Red Curry Delicata Squash and Tofu
Adapted from www.herbivoracious.com.
Making your own curry paste is surprisingly straightforward, and the resulting flavor and aroma blows the prepackaged variety out of the water. You’ll use just 5 tablespoons of the paste for the recipe, and you can freeze the rest. This squash and tofu dish is a relatively dry curry. Serve with brown or jasmine rice.
6 dried chili pods, stems removed, seeds and ribs removed for a milder curry paste
1/2 c. boiling water
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. salt, divided
fresh ginger (2-inch piece), peeled, roughly chopped
1/4 c. chopped red onion
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 stalk of lemongrass, tender white part only, pounded, roughly chopped
1 1/2 c. fresh cilantro, plus 1/4 c. torn cilantro leaves and stems, divided
4 Tbs. vegetable oil, divided
1 lb. extra-firm tofu, cut into 2-inch squares and patted dry
1 Tbs. brown sugar
2 delicata squash, halved lengthwise, seeded, sliced into 1/4-inch half moons
1 c. very small broccoli florets
Directions: Cut the chili pods into small pieces. Place in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Set a plate over the bowl to cover. Let sit for 20 minutes.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Toast the coriander seeds for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer to a blender. Add the cumin, turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, pepper, ginger, red onion, garlic, lime zest and juice, lemongrass and 1 1/2 cups of cilantro. Drain the chilies, reserving the liquid, and add to the blender. Puree for several minutes, scraping the sides of the blender occasionally. If it seems to dry, add a little bit of the chili-soaking liquid at a time, until the mixture comes together in a paste consistency. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze, reserving 5 tablespoons of it to use in this dish.
Heat a large, heavy skillet or wok over very high heat. When hot, add 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil, and then a few seconds later, the tofu in a single layer. Fry until golden-brown on all over. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with a little salt.
Add the last 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet. Stir in the sugar and 5 tablespoons of the chili paste. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the squash and last 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then pour in 1/4 cup of water and cover. Cook about 10 minutes, until tender, stirring occasionally and adding a bit more water as needed. When the squash is almost tender, add the broccoli to the pan and stir to incorporate. Return the tofu to the pan when the squash is done. Fold to combine. Serve hot, garnished with torn cilantro. Serves 4.
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Sausage and Parmesan Stuffed Acorn Squash
Adapted from www.saltandlavender.com.
With a just simple salad, this stuffed squash is a filling and hearty fall meal.
2 acorn squash, sliced in half, seeds scooped out
2 Tbs. butter
4 Italian pork sausages, casings removed
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed from stems
1 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Directions: Preheat oven to 375ºF. Place the acorn squash cut-side up on a rimmed baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Set 1/2 tablespoon of butter in the hollow of each squash half. Roast for 30 minutes.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the sausages. Use a spoon to break them up as they cook, and brown for 6 minutes. Add the onion and cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat, and stir in the garlic, Worcestershire sauce, thyme leaves, Parmesan and more salt and pepper if needed.
Remove squash from the oven and scoop the sausage filling into each half. Roast for an additional 30 minutes. Serve warm. Serves 4.
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Butternut, Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Stew
Adapted from www.ohsheglows.com.
Creamy winter squash, sweet potatoes and red lentils are cooked in a creamy coconut-tomato broth, and enlivened by spicy turmeric, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, garlic and a touch of apple cider vinegar. Best when allowed to sit for a day.
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 onion, medium, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 c. diced butternut squash (1/2-inch dice)
1 large sweet potato, diced in 1/2-inch dice
3 c. vegetable broth
14 oz. can diced tomatoes
14 oz. can coconut milk
1/2 c. dried red lentils, picked over and rinsed
3 Tbs. tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
black pepper, to taste
3 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 bunch chard, stemmed, chopped
Directions: Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, and sauté the onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes, until softened. Stir in the squash and sweet potato and add a pinch of salt. Sauté for 5 minutes. Pour in the broth and stir in the tomatoes, coconut milk, lentils, tomato paste, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine, then increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, stir, and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, until the squash and sweet potato are tender. Stir in the vinegar and chard. Continue to cook until the chard is wilted. Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed. Enjoy warm. Makes 6 servings.
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Parmesan Chicken and Kale Sauté
Adapted from www.thekitchn.com.
With tender kale, sautéed sliced chicken, sharp cheese and the tang of dry white wine and lemon juice, this is a one-pan meal that is filled with flavor. Great for special company or your usual dinner companions.
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick strips
1 medium onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 large bunch Red Russian kale, stems removed, leaves chopped
1/2 c. dry white wine
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Directions: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and some salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, 5-7 minutes, until cooked through and golden-brown. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Add the onion, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes to the skillet. Sauté about 2 minutes, until the onion begins to turn tender. Add the kale and wine, and season with salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 minutes, until the kale is tender and wilted. Return the chicken to the skillet. Stir in the Parmesan and lemon juice, and stir to incorporate. Continue to cook just until the chicken is heated through again. Serve warm. Serves 4.
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Kale, White Bean and Ravioli Soup
Adapted from www.injennieskitchen.com.
This is a wholesome cool weather soup, with something warm and comforting in each spoonful. Unless you’re going to have this soup in one sitting, it’s best to cook the ravioli in a separate pot and add the amount you like to each bowl when serving -- that way you won’t wind up with mushy pasta. Depending on the ravioli you use, this soup is suitable for everyone from meat-eaters to vegans (skip the optional Parmesan rind though!).
8 c. vegetable broth
1/2 bunch Lacinato kale, ribs discarded, leaves thinly sliced
3 carrots, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
Parmesan rind (about 1/2-inch-thick piece, optional)
2 c. cooked white beans, drained (or 1 15 oz. can)
8 oz. frozen ravioli
Directions: In a large soup pot, combine the broth, kale, carrots and Parmesan rind (if using). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the beans and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, until the carrots are tender.
Cook the ravioli in a separate pot according to package directions. Drain. Divide the ravioli into 6 bowls. Ladle the hot soup over the pasta. Serve sprinkled with black pepper. 6 servings
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Lentil, Farro and Kale Salad
Chock-full of fiber and plant-based protein, plus healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, this salad is a balanced, satisfying dinner in a bowl. Lentils and farro are combined with citrus-dressed kale, mango, avocado and sautéed mushrooms. Wow!
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. champagne vinegar or orange muscat vinegar
2 Tbs. olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon, divided
1 Tbs. agave
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 bunch kale, stems removed, leaves finely sliced
1 1/2 c. lentils de Puy, rinsed and picked over
2 c. vegetable broth
1 c. farro, soaked in water for 1 hour
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 lb. mushrooms (one variety or a mixture), stems trimmed, sliced
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, diced
2 cups diced mango
Directions: Whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, agave and Dijon mustard. Season with salt and pepper.
Place the kale in a large bowl. Pour 3 tablespoons of the dressing over the kale, toss to coat, then use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale (for a long time, about 5 minutes!). Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.
Combine the lentils and 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, let boil for 3 minutes, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, drain well, then season with salt and pepper, and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
Combine the vegetable broth and farro in a medium pot, covered, over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then stir, lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes, until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Drain any remaining broth and set aside, uncovered. Let cool for about 10 minutes.
Heat the remaining teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and mushrooms, and sauté until the onions are translucent and tender and the mushrooms are tender and lightly browned. Transfer the onions and mushrooms to the bowl of kale.
To make the salad, add the lentils and farro to the bowl of mushrooms and kale. Add theremaining dressing and gently toss to combine. Add the avocado and mango, and gently toss once more. Serve at room temperature. Serves 6.
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Fennel-crusted Pork Loin with Roasted Potatoes and Pears
Adapted from www.realsimple.com.
Crushed fennel seed adds a deep but not overpowering flavor to perfectly cooked pork loin, and roasting pears with potatoes and onions makes a special accompaniment. This is a mostly hands-off meal to prepare, and after a little more than an hour in the oven, you’ll have a dinner that will make everyone happy..
2 red onions, peeled and quartered
1 lb. small yellow potatoes, quartered
3 pears, firm, cored and quartered
4 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 Tbs. fennel seeds
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lb. boneless pork loin
Directions: Preheat oven to 400ºF. Combine the onions, potatoes, pears, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and 2 tablespoons of oil in a large roasting pan. Toss to coat.
Use a mortar and pestle (or the bottom of a heavy pan) to coarsely crush the fennel seeds. In a small bowl, combine the fennel with the garlic, remaining oil, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Rub the mixture all over the pork. Push the onion-potato-pear mixture to the sides of the roasting pan to make room for the pork loin, then set it in the pan, with the vegetables and pears nestled all around it.
Roast for about 70 minutes, until the pork is cooked through and measures an internal temperature of 160ºF. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with the roasted fruit and vegetables. Serves 4.
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Pear and Ricotta Almond Butter Toast
Adapted from www.anutritionisteats.com.
If you’re pressed for time, skip the sautéing step in this recipe and use uncooked pears sprinkled with some cinnamon. This toast will still be a nutritious treat to keep hunger at bay for hours.
1 Tbs. butter
2 small pears, firm but ripe, cored and thinly sliced
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 slices of bread
1/4 c. smooth almond butter
1/2 c. ricotta cheese
1 Tbs. maple syrup
Directions: Heat a small sauté pan over medium-low heat and add the butter. When melted and bubbling, add the pears and the cinnamon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pears are tender.
Toast the bread. While still warm, spread each slice with an even layer of almond butter. Scoop ricotta cheese on top of the almond butter. Spoon the pears onto each piece of toast, pressing them into the ricotta. Drizzle with melted butter from the pan and a bit of maple syrup.
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Apple Pear Crisp
Pears and apples complement each other beautifully in this simple and straightforward dessert. This crisp is vegan and gluten free, so it’s sure to please. It’s best served warm, served with some vegan ice cream.
1 1/2 lbs. apples, peeled and cubed
1 1/2 lbs. pears, peeled and cubed
2 Tbs. orange zest
2 Tbs. orange juice
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. oat flour plus 1 1/3 cups, divided
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, divided
dash of cloves
1 c. rolled oats
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 c. coconut oil, solid (just keep at a lower temperature than room temperature to ensure it stays solid)
2 Tbs. cold water
Directions: Preheat oven to 350F.
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