It’s here. Thanksgiving week. Are you the type of person that plans a holiday meal months in advance? Or, does the phrase “wing it” describe you? Let’s just say I’m not a planner, so it’s out of character that I’ve been thinking about my Thanksgiving dish-to-share for about a year. No, I did not change my ways and embrace planning. Instead, I was true to my nature and never got around to posting the recipe for this spinach salad that I made last year.Not every salad I make is memorable. But something about the combination of roasted delicata squash, toasted pecans, sweet-tart apples and a sprinkling of quinoa just works. Now, if I could just find where I “filed” the recipe…
Until I organize my recipe files (and my life), here’s the no frills version of the recipe:
Spinach Salad with Roasted Squash, Quinoa and Apple
-Peel and seed a delicata squash. Slice and toss it with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast until tender and sweet and magical.
-Serve over the freshest spinach you can get your hands on.
-Load on some toasted pecans, apple chunks and cooked, cooled quinoa.
-Drizzle with your favorite vinaigrette. I prefer dressing made with sherry vinegar like the one in this salad and this salad.
-Share and be thankful.
What are you making for Thanksgiving?
P.S. Here are some ideas for Thanksgiving veggie sides…there’s still time to plan!
By Sunday night I know what kind of week I’ll have. If I do my Sunday Big Cook ritual, my fridge gets stocked with ready-to-eat healthy foods. Things like seasonal soup, cooked veggies, cut-up raw veggies or salad fixings and maybe some hard boiled eggs and some breakfast muffins. Spending a few hours in the kitchen on a Sunday means I’ll be more likely to eat clean that week. It’s a simple time investment that pays off big.
My biggest tip for a successful big cook? Catch up on podcasts! My favorite food casts to listen to while cooking are KCRW’s Good Food and The Splendid Table. Lately, I’ve also been into odd and hilarious Welcome to Night Vale and the riveting We’re Alive zombie podcast (start from the beginning!).
Here’s what I made this week. (While listening to Welcome to Night Vale.) Roasted Broccoli- Fresh broccoli florets tossed in olive oil and roasted until tender and browned.
Spinach with Peppers and Tomato- Sweet peppers and red onion sauteed in olive oil until tender. Add fresh spinach and wilt. Finish with tomato, sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Easy Vegetable Stock- A simple, use-up-those-veggies stock that makes a great base for soup. Or, season to taste with sea salt (or tamari or liquid aminos) and sip on it’s own.
Do you do most of your cooking on the weekend? What have you been making?
It’s that time of year…the great pumpkin recipes are upon us! I couldn’t be happier since I’m a huge fan of pumpkin in everything from smoothies to baked goods. Here are some of my favorite easy and healthy pumpkin recipes.
Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies Recipe- made with almond flour, oats, coconut oil, pumpkin and chocolate chunks
Pumpkin Spice Granola Recipe- made with oats, pecans, pumpkin, coconut oil, pure maple syrup and spices
Vegan Pumpkin Muffins with Chocolate Chips Recipe- made with whole wheat flour, pumpkin, almond milk, sucanat, chocolate chips and spices
Pumpkin Spice Smoothies Recipe- made with pumpkin, Greek yogurt, almond milk, banana, maple syrup and spices
Enjoy the season!
Hello heat wave. Just before summer says goodbye, it overwhelms us with a few too many veggies and an unhealthy dose of heat and humidity.
Luckily(?), we’ve only had 1 power outage, so I’ve been able to whirl together all kinds of frozen drinks. My favorite so far has been a simple, 2-ingredient strawberry hibiscus tea.
To make Frozen Strawberry Hibiscus Tea, start by brewing a big batch of hibiscus flower tea. (You can use tea bags or dried hibiscus flowers. I use 1 tablespoon dried hibiscus flowers for every 2 cups of water and steep about 10 minutes.) Once it cools, pour some of the tea into standard ice cube trays and freeze until solid. Pop the remaining tea in the fridge.
When you’re ready to be refreshed, combine 1/2 cup of cold hibiscus tea with 1 cup of fresh sliced strawberries in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add 1 cup of the hibiscus tea ice cubes and blend again until smooth and icy. If you want the drink to be more slushy, blend in a few extra cubes. Simple as that.
Adding sweetener is up to you and the sweetness of your fruit. Give it a taste and adjust as you like. Adding a squeeze of fresh lemon, lime or even grapefruit juice would be worth the effort. Play around! I’ve also made this drink with fresh raspberries- extra tart and refreshing. Peaches, you’re next on my list. Or, maybe blueberry hibiscus tea blended with extra blueberries? I’m loving the possibilities.
Stay cool everyone!
Hibiscus Flower Tea (Agua de Jamaica) from A Cozy Kitchen
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