Once in awhile I come across a recipe that just rocks my world.
Butternut Squash Falafel is exactly that, one bite and I was hooked.
I mean, what's not to love? It uses a respectable amount of squash, and most of you know by now that I am squash-obsessed, it is vegan, filling, and Maddie will eat it.
Oh, and did I mention that it comes with a killer tahini sauce?
And while I'm not sure how I feel about diets (the blog from which this recipe is from is pro-Keto), this is the second recipe I try from Julie's blog, and they were both amazing.
We had homemade sauerkraut on hand, and I made homemade tortillas to go with it, and then just topped it with whatever greens we had lying around.
But, you know, this is totally the sort of thing that would also do well as an app during a large family celebration. I can just visualize the little toothpicks sticking out of them as they sit next to a large bowl with the sauce.
Pie Or Soup?
Pie pumpkins are one of those yearly treats.
It takes a full season for a pie pumpkin to grow, and it is also one of those things that are synonymous with fall.
Pumpkin latté in the summer? Just wrong.
But now that fall is officially upon us, we are, once more, allowed to celebrate all things pumpkin.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I told myself that I would make a classic pumpkin pie, first roasting the pumpkin and making a purée using my trusty hand blender.
But the latest Food & Drink edition and my plan threw this plan into question.
Wishing to capitalize on the theme of Ontario products, they've created a tantalizing line-up of recipes including Butternut Squash Crumble Cake and Beet and Dill Torte.
But what really caught my eye was the Roasted Garlic & Pumpkin Soup.
Promises of a roasted garlic sweetness that ''meshes well with the pie pumpkin'' made my mouth water, and my thrifty side was glad that leftovers would freeze well.
So I made soup, omitted the cream, used homemade veggie stock, added love & lovage and it was delightful.
And although I will have to wait to make my Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, I have no regrets.
Beets are sweets
Do you ever have cravings that just won't go away?
Well, I get like that with Beet Chocolate Cake.
I had been craving this dessert for almost a full year now, the last one having been baked for Maddie's birthday last November.
I just had to have one, and last week the weather was just right to start firing up the oven again.
It was everything I remembered: rich, gooey, with the perfect amount of sweetness (I swapped the sugar for maple syrup).
And I didn't even think about the lack of frosting, it didn't need it on account of the extra beets I sneaked in.
In all of my excitement, I must have boiled too many beets, which worked out wonderfully because I was given a recipe from Monique, a CSA client / volunteer extraordinaire, that caught my attention: beet gnocchi.
While gnocchi sounds intimidating, I assure you that, if your beets and potatoes are already cooked, it comes together as quickly as a stir-fry would, especially since the actual cook time is a few minutes in boiling water.
And although you will be receiving potatoes this week, you can be creative and use a small winter squash in your gnocchi instead. It holds just as well on account of its inherent starchiness. It totally can be made vegan too and is still delectable.
So, while intending to cure one craving, I've inadvertently created a new one: gnocchi.
Roasted veg can be versatile
We've all done it.
Chopped up vegetables into similar sizes, throwing them in a shallow pan with a drizzle of our favourite cooking oil, adding seasoning, and roasting in the oven.
Anyone that comes into your house during the roast comments on the pleasant aroma and hints that they are free for dinner.
Last weekend we hosted friends of ours, the type of friends that may as well be family, which, incidentally, are the perfect guinea pigs for new recipes.
So I tried something new, a thin-crust roasted vegetable pizza similar to this one and all of us present at the above mentioned meal were pleasantly surprised.
But it got me thinking, as "keeper" recipes often do, that I am missing out on a whole world of flavour-packed possibilities.
The internet confirmed my hunch, and so, I present to you, a few roasted vegetables recipe ideas that go beyond the humble status of "side-dish".
But don't just follow convention, use whichever vegetables you have on hand!
Tomatoes, scallions, summer squash, peppers, apples, carrots, beets, garlic, potatoes, fennel, broccoli, cabbage, all are perfectly suitable for roasting.
Lunch prep isn't just for kids
In my brain, the year is separated into sections.
Winter is time to cuddle up near a fire with your loved ones, spring is the time to get excited about the summer to come, summer is the time to work hard and be flexible, and fall is the time to get back to healthy routines.
This is the time of the year when I try to put away as much food for the winter (hello ugly veg!) and start meal planning once again.
And while the new school year provides the opportunity to start a new set of lunch prep ideas, these are not limited to kiddos and can be easily adapted for adults.
Unlike children, who get a lunch whether they like it or not, adults can decide to forgo the pre-packed lunch and eat out at a restaurant.
And while there are fantastic options in North Bay for a quick lunch featuring local fare (I'm looking at you North Star Diner and White Owl Bistro), we still need to pack our own lunch most of the time.
So in the hopes to inspire you to become a lunch-packing pro, here are some of my favourite tips: