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Cook’s Corner

Natural Times, October/November/December 2012

Compiled By Jean Crozier

Spiked Fall Cider

Serves 3

2 cups apple cider
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup peach schnapps
1/4 cup triple sec (orange-flavored liqueur)

1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground nutmeg

Pour the apple cider, orange juice, schnapps, triple sec, cinnamon and nutmeg into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, reduce heat to low, and cook for 20 minutes. Serve hot.
From: www.allrecipes.com

Squash & Spinach Salad w/ Ginger Miso Dressing

Serves 6

Salad:
7 cups winter squash, peeled and cubed (about 2 3/4 pounds)
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 T sesame seeds
6 cups fresh spinach leaves (4 ounces)

Vinaigrette:
1 T white miso
1 T fresh ginger, minced
2 T rice vinegar
1 T tamari or soy sauce
1 T dark sesame oil (toasted sesame oil)
1 T agave nectar or honey

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Peel and cube the squash and put on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil and sesame seeds. Toss to coat the squash, then spread cubes evenly on the pan. Roast for 30-35 minutes, until the squash is tender when pierced with a paring knife. Let cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk the miso, ginger, vinegar, tamari or soy sauce, sesame oil and agave or honey. To serve, place the spinach and squash in a large bowl, drizzle with the dressing and toss to coat.
From: www.strongertogether.coop

Cranberry Salsa

Makes approximately 1 cup

1 cup cranberries
Juice of 1/2 large orange
1/3 cup sugar
2 sweet red peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced
3 T chopped cilantro
2 T chopped pecan pieces, toasted
Zest of 1/2 lime
Zest of 1/2 orange
Dash of salt

In food processor, blend cranberries, juice and sugar for 35-40 seconds. Transfer to mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients. Let set for at least 30 minutes before serving.
From: www.northpole.com

Brown Sugar Rosemary Walnuts

Makes about 1 pound walnuts

1 cup brown sugar or natural cane sugar
2 tsp fine grain sea salt
1 tsp chopped rosemary leaves
1/4 cup sesame seeds
2 large egg whites
1 lb (about 4 cups) cups shelled walnut halves
1/3 cup chopped dried figs, stems trimmed

Preheat oven with racks in the center to 300° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, salt, rosemary and sesame seeds.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites a bit, just to loosen them up. Add the walnuts, and figs to the whites and toss until they are evenly coated—a minute or so.
Sprinkle the sugar-spice mixture over the nuts and toss (really well) again.

Split the nuts between the two prepared baking sheets, spread in a single layer, separating them the best you can.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until the walnuts are toasted golden and the coating is no longer wet. Cool for a few minutes, then slide the parchment/nuts off the hot baking sheets onto a cool surface to cool completely. These will keep for a week or so in an airtight container or baggie.
From: www.101cookbooks.com

Mashed Rutabaga w/ Onion

Serves 4

1 rutabaga, diced (about 4 to 6 cups diced)
1 cup chopped onion
2 T butter
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Cook rutabaga and onion in a small amount of boiling salted water until tender. Drain and mash; add butter, salt and pepper. Mash rutabaga and onions well.
From: www.about.com

Cornbread Dressing

Serves 16-18

1 cup butter or margarine, divided
3 cups white cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 T sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
7 large eggs, divided
3 cups buttermilk
3 cups soft breadcrumbs
2 medium onions, diced (2 cups)
1 large bunch celery, diced (3 cups)
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh sage or 1 T dried rubbed sage
6 (10.5 oz) cans condensed chicken broth, undiluted
1 T pepper

Place 1/2 cup butter in a 13x9-inch pan; heat in oven at 425° F for 4 minutes.

Combine cornmeal and next 5 ingredients; whisk in 3 eggs and buttermilk.

Pour hot butter into batter, stirring until blended. Pour batter into pan.

Bake at 425° F for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool.

Crumble cornbread into a large bowl; stir in breadcrumbs, and set aside.

Melt remaining 1/2 cup butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add onions and celery, and sauté until tender. Stir in sage, and sauté 1 minute.

Stir vegetables, remaining 4 eggs, chicken broth, and pepper into cornbread mixture; pour evenly into 1 lightly greased 13x9-inch baking dish and 1 lightly greased 8-inch square baking dish. Cover and chill 8 hours.

Bake, uncovered, at 375°F for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Variation: Andouille Sausage, Apple, and Pecan Dressing: Brown 3/4 pound diced Andouille sausage in a skillet over medium heat; drain. Add sausage; 2 Granny Smith apples, chopped; and 2 cups chopped toasted pecans to dressing. Proceed as directed, baking 40 to 45 minutes or until done.
From: www.myrecipes.com

Awesome Sausage, Apple & Cranberry Stuffing

Serves 10

1 1/2 cups cubed whole wheat bread
3 3/4 cups cubed white bread
1 lb ground turkey sausage
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
2 1/2 tsp dried sage
1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 Golden Delicious apple, cored and chopped
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
1 cooked turkey liver, finely chopped
3/4 cup turkey stock
4 T unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C). Spread the white and whole wheat bread cubes in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes in the preheated oven, or until evenly toasted. Transfer toasted bread cubes to a large bowl.

In a large skillet, cook the sausage and onions over medium heat, stirring and breaking up the lumps until evenly browned. Add the celery, sage, rosemary and thyme; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes to blend flavors.

Pour sausage mixture over bread in bowl. Mix in chopped apples, dried cranberries, parsley and liver. Drizzle with turkey stock and melted butter and mix lightly.

Bake in greased casserole dish until hot and browned on top. Time depends on size and shape of casserole dish.
From: www.allrecipes.com

Turkey, Quinoa & Persimmon Salad w/ Warm Cranberry-Maple Dressing

Serves 4-8

Salad:
1 cup dry red quinoa
2 cups water
2 small Fuyu persimmons, diced, about 1 cup
2 cups warmed leftover shredded turkey, white and dark meat
1/4 cup lightly toasted pecans or walnuts
Crumbled blue cheese, optional garnish

Dressing:
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
6 T water
3 T extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Add quinoa and water to a medium pot and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for 13 to 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

In a large bowl, combine quinoa, persimmons, turkey and nuts; toss.

To make the dressing, in a small pot over medium-high heat add cranberries and water. Cook until they begin to pop. Let cool. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Place both the cranberries and the oil mixture in a small food processor and puree. It’s OK if it’s a little lumpy. Pour the still-warm dressing over the salad and toss until well coated. Serve at room temperature, with blue cheese garnish if desired.
From: www.npr.org

Orange, Arugula & Kalamata Olive Salad

Serves 6-8

2 T fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
8 cups trimmed arugula (about 8 ounces)
2 cups thinly sliced fennel bulb
3/4 cup vertically sliced red onion
12 sliced pitted kalamata olives
2 cups coarsely chopped orange sections (about 2 pounds)

Combine first 4 ingredients. Combine arugula, fennel, onion and olives in a large bowl. Drizzle lemon mixture over arugula mixture; toss gently to coat. Top with orange sections.
From: www.myrecipes.com

Tuscan Chicken & White Bean Salad

Serves 6

1 whole rotisserie chicken
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 (15 oz) can white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Remove chicken from bones in large chunks, discarding bones.

Stir together oil, juice, onion, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add beans, celery, parsley, and chicken, stirring gently to combine. Let salad sit 5 minutes, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
From: www.huffingtonpost.com

Pumpkin Chili

Serves 8-10

4 cups water
1 (15-oz) can canned crushed tomatoes
1 (15-oz) kidney beans, drained
1 (15-oz) can pureed pumpkin
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup uncooked bulgur wheat
1 cup chopped Serrano chili pepper
1 T chili powder
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in a large saucepan, stir well to combine, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to medium-low and simmer, covered, 35 minutes. Serve warm.
From: www.pumpkinrecipes.org

Fresh Pumpkin Soup

Serves 9

Soup:
8 cups chopped fresh pumpkin (about 3 pounds)
4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
3 small tart apples, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 T lemon juice
2 tsp minced fresh ginger root
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds:
1/2 cup fresh pumpkin seeds
1 tsp canola oil
1/8 tsp salt

In a 5-quart slow cooker, combine the first eight ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or until pumpkin and apples are tender.

Meanwhile, toss pumpkin seeds with oil and salt. Spread onto an ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake at 250° F for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside.

Cool soup slightly; process in batches in a blender. Transfer to a large saucepan; heat through. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds.
From: www.tasteofhome.com

Beef & Barley Soup

Serves 6

3 T unbleached flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb lean stew meat, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 (15-oz) can diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 cup pearled barley
1 qt beef stock (to keep costs down, use a concentrated soup paste or bouillon or make your own stock)
2 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp black pepper

In a shallow bowl combine flour and salt. Dredge chunks of meat in flour mixture to coat completely.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat olive oil, then quickly brown chunks of beef.
To cook in a slow cooker: Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef to the crock-pot and add the remaining ingredients. Cook for 7 hours. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.

To cook on the stovetop: Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef to a bowl when it is browned on the outside but not cooked through. To the oil in the pan, add onions and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add carrots, celery, tomato, barley, stock, water, thyme, bay leaf and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, just barely bubbling. Cook for 30 minutes, and test the barley to see if it’s tender. If necessary, simmer for another 10 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove bay leaf before serving.
From: www.strongertogether.coop

Coconut Pumpkin Soup

Makes 6 cups

2 medium carrots, chopped
1 medium green sweet pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 T vegetable oil
1 (15-oz) can pumpkin
1 (14-oz) can unsweetened light coconut milk
1 (14-oz) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 T packed brown sugar
1 medium fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 T snipped fresh cilantro or parsley
Curry powder to taste, optional

In a large saucepan, cook carrots, sweet pepper and onion in hot oil over medium heat about 5 minutes or until vegetables are nearly tender. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, coconut milk and broth. Stir in brown sugar, jalapeño, salt and ginger. Stir pumpkin mixture into cooked carrot mixture.

Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until heated through, stirring frequently. Before serving, stir in cilantro.
From: www.bhg.com

Apple Cider Brine

(for pork, chicken, turkey)
Makes 2 quarts

2 cups cold water
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tsp dried thyme, or 2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 tsp whole cloves
4 cups unfiltered apple cider
2 cups ice cubes

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the water, salt, sugar, thyme, peppercorns and cloves to a boil. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the sugar and salt dissolve. Remove from the heat, add the apple cider and ice cubes, and stir well.

Put the meat in a nonreactive pan or extra-large re-sealable bag and cover with the cooled brine. Cover or tightly close the bag and refrigerate for 6 to 12 hours. If you are using a re-sealable bag, rotate the meat a few times to make sure all of the meat gets brined. Before roasting, remove the meat, discard brine, and pat dry with paper towels.
From: www.npr.org

Tofu Turkey

Serves 10-12

Turkey:
5 lbs extra firm organic tofu

2 T onion powder

4 tsp garlic powder

1/2 cup Red Star® Nutritional Yeast

2 T canola oil

2 T toasted sesame oil

2 T soy sauce

1/4 tsp sage

1/4 tsp thyme

1 tsp poultry seasoning

1 tsp Spike® seasoned salt

Sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup toasted sesame oil

1/4 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp sage

1 tsp poultry seasoning

1 teaspoon Spike® seasoned salt

Drain and press tofu. (This is best done the day before in order to extract the maximum amount of water.) To press, place blocks of tofu on a broiler pan (make sure you have the bottom pan to catch the water!). Cover tofu with plastic wrap. Place a cookie sheet on top of plastic wrap. Place approximately 15 pounds of heavy weights on top. Now is the time to get out your 5 pound exercise weights and put them to use. Place this in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, mix all sauce ingredients together, set aside. In a large bowl crumble tofu into a fine crumble. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend well. Line an 8-inch colander with cheesecloth. Press tofu into colander to make a 1-inch shell reserving enough tofu crumble mixture to form the bottom. Stuff the tofu turkey shell with your favorite stuffing. Form the bottom of the turkey with remaining tofu. Place your greased baking pan over the tofu turkey bottom and carefully flip the colander. Gently remove the colander and cheesecloth. Baste generously with basting sauce and cover with foil. Bake at 350° F for one hour. Remove from oven and baste again. Bake uncovered another 30-40 minutes or until internal temperature of stuffing reaches 140° F.

Beef Roast Braised in Zinfandel

Serves 6

1 (3 1/2 lb) chuck roast, boneless
Salt and ground black pepper
4 oz pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 medium onions, chopped medium (about 2 cups)
2 medium carrots, chopped medium (about 1 cup)
2 ribs celery, chopped medium (about 1 cup)
1 T tomato paste
3 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed (about 1 T)
1 (750 ml) bottle Zinfandel wine or Cabernet Sauvignon
1 can (14.5-oz) diced tomatoes, drained
1 T chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp minced fresh rosemary

If your roast is very fatty, trim some of the fat. But it is important to keep some fat, as this will keep the roast moist while braising. Salt the roast well and set aside at room temperature while you prepare the vegetables.

Pour a little water into a Dutch oven or other heavy, lidded pot. Set the pot over medium heat and add the diced pancetta. As soon as the water begins to simmer, lower the heat to medium-low and slowly crisp up the pancetta; the water allows some of the fat in the pork to render out without charring the pancetta. When the pancetta is crispy and brown, remove it with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 300° F. Pat the beef roast dry with a paper towel, increase the heat to medium and brown all sides in the pot. Once the meat has browned remove it to a bowl and add the onions, carrot and celery. Sprinkle salt over the vegetables while they cook. Increase the heat to medium-high and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and stir well, sauté for another 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a minute more. Increase the heat to high and add the tomatoes, the pancetta, herbs and red wine. Nestle the beef roast into the pot, cover, place in the 300° F oven and cook for 3 hours. At the halfway point, use tongs to turn the beef roast over.

Remove the pot from oven and transfer beef to a large bowl; tent with foil to keep warm. Allow the liquid to settle in the pot for a few minutes. If you’d like, skim off some of the fat with a wide shallow spoon. If you have an immersion blender, use it to blend the contents of the pot. If you don’t, use a whisk to help break down the vegetables. Boil the sauce until it is reduced to about 3 1/2 cups. Strain liquid through large fine-mesh strainer, pressing on solids with spatula to extract as much liquid as possible; you should have a couple cups strained sauce. Add any accumulated juices from the bowl you have the beef in. Boil the sauce again until it has reduced to 1 1/2 cups. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Cut meat into roughly 1/2 inch-thick slices and pour sauce over them. Serve with a bold red wine and crusty bread or mashed potatoes.

Pumpkin Praline Muffins

Makes 12-14

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 T dairy sour cream
2/3 cup chopped pecans
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup buttermilk or sour milk
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted

Grease twelve to fourteen 2-1/2-inch muffin cups or line with paper baking cups; set aside. In a small mixing bowl stir together the 1/3 cup brown sugar and sour cream; stir in pecans. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cloves. Make well in center of dry mixture.

In another medium mixing bowl combine egg, buttermilk, pumpkin, the 2/3 cup brown sugar and melted butter. Add pumpkin mixture all at once to the dry mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy).

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each almost full. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of the pecan mixture on top of each muffin. Bake in a 375° F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until done. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups; serve warm.
From: www.bhg.com

All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour

Yields 9 cups

6 cups rice flour
2 cups potato starch
1 cup tapioca flour
2 T xanthan gum

Mix all ingredients well.
Because this has xanthan gum added, you do not need to add it in if a recipe has it listed.
From: www.food.com

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