients in a trifle bowl, starting with ½ of the prepared quinoa and then add the squash, green apple and apricots or cranberries. Layer the remaining quinoa and then the red apple, blue cheese and almonds. Garnish with the sliced green onions.

*Apple Cider Dressing:
1/3 Cup Apple Cider
3 TB Apple Cider Vinegar
3 TB Olive Oil
1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tsp Honey
1/4 Tsp each Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Shake the ingredients together in a jar

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