My mom got me a sugar pumpkin to use as a centerpiece for Thanksgiving, and it’s been cheerfully sitting on my windowsill ever since. It still looked perfectly fine to me (turns out pumpkins last 8-12 weeks), so the other day I decided to roast it. If you have a pumpkin kicking around your house, you should, too! Then you can make this soup. Roasting is much better than rotting, which is what will happen if you put off roasting your pumpkin for too long. Why waste a source of delicious food? While you’re at it, roast the seeds, too. I tossed mine with ghee and sprinkled them with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and sage, and they were amazing!
If you already got rid of all your pumpkins, don’t despair. Canned pumpkin is available in stores year-round, and will work just fine in this recipe.
Pumpkin is great, but the real star of this soup is the humble shallot. When you fry shallots for a long time over low heat, they turn a wonderful shade of golden brown and develop an even richer savory flavor. After that, when you let them dry on paper towels, they crisp up. Not like potato-chip crispy, but a wonderful kind of chewy-crispy–and they’re WAY more delicious than potato chips. You may want to make extra, because with a little salt sprinkled on top, they’re pretty much better than bacon.
I’ve made it to Day 10 of my Whole30! It feels good to be 1/3 of the way there, and I am loving eating so many vegetables. I’m not loving being the only one who can’t have any bread when we’re out to dinner, but so far the pros outweigh the cons. I like how the Whole30 forces me to be creative in the kitchen, finding new ways to make meat, eggs, and vegetables extra delicious.
As a kid I never liked brussels sprouts, because I’d only tried the mushy, boiled ones. The first time Ben made me Brussels sprouts, I was totally surprised. I LOVED them. He pan-fried them in a skillet until they were browned and crisp around the edges, and sprinkled them with plenty of Cajun seasoning. It’s a simple technique, but somehow it never tastes as good when I try to make it.
Since I’m not the best at making sprouts Ben’s way, I decided to think of a new way to prepare them. I love roasting vegetables because it’s so easy, and a parchment-lined cookie sheet means minimal cleanup. I was inspired by the huge box of oranges I have to create an easy glaze with fresh orange juice and zest, coconut aminos, and chili paste. The results were so delicious that I ate the entire batch for lunch! The glaze is spicy and sweet, and since the Brussels sprouts are roasted instead of cooking in the sauce, they retain their nice crispy edges.
Someday soon, I hope to use this recipe to convince a new person that they love Brussels sprouts. Maybe it will be you!
If you already love Brussels sprouts, what’s your favorite way to prepare them?
We’re going nose-to-tail with our zucchini today! I saw these charmingly small organic zucchini at Whole Foods, and was inspired to cook them without trimming the ends off, chopping them up, or turning them into noodles. Sometimes, we just have to let zucchini be! It’s a beautiful vegetable, and when it’s browned like this and braised until tender, you can eat the whole entire thing.
It’s Whole30 time! In addition to eating right all month, I’ve committed to posting everyday as part of Blogher’s January NaBloPoMo. The theme is pressure, which seems fitting–I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself to eat clean food and blog about it every single day for a month! I probably won’t be able to share 31 new recipes, but instead will sometimes blog about how I’m feeling and what resources I’m using. I’ll be sharing lots of simple recipes, which will hopefully inspire you to get in the kitchen and whip up something healthy even if you aren’t committing to a whole Whole30.
You heard it here: cranberry is the new pumpkin! I am pretty much ready to put these little red super-berries in everything I make from now until Christmas. I love the depth the tart flavor of cranberries adds to desserts, and they’re great in savory dishes, too.
This recipe is so easy–just two ingredients, and you end up with two delicious and giftable condiments. The cranberry maple syrup would be great on pancakes, but I’m also thinking about incorporating it into a festive cocktail. I’ve already used it as the base for another dessert (involving chocolate) that would make a great gift, so stay tuned! If you want to be really prepared, make a batch of this now and just stash it in your fridge. I promise you won’t be sorry you did!
The cranberry compote is also delicious, and less sweet than the syrup for those of you who don’t want to get a toothache. I used some to make a parfait with yogurt and pecans this morning, and it was amazing. (Holiday parfait–it’s a thing! A delicious thing that rhymes!) You could also spread the compote on toast or even serve it with pork chops.
I had so much fun watching and listening to the cranberries pop while I was making this recipe. It’s more subtle than popcorn, but still great. I tried to make a video of it to post on Instagram, but it turns out I don’t know how to do that. Anyway, it made me think of the song “Get It Poppin’” (warning: explicit lyrics) from ten years ago–it’s a completely ridiculous Fat Joe song where he asks the ladies what they’re gon’ do, and they say “I’ma get-get-get it poppin!” over and over again. So, yes … that song has been stuck in my head since I made this. Still totally worth it, though!
I was invited to a Hanukah party last night, and needed to bring a dessert that was nut-free and vegan. I wanted to bring a traditional Hanukah dessert, but soon realized I didn’t know of any. I guess I never really made it past the mountains of latkes at my family’s Hanukah celebrations. A quick search revealed that oily, fried foods like jelly-filled doughnuts are often eaten at Hanukah, but I wasn’t about to fry up a big pile of donuts to be eaten hours later. I also don’t really like jelly-filled desserts; I feel that jelly belongs at breakfast. Since I had dreidel and Star of David cookie cutters, I decided Hanukah sugar cookies would have to be traditional enough. I also got out my snowman and snowflake cookie cutters, since winter is almost here.
My next task was to find a great vegan cookie recipe. Since the cookies had to be nut-free, I soon realized it would be very hard to make them gluten-free as well. So, these cookies are a total gluten bomb. I promise to be back with more gluten-free eats very soon!