Indian Summer hot days and quickly cooling evenings, plentiful summer squash and ripe figs were my inspiration for this turn of season main dish salad. Bright yellow and deep green, the sweet figs and tart lime, the crunch of the seeds– yum! This is a full and satisfying healthy meal, with good protein from the tempeh and pumpkin seeds, lots of vitamin C, A, and K from the yellow peppers and kale, minerals potassium and calcium from the figs, magnesium and zinc from the seeds.
12 oz tempeh, cubed
1-2 medium yellow crooked neck squash, coarsely chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 bunch kale
1 small red onion, chopped
about 6 black mission figs, thinly sliced and halved
1/2 cup raw or dry roasted pumpkin seeds
1 t black mustard seeds
1/4 inch fresh ginger root, minced
1 lime, juice and pulp
black pepper to taste
Pour 2 T olive oil into skillet and heat over medium flame. Stir black mustard seeds until they begin to pop, then add cubed tempeh and saute until lightly browned. Set the tempeh aside in a casserole dish with lid. Add a tablespoon of butter to the skillet and saute the coarsely chopped yellow squash and minced ginger root for 3 minutes or so, then add the chopped yellow pepper, a splash of white wine or water, reduce the heat and simmer covered for 2 minutes until squash and yellow peppers are bright and softened, but not mushy. Add this to the tempeh.
Cut the thick stems from the kale, then cut the leaves lengthwise in half, roll and slice into thin ribbons. Place kale in large bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and a scant 1/8 t salt, then massage the kale with your hands for about 3 minutes to soften it.
Mix the tempeh with squash and yellow peppers into the softened kale, adding in your chopped red onion and pumpkin seeds. Lastly gently add the sliced figs. Dress with juice and pulp of lime. Refrigerate in covered casserole dish. Serve chilled or warmed.
This Valentines Day I wanted to create something special for my partner, a healthy treat to enjoy with a good cup of coffee or tea at work… My recipe was inspired by Speltbolletje that we stumbled upon in December at an open air morning market while on vacation in Amsterdam– a local woman waiting beside me said they were the Best item made by the Best baker at the market. Her guidance was great, the Speltbolletje were delicious!
I could translate the words on the signs, and then guess how to create my own… Here’s my first attempt. YUM! These are a good texture and sweet with the dried fruit, so delicious with dark coffee for breakfast, or tea for an afternoon pick-me-up. I think all I’d do differently next time is swap out a little of the dates for more walnuts, and double or triple the recipe.
To make a less sweet version, I think I’ll try using some juicy fresh orange instead of the banana, reduce the maple syrup by half, add more walnuts and also sunflower seeds?
1 c spelt flour
1/2 c rolled oats
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/8 t sea salt
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t each nutmeg, coriander and allspice
3 T butter
1 T coconut oil
1 1/2 T maple syrup
1/2 banana, mashed
generous 1/3 c dried black Mission figs, chopped
1/4 c dried Turkish apricots, chopped
scant 1/4 c dried Medjool dates, chopped
1/4 c yellow raisins
scant 1/4 c walnuts, chopped
about 2/3 c raw pumpkin seeds
Preheat oven to 350F. Melt butter and coconut oil over low heat, then add maple syrup, let cool a bit. Combine flour, oats, and spices, stir together well. Beat egg, add mashed banana, then beat together well with melted butter, coconut oil and maple syrup. Add in flour mixture and mix briefly and gently, then add all chopped fruit and walnuts. Stir together well, but stir as little as possible. Lightly butter a baking sheet. Shape dough into a ball in your hand, then roll in pumpkin seeds pressing firmly enough that the pumpkin seeds will stay in place after baking. I baked for 10 minutes, rotated my pan, then baked for another 5 minutes– and the balls then passed my first toothpick test. My taster ball was delicious right out of the oven! This recipe made 10, each ball about 2 1/4-2 1/2 inch in size.
The warm days are ripening the last of my garden tomatoes and hot peppers, and the cooler nights tell me it’s the season again to roast some veggies and make a savory soup! I decided to make a tomato soup to enjoy with buckwheat zucchini bread, perhaps too a little grilled salmon?
12-14 medium-large roma and heirloom tomatoes
handful or two of cherry tomatoes
1 large yellow onion
3-4 large cloves garlic
2 large red serrano peppers
2 small red thai peppers
fresh lemon thyme, oregano and marjoram
1/4 t salt and black pepper to taste
2 T olive oil
2-4 c water or stock
toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish
1 cup spinach, cut into thin ribbons
Cut roma tomatoes in half, heirloom tomatoes into quarters, cut onion into half then 1/4 inch slices, and place all into large bowl. Dice the fresh lemon thyme, oregano and marjoram leaves until you have about 2 T each. Pour olive oil over tomatoes, whole peppers and peeled whole garlic, add diced spices and mix well. Place on lightly oiled baking sheet and roast at 375 until tomatoes soften and onions caramelize– check after about 10 minutes. When all are nicely roasted, remove from oven and allow to cool some. Press roasted garlic into blender, roughly chop the the roasted onions, then puree all in the blender in batches, being careful not to fill the blender full with too hot vegetables. Return to large soup pot. Depending upon desired thickness and intensity of flavors, add fresh water (or stock you have on hand) a cup at a time to fine tune the soup’s texture and flavor. Season with freshly ground black pepper. To serve, place 1/4 c spinach cut into thin ribbons into a deep bowl then ladle in soup and garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds.