Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

 Serves 6

2 large butternut squash

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. sea salt, or to taste 

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper 

2 sprigs thyme tucked into squash when roasting

1/2 cup carrots, small chop

1/2 cup celery, small chop

1/2 cup onions, small chop 

2 garlic cloves, smashed 

2 tbsp.raw honey 

6 cups vegetable stock, or Pacific organic vegetable stock

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, optional

1/4 cup plain yogurt

1/8 tsp.freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1 granny smith apple, cut into small cubes

A squeeze of fresh lemon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Squash can be roasted a day ahead, to cut down on cook time.

Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut both ends of the squash off. Cut squash in half and scoop out and discard seeds. Brush each half inside with about 1 tsp. of the oil. Sprinkle the cavities with salt and pepper and tuck a sprig of thyme into each. Place cut-side-down on a baking sheet and roast until tender, about 45 minutes. 

Remove and let cool, then scoop out and reserve the flesh.

Put the remaining oil in a stockpot over low-medium heat. Add the carrots, celery and onions and cook, stirring often, for 6 minutes. Add the cooked squash, garlic, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper and cook gently for 3 minutes. Stir in the honey and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and discard the thyme. Transfer the soup to a blender, in batches, and puree. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning.

Let the soup cool, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
Stores up to 4 days.

Gently reheat the soup until just hot. If it is too thick, add more stock, or water. Heat a  skillet over high heat. If using, when the pan is hot, add the butter.  Rotate the skillet over the heat as necessary to brown the butter evenly. As soon as the butter is a hazelnut brown, pour it into the pot of soup, and stir.

To Finish, ladle the soup into six serving bowls. Top each with a dollop of yogurt, cubes of granny smith apple, and toasted walnuts. Grate nutmeg on top, with a drizzle of fresh lemon.

For scheduled Cooking Classes in Asheville, Visit: LaurieRichardone.com

Honeycrisp Apple Cakes

Honeycrisp Apple Cakes

8 servings
For the cakes

3/4 cup raw cane sugar, coconut sugar, or monk fruit

3/4 cup organic unsalted butter

4 eggs

1/2 cup milk, or nut milk

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups almond meal flour

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

Cake ~ Preheat oven to 350

Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time and beat until fully blended. Add milk and vanilla and mix until just combined.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder.  Beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and beat until creamy. Do not over mix.

Spread into a greased 9’’x13″ cake pan. The batter will be thick.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Let cool completely on the rack before icing. 

If making small cakes, cut out rounds with a 2″ cookie cutter.   Shortcakes can be made a day Ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature ahead.

Sliced Apples

2 honey crisp apples, sliced

1 tbsp. unsalted butter, or coconut oil

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Heat a non-stick pan. Add butter or coconut oil. Then add sliced apples. Saute until browned around the edges. Toss with
cinnamon and lemon juice. 

Coconut Cream

1 can unsweetened  COLD coconut milk, solid parts only. 

1-2 tbsp. maple syrup, or confectioners sugar, preferably organic.

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract, or paste

Whipping Coconut Creme –

Add cold solid parts only of the coconut milk to a bowl with a whipping attachment. Add
maple syrup, or confectioners sugar and vanilla. Whip on high speed, until fluffy. 

Assembly:  Top with coconut cream, and apples.  Sprinkle with nutmeg.  Optional.

Buon Appetito

For scheduled Cooking Classes in Asheville, Visit: LaurieRichardone.com

The Flavors of Autumn

The Flavors of Autumn

F. Scott Fitzgerald would say: “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall”. 

The colors are starting to change, the air feels crisp, and the aromatics of the fall harvest are intoxicating. I don’t know about you, but I start to think of the delicious varieties of pies and tarts that the season suggests. The crisp apples, sweet pumpkin, and fragrant pear, come to mind. One of my favorites is an apple tart. It’s very distinctive bouquet recreates some of those magical moments as a child when I was introduced to a new awareness of scent…

Ingredients that are connected to the season are more abundantly available, which almost always means they cost less. With seasonal eating, fresh fruits and produce picked when they are fully developed at the peak of the season, with optimal growing conditions, come higher levels of antioxidants, such as vitamin C, folate, and beta-Carotene! 

I trust I have dispelled any doubt you had about the benefits of seasonal cooking. Another convenience is when we eat with the seasons, we don’t have to be that busy with cooking, unless you love it like I do. 

Case in point: It could be as simple as sautéing autumn veggies in olive oil, and tossing them in your favorite pasta, then sprinkled with some fresh herbs. Tossing sliced apples in a pan with a dab of butter, and a dusting of cinnamon, creates a quick healthy warm dessert.

I think one of the biggest dilemmas of professional women is what am I going to eat? Ladies, if you cook with seasonal ingredients this will keep the menu simple, healthy, and delicious.

Staying true to the philosophy of eating with the seasons, this wholesome indulgence has the taste and feel of autumn.

To your good health…

If you are a curious cook, join me on my Radio Show ~  “A taste for All Seasons”  

We explore the world of food, with the philosophy of eating with the seasons. 

And… as always, l will be sharing cooking tips, seasonal shortcuts and kitchen essentials that will make your life easier in the kitchen. 

Visit: A Taste for All Seasons Show Page @ WPVMFM.ORG. and listen to the October 30th show, for a delicious conversation with one of my favorite farmers. It airs on the last Saturday of every month at 11 am, on WPVM FM 103.7 in Asheville, NC.   

Laurie Richardone is a seasonal gluten free chef and certified health coach.  

For more information, visit LaurieRichardone.com

September Superfoods

September Superfoods

We usually associate edibles with superfoods. 

Of course,the ingredients we put in our body every day are essential in sustaining our well being. My definition of a superfood includes daily movement, and attention to the thoughts we think throughout the day. 

Just taking five minutes away from your work desk to move and breathe deeply can recalibrate your mindset. That sounds like a superfood to me!

In September comes a wave of cool weather. The colors start to change, the air has a hint of crispness, and the aromatics of the fall harvest start to intoxicate our palate.

With the body’s divine intelligence we begin craving warmer foods. Eating with the seasons brings harmony to the body and the mind, and sustains us while we ease into autumn with our own natural flow. 

With this, comes new delectable opportunities for us to keep moving toward good health with hope and excitement.

It’s the little things that help most of all. Every lifestyle choice, no matter how modest, gets noticed and celebrated by the body’s perceptiveness. If it feels hard to give up certain foods, start slowly, by adding in some nutrient rich whole foods like leafy greens, whole grains, and seasonal spices.

Consuming a colorful diversity of plant foods in your daily life, will promote a well functioning gut microbiota.This allows for a quicker and more effective response to disease-causing organisms. In turn this will create a strong immune system, to support a vibrant body. 

In addition to the foods we eat, a beauty routine that leans on natural ingredients will help you look and feel good ~ without sacrificing your health. 

With our skin being our largest organ, what we put on our body is paramount to our wellness.

In a culture of doing with less being, our health and the way we approach it, has become central to our way of life.

Simple Superfood Inspiration ~

Design your own superfood bowl with this savory dukkah recipe that is scrumptious on just about everything.  ~ Keep it colorful, organic, when possible, flavorful, and incorporate texture by adding some crunchy bits like this delicious recipe with a superabundance of essential omega fatty acids.

To your good health…

If you are a curious cook, join me on my Radio Show ~ “A taste for All Seasons”  

We explore the world of food, with the philosophy of eating with the seasons. 

And… as always, l  will be sharing cooking tips, seasonal shortcuts and kitchen essentials that will make your life easier in the kitchen. 

Visit:  A Taste for All Seasons Show Page @ WPVMFM.ORG. and listen to the August 28th show, at 11am, for a delicious conversation with Dairy Farmer Andrea Vangunst of Grassroots Farm.

It airs on the last Saturday of every month at 11 am, on WPVM FM 103.7 in Asheville, NC.   

Laurie Richardone is a seasonal gluten free chef and certified health coach. For more information, visit LaurieRichardone.com

Dukkah Recipe

Dukkah Recipe

Makes 2 cups

2 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

3/4 cup white sesame seeds

1 cup hazelnuts, toasted

1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper

In a dry saucepan over medium heat, toast the coriander seeds, cumin, and sesame seeds. Slightly shake the pan occasionally for 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant. 

Set aside.

In the same pan, add the hazelnuts and toast for 4 minutes. 

Add all the ingredients to a food processor and pulse several times.  You want the nuts and seeds roughly chopped.

Can be stored in an airtight container for several weeks.

Cooks Note: You can add pistachios, or pine nuts, in addition to spices like paprika. Sprinkle on salads, hummus, grilled salmon, and vegetables…

Raw Blueberry Pie with Medjool Date Crust

Raw Blueberry Pie with Medjool Date Crust

This refreshing dessert is not only mouth watering, it is loaded with antioxidants that support healthy immune function.

Makes 1- 9″ springform pan, or 3 mini springform pans

Crust

2 cups almonds, raw

1 cup medjool dates

1/8 tsp. sea salt

2 tbsp. water, filtered

1 tsp. vanilla

Filling

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 cup blueberries, freeze dried

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup coconut milk, unsweetened

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 tsp. vanilla

3/4 cup maple syrup

2 tbsp. arrowroot, mixed in 1 tsp. warm water, see cooks note

1 tsp. lemon zest

1/4 tsp. salt

Crust

Mix all ingredients in the food processor, except water. Pulse several times until fully incorporated. Add water and pulse a
few times more. Set aside. Crust done…

Filling    

Add all the ingredients to the food processor and mix well.

Assembly

Line the bottom of the springform pan with parchment paper. Press crust ingredients into the bottom, making sure it is even. Should be about 1/4′ thick. You can freeze any extra crust ingredients for up to a month.

Pour blueberry mixture into the pan, or pans of choice. Cover well and place into the freezer overnight. Release the spring pan and place on a decorative plate. Add garnish of fresh flowers, blueberries, or cocoa nibs.

Cooks Note; I used the freeze dried blueberries as they soak up some of the moisture from the liquid. You can use one cup of frozen berries, just add another tsp. of arrowroot.

Buon Appetito

For scheduled Cooking Classes in Asheville, Visit:
LaurieRichardone.com

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