Monthly Archives: November 2012

Give Thanks for Roasted Acorn Squash and Beet Salad

Greetings! I hope that you had a joy-filled Thanksgiving holiday. Mine was great seeing family and friends and sharing delicious meals over the long weekend. I am thankful for many things, including today’s quiet day to reflect on all the nice events that took place during the week. One of the many things I feel appreciative about is the fact that all of the side dishes I prepared for the Thanksgiving meal were delicious. And I am thankful that SensitiveHusband is such an excellent vegetable chopper! Here’s why…

About two weeks ago, MIL and I were talking about the Thanksgiving menu. MIL and FIL planned to host the holiday meal at their house and cook the turkey and mashed potatoes, among other things. Others coming would prepare additional side dishes. Would I want to try a new recipe that MIL found in her most recent magazine? The recipe was for Roasted Acorn Squash and Beet Salad. As luck would have it, I had just been to the grocery store and had purchased both acorn squash and golden beets, which are the headline ingredients in this recipe. Sure, I would try a new recipe! I just needed to remove the mustard from the ingredient list and adjust the quantity of a few things to suit my taste, and the rest seemed straight-forward.

Now that I have prepared this recipe once, I definitely recommend adding an important preparation technique: a buddy who can chop, peel and seed the acorn squash as you look on in an encouraging way. SensitiveHusband agreed to do this part for me – it took about one hour of focused attention and a really sharp knife to prepare the two acorn squash. I tried to keep SensitiveHusband’s spirits up by cheering him on, but in his effort to only chop the squash and not his fingers, my happy words did not receive much of a response. However, the resulting acorn slices really were works of art! Thanks again, SensitiveHusband!

If you would rather not use a buddy system in preparing this recipe, I suggest purchasing butternut squash that is already peeled, seeded and cubed instead of the acorn squash.

However you decide to prepare this recipe, know that it will be delicious and look beautiful alongside your other side dishes. Thanks!

Roasted Acorn Squash and Beet Salad (inspired by Better Homes and Gardens, November 2012 recipe) Ingredients:
1 lb. small yellow and/or red beets
1 acorn squash (1 1/4 lb.), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/3 cup olive oil
3 cups baby romaine or leaf lettuces
1/3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Tightly wrap beets, separated by color, in aluminum foil bundles. Roast 1 hour, or until tender when tested with a sharp knife. Remove from oven; cool slightly. Peel beets and set aside.
2. Place squash slices on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with salt, pepper, and 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Roast 15 minutes. Drizzle 1/3 cup maple syrup over squash, and roast another 10 minutes, or until tender; cool.
3. To make dressing, in a small bowl whisk the lemon juice and 1 Tbsp. maple syrup together. Add the 1/3 cup olive oil and whisk till smooth.
4. To assemble, place lettuces in middle of a large plate. Pour half of dressing over salad and toss. Arrange beets and squash on lettuce. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Pass remaining dressing.

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.

Herb and Vegetable Omelette

Good day, everyone! I hope that this blog post finds you doing well. This past week has brought both tragedy and triumph, especially for those living on the East Coast of the U.S. Hurricane Sandy brought much destruction and devastation particularly to those in the New York City metro area. I continue to send my good thoughts and wishes to those still adversely affected by this storm. Our one downed tree, which fortunately missed our house, is a small price to pay compared to those who have lost their homes.

As for the triumphs, there have been a number of things to celebrate over the past weeks. Thanks to my colleague/friend, I was able to join her in seeing the Dalai Lama! What an amazing experience to be in the presence of a spiritual leader. And yesterday SensitiveHusband and I attended the wedding of close family friends – needless to say there was much celebrating, visiting, well wishes, and fun dancing.

Another interesting thing that happened this week was my purchase of a vintage Armani blazer at a “posh tag sale” – my first piece of clothing of this caliber will happily be incorporated into my professional wardrobe.

Speaking of interesting…this week I made the frozen chocolate bananas for a work function. There were a few left over, so my colleague/friend Kristi (of Dalai Lama ticket fame) brought them home and let her Vitamix do its magical mixing. The result was a yummy milkshake-like treat that was free of dairy, gluten and cane sugar.

I also tried my hand at a small omelette since I had some leftover vegetables and herbs that I didn’t want to waste. An omelette is a great snack or meal for any time of the day or night, and it is as versatile as you are creative. Here is my take on a personal-sized Veggie Omelette:

Ingredients:
3 eggs
1 pat of butter
8 thin zucchini slices (raw or roasted leftovers)
1/2 teaspoon chopped parsley
6 basil leaves (shred 4 leaves, leave 2 leaves intact)
1 teaspoon Pecorino Romano cheese (or other grated cheese)
1 tablespoon Asiago cheese (or other shredded cheese)

Preparation:
Heat a nonstick skillet to medium high heat. Melt a small pat of butter in the pan. Once the skillet is heated, pour in the three beaten eggs. Allow eggs to lightly set in the pan, about 30 seconds, and then add the zucchini, parsley, four shredded leaves of basil, and Pecorino Romano cheese. When eggs start to bubble and the sides are loosened from the pan (about two minutes), flip the eggs over (you may want to fold over half and then unfold). Allow to cook until golden brown, about another two minutes. Slide cooked creation onto a plate, and garnish with Asiago cheese and two basil leaves.

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.