4.2018

Zion Nat'l Park, Columbine

Thanksgiving recipes

Butternut Squash with Lemony Quinoa

Talk about a marvelous new dish to lighten up the traditionally heavy Thanksgiving meal!

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces butternut squash (about 2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • ¼ cup chopped shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried or fresh thyme
  • 2 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel and 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons lightly toasted pine nuts (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh chives (optional)


Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Cut the squash in half and scrape out the seeds and strings. Peel and cut into ½-inch cubes and toss with the 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Place them on a non-stick baking sheet, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, and bake for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  • Heat a deep, non-stick pot. Add shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until shallots soften slightly.
  • Add the quinoa and toast it until it begins to exude a toasty aroma.
  • Add the squash along with the thyme and vegetable broth. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook, stirring once or twice, until all broth is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  • Stir in the lemon peel and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add more lemon juice if needed.
  • Serve with toasted pine nuts and chives sprinkled on top.

This dish is very intriguing to the palette; the lemon flavor in the vegetable broth is heavenly, the crunch of the quinoa is unsurpassed in its texture, and the roasted Bnut squash provides a solidity to the dish that balances the lightness of the lemony flavor… give it a try! We made this recipe at the last Eat To Your Heart’s Content cooking class, co-taught by me and Wendy Van Wagner of In the Kitchen. This is Wendy’s recipe and has endless possibilities for variations–have fun with it!

Poached Pears in Red Wine Sauce–a heavenly dessert!

Pears poached in red wine

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cold water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 6 firm but ripe Bosc or Bartlett pears (with stems intact)
  • 1 bottle light red wine
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 strip orange rind
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 whole vanilla bean, cut in half
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Fresh-whipped heavy cream, mascarpone cheese, or crème fraiche for serving

Preparation:

  • In a large bowl, combine the water and lemon juice. Peel the pears, keeping the stems intact. Cut a small slice from the base of each pear so the fruit will sit without toppling. Drop each one into the water; set aside. This will keep the pears from browning.
  • In a saucepan large enough to hold all the pears, combine the wine, sugar, orange rind, anise, vanilla, clove, and cinnamon. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  • Take the pears from the water and place them lovingly into the simmering sauce. To keep the pears submerged in the poaching liquid, cut a circle of parchment paper the size of the saucepan and set it on the surface of the liquid. (only in case they float to the top, which will affect their becoming cooked. I haven’t found this to be an issue…)
  • Simmer the pears for 25 minutes or until they are tender when pierced with a skewer. They may need 5 to 10 minutes longer if they were not ripe.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat. Allow the pears to cool for 15 or so minutes in the poaching liquid. (Once cooled, you can transfer the pears and their liquid to a large container, where they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days).
  • Strain about one-third of the poaching liquid into a saucepan. Bring it to a boil over high heat. Let the mixture bubble steadily until it reduces to a syrupy glaze, with a consistency like thin honey.
  • To serve, place a pear in a shallow bowl and drizzle with the syrup. Add a dollop of the creamy topping.

Note: With their elegant contoured shape, pears are an attractive dessert. Make a poaching liquid from red wine, which lends the flesh of the fruit its deep ruby color, and add orange rind, vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, a whole clove, and a star anise for more aroma. After poaching, leave the pears in the liquid overnight (or for a few days), and the fruit will keep getting darker and fuller flavored. Simmer the syrup into a glaze, garnish with whipped cream or mascarpone, and you have an ideal ending to a hearty holiday meal.

Thanks to Wendy Van Wagner of In the Kitchen for this amazing dessert recipe! It’s what I am making for my family at Thanksgiving. Yum!

Butternut Squash: A simple, delicious side dish

My new I’m-hooked-on veggie of the week is butternut squash! I’ve made a fabulous soup for Thanksgiving the past several years, but recently, I’ve begun to bake Bnut squash and I am lovin’ the taste and texture of it with this simpler preparation.


Ingredients:                                                      

Butternut Squash

Olive oil

Salt and pepper


Preparation: Either

  • peel the skin off of the squash with a potato peeler; cut the squash in half lengthwise; scoop out the seeds; chop it into bite sized cubes, OR
  • leave the skin on; cut the squash in half lengthwise; scoop out the seeds; cut each half into 1/2 inch slices (so they look like smiles!);
  • rub the cubes or the slices with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and lay out the pieces on a cookie sheet.
  • bake at 375 for 20-ish minutes; turning them over at 10 minutes.

The cubes can be then added to a casserole with legumes or grains, or tossed into a salad. The slices look gorgeous as a side dish, and are divine when taken out of the fridge the next day and snacked on like you’d eat an slice of an orange!

Butternut squash provides an abundance of trace minerals and vitamins and has a delightful flavor. Enjoy!

"When my husband of 34 years died I lost my interest in cooking.  Instead I began relying on quick frozen organic entrees and dinners. After three years I decide to improve the quality of my diet, so I contacted Robin Mallery. Robin helped me create a more nourishing and healthful diet that took my busy teaching and consulting schedule into consideration.

It was a joy to work with Robin. She is knowledgeable, supportive, intuitive, and warm.  I highly recommend her as a Heart Healthy Coach.

Through lifestyle counseling, the sharing of her delicious and healthy family recipes, and an informative and fun "field trip" to a local whole food market, I have shifted to an eating plan that is healthy, delicious, and swiftly prepared. The key to swift and healthy meal preparation for me has been Robin's 90-minute Sunday afternoon food prep model, a strategy that assures quick and delicious high quality meals throughout the week. I consider my leisurely Sunday afternoon food preparation time as self-indulgent "me" time, and enjoy chopping, baking, and sauteing against the backdrop of classical music and a glass of wine.  I also love the fact that a nutritious and delicious dinner is ready when I walk through the door every night of my work week.  It's as if I finally have that personal chef I have always coveted, only it's me!"  ---Patricia J., Nevada City

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