Roasted Fall Veggies

Roasted veggies are probably one of my all-time favorite ways to enjoy various fall vegetables that are in peak season. Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, beets, sweet potatoes…hmmm what else! The caramelized flavor, the golden brown color, and the little crispy bits that get stuck to the pan, if someone doesn’t like a certain veggie – have them try it roasted and see if they like it! The veggies can be roasted in so many different ways, Italian seasonings, curry seasonings, sometimes I just prefer sea salt and pepper, or the veggies can even be mixed with Dijon mustard and then roasted. What are your favorite spices and/or herbs to use when roasting veggies?

Roasted Fall Veggies

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli pieces
  • 1 head of cauliflower, broken into pieces
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and sliced in half
  • 2 beets, washed and chopped into cubes
  • 1 sweet potato, washed and chopped into cubes
  • 1-2 teaspoons sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Your favorite spices/herbs (I like thyme and cumin seeds ~ 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine 1 tablespoon coconut oil and a tablespoon of water with the broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. Toss until veggies are coated with the oil. Arrange veggies on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper and half of your spice and/or herb mixture.

Using the same bowl, combine the remaining tablespoon of oil and a tablespoon of water with the beets and sweet potatoes. Toss until veggies are coated with oil mixture. Arrange on another baking sheet and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and your remaining spice and/or herb mixture.

Note: The veggies can be roasted at a higher temperature, but I prefer to keep the temp. at 350 degrees b/c any higher than that and the coconut oil will surpass it’s smoke point.

The sweet potatoes and beet tray may be placed in the oven first for a 20-minute head-start before placing the other tray in the oven. Once both trays are in oven, bake for an additional 30 to 40 minutes or until veggies are fork-tender and golden brown.

Sprouted Quinoa Flatbread

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ume plum vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Pinch of ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

In a medium-sized bowl, add the quinoa and about 2 to 3 cups water. Allow the quinoa to soak about 12 hours or until sprouted. Once the quinoa has sprouted, drain and rinse the quinoa several times.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Add the drained quinoa and the remaining ingredients except for the coconut oil to a blender and blend on high speed until all ingredients are mixed well.

In a non-stick skillet or pie dish (about 9″), add the 1 teaspoon coconut oil. Put the dish in the oven for several minutes to get warm/hot being careful not to let the oil smoke. Remove the pan from oven and add blended ingredients. Top with a sprinkle of fresh or dried herbs as desired. Put pan back in oven and allow it to bake for 30 to 45 minutes. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

The bread tasted great topped with the fermented cashew cheese from the previous post. The leftovers were also good the following day…I toasted it the toaster oven for a few minutes to warm it up. Enjoy!

This is a picture of the bread before it went into the oven (I used red quinoa & sprinkled dried oregano on it before I put it into the oven).

Roasted Red Pepper & Artichoke Salsa

Here’s a simple recipe that can be put together super fast for one of those days when you  have no idea what to have for dinner! This salsa is light and fresh with a spicy note from the cayenne pepper! For a dinner idea, enjoy it with whole wheat or gluten-free pasta with a drizzle of olive oil or mixed with cooked beans and topped with sauteed greens for a hearty dinner meal..or it’s perfect as a dip with crunchy crackers or tortilla’s.

  • 1 small jar canned artichokes, rinsed & drained (6.5 oz)
  • 1 jar roasted red bell peppers, rinsed & drained  (~12 oz)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until desired texture is reached. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. If I hand cilantro on hand, it would be a great addition. If you prefer a milder salsa, decrease the amount of cayenne pepper or omit it all together.

Creamy Tomato Soup

I don’t know about you, but my family’s garden is overflowing with tomatoes – little baby tomatoes to good medium-sized, bright red ones. Even though they are great enjoyed fresh with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, the vitamin A content found in tomatoes is better utilized in the body when heated and in the presence of a little bit of fat. One cup of raw tomatoes has about 30% of the Daily Value for Vitamin A.  

I had some onion, garlic, and coconut on hand and decided to put together an easy, creamy tomato soup. If you have fresh herbs in your garden such as basil, oregano, or thyme—they would be a great addition. To help bring out the vitamin A in this soup, a small amount of coconut milk was used, which provides great texture and flavor. Enjoy!

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup coconut milk (full-fat)
  • 2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Fresh pepper to taste

Heat a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped onions with a half teaspoon of salt. If the onions begin to stick to the pan, add about a quarter cup of water. When the onions are soft and translucent, add the oregano, garlic and tomatoes. Cook over low to medium heat until the tomatoes breakdown and release their juices.

Once the tomatoes are soft, transfer the soup contents to a high powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy (be careful with the hot contents of the soup and allow some of the heat to escape when blending). Add in the coconut milk, and 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Re-blend and taste the soup, adjust seasonings accordingly (add more salt or vinegar to taste). Garnish the soup with fresh herbs and a sprinkle of fresh pepper!

What is your favorite way to use up all the tomatoes from your garden?

Fermented Cashew Cheese

This dip/cheese is a perfect afternoon snack when you are looking for something flavorful and tasty! Cashews also supply a good amount of iron – a 1-ounce serving of raw cashews supplies 10% of the Daily Value for iron and the fermentation increases the bio-availability of several minerals (calcium, iron, zinc). This can also be made with almonds instead of cashews, which are just as high in minerals, as well as Vitamin E.

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 probiotic capsule (I used 50 billion)

In a vitamix, blender, or food processor, combine the soaked and drained cashews and probiotic capsule and mix together. Pour into a bowl, cover with a towel, and let it ferment overnight.
When the mixture is fermented, add seasonings and spices to your liking! I added the juice of one lemon, onion powder, garlic powder, a pinch of cumin and smoked paprika, and sea salt to taste. Enjoy! It goes delicious on gluten free crackers.

Quick & Easy Vegetable Saute

I love simple dishes that come together and are full of flavor. This is a perfect side dish to accompany scrambled eggs, grilled chicken or fish or cooked beans (chickpeas, my favorite!). Top the dish with chopped walnuts, toasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds for a nice crunch and added healthy fats. Ume plum vinegar is salty and slightly tart, yet provides lots of flavor…start with a small amount and adjust as necessary.

2 teaspoons coconut oil
1/2 a small red onion, chopped
1 bunch Swiss Chard, washed and chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 zucchini, sliced in half moons
1/2 teaspoon cumin, coriander and thyme
Ume plum vinegar
Red wine vinegar

In a large saute pan, add the oil and heat slowly. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the onions and saute until soft and translucent.

Add the Swiss chard, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and spices. Stir vegetables and cover the pot until vegetables are tender, about five minutes.

When vegetables are tender, add ume plum vinegar and red wine vinegar to taste. Adjust seasonings, if necessary. Enjoy!

Fermented Bean Dip

  • 2 cups dried beans
  • 1 kombu strip
  • 2 ½ to 3 cups cooking liquid
  • ¼ of a red onion
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • ½ cup fermenting liquid (see note below)

Soak 2 cups of dried beans in a large bowl covered with fresh water overnight. (I used cranberry beans but any bean would work.) In the morning, drain the beans. Put the beans in a large bowl or dish in which they have enough room. Allow the beans to sprout for 2 to 3 days. Each day, rinse and drain the beans.

When the beans are sprouted, cook them over low heat in pot of water with a kombu strip added until cooked through (they should be soft and tender).

When the beans are cooked, drain them, reserving the cooking liquid and kombu strip.  Add the beans and kombu strip to a high-powered blender along with 2 ½ cups of the cooking liquid. Puree until soft and beans are well blended (add more or less liquid as necessary). Then add in ¼ of a red onion, 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, and 2 teaspoons sea salt. Blend again until the mixture is smooth.

Pour the pureed mixture into a large bowl. Wait until the pureed beans cool and then add your fermented liquid. I used sauerkraut juice from Bubbies Sauerkraut. Allow the mixture to sit out for 2 to 4 days. The end result should have a tangy taste, it’s hard to describe. Taste it each day so you can tell the difference as it becomes fermented.

The dip is great with fresh veggies (use it as you would hummus) or mixed with a grain of your choice. You can also spread some on top of a tortilla topped with veggies and roll it up for a healthy vegetarian sandwich.

Fermenting liquid: Any liquid that is fermented will work. I happened to have sauerkraut juice in my fridge that I used. Whey strained from yogurt or even just yogurt would work as well or a probiotic capsule should work. If you have any question, let me know.

Benefits of Fermenting