Harvest Bowl with Creamy Maple Vinaigrette

harvest bowl 3Tomorrow is the official first day of fall and to commemorate, I threw together this lovely harvest bowl. It’s filled with cinnamon-roasted butternut squash, chicken breast, apple, pecans, and mixed greens, and is topped with a creamy, dairy-free maple vinaigrette. It is splendid and I can honestly say it’s my newfound love. I will definitely be making it over-and-over again for a while.

I wasn’t ready to go full-on pumpkin spice mode and all that jazz, but I had to honor where we’re at, so a little cinnamon, maple syrup, and some seasonal goodies did the trick. Pumpkin spice can wait until next month. I do enjoy fall, but I’d be lying if I said that I’m ready for summer to end. I really love summer…like a lot, but onward I go with the change of seasons, and I’m taking this harvest bowl with me!

In other news, I will be making this recipe on KATU Afternoon Live next Tuesday, September 26. UPDATE: watch the replay of my segment HERE.

Cheers and enjoy!close up harvest bowl

For the bowl:

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups leftover boneless skinless chicken breasts, shredded or cubed
  • 2-3 small Gravenstein apples or other variety of choice, diced
  • 1/3 cup raw pecan halves, roughly chopped
  • 5-6 cups mixed greens

For the maple vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp pure maple syrup
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp full-fat coconut milk (I used this brand, which is gum-free)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place butternut squash on large baking sheet and drizzle with the avocado oil. Season with cinnamon, sea salt and black pepper, and mix well. Bake in oven for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through. Set aside to cool once done.
  2. Add all the dressing ingredients to a mason jar and shake to mix. Alternatively, you can whisk it together in a bowl. If possible, make the dressing ahead of time to allow the flavors to marinate.
  3. Assemble the salad by dividing the mixed greens among three bowls. Then, divide the chicken, pecans, apples, and squash among the bowls. Just before serving, drizzle desired amount of dressing on top. Store any leftover dressing in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Yields: 3 servings

 

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Warm Brussels Sprout Salad with Sausage, Apple & Walnuts

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This recipe was inspired by a Brussels sprout salad from Danielle Walker’s, Meals Made Simple cookbook. When I was home over the holidays, my mom and I were looking for a winter side dish recipe to take to my aunt’s for Christmas dinner. Upon looking through her copy of Danielle’s cookbook, we decided on the Brussels sprout salad recipe (had leeks, bacon and pomegranate seeds in it!). It ended up being a huge hit! Afterward, I knew I wanted to create my own variation and that it was a priority after getting back to Portland.

I went with the idea of this being a complete one-dish meal versus a side, but it could be served as a side, if desired. It’d be a great side for a holiday meal, actually! Surprisingly, this dish held up well the next day too, though I don’t recommend letting it sit in the fridge for too long. There are so many possibilities for a meal like this, so feel free to get creative and make it how you like it!

Cheers and enjoy!

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Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed & shredded in a food processor or with a mandoline
  • 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter or ghee (or avocado oil if you don’t tolerate any dairy)
  • 1 leek, chopped (white part only)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • 1 pink lady apple, chopped
  • 1 12 oz package chicken apple sausage, sliced (I recommend Aidell’s or Applegate – both of which have 4 pre-cooked sausages in each package)
  • 1/4 cup chopped raw walnuts
  • Grated raw parmesan cheese for topping, if tolerated and desired

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Then, add the leek, garlic, Brussels sprouts, sea salt and black pepper. Sauté about 5 minutes.
  2. Next mix in the chicken broth, apple and sausage. Add more sea salt and black pepper, if desired. Place lid on pan and let cook 5 minutes over medium-low heat.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in walnuts. Top individual serving with desired amount of Parmesan, if using. Serve warm.

Yields: 3-4 entree-size servings

Bacon Harvest Medley

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The weather has definitely transitioned to fall here in Portland and this has made me really excited about Autumn’s bounty. The squashes, apples and pumpkin everything, along with pretty colors, dancing leaves and smell of warm spices. I definitely love summer, but fall is so magical and cozy. Not only that, but it gets us into the holiday season, which I absolutely adore.

With that said, I tossed together this fall-inspired saute the other day. It’s sweet and smoky with warm cinnamon spice. It makes for a delicious side dish, and I think it would pair especially well with chicken or turkey. Hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients:

  • 5 strips good quality peppered pork bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium beet, chopped into cubes
  • 1 large apple, chopped (I used braeburn)
  • 2 dried Turkish figs, chopped
  • 1/4 large green cabbage, chopped
  • 1/4 cup bone broth
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Himalayan sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped bacon and stir. Continue to cook for a few minutes, until bacon starts to sizzle and crisp up.
  2. Next, add the chopped beet and stir. Continue to cook for about five minutes over medium-low heat. Then, add the apple, dried figs, bone broth, vinegar, sea salt and cinnamon. Stir well and cook another two to three minutes.
  3. Add the chopped cabbage and stir. Season to taste with more sea salt, if desired.
  4. Once the cabbage has wilted down a bit and the beets are tender, remove from heat and serve.

 

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Simple Supper Friday: Mustard Apple Pulled Pork

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I’ve really had a thing for mustard lately, specifically Dijon. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve been using Dijon nearly every chance I get. I think it’s safe to say I’m definitely in a mustard phase. It adds such a nice flavor and when something seems like it’s missing from a recipe, Dijon seems to take care of that. It’s easy to find good quality Dijon mustard that doesn’t have any sugar or junk ingredients in it either. Sorry, Grey Poupon won’t cut it.

On another note, I’m going to a healthy fats demo at Whole Foods this weekend. Remember my friend, Ashley at Craving4more? Well, you may recall that she hosted the sauerkraut tasting I went to last weekend, and invited me to the fats presentation this weekend. I believe the healthy fats she’s including are coconut oil, ghee, avocado and grass-fed tallow (house-made from the Whole Foods meat dept). I imagine it’ll be pretty great.

I’m not really sure what else I’ll be doing this weekend, other than grocery shopping and working Sunday morning, but I like not having much of an agenda. What I really need to be doing is reading/studying for my exercise science class, but I’m still waiting for my book to arrive in the mail. Hopefully, it’ll get here soon because that class moves fast and the material is complex, so I don’t want to get too behind!

What are your plans for the weekend? Anything fun?

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Ingredients:

  • 2 lb pork shoulder roast
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed ghee
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pink lady apple, chopped
  • 1.5 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Firefly Kitchens Caraway Kraut for serving, optional

Directions:

  1. Melt ghee in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and celery and stir. Allow to cook a few minutes, until slightly softened. Then, add to the slow cooker.
  2. Season the roast with sea salt and pepper. Then, in the same pan, add the pork shoulder roast. Add a little more ghee if necessary. Brown the roast about 2-3 minutes each side and then place inside the slow cooker. Add the chopped apple as well.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, mustard, parsley, marjoram and thyme. Add a dash of sea salt and pepper, if desired. Pour on top of the roast and place the lid on the slow cooker.
  4. Let cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5. Once done, cut string off of pork roast, if need be, and shred with two forks.
  5. Serve with caraway sauerkraut on top, if desired.

Brussels Sprout Hash

Brussel sprout hash featuring apple, prosciutto, and pecans.

This meal is incredible and yields the perfect combination of salty, sweet, and savory. It’s a beautiful thing, folks. I threw it together (literally) the other day for lunch and oohed and aahed the whole time I ate it. It came together on a whim and without a plan, which is one of my favorite ways to create and test recipes. There has to be motivation and joy behind it though, otherwise, things are likely to not work out.

A special thanks to my dear friend, Laura, for the Scottish leek. She gave it to me straight from her garden last week. It was leftover from last year’s bounty. This type of leek is much smaller, and roughly the size of a large green onion. A little bit of regular leek will suffice in this recipe as well, so don’t fret if you can’t find the Scottish variety.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 small Scottish leek, chopped OR 1/4 cup regular leek, chopped
  • 1/2 Lady Alice apple, diced (pink lady would also be great)
  • 2 pieces prosciutto, chopped (I used Applegate brand)
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • Splash of chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • 1 Tbsp pecans
  • Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Melt the coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the leek and brussel sprouts, and season to taste with pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes or until Brussels sprouts are browned.
  2. Next, add the apple and prosciutto, and continue to cook for a few minutes more. Mix in the Dijon and chicken broth, and let cook for a minute or two longer. Stir in the pecans, remove from heat and serve.

Yields: 1 serving

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Avocado Mint Whip

The little flecks you see are pieces of apple skin and ground up currants.

This is sort of an odd combination and I admit that it’s not the prettiest looking thing, but it is surprisingly refreshing and satisfying. Not only that, but it comes together in a pinch and is a great way to use up a ripe avocado. Feel free to vary the apple variety, choosing a sweeter or more tart variety depending on your tastes. I happened to have a some Gala

apples on hand from my CSA box, so it was an easy decision. Furthermore, you can also vary the dried fruit.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 large avocado
  • 1 small apple, cored and sliced
  • 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut water (I like this brand and this brand best)
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened dried currants, optional

Directions:

Blend everything together in a food processor until well blended and creamy. If need be, add more coconut water to adjust the consistency to your liking. Chill or enjoy at room temperature.

Total time: 5 minutes

Yields: 1-2 servings

Simple Supper Friday: Fall Saute with Sage Brown Butter Sauce

I absolutely love sage brown butter sauce, yet for some reason hadn’t made it in a really long time. Thankfully, it’s back in my memory now (and my taste buds remember too), and will probably make an appearance more often. If you’ve never had sage brown butter sauce, this is a great opportunity to try it, and let me tell you, you’re in for a real treat!

Ingredients:

  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • 3 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • Half a butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1 green apple, cored and chopped
  • 2 cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped
  • 2 cups torn kale leaves
  • 1 Tbsp ghee
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped walnuts for garnishing, optional

Directions:

  1. Heat ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butternut squash cubes and season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Sauté for about five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the apple pieces and continue to cook for about five more minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat butter in a small skillet over medium-low heat.  Once melted, add the sage leaves and cook until the sage is crisp, about five minutes.  Watch closely, so the butter doesn’t burn!
  3. Once done, remove the crisp sage leaves and set aside.
  4. Add the chicken breast pieces and kale to the squash and apple mixture. Add a bit more sea salt and black pepper to taste.
  5. Once the chicken is warm and the kale softened, remove from heat and pour the brown butter sauce over top. Crumble the crispy sage leaves into the sauté and mix well.
  6. Serve with chopped walnuts on top, if using.