Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fall Harvest

  Any one else getting sick of those pumpkin blogs and posts. For the first year in a long time pumpkins have been in abundance and people are not only noticing they are acting as though it will never happen again by ignoring every other squash, fruit and vegetable that flourish during this time of year. I love fall to some extent because of the seasonal veggies I get the chance to find. They other reason is the great weather here in San Diego (although my heart does go out to all my east coast friends and family. I have been able to go out to the market on a beautiful breezy sunny day and find some unique foods and I plan on sharing.
  As I mentioned pumpkin has been on every ones minds but there are numerous squashes you may find at the market this fall. Some of the squash you can find this season are Autumn Cup Squash, Butternut, Buttercup, Carnival, Delicata, Fairytale Pumpkin, Gold Nugget Squash, Hubbard, Spaghetti, and Sweet Dumpling squash. It;s a lot to take in and to be honest you will only find a few of these around and that all depends on how well the season has been for the squash and where you live or where your grocery store or market gets the squash from. I have had the luxury of attempting quite a few of these. Spaghetti squash has been great year round I like to roast it and substitute it as spaghetti. The flesh is stringy enough to do so just take a fork and play with the squash a little, a Delicata squash I just ate as is after roasting it and I had the amazing idea to bake some Carnival squash stuffed with curried rice here is the recipe for that one:

1 small-medium squash
1 serving of rice
yellow spicy curry powder
a spoon full of tomato paste
a dash of chili powder and green dill weed

in a pan par cook the rice with all the seasonings.  stir in the tomato paste with a small amount of water if needed. with the squash cut enough of the top off to scoop out the seeds. after scooping those narly seeds out place the rice inside. in a pan place the squash with the top coving and cook it in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour or until soft. after cooked add a little extra dill for some green and freshness. The squash itself is so buttery you don't really need to much oil or added butter, the squash does the work for you.

although squash is the popular plant based food to go to this season we cannot forget about the rest of the food out there. How about your greens? or your fruits? I have seen more spinach and kale in the grocery store lately than any other green aside from cabbage. Costco even has out a kale salad they are selling and let me tell you have attempted it and it is one of the best salads I have eaten. It is a crunchy delicious salad that everyone should try. and I have been making spinach salad and sauteed spinach almost everyday this past week. Nothing is as simple as putting spinach with some garlic in a pan for some delicious sauteed spinach. If you jar and pickle your own veggies or want to start get some rice wine vinegar, Fresh Ginger, Salt and some of your favorite sweetener (try going with minimal bitterness, a mild honey, stevia can be good if you pick the right brand or even experiment with adding some fruit pectin or just plane fruit then add in some peeled Diakon Radish of the season for a unique flavored pickled Diakon. One of my favorite veggies looking perfectly white and large this season is the Cauliflower. You can do just about anything with cauliflower even make it into ice cream or "risotto". My favorite recipe is my mustard drenched Cauliflower. Some how this one always changes on me with the seasonings I choose but here is one I just did:

1 Cauliflower
Yellow Mustard
jarred horseradish
garlic powder

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, Cut the leaves and clean the Cauliflower, Mix all the other ingredients together to your liking and enough for a good generous spread on the cauliflower and lastly place it on some foil rubbed with some oil (this time around I go for EVOO), set it in the oven for about 15 minutes for a crunchy goodness then lower the temp to 350 degrees for another 20-30 minutes. (FYI Mustard is also in season if you go for all organic fresh mustard).

Of course we can't forget about our fruits. Grapes, Kumquats, Jujubes (yes they are a real fruit), Crab apples and sugar apples, and Cranberries are just a few of the fruits out their this season. My favorite fruit out though is the cactus fruit also known as the cactus pear. The cactus fruit is something very popular in the Middle East including a small country I am going to be going to in December called Israel. It is also a fruit that is growing popularity here. the best way to enjoy a cactus pear is cutting it in half grabbing a spoon and scooping out the meat and seeds and cherish the moment you taste the sweet pomegranate like fruit.

I know it's tough for some of you out there with the storm to even go grocery shopping for any of these yummy foods. but this has been on my mind and I know you are all going to pick up life right after plus you have to celebrate survival some how and why not with some scrumptious fruits and veggies. Anyways I was honestly writing this blog before the storm got started and finally finished but I am thinking about you all with all my heart so stay strong for me and do me a favor and let me know how you all are doing.

Till Next Time

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