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Posts tagged with Recipes

Grandma’s famous peanut clusters

My grandma's famous peanut clusters.

My grandma's famous peanut clusters. by Sarah Henning

Honestly, folks, this is going to be a pretty short post this week. I'm sorry about that, but when I tell you the reason why I think you'll understand.

My grandmother passed away this week. It feels strange typing this, not only because it's still such a foreign idea in my mind, but also because I didn't think I'd be telling anybody in this fashion.

I'm not telling you this for your sympathy, though it's appreciated. Honestly, the only reason I'm sharing this at all is because my grandmother was a fabulous cook and taught me so much of what I know about food. She left a giant, flour-coated impression on me and colors my food writing whether she knew it or not.

I spent a huge chunk of my childhood in her kitchen, watching her work her magic. She made the best desserts known to man, and I've told many, many, many people that if she'd ever opened a bakery it would've become a sweets-lover's destination, a national chain, or both. Chocolate pie, strawberry shortcake, peanut brittle, chip chocolate cookies (NOT chocolate chip, mind you), muffins ... the woman could do it all. And it was all so very good.

So, in her memory this week — we're working very hard to celebrate her life and how fantastic she was, rather than dwell on the sadness we all feel — I thought I'd share my favorite recipe of hers: peanut clusters.

They're simple — there are only three ingredients — but they're out of this world.

I've made them many, many times and they've been loved by people all over the country — I've made them in Kansas, Pennsylvania and Florida, and my mother has whipped up a batch or 20 in Alabama.

Honestly, I've probably known the recipe by heart since I was 10 or so, but when I got married, my mother's best friend asked for everyone in attendance to provide a recipe, hand-written on a recipe card. My grandmother wrote out the recipe in her beautiful handwriting and, now almost 10 years later, I still have it, as clean as the day she wrote it out.

The hand-written recipe I got at my bridal shower.

The hand-written recipe I got at my bridal shower. by Sarah Henning

So, in her memory, I'm going to share it with all of you. Honestly, it's not as healthy as most of the recipes I share in this space, but it's fantastic, and I hope you all enjoy it. The day she died, my husband insisted we make some as a little tribute. I even had one even though they're not vegan (or "funny" as my grandma would've said), and I'm glad I did.

Grandma Jeanne's Famous Peanut Clusters

1 (6-ounce) package chocolate morsels

1 (12-ounce) package butterscotch morsels

1 (12-ounce) package salted Spanish peanuts

Combine chocolate and butterscotch morsels in a double broilers (or microwave) until melted, being careful not to burn them, and stirring often.

Stir in the peanuts. Drop by the teaspoon onto waxed paper. Let set until firm either in the freezer or fridge. Store in an air-tight container in the freezer.

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New Year’s goals have you hungry? Here’s help

Salad of mixed greens, curry tofu, picked red onions, raw red onions, peas, olives, marinated mushrooms, roasted veggies, carrots, raisins and balsamic dressing.

Salad of mixed greens, curry tofu, picked red onions, raw red onions, peas, olives, marinated mushrooms, roasted veggies, carrots, raisins and balsamic dressing. by Sarah Henning

If you started 2013 with the goal of eating better/more vegetables/more fruits/less junk/less processed food/less food in general, chances are that by now you've either settled in or seen your resolve take a nosedive.

It's impossible to tell on Jan. 1 which way the proverbial cookie might crumble (i.e. into the trash, or into your mouth), but you can always improve on what you've already done, even if all that qualifies is scampering backward into your old habits after a brief foray into "healthy eating."

And if you've survived this month with your healthy goals going strong, you may still have nagging thoughts about how you can keep it up. Maybe you've had a hard time converting your family, and thus, have been eating totally separate meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Or maybe you're just fine at home, but when you're out on the town or at a party, your resolve crumbles (like said cookie). Or maybe you just can't get through the day without feeling hungry and wonder if it has to be that way forever.

Nope, no it doesn't. See, the thing is, no matter where you are in your journey to health, you should be in it for the long run. You've got this body and you need to take care of it, not abuse it with food or with suffering while feeling hungry/leftover/stressed over the vat of chips and salsa on the table.

We're talking about a lifestyle here. Like, for life. If you do it right, it should become second nature, not total torture.

And, being a lifestyle, it's probably good to know some tips and tricks, no?

Okay, so here's one that I've used the past few years and has saved me a lot of grief: I have a salad every day for lunch.

Yes, pretty much every single day. It's very rare for me to have something other than a salad and it usually means I'm not in control of the menu.

And, no, I'm not starving an hour later. And I'm not looking longingly at my co-workers' lunches. And I'm not eating the same old thing over and over again like some sad little animatron.

There's actually an art to making a salad that will fill you up and leave you feeling good about your work day: It's all about HEFT.

If you started your healthy eating regime at the beginning of January wondering how the heck anybody eats only salad for a meal, chances are the salad you're picturing is one of those tiny "dinner" salads made from iceberg lettuce, a sad tomato and croutons.

Let me tell you, that is not a dinner salad. And it's certainly not a lunch salad either. And, yes, if you eat something that small and lacking in nutrients, you will be hungry. For sure. And you'll probably wreck your good intentions with an especially expensive trip to the vending machine.

So, here's exactly how I have a salad every day without going hungry or crazy or succumbing to the vending machine:

This lunch salad includes mixed greens, roasted veggies (sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut squash), marinated mushrooms, hummus, Italian peppers. olives, red onion and baked tofu.

This lunch salad includes mixed greens, roasted veggies (sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut squash), marinated mushrooms, hummus, Italian peppers. olives, red onion and baked tofu. by Sarah Henning

Step 1: Store salad greens in the work fridge.

On Mondays, I will usually bring a 5-ounce tub of mixed greens or baby spinach, put my initials on the outside and keep it in the fridge at work. That way, I always have my salad base right there and waiting. I don't put anything else in there with them, so that they stay fresher longer. Just the greens, by themselves. And the 5-ounce tub is a good size not to be too obtrusive in a normal-size fridge. (If you only have a mini-fridge in the office, you might have to adjust these recommendations.)

Step 2: Make sure to have hearty toppings

Either brought from home or store-bought, make sure to have a large amount (as is almost as big a container as your salad greens) of salad toppings to use during the week. To keep your salads from being weak, make sure to include one of each of the following items:

Protein: I usually pick one type of bean (garbanzo, black or kidney) and then maybe a bit of tofu to supplement. On the salad at the top of the page, you can see I've used curried tofu as my protein of choice. If you eat meat, you could buy some shredded chicken, tuna or turkey for your salad.

Vegetables: This time of year, I usually either make or buy roasted vegetables to include in my daily salads. I like to mix up a variety, so it's not like I feel like I'm eating the same thing all the time. Top favorites right now: roasted squash, roasted yams, roasted carrots, roasted zucchini or yellow squash. I also like to always add red onion to my salads, and often peas or beets.

Something savory and something sweet: To get by without a lot of added flavor from dressing, I like to always include a few items with a lot of flavor to my salads. Often this means adding kalamata olives (savory) and pickled red onions (sweet). I'll also usually add black pepper, maybe nutritional yeast (which has a cheesy flavor) and raisins or apple juice-sweetened cranberries for some extra kick. Oh, and I've also really loved marinated mushrooms on my salads these days. They add a lot of flavor with little effort.

Step 3: Pick your dressing

Here's where you can easily change the flavor of your salad from day to day. Depending on my mood, I like to use hummus, salsa (pineapple/mango salsa fresca is especially good) or guac as my salad toppers. If I have enough roasted veggies on there, I can just kind of mash everything together and get a lot of texture for very little "dressing." If this isn't your cup of tea, you could just keep one or two salad dressings in the work fridge and alternate them, depending on your mood. The point is: Have something ready, and have an alternate so you aren't sick of it by day three.

Tips to make this easier:

Store a large salad bowl and fork in your desk at work. (You may want to bring this along with your salad greens the first time you try this method, naturally.) I say "large" because, remember, this is a meal. It's not supposed to be a puny salad. You want it to fill you up.

Buy some or all of the ingredients on Mondays. I take a trip to the store on my lunchbreak during my first workday of the week and stock up on items from the salad bar/hot bar. It's expensive, but if you break it down over five meals, it's actually not too bad.

Don't beat yourself up if you don't have salad for lunch. Honestly, I make sure to have salad for lunch not only because I like salad, but because that way I'm not as pressured to make sure I have one at dinner. I usually do, but sometimes I can't, or it's too cold, or I just want something else. And I don't feel guilty, because I've already gotten in a large serving of vegetables in the middle of the day.

So, there you have it. It's really not hard to make a salad for lunch every day. You can make it hearty, healthy and different, every day, just by varying toppings and doing a little planning at the beginning of the week.

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A great salad to start the new year

Portobello Salad with Spicy Mustard Dressing.

Portobello Salad with Spicy Mustard Dressing. by Sarah Henning

It's Jan. 1, peeps! (Or Jan. 2 for many of you who might not be eyeballing our site on a holiday.) If you're visiting this blog in the new year because you've decided you'd eat more whole, fresh foods, you've come to the right place. Well, at least I think so.

I really do try to keep this blog as healthy as possible. To me "healthy" means a few things:

  1. Whole ingredients — I like to use foods in their natural state, as unprocessed as possible. This isn't always the case, or sometimes I use something out of convenience (case in point: the can of beans below, rather than beans from scratch). But, most of the time, my meals feature whole fruits and vegetables supported by a few condiments.

  2. Good fats — I prefer to focus on fats that are good for the body: seeds and nuts with essential fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids (like the kind in avocados) and medium chain fatty acids (like the kind in virgin coconut oil). Extra virgin olive and grapeseed oils are great too, but don't provide as many anti-inflammatory benefits as the other fats I've mentioned.

  3. No refined sugar — I like to use alternatives to white or brown sugar when possible. Most of the time, I'll tend to use dates, maple syrup and honey.

The salad I'm featuring today is a great example of a healthy dinner that meets all of my guidelines. It contains good fats, plenty of whole foods, unrefined sugar and isn't difficult to prepare.

Note: The picture above also contains mashed sweet potatoes. I'm not including a potato recipe because we were too heavy-handed on the spices and they ended up tasting like a high-end pumpkin pie candle. Not our best experiment.

Portobello Salad with Spicy Mustard Dressing

Dressing

1/4 cup prepared spicy, smooth mustard

3 tablespoons grapeseed oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Salad

8 cups mixed greens

1 avocado, peeled, halved, pitted and sliced thin

1 small red onion, sliced into very thin half-moons

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 recipe roasted portobellos (below)

Dressing: Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Done.

Salad: Throw together all the ingredients except the portobellos in a large mixing bowl. Pour on the dressing and use tongs to toss. When ready to serve, place the dressed greens on plate and add the sliced, warm portobellos. Serves 4.

Roasted Portobellos

1/2 cup cooking wine

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 large portobello caps

Combine all ingredients for the marinade in a glass pie plate or small casserole. Place the mushrooms upside down in the marinade into each cap to form a small pool. Preheat the oven to 400 F and marinate for about 20 minutes.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, use tongs to flip the caps over, and cook, uncovered, for another 10 minutes. Let it cool a bit and then slice the mushrooms very thinly on the diagonal and make nice meaty slices.

(Recipe from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero)

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A post-holiday present to yourself: A pomegranate

Pomegranate breakfast bowl.

Pomegranate breakfast bowl. by Sarah Henning

If you're like me, you've got to restock to your fridge and pantry after the food explosion that is the holidays. My fridge has run the gamut over the past few days, going from empty-ish to stuffed to its frozen little gills to deflated and devoid of anything but leftovers.

If this sounds familiar, or if you're just planning your trip to the grocery store for the week, I highly recommend adding a pomegranate to your cart. This time of year, I can't get enough of these unusual superfruits. They're a great treat, and fantastic in nearly any application.

Back in November, I posted a Thanksgiving recipe for squash that featured pomegranate seeds. The seeds add a nice juiciness and crunch to that recipe, and they can do that to pretty much any other recipe you can dream up. Just this week, we had the seeds three different ways other than just eating them out of hand. Above is a breakfast bowl of 1 cup pomegranate seeds, 2 tablespoons pecans, 1 tablespoon hemp seeds and 1 teaspoon cacao nibs. While I was enjoying that, the hubby had pumpkin pancakes topped with the seeds.

Trader Joe's pumpkin pancakes topped with pomegranate seeds.

Trader Joe's pumpkin pancakes topped with pomegranate seeds. by Sarah Henning

But my favorite way this week is pairing the pomegranate seeds with squash yet again. This time, it's with kabocha squash we roasted in a spicy sauce and then used to top a simple salad. The result is as pretty as it is tasty.

Pomegranate and kabocha squash salad.

Pomegranate and kabocha squash salad. by Sarah Henning

But before we get to that recipe, a few details on the pomegranate, one of the world's oldest recorded fruits. One 4-inch pomegranate has 234 calories, 3 grams of fat, 11 grams of fiber (45 percent of your daily value), 5 grams of protein, 48 percent of your daily vitamin C and 5 percent of your daily iron.

Now to the really important information: How to open and seed the dang thing. The best way to seed a pomegranate is to plunge it underwater. Fill a mixing bowl with enough water that you can submerge your hands and the whole pomegranate. Next, cut the top off the fruit and score the outside into a few sections. Plunge the fruit into the water and then pull it apart along your score lines. Free the seeds with your thumbs and rub off the white pith. The pith will float and your seeds will sink. When all your seeds are free, rinse them in a colander to remove extra pith. Throw out any pale/strange-looking seeds along with the skin and the pith.

Pomegranate and Roasted Kabocha Squash Salad

1 large pomegranate or 2 small pomegranates, seeded

1 small kabocha squash, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch thick "C" shapes (no need to peel)

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons tamari

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne

Hummus

Pecans

Baby spinach

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the squash pieces in a large bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, tamari, cumin, sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne. Pour the sauce mixture over the squash and stir to coat.

Put the coated slices on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn them over and bake for 15 more minutes.

When the squash is finished, put together salad bowls that include baby spinach, 2 to 3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, 2 to 3 tablespoons hummus and 1 tablespoon pecans. Top with warm squash. Serves 4.

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No Tofurkey here. (Or: What vegetarians actually eat on Thanksgiving)

Our Thanksgiving table this year.

Our Thanksgiving table this year. by Sarah Henning

The most popular question I think nearly any vegan/vegetarian gets after the ubiquitous “But where do you get your protein???” question is this: “But don’t you miss _?” And, this time of year, that blank is more often than not filled with something related to holiday food.

“But don’t you miss turkey? Gravy? Pumpkin pie???”

Honestly? No.

I could say this is because there are vegan/vegetarian answers to pretty much anything that ends up on the table at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Which is totally true, but in my case I don’t miss any of those things because, I never really ate them in the first place.

Everyone is different, of course. That goes for you, too, omnivores! No one thinks to ask you, "But don't you miss _?" just because you don't eat something. Thus, not every omnivore eats every single thing on his or her Thanksgiving table. Example: Thanksgiving is my sister’s absolute favorite “food” holiday, but even she only eats turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy. No pie, no stuffing, no cranberry sauce. The woman likes what she likes, even if she could eat all of it.

The same thing goes for vegetarians. Just because we don’t choose to eat everything on the Thanksgiving table doesn’t mean we miss every single thing that won’t pass our lips.

Back when I ate animal products, my Thanksgiving meals were still vegetarian, if not vegan. I pretty much just at cranberry sauce, squash/sweet potatoes, rolls (yes, plural) and plain mashed potatoes. Yep. Pretty much from the time I have a memory on up until now. My favorite part of the holiday was always the family fun time and football, and never the food. In fact, I always wished there were some good restaurant open, so I could load up on anything BUT the normal holiday fare.

Of course, this isn’t true for every vegetarian or vegan out there. Some may sit through the whole dinner, pining away for a piece of dark meat beached in a pond of gravy or a slice (or three) of pie.

So, with all that in mind, I’m going to tell you exactly what I had for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s not the norm, but it was fabulous and I didn’t feel the need to hop in the car for a last-minute Tofurkey (which, to be honest, I’ve never had and probably will never want to have).

This was my plate:

My Thanksgiving plate: Brussels and Butternut.

My Thanksgiving plate: Brussels and Butternut. by Sarah Henning

Yep. That’s it. Two things. My Butternut Squash with Pomegranate Seeds and Pecans and Real Simple’s yummy Sautéed Brussels With Poppy Seeds recipe.

No Tofurkey, mushroom gravy, vegan pumpkin pie. Though, I did have a massive amount of chocolate (Hey, I’ve got to get those guilt-laden holiday calories from somewhere.).

And, chances are, I’ll have something similar for Christmas. With a side of vegan Christmas cookies. Because, honestly, that’s one “But don’t you miss __?” blank that I must fill.

Therefore, next week, I’m planning on sharing a yummy holiday cookie recipe. Get excited!

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Highlights from CSA season 2012

Pad Thai Salad ... YUM!

Pad Thai Salad ... YUM! by Sarah Henning

Well, the CSA season is over for another year, folks.

I kind of can’t believe it. Because my CSA season (and hopefully yours, too) is 26 weeks. That’s half a year. Meaning half of 2012 was filled with delicious, local veggies, picked up once a week like some sort of mineral-filled Christmas present.

In celebration of a good season (and in mourning of its end), I’ve compiled the best of the best from my CSA experience this spring, summer and fall. I hope you all got a chance to make some of the recipes, and if you haven’t, that you give them a try. There were definitely some good eats this year that will be added to my menu, despite my rut-loving tendencies.

So, without further ado, my favorites of CSA season 2012:

New favorites, still easy to do in winter:

-Napa cabbage salad with sweet and spicy vinaigrette

-Pad Thai salad

-A new (tropical) way to do sweet potatoes

-Bok choy and chard with red onion and sesame seeds

-The perfect sweet potato burger

Roasting highlights:

Roasted winter vegetables with salad greens and curried chickpeas.

Roasted winter vegetables with salad greens and curried chickpeas. by Sarah Henning

-Butternut squash and sweet potatoes http://www.lawrence.com/weblogs/hennings-blog/2012/oct/9/bye-bye-bounty-week-24-the-end-is-nigh-b/

-Turnips

-Veggies with pasta and edamame http://www.lawrence.com/weblogs/hennings-blog/2012/sep/4/bye-bye-bounty-week-19-oven-roasted-vegg/

Pretty (and pink) drinks:

The prettiest smoothie ever, if I do say so myself.

The prettiest smoothie ever, if I do say so myself. by Sarah Henning

-Watermelon and mint cooler

-Electric pink smoothie

Recipes to save for next summer (or brave out of season):

A successful tomato salad (that — amazingly — doesn't taste like salsa).

A successful tomato salad (that — amazingly — doesn't taste like salsa). by Sarah Henning

-Cherry tomato salad with lime-garlic dressing

-Midsummer night(s) chopped salad

-Sweet and spicy corn and tomato salad

What was your favorite dish you made with your CSA goods this year?

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Bye-Bye Bounty, week 26: The perfect burger for the impending winter (Boo!)

That's not a salmon patty, but trust me, it's delicious (and EASY).

That's not a salmon patty, but trust me, it's delicious (and EASY). by Sarah Henning

Well, that’s that. The CSA season is over, and, just like that, winter is coming. Darn it.

I suppose distance makes the heart grow fonder, but next spring feels like forever from now. Sigh. Well, when the CSAs do start up again, we’ll be that much more excited to have our first pickups, right? CANNOT WAIT.

So, for my last bag (sniff!) of the Rolling Prairie season, we received a pretty good haul: Swiss chard, sweet potatoes, apples, turnips (including black ones!), salad greens and green peppers.

If you’ve been reading this blog all season, you probably have a pretty good idea of what I did with most of that pickup: fajita veggies, roasted turnips, apples out of hand and Swiss chard in my homemade vegetable juices.

As for the rest of it, we enjoyed the salad greens and sweet potatoes on the very same night for a fabulous and hearty dinner. We used the salad greens as a basis for a delicious salad that also had carrots and cashews and bell pepper. We topped it off with homemade honey mustard dressing.

On the side, we had steamed kabocha squash (one of my very favorite squashes — I highly recommend you try it) and then for the main course, we had homemade veggie burgers.

If you look in the picture above, they kind of look like salmon patties with avocados on top, but they are actually sweet potato-based burgers and they are fantastic. Nothing fishy about them! We used a CSA sweet potato mixed with garbanzo beans and spices for a very hearty burger, that we both loved (the hubby had two, I had one and a half).

Note: They don’t stay together well, but trust me, you won’t have any problem chasing down every single crumb.

Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers (Adapted from kblog.lunchboxbunch.com — Check out her pictures of them, they are splendid!)

2 cans garbanzo beans, drained

1 large sweet potato, baked/peeled/mashed (about 2 cups)

2 tablespoons tahini

2 teaspoons maple or agave syrup

1 teaspoon cajun seasoning (or another fave spice!)

1/4 cup wheat flour

Optional: additional seasoning (whatever you have on hand - I used a few dashes cayenne, black pepper and a scoop of nutritional yeast) salt to taste if needed

Plentiful Panko crumbs

To serve: avocado, Dijon mustard, grain buns, romaine, onion, olive oil, pepper

  1. Bake sweet potato. Peel, place in large mixing bowl. Keep oven on at 400 degrees.

  2. Add drained beans to mixing bowl. Mash beans and potato together.

  3. Mash in seasoning, flour and any additional seasoning. Your mixture will be quite soft and moist. But you should be able to form a patty. Add more flour or a scoop of breadcrumbs - or dry rice to thicken the mixture if needed.

  4. Form a patty from mixture and coat in Panko crumbs. Yield eight patties (we made seven).

  5. Place patties onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 20 to 30 minutes, or until starting to lightly brown.

  6. Serve open-faced with avocado on top or on a toasted bun with lotsa toppings.

Next week, I’ll run down the CSA season and then we’ll be onto yummy cold-weather eats!

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Bye-Bye Bounty, week 24: The end is nigh, but at least we have plenty to roast

Roasted winter vegetables with salad greens and curried chickpeas.

Roasted winter vegetables with salad greens and curried chickpeas. by Sarah Henning

This week’s CSA usage was definitely an attempt in trying to use what we received kind of the same way you use that favorite cardigan or earrings — we wanted our food to go with everything.

I thought that by going this route that maybe it would give us a chance to eat different meals with the same ingredients, rather than just eating the same thing for a day or two straight.

Of course, I’m always OK with eating the same thing more than once. That never bothers me. But, I know our bodies benefit from a varied diet and that changing it up never hurt anyone.

It turns out that this low-key way of changing things up just slightly was a great way to enjoy different flavor profiles with very little hassle.

For example, the picture at the top of this post features our Rolling Prairie butternut squash and sweet potatoes from the Lawrence Farmers’ Market roasted together and then mixed in a bowl with CSA salad mix and baby spinach, avocado, roasted garlic-y Brussels sprouts and leftover curried chickpeas from this amazing crockpot book.

Then, the next day, my lunch was the roasted veggies again, this time on a sprouted grain tortilla with hummus, avocado, baby spinach and chickpeas, with the last of the Brussels sprouts on the side.

A wrap consisting of dinner from the night before and a few extras.

A wrap consisting of dinner from the night before and a few extras. by Sarah Henning

See how this works? As for the rest of our haul — Swiss chard, peppers (hot and sweet), tomatoes, salad mix, radishes — we tried to vary that, too.

The peppers were the easiest to vary. The hubby made fajitas out of a mix of sweet and hot peppers, and while he used them in a black bean burrito, I put mine on top of some baby spinach, leftover tropical sweet potato rounds and avocado and then topped the whole thing with garlic and nutritional yeast.

A whole mix of flavors, one yummy result.

A whole mix of flavors, one yummy result. by Sarah Henning

The tomatoes went on one of my husband’s sandwiches, while other tomatoes went in a salad along with the radishes, sweet peppers and some of the salad mix. Of course, we also used the salad mix with the aforementioned roasted squash dinner, so really, the only things that didn’t get the double-duty treatment were the radishes (salads only) and the chard (juiced).

Yes, this week turned out to be easy AND varied. I love when that happens (and it doesn’t involve eating out every other night).

I ALSO really love the new roasted squash and sweet potato recipe I got out of this week, too.

First week in October, you were a success.

Simply Roasted Butternut and Yams

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into ½-inch cubes

2 medium to large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes

1 tablespoon coconut oil (melted), plus a bit more for greasing

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease two 3-quart glass baking pans with a bit of unmelted coconut oil and set them aside.

In a large bowl, combine squash and sweet potatoes. Pour the melted coconut oil over the cut vegetables and stir with a spatula until they are coated. Divide the veggies between your two pans (or hold back half if you have just a single pan), spread in a single layer and sprinkle on a bit of salt and pepper.

Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so to keep your veggies from sticking. Cool slightly and serve. Serves 6.

What’d we get this week? Swiss chard, sweet and hot peppers, sweet potatoes, salad mix, radishes and tofu.

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10-2 Bye-Bye Bounty, week 23: Turnip taste test (aka: I don’t want to eat them alone)

CSA salad topped with roasted turnips with a side of bread and homemade hummus.

CSA salad topped with roasted turnips with a side of bread and homemade hummus. by Sarah Henning

Thanks to strong evidence from the peanut gallery, it seems as though I might be the only member of my immediate family who truly likes pretty much any root vegetable.

Of course we love carrots and sweet potatoes (though that’s a tuber, I suppose), but if we’re talking beets, turnips, parsnips, my darling hubby/head chef WILL NOT TOUCH THEM. Sure, he might shovel a few in his mouth if they’re hidden in with those he prefers in our favorite life-saving roasted vegetables. But, on the whole, he will not eat them. Same thing for the kiddo, who, at age three, just cannot get over that special root vegetable smell.

Alas, when it comes our CSA and root vegetables, two things normally happen. One: If the husband is picking up the vegetables, he won’t get root vegetables unless there’s no other choice. Two: I’ll pick up the vegetables, embrace the lovely roots, and then eat them all by my lonesome.

This past week at our CSA, I was the one picking the veggies. And you can totally tell because I chose salad turnips over radishes. We also received a butternut squash, greens, salad mix, sweet potatoes and tomatoes.

I knew the family wouldn’t touch a raw turnip, despite the fact that salad turnips are mild enough to eat without preparation, so I decided to give them a nice, good roast and then use them as a salad topper.

The result? I nice, hearty addition to your typical green salad.

"Meaty-looking" turnips.

"Meaty-looking" turnips. by Sarah Henning

We served the roasted turnips (Don’t they look like marinated mushrooms?) on top of a salad made from our CSA salad mix, carrots, cherry tomatoes from our garden (the CSA ones weren’t ripe yet), avocado, lemon and garlic. We served them with our favorite butternut squash-apple soup and homemade hummus with sliced veggies and WheatFields’ bread.

I thought they were delicious (of course) and even got both the hubby and the kiddo to try some. Of course, I ate the bulk, but, hey, when it comes to root vegetables, there’s victory to be found in getting your family to do a taste test.

So, if you want to try it (or just happen to have gotten turnips in your CSA and have no idea what to do), you’re in luck, because the recipe is super simple and won’t leave you with ingredients you can only use on the occasional turnip.

Easy Roasted Turnips

1 bunch salad turnips or 2-3 large turnips

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, plus more for splashing

1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Peel your turnips and then chop them into ½-inch by 1-inch rectangles. Put the turnips in a mixing bowl, cover with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and toss to coat. Spread your coated turnips out on your prepared baking sheet and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. When serving, top with extra balsamic plus salt and pepper if needed. Serves 2-4.

What’d we get this week? Swiss chard, peppers (hot and sweet), tomatoes, salad mix, radishes and butternut squash.

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Bye-Bye Bounty, week 22: A new way to do sweet potatoes

Sweet and Spicy Tropical Sweet Potato Slices.

Sweet and Spicy Tropical Sweet Potato Slices. by Sarah Henning

This week we decided to update one of our favorite recipes for 2012. For the past couple of years, I've mentioned that I really love making sweet potato medallions.

We make them every fall and winter and eat them as pretty much a "main course" with some salad or beans, or cooked veggies on the side. And, we probably do this once a week.

Yes, that's a lot of sweet potatoes. And it's a lot of time to get a bit worn out on them. So, I updated our recipe for this year.

Honestly, I think this is my own little passive-aggressive way of dealing with my status as a "rut-loving eater." Because, after some experimentation, I now have a recipe that is very similar to one I love, but completely different. In fact, it takes the best parts of that recipe (the quick cooking time and the light seasoning) and makes it even better but including good fats and low-glycemic sweetener.

More on all that in a minute. First, last week we received white sweet potatoes, grapes, pears, mixed peppers, mixed greens and basil.

Now, you'll notice the sweet potatoes in the picture aren't white. That's because we made a batch that included both white sweet potatoes and regular sweet potatoes and totally spaced on taking a picture of the white ones. Whoops. They were totally delicious, FYI. They aren't as sweet as regular sweet potatoes, but still fantastic.

So, anyway, despite the picture being all wrong, here's the "new" recipe in all it's scrumptious glory.

Sweet and Spicy Tropical Sweet Potato Slices

2 medium sweet potatoes, skins removed and sliced into quarter-inch circles

Coconut oil (to taste)

2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Meanwhile, place parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet and put sweet potato slices on top.

With clean fingers, rub the tops of each sweet potato slice with a bit of coconut oil, just enough to make the top shiny.

Wash and dry your hands and mix together the coconut palm sugar, sea salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the oiled sweet potatoes.

Place the sweet potatoes in the oven for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, flip them with tongs or a metal spatula. Return them to the oven for 10 to 15 more minutes. Serve warm.

Serves 2.

What'd we get this week? More sweet potatoes, salad turnips, greens, salad mix, butternut squash and tomatoes.

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