Tarragon Butternut Squash and Onions

IMG_0066I know that it it spring, but I still have a winter farm share for another month and will be cooking and eating roots and squash until the summer share starts in early June. And I am good with that cause I love me some root veggies and butternut squash.  But, yes, it is spring and my body isn't craving the super hearty, rich foods that it was just a few short weeks ago (more like last week) When the temperatures first start to go up, I usually want my food to not feel as heavy or my spices to be quite at warming (I am still all over curries and hot hot hot sauces in the summer). It's like I have said before, I tend to change up my spices with the seasons.  

So to give a lighter feel to a heartier squash, I busted out one of my favorite spices, the oh so lovely tarragon. It has a sweet, light, fruity and floral taste that pairs beautifully with the squash and onions. It give the dish a nice spring like flavor that will leave you feeling satisfied without wanting to move directly onto the couch and hide under a blanket. This is a eat and ride you bike kind of dish ( you don't actually have to go for a bike ride if you don't want to)

Note. If I had a grill, I would definitely cook this dish on it. As of now, I don't own one so I am left to cook on the stove. But by all means, if you have a grill, do it up!

IMG_0015Half of a medium sized butternut squash (or use a whole one.. I had a half in the fridge that was waiting to be cooked)  and one whole onion (two if you use a whole squash)  Apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt , pepper, garlic powder, and, last but not least, the oh so fragrant and tasty, tarragon. 

IMG_0024Chop the onion  and the squash into big chunks. If you don't like the skin of the squash, you can peel it, but I like it so I don't peel. Drizzle olive oil in a pan or a baking sheet, toss the veggies in and add the garlic powder, tarragon, salt and pepper and a few splashes of apple cider vinegar. Toss around. Stick into oven at 425 degrees for about 30-40 minutes. IMG_0056When the squash is tender and the onions are cooked, remove from oven.  

I am pretty sure you can figure out the rest.

Happy day!

-C


Tarragon Butternut and Onions

  • Half of Medium Butternut Squash
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Tarragon (use fresh if you have it.. 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • Salt ans Pepper
  • Olive Oil

Chop squash and onions into similar size pieces. Toss in a skillet or on a oiled baking sheet and add the rest of the ingredients. Toss around and place into a 425 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes or until squash is fork tender.  

Remove from oven and eat.

 Make as a side dish or add to a salad. Eat as a light lunch, or a midnight snack… eat it however you want.

Roasted Carrot Beet Salad and Creamy Avocado Lemon Dressing

IMG_1991 As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, my food brain turns to fresh colorful simple spring food. (which is totally a thing). Spring food is a combination of the last of the winters hardy root veggies combined with the springs bounty of fresh greens and early growers. Spring food is the best!

This lovely. oh so gorgeous salad has been on repeat in my meal repertoire. It's so yummy and so simple. Beets and carrots roasted and sliced, tossed onto a bed of tender spinach and topped with a creamy, lemony avocado dressing. Fresh, fast, light, and filling. Everything a perfect  spring salad needs. Not to mention it takes no time at all to make because with all this nice weather , we want to spend as much time basking in the warmth and glow of the sun. I might even take my spring salad outside today. Maybe.

IMG_1904Dressing stuff. A nice and ripe avocado, the juice of a juicy lemon, a bit of garlic powder (raw garlic is nice too, but grate it super fine) and salt. Simple simple and sometimes simple can be the best.IMG_1911All stuff get mashed super mashed until smooth and scooped into a jar with a lid. Add about 1/4- 1/2 cup water (depending on how thick you like it) and shake that jar all around.

That's it. You now have super creamy avocado lemon dressing. Drizzle on anything and everything… especially this roasted carrot and beet salad..

IMG_1969A roasted beet and carrot, all sliced upIMG_1976Tossed onto a bed of tender baby spinachIMG_1978And topped with creamy avocado dressing. Fantastic, so pretty, and makes the day super springy!

A salad suggestion….  Add some roasted chickpeas toasted nuts, or sunflower seeds to this or any salad. Adds a little proteins and the crispy crunch is a nice addition. 

Enjoy the day..Smile lots 

-C


Roasted Carrot Beet Salad and Avocado Lemon Dressing

Salad

  • 2-3 cups Baby Spinach
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 medium beet
  • Toasted nuts, beans, or seeds (Optional)

You can roast the veggies a few ways.. Slice the carrot and beet, place on a baking sheet and  stick into the oven at 425 degrees until tender. Or you can just toss a the carrot and beet onto a baking sheet whole and roast.( What I usually do)

Once the veggies are roasted and cooled, thinly slice and toss onto the bed of baby spinach. Top with Avocado Lemon Dressing (recipe below) and some toasted crunchy thing.

Dressing

  • 1 Ripe Avocado
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4- 1/2  cup water

Scoop avocado fruit into a bowl and mash with a fork until a paste is formed. Scoop mashed avocado into a jar and add remaining ingredients. Stick lid on jar and shake tip combined. Use on anything. 

Dressing lasts a few days in the fridge. Should stay green, but add a layer of lemon juice to top to keep from browning.

Chunky Tomato and Stuff Couscous

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I am such a sucker for the reduced price produce at the grocery store. I save at least half of the original price for stuff that might look a little weird or have a brown spot or something. Sometimes I can't believe what ends up on in the bin, stuff that I wouldn't consider reduced bin material, but hey, if they want to stick it in there, then I will be more than happy to buy it.A couple days ago I found some good looking roma tomatoes in that said reduced produce bin..the skins the tiniest bit wrinkled (like I could care less), least hen 50 cents a pound. Um, yea, I bought those and put them to good use. 

Tomatoes roasted until they fell apart with a few other chunks of stuff, then piled onto a base of spinach and couscous.  This meal cost me pennies and was stupid easy and fast to make. And pretty to boot. Perfect for a quick healthy meal on a busy day or maybe for those people looking for a tasty, not too completed dinner to make for  a special someone for Valentines day? Or make just for yourself…its pretty much the perfectly dish. Anyone can get into it. And if you don't happen to have a grocery store with a reduced produce bin full of tomatoes…it's cool, you'll just have to pay full price for the perfect ones.

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So simple. A little olive oil in pan. Chunk the tomatoes and throw in pan with the chopped onion, carrot, cauliflower, garlic and chick peas. Drizzle a bit more oil and top with salt and pepper. Give it all a toss and stick into oven. That's that. Just leave it in there until everything is so nice and soft and falling apart.

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One of the best things about couscous is that you don't even need to dirty a pot or a bowl to make it,  just add dried couscous to the bowl you are going to eat out of with a cup of boiling water and a pinch of salt.  (I added the spinach with the water too) After about 8 minutes, the couscous absorbs all the water and you just fluff it up with a fork. Easy, freaking Peasy!!! Out of the oven and piled on…..

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I mean, if this isn't one classy looking meal, then I don't know what is.

Sprinkle with a little parmesan or nutritional yeast if you want and step back and admire. And now eat it to you face.

And barely any dishes to wash. No big mess to clean up.  I could get used to that. 

-C 


Chunky Tomato and Stuff Couscous              

Serves 2

  • 3/4 cup Couscous
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Handful of chopped spinach
  • 4-5 roma tomatoes chopped
  • 1 medium carrot diced
  • Half of an onion diced
  • Cup or so of cauliflower (fresh or frozen)
  • Cup of prepared chick peas
  • 4 or 5 cloves garlic minced
  • Olive oil to drizzle
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400

Place onion, carrot, cauliflower,tomatoes, chick peas and garlic into a large skillet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and give everything a light toss. Stick into oven for 35-40 minutes until tomatoes are falling apart and everything is nice and roasted.

In a medium bowl, (or serving bowl) add cup of boiling water to dry couscous and spinach. Sprinkle with salt and cover. Let sit for at about 8 minutes, or until the couscous had fully absorbed all the water. Fluff with a fork and top with roasted tomato stuff.

Top with parmesan or nutritional yeast if you are into it.

Enjoy!

Turmeric Ginger Carrot Soup

IMG_8806There is a joke about Vermonters, that all we talk about is the weather. Well, it's kind of true. But to our defense, we get a lot of weather, and it's always changing and intense and both lovely and crazy and all over. So yeah, we talk. A lot, about the weather. And on that topic, I am trying so hard not to complain, but honestly, I am getting a little sick, both physically and mentally from all of these  super, to freaking cold temperatures. Yesterday the high was 0 ( which was at like 2 in the morning)  and factor in the windchill, the temp stayed at like 25 below. It f**king sucks. I can't  stay outside for too long or else I will probably die. The dog  is having a hard time making it around the block before he gets ice paws, and the mister, well he even started wearing gloves (he wears a sweater all winter and never gets cold…..he is officially cold)

 And not only is the cold keeping us all indoors, but its making us all borderline sick. We both have been fighting something for the past few week. The headaches, stuffy nose, chest congestions. The puppy is getting super dry skin and gave himself a hot spot. BLAh!! Ok, enough! No more complaining

Because  I do really love the winter and all the pretty snow!!!!

But we are feeling kind of sick so to make us feel oh so much better, a fantastic, super tasty, healing, good for me, good for you, soup. Turmeric ginger carrot… oh man. Made with lots of ginger, turmeric and garlic and finished with a drizzle of raw honey. This soup is exactly what we need. All ingredients scream.. FEEL GOOD, BE WARM AND COZY! Almost everything in it has antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties. The veggies are hearty and heathy and just eating soup helps to keep hydrated. And the best part..it tastes so freaking amazing. 

So whether  you are feeling a little mah, or just a little hungry.…this soup is where it's at!

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Lots of chopped up carrots, a small onion, a little bit of cauliflower I had left over and a small beet. If you don't have the cauliflower and or a beet, just use  ares pepper or another 2 carrots.. no biggy. 

Then we have the fresh ginger ( you can use powdered) turmeric and garlic.  All the good healthy spicy and yummy stuff. 

IMG_8747I accidentally spilled the turmeric on the counter..but it kind of looks like I might have done it on purpose… yeah, let's go with that.  Chop the garlic and he ginger into    chunksIMG_8761And toss into the pot to warm and activate. Just a little toasty toast. 

IMG_8765And the veggies are roasted and tender and smell so good.  It took a lot of will power to not eat the whole pan right there.

IMG_8798I added the roasted veggies and 3 cups water straight into my pot  with the spices because I used an emulsion blender. If you are using normal blender, add the veggies, the toasted spices and the water to the blender and blend until smooth. Then transfer to a pot.

IMG_8832Pretty much all blended together….(I left a few big chunks in there to snack on while I was waiting to eat serve…I was really hungry) and let to simmer for a little longer...

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And now ladle into a bowl and get ready for a fantastic finish… drizzle a spoonful of raw honey into soup…….so so good. You could add the honey before serving, but heating it kills all the good antibacterial stuff so that's why we wait. Then  I sprinkle some chopped kale and chives. (do it if you want, but not necessary)

Now enjoy. Let the warmth wash over you and feel all those good spices helping to fight the good fight to keep you well and all the yummy to satisfy your hunger.

And lets hope for some warm (above 0!!) weather!

-C

Turmeric Ginger Carrot Soup

Ingredients

  • 5 large carrots
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small beet*
  • quarter head cabbage ( or a cup of frozen)*
  • 2-3 teaspoons  turmeric 
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh  ginger (1/2 teaspoon if using powdered)
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • salt pepper
  • raw honey (omit if vegan)

* If you don't have or want to use beet and or the cauliflower, you can use a red pepper, a small sweet potato, or just use a few more carrots. 

Chop all veggies into similar sized chunks and toss into a lightly oiled pan or on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.  Stick in oven at 425 for about 30 minutes or until all veggies are fork tender. 

In a large soup pot or dutch oven, toss chopped garlic, ginger and the turmeric and place on medium heat for a few minutes to activate the spices. Add the roasted veggies and 3 cups water to pot (if using emulsion blender) and blend until smooth. If using a blender, add the toasted spices, roasted veggie and 3 cups water and blend until smooth then transfer to a large pot or dutch oven. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat down to  simmer and let cook for an addition 10 minutes. 

When ready to serve, ladle soup into bowl and drizzle a spoonful of raw honey into soup. Garnish with fresh chopped kale, chives, cabbage or whatever you want. (or nothing is good too)