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kabocha

Warm Chickpea Squash Salad Over Kale with Tahini Sauce

Warm Chickpea Squash Salad Over Kale with Tahini Sauce

Often it’s the simplest dishes that make for the tastiest meals.

Fresh, seasonal ingredients, a pinch of spices and chopped herbs, and really that’s all you need to create a recipe that’s memorable, many times even more memorable than a combination that calls for hours upon hours of cooking.

Warm Chickpea Squash Salad Over Kale with Tahini Sauce

I’ve been getting into swimming lately, which generally leaves me ravishing upon arriving home.

My patience doesn’t have time for anything fancy when I show up to the kitchen counter. And when I have quality ingredients on-hand, I don’t need anything complicated either.

Luckily, my stockpile of winter squash has been conducive to all of this. A hearty tray of simply seasoned kabocha or a steaming baked sweet potato can really knock the edge off of hunger in a satisfying way. I find this to be one of the richest parts of winter.

Warm Chickpea Squash Salad Over Kale with Tahini Sauce

This recipe draws upon that heartiness of squash to create a nourishing meal that stays both light and satisfying. Baked with a little spice and tossed over crunchy, massaged kale to ever-so-slightly wilt the leaves, this becomes a powerful salad.

Salty chickpeas top it all off along with a creamy tahini dressing, where you’ll find the strength of fresh herbs kicking in.

Warm Chickpea Squash Salad Over Kale with Tahini Sauce

Serve with a slice of crusty bread, and feel free to sprinkle a few toasted nuts and seeds on top to give the meal a boost.

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Winter Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili

We got our first snowstorm here in Philly last weekend. Everyone say hey to Jonas, which called for a snow-day Saturday chili cook-off session.

With plenty of time to slow down and savor, into the pot went every veggie and spice that makes chili shine, and onto the timer went plenty of minutes.

Vegetarian Chili

Snow brings time to chill. Time to chill brings patience. And patience brings flavor-making magic.

If you’ve got the minutes to spare, let this merger of ingredients mix and mingle for at least 45 minutes. The more time you give it, the more infusion of flavor in every bite you’ll receive.

In fact, it probably reaches its best not the night upon serving but in your bowl the next day.

Patience is a delicious virtue.

Vegetarian Chili

Serve over brown rice with some cheddar, on the sharp side, and/or fresh herbs. And if you seek to level up the whole experience, add a square of warm, buttered cornbread on a plate to its side.

We’ll thank Jonas for this one.

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Harvest Squash and Wild Rice Pilaf with Pecans and Cranberries

Harvest Squash and Wild Rice Pilaf with Pecans and Cranberries

I craft a lot, a lot of recipes. And I’m always dreaming up more in my mind. Yet, every year, Thanksgiving comes around, and rarely do I have a clue of what I’m going to make.

Usually, the winning idea arrives last minute (fashionably late). Often, it’s after a few Google searches, and several emails from my sister inquiring about what I’ll be bringing to the family feast. Usually she gives up. And often I show up with a surprise. Which means, it needs to be good. Great. Worthy of all turkey-eaters to save some vegetarian room on their plate.

Harvest Squash and Wild Rice Pilaf with Pecans and Cranberries

This year, I was given some time in advance to think. Well, actually, required to set aside some time to choose a Thanksgiving dish to share recipe.

I hosted a Friendsgiving this past weekend, which was perfect for practicing my holiday cooking skills before the real deal rolls around.

This heaping bowl of thyme-infused rice and squash goodness got gobbled up in no time. If I had to give it an alternate name, I’d call it Healthful Holiday Party-in-a-Bowl. It’s a true celebration of fall’s best festive flavors.

Harvest Squash and Wild Rice Pilaf with Pecans and Cranberries

Here, nutty rice pairs with creamy squash and a sweet-meets-tart punch of flavor from the cranberries. Buttery, pan-roasted pecans add a crunch, while thyme drives that classic Thanksgiving feel that we all know and love. I sautéed the onion in butter to richen things up, and finished it off with parsley to add a complimentary freshness. The result, as previously mentioned, is a T-day party-in-a-bowl. Are you ready to celebrate?

Harvest Squash and Wild Rice Pilaf with Pecans and Cranberries

If you’re not sure what you’re bringing to the Thanksgiving table yet, I’m throwing this into the recommendation hat. It serves as a great vegetarian main dish that leaves you satisfied with all of its festive goodness.

If you do have a recipe already picked out, this needn’t be reserved solely for the holidays. Healthy and wholesome, I’ll certainly be bringing this to the table again this season. Cheers.

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Fall Indian Coconut Curry

Fall Indian Coconut Curry

My dad set out earlier this year to sow a bunch of seeds that he thought would turn into beautiful butternuts. Instead, what he got was a bunch of green, bowling-ball-sized squash that looked like cantaloupe inside.

As he was describing these to me over the phone, I immediately thought (and wished, and prayed) that they must be kabocha squash.

Fall Indian Coconut Curry

“Kabocha?” he said. My dad, the garden-guru, the man who puts on his farm boots daily and holds a hoe as if it were his full-time job, was stumped. He quickly found out that kabocha can combat a butternut, easily, and perhaps even come out on top.

Fall Indian Coconut Curry

Sweet, creamy, orange…it’s everything you could want in a squash. And this “Japanese pumpkin” is all the rage these days in the culinary world. Perhaps that’s why I befriended it before my soil-drenched daddy-o.

Fall Indian Coconut Curry

Anyway, I stole away with a bunch from my dad’s harvest, and it turned into the inspiration for this autumn curry. Lately I’ve been doing a ton of Thai curries, so I decided to take this one in an Indian direction with some quality curry powder, and finished with a spritz of lime and fresh cilantro. Serve it over brown rice, and if you’re feeling fancy, add some warn naan on the side. Continue Reading…

Quinoa Fall Buddha Bowl will Dill Tahini Sauce

Quinoa Fall Veggie Bowl will Dill Tahini Sauce

Montreal was dreamy. Parks and green space were both in abundance, as were spacious bike lanes and an inspiring amount of cyclists putting them to good use.

Bagels also abound, but even more exciting for me was the number of vegan spots present in every neighborhood. There were tons of them. It was glorious.

Roasted Kabocha

Many of the vegan restaurants were casual, hosting menus of simple, affordable meals made from quality ingredients. It was in the details, like that extra handful of sprouts or the fact that the tempeh was homemade, that made each meal stand out.

The warm, notably thin, ever-so slightly crispy pita that held one breakfast’s tofu scramble still sticks in my mind this morning. Details. It’s all about the details.

Quinoa Fall Veggie Bowl will Dill Tahini Sauce

A lot of spots also had nourishing bowls like this, the inspiration behind today’s recipe. After snacking on croissants, these kind of meals come in handy.

But really, if you want to feel energized and clear-headed, meals like these are perfect for anytime.

It’s the best when you finish up a filling meal, and feel nothing but refreshed afterwards. This is the beauty of what the blogging world calls the Buddha Bowl.

Sesame Seeds

Packed with protein-powered whole grains and sweet, creamy roasted kobacha squash, I consider this a treat to welcome in the autumn season. Tahini sauces are always my favorite, too, so this herbed rendition really seals the deal. You’ll notice the recipe makes double the amount of sauce you’ll need. You could either A) feed more people and double the veggies too, or B) save the sauce and use it in other salad/grain recipes later. If you decide to do the later, you may wish to add a little extra water or heat the sauce following refrigeration. The sauce thickens once cooled.

Quinoa Fall Veggie Bowl will Dill Tahini Sauce

Feel free to add some tofu or chickpeas on top for a little extra oomph.

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