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Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Lentils and Kale

Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Lentils and Kale

Hey there – it’s me, Grace. Remember me?

Yeah, I know. It’s been awhile.

But I’m back, just in time to bring you this bowl full of all things fall and all things that’ll nourish you as we prepare to take on the changing of the seasons.

Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Lentils and Kale

Is it just me or is everyone seemingly getting sick a few weeks too early this year?

No one likes being sick. But nearly everyone likes butternut squash soup.

And this one packs a punch of healthful ingredients – i.e., a powerhouse, germ-fighting tonic of turmeric and ginger. (Praise hands emoji.)

Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Lentils and Kale

I love this soup because it’s both warming and hearty, yet at the same time it’s clean and light. Lentils add both a solid source of protein and some crunch while kale adds to the texture swimming in this soup’s oh-so velvety base.

Place it in a blue or green bowl, and its golden goodness really shines. Inside and out.

I’m telling you, it’s a winner all around.

Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Lentils and Kale

 

Serve with a side salad or a crusty slice of bread, or both. And then you’ve easily got a full meal – one that’s perfect for the autumn days that surround us!

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Tatsoi Saag Paneer

Tatsoi Saag Paneer

Saag Paneer has always been one of my favorite Indian dishes. It’s super savory, has that slight hint of both sweet and rich components going on from a touch of cream, and has a smoothness that feels divine on top of Naan, or even rice.

It’s also incredibly easy to create at home, which isn’t always the case when it comes to Indian food.

Tatsoi

Technically, this dish would require whipping up your own mild, fresh cheese, known as the paneer, which in itself isn’t actually all that complicated. However, this version of Saag Paneer swaps the cheese for tofu, making it even more convenient and quick to whip up. Perhaps I should rename it to Saag Tofu, but I think the Tatsoi in the title is enough of a curveball in itself.

What’s tatsoi, and what’s it doing in this recipe? Typically, at least in the states, Saag Paneer is made with spinach. You could certainly use that in my version too, and I’ve included instructions to do so. However, I chose to use tatsoi instead, because, well, I have a garden full of it. If you’re wondering what to do with your own tatsoi, I would highly recommend you put it to use in this.

Tatsoi Saag Paneer

Like spinach, tatsoi is a tender green, although with just slightly more of a bite…especially when you let it reach its flowering point in the garden. (Pick it before this if you can.)

In comparison to most other greens though, the flavor is subtle, and the texture is creamy. This makes it so adaptable for this dish, where the dominance of flavors should remain in its collection of spices.

Tatsoi

If you’re not familiar with tatsoi, try it out if you can and get your adventure thriving in the kitchen. It grows abundantly during the spring months, and can also be found for pretty cheap in most Asian markets. Again though, spinach is a guaranteed go-to, and will also work wonders here, so have no fear if tatsoi can’t be found.

Philadelphia Community Garden

Serve the Saag alongside basmati rice, preferably of the fiber-rich, brown variety, and a warm piece of naan. This dish will also goes well with a wide range of other Indian dishes, from curries to masalas, and more. So if you feel inspired, make a feast.

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Turmeric Ginger Tea

Turmeric Ginger Tea

This is my savior when sick.

It’s my go-to wintertime tonic, and sometimes my morning replacement for coffee, too. Or afternoon pick-me-up. Or my I-need-some-color-to-brighten-this-dull-dreary-December-day drink. It’ll work for a number of occasions, and it’s rather simple to make.

turmeric

Perhaps it’s the anti-inflammatory properties of the turmeric, or the zing from the ginger, but either way, this tea comes with a natural boost of energy upon drinking. This is why you may find it particularly useful when your immune system is down. While sleep is the ultimate savior, you can make this your second saving grace for when you need to get through the morning hours. Then take a nap, and repeat the tea-making upon waking.

That’d be my advice. That is, if you find yourself catching the cold that everyone in my universe seems to be enduring right now.

Adjust the honey to your taste. If you want to get fancy, seek out fresh turmeric root from your local market (Whole Foods often carries this) and grate some of the its gold on top.

If you want to learn why it’s so special, here’s a quick start. Oh, and don’t forget about stomach-soothing ginger, too.

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Asian Cabbage Slaw with Basil and Ginger

Asian Cabbage Slaw with Ginger and Basil

My blog is going on a 2 week vacation, while its author heads to the West Coast. (Hello California and Portland!) Before it says a brief adieu, however, we are leaving you with this excellent summertime recipe.

Asian Cabbage Slaw with Ginger and Basil

Have no fear if cabbages are ransacking your garden, farmers’ market or CSA share, and you haven’t a clue what to do with them. I can relate. Hence why I’m hoping to help you out here with this recipe before I jet-set away for a few.

That blank state of mind seems to be a yearly occurrence for me when cabbages starting forming into bowling balls by the masses. I really do enjoy cabbage. But what do you make with it that will use it up fast enough? A few shreds on top of some fish tacos won’t begin to peel off those layers. Nor will most pasta sautes and other recipes where cabbage comes in handy.

Of course the simple answer is coleslaw.

Cabbage

While as I said I love cabbage, there’s only so much coleslaw I can tolerate. Cabbage by the masses paired with mayo by the masses ends in feelings of eventual repulsion for the leafy veg.

Not that I’m a mayo-hater or anything. I just can’t eat it with slaw on a regular basis until my family and friends’ gardens stop crying me cabbage.

This Asian slaw however? It’s something my fork could get down with daily. Especially in the summer when almost every lunch/dinner screams for a crunchy, cool salad.

Asian Cabbage Slaw with Ginger and Basil

I like this because it’s refreshing, yet each bite hits you with an immense amount of flavor. You get sesame paired with summer basil, and a slightly sweet and spicy kick from the rice vinegar paired with the ginger. Use a food processor to make its assembly easy, and feel free to top with roasted peanuts or any other garnish of your choice.

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Ginger Lime Edamame Hummus

Ginger Lime Edamame Hummus

This time of year, I want ginger and lime in my cup. Preferably over ice. Preferably with something a little fizzy. Maybe (or, if it’s a warm weekend night, definitely maybe) with some kind of spirit jazzing it up, too.

I’m a sucker for ginger. And lime. So naturally, I’ll say “yes please” to that duo in hummus on my spring veggie baguette, too.

Ginger Lime Edamame Hummus

When early summer rolls around, my diet generally shifts to veggies, and lots of them. Why eat anything else when there’s asparagus, and arugula, and cauliflower, and maybe even the first greenhouse-grown tomato in the ground? None of that tastes as good during the off seasons – especially when we’re talking tomatoes – so, I do my best to pack my diet with it when it’s shining brightly at the farmer’s market. (Or better yet, hanging out for free in my mom’s garden.)

With that being said, however, it’s good to have something that packs a punch of protein on-hand. Active summery days call for something a little more than veggies. Something more than Ginger Lime Mojitos, too. (Sorry if that’s all you can think about now as well.)

Ginger Lime Edamame Hummus

Hummus is a dietary staple of mine. In all honesty, I could make anything featuring sesame tahini a dietary staple – but hummus just so happens to be a healthy and convenient choice. Especially this edamame-spiced one, which packs double the protein in a nice green package.

Ginger Lime Edamame Hummus

Compared to traditional chickpeas, edamame looks pretty good – and I mean that to extend beyond just its vibrant green color. It has slightly fewer calories, more protein, and nearly the same amount of fiber per serving. Not bad, considering chickpeas in themselves aren’t a bad choice.

Keep a batch of this in your fridge, and you’ll have the makings for a baguette, ready to be picnicked all week long. If you can, pick up some radishes to shave on top, my veggie topping of choice. Although carrots can do the trick pretty well too, even sans bread.

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