November 6th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
If you’re a fan of TV cooking competitions, you know cheftestants sometimes do themselves in by going overboard with ingredients. Judges remind them to simplify their dishes and allow natural flavors to shine through.
Chef Michael Chiarello, a finalist on the first season of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters and owner of Bottega Napa Valley, gets it. Simplicity trumps fussiness, and his food is clean and elegant. (Check out his recipes for Radicchio Salad and Home-Style Minestrone.)
As noted yesterday, the roasting process is ideal for winter squash, as the vegetable’s natural sugars caramelize as it cooks. Add some organic butter, salt and pepper, and you have an easy-to-prepare side dish for your Thanksgiving table.
Read More:Michael Chiarello’s Roasted Winter Squash
November 5th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
’Tis the season to buy winter squash at your local natural and organic food store or farmers’ market.
Whether you select the acorn, buttercup, butternut (above) or Hubbard variety, you’ll enjoy numerous health benefits, as well as a tasty entree or side dish.
Let’s review the four basic ways to get cooking.
This method is super-delicious because it caramelizes a squash’s natural sugars:
Read More:4 Simple Ways to Prepare Winter Squash
April 11th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
To maximize your organic garden’s yield, plant vegetables and herbs that are easy to grow and versatile in a variety of dishes.
Here are the six top springtime picks from the experts at Bonnie Plants, a green-garden wholesaler in Union Springs, AL:
- Tomatoes. The most popular fruit in U.S. home gardens, tomatoes are hard to beat in terms of taste, health benefits and versatility.
- Yellow squash and zucchini. While their growing season is shorter than the tomato’s, squash are very productive. You’ll pick them every day once the season starts.
- Lettuce. As long as weather is mild, leaf lettuce will continue to produce. If you regularly enjoy salads, growing your own lettuce can offer substantial savings.
- Cucumbers. Grown in a cage or on a trellis, a single cucumber plant can produce five to 10 cukes. You can place two or three plants in a cage just 18 inches in diameter and 4 feet high. Your yield: 15 to 30 cucumbers from a slice of ground no bigger than an end table.
- Specialty peppers. Price jalapeños and other specialty peppers in the supermarket, and you’ll realize the benefit of growing your own. These peppers produce especially high yields in areas with a long, hot summer.
- Herbs. Also pricey in supermarkets, fresh herbs are easy and economical to grow. Consider planting sage, rosemary, mint, thyme and chives (one plant each), plus at least three basil plants. Try different basil varieties: sweet, cinnamon, Thai and/or boxwood.
Photo courtesy of Bonnie Plants/ARA
Read More:6 High-Yield Organic Vegetables & Herbs
November 20th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
Americans have expanded their Thanksgiving repertoire in recent years. While many of us have fond childhood memories of the classic Sweet Potato Bake studded with miniature marshmallows, our adult tastes now run more toward organic Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Apples with Pecan Streusel Topping or Curried Sweet Potato.
In recent years, winter squash has replaced sweet potatoes on many Thanksgiving tables. The two are interchangeable in many recipes (see Candied Butternut Squash and Butternut Squash Soup with Sage), and both veggies contain high levels of cancer-fighting carotenoids.
The beauty of winter squash is its many varieties, flavors and preparations. Registered dietitian Karen Collins, nutrition adviser for the American Institute for Cancer Research, offers the following tips:
- Acorn squash is small, with a very hard rind. Your best bet is to cut it in half and bake it, without peeling it. Season with pumpkin-pie spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Butternut squash is sweet and moist, with a slightly nutty flavor. The skin is easy to peel, and you can roast cubes or add chunks to a soup or stew.
- Buttercup squash has a sweet flavor, but it can be dry. Use it in moist dishes to avoid drowning it in butter.
- Large squashes (like Hubbard) are also delicious and will provide lots of leftovers. Use what you need now, and freeze cooked cubes or purée.
- Spaghetti squash is a little lower in calories, fiber, and nutrients like vitamin C and potassium. Its preparation is unique, as strands of cooked squash are pulled from the flesh with a fork. As the name implies, it’s often served like pasta.
Read More:Organic Winter Squash Basics
April 6th, 2007 - Barbara Feiner
Our traditional end-of-the-week recipe will be a hit at any Easter table.
Because you’re dedicated to organic living, OrganicAuthority.com recommends using certified organic ingredients, when available, in all recipes to maximize flavor, while minimizing your risk of exposure to pesticides, chemicals and preservatives.
Makes 8 servings
- 3 cups cornbread stuffing mix
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 small yellow squash, shredded (about 2 cups)
- 2 small zucchini, shredded (about 2 cups)
- 1/4 cup shredded carrot
- 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- Mix stuffing and butter in a medium bowl. Reserve 1/2 cup stuffing mixture for topping. Spoon remaining stuffing mixture into an 11”x8”x2” shallow baking dish.
- Stir soup, sour cream, yellow squash, zucchini, carrot and cheese in a large bowl. Spread vegetable mixture over stuffing mixture. Sprinkle with reserved stuffing.
- Bake at 350°F 40 minutes or until hot and topping is golden.
Book Pick of the Day: The Classic Zucchini Cookbook: 225 Recipes for All Kinds of Squash
Recipe courtesy of Campbell’s Cooking Soups
Read More:Squash Casserole