Fall's my fav. I love it all- the leaves, the boots, the colors, the crisp- and in my case (since I live in SF), I love it bc it's Summertime. Some of the most glorious days occur during this time of year.. like this weekend for example. 2 beach days in a row? Stupid amazing.
I especially love the seasonal squash- mainly the varieties of odd sizes and shapes and their numerous, tremendous health benefits. How beneficial? Let me count thy ways.
There are Summer squash (like zucchini) and darker Winter squash (like Acorn, Butternut, Kabocha, Pumpkin and Spaghetti). The Summer kind contain much more water than the denser Winter variety; therefore the latter is packed with more nutrients. But really, all squash are rich in Carotene (that which helps prevent cancer and disease, high blood pressure and diabetes), Vitamin C and the B's- those which toughen up the immune system and prevent allergies as well as damaging effects of stress on the body. Lest we not forget how sweet the squash are. Adding some of this heart-healthy, rich, sweet squash to your dish makes for a balanced meal and leaves one not craving dessert so much. Try it!
Even though today's summery high temps called for a huge tangy salad to go with my sundress, I've really been in Fall- mode, and prepping for it since Fashion Week hit NY last month. Add to that the fact that I've been loading up on stew type ingredients in the Kitchen for the perfect thing to eat this season.
So I took to it. I made a stew. I loved it. It felt just the right bit of cozy on this incredibly mild night. I even enjoyed it up on my roof for a romantic sunset dinner.
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 small Yellow Onion, diced
1 lb. Squash of choice ( I used Kabocha; slice/cut off skin with a knife; then cut into small pieces)
3 Organic baby Potatoes, diced
1/2 cup Organic Chickpeas
2 Organic Tomatoes, diced
3/4 cup Veggie Broth
1/2 cup Green Olives in sea salt and water
1 Cinnamon stick (a wonderful anti-microbial food, but also gives the stew a beautiful flavor; you'll thank me for this)
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Turmeric
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a pot, heat oil and stir in onions and cook till translucent (about 3 min). Add in potatoes and squash, stirring together. Then come the tomatoes, broth, cinnamon and chickpeas. Stir up, cover and cook over low heat till squash is soft (about 15 min). Add in spices, salt and pepper. Turn off heat, throw in olives. Mix it up and serve over cooked grains of choice (I used brown + wild rice).
To make the meal even sweeter, the sunset from my roof was off the hinges.
Cheerio to a fun-filled summery-fall weekend...
I had the great fortune of spending one of the most memorable weekends ever tucked away in no cell-phone-zone, celebrating Autumn on a wonderful farm in Capay Valley and then jetting off to soak in magical sulpherous springs in Wilbur (more on that later!). The Fall Hoes-Down Festival
at Fully Belly Farm is a celebration of the end of harvest for which farmers put down their hoes and pretty much party. It's one of my favorite events ever
and look forward to it with anticipation each year. The beautiful site of 300 acres is filled with all sorts of activity (like corn husking, salsa-making, sheep shearing, goat-petting, gourd painting), workshops (like cheese making, fermenting food, blacksmithing, how to use herbs), pumpkin patches and fields of sprouting crops, and informative farm tours that allow one to learn about their sustainable farming practices; not to mention tons of amazing organic food, yummy desserts, drinks, and fun, live music; we literally couldn't get enough, and I didn't want to leave. Some highlights below...
Precious, two week old baby piglets who slept in a line up; I love the rebel in the middle faced the opposite direction!
A wonderful little workshop on fermentation... Can't wait to start pickling!
Fresh and delish salads of sorts, and local brews of kombucha and beer...
Plus, gorgeous fall bounty; can't wait to go crazy with the heirloom avocados I picked up!
Hay forts, corn husking, grain-to-bread- pizza making and sheep-to-shawl wool weaving--- love that loom!
No farm, no food.
The air was mild and the sky was unbelievable...
Fall is off to a magical start. Happy Autumn!