Butternut Squash Pilaf

Butternut Squash Pilaf is an amazing alternative to perhaps this years stuffing. It’s gluten free and loaded with lots of vegan protein and hey it’s delicious. I was able to make this dish for William Sonoma’s guest yesterday. I did a cooking demo on Healthy Holiday Thanksgiving Side Dishes! It was a hit. I love to watch people reactions when they eat food they do not normally eat on a regular basis, especially a spice or herb. This pilaf has garam masala in it, a very popular spice in India. The awesome thing about this spice,  it has some of the same spices we use for our Thanksgiving holiday recipes, such as; cinnamon, cloves, cumin, coriander and black pepper. What’s different about garam masala, is the cardamom. We usually do not use that is everyday cooking, but now you can with this recipe. It is such an amazing spice. So, the moral of this story, try new spices in some of your everyday dishes.

This dish is super easy and will look beautiful on your Thanksgiving table this year. But first Remember to Set the Table with Love.

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Butternut Squash Pilaf
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Butternut Squash Pilaf

2  cups wild rice blend, gluten free

4 cups water

1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed ½ inch

1 tsp oil

1 tbsp dried  NO SALT garlic herb seasoning

1 tsp cardamom

1 tsp dried thyme

sea salt and white pepper, to taste. You can use black pepper if you like.

1 med. whole clove, peeled and dice

½ tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup chopped almonds

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 tsp garam masala

sea salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS
In a large sauce pan add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add 2 cups of wild rice blend. Cover with a tight fitted lid, reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Drain the rice and set aside.
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the butternut squash. Stir and add the seasonings, NO SALT garlic herb seasonings, cardamom, dried thyme, white pepper and sea salt. Stir and allow to cook for another 4-5 minutes. Add diced garlic. Stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until the squash has soften but not mushy. The cooking process should take 6-7 minutes.

Toast the nuts and seeds

In a sauté pan on medium heat, add your nuts and seeds. Season them with a 1 tsp of garam masala, sea salt and touch of honey. Toast them for about 1 minute, nuts and seeds can burn because they have a very high oil content.

ASSEMBLE

Add the wild rice to a large bowl. Add the squash and the toasted nuts, seeds and cranberries. Stir everything in the bowl gently, incorporating all the ingredients. Taste and see if you need to add more seasonings. Serve immediately.

 

 

Roasted Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts, Purple Sweet Potatoes in red wine with toasted quinoa and almonds

Thanksgiving is next month and I am always thinking about what will I do differently this year. Then I remember that I go out of town each year and visit my family, so it’s more like what will I do differently for Christmas this year. Lately, for the past 3 years I have been doing a French country inspired Christmas dinner, but I want to switch it up a bit. I want to do more of a vegetarian theme dinner. I know my boys, they will not have that at all, but I will incorporate more plant-based recipes this year. I always add a new vegetarian plant based recipe each year and less meat, getting closer and closer to my vegetarian Christmas dinner, more and more. LOL.

This particular dish came about when I was thinking of my past made coursed for Christmas, usually I like to do a Beef Bourguignon, but if I could do a take on that recipe using vegetables.  Now this recipe is not like Beef Bourguignon, at all but the richness of it from the wine and the balsamic vinegar, reminded me so much of the dish. It could easily be a main course for vegan or vegetarian table.

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Roasted Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts, Purple Sweet Potato in red wine 

I toasted quinoa and almonds to add some protein and texture, some cranberries and lemon zest and you have a deliciously decadent, rich, and refreshing dish for Thanksgiving or any time of the Fall and Winter season.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much I did today. You can add walnuts, or any other nut your prefer, instead of almonds. I had almonds and hand and I believe in using what you have.

Enjoy and Remember to Set the Table with Love.

 

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Roasted Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts, Purple Sweet Potato in red with toasted quinoa and almonds

Ingredients:

1 medium butter squash, peeled and chopped into 1-2 inch pieces

1 pound brussels sprouts, peeled and halved

3 medium purple sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-2 inch pieces

2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup chopped onions

2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced

1 tbsp sea salt, or taste

1  1/2 tbsp Harissa seasoning, adjust to your heat preference

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 1/2 cup red wine

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Garnish: Toasted Quinoa, Toasted Nuts, Cranberries and Lemon Zest

 

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Roasted Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts, Purple Sweet Potato in red wine with toasted quinoa and almonds

Directions:

Preheat the oven 375.

In a large cast iron skillet on medium high heat, add the oil and chopped veggies and sea salt. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the onions and garlic. Add the Harissa and brown sugar Stir and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the wine and vinegar.

Place the cast iron skillet in the oven and roast for 30-35 minutes until the vegetables are brown and a fork can go through the vegetables easily.

Toasted Quinoa recipe: Quinoa two ways ~ Toasted and Roasted

For Toasted Nuts,  just add nuts in a non stick pan on medium heat and allow to toast until you can smell the nuts aroma, remove from heat, be careful not to burn them.

Once cooked add the vegetable in a beautiful bowl top with toasted quinoa, nuts, cranberries and lemon zest.

 

 

 

Tri Color Carrot and Lentil Soup with Pistou

I love soup, but my best friend Kristina is a souper fan of it! Hee Hee. I made a funny, get it souper fan! Like I played on words. Oh okay… Back to the soup.

Tri Color Carrot and Lentil Soup with Pistou

So I am on this soup kick, since it’s getting colder outside.  Yesterday, I made a purple sweet potato soup.  I will post that recipe later on today.  It was creamy, buttery, spicy and delicious and it’s vegan!  I wanted something, broth based today. I picked up my son’s cold and broth based soups are excellent for cleansing the body.

I added ginger in this recipe and it works very well. I topped the soup with a pistou. Pistou is the French version of Italian pesto, except it doesn’t have pine nuts in it. It made an excellent garnish for the carrot soup, it gave it some freshness. I also used lemon zest on top of the pistou, to break up the fat a little, from the olive oil. I hope you will enjoy this recipe, as much as I did today.

Remember to Set the Table with love.

Tri Color Carrot and Lentil Soup with Pistou
Tri Color Carrot and Lentil Soup with Pistou

Ingredients:

3 small to medium, tri color carrots ( purple, orange, white or yellow) , chopped, same size

1/2 cup onions, chopped

2 small garlic cloves, chopped

1 small thump size ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1 tbsp garlic and herb seasonings, No salt

1/2 cup lentils

4 cups vegetable stock

pinch of turmeric

sea salt and black pepper to taste

Pistou

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, no stems.

Garnish with lemon zest ( optional )

Directions:

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, cook onions. Stirring, 5 minutes, until soften. Add in carrots and garlic. Cook for 2 -3 minutes.  Add in a pinch of sea salt, black pepper and garlic seasonings. Add in lentils and stir everything together. Cook for 3 minutes. Constantly stirring.  Add in vegetable broth. Turn up the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cover saucepan, allow to cook for 20- 30, minutes, until lentils are tender. Once cooked, remove from heat. Serve in bowls and top with pistou and lemon zest.

Prepare the Pistou. Blend or process garlic, olive oil and basil in small processor, until smooth. Season to taste with sea salt. Transfer into a small bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Serve over top the soup or spread on a baguette.

Green Apple and White Cheddar Gratin ~ The Lighter Flare

I love french inspired food, using the familiar and making it your own.  The beauty of living in the melted pot, is we get to learn from each other and infuse our cultures. The brilliance of doing this,  we create new experiences and new traditions for our families.

This french inspired gratin dish is for my vegetarians out there. You can easy make it vegan, by using olive oil, non dairy cream and vegan meltable cheese.

My memories of this dish, is my mom’s super cheesy version of her own take of potato gratin.  It almost reminded me of her macaroni and cheese, It was one of my favorite dishes. She would make it in the Fall, as soon as the weather got a little nippy. I thought about her today and with the weather changing, I decided to make a gratin in honor of her. However, I like to take dishes that are familiar and put my own signature on them. I made mines with crispy green apples, onions, garlic and white cheddar cheese. I seasoned the apples with nutmeg, cinnamon, sea salt and black pepper. I think my southern mama, would have approved and told me, I should have went heavier on the cinnamon, the butter and of course the cream. LOL. 🙂  The recipe is a little tart, sweet and cheesy.  It is not your typical heavy, creamy potato gratin, but  I believe it will become one of your favorite alternatives. Bon a petit!

Enjoy and Set the Table with Love. 

Green Apple and White Cheddar Gratin
Green Apple and White Cheddar Gratin

Ingredients:

3 tbsp unsalted butter,  a little extra for the mini dutch oven

1/2 cup onions, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

3 med. green apples, slice with a madoline or knife, thin round slices

1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

A few thyme leaves and dried fennels ( optional)

Fine sea salt and black pepper

1/2 cup heavy cream, if vegan, canned coconut milk will work

1/4 cup bread crumbs, gluten free bread crumbs for those with gluten allergies

3/4 cup grated white cheddar cheese

Few  fresh thyme leaves, for garnish

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 375. Butter the mini dutch oven, ramekin or small baking dish.

In a large saute pan, heat 2 tbsp of the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and garlic. Cook until soft and translucent. Add green apples slices. Do not use the top or the bottom part of the apple slices, just he ones that are not covered with the peel. Add the seasonings and the fennel. Stir gently to incorporate all the flavors. Cook for about 3-4 minutes.

Transfer half of the mixture into the baking dish. Add half of the grated white cheddar cheese and add the rest of the mixture. Pour the cream over top. Sprinkle the bread crumbs, thyme leaves,  and cheese on top. Dot the remaining 1 tbsp butter on top.

Bake until golden brown and bubbly, 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately, add the fresh thyme leaves on top as garnish.

Greens with Garlic Herb Sauteed Chick peas, Green Apples, and Vegan Cheese ( homemade)

This weekend was amazing! I renewed my vows to the love of my life, 20 years and counting. The house was bursting with cheer, family and friends all weekend. It was a blast! Honestly, we both felt this wedding was more exciting and very powerful than our first one. I guess that has to do with 20 years, of experiences, struggles, victories and so much wonderful growth in us both. Well, everyone is gone home. The cajun food, themed reception we had, with Mardi gras mask and all, are all put away and everything is eaten, accept a little jambalaya my husband and son has devoured.  Now back to my food and sharing Set the Table with Love recipes with you guys.  I love this salad, I made today,  because it is made with one of my favorite food brands, Go RAW foods. I used their watermelon seeds, that are loaded with 11 grams of vegan protein, to make my vegan cheese. I added some garlic herb seasonings to it and you have vegan cheese. The watermelon seeds made the cheese very buttery and nutty. It’s a winner, plus loaded with protein and only 4 grams of carbohydrates. YES!!!!

This recipe has 22 carbs and 20 grams vegan protein.  I ate the whole big bowl. Off to my walk.

Well here’s the recipes.

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Ingredients:

SALAD

2 cups chopped kale

1 cup romain, bibb, or any other leafy green, you prefer. I used Bibb lettuce.

Few leaves of your favorite herbs. I used cilantro, from the garden

1 large green apple, chopped

1/2 cup chick peas, rinsed and drained

1 tsp McCormick No Salt Garlic Herb Seasoning

VEGAN CHEESE:

2 tbsp Go Raw watermelon seeds

1 tbsp McCormick No Salt Garlic Herb Seasoning

1 tsp cayenne pepper

pinch of sea salt

TIP: I added a few of my sautéed chick peas to the food processor to give it more flavor and depth. That will also increase the protein factor.

Directions: 

Wash, gently pat dry and mix the greens, apples and herbs in a large bowl. Set aside. In a sauté pan on medium heat, add enough olive oil to cover the pan, add in the chick peas and the seasoning. Stir. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until the seasonings have browned just a little. Remove from heat. Allow the chick peas to cool, so they do not wilt the greens.

Add the watermelon seeds into a food processor. Process, until you get a small, fine crumbles. Add in the seasons, and gently pulse again, until the seasonings are incorporate into the seeds.

Assemble.  Add the cool chick peas ( with the sautéed spices) and vegan cheese mixture into the salad and gently toss.

Drizzle with a little lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil.

Enjoy!

Gluten Free Vegan Lentil, Apple and Potato Tart

This tart says, Fall. Apples. Lentils. Potatoes. Comfort Food. It’s hard and so very delicious. I love the sweetness the apples brings to this recipe. The crust is flaky and it’s vegan. I used coconut oil in this recipe, instead of butter. The coconut oil must be solid and not melted. So put it the fridge, the cold water will keep it solidified. If you do not want to go Gluten Free or Vegan you can easily buy pre made bake pie crust pastry dough.

 Gluten Free Vegan Lentil, Apple, Potato Tart
Gluten Free Vegan Lentil, Apple, Potato Tart

THE TOPPINGS

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, extra for drizzling over the tart

2 large organic red apples, cored and diced

3 small red potatoes, washed and diced

1 cup french lentils,  cleaned, soaked over night and drained

1 /2 cup onions, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp fennels

1 tbsp dried parsley

sea salt and black pepper

Gluten Free herb bread crumbs ( optional )

 Gluten Free Vegan Lentil, Apple, Potato Tart
Gluten Free Vegan Lentil, Apple, Potato Tart

Directions:

Cook lentils according to directions on your packaging. I soaked mines overnight it makes the cooking time shorter.  Once cooked, set aside.

In a sauté pan, add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of your pan. Sauté your onions and garlic, until soften. Add your diced potatoes and cooked until soften. Add your diced apples. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add your cooked lentils to the sauté pan. Stir everything together. Next, add your seasonings, parsley and fennel. Stir everything together and set aside.

THE CRUST

6 tbsp. chilled coconut oil, MUST BE CHILLED, YOU CAN ALSO USE VEGAN BUTTER, BUT I AM ALLERGIC TO PALM OIL 🙂
1 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill, 1:1 Gluten Free Flour mix
1/4 tsp. sea salt
4-6 tbsp ice cold water

DIRECTIONS:

To prepare crust, add gluten free flour and salt to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.  Add in the cold coconut oil, one dollop at a time. Work gently with a fork. Don’t overwork your dough, just get the coconut butter incorporated in the flour.
Next add ice cold water a little at a time. I like using a wooden spoon to stir my water into the dough.  You are adding enough water to allow the dough to come together.
When the dough as come together, place it on a piece of plastic wrap and work gently with your hands to form a 1/2 inch thick disc. Wrap it firmly and place it in the  refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 2 days. When you are ready to use the dough, allow it to get a little of the chill off of it, so you can work with it, easily.  Do not let it get soft, because it will be hard to work and the coconut oil will start to make it oily. If it is dry, add more cold water, a little at at time.

To roll out the crust, unwrap the disc and place it between two sizable layers of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  Use a rolling pin to gently roll it into the shape of a rectangle, press the sides up so you can have a wall border about haIf an inch high. This will allow your filling to not fall off. If the dough cracks some, just use your fingers to pull it back together and reform it. Be gentle, using taps to pull cracks back together. Poked holes in the pie crust with a fork, so it will not rise.  I also pressed some of the gluten free crumbs on the side of the crust, to get an extra crunch once baked.

Preheat oven to 375°F with racks in upper and lower thirds.

Line the pie crust with foil (not heavy-duty) and fill with pie weights, beans or rice. Bake until sides are set, about 20 minutes. Remove the pie crust from the oven. In another pan, sauté the gluten free bread crumbs in a little olive oil over a medium heat, until  golden brown. Set aside. Once the crust is done, brush the crust with olive oil.  Add the vegetable and bean topping and add your sautéed gluten free crumbs.

 Gluten Free Vegan Lentil, Apple, Potato Tart
Gluten Free Vegan Lentil, Apple, Potato Tart

Breakfast ~ RAW Oatmeal Cinnamon, Apple and Raisin Chia Pudding

RAW Oatmeal Cinnamon, Apple and Raisin Chia pudding, that’s a mouth full. I decided to make my breakfast last night. I made this delicious heart healthy and very detoxifying, chia pudding. Why heart healthy and detoxifying? Okay, let me put on my Nutrition and Wellness Hat ! Got it. Okay here we go a little 411.

Chia seeds are a great source of Omega-3 and -6 essential fatty acids. They are high in fiber and protein. This is a great detoxifying breakfast option,  because of all the fiber that is included in this recipe, from the chia seeds, to the apples, raisins and gluten free oats. A sliding board for your intestines, LOL. 🙂

There are no sweeteners in this recipe outside of the raisins, but the cinnamon, raisins and apples soaking in the  pudding over night gives it a wonderfully sweet taste.  I love to have this chia pudding with a cup of ginger tea. Enjoy!

RAW Oatmeal Cinnamon Apple, Raisin Chia Pudding
RAW Oatmeal Cinnamon Apple, Raisin Chia Pudding

RAW Oatmeal Cinnamon, Apple and Raisin Chia Pudding

1 mason jar with a lid or a glass container with a lid

1 cup non- dairy milk, I used Almond milk

3 tablespoons chia seeds

1/4 cup gluten free oatmeal

2 tablespoons raisins

1/4 cup chopped gala apples

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

pinch of sea salt

ALWAYS DREAM OUT LOUD! 

Raw Cinnamon, Apple and Raisin Chia Pudding
Raw Oatmeal Cinnamon, Apple and Raisin Chia Pudding

Directions

Add the non-dairy milk with all the ingredients in your mason jar or bowl and mix well. Allow the mixture to rest for 10 minutes and stir again until thoroughly combined.  Put the lid on the mason jar or bowl and put it in the fridge for overnight, so the chia seeds can fully absorb the flavor and soften. In the am you can remove the lid and add more non-dairy milk, apples and raisins, if you desire. I topped mines with also a little more cinnamon. This can be refrigerated for 2-3 days, if stored in an airtight container.

Set the Table with Love. 🙂

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie ( made from leftover quinoa chili)

I grew up eating Shepherd’s Pie. It was not my favorite, to be honest I have never had a Shepherd’s pie I could say was my friend. LOL. But I had leftover Vegan Quinoa Chili and was trying to do something with it instead of eating leftover chili. Well honey, I think I put my foot in this, because this version of Shepherd’s pie I am totally feeling.  I took my leftover chili, put it in one of my little cask iron skillets and took some sautéed mushrooms, creamy polenta, added a little mozzarella, baked it on 450  until golden brown and BAM, you have Vegetarian Shepherd’s pie.  I am eating this skillet as I am typing, so bear with me. LOL.

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Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
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Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
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Yummy Mushrooms

First things First:

The Quinoa Chili

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed

1 1/2  cup water ( the 1/2 cup will be added at the need, based on your preference of thickness of the chili)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion,chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup poblano peppers, diced

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

1 (15 ounce) can organic dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15 ounce ) can tomato sauce

3 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. In a medium sauce pan, combine the quinoa and 1 cup of water.Cook over medium heat until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the onion and cook until tender about 4-5 minutes. Stir  in garlic, poblano peppers and bell peppers. Cook until vegetables are tender.

3. Add  kidney beans, tomato sauce and 1/2 cup of water, a little at a time based on your preference of thickness.  Stir in the cooked quinoa. Season with chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder,  salt, and black pepper. Simmer chili on low for about 20 -30 minutes. Serve warm.

For the Shepherd’s Pie, set aside enough chili to coat the bottom of a mini skillet. I used about 1 cup. If you are making more, set aside enough chili for each skillet.

Vegetarian Polenta

1 1/2 cups of polenta

4 cups of water

1 tbsp olive oil

2 cup of mozzarella cheese, ( leave  1 cup of topping the pies, especially if you are making 2 or more Shepherd’s Pie skillets)*

Dash of black pepper and salt to taste

Directions:

Bring water to a boil. Pour in polenta steadily, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until polenta is thickened. Add the cheese, black pepper and sea salt. Stir throughly. It should come away from sides of the pan.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Shepherd’s Pie Skillets

What you will need: Mini skillets or you can use a Medium size skillet if you are using more of the chili to make a family size portion.

1  – 1  1/2 cup  Quinoa Chili per skillet ( you can use more or less, if you desire. The idea is  to cover the bottom of the skillets.) 1/2 cup  Vegetarian Polenta

1cup of organic baby bella mushrooms, diced

1 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

In a sauté pan add the olive oil . Saute the diced baby bella mushrooms on medium heat until they are tender. In your desired skillet, first add the chili. Top the chili with your Vegetarian Polenta. Sprinkle cheese on top. Place in a 450 degree oven until the cheese is melted and golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.  I like to serve these in the mini skillets. They make a wonderful presentation.

* This can easily be a Vegan dish, just do not add the cheese, but still back the polenta in the oven until it is golden brown on top.

Roasting Acorn Squash 3 Ways

This week has been about entertaining friends and family. Last night my husband and I had dinner with some of our best friends we love dearly. It was such a bittersweet dinner together, because they will be moving soon to another state. I prepared our guest one of their favorite dishes, Jambalaya and for dessert Double Chocolate Chip Brownies. We laughed and talked almost till midnight.

This afternoon I had the privileged of having lunch with my old class mate. We have known each other since third grade. We have stayed in contact over the years, but have never had a chance to sit down and have lunch together. We had such a wonderful time building each other up and sharing memories. The last time we saw each other she came to my housewarming party and brought me a very nice bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. I promised here I would not open it until we had lunch. Well we enjoyed it with our lunch, it went perfect with the recipes I am about to share with you.

I also received a bonus guest, one of my dear friends who has a gorgeous baby popped over as well. It was definitely an awesome afternoon. We all cooked together and enjoyed each others company.

So what did we make. Acorn Squash 3 ways. I bought an acorn squash this week and was wondering what to do with it.

Simple. Acorn Squash Soup, Roasted Acorn Squash and Apple Quinoa Risotto and  Roasted Spiced Acorn Squash seeds as a garnish and a healthy snack. Okay so here we go. I hope you enjoy these recipes.

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Acorn Squash and Apple Risotto with Roasted Acorn Squash Soup garnished with Roasted Autumn spiced Acorn Squash seeds with apples and cilantro
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Acorn Squash and Apple Risotto with Roasted Acorn Squash Soup garnished with Roasted Autumn spiced Acorn Squash seeds with apples and cilantro

 Acorn Squash and Apple Risotto with  Roasted Acorn Squash Soup garnished with Roasted Autumn spiced Acorn Squash seeds with apples and cilantro
Acorn Squash and Apple Risotto with Roasted Acorn Squash Soup garnished with Roasted Autumn spiced Acorn Squash seeds with apples and cilantro

The Seeds

1/2 cups raw squash seeds, if the acorn is small to medium

1 3/4 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp salt

1/4 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp clove

1/8 tsp nutmeg

Gather seeds from squash and place in colander.  Rinse thoroughly in colander to remove any excess squash. Once clean, spread out in an even layer on a cookie sheet and allow to dry. Seeds can be patted dry, but roast much better when they are completely dry.

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Toss dry squash seeds with seasonings and olive oil and place in a single layer onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until seeds are golden brown. Remove and place in a bowl.

The Soup

Ingredients
1 medium acorn sliced in half (through stem) and seeds removed

2 tbsp. olive oil

½ yellow onion, chopped

1/4 cup chopped honey crisp apples ( garnish)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro ( garnish)

1 small clove of garlic, chopped finely

1 tbsp. organic honey

1 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. black pepper

½ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

⅛ tsp. clove

⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper

2 cups almond milk

Instructions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Lightly sprinkle with sea salt and ground black pepper. Place squash, cut-side-down, onto baking sheet. Roast in oven for 45-50 minutes, or until flesh is tender and easily pierced. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Once cool, remove flesh from skin by using a spoon and scooping out the flesh. Discard skin and set flesh aside.
In a Vitamix, Ninja or Fast Speed Blender, add the squash, remaining seasonings, olive oil and 1 cup of the almond milk. Blend well until very smooth. If the soup is thick and it maybe add the other cup of almond milk. Blend and taste. If you need to add more seasonings this is the point to do it. Blend if you add more spices. I like to add the soup to a pot and let it heat up a little more for a few minutes. Add to bowls and garnish with the roasted seeds, cilantro and apples pieces. This soup is sweet so adding the seeds gave it more depth.

The Risotto

1 1/2 cups acorn squash, cubed

1 1/2 cup quinoa

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

5 cups low sodium vegetable broth

1 small onion, diced

1 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tbsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. fresh grated ginger

1/2 tsp. clove

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

In a heavy medium saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium heat, and sauté the onion and garlic for 3 minutes. Add the quinoa to the pan. Stir and cook for about 3-5 minutes.

Add in one cup of vegetable broth and stir for a minute or two until liquid is absorbed. Continue to stir.

When most of the liquid is absorbed, add the remaining cups of broth 1 cup at a time, stirring and simmering until each cup of liquid is absorbed before adding the next one.  During the third cup of broth you want to add the cubed acorn squash and allow it to cook and get tender.  Once the liquid is absorbed you want to add the fourth cup of broth, once it is absorbed, add in the fifth cup of broth and also add in the diced apples. During the fifth cup of broth you want to add all your spices, the sea salt and black pepper and stir. Allow the liquid to absorb. Drizzle a little olive oil over the risotto and gently stir. (The whole process should take about 20-25 minutes; you are looking for a quinoa that is al dente.  Taste and see if you need more sea salt or pepper.

I put my quinoa in little bowls and turn the bowl upside down onto a plate, this made a nice little presentation. I also took some of the seeds, diced apples and cilantro to garnish my plate. I drizzled it all with olive oil before serving. Enjoy!!!

RAW Creamy Mushroom and Garlic Soup

I love mushrooms. I love all kinds of wild mushrooms. These little funguses are delicious and very beneficial for your health and for your skin. Since I am in the  skincare business, let me share a few healing benefits of mushrooms. First off, they have  anti-inflammatory properties. They have been known to help improve acne, rosacea and eczema. Mushrooms are also rich in vitamin D, selenium and antioxidants that protect your skin against wrinkles and discoloration caused by environmental damage.

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RAW Creamy Mushroom and Garlic Soup
RAW Creamy Mushroom and Garlic Soup
RAW Creamy Mushroom and Garlic Soup

So there you go. Eat your skincare first and then try B’Tyli Natural Skin Therapies. 🙂

Here is my anti aging RAW Creamy Mushroom and Garlic Soup. This soup is simple and has a nice little kick.

  • 2 cups cashew milk

recipe for cashew milk:

1/2 cup raw cashews

4 cups water ( enough to cover the nuts, you may need more)

1 tbsp raw maple syrup or honey

pinch of sea salt

Cover raw cashews with water and allow to soak for at least a couple of hours, the longer it soaks the better. Drain and rinse. Set milk aside in an hour tight container.

  • 1/2 cup of onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cup mushrooms, I used baby bellas, but porcini mushrooms would give this an amazing burst of earthy flavor
  • extra mushrooms to chop for garnish
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • pinch sea salt, to taste

Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. I used my Ninja. Process until blended and creamy. Chop the extra mushrooms and place as a garnished, if desired. I drizzled a little olive oil over mine as well.

* If it is too creamy you can always add a little water to loosen up the soup. If you like it thicker add more mushrooms and few more cashews. Blend well.
* You can warm this soup up by allowing it to blend in your Ninja or Vitamix for a few minutes.