I had several recipes this past week that ended up being successes, so here they are; I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!
Roasted Vegetables over Buckwheat (Inspired by a recipe in the Great Vegetarian Cookbook)
1 acorn squash, peeled, seeded and cut into bit-sized pieces
1 lb small new potatoes, halved
2 medium zucchini, cut into large chunks
1 lb mushrooms, quartered
2 garlic cloves, crushed with the flat of the knife blade
2 T olive oil
2 tsp thyme
1 cup buckwheat
2 cups water
Preheat oven to 415. Prepare vegetables and garlic and toss with olive oil in a large bowl. Place vegetables in large casserole dish and bake, uncovered for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove from oven, add thyme and stir vegetables. Return to oven for another 20-30 minutes, testing for doneness with a fork. Veggies are done when they are slightly browned and potatoes are tender. While veggies are cooking for the second stretch, combine buckwheat and water in medium saucepan on stovetop. Add a little salt, and bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit at least 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Serve vegetables over buckwheat.
Creamy Squash Soup (Inspired by Elana Amsterdam’s Paleo Carrot Soup) with Shaved Beet and Citrus Salad
2 tsps olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 T fresh ginger, minced
1/2 tsp nutmeg, more to garnish
1 large red apple, cored
2 1/2 to 3 pounds butternut squash (about 2 small butternut squashes), peeled, seeded and chopped
1 14 oz can coconut milk (or cow’s milk or cream, for a very decadent soup!)
salt to taste
1 head romaine lettuce, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
3 large golden beets, grated
2 navel oranges, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 T toasted sunflower seeds
Poppyseed dressing (I used this recipe)
In large saucepan, sauté onion in oil over medium low heat until soft and translucent. Add fresh ginger and nutmeg and sauté for a minute before adding the apple and squash. Sauté for a few minutes, then add enough water to just barely cover (don’t add too much water; it’s okay if you have squash or apples sticking out of the water. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes until squash is soft.
While soup is cooking, prepare salad: toast sunflower seeds in small dry skillet over medium low heat until slightly browned and fragrant (you’ll want to stay close by and stir frequently). Combine with lettuce, beets, oranges and toss. Add dressing when you serve.
When squash is tender, add coconut milk and raise heat to medium. When coconut milk is heated through, remove from heat and purée in blender. Return to the pot and cook over medium-low heat until heated through. Serve, garnished with a light sprinkling of nutmeg.
This last recipe is actually three in one; it’s for an entire meal. I have to confess, I strongly dislike the “side dishes” sections of cookbooks; it makes meal planning so much more complicated, in my opinion. I would much rather have a set of cohesive recipes that make up a an entire meal! So here, for you, is exactly what I would want if planning a nice meal for my family.
Roast Chicken with Apricot glaze with Lemon Broccoli and Glazed Carrots
Whole chicken (use whatever size works best for your family, roasting time will vary with the size)
1/3 cup apricot jam
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tsp thyme
1 T butter
2 lbs broccoli, cut into smaller florets
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
6-8 medium carrots, sliced into about rounds
Leftover Glaze from chicken
You’ll notice that an entire lemon is used between the chicken and broccoli, so what I recommend is that you zest the lemon first (I use a microplaner for this), then juice the lemon and divide the juice into two parts.
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare the chicken for roasting, place in roasting pan (or dutch oven, which is what I use), rub olive oil all over chicken and then rub chicken with kosher salt. Roast chicken for 20 minutes for every pound (so a 5 pound chicken would need around 1 hour 40 minutes, give or take).
When you have a projected 40 minutes left on your chicken roast time, prepare your broccoli: in a large dry skillet, toast sunflower seeds over medium heat until lightly browned and fragrant (you’ll want to stay close by and stir frequently). Set aside. In medium saucepan, combine broccoli florets with lemon zest and about an inch of water. Cover and set aside for now. Don’t cook it quite yet.
Prepare your glaze: stir together 1/3 cup of apricot jam, lemon juice and thyme. Using the small skillet you just used for the sunflower seeds, heat 1T of butter over medium heat until frothy. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the apricot-lemon-thyme mixture. Cook stirring constantly until it is thick and warmed through. Pour into a measuring cup – keep the frying pan, and don’t clean it! You can divide the glaze at this point, keeping roughly two-thirds of it for the chicken and 1/3 of it for the carrots.
You will want to start taking your chicken’s temperature about 20 minutes before your projected “done” time. When your chicken is about 155 degrees, pull it out of the oven and raise the oven temperature to 425. Brush the chicken with the glaze and return to the oven for 15 minutes. Chicken is done when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 165 degrees. Remove from oven, cover with foil and let rest for 15 minutes. This is important if you want your chicken to be juicy; don’t carve it right away!
When your chicken has about 5 minutes left to roast, turn your broccoli on high and steam for roughly 6-8 minutes, checking for doneness as you go. You want it to be tender but not mushy. When done, drain, then place in serving bowl and pour the lemon juice over the broccoli and sprinkle with the toasted sunflower seeds.
While broccoli is steaming, have your frying pan heating over medium heat. Add your carrots and stir to coat in the leftover glaze. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add the extra 1/3 cup of glaze at this point, along with about 1/3 cup of water and reduce the heat slightly. Cover your skillet with foil and let cook until carrots are tender, about another 5 or 6 minutes. Place in serving bowl.
Carve up your chicken and serve. Enjoy!
I hope you find a recipe amongst these that looks appealing to you; as always feel free to share insights, thoughts or questions in the comments!