Let’s be honest. Thanksgiving is typically not a vegetable-rich zone. I love the idea of adding a vegetable platter for adults and children to munch on before, during and after the main event.
Inspired by Pinterest, I made this platter last year thinking my 4 year old grandson would think it was cool. In passing, he may have thought as much but the adults seemed to enjoy it more.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Wishing many blessings to you and yours.
Autumn brings cooler weather, falling leaves and wonderful vegetables. I’ve become a huge fan of roasted vegetables and loved the idea of combining squash with Brussel sprouts. Adding cherries, nuts and honey were the icing on top of the vegetables.
This is a wonderful dish for a potluck, holiday and just an ordinary night at home.
ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUTS
4 cups Brussel Sprouts, ends trimmed, yellow leaved removed, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste
ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH
1.5 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and dubbed into 1 inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans or halves
1/2 cup dried cherries (or Craisins)
optional: 2-4 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (I did not add additional honey)
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease the foil-lined baking sheet.
- In a medium bowl, combine halved Brussel sprouts, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt (to taste) and toss. Place on foil-lined baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 20-25 minutes. During the last 5-10 minutes of roasting, turn them over for even browning. The cut sides should be nicely browned and partially charred.
Roasted Butternut Squash
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a foil-lined baking sheet.
- In a medium bowl, combine cubed butternut squash (peeled and seeded), olive oil, honey, and cinnamon. Toss to mix.
- Place butternut squash in even layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once half-way through baking, until squash is softened.
NOTE: You can roast both the Brussel sprouts and the butternut squash on 2 separate baking sheets at the same time .
- In a large bowl, combine the roasted Brussel sprouts, roasted butternut squash, pecans, and cherries (or cranberries) and mix to combine.
OPTIONAL: For more sweetness, add 2-4 tablespoons or honey or maple syrup…add slowly to desired amount of sweetness.
Adapted from Juliasalbum.com
Who doesn’t like chocolate cake? I wanted to make a chocolate cake for a gathering of friends, two of which are Vegan. We all love to share salads, fruits, pastas, but dessert is always a bit tricky.
This cake was moist, delicious and almost healthy! I would make it again and again whether my guests were Vegan or not. Even one of my Grand Dogs thought it was worthy of his attention!
Chocolate Cake…Vegan &Delicious
3/4 cup plain flour/GF flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup unrefined cane sugar/brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
This makes a small amount of frosting as the cake doesn’t need much, but for a full batch
1 1/2 tbsp. lite Nuttelex or other dairy free butter/margarine alternative
1 1/2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sifted icing sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
- Preheat oven to 180°C/355°F.
- Grease and line a small cake tin (or cupcake tins)
- In a large mixing bowl combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a separate medium mixing bowl combine applesauce, sugar and vanilla and pour into dry ingredients.
- Mix until just combined and pour into cake tin.
- Bake for 20-35 minutes or until cooked through and a skewer inserted removes clean. If making cupcakes, cook for ~10-15 minutes or until cooked through.
- For the frosting, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy in a mixer, adding in the cocoa and vanilla and mixing until combined. If needed, add a couple of drops of milk/non dairy milk until your desired consistency is reached
Recipe from Southerininlaw.com
Fresh fruit salad in winter is a real treat. This recipe is delicious, combining several fruits including apples, kiwi, blackberries, pomegranate, bananas and Mandarin oranges. The dressing is fresh and tasty, delivering a nice side to compliment any meal.
WINTER FRUIT SALAD WITH LEMON POPPY SEED DRESSING
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
3 Tbsp. honey
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. poppy seeds
- Combine all ingredients and mix well.
8 mandarin oranges, peeled and segmented (I used Cuties)
4 apples, diced
4 ripe kiwis peeled and diced
4 bananas, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cup pomegranate arils (from about 1 large)
1-2 cups blackberries (I added to the recipe)
- Combine all salad ingredients. Toss with dressing and serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from CookingClassy.com
Fall brings the bounty of tomatoes, basil and much more. Older daughter, Megan, told me about a roasted tomato and pesto sauce she made. I tweaked it a bit to serve my tastes. I love the idea of adding pesto to a rich, red tomato sauce. It was delicious and definitely a new recipe for my collection.
ROASTED TOMATO AND PESTO SAUCE
1 pound Italian sausage, cooked and drained
3 cups roasted tomatoes and peppers, cooled and blended (recipe below)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, diced
Cube of pesto (about 1/3 cup)
26.5 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, chopped or blended
1 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh, chopped basil
1 pound cooked pasta (I used bow tie pasta) and 1 cup of pasta water
Parmesan Cheese (optional)
- Core and slice tomatoes. Halve and remove seeds from peppers.
- Arrange the tomatoes and peppers on a heavy cookie sheet (I line with parchment paper). Drizzle with Avocado oil and sprinkle with sea salt or kosher salt.
- Roast at 400 degrees until the edges of the vegetables start to char and are cooked through.
- Blend the mixture to a smooth consistency.
- Cook and drain the sausage. Drain and set aside.
- Sauté onions in olive oil and when almost cooked through, add the garlic. Continue to salute until garlic is cooked through.
- Add roasted tomatoes and peppers, pesto, San Marzano tomatoes, water, basil and sausage.
- Heat thoroughly.
- Add 1 cup of pasta water to sauce. Stir. Add drained, cooked pasta, and stir to mix thoroughly.
- Serve with Parmesan cheese.
My garden continues to produce plenty of tomatillos and when paired with fresh sweet corn, cilantro and seasonings, it makes a wonderful salsa. I’ve also used it to top my favorite Papusas from the Farmer’s Market. It wold also be wonderful paired with chicken or fish. A new favorite!
CORN AND TOMATILLO SALSA
4 ears fresh corn kernels
2 seeded and finely chopped jalapeno peppers
4 cups husked, chopped tomatillos
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons fresh, chopped cilantro
- In a large skillet, combine the corn kernels and jalapeño peppers. Cook and stir for 10 minutes, until the jalapeños are soft.
- Add the tomatillos, green pepper, onions, lime juice, water and coriander to the corn and jalapeño mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Cool. Stir in cilantro.
- Cool salsa in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
- Serve with tortilla chips
Recipe adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/19686/corn-and-tomatillo-salsa/?internalSource=search%20result&referringContentType=search%20results
Zucchini and rabbits have a lot in common. They multiply…and multiply…and multiply. My zucchini plant has done well this year, keeping my daughters and I supplied in plenty of zucchini for salads, pastas, breads and, one of my favorites, Zucchini Fritters.
I’ve made these for years but with the remodel, the recipe disappeared. I found this recipe online which sounded almost exactly like my tried and true recipe. It’s easy and delicious, a bit like latkes.
4 cups shredded zucchini
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup sliced scallions (green and white parts)
Sour cream, for serving (optional)
Recipe from Justataste.com
Last year was the first time I ever planted tomatillos plants in my garden. While my tomatoes struggled last year, the tomatillos went crazy and they are even crazier this year given all of the summer rain in Colorado.
My first try at tomatillos salsa went the easy – route and it was delicious. I froze a few bags for winter enjoyment, too! I plan to branch out this year and try a few other recipes, too!
GREEN TOMATILLO SALSA
8 ounces (5-6 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 jalapeno (or 2 serranos), stemmed
5-6 sprigs fresh cilantro (thick stemmed removed), roughly chopped
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
salt to taste
- Chop the tomatillos and the jalapeño.
- In a blender or food processor, combine the tomatillos, jalapeño, cilantro and 1/4 cup water. Process to puree, then scrape into a serving dish.
- Stir in the chopped onion and salt.
Our CSA was loaded with beets this year and I’ve struggled with recipes to use one of my least favorite vegetables. Memories of canned, chopped beets in the school lunch flood my memory when I think of beets, but thank goodness there are so many wonderful ways to eat fresh, colorful beets.
I do enjoy a beet goat cheese salad so I whipped one up starting with a wonderful recipe but adapting it to use mixed greens and vinaigrette I had on hand. It was delicious and I was able to put the lunchroom flashback to rest.
BEET AND GOAT CHEESE SALAD
2 bunches medium beets, (about 1 1/2 pounds) tops trimmed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vinaigrette dressing of your choice (I used Brianna Champagne Vinaigrette)
1/2 cup walnuts
1 bunch of mixed greens
4 ounces goat cheese, (preferably aged goat cheese) crumbled
- Put the beets in a saucepan with water to cover and season generously with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until fork tender, about 20 minutes.
- When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel them–the skins should slide right off with a bit of pressure from your fingers. If they don’t, use a paring knife to scrape off any bits that stick. Cut each beet into bite-sized wedges.
- Whisk the vinegar with salt and pepper, to taste, in a large bowl. Whisk in the olive oil in a slow steady stream to make a dressing.
- Toss the cut beets in the dressing; set aside to marinate for at least 15 minutes or up to 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and oven-toast, stirring once, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Cool.
- Toss the greens with the beets and divide among 4 plates. Scatter the walnuts and goat cheese on top. Serve.
Adapted from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/beet-salad-with-walnuts-and-goat-cheese-recipe.html?oc=linkback
The idea of Peach Bruscetta resonates with me as did the Strawberry Bruscetta I’ve made many times. This recipe was delicious and I made it strictly according to the recipe. The grilling of the bread and the peaches took some time, but the end result was worth it.
Next time, however, I may try using Goat Cheese instead of Burrata and skip grilling the peaches, using my tried and true Peach Salsa as the topping with a drizzle of honey.
Anyway you make, you can’t go wrong this time of year with fresh Colorado peaches, cheese and bread. MMMMM….
GRILLED PEACH BRUSCHETTA
1 loaf ciabatta bread, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
8 ounces burrata cheese, torn
3 medium ripe peaches, halved and cored
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon
Flaky sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Honey, for drizzling
- Preheat and oil a cast iron or gas grill. Brush 2 tablespoons olive oil evenly over ciabatta slices and grill over medium heat until crisp and lightly charred on both sides, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Brush peach halves with vegetable oil or spray with non-stick spray. Grill, flesh side down, until lightly charred, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly, then chop and place in a medium-sized bowl.
- Chop tarragon and add to bowl along with salt, pepper and remaining tablespoon of olive oil and mix to combine.
- Spread a layer of burrata over each slice of ciabatta and top with a dollop of grilled peach mixture. Season with additional salt and pepper and drizzle with honey.
Recipe from: http://www.lepetiteats.com/2014/08/grilled-peach-bruschetta-2.html