Autumn Vegetarian Dinner

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You know, I am so excited that autumn has arrived at last.  I love the cool air and the muted Pacific NW light.  I love how the leaves change into a million different colors.  I love the changes in activities and in the food that is available.

1sunshine

I had never cooked sunshine squash (AKA winter squash) before.  By virtue of its exterior resemblance to a small pumpkin, I had no reason to think it would taste any different.  However, when I sliced it open I discovered a fruity aroma, deep and saturated.  I thought to myself, “How can I bring out this fruity goodness?”  and then it occurred to me…..booze!  I cut off a quarter of the squash and cleaned out the seeds.  Then, I rubbed it with a small amount of olive oil and salted it liberally with Himalayan sea salt.  After that, I grabbed a bottle of Cointreau, a good, orange-flavored liqueur, which I drizzled over the top.

2squash

I put a light dusting of organic cinnamon on it, then placed it in the center of a piece of tin foil.  I made a tent out of the foil so that the squash could steam in its own juices.  Then, I placed it on a cookie sheet, stuck it in the oven at 350 F for 40 minutes and let it cook until it was soft…like mashed potatoes.

1beets

I have no idea what variety these beets are. They, along with the other vegetables that I prepared tonight, came in my organic produce delivery box.  I think they’re beautiful!  I prepared these by cutting them into sizeable chunks (quarters), drizzling them with a bit of EVOO and sprinkling on a mixture of sea salt, dried garlic, parsley and pepper.  I made another aluminum foil pouch and placed them inside.  Just before I sealed the pouch, I drizzled them with a high quality balsamic vinegar. Then, I tightly sealed the pouch.  The idea was to allow the vinegar to reduce as the beets cooked.  It worked!

1spuds

To prepare the Yukon Gold spuds. I quartered them, added sea salt, freshly ground pepper and herbs de Province.  Again…tin foil pouch and a spritz of olive oil.   I placed the potatoes and beets on the same cookie sheet as the squash.  While these vegetables were cooking, I chopped some Swiss Chard and placed it into my bamboo steamer.  I let it actively steam for 1 minute and broke and egg on top.

chard

I added a couple of small corn muffins that I made yesterday, and let the whole thing steam until the egg was done.  Added a little sea salt, pepper, and that was that.

dindin

The whole thing plated up very nicely.  The colors, textures and aromas were quite pleasing.  I slapped a little pat of Earth Balance onto the top of the squash and left everything else as it was.  I must say.  Eating food such as this is definitely a favorite aspect of autumn.  Mmmmmmmm!

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