Autumn is here and the farmers markets are abundant with root veggies like beautiful beets, colorful carrots, and plump sweet potatoes.
The best way to bring out the sweetness of these vegetables is simply by roasting them with olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper. Enjoy the roasted veggies served warm over cooked quinoa or served cold over a lunchtime salad (if you don't devour them right out of the oven!).
A recipe I created for customers to enjoy at a New England juice bar company is this delicious, unique roasted root and bean salad. The staff as well as the customers get pretty excited when its root veggie season and this rotates back on the menu!
So here is a simple version for you to try at home. Have fun shopping at the local market and cooking with the seasons!
ROASTED ROOT & BEAN SALAD - makes about 6 servings
1.5 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
2 large carrots, washed and chopped into 1/4" rounds
2 beets, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place sweet potatoes on a sheet pan and add just enough olive oil to coat the potatoes. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste and blend together. Do the same with the carrots and beets on another sheet pan.
Place sheet pans in oven and bake about 20-30 minutes for the sweet potatoes and about 30-45 minutes for the carrots and beets. Do not under cook as they will still be crunchy. Do not overcook as they will turn to mush. See above video link if you need help roasting veggies.
Let veggies cool then add them to the following:
1/2 pound organic frozen corn, cooked
1 can (15oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1.5 teaspoon ground coriander
1.5 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
Stir salad until all is mixed evenly together. Enjoy as is for a light lunch or put on top of cooked quinoa or salad greens. You can also add this to a sandwich wrap! Enjoy!
It’s that time of year when the warm summer days shift to crisp mornings and brisk evenings, and my dinners shift from cool veggie salads to warmer, heartier dishes.
My body works best when I eat with the seasons. This means when the weather is cool I fuel up with warming foods like soups, roasted veggies, and invigorating spices (cayenne, cinnamon, ginger). When the weather is warm I nourish with fresh fruit, raw salads, and cooling foods (cucumber, mint, cilantro).
September is a transition month so I like to combine warming foods with the seasonal harvest and a dash of cooling herbs. This curried quinoa salad is a perfect example of this culinary blend:
For the recipe click here to see this original blog post on The Juicery's Blog "The Squeeze".
As I reached the summit of a mountain in New Hampshire this summer I found a batch of berries. I sat next to them, pulled out my journal, and started writing....
It is a beautiful and perfect summer day. The blazing sun shines down upon my body warming me like a mother tightly holding her child. A gentle breeze passes by tousling my hair and whispering into my ears a lovely song. In front of my eyes is a gnarly patch of berries seducing me with their wild yet grounded demeanor. I give in and fall under their spell. The plump and juicy berries stain my fingers as I zealously pluck them from the comforts of their home. Their tart taste dances upon my lips making me feel alive. My senses are overwhelmed and my soul is filled with joy. Ahhh, the simple pleasures of life.
This moment reminded me that...
Food is life. Food is nurturing. Food is peace. Food is joy. Food is love. Food is forgiving. Food is excitement. Food is family. Food is art. Food is fuel. Food is comfort. Food is enjoyment. Food is soul.
What is food to you? And how often do you take time to remember how glorious and blessed you are to be able to appreciate the beauty and bounty of food?
I hope every single day.
Love food. Love life. Love YOU.
Today I went to visit a friend who has a bright green thumb! His garden was filled with plump, purple eggplants that were begging to be devoured.
I left his house with three medium size eggplants and hurried home to try out a new recipe. Since I have been surrounding myself lately with people of Middle Eastern culture, I decided upon a Middle Eastern style dinner.
The menu...Baba Ganoush, Fattoush, and toasted pita chips. Baba Ganoush is a paste made primarily of eggplant and tahini (sesame paste), while Fattoush is a light, refreshing salad made with pita bread chunks.
For the Baba Ganoush, I started by warming up the oven and pricking the eggplant. Next I placed the eggplant on a sheet pan and baked them at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes. After they cooled, I cut the tops off, peeled away the skin, and placed the flesh into a food processor and added lots of yummy ingredients. To lessen any bitterness in the eggplant you can add a bit of organic sugar as well.
While the eggplant was baking I toasted the pita chips and began working on the Fattoush. When all was complete, I sat down and enjoyed an aesthetically and physically pleasing meal. And, to top it off, it felt nice knowing that I was enjoying food that was hand grown by my friend.
Between love and pride put in the labor to grow the vegetables to the love and pride put in to the cooking, the meal satiated my body and spirit.
Baba Ganoush - makes about 3 cups
3 medium sized eggplants
1/2 cup tahini
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic (or 1/2 garlic scape)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 Tablespoon fresh cilantro
Pre-heat oven, prick eggplants with a fork and place whole on a baking sheet. Bake about 30 - 45 minutes or until tender. Let cool. Cut off tops and skin. Place flesh and the rest of ingredients into a food processor and blend well.
You may adjust salt, lemon juice, and garlic to your preferred tastes. Experiment with spices and herbs. Parsley is a very popular ingredient in Baba Ganoush and can be used instead of cilantro. Or you can also try using mint instead. Garnish with olive oil and serve with toasted pita chips.
Fattoush - makes about 3 servings
1 large pita bread toasted and cut into small chunks
1 tomato, diced
a handful of yellow cherry tomatoes, diced
1/2 cucumber, diced
1/4 red, yellow, or green pepper, diced
2 stalks green onion or chives, sliced
2 leafs of romaine or green leaf lettuce, torn into small pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
Mix above ingredients together and toss with dressing.
Dressing - 1 clove crushed garlic (or 1/2 garlic scape), 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Mix ingredients together, adjust flavors to taste, and drizzle on Fattoush.
Fresh basil....mmm, I just can't get enough of it. Its piquant aroma, vivid green color, and Italian roots puts me under its spell.
Tonight I decided to make a pesto from the basil I picked up at the farm stand the other day and serve it on top of zoodles (raw zucchini noodles). Pesto is incredibly easy to make, but seems so gourmet. I beefed up the gourmet factor by using macadamia nuts and a drizzle of white truffle oil. Yessssss...I love you Pesto!
Pesto - makes 2-3 servings
1 bunch of fresh basil, washed and dried
1 clove garlic (or 1/2 garlic scape)
salt to taste
1/4 cup macadamia nuts
(if not vegan, 1/4 cup vegetarian parmigiano reggiano cheese)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
drizzle of white truffle oil
In a small food processor puree basil, garlic, and a sprinkle of salt. Add macadamia nuts and blend. Add optional cheese, olive oil, and truffle oil and blend until a creamy consistency. Adjust olive oil and salt amounts to taste and texture.
If you are vegan and not using the cheese you could try a tablespoon or more of nutritional yeast to get that cheesy umami to the pesto. Toasted sesame seeds also add some interesting flavor.
Serve over zucchini noodles, warm pasta, roasted veggies, with a hot toasty baguette and fresh tomato, or straight from the bowl. Divine.
This blog is an exploration of life, love, adventure and art primarily through the medium of food.