Tag Archives: Fall

Brussel Sprout Soup

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As you know I am totally and completely focused on seasonal eating, but for some reason I got a massive craving for brussel sprouts this week and had been wanting to make Brussel Sprout soup ever since I got the inspiration flipping through a cookbook at Le Pain Quotidien where I visit my friend Lauren when I need some solace from office. Okay, I guess it’s really not all that surprising considering I could eat an entire pound of brussel sprouts in one sitting if I didn’t control myself. I didn’t mind the warm hearty Fall and Winter flavors in this delicious creation since we’ve been experiencing some June Gloom here in LA this week. But if you are totally opposed to hot soup in the summer, store this away for later this year and you will not be sorry. It would be a great twist on the classic Brussel Sprouts dish to start off Thanksgiving dinner! In fact, I may add this to my second-annual Fall dinner party menu.

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Brussel Sprout Soup (Difficulty-Easy; Serves 4)

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 organic scallions, chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 lb. organic brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved (or quartered if they are exceptionally large)
  • 2 large organic parsnips, finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs organic thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 4 c. water, veggie, or chicken broth (I used water but would opt for organic chicken broth next time)
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. dried mustard
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 c. aged cheddar cheese, plus more for topping
  • 4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)

In a large dutch oven, saute the onion and scallions in butter until slightly translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, brussel sprouts, and parsnips and continue cooking until the sprouts have slightly changed color, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme, nutmeg, lemon pepper, dried mustard, salt to taste, and water or broth. Simmer until sprouts are cooked through, about 10 minutes.

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Remove half of the soup mixture from the pot, add 1/2 c. cheddar cheese (Do yourself a favor and buy Trader Joe’s aged goat’s milk cheddar–pictured below! It is divine and our bodies actually process goat and sheep’s milk products much better than cow’s milk), and puree remaining veggies in the dutch oven using an immersion blender. If you don’t have an immersion blender, simply transfer the mixture to a regular blender. Spoon about 1/2 cup of whole veggies into soup bowls and ladle the pureed liquid over the top. Season with salt and pepper and top with grated cheddar cheese and bacon crumbles (if using–I highly recommend Trader Joe’s Applewood Smoked Bacon that comes from a local Woodland Hills butcher). Enjoy!

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Chipotle Pumpkin Chili

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This recipe was inspired by a few serendipitous occurrences. First, a friend of mine who loves beer even more than I do mentioned making a chili recipe with Rogue’s Chipotle Ale, which I thought was a brilliant idea. A week or so later, another friend made his pumpkin chili for a group of our childhood friends while we cozied up to the fireplace at his snowy Utah cabin over the winter holidays.  And being someone who is obsessed with pumpkin in every way shape or form, I also thought this was brilliant. Thus, my very own chipotle pumpkin chili recipe came to life! I’ve made it twice now, once with ground beef and once with ground turkey. I think it is delightful either way so have your pick. While chili is not completely primal due to the phytate-full beans, it is considerably high in protein and low in sugar, and it is most certainly gluten-free. So if you’re really hankering for some good chili and a spicy pumpkin pick-me-up, this is the way to go.  IMAG0233

Chipotle Pumpkin Chili (Difficulty-Easy, Serves 8-10)

  • 2 Tbsp. grapeseed, avocado or other mild flavored oil
  • 2 medium onions, minced
  • 1 organic green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 lbs. organic free range ground beef or turkey
  • 16 oz. can organic pumpkin puree
  • 15 oz. can organic dark red kidney beans, drained
  • 15 oz. can organic black beans, drained
  • 28 oz. can organic diced tomatoes
  • 28 oz. can organic tomato puree or tomato juice
  • 16 oz. Rogue Chipotle beer
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Toppings of your choices-I like to eat mine with shredded cheddar, sliced avocado, hot sauce, and a dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt

Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat. Add onions, bell pepper, garlic, and spices. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.

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Increase heat to medium-high and add half of the beef. Cook, breaking up the pieces until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining beef and cook until browned. Add the pumpkin puree, beans, tomatoes with juice, tomato puree and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally for 1 hour.

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Remove the lid, add the beer, and continue to simmer 1 hour longer until the chili is rich and slightly thickened. Season with salt to taste. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese.

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Parmesan Chicken with Celery Root and Apple Puree

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I have been meaning to try out this Celery Root and Apple Puree recipe from my Barefoot Contessa cookbook (one of my favorites!) for years. I figured it was a  healthy seasonal side dish and a good substitute for mashed potatoes, but I had no idea how completely amazing it was going to be! It has very few ingredients and it is incredible how the apple, fennel, and celery root (and my own addition of parnsips) combine to create this new earthy savory and sweet burst of flavor. This is definitely going in my recipe book. I made it to go with a parmesan crusted chicken I adapted from the most recent Food Network Magazine. Overall, it was a great winter dish.

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Parmesan Crusted Chicken (Adapted from Food Network Magazine) (Difficulty-Easy, Serves 4)

  • 2 Tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme leaves, chopped
  • coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 4 organic free range boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 3/4 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 c. almond meal
  • Extra virgin olive for coating the pan

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Mix the mustard, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the cayenne in a medium bowl. Add the chicken breasts and turn to coat completely; set aside.  In a medium shallow bowl, combine the parmesan and almond meal. Dredge the chicken pieces in the almond parmesan mixture, coating evenly and heavily, and pressing the coating into the meat.

Put the chicken on a baking sheet lightly coated with olive oil. Bake until the chicken is golden and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before cutting or serving.

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Celery Root and Apple Puree (Adapted from Barefoot Contessa) (Difficulty-Easy; Makes 4-6 servings)

  • 2-3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 c. large-diced organic fennel bulb, tops and core removed
  • 2 lbs. organic celery root, peeled and diced
  • 8 oz. organic parsnips, peeled and diced
  • 3 organic Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 c. organic apple cider
  • 1/4 c. heavy cream

Melt the butter over medium heat in a shallow pot or large saute pan. Add the fennel, celery root, parsnips, apples, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Saute the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the cider and tightly cover the pot. Simmer over low heat (I pull the pot halfway off the heat) for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very soft.

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When the vegetables are cooked, add the cream and cook for 1 more minute. Transfer the mixture to a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade and process. I used a food processor for this and it worked just as well. Just be careful not to the over pulse the mixture so that it maintains some of its texture. Taste for salt and pepper and return to the pot to keep warm. Serve warm.

Brussel Sprouts with Roasted Chestnuts and Brown Butter

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“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…” Have you ever really tried this? It is such a fun and toasty winter snack. The first time I had ever even seen chestnuts was in college when I spent Thanksgiving at my aunt and uncles house for the first time in Rhode Island. My cousin John brought chestnuts with him every year and insisted that they make a fire in the fireplace, much to my uncle’s chagrin. For some reason I will never understand, he detests fires. But every year we built one anyway, got all snuggled up on the couch, and roasted chestnuts for an after dinner snack. They have a great silky texture and a sweet buttery nutty flavor. They are difficult to peel so when I saw that Trader Joes sold them pre-roasted and pre-peeled I just had to make something with them! My mom had planned a turkey dinner one night during the holidays so I knew this recipe from my favorite food blog would be a great addition.

Brussel Sprouts with Chestnuts and Brown Butter (courtesy of SmittenKitchen)

(Difficulty-Easy; Serves 8-10)

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2 lbs. brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 c. very thinly sliced shallots
3 Tbsp. flour
2 1/2 c. hot chicken or veggie stock
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. roasted, peeled chestnuts, halved

Bring 4 cups salted water to a boil, add brussels sprouts and cook 10 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water. Drain again.

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Meanwhile, melt butter in a 3-quart saucepan. Add shallots and cook over medium heat, stirring, until light brown. Pour contents of pan through a fine strainer into a dish, pressing to remove as much butter as possible from shallots. Place shallots on paper towel to drain. Return butter to saucepan.

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place saucepan over medium heat and cook until butter has a nutty aroma and is turning brown. Whisk in flour and cook until mixture is light brown. Whisk in stock and cook until sauce has thickened. The original recipe calls for chicken stock which I would typically use, but my aunt had made a homemade vegetable stock with some leftover veggies, so I knew that would give my sauce an even bigger flavor. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, and nutmeg. At this point you should have a thick gravy-like sauce.

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Add chestnuts and brussels sprouts, folding ingredients together. Transfer mixture to a casserole dish. Scatter shallots on top. Bake about 15 minutes.

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 This dish is the perfect side to a comforting, hearty fall or winter meal.

Chicken Sweet Potato and Apple Skillet

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Here’s another perfect primal dish full of fall flavors and inspired by the Penzeys catalog. This is a very quick meal, yet completely satisfying and delicious!

Chicken Sweet Potato and Apple Skillet (adapted from Penzeys)

Difficulty: Easy

Servings: 6-8

1.5-2 lbs boneless, skinless organic chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/2 tsp. Poultry Seasoning

1/2 tsp. Mural of Flavor

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. thyme

1/2 tsp. rosemary

1/2 tsp. sage

1/4 tsp. allspice

1/4 tsp. marjoram

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 Tbsp. extra virgin cold pressed olive oil

6 slices organic applewood smoked bacon, cut into bite-sized pieces

3 cups organic brussel sprouts, quartered

2 organic sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

2 organic braeburn (or preferred variety) apples, diced

8 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 cups organic low-sodium chicken broth

Bring a medium pot of water to boil, add sweet potatoes and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, Season chicken with Poultry Seasoning, Mural of Flavor, paprika, thyme, rosemary, sage, allspice, marjoram, salt and pepper. Add oil to large skillet and heat on medium-high. Add chicken to hot skillet and saute, turning so all sides are browned, about 6 minutes. Place chicken in a bowl and set aside.

Add the bacon pieces to the same pan and cook until it starts to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, abour 5-7 minutes. Add the apples, garlic, cinnamon, and one cup chicken broth and cook until broth is almost evaporated. Add the chicken and remaining broth to the pan and cook until chicken is cooked through completely, about 3 more minutes. And enjoy! Works great for leftovers!