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.

 

 

 

Green Beans and Potatoes and A Green Pea Soup inspired by Chef Michel Guerard

Growing up my mom made the best green beans and potatoes. Lawd they were yummy. She would clean them, cut them and put them in a pot with Idaho white potatoes, seasonings and several pieces of cooked bacon. I can smell them now. Yesterday, after yoga, I went to my local farmers market stand and got a bag of green beans and decided I wanted to pay homage to my mom’s green beans and potatoes, but with a healthy twist. Now, don’t stop reading because you hear the word healthy, as Eddie Murphy said, in the movie, Life ~ “Don’t be scared.”  LOL. 😉

These Green Beans and Red Potatoes are full of flavor and doesn’t take an hour or two to make and you still get the wonderful nutrition benefits of the vegetable. Green beans are high in antioxidants and contains, Vitamin A, B and C. The amino acid in beans and peas make them a great options for vegetarians.

This recipe is very simple and makes a wonderful side dish. Since we are on the subject of green beans. I also decided to make a recipe from one of my favorite chefs, Michel Guerard. My husband gave me a copy of his first cookbook back in 1976, Michel Guerard’s Cuisine for Home Cooks. He is a Michelin 3 star Chef of France and his recipes are fresh, simple and full of flavor. Today I made a  vegetarian version of his Cream of Pea Soup. I changed it up a little and used super greens, chard, spinach and arugula, instead of the bibb lettuce.  I also used greek yogurt, instead of creme fraiche, but I did not skip on the butter. I used my french butter for the recipe. Hey you got to indulge sometimes.

I hope you enjoy these easy Green recipes. Hey, I love to eat in color, today it was all about the greens.  Bon A Petit! Remember to always Set the Table with Love.

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Green Beans and Potatoes

 

Green Beans and Potatoes

3/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut in half

1 pound red waxy potatoes, scrubbed and cut in 2-inch wedges

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4-5  small garlic cloves (to taste), minced

Sea salt and red chili pepper flakes, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

1. Steam the green beans above 1 inch of boiling water for four to five minutes until tender. Remove from the steamer, and rinse with cold water. Set aside. Add the potatoes, and steam for 10 to 15 minutes until tender.

2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, nonstick skillet. Add the garlic and red chili peppers, and cook for a minute or so until the garlic is fragrant. Stir in the beans and cook, stirring, for three minutes until quite tender and coated with oil (but still bright green).

3. Gently stir in the potatoes, and add salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until they begin to color lightly, about 3 -5 minutes. Serve Warm.

Inspired Michel Gerard’s  Vegetarian Version Cream Pea Soup

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons butter

1  onion, chopped

1 cup Super Greens, I used chard, spinach and arugula

1 1/2 quart vegetable stock

2 cups fresh or frozen tiny green peas

2/3 cup greek yogurt

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Vegetarian Version of Michel Guerard’s Cream of Pea Soup

DIRECTIONS:

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the onion, and sauté it until lightly browned. Add the super greens and cook it until wilted, about 4 -5 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Then add the peas and simmer for 6 minutes, if frozen, 15 minutes, if fresh.

Puree the soup in a food processor and strain back into the saucepan.

NOTE: The recipe can be prepared ahead of time, before adding greek yogurt, add this whenever you warm the soup up and are ready to serve it.

Reheat the soup and bring to a boil. Whisk in the greek yogurt and bring the soup to a boil again. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve hot.