Healthy Recipes for Fall Cooking (Fall 2014)

Now is the season to enjoy the wonderful smells and warmth of slow-cooked foods. Fall is an excellent time to prolong your stay in the kitchen, turn on your oven once again, and pull out the ol' soup pot. It is also the season of a few amazing nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits. You (and your family) are sure to enjoy our selected Fall recipes.

Roasted Roots with a Twist
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Molasses
Leek Dill Soup
Stewed Pears & Flax Seed Jelly

Roasted Roots with a Twist

Enjoy the sweet and earthy flavor of Beets --- a nutritional powerhouse. Whether you like Red Beets or Golden, you can benefit from the Antioxidants found in these root vegetables. Both Tryptophan and Betalain (found in Red Beets) will help you relax your mind and create a general sense of well being (similar to chocolate!). If you are partial to another root vegetable you can add it to the mix or switch something out to make your own roasted roots concoction.

Peel, rinse and cut the following into bite-sized pieces:

  • 2 to 3 Red or Golden Beets
  • 2 to 3 Sweet Potatoes and/or Yams
  • 1 to 3 Parsnips
  • One large Onion or 2 smaller ones, Red or Yellow
  • One head of Garlic peeled (leave the cloves whole or cut into large chunks)
  • One Lemon with peel cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons of Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Place cut veggies and lemon pieces on 1 or 2 trays (they roast faster if organized in a single layer of veggies). Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of high heat oil to each tray of veggies --- we often use a mix of both Coconut and Olive Oil (Olive Oil smokes at around 365 degrees). Add a sprinkling of Salt and Pepper. Place trays in oven preheated to 350 degrees. Cook for 60 to 90 minutes stirring a few times in the process. The veggies will need closer attention towards the end of the cook time as they begin to carmelize.

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Molasses

Whether or not you think you like Brussels Sprouts, this recipe is for you. The roasted flavor and sweetened Pomegranate Molasses offer a delicious take on the often-detested cruciferous vegetable. This dish packs a nutritious punch with a load of antioxidants, fiber, minerals, vitamins and even protein (found in the Sprouts!).

  • 1 1/4 Pounds Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 2 Tablespoons high heat Oil: Coconut, Ghee, Palm or Tallow
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 3 Tablespoons Pomegranate Molasses *
  • Seeds from 1 Pomegranate
  • 1/2 Cup coarsly chopped toasted nuts: Pecans, Hazelnuts or Walnuts
  • Finely grated zest of 1 Lime or Lemon (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon finely grated Orange zest (optional)
  • Juice of one lime (optional)

Rinse and trim the Brussels Sprouts. Slice them in half and place on a baking tray in a single layer. Add oil, salt and pepper then place in a 450 degree oven for roughly 25 minutes or until some of the sprouts have turned golden brown. You will need to stir them a few times while they are roasting. You will know they are done when they are soft enough to easily place a fork inside them.

Remove from oven and place in a serving dish. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss.

* Note: Pomegranate Molasses is concentrated Pomegranate Juice and is found in Middle-Eastern food stores.

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Leek Dill Soup

In Chinese Medicine, the fall season relates to the metal element and the corresponding organ systems the Lung and Large Intestine. The flavors that benefit these systems are pungent and sour. This recipe incorporates several pungent herbs and foods such as horseradish, ginger, tumeric, garlic, onions and leeks. This is simmered with sweet root vegetables in season at this time of year to make a soup very nourishing to the digestive system.

  • 1 large Leek or 1.5 to 2 smaller ones
  • 1 medium Onion
  • 4 cloves Garlic finely diced
  • 1 large Turnip
  • 1 large Yellow Sweet Potato or 2 smaller
  • 1 big handful of fresh roughly chopped Dill
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Thyme (about 7 big sprigs, twig removed)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon fresh grated Horseradish (about 1.5" cube grated)
  • Thumb of Ginger grated
  • Thumb of Tumeric grated (or 1 to 2 teaspoon dried)
  • Ghee for sauteing
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Lemon Juice to taste (optional)

Chop leeks into rounds and dice onions. Saute in ghee until soft and starting to brown. Add Garlic, Horseradish, Ginger and Tumeric a few minutes before the end. You can add a splash of water at the end to scrape all the good stuff off the bottom of the skillet and finish the cooking process in a bit of juice.

Peel and cut the Turnip, and Sweet Potatoes (leave the skin on), into bite sized cubes. Add the root vegetables and the leek mixture into a large pot. Add boiling water or broth until the mixture is covered with about 1 inch of water. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of salt. Return to a boil then turn down to a simmer gently until the potatoes and turnip is soft (approximately 20 minutes).

Add the dill and thyme and simmer another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Add a generous amount of black pepper and more salt to taste as needed (better to taste when slightly cooled as your taste buds will have a better gauge if more salt is needed). Puree in a blender if you would like --- I puree half of the soup after cooking and add it back to the pot to give a delicious creamy texture. Also try adding lemon juice to taste after the soup has cooked.

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Stewed Pears

Pears are in season in fall and also happen to be very nourishing to the Lung at this time of year. In this recipe, pungent spices such as cardamom, ginger, fennel, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, etc., can be simmered along with the pears, making a sweet and spicy treat that is nourishing to both the Lung and digestive system. Add raw honey to taste, which also benefits the lung.

  • 3 to 4 Pears, core and cut into chunks (leave the skin on)
  • Couple of slices of fresh Ginger
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • Powdered Fennel Seed, Clove, Cardamom, etc. (optional)
  • Raw Honey to Taste (optional)
  • Flax Seed Jelly (optional)

Wash the pears, core and cut into chunks leaving the skin on. Place in a pan with a few splashes of water, a couple of slices of ginger and a cinnamon stick. Simmer gently until the pear is mushy. Remove the ginger and cinnamon stick. You could also add powdered fennel seed, clove, cardamom, etc. before cooking or add whole cardamom pods (be sure to find them and fish them out after the pears are cooked). You can add a little raw honey to taste if you would like, or stir in some Flax Seed Jelly.

Remember to eat this dish separately from meals.

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Flax Seed Jelly

Place a few tablespoons of raw flax seeds in a pan, and add water to just cover them. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 5 to 10 minutes. You may also just cover the seeds with boiling water and leave to sit overnight, but simmering them releases more of the beneficial jelly. Allow the mixture to cool and thicken and then stir into Chai Congee or just eat with a spoon. You can also stil in a little raw honey if you would like or add them to the Stewed Pears after cooking.

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