November 23, 2012

MOVING ON TO MEADOWS COOKS

All good things must come to an end. This is why I am starting a new blog: meadows cooks. Catch me there for more fun recipes.

(another reason is that meadows knits ran out of space for images - who knew google limited this?)

November 20, 2012

STUFFED ACORN SQUASH



Everyone who food blogs seems to have made some version of this recipe. I chose one from my newly acquired Sprouted Kitchen cookbook, Moroccan Stuffed Squash. The Sprouted Kitchen cookbook, by the way, is amazing. Every single recipe is unique and tempting and the photographs are stunning. I want try every recipe.

I recently bought a little herb garden for my window sill. I am loving being able to pinch off a few mint leaves here, a few sage leaves there as I need them in dishes. Hopefully this little planter will last a little while, long enough at least to get me through the holidays.



Moroccan Stuffed Squash
2 medium acorn squash
3 table spoons coconut oil
Sea salt and feeshly ground pepper
1 cup quinoa
1 (13.5 oz) can light coconut milk (I used 2 cups soy milk)
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander (I used ground cardamom)
1/4 cup thinly sliced preserved lemon peel, or 2 Tsp lemon zest (I used the juice of one lime - I was lazy)
1 Tsp chopped fresh mint
3 Tsp chopped fresh cilantro (I omited this)
2 Tsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (I used raisins)
1/2 cup feta cheese (I used left over turkey instead))
1/2 cup chopped toasted pistachio nuts

Preheat oven to 425F. Cut acorn squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Rub 1 Tsp coconut oil on cut sides and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and pierce skin a few times with a fork. Roast 20 minutes. Flip over and continue cooking cut side up until you can pierce the thickest area with a fork easily. Remove from oven and let cool.

Place milk in a saucepan and boil over medium-high heat, with a pinch of salt and pepper. Ad quinoa and lower heat to simmer and cover. Cook until liquid is absorbed, 15-18 minutes. Turn off heat and let quinoa sit in hot pot for 5 minutes. Add remaining coconut oil, paprika, coriander, and cumin and toss to combine. Add lemon peel, mint, cilantro, orange juice, pomegranate, and feta (turkey) and toss together. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Fill squash cavities with stuffing. Enjoy.

WHOLE WHEAT CARROT GNOCCHI WITH SAGE (VEGAN) BUTTER

I was prepared for a difficult task. I mean, making pasta can't be easy, right? It has to involve kneading, rolling, waiting, cutting, kneading (I obviously have never made pasta)... but THIS pasta dish was nothing of the sort. I cooked the carrots, mashed them and mixed in the flour the night before, testing them to make sure they held together in boiling water. Then I ate broiled fish with rice and snap peas for dinner.

The next night Mike roasted a turkey, yes, another turkey, and I made the carrot gnocchi with sage (vegan) butter, which was delicious. Carrot gnocchi versus potato is really nice, adding flavor, nutrients and lightness to an otherwise heavy dish.

A few notes about the process: I did add more flour the second day since the first try didn't hold up in the boiling water. Not sure why that is since you'd think the stuff would get dryer over night not wetter, so make sure to test the batch before throwing a bunch in. Also, I didn't roll the dough but left it a mixing bowl until I was ready to use it. Then I put small fork-fulls into the boiling water. It worked out fine. The sage butter sauce is really easy and works well with the carrots. All you do is put 4 Tsp vegan butter in a saucepan, add a number of fresh sage leaves and wait for them to sizzle. Then add the gnocchi to the pan and toss to coat. The gnocchi got a little gluey (as you can tell from the photo) but it tasted fine. Plus the dish warmed up nicely as a lunch the day after.

Whole Wheat Carrot Gnocchi chosen by Joanne for the Food Matters Project. See what other people made here.

VEGAN HOT BUTTERED RUM APPLE PIE


This is my contribution to Thanksgiving. This and a kale salad I will assemble at the location. I can't wait to try this pie. We'll see if it lasts until Thursday. (I made it vegan by using vegan butter)


November 15, 2012

CURRENTLY READING



I just finished How Children Succeed by Paul Tough. It describes how the majority of our children in America are failing due to poverty, but identifies the real reason for failure as what the author describes as a lack of character in children. He further boils down the necessary characteristic that helps children succeed to the ability to set failure aside and persevere. He sites organizations, such as KIPP charter schools, as places where perseverance is being taught allowing children to succeed (in school, in marriage, in work). He writes about how he dropped out of college twice (Columbia and McGill) but still persevered with his dreams and did well for himself. I recommend the book.

GEARING UP FOR GRATITUDE

Turkey may be my husband's favorite meal and we wont be home for Thanksgiving. That is why once he saw it available to buy he bought one. This is why we have already had our first turkey of the season. It is also why I am writing about what to do with all those leftovers.

This pot pie was marvelous and super easy to make. Here's what I did:

Turkey Pot Pie - adapted from The Kitchn's Recipe
2 frozen pre-made puff pastry pie crusts
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2-1 cup mushrooms sliced
Olive oil
a few shakes dried thyme
Salt and pepper
3 Tsp flour
1-2 cups soy milk

Preheat oven to 350F. Set out pie crust to thaw. Once thawed enough to unfold, place one in the pie pan, pierce the bottom a few times and bake for 5 minutes

Saute the onion in 2 Tsp olive oil until translucent. Add mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper and cook until mushrooms soften. Add more oil and flour scrapping bottom of pan. Add milk, mixing until thickened.

1-2 cups cooked turkey, choppe
1-2 cups frozen veggie mix
3-4 small potatoes

Boil potatoes until you can pierce them with a fork. Boil veggies for 5 minutes. Drain both. Add both and turkey to onion-mushroom mix. Mix until well blended. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Put mixture into pre-baked bottom pie crust and add top crust. Cut 5 vents in top. Bake for 30 minutes or until top is browned. Enjoy!



November 14, 2012

TAKING TIME OUT

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I can't remember the last time I just sat for 15 minutes, doing nothing. This is what I did while at my first acupuncture session.

I was really curious about how acupuncture felt and what the effects might be.I don't know about you but once I have something on my radar it tends to come to me. This may be a matter of knowing what I want at the time in question, or it may just be luck. In any case, I'd been talking about acupuncture with a friend and how it had really helped her back pain. I have been having back pain and other joint pain of my own and thought that would be a great way to relieve it. Then at a playground I met an acupuncturist, who just started treating people in Brooklyn, four blocks from my house. It couldn't have been more perfect. Her practice is Tigerlily Holistics, if you too are in the market for acupuncture and live in Bushwick.

Sitting, or rather lying, for 15 minutes with various needles stuck into me, which kept me from fidgeting, was quite a nice thing. Not even when I am at yoga class do I sit that long in total relaxation. Stepping back from the day to reflect or daydream is something I need to incorporate into my regular daily schedule. I highly recommend it.

TUMBLEBUS


We were at a birthday party recently which hired a Tumblebus as entertainment. We were curious what this might mean when reading the invitation and were excited to find out. This is a party entertainment you can bring to your own home. They drive right up outside and offer a load of fun gymnasium equipment and two people to help the kids use it. Simon had a blast!






November 9, 2012

IN THE HOOD


I participated in a bake sale raising money for Sandy Hurricane Relief. We made $1603.62! The most the school has ever made at a bake sale!



I saw a hawk in our local Bushwick park. He was so big and watching us all with a close eye. It was a little unnerving.