Gourd-geous Fall Foods

What’s in season this month?

APPLES, BROCCOLI, BRUSSELS SPROUTS, CAULIFLOWER, CITRUS FRUITS, CRANBERRIES, GRAPES, MELONS, MUSHROOMS, ORANGES, PEANUTS, PEARS, PEPPERS, POMEGRANATES, SQUASH, WATERCRESS
and… hmm, perhaps there was one more thing… PUMPKINS, MAYBE? 

GENERAL TSO’s CAULIFLOWER

  • 1 small head cauliflower 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • ¼ cup water 1 cup rice flour
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds 2-3c peanut or canola oil (for frying)

For the sauce

  • 1 tbsp peanut or canola oil 2 teaspoons ginger (finely minced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely minced) 5 whole dried red chili peppers (opt.)
  • ½ tbsp Shaoxing (rice) wine ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1½ tablespoons light soy sauce 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar 1 cup water (or chicken stock)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch (mix 1tbsp water) 1 scallion (cut at 1/2” angles)

Instructions

Cut cauliflower into 1- to 2-inch chunks. Mix cornstarch, baking soda, salt, sesame oil, white pepper, water, and ¾ cup of rice flour in a large bowl until it forms a batter. Toss in cauliflower and fold together until well coated. Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup of rice flour over the cauliflower, and stir until everything is sticking to the cauliflower. Add a bit more rice flour to pick up leftover batter at bottom of bowl.

Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds evenly over cauliflower. Heat oil to 375° in cast iron pan or small pot. Fry cauliflower in batches until light golden brown and crunchy (about 3 minutes); transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels.

Heat 1tbsp oil in wok over medium heat. Add minced ginger, let fry for 15 seconds. Add garlic and dried red pepper. Stir 10 seconds. Add Shaoxing wine, and immediately add sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sugar, and water (or chicken stock). Turn heat to low, letting entire mixture simmer.

For extra crisp, re-fry cauliflower in batches for about 20 seconds or until golden brown, and drain on paper towels. Add cornstarch slurry gradually to sauce while stirring constantly, let simmer for 20 seconds. Sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon.

Add cauliflower and scallions, and toss the entire mixture until everything is well-coated in the sauce, then serve. 


BREAKFAST BAKED SWEET POTATOES (paleo-friendly)

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, washed
  • 2 tablespoons natural almond butter
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • Cinnamon
  • Sea salt

Preheat oven to 375°. Line medium baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. 

Use fork to poke several holes in the sweet potatoes; place on prepared baking sheet and roast for 45-60min or until fork-tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool 5-10 minutes.

Once ready to eat, split warm sweet potatoes open with a knife and sprinkle with a tiny bit of sea salt. Next drizzle 1 tablespoon of almond butter, 1 teaspoon of chia along with banana slices and finally a sprinkle of cinnamon in each sweet potato. Serve immediately.


White Chocolate Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 Tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips or chunks

Instructions

Melt butter in the microwave. In medium bowl, whisk melted butter, brown sugar, and 1/2c granulated sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in vanilla and pumpkin until smooth. Set aside.

In large bowl, toss flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, 1-1/2 tsp cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients, mix with large spoon or rubber spatula. Dough will be very soft. Fold in white chocolate chips. They may not stick to the dough because of the melted butter, but do your best to have them evenly dispersed in the dough. Cover dough and chill for 30 minutes, or up to 3 days.* Chilling is mandatory.

Take dough out of the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Roll dough into balls, about 1.5 T of dough each. Mix together remaining 1/2c granulated sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Roll dough balls generously in cinnamon-sugar mixture and arrange on baking sheets. Slightly flatten the dough balls (cookies will only slightly spread in the oven). 

Bake cookies 11-12 minutes or until edges appear set. Cookies will look very soft and under-baked. Remove from oven and press a few more white chocolate chips onto the tops, if desired. Option; flatten them with the back of a spoon when you remove them from the oven.

Cool for at least 10 minutes on the baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack. (The longer the cookies cool, the chewier they will be.) 

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