Butternut Heaven MASH•PUREE•SOUP

Preheat oven to 425° F. Parchment line a half sheet pan.

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled & cut into 1″ cubes (about 6 cups)
  • 2-3 firm apples, cored & cut into wedges (about 3 cups)
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, peeled & cut into wedges (about 3 cups)
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled (think gentle garlic background flavor not strong in- your-face garlic)
  • Olive oil
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Sea salt
  • Good water*
  • Cooking steps follow below the cashew cream and garnish information.

Cashew cream:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 3-4 cups good water*
  • 1 t orange juice (or lemon)
  • 1/4 t sea salt
  • Dash (1/16 t) nutmeg

Soak cashews in 2 c water for 2 hours. Drain. Put cashews, 1 cup water and all other ingredients in Blentec. Blend until smooth and creamy. Adding more water if you’d like a bit thinner. I like it a thick cream consistency.

Garnish: Diced apple, pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds, and chose one spice: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, curry powder. Rebecca Katz’s Triple Triple Brittle is particularly delicious, alone or as a garnish. https://www.rebeccakatz.com/recipe-box/triple-triple-brittle (I revised the spices: 2 t cinnamon, 1 t ginger, 1/4 t allspice, 1/8 t cloves, 1/4 t cardamom.)

A grapefruit spoon works great to remove the seeds.

Smash the Garlic to easily peel and release antioxidants.

Keeping ingredients separate (so that when they bake you can remove any item that cooks faster), toss them with olive oil, sea salt and cayenne and place in dedicated sections on the baking sheet. Roast until they just start to caramelize. Start with 20 minutes. Depending on the moisture content, this may vary by quite a bit. The apples usually cook a bit faster, so remove them to a bowl and return the pan to the oven. The pumpkin really does need to brown a bit to have the best flavor.

Now you can make, a mash, a puree, or a soup. Blendtec everything, adding 2 cups of good water. (*Blog about what make good clean water coming soon. For now, nothing out of a plastic bottle and preferably filtered.)

The amount of liquid you add will, of course, determine if you want a mash, puree, or soup. BUT it also depends on the moisture content left in your unique squash, onions, and apples. I make a thick soup that can be used as a sauce for grains, chicken, fish, etc. It’s especially good with scallops.

Portion the soup, then stir in a bit (1T) of diced apple for interest. Then swirl cashew cream on top and sprinkle with pomegranate and pumpkin seeds.
Wow — It’s like a beautiful party!

Hot. Cold. Over. Under. As a base under or a sauce over for grains, scallops, green beans, chicken, eggs…

Freezes perfectly. So does the cashew cream. Use Ball Jars (straight-sided that say freeze proof), leave 1″ of space at top of jar (head room) to allow the expansion that happens when freezing. Stock up. Thaw in the refrigerator totally or under constant supervision to be sure it stays cold, thaw under warm water. For food safety, if you are using the warm water method, thaw just until it can pop out of the jar into a saucepan to heat.

PLAY! Here’s a bit of plate art…Butternut Heaven, Cashew Cream and Spinach Basil Soup. (Recipe coming soon.)

HUGS!

Poo Perfect

Start here at your food’s end to improve your health. Everything digested? Is your poo brown or slightly green? Maybe red if you ate a lot of beets. And the winner is Type 4. A smooth snakelike poo reflects foods you easily digest, plenty of fiber, plenty of hydration, plenty of exercise, managed stress.

Two recommendations to add to your daily – 1/2 lemon (1 T) in warm water upon waking. You can add 1 teaspoon each of raw honey and fresh ginger plus a dash of cayenne if you like.

Eat breakfast within an hour after awakening. Think greens! Cooked or slightly wilted with a bit of good fat (ghee, coconut, olive oil, avocado oil). Add an egg or an avocado half and perhaps a bit of nutritional yeast and sesame seeds.

And a bit of my body’s wisdom. Yours may be different. Give up or limit dairy, wheat (gluten) , sugar and nightshades. I have found that when I eat a lot of any of these substances my body has a few nasty reactions – the shits (dairy), nerve and muscle pain (sugar/alcohol/gluten), incontinence (nightshades, especially tomatoes). I can eat any of the above now and then. Pizza is one of my happy foods as well as marinara. And a funny little thing I noticed, if I eat European dairy or wheat — no problems. Seed, peel and cook the nightshades (like I learned in chef school). I know all of the science behind all of this – from my nightly reading and nutrition podcast addiction.

One last comment is about lectins. I think Gundry’s book, THE PLANT PARADOX, is worth reading and it might just be exactly what your body needs. The wonderful thing I got from Gundry’s work is my Insta-pot and the best tasting, most easily digestible beans I’ve ever tasted.

Love your poo. Once or twice a day. Your doctor should ask you what your poo looks like. Tell him about the Bristol Stool Chart and that you’re a perfect Type 4!

OH! HO HO HO Clothespin Cookies

Some family traditions are worth the sugar rush.
Clothespin Cookies – Use the old fashioned kind of clothespins.
Easy to make dough. Swirl onto greased pins.
These are ready for a roll in the sugars.

THE RECIPE

COOKIE DOUGH

  • 2 1/2 t dry yeast
  • 1/2 c milk, heat to 115
  • 4 c all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 c unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 4 T sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • Decorating sugars 

Dissolve yeast in milk and set aside. Mix sugar and salt into flour. Cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles course crumbs. Mix eggs and yeast/milk mixture together. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the yeast/milk/egg mixture. Mix well and knead a few times. Wrap in wax paper and a damp tea towel and refrigerate overnight.

Grease about 50 clothespins with vegetable shortening. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 300º F. 

Divide dough in half. On lightly floured surface roll each half into an 8″ wide X 20″ long rectangle. Dough will be about 1/8″ thick. Cut off rough side edges and set aside to roll again later. Cut rectangle in to 3/4″ strips and roll onto clothespin with floured side on the clothespin, overlapping edges. Do not wrap to “shoulder” of the clothespin as removal is difficult. Set rolled curls aside to warm a bit as this helps decorative sugars to adhere a bit better. Prepare all cookies.

Gently roll cookies in sugars. Roll with the swirl so you don’t uncurl the cookie. Place seam side down on parchment lined baking sheet. Double pan and bake 30 minutes until just golden on the bottoms. You can prepare filling while cookies bake.

Cool on wire racks for a few minutes and gently remove each cookie from the clothespin. Eat one. Let the rest cool to room temperature.

FILLING

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup salted or unsalted butter divided in two
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (Penzy’s double strength)
  • 1 cup whipping cream

Heat sugar and 1/2 cup butter in a saucepan just until butter melts. Place in mixer bowl. Add milk and vanilla. Beat at high speed until mixture combines, about 10 minutes. It will look curdled at first. Add whipping cream and continue to beat at high speed. Add 1/2 cup butter a small piece at a time until the mixture becomes a fluffy frosting. This filling is a bit fussy to make but worth it for the taste. You could opt for your favorite Italian or French buttercream or stabilized whipped cream.

Fill the curls. Immediately eat them. Refrigerate or freeze those that aren’t eaten within an hour of filling. Refrigerate for up to ten days. They freeze for months – which makes the sugar rush last longer.

Merry Christmas and EVERY other holiday that happens this time of year!

Seasonal Seasoning

Tis the season to think SEASONING!

Whether a turkey, dressing or a vegan winter squash this seasoning is worth gobbling. All ingredients are organic & dried. 

Thanks to Alice Waters for the suggestion of a Suribachi Mortar Bowl. Blends without pulverizing the herbs totally. 6 teaspoons sage 4 1/2 teaspoons thyme 1 teaspoon parsley 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper blend 1/4 teaspoon celery salt 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 3 teaspoons marjoram 2 1/4 teaspoons rosemary 3/4 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated) Dash of allspice (optional)8FANlHP7RP6PvhByJa0EUA

 

Kimchi Yumi

Ancient, created thousands of years ago in Korea, kimchi is the perfect gut flora food. Fun to make, it’s really delicious, even if it does smell a bit farty as it cures.

Market List: Napa Cabbage, Daikon, Bok Choy, Carrots, (Pea pods, snow peas, peas, seaweeds, – choose your own added vegetables.) Ginger, Garlic, Onions (green/yellow/white), Leeks, and/or shallots, red hot peppers (fresh dried or in a sauce just be sure no preservatives). Preservative free Fish Sauce (Naum Plum) if  you like. Have FUN!

IMG_2435
Be sure all utensils are are clean. CLEAN means washed, rinsed, then rinsed again with boiling water. PREPARE VEGES: NAPA CABBAGE chopped 12 cups  BOK CHOY chopped 3 cups CARROTS 1 cup sliced DAIKON RADISH cubed 4 cups SEA SALT 8 tablespoons FILTERED WATER 8 cups  Place the vegetables in a large clean ceramic or glass container (never metal or plastic). Dissolve the sea salt in the water to make the brine and pour over the vegetables. Add a plate weighted with a jar of water to keep the vegetables submerged. Cover with a clean cloth  Let cure at least 8 hours, up to 12 hours. Drain the brine and reserve.

IMG_2442
Prepare the spices: GINGER 3 to 5 Tablespoons, grated. ONIONS 1 large WHITE or YELLOW one cut in crescents or chunks; add maybe 5 GREEN onions, diced if you like. LEEK green and white parts sliced in thin rounds, about a cup. GARLIC 5 to 8 large cloves minced. HOT RED CHILIS: 1 ONE 1  Hey – I make my own kimchi because I am not a fiery spice girl. Add what you like but remember, you can’t “de-fire” it.  Taste the veggies and insure they aren’t too salty. If they are too salty, just dilute the brine LATER. Add the alliums and spice mix to the vegetables and blend well with clean hands. You can transfer the entire mixture to a clean (boiled clean) crock at this point or leave in the ceramic bowl. If the vegetables were too salty dilute the brine. Remember, the salt is what helps to safely cure the kimchi so don’t desalinize them. Add brine until your kimchi is fully submerged with about an inch of liquid over it.
IMG_2437
Add a clean plate that covers the vegetables and weight it with a clean large bottle of water. Cover completely with a clean cloth. (Notice the “clean” repeated.) Place in a dust free area for it to nap and ferment. Check daily and press under the brine. Is there yucky stuff? White mold? Just remove it. Other weird stuff, don’t risk eating it. My kimchi ferments for 7 days at 70°F. Then I pack it into clean (sterilized) Ball jars and press it firmly down to insure covered with brine. Seal with clean Ball enamel lined lids. Don’t use metal utensils to scoop your kimchi out of its jar – only wood, ceramic (like Asian soup spoons) or silicone ones. I  drink the leftover brine – no kidding. Kimchi will continue to ferment in the refrigerator, just more slowly. Heat destroys the healthy bacteria, so add Kimchi to maximum 115°F broths. Delicious in miso and you get 2 gut goodies! Always refer to the real expert —Wild Fermentation 

 

A MUST READ – Please share!

Ready for a good page turner that just might change your life? Galli’s story made me want to be more inspiring – to show up a bit more with passion and compassion. One of the inspiring things I would like to do is to tell you about her book, Rethinking Possible. Please read it and share it. Enjoy!

Rethinking Possible   (for her Book and website)

Rebecca Faye Smith Galli was born into a family that valued the power of having a plan. With a pastor father and a stay-at-home mother, her 1960s southern upbringing was bucolic―even enviable. But when her brother, only seventeen, died in a waterskiing accident, the slow unraveling of her perfect family began.

Though grief overwhelmed the family, twenty-year-old Galli forged onward with her life plans―marriage, career, and raising a family of her own―one she hoped would be as idyllic as the family she once knew.

But life had less than ideal plans in store.

 

Look for Thoughtful Thursdays on her website too. Sign up for once a week inspiration.