Farro with Butternut Squash, Spinach, Walnuts & Cranberries

If it’s fall it’s time for butternut squash! This delicious recipe was actually from the bag of farro (Nature’s Earthly Choice organic Italian pearled farro). I made it for our birthday party at Aunt Mary’s and it was a hit. Everyone else added salt because I didn’t add it to make it work with my nutritarian diet. I think this would be great with an orange squeezed over it or some balsamic reduction to brighten it up and add a little more liquid (I also omitted the oil called for in the recipe).

farrosquash

This photo was taken of the leftovers after they had been refrigerated for hours. The original looked fresher.

Ingredients:

12 oz pearled farro (2 cups), rinsed and drained

5 cups vegetable broth (low sodium) or water, or a combination – I used 2 c broth, 3 c water

pinch kosher salt

1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut in 1/2″ dice

1 large red onion, cut into eighths

1 tbsp fresh thyme

2 tsp olive oil (to rub on the pan for squash)

1 bag baby spinach (6 oz)

1 cup walnuts, toasted

1 cup dried cranberries (I used a brand that was sweetened with apple juice, not sugar)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine the farro, salt, and water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the farro is tender, 15-25 minutes. Taste often as it is cooking, you want it to be al dente, but tender. Remove from heat, drain excess water, and toss with baby spinach in a large mixing bowl to wilt spinach. Set aside.

While the farro is cooking toss the squash, onion, and thyme with the olive oil [or just rub oil into pan with paper towel], and salt [optional] in a large glass pyrex 9×13 pan or a roasting pan. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil cover and cook for an additional hour, turning the squash every 30 minutes. Remove from oven , let cool a bit, and chop up the cooked red onions.

Add squash and onions to bowl and gently toss everything together, including walnuts and cranberries. Optional: squeeze an orange on top and toss, or add balsamic vinegar and oil to boost the flavor. A fig balsamic vinegar would be excellent with this. Taste and season as necessary.

Changes from the original recipe: the orig. recipe calls for 3 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar to cook with the squash and onions, 3 tbsp walnut oil for dressing, and 1/4 cup goat cheese – they don’t call for cranberries, but I like the combination with cranberries better. I omitted all of the oil except a tiny bit, just enough to rub on the pan to prevent sticking.

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Black Forest Creamy Mushroom Soup (Dr. Fuhrman)

The smell of almond milk in soup seemed a little strange to me at first, but this soup got even better after sitting in the fridge overnight. It is rich and satisfying, and I love the flavors. Who doesn’t love mushrooms?

This made about 8 (pint) servings.

I didn’t juice the carrots for broth (as requested in the original recipe), I used premade low-sodium veggie broth. If you want to follow the recipe, you’ll need 5 cups of carrot juice. You’ll see my changes to the original recipe ingredients below. The directions include my modifications.

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Delicious!

Black Forest Cream of Mushroom Soup
Preparation Time: 60 minutes
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons water
2 pounds mixed fresh mushrooms (I had a mix of button and cremini) sliced 1/4 ” thick
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed (I didn’t have this so I used 1 shallot)
2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
5 cups carrot juice (5 pounds of carrots, juiced)  I used 5 cups low-sodium veg broth
3 cups unsweetened hemp, soy or almond milk, divided
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
3/4 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels I didn’t have this so I used frozen petite peas
1 cup chopped celery
3 leeks, cut in 1/2-inch-thick rounds and cleaned
1/4 cup Dr. Fuhrman’s VegiZest or other no-salt seasoning blend, adjusted to taste
1/4 cup raw cashews
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
3 cups cooked white beans (northern, navy, cannellini) or 2 (15 ounce) cans no-salt added or low-sodium white beans, drained
5 ounces baby spinach
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, for garnish didn’t have this either, skipped it

Directions:
Heat the water in a large saute pan. Water saute the mushrooms, garlic and herbes de Provence for about 15 minutes, or until tender and starting to caramelize. Set aside.
In a large soup pot, bring the carrot juice or veg broth, 2 1/2 cups of the almond milk, carrots, onion, peas, celery, and leeks to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
In a food processor or high-powered blender, puree the cashews and remaining 1/2 cup milk. Add the lemon juice, thyme, rosemary, and half of the beans, and blend it all with an immersion blender until smooth.
Then add the remaining beans and the spinach, and sauteed mushrooms. Heat until the spinach is wilted.

Stores in fridge and freezes well.  Made 8 pints.

Smoothies galore

I have been following a nutritarian diet for two weeks now and despite some killer cravings in the beginning, some mild nausea and headaches from caffeine/sugar withdrawal, I really do feel great. I’ve lost a good amount of weight so far, but that’s not the whole point. My energy level is really great and I love the fact that I can drink my veggies in a smoothie in the morning and not feel guilty about it! I still get all of the nutrients and fiber since nothing is thrown away.

Here are some of the recipes I’ve been making lately. Each smoothie has the same directions: chuck it all in a powerful blender until smooth. You can also substitute water instead of almond milk or juice, it will work either way, but the pomegranate juice is so good that you might as well have a little! Each recipe makes one smoothie.

Eat Your Greens Smoothie  (Dr. Fuhrman’s recipe)
I make it almost every day, but alternate between spinach and kale.

3 ounces baby spinach, washed
1/2 banana
1/2 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/4 cup pomegranate juice (no added sugar)
1/2 tablespoon ground flaxseeds

Kale Pineapple Smoothie 
The pineapple goes so well with the kale, I love the crisp flavor of kale!

1/2 head kale, washed, remove thick stems
1/2 banana
3/4 cup frozen pineapple
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/4 cup pomegranate juice (no added sugar)
1/2 tablespoon ground flaxseeds

(sometimes I switch out the pineapple for blueberries)

Dinner tonight (my dinners are frequently a variation on this theme, big bowl raw, big bowl cooked veg).

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Mmmm dinner! Spinach salad, steamed broccoli with scallions and toasted sesame seeds, and a beet nut smoothie for dessert!

Tonight I made a strange smoothie but I really liked it (in the photo above).   I had cooked a bunch of beets whole in tin foil in the oven but they were still a little hard so I figured why not make a smoothie?

Beet Nut Smoothie

1 oz raw cashews
1 gingergold or granny smith apple (smallish)
1 large beet
1/2 cup blueberries
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tbsp flaxseed
water

Use a powerful blender (I used the NutriBullet) and make sure to add some water to make it blend smoother. It’s actually really tasty and lets you sneak in some great vitamins, protein and healthy fats.

I’m going to make this one tomorrow morning… sounds so good, and Chris will bust a gasket if I don’t use the avocados sitting on the counter. He has a tiny issue about produce sitting around too long and “going bad” (picture avocados with mohawks and tattoos wielding clubs and chasing him and Scruffy around the house).   hee hee hee 🙂

Got Greens? Smoothie (Dr. Fuhrman’s recipe)

2 ounces fresh baby spinach
1 cup frozen pineapple cubes
1 kiwi, peeled
1/4 avocado, peeled and pitted
1/2 banana

By the way, I watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead a few nights ago (thanks to Chica and Dan for the recommendation). Wow! Amazing. It was really inspiring, and making the move to a nutritarian diet feels the same way… my head is so much clearer, I feel great. Pretty cool that just eating the right stuff can help you heal what ails you and get you off deadly medicines!