Vegetable Soup 

img_3086So, now that the weather is cooling down soup can be added to your menu planning rotation!  That’s great for me because I love soup.  On a cool crisp day, after being outside with your kids, or your animals, or even alone with nature it feels so satisfying to sit down to a steamy bowl of hearty soup.  As with most of my recipes, this is a guide to give you ideas and not a strict formula for soup success.  Although, with soup how could one go wrong?  Well, even though it’s hard to mess up soup, if you don’t add any salt, sometimes people complain, lol!  So, let me qualify…as long as it’s seasoned adequately, it’s hard to mess up soup.

This is a great way to use whatever is in season and whatever you have on hand.  In my bowl I used tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, onions and kale.  Oh, yeah…KALE!  It’s still a very fashionable vegetable and can boost your leafy green intake at any meal.  When chopped up small and cooked in the soup, the leaves just melt in your mouth.  I also added some rice to this vegetable soup to thicken it and make it more substantial for a stand alone meal.  You can start with a vegetable broth or just plain water, toss in your chopped vegetables and your dry rice.  Then bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes and carrots are tender and the rice is nice and soft.  Then it’s time to add your favorite herbs (dry or fresh) and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for another 5 minutes or so and then remove from the heat.

This soup features onions, carrots and kale from my Sage Mountain Farm CSA box, however you can use just about any veggie from our farm to create a delicious and satisfying soup for your Autumn enjoyment!

Butternut Squash Lasagna 

So, if you are like me you’ve got a little stash of butternut squash.  Waiting to be made into something delicious is tiresome work and I would like to relieve your squash of their wait.  If you have had a million bowls of butternut squash soup by now (which I have not because I hate the stuff), then you are probably wondering what else can be done to make these yummy guys into a dish worthy of your table.  Try substituting butternut squash puree for the pumpkin puree in any pumpkin pie recipe, one for one, and you will not be disappointed!   I did this all through the holidays and the pies were gobbled up!

Savory more to your taste?  Try this recipe for butternut squash lasagna.  I guarantee it will be a delightful surprise.  I used whatever veggies I had on hand.  You could definitely substitute for what you have on hand and what your family likes.  Give this creamy, nutritious lasagna a try.  I think it’s a keeper and so do my kids.

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Ingredients:

ricotta cheese (I used Miyoko Schinner’s Almond Ricotta)

pasta sauce

1 box oven ready lasagna noodles (I used gluten free)

2 c zucchini puree (I still had some in my freezer from this summer)

1/2 c diced red bell pepper

1 onion, diced

1/2 c sliced black olives, divided

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 c diced tomato

2 c shredded butternut squash, uncooked (about one of the smallish ones)

1 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1/2 t oregano

Method:

Follow the preheating instructions on your box of oven ready lasagna noodles.  Then, in a glass baking dish (13 x 9), spread a generous amount of sauce.  In a large bowl combine all of the vegetables and give them a good stir so that they are nicely incorporated.  Next, add a layer of noodles over the sauce in your baking dish.  Over this add about one half of the vegetables.  Follow that with about one half of your ricotta cheese.  In place of ricotta you can always use cottage cheese, shredded cheese, or a mixture of any of these.  The almond ricotta that my family enjoys takes only a minute to make and is just three ingredients; blanched almonds, water and salt.  I recommend giving it a try!  Then you need to add another layer of noodles.  Don’t worry if your noodles don’t fit exactly, just break the dry noodles to fit into your pan.  Once the lasagna is cooked no one will ever know.  Follow the noodles with sauce again and then the rest of the vegetable mixture.  Finally top with ricotta and some olives on the top.  Bake as directed on the box of noodles that you purchased.

This is my new favorite way to devour butternut squash!  My kids ate it and raved about it afterward.  I kid you not, you are going to enjoy this delicious dish.

Thank you for supporting Sage Mountain Farm, leave me a comment below and let me know how you liked this recipe!

 

Maple Glazed Delicata Squash


Delicata squash is a great way to begin to enjoy winter squash at this time of year. I think of it as a “gateway squash”, a kind of transition from juicy summer squash to the harder, heartier squash of colder days such as the acorn, butternut and pumpkin. Unlike most other winter squash, the Delicata can be eaten with the outside rind still on. This recipe today is from Simply Recipes online and it gives roasted veggies such a boost, they will please everyone at your table.

Maple Glazed Delicata Squash with Brussels Sprouts and Pomegranate Arils

Ingredients:

  • 1 large delicata squash
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts
  • 3 large shallots
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (You know me…I subbed vegetable broth and saved myself calories and fat)
  • 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup, divided
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh pomegranate arils

Method:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Then wash the outside of your squash.  Trim off the ends and then slice it down the middle, lengthwise so that you have two “boats” once you scrape out the seeds and strings.  Place it hollow side down and cut into little semi-circles about 1/2 an inch thick.  Next, make sure you trim your Brussels sprouts.  The best thing to do is slice off the end and pull off the outer leaves until you have a fresh looking sprout.  Slice up your shallots (or onion, let’s be honest here folks…if you don’t have shallots on hand can we all agree that subbing an onion is acceptable?).  Put all those veggies in a bowl and drizzle in the broth (or olive oil), maple syrup and cider vinegar.  Sprinkle on the salt.  Save the last tablespoon of syrup and the pomegranate arils for after the roasting.  Then stir it all up gently to distribute the glazed goodness.  Arrange it all in a single layer on a baking sheet (you can use a silpat, parchment, or cooking spray to prep your pans).  Roast these for 20-25 minutes and then shake the pan or stir the veggies to turn them over, then continue to roast for another 15-20 minutes.  When the roasting is complete place the veg all back into a bowl, add the pomegranate arils and the last tablespoon of maple syrup.  Fold these in and then serve.

For a pomegranate prep tip check out this video.  Getting the seeds out underwater makes a lot less mess!

For more posts about winter squash check out Spicy Spaghetti Squash with Black Beans and keep a look out for a butternut squash pie recipe, coming soon!

Spicy Spaghetti Squash with Black Beans

Before winter is over and winter squash is “sooooo last season” (insert valley girl accent here, lol!) I have a couple of recipes to share with you that will give you some new things to do with the winter squash that is still around.  This one is specifically for that silly, stringy, spaghetti squash.  When I first heard of spaghetti squash, no doubt similar to all of you, I thought that it would be a great replacement for pasta.  Roast spaghetti squash, top with red sauce, eat.  Well, it was okay, but the kids wanted their pasta back.  It wasn’t enough of a novelty to convince them that it was “just like spaghetti”.  I needed something that used spaghetti squash as its own ingredient, not a substitute for pasta.

If the pasta substitute works in your home, great!  If not, or if you are looking for something “Southwesterny delicious” (sings in head like Lucky Charms theme ‘magically delicious’), then follow along for something super great!  You can use your organic spaghetti squash and your organic cilantro from Sage Mountain Farm in this incredible meal.  This recipe is originally posted here on Whole Foods website.

Sage Mountain Farm
Use a fork to rake up individual strands of squash.

Ingredients:

1 medium spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped

1 cup cooked black beans

1/2 cup sweet corn, frozen or fresh

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Method:

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Arrange squash in a large baking dish, cut-sides down. Pour 1/2 cup water into the dish and bake until just tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Rake with a fork to remove flesh in strands, leaving the shell intact for stuffing.

For the filling, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, jalapeño and bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes or until soft. Add beans, corn and chili powder; cook, stirring frequently, 1 minute longer. Add cooked squash, cilantro, lime juice and salt, cook 1 minute until heated through.

Fill squash halves with filling, mounding mixture in the center.

Sage Mountain Farm
Mixin’ up the Fillin’

I made a few changes when I cooked it myself.  I omit the olive oil and just “water sauté” instead, just a personal preference (I like to reduce the amount of added fats and oils in the foods that I cook).  I also roasted the spaghetti squash whole.  It works great either way, just personal preference again.  One more thing, I didn’t leave the shells intact and refill them with the mixture.

Sage Mountain Farm
Servin’ it up, Nacho Style!

Since I serve this for many people as a nacho topping, it seemed more appropriate to leave the mixture loose and just toss the shells.  My family enjoys this quite a bit served with tortilla chips, but I also think it would be excellent served in soft, warm corn tortillas!  By the way, the leftovers reheat great, so it’s a wonderful healthy meal to take-along!