Tag Archives: beta carotene

maple cinnamon kabocha puree

11 Dec

5112078128_c56cb4b869 (1)We keep on ranting and raving about kabocha squash, and for good reason!

It gets such great reviews due to its versatility, and nutrition – high in beta carotene, vitamins A, C, iron, potassium, and calcium. Along with it’s comforting flavors to help warm you up on cold winter evenings.

This time we are transforming our kabocha into a delectable puree, as a perfect side dish to accompany your other dinner components, or maybe even for breakfast topped with some chopped nuts!

Pre Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 kabocha squash, diced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 t. maple syrup
  • 2 dashes of cinnamon
  • sea salt to taste

Directions:

1. Prep: Rinse, cut squash in half, and remove all seeds, then dice your half into 2 inch thick pieces.

2. Cook: Add water to the bottom of a small pot, line with a steamer basket. Add squash, set heat to medium – high, cover and let cook for 15 minutes, until soft.

3. Blend: Add cooked squash to your food processor. Drizzle in olive oil, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt. Blend well, until pureed.

4. Serve: Scoop your puree onto your dinner plate, or breakfast bowl, top with a sprinkle of salt for dinner, and chopped nuts for breakfast. Enjoy!

Photo courtesy of wikioticsian

apple-nut soup

16 Oct

photo (27)

Nothing screams fall more than butternut squash and apples.

So why not mix the two together?

Butternut squash will woo you with its rich beta carotene count that your body converts into vitamin A, helping to strengthen your lungs, heart and eyes, while giving your skin that beautiful glow.

Apples will refresh your body with it’s high amounts of vitamin C, helping to boost your immune system. A perfect food for this time of year when the season is changing.

We call for sage in this recipe, but if you don’t have it, don’t worry, the soup can stand on it’s own without it.

If you are feeling more adventurous and have some extra time, we’d recommend adding in some caramelized onions, to increase the depth of flavor.

Serves 2 Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 C butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded, chopped
  • 1/2 apple, cored
  • 1/2 C water or chicken/veggie stock
  • 5-7 leaves sage, sliced
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

Directions: 

1. Prep: Steam your squash for 10 minutes, until soft. Heat up water, or stock, set aside. Cut apple in half, removing the core.

2. Process: Blend squash and apple in a food processor. In a pot, add your puree, then your water or stock, some salt and pepper, then bring to a boil.

3. Serve: Set out your bowls and serve. Drizzle with olive oil, top with sage and another grind of pepper.

zesty grated carrot salad

4 Mar

photo-11It’s easy to see a carrot and think, “oh what a great snack!” but what about seeing a carrot and thinking, “oh the endless possibilities!”

Carrots are an incredible root vegetable filled with vitamins and minerals that make it one of our favorite vegetables to cook with.

At lunch, our students eat them roasted with olive oil, glazed with honey, raw with a dip, baked into carrot cake, paired with celery and onions for a mirepoix, or pureed into soups.

We all know that carrots are great for our eyes due to their beta-carotene and vitamin A content, but they also benefit our skin, hair, digestion and blood.

With their sweet flavor, beautiful color and myriad of health benefits, who could ask for anything more?

Here’s a fun way to incorporate more carrots into your day. If you make this recipe the old fashioned way, you will even get a small workout!

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 lemon wedges
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 clementine or 2 orange wedges (optional)

Directions:

1. Wash your carrots.

2. Prep your lemon and clementine/orange, cut into wedges.

3. Grate carrot by hand on larger grater opening. Divide carrot shreds evenly into two bowls.

4. Dress your carrots by squeezing 1 lemon wedge per bowl (and 1/2 clementine or 1 orange wedge). Top with 1 tsp of olive oil.

5. Mix it all up, and dig in!

Flora’s seasonal recipe: welcome back asparagus!

30 Apr

2552865406_0f2739a78bI’d like to give a warm welcome to our long lost friend, asparagus. When spring arrives, I always look forward to the shoots and stalks that we get to enjoy during this transformative time of year. When you are in the practice of eating seasonally you tend to get really excited about welcoming back certain items into your kitchen, and boy am I excited for asparagus’ debut!

I love asparagus, not only for it’s nutty-sweet taste, but also for the nourishment I receive from them. Asparagus is full of vitamin K, B’s, C, beta-carotene, zinc and other trace minerals that helps clear our skin, and clean our blood. Thanks my friends!

When I have a bundle of asparagus waiting to be devoured, one of my first inclinations is to sauté them like we did last spring, but this spring I want to try something different, so I’m going to make a fresh asparagus soup for chillier spring evenings.

Here’s how:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Bunch of local asparagus
  • 4 cups of vegetable stock
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt + pepper to taste

Directions:

Roast your garlic, by placing your cloves (keep the peel on) in the oven at 400F for 30 minutes. Add your stock and bring to a boil. Snap off the bottom of your asparagus stems (save them for a shaved salad later), and simmer them in the stock for 10-20 minutes or until your asparagus is fork tender. Place your tender spears and vegetable stock into your blender (or keep it in your pot, and use an immersion blender), add the roasted garlic (peels removed) and blend until smooth. Top your soup off with a drizzle of olive oil, and sprinkle with a touch of salt and pepper. I added a touch of goat cheese to mimic the effect of creme fraiche, but the soup stands well on it’s own without the addition of cheese.

Happy spring eating to all!

Photo courtesy of Benson Kua