Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Two Wholesome Autumn Foods

With fall just around the corner, why not try these two great recipes?  They are healthy, warming, and guilt-free. 

Soup is perfect to warm your soul after a day of raking leaves or pumpkin picking or to have just when want something soothing and satisfying.  The ginger in this soup provides instant heat! Serve this soup with a large tossed salad and hot crusty whole-grain bread and you have the perfect lunch or light supper.  Sprinkle toasted pumpkin seeds on top before serving to make it more interesting.....

Carrot and Ginger Soup

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
3 1/2 cups peeled and diced organic carrots
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 2/2 teaspoon fresh mince ginger
4 cups water
1 cup orange juice

1.  Heat a large stock pot over medium heat. Add olive oil.
2.  Saute carrots, onions, garlic, and ginger in oil for five minutes of until vegetables just begin to turn brown
3.  Add water and orange juice
4.  Bring to a biol and simmer for 30 minutes or until veggies are soft
5.  Puree the soup in a blender or with an immersion blender
6.  Add the spices and maple syrup.  Add a bit of water if soup is too thick but do not make it too thin.
7.  Serve hot

Stuffed, Baked Acorn Squash

This is my absolute favorite recipe for the fall.  It's simple, easy, yet impressive enough to serve to guests. Acorn squash is beautiful orange and green on the outside and orange on the inside.  Think of all the beta-carotene you are getting when you eat this squash.  Look for medium size squash that is more orange than green.  Too green means it is not ripe enough and will take longer to cook.  This recipe serves 2 people (one half each).  The rice and bean stuffing makes this meal a complete protein.  This means you do not need to serve meat along with it.  If you really feel like something is missing from your plate, include grilled or baked boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Serve with steamed green vegetables like spinach, kale, or broccoli.

1 medium acorn squash, scrubbed well
1 cup of cooked brown rice
2 tablespoons cooked black beans
1 tablespoon of raisins
1 tablespoon of chopped walnuts
good quality organic maple syrup

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.  Acorn squash in half and scoop out seeds.  If squash is difficult to cut, microwave it for about 3 minutes to soften slightly.
3.  Mix raisins and walnuts with the brown rice and stuff each acorn half with 1/2 cup of the mixture.
4.   Sprinkle acorn flesh lightly with the cinnamon.
5.   Place squash in a baking dish (stuffed side up)
5.  Add a bit water to the bottom of the baking dish so the squash does not burn. Check water level occasionally as squash bakes and add more if necessary.
6.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until squash is tender. 
7.  Drizzle lightly with maple syrup and return to oven for another five minutes.
8.  Serve hot


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