You know that feeling you get, when something is too easy, and you think to yourself, ok I’m either doing this completely wrong or I’m somehow cheating. Cooking with Delicata squash gives me that feeling. They are literally one of the easiest things to prepare, and considering they’re a variety of squash, this is saying something. All squash are created fairly equal in terms of nutritional benefits, and the Delicata is no exception. In fact, because the skin is edible, it’s actually richer in vitamin A and vitamin C than many other squashes. Just like its relatives, it’s loaded with phytonutrients and antioxidants and is a powerful immune-strengthener, sure to keep you feeling your best all winter long!
Here are the primary reasons I love them so much. First of all, the skin becomes so tender when they roast, that you don’t have to peel them. Secondly, if you slice them thinly enough, they go crispy in the oven which is absolutely delicious. What’s more, whatever you toss them with before roasting becomes a sort of glaze and you end up with a gorgeous caramelized exterior. So delicious! Here I mixed the Delicata with a bit of massaged Lacinata kale, toasted almonds, and toasted coconut. At the last minute I threw in a cup of quinoa to make it a bit heartier, and because obviously I’m quite obsessed with it. You could omit this though if you’d like to serve it as a light side dish.
Ingredients: 2 small Delicata squash, 1 bunch of Lacinata kale, olive oil, sea salt, 1 tsp. pure maple syrup, 1 lemon, 1/4 cup of almonds, and 1/4 cup dried coconut flakes.
To prepare: preheat oven to 425 degrees. wash squash and cut in half lengthwise. scoop out seeds with a spoon. cut into thin slices. toss with olive oil, sea salt, and maple syrup. spread evenly on a baking sheet and roast for about 1/2 hr turning every so often to ensure even baking. meanwhile, wash and dry kale and slice it into thin slivers. massage it with a bit of olive oil, sea salt and lemon juice. in a skillet, toast your almonds until they are a nice golden brown. remove from the pan and give them a rough chop. do the same to the coconut. when the squash is done, combine everything in a serving bowl. add sea salt to taste!
Anyone who knows me can tell you that I’m absolutely obsessed with hummus! It’s such an easy and delicious source of plant based protein, and its possibilities are endless. It’s great as a sandwich spread, atop a bowl of quinoa with roasted veggies, or as a dip for raw vegetables and crackers!
Though I love classic hummus, the addition of roasted sweet potatoes and smoked paprika takes this one to the next level. It’s creamy and delicious and has a slight sweetness that perfectly compliments the tangy bold flavor of chickpeas, lemon and tahini. It also gives it an extra boost in healthfulness since sweet potatoes are packed with vitamin A, vitamin C and loads of antioxidants.
It would be a perfect snack to put out on Thanksgiving day as it is a lovely orange color that perfectly captures the nature of autumn!
for the hummus
ingredients: 1 sweet potato, 1 cup of chickpeas (canned is fine, but make sure to rinse them before using!), sea salt, tahini, 1 lemon, olive oil, smoked paprika, and 1 clove of garlic.
to prepare: preheat oven to 400 degrees. wash sweet potato and gently pierce its skin in several places. roast it in the oven for about 45 minutes or until its soft at the center. add chickpeas, 1/4 cup of tahini, juice of 1 lemon, 1 clove of smashed garlic, 1 tsp. of smoked paprika, and the sweet potato (skin on OR off is fine) to the food processor. while it’s running, add 1/4 cup of olive oil in a thin stream. add sea salt to taste. transfer to a serving bowl and top with a drizzle of olive oil, sesame seeds, and a light dusting of smoked paprika. Enjoy!
Call it what you will, perhaps vegetable discrimination is an appropriate phrasing, but when I’m at the market, I often overlook cauliflower in favor of more brightly colored vegetables. Though it’s generally true that vibrant produce is your best source for phytonutrients and antioxidants, cauliflower is in every way an exception. This subtle superstar is every bit as nutritious as its greener market-mates and is packed with important vitamins and minerals. It’s rich in calcium, vitamin B and C, acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory, and is loaded with fiber!
(now you’re thinking) but the taste…. I can get the same health benefits from broccoli….so why?
Once you’ve tried this dish you’ll understand why. With cauliflower, something magical, dare I say transcendent happens when you stick it in the oven for an hour. The exterior slightly caramelizes and turns a crispy golden brown, while the inside becomes almost butter soft. It’s so delicious you could eat it all on its own, but it’s especially wonderful in this warm, autumnal salad, alongside briny olives and nutty quinoa.
ingredients: 2 small heads of organic cauliflower (I used yellow and white but you can play around, purple is beautiful too!), 1 small red onion, 1 lemon, 2 cups of cooked quinoa (I used a blend of white and red), sea salt, olive oil, 1/2 pitted kalamata olives, parsley, and feta cheese (optional).
to prepare: cook quinoa. preheat oven to 400 degrees. wash cauliflower and cut into small florets. spread on a baking sheet. drizzle to coat with olive oil, sea salt and 1 tsp. of fresh lemon zest. place in oven for 45 minutes to an hour, tossing every one in awhile to roast evenly. about 15 minutes before you remove it from the oven, add the thinly sliced red onion to the baking tray. in a large serving bowl, mix together the quinoa, minced parsley, and olives. toss with the olive oil, juice of 1/2 a lemon, and sea salt to taste. add the cauliflower and mix again. garnish with feta (optional) and a bit more parsley. Enjoy!
Eggplant, also known as aubergine, is a perfect example of a vegetable that depending on its preparation, can either taste really delicious, or at the risk of sounding vulgar, well, like a dirty sponge. Most people think highly of eggplant in a single context, fried and rolled around cheese and smothered with tomato sauce, i.e. in eggplant parmesan. Though eggplant parm is indisputably yummy it’s rarely a healthy dish, which is a shame because eggplant in and of itself is a lovely ingredient. It’s loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and is rich in minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium. It’s also very versatile and when paired with complimentary ingredients, is absolutely delicious!
My favorite way to use eggplant is to slice it into thin strips and roast it slowly in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil, sea salt and smoked paprika. It develops a rich, slightly sweet, smoky flavor that is perfect with slivers of sun-dried tomatoes and toasted pine nuts. Here, I tossed it with a cup of quinoa, and some steamed broccoli leftover from the night before. I imagine olives, if you have some on hand, would complement the dish quite well too. When plated over a bed of vibrant green arugula it’s actually quite stunning and would make an excellent side for a dinner party! to prepare
ingredients: 1 organic eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes, 1/4 cup of pine nuts, arugula, 1 lemon, olive oil, sea salt, smoked paprika. optional, quinoa, broccoli, olives.
preheat oven to 400 degrees. cook quinoa. when it’s ten minutes away from done, throw some broccoli florets in the pot (if you would like to include them) and let it steam atop the quinoa while it cooks. wash and dry eggplant. slice into thin strips. toss with olive oil (don’t be alarmed if you have to use quite a bit, eggplant is sponge like and will absorb quite a bit), sea salt, and 1 tsp. of smoked paprika. place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, flipping once or twice to ensure it roasts evenly. meanwhile, place sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl and cover them with a bit of boiling water for 2-3 minutes to help them soften up. slice into thin slivers and place in a large mixing bowl with quinoa, broccoli if using, roasted eggplant, and toasted pine nuts. whisk together juice of 1/2 a lemon, sea salt, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and a teaspoon of tahini. drizzle it over the salad and toss to coat. plate over a bed of arugula, enjoy!
This might be the yummiest thing I’ve ever made! We’ve eaten it like 5 times in the past 7 days, which is crazy considering I only came up with it last week. Seriously, it’s that good! Pomegranates are in season for a such small window of time that every time it comes round I get giddy and hoard as many as I can get my hands on. They are so versatile and can used in a variety of ways. I love them on top of breakfast oats, soups, and especially in salads. They are incredibly healthful and contain a ton of antioxidants and other good for you vitamins and nutrients.
Here, I tossed them with raw lacinata kale, pine nuts, and a light lime vinaigrette. The result is a perfectly balanced salad. The kale is mild tasting thanks to a gentle massage, and the pomegranate seeds add bright crunchy bursts of sweet flavor that perfectly complements the tanginess of the citrus dressing. You could throw in some cooked quinoa or grilled chicken and you would have a fantastic light meal.
for the salad
ingredients: 1 bunch of organic lacinata kale, 1 pomegranate, 1/4 of pine nuts, olive oil, sea salt, and 1 lime
thoroughly wash and dry kale. remove middle vein. cut into very thin, ribbony strips. drizzle with a bit of olive oil, sea salt, and juice of 1/2 a lime. using your hands, massage the kale until it begins to turn a vibrant dark green color and is tender to the touch. add the seeds from 1 pomegranate as well as the pine nuts. toss everything together and then add sea salt to taste.
It’s really that simple, now enjoy!
This past weekend we put in some serious mileage on our bicycles, riding all over the city over the course of two days. After a week of nonstop rain, it was so nice to finally spend time outside, but by Sunday afternoon, I was feeling a bit depleted, and well, like I needed to eat a steak. Though I eat a mostly plant based based diet and do not support anything besides ethical farming, when I do supplement my diet with meat here and there, I feel more grounded and I have more energy.
This is my healthy take on the classic “steak frites”. By substituting nutrient rich baked sweet potato wedges for french fries and including a fiber packed kale salad (recipe coming soon) on the side this simple dinner is nutrient dense and the perfect treat meal to give your body a nice recharge. I woke up this morning feeling energized and oh so nourished.
for the steak:
ingredients: 1 pasture raised, grass fed steak. sea salt and pepper. organic butter.
heat your cast iron or large skillet until it’s extremely hot. add 1 tbsp. of butter and carefully place salt and peppered steak into the pan. sear at high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side for medium well, or less if you prefer a medium rare steak. remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. slice and serve!
for the sweet potato wedges:
preheat oven to 415 degrees. wash sweet potatoes and cut them into thick wedges. toss to coat with olive oil, sea salt and a dash of paprika, cinnamon, and chile powder. bake for 45 minutes to an hour, turning with a spatula once or twice so that they bake evenly.