Recipes of the Week: Fabulous Tastes of Fall

fall-smoothieFall in Love Smoothie

“The chill in the fall air means it’s time to focus,” says Jennifer Kass. “Harvest your crops (aka dreams, goals, intentions, plans) right now with clarity-boosting superfoods—all whipped into a delicious mason jar.”

We’re not going to lie: this smoothie is as comforting as a freshly baked pie—only without firing up the oven. Or the flour, sugar, and eggs.

But it effectively curbs that craving for something sweet with vitamin-packed seasonal ingredients. Which is why we’ve fallen hard for this smoothie and will be making it all month instead of buying those bags of bite-size trick or treats.

The star of this creamy, superfood smoothie is sweet potato. It’s a trifecta of cold-weather magic. It contains a big dose of common-cold-fighting vitamin C, the much-needed sun-substitute, vitamin D, as well as iron, which supports immunity and combats stress. (Other bonuses: It aids digestion and produces collagen for wrinkle-free skin.)

Chia seeds add brain-power-boosting omega 3s and fortifying moisture to your skin cells before winter comes along to dry us all out.

And there’s nothing sweeter than homemade apple sauce, which is incredibly easy to make, but fun and unexpected in a smoothie. Just peel and slice a green apple and add to a saucepan with a 1/2 cup of organic apple juice. Stir over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. Apples, which are literally ripe for the picking right now, add another dose of vitamin C plus antioxidant quercetin for endurance. —Jennifer Kass

Recipe: Fall in Love Smoothie

Blend and enjoy!

1 small precooked sweet potato (or squash or pumpkin purée, if you’d prefer)

2 tbsp homemade apple sauce (or organic packaged)

2 tbsp ground chia seeds

1 1/2 cups almond cup

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp maple syrup

top with a sprinkle of nutmeg

Courtesy of Well and Good NYC.

Breakfast-SmoothieThe Plant Power Breakfast Smoothie

If you didn’t think you could create a balanced meal in a blender, that’s about to change.

This green, protein-packed breakfast smoothie will add minutes to your morning—and energy to your day (and workout).

How? Blueberries and kale provide antioxidant-rich complex carbohydrates.

Trendy but essential chia seeds provide a trifecta of power, delivering protein, omega-3s, and soluble fiber, which keeps you feeling full longer.

And a tablespoon of peanut butter, a healthy fat, makes this a balanced meal. So does the avocado, which is loaded with omegas and potassium (without the sugar found in bananas). It also gives this smoothie a super silky texture.

Get ready for clear-thinking through the morning chaos, and the possibility of making it to lunchtime without the ravenous I’ll-eat-anything urges. —Jennifer Kass

Recipe: Plant Power Breakfast Smoothie

Blend and enjoy!

4 kale leaves

1 cup organic frozen blueberries

2 Tbs of chia seeds

1 Tbs organic peanut butter

1/2 avocado

1 cup coconut milk

1 Tbs raw honey

2–3 ice cubes

Squeeze of lemon, optional

Courtesy of Well and Good NYC.

stuffed-potatoesStuffed Potatoes

Description

It can be difficult to coax your loved ones into eating five servings a day of vegetables (as nutritionists recommend). That’s why this recipe cleverly incorporates broccoli into a baked potato. Broccoli is an excellent source of fiber and cancer-fighting antioxidants. Potatoes are a universally loved vegetable loaded with vitamins C and B-6, potassium and fiber. You can make the stuffed potatoes ahead and reheat them when everyone is ready to eat.

Serves 6

Nutrients Per Serving

Calories: 135.8

Protein: 5.0 grams

Fat: 3.1 grams

Saturated Fat: 0.7 grams

Monounsat Fat: 1.8 grams

Polyunsat Fat: 0.3 grams

Carbohydrate: 23.8 grams

Fiber: 3.6 grams

Cholesterol: 1.6 mg

Vitamin A: 926.8 IU

Vitamin E: 0.6 mg/IU

Vitamin C: 77.1 mg

Calcium: 65.4 mg

Magnesium: 40.0 mg

Ingredients

3 large baking potatoes

2 large stalks broccoli

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1-2 tablespoons lowfat** milk, rice milk or soy milk

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

1. Scrub the potatoes and make shallow cuts around their middles to make it easier to cut them in half after baking. Bake the potatoes at 400 degrees until soft, about 1 hour, depending on the size of the potatoes.

2. Meanwhile, cut the ends from the stalks of broccoli and peel some of the outer skin off to make the stems more edible. Steam the broccoli until crunchy-tender and bright green. Drain and chop fine.

3. Cut potatoes in half and scoop out the insides into a bowl. Add the salt, olive oil and just enough rice or soy milk to allow you to mash the potatoes into a smooth paste. Add the Parmesan cheese and the chopped broccoli and mix well.

4. Pile the mixture back into the potato shells, arrange on a baking dish and heat them to desired temperature.

Courtesy of Dr. Andrew Weil.

buttercup-friesTurning the Fall Harvest into Crispy Fries

Buttercup Fries with Mustard

‘Tis the season for squash: spaghetti, acorn, butternut, and of course the classic pumpkin. But have you ever tried butterCUP squash? It looks like a giant smashed her fist down onto an unsuspecting acorn squash and made it into a flattened, squarish version of its former self. That flatness makes the buttercup squash easier to cut than its more curvy cousins, plus the inner flesh is a deeper orange hue that tastes like a cross between acorn and butternut. With a hint of the sweetness of those lovely garnet sweet potatoes, the ones that are so deep orange they’re almost red.

These oven fries are just as tasty when made with acorn or butternut squash, though, so feel free to substitute at will. Pumpkin also works and is a little softer and easier to cut. (Although the final fries won’t be quite as crisp.) Just be sure to serve your fries with a stone-ground mustard — the bright spicy/sour aspect of the mustard will make the contrasting sweetness of the fries pop even more. My favorite mustard is Eden’s Organic Brown Mustard, which ever-so-simply consists of just mustard seeds and apple cider vinegar.

And one final word of warning: be careful when cutting up a squash! No matter which variety you choose, it’s going to be hard to cut through. Use a sharp 8″ knife if you have one, the kind with the flattened top edge that allows you to push down on the knife with your free hand. My mother has an impressive way of dealing with hard-to-cut ingredients: she bangs on the top of her 8″ knife with a mallet or hammer to force the blade down through whatever is stymieing her attempts to cut. But while she does this with the greatest of ease, I would not recommend this method for the unsure of heart. I prefer to cut through the slimmest part of the squash to create a straight edge, and then I place that flattened side down on the cutting board so that I can trim away knowing that the squash is unlikely to skid. (Rounded surfaces = potential injuries; flat surfaces = safer working conditions.) Or you might find pre-cut squash at your local grocery store, in which case you can simply cut the pieces into slim, fry-like shapes.

Buttercup Fries with Mustard

Position oven racks: place one in the upper third of the oven and one in the lower third. Preheat the oven to 375F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Cut buttercup squash in half and scoop out the seeds, saving them if you’d like to bake them separately at a later time. Place the squash cut-side down on the cutting board and carefully trim away outer skin, cutting the squash into smaller pieces if necessary to create more flat surfaces that allow you to cut safely. (See final paragraph above the recipe for more cutting tips.) Cut squash into slices that are about 1/4″ thick. If you only want to turn half of the squash into fries and would like to reserve the rest of the squash for other uses, firmly cover the cut half with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

In a large bowl, toss sliced squash with a drizzle of unrefined peanut oil and a dash of sea salt. (I used about 1 T. oil and 1 tsp. salt for half a buttercup squash.) Spread out on baking sheets — try not to overlap slices! — and bake for 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through to avoid burning the fries on the bottom rack. Fries should be golden brown on the bottom and lightly brown on top. Serve with stone-ground mustard of your choice for dipping.

Leftover fries can be refrigerated for up to a week and re-heated in a 350F oven for 5 minutes to make them re-crisp.

Enjoy!

Courtesy of The Cultured Cook.

cheese-and-pear-tortillaReinventing the Classic Grilled Cheese

Melted Cheese & Pear Tortilla

The only thing better than cheese is melted cheese. Especially when the cheese in question is paired with sweetly contrasting fruit and a hot-off-the-stove, crisp tortilla. If you’ve ever had a fruit quesadilla, you know what I’m talking about! The fact that I finally got my hands on tetilla cheese makes this open-faced riff on a grilled cheese sandwich all the tastier. Tetilla is a traditional cow’s-milk cheese from the Galician part of Spain. What makes it really stand out, though, is that it looks like what its name implies: a human breast.

Each time I went to Spain, I looked for this cheese, but somehow I just couldn’t find it, not even in Barcelona’s famed La Boquería market. (Perhaps it had sold out by the time I got there?) It’s long been on my list of Cheeses I Want To Try. So I finally bit the culinary bullet and ordered tetilla from La Tienda, a stateside store that specializes in a dizzying array of Spanish cheeses and meats and olives and seafood and anything else you can think of.

The verdict: tetilla is a lovely cheese! It’s nutty, rich, and ideal for melting. All that said, though, you could substitute another creamy, meltable cheese for this savory/sweet tortilla “sandwich.” If you’d like to keep it Spanish, opt for Mahón cheese, or even Cabrales or Valdeón if you’re a fan of blue cheeses. If you’d rather go with an American cheese, Monterey Jack is an eminently creamy and meltable option. No matter what you choose, you can’t go wrong with fruit and cheese!

Melted Cheese & Pear Tortilla

Heat a whole-grain corn tortilla in a small pan over medium-low heat (no need to use any oil) for about 5 minutes, flipping over the tortilla halfway through. The goal is to wind up with a nicely toasted but not burnt base for your cheese. Remove the tortilla to a waiting plate and top the tortilla with sliced pears. Place minced green onions and sliced or grated tetilla, Mahón, or Monterey Jack cheese in the still-hot pan and melt the cheese over low heat. Pour melted cheese and warm onions onto the pear-topped tortilla and serve immediately. Makes a great lunch or appetizer.

Enjoy!

Courtesy of The Cultured Cook.

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