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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Butternut Squash Pasta

Pasta is often a go-to dish for lots of cooks, especially during the fall season where we could all use some hearty comfort food that will stick to our ribs. This recipe for bowtie pasta with a butternut squash sauce goes will with the seafood of your choice, but of course, it makes a great vegetarian meal as well. For this dish, you'll need:

Farfalle pasta
pureed butternut squash
cream cheese or vegan sour cream
fresh sage
fresh parsley
fresh marjoram
butter or vegan margarine
olive oil
garlic cloves
dried cranberries
pine nuts
*Seafood (tilapia, shrimp, salmon)

-Sautee the shallots, garlic cloves, butter, and olive oil in a saucepan. When the garlic has cooked down some, add the fresh herbs. Mix the pureed squash and cream cheese together, and add this mixture to the herbs, shallots, and garlic (add a few tablespoons of vegetable or seafood stock if you want the sauce thinner). Allow the sauce to simmer for about ten minutes, then add cinnamon, nutmeg, and dried cranberries (dates work well, too). if possible, purchase fresh cinnamon and nutmeg, but if you can't, the dried variety tastes great as well.:)Sprinkle some pine nuts on top of the pasta dish once you've plated it, or roll them around in some olive oil and cinnamon first.

*While the sauce is cooking, boil the pasta--add sea salt and olive oil to the water to give the pasta a little taste. This is also a good time to cook the seafood you want with your pasta dish. Sautee a few slices of tilapia in olive oil and fresh herbs, and add a slice or two of zucchini for added color and taste. The same cooking method will work well no matter which seafood you choose. :)Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Stuffed Mini Pumpkins

I love cooking in the fall! This pumpkin recipe is ideal for dinner parties, and you can make this with your kids too:) it's stuffed mini pumpkins--one savory recipe, and one sweet:) Here's what you'll need:

mini pumpkins (I prefer the organic variety)
ground turkey, beef, or TVP (textured vegetable protein)
pureed squash
butter (or vegan margarine)
white pepper
fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, oregano)
brown rice
sea salt
half an apple (Granny Smith, as red as you can find:))

Start by cutting off the top of the pumpkin and getting all the seeds and meat out. Save the parts of the meat you want to use for the filling:) Rinse the pumpkin thoroughly, and make sure it's hollow enough for all the good stuff to fit inside.

Melt some butter in a large saucepan and throw in some chopped shallots, along with the chopped Granny Smith apple. Add a few sprigs of fresh herbs, sea salt, turmeric, and white pepper to taste. Add the ground meat of your choice, along with a few shakes of allspice. Mix in the pureed squash (if you want, you can mix in some heavy cream or vegan cream cheese into the squash before adding it to the meat mixture). Stir in the chunks of pumpkin and cover the mixture so that it will cook thoroughly--about 15 minutes should do it:)
Boil about a cup of instant brown rice in a separate pot, and flavor with sea salt and white pepper.

After the 'stuffing' and the rice have cooked thoroughly, pour a few heaping spoonfuls into each pumpkin 'bowl', and garnish with fresh herbs. You can serve the meal with your choice of a creamy or warm fall beverage--stay tuned for upcoming blogs to get recipe ideas! Enjoy:)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Spiced Apple Oatmeal Cookies

Ok, here's another fall recipe that I'm sure everyone will LOVE. Spiced apple oatmeal cookies are one of the best treats of the season, and you can even make them with Equal or agave nectar if you want to cut down on the sugar content :) You'll need:

Brown Sugar
Equal or agave nectar
about one a half sticks of butter (or soy butter for a vegan cookie)
1 egg (or Ener-G egg replacer equivalent of one egg)
milk (soy or almond milk works, too)
sea salt
uncooked oats
dried apples
almond extract
maple extract
vanilla bean

melt the butter, and add the applesauce and sugar to taste(just make sure it's not extremely soupy). Mix all the spices together along with the two extracts to form a pasty consistency. Add the spices and extract to the butter and applesauce. Use just a splash or sea salt (just a splash! sea salt is more potent than table sauce). Pour the milk and egg into the mixture--make sure the batter is not too thin, and add milk as necessary, so that when the oats are added, you can easily spoon out a cookie. Fold the oats into the applesauce mixture, and add some bits of dried apple to the cookie dough.

Spoon the cookies out onto a cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes. While the cookies are baking, make some icing from sweet apple cider, powdered sugar, and lime juice. Mix the ingredients together so that the icing is thin enough to drizzle on the cookies. Sprinkle a little allspice on each cookie after adding the icing, and get read to eat every cookie on the sheet, 'cause they're sooooooo good! :)