Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cranberried Kale

Over the past two days, I've consumed two entire bunches of kale all on my own, because this recipe is so darned unexpectedly good. Also, it takes about 7 minutes to prepare, from start to finish. Thanks to Minda for creating this . . .

3 cloves garlic, chopped
olive oil
1 bunch kale leaves, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces
handful of sunflower seeds, toasted
handful of dried cranberries

Saute the garlic in a little bit of olive oil; add the kale and cook for a few minutes, until it's no longer raw but still bright green. Add salt to taste, then throw in the sunflower seeds and cranberries; toss to combine.

Cheesy Mashed Potato-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Deeee-licious fall comfort food. Seriously. If I could eat this everyday, I would!

1 medium-sized acorn squash
5 medium-sized potatoes of your favorite variety
extra virgin olive oil
6 crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 shallot, sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP butter
1/4 C milk
3 scallions, sliced
4 oz goat cheese
1/2 C chopped walnuts, toasted
parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper, to taste

Start by halving and deseeding the squash. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast at 400 degrees until tender, about 40 minutes. Wash potatoes well and chop roughly. Add to boiling water and boil until very soft, about fifteen minutes. Meanwhile, get some olive oil heated in a skillet and saute the mushrooms, shallot, and garlic over medium heat until soft and fragrant, about ten minutes. Add balsamic vinegar and saute for another minute or two. Strain potatoes and return to pot. Add butter and milk and mash well. Add sauteed mushrooms, scallions, goat cheese, toasted walnuts, salt, and pepper, and stir until everything is combined.

When squash is tender, remove from oven. Fill cavities with mashed potatoes until overflowing. Smother with grated parmesan cheese. Return to oven for about ten minutes until cheese is melty and browned. Serve hot!


Squash and Lentil Soup

Mmmmmmmmm, this soup smells like fall. And tastes like fall. And will make you feel all warm and toasty on a chilly day.

olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch chunk ginger root, minced
1/2 tsp cumin
about 3 C veggie broth
about 2 C water
1 1/4 C red lentils, rinsed
1 medium sized squash (I used a kabocha!)
salt and pepper, to taste
handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

Quarter and deseed your squash. Arrange squash on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake at 400 degrees for about 40-45 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, heat several TBSP olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat, add onion and garlic and saute until softened and fragrant. Add ginger and cumin and saute for another minute or two. Add veggie broth, water, and lentils - I wasn't precise with my fluid measurements so play it by ear. You might start with a bit less and then add some more later in the cooking process as the liquid evaporates. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for twenty minutes partially covered.

When squash is tender, carefully slice off and discard skins. Cube squash and add to soup. Cook over low heat for another twenty minutes. Using a potato masher, gently mash squash until you reach desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste and fresh chopped cilantro.

Serve hot, topped with a dollop of sour cream and garnished with more cilantro and toasted whole wheat bread.

Spinach-Corn-Feta Salad

If you're like me and want to hang on to those last few bits of summer, this salad's for you!

1 small bunch of spinach, chopped
1 ear of corn, boiled
3 scallions, sliced thinly
4 ounces feta, crumbled
2 eggs

2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste

Place eggs in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring water to a boil. Cover and remove from heat, allowing eggs to sit in hot water for 15 minutes. Cut the kernels off the ear of corn. In a large bowl toss together spinach, corn, scallions, and feta. In a small jar, whisk together all dressing ingredients and drizzle over salad. Cool cooked eggs in ice water. Peel, quarter lengthwise, and arrange on top of individually plated salads. Grind some fresh black pepper over eggs and serve!

ps - I just ate the leftover salad on a bed of leftover quinoa and topped it all off with some avocado slices...couldn't have been MORE delicious!