If you liked my previously posted recipe for Herb Roasted Stuffing made from taro root, or my Sweet and Savory Hash with butternut squash, then you are in for a treat with today’s recipe. Much like this week’s Garlic and Sage Pork Chops, this roasted squash medley was a recipe that I created as a way to change up the usual preparation for the vegetables I served for my mother’s birthday dinner. To my excitement, everyone around the table thoroughly enjoyed my slight variation on a typical roasted squash dish, so much so that they told me I simply had to post in on my blog. So, here it is folks, a savory roasted squash medley with just a hint of sweetness from the apples and a touch of maple syrup. As a note, if you like your vegetables crispy and very brown, be sure not to cut the onion and apple too small, or else they will become black and burnt, far quicker than the squash itself will cook. That being said, I have to admit that eating crispy, charcoal pieces of onion is actually pretty tasty. Overall, today’s recipe is yet another that proves just how simple, yet delicious, real food can be. It doesn’t have to be fancy, expensive, time consuming, or energy-draining, all that you need is a few, wholesome ingredients, and you have got yourself a killer dish that will not only taste good, but will feel good as well. Again, whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, this roasted delicata squash medley will remind you just how easy and delicious cooking real food is, and that is a fact.
Roasted Delicata Squash Medley
- 1 lb (16 oz) delicata squash
- 1 large yellow onion (2 cups)
- 2 small apples (1 1/2 cups)
- 3 tbsp lard – melted
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and cut each half into 1/2 inch wide crescents.
- Cut both the apple and onion in half, and chop into 1/2 inch wide crescents.
- Place the onion, squash, and apple onto a large, rimmed baking sheet.
- In a small sauce pan, heat lard and maple syrup until the lard has melted.
- Pour the mixture over the vegetables and fruit, mixing with a spatula until evenly coated.
- Sprinkle the sea salt over the vegetables and fruit, placing the baking sheet in the oven and allowing to bake for 30-40 minutes, until the squash is cooked to your liking.
Matthew 22:37-39 “Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Christmas has officially come and gone. All physical aspects aside, mine was great, though I am not going to lie, it was very painful, as I have been feeling considerably worse this past month. All body issue aside, God has certainly blessed me with an amazing family that I would not trade for the world. Not only that, but I was reminded of what a blessing it is that God came down to earth as a child, in order for me to be saved eternally from the suffering that I experience here and now. Without this act of utter humility, I would not have an ounce of strength to get through the physical pain that I do on a daily basis. Remy, the dog picture above and below, is another reason I can get through the day, as he really is one of my greatest sources of joy outside of Jesus and my family. Below I have also included a few pictures of what was served in my house at Christmas, as well as a recipe that I made as an appetizer.
My Paleo pup, Remy
Sweet and Spicy Roasted Nuts
Delicious, Roasted Lamb – a Christmas tradition.
The Spunky Coconut’s Chocolate Pecan Pie
After creating my sweet potato pitas, I knew coming up with a dip that people could make to go along side of them was a must. Because the pitas use water chestnut flour, and thus have an Indian flare, I decided to make a recipe that had the flavor profile somewhere a long the same lines as roasted eggplant dip and hummus. Growing up, I always loved eating hummus as a snack, and can still remember the savory, yet slightly sweet flavor on my taste buds to this day.
I find that in standard American diet cooking, dips are seen as foods that “pack on extra pounds” at Holiday parties, and thus should be limited for those looking to “stay trim.” Therefore, I wanted to create a recipe that people could actually feel GOOD about eating, yet at the same time, make it so that they could not even tell the difference between my version and a “regular” dip. After putting together a few flavor combinations in my head, I was able to make this roasted garlic dip a reality, last Thursday, on Christmas. Overall, this recipe was a hit on our appetizer table, as we served it along side plantain chips. Of course, because of the whole food ingredients, this dip could easily be served as a side dish at any main meal, or used as a spread on lettuce wraps. Whichever way you chose to use it, I know that it will always be thoroughly enjoyed. Instead of feeling guilty about doubling up on the dip, you can now feel amazing during AND after indulging in this flavorful, nutrient-dense recipe!
Roasted Garlic Dip
- 1 lb parsnips
- 1 lb cauliflower
- 1 medium lemon – juiced
- 3 heads of garlic
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3 tbsp lard
- 2 tbsp olive oil (or more lard)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Wash, dry, and cut parsnips into 1/2 inch rounds.
- Cut cauliflower of the stem and chop into like size “trees.”
- In a mixing bowl, coat parsnips and cauliflower with olive oil and one teaspoon of salt.
- Cut the tops of the garlic heads off, placing in tin foil and making a little packet.
- Spread vegetables onto a baking sheet.
- Place baking sheet and foil packet in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until browned.
- Once done cooking, remove garlic from its cloves and place in a food processor fitted with the “S” blade.
- Put vegetables in the processor as well, letting run until smooth.
- Add in remaining 1/2 tsp sea salt, lard, and lemon juice, pureeing until fully combined.
- Scoop dip into serving dish for appetizers (or) serve as a side dish.
Romans 8:1-2 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of Life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”
Sweet Potato Pita Bread
- 4 oz sweet potato (1/2 cup) – peeled
- 1 cup water chestnut flour
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp lard + 1/4 cup for frying
- Green onion – chopped
- Place steamer basket in a small pot, filling with an inch or two of water.
- Peel and chop sweet potato, place it in the basket, and bring the water to a boil.
- Once boiling, place lid on pot, allowing the sweet potato to cook until fork tender for 10-20 minutes. *Time will depend on how big your chunks are
- Once tender, remove sweet potato from basket and place in a food processor fitted with a “S” blade, pureeing until smooth.
- Next, add in water chestnut flour, sea salt, and 2 tsp lard, pulsing until a dough forms.
- Roll pieces of the dough into small, ping-pong sized balls, and flatten with the palm of your hand on a flour dusted surface about 1/4 inch thick. *Repeat with remaining dough.
- In a large skillet, heat remaining lard on medium heat.
- Once sizzling, add 4-5 little patties of dough at a time.
- Turn heat to medium-low, cooking until browned for about 3-5 minutes per side.
- Place fried pitas on a dish lined with parchment paper to sop up any excess oil.
- Sprinkle with green onion and extra sea salt.
- Eat immediately and enjoy with my roasted garlic dip (here) or chicken curry soup (here).
Growing up, date night for my parents happened about every Friday or Saturday night. With our favorite, family friend babysitter readily available, my mom always opted for feeding us steamed broccoli, baked french fries, and hotdogs (real, organic ones that is) for dinner. It was either that or chicken tenders from Whole Foods, which I can specifically remember being 100% better than any I had ever had outside of our house, especially the ones breaded with shredded coconut. I cannot say that my brothers and I ever complained of these simple, yet tasty dinners, and they will forever remind me of my simple, carefree, healthy childhood. Though there truly is not anything easier than opening a package of frozen chicken tenders and sticking them in a hot oven, there is something about making the homemade version even better. Not only that, but your kids can get involved in the process, making them even more willing to eat the finished product.
If you are not familiar with plantain chips, they’re pretty similar to a thick cut potato chip with a bit more crunch. My favorite brands are those that are thinner and require less jaw work, however, the typical version works perfectly for this recipe. Some generic grocery stores carry plantain chips, depending on where in the U.S. (or world) you live. However, much like other chips, they are usually heavily processed and fried with rancid vegetable oils. Whole Foods carries a few options, both of which are cooked in palm oil, and most of the time are actually roasted (not deep fried). I am aware that this fat is not the greatest unless in whole, cold pressed form (which is actually a bright orangey-red color, not white), however, the amount used to coat the chicken fingers is nothing worth stressing over. If you are interested in learning more about palm oil and its health benefits, click here. As a side note, if you cannot find suitable plantain chips locally, simple ordering Inca brand chips through Amazon is even more convenient. Click here to do so now. Last week I decided I wanted to create a homemade, kid friendly recipe. Because my younger brother is not necessarily “young” anymore, having our friends over who have a 15 month old baby was the perfect test. Ben, whose parents own Ben’s Beans Coffee Roaster, licked his plate clean and exclaimed “YEAH!” when asked if he wanted more. All in all, the dish was a hit with everyone that we were serving, which means I clearly had to share the recipe with you all. There is no better way to determine whether or not a recipe is a success than inviting a whole group of friends over. I hope you and your kiddos will enjoy them just as much!
Baked Plantain Chip Chicken Tenders
- 1 lb chicken breasts
- 1/4 cup lard – melted (or) avocado oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
- 7.5 oz plantain chips *I used 3, 2.5 oz size bags
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a food processor, pulse plantain chips until the coarsely ground.
- Add turmeric, salt, and arrowroot powder, letting the processor run until fully combined.
- Dump breading into a bowl and set aside.
- Cut chicken breasts in 1/2 inch thick, like-sized strips and place in a mixing bowl.
- Melt lard and slather over chicken.
- Spread 1/3 of the breading on a large plate.
- Using on hand to touch the chicken, and the other to roll the chicken in the breading until fully coated.
- Place on a baking sheet and repeat with remaining tenders.
- Place sheet in oven and let bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on how thick your chicken tenders are.
- Remove and serve with creamy roasted broccoli.
Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”
- 2 lb celery root (celeriac)
- 4 tbsp lard
- 2/3 cup coconut milk
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 lb turkey
- 1 lb bacon
- 1 cup carrots – diced
- 1 white onion (3/4 cup)
- 1 cup broccoli – chopped
- 1/4 cup cranberries – chopped
- 1 tsp thyme
- 3 tsp garlic powder
- 1 cup of beef broth
- 2 tsbp sweet potato flour
- Peel and chop celery root into like size chunks
- Boil in a pot of water for 20 minutes
- Once soft, drain celery root and place into a food processor.
- Puree until smooth, then add coconut milk, 2 tbsp lard, 1/2 salt, and 2 tsp garlic powder.
- Continue to process until mixture is creamed and fluffy. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400 dg
- Without waiting for it to heat up, put 4 slices of bacon in the oven on a baking dish, and let cook until super brown and crisp (25 minutes) *Ideally you will cook the bacon in the same dish as your pie.
- Once the bacon is done, remove and pat dry with paper towels and set the baking dish aside.
- While the bacon is cooking, slice the remaining bacon the short way and put in a large skillet on medium-low heat.
- While the bacon starts to render off its fat, diced up the carrot and place in the pan with the bacon.
- Next, finely chop up up onion and broccoli and add to the pan.
- Either chop cranberries in half or leave whole and throw into the mixture as well.
- Once the veggies begin to soften, add turkey meat, thyme, 1 tsp garlic powder, and 1 tsp salt.
- Cover pan and put on low, allowing to simmer and sweat.
- In a small saucepan, make a rue by heating 2 tbsp lard and 2 tbsp sweet potato flour until melted and combined.
- Add beef stock and it let come to a boil, whisking for one minute, then pouring over your meat mixture.
- Once fully incorporated, pour meat in the bottom of a square baking dish.
- Top with celery root puree, smoothing with the back of a wet spatula
- Chop 4 remaining pieces of bacon into bit size pieces and crumble over the top of the pie.
- Chop 1/4 cup chives and sprinkle over the pie as well.
- When ready to eat, place pie in 400 dg oven for 20-25 minutes covered with tin foil until bubbling and warmed fully through.
Isaiah 54:10 “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”