With the arrival of October and the cooler weather, so comes pumpkins. Pumpkins aren’t just for Pumpkin Pie (although a great use for it!), and for (Canadian) Thanksgiving, they are loads of fun for carving – and of course roasting the seeds! I’ve also included a soup recipe that you may not typically think of, but really highlights some of the fall veggies. This soup is thick and creamy without containing dairy (coconut milk is used in place of cream) and although I made this with home-made turkey stock (from the Thanksgiving bird), you could certainly substitute veggie stock and make it a vegan dish as well! I’ve also highlighted my families favorite ways to roast pumpkin seeds with a few variations as well! So visit your local farm or farmers market before they close for the season & enJoy!
Sweet Potato-Squash & Pumpkin Soup
- 1 large (or 2 small) sweet potato
- 1 med acorn squash
- 3/4 can pumpkin puree or a small pumpkin
- 1 litre (approx 4 c) coconut milk
- 1 litre (approx 4 c) chicken stock (or veggie stock)
- 1 lemon’s juice (or about 1.5 tsp lemon juice concentrate)
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash and pumpkin (if using) in half and scoop out the seeds (keep them pumpkin seeds for roasting!). Wash the sweet potato. Place the pumpkin and squash face down on a cookie sheet with a lip (you may want to spray it with EVOO first to keep them from sticking) and add a bit of water to the bottom of the tray. Cover with tinfoil. Place the tray in the oven along with the sweet potato(es). Bake for about 45 min – 1 hr or until a knife goes in without resistance.
- Remove the skin(the meat of the veggies will be very soft) by scooping the insides out and into a large 4 quart pot. Mash together.
- Heat, add lemon juice. Add the coconut milk a little at a time until mixed in. Add the stock. Add black pepper to taste. Simmer for 30 minutes – serve & enJOY
Best Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Scoop out pumpkin seeds from large pumpkin. Rinse in a colander to get some of the “pumpkin guts” off. Lay out on a cookie sheet for 24 hrs to dry out (or else you will need to increase cooking time – we let them dry out over night – about 14 hrs and then roasted them for about 1.5 hr). Once they have dried out, you can pick any of the left over “guts” off more easily.
Drizzle some sesame oil (about 1-2TB dependent on how many seeds you have), and mix it with the seeds. Sprinkle sea salt and mix. Place in 300 degree oven for about an hour, stirring 1 or 2 times. Let cool (if you can wait!) and enJOY!
some of our fave variations:
- use melted garlic butter instead of sesame oil.
- After removing from oven, sprinkle with a little sugar as well as salt for a sweet & salty snack.
- Forgo the salt and use black pepper instead.
- Use onion, garlic or seasoning salt instead of sea salt.
- Add 1 tsp cumin when roasting.
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Posted in desserts and snacks, entertaining, Family Fave's, Gluten free, Living Well, Misc Recipes or Posts, recipes, Veggie & Sides Recipes
Tagged coconut milk, dairy free, fall, farmers market, Pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, recipe, Roasting, soup, Sweet Potato, vegan, vegetables
One of my favorite vegetables are roasted beets. However, if you grew up in a house like mine, you thought beets come in a can – pre-cooked and peeled. Add lots of butter and salt and Bob’s (or Beet’s) your uncle as they say…. It wasn’t until I was an adult and cooking on my own (and frankly only in the last few years) have I started buying whole beets and roasting them myself. Surprisingly – not difficult! These beets are from Willowtree Farms in Port Perry ( @WillowtreeCSA) as is the basil and the garlic scapes. So good! Try it! Note – I roasted these in the oven however you can roast them the same way on the top rack on a BBQ as well. If you haven’t cooked with garlic scapes before try them – so good! Make garlic scape pesto!
- Bunch of Beets
- Bunch of Basil
- 2 garlic scapes – chopped
- 1-2 TB EVOO
- pepper to taste (optional)
Wash excess dirt from beets, slice the top off. Chop up the garlic scapes. Chop or tear up the basil. Make a tinfoil packet – add the beets with the exposed end facing up. Pour the EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) over and sprinkle with pepper (if using). Top with garlic scapes and basil. Seal the packet tightly and roast in 425 degree oven for 1 hr (maybe a bit longer dependent on size of beets). Open packet, use a knife to gently remove the skin (will come off very easily) – slice and serve! YUM! enJOY!
Time Saver Tip: After roasting you can freeze cooked beets to reheat for an easy weeknight side dish!
Posted in BBQ or Grill, Family Fave's, Gluten free, Misc Recipes or Posts, recipes, Veggie & Sides Recipes
Tagged basil, Beet, farmer, Fresh, Garlic, Garlic Scapes, local, Olive oil, Roasting
Bullying. Its a hot topic and a media buzz word right now. But what does it mean to you? Your kids? Does it mean the same thing? Have you asked them? After a conversation with another mom about what we considered bullying verses – in both our cases the other parent/caregiver did not consider it anything but “its just what kids do”, I thought I would have a conversation about it with my kids, aged 6 and 4 and see what they thought.
Question (s) posed: “If one classmate/friend says that they don’t want to be your friend because you don’t want to do the same thing as them – is that “just being mean when your mad” or is it being a “bully” ? How about if that classmate won’t let you play with them or others because you don’t agree with them? Wear different kinds of clothes than them? Look different than them? Just because they decide that you are different or not allowed (no reasons given)?
After assuring them that there is no right or wrong answer I asked them for their feedback (i.e.Yes – that was bullying or No, not bullying – just being mean or mad”). The kids (both) thought that in all cases this was bullying except if they said they didn’t want to play/be friends because you wanted to play something different”. The end result was that there is a very fine line between “being mean” and bullying – I strongly feel that “being mean but just a kid being a kid” can lead to full on physical and emotional bullying as they the kids get older if not addressed by the parent or caregiver. If its not being addressed as bullying but being dismissed as “being kids” however other kids (peers of the same age) are interpreting it as bullying – then it’s clearly sending a message that bullying on a small scale is fine and acceptable behavior. I mean if the parents/caregivers don’t feel it necessary to point out that – “those words” (“I don’t like you – you are not my friend because you won’t play my game (or whatever)” and “No one wants you to be there friend”/”You are not allowed to be our friend”) are hurtful, mean and very real to the kids on the receiving end, how are the (bullies) kids supposed to know when to draw the line? Its my belief that kids are not born bullies but behavior is learned and that includes words. If this peer interaction is okay with the parents in the primary grades – then when do they feel justified in stepping in as the children get older, take more for granted and feel more entitled? Its my belief that addressing the bullying situation needs to be dealt with early and not just brushed off as “its what kids do” – if all parents/caregivers felt the same way – I wonder how far that would go in helping to eliminate the bullying cyber, emotional and physical that is prevalent now. What do you think?
No Bullies About it- Roasted Chicken 2 Ways.
I make Roasted Chicken or Turkey at a higher temperature then many do – I find that it keeps the meat juicer and tender try it! I also do not baste my birds I truly do not find it to make any difference in the taste and at the higher temperature you get nice crispy browned skin! I do not cover my chicken when roasting.
(These are all using a 3LB Unstuffed Chicken – adjust time for larger birds) Roast at 425 for 1hr + (depending on your oven) 5-25 min. Or until an internal temperature taken in the meaty part of the thigh is 180 degrees Remove from oven. Cover with tinfoil and allow to rest (juices to retract) for 10 min before carving.
Melt butter, add thyme, rosemary and garlic rub into skin. Roast according to directions above. If you like gravy, add some water or homemade chicken stock to bottom of roasting pan when cooking. Hint: Add balsamic vinegar to your stock for a thicker yummy tasting gravy.
The title sounds weird but this is a fantastic recipe to try if you are watching your saturated fats. The chicken is roasted with the skin on, but the spice is applied between the skin and the meat – so it is absorbed by the meat while roasting, and not dried out. The skin is discarded previous to serving.
In a small bowl mix to form a paste:
Zest from lime
2 TB juice from the lime ( do not throw out the rind)
1 TB chili powder
1 TB paprika (smoked is really nice)
1 TB oregano
1 Tsp minced garlic (or to taste)
1 tsp salt
Once you have formed this into a paste, make a small slit in the skin by the opening to the cavity inside and slide the paste in the pocket you have created and rub all over meat. Place the lime rinds (quartered) into the cavity of the bird. Roast breast side up according to directions above – discard skin previous to carving.
Posted in Family Fave's, Living Well, Misc Recipes or Posts, recipes
Tagged Bully, Chicken, healthy, low fat, Roasting, Turkey, Violence and Abuse, Youth