Seasonal Charcuterie Platter

Cheese board, charcuterie platter, meat and cheese plate, whatever you call it, they are all the rage. This seasonal charcuterie platter made its debut at our Thanksgiving table in 2017 and a similar one appeared at Christmas that year as well. If you’ve already committed to a different dish – don’t fret, bring this to any upcoming gathering. Needless to say, this is more inspiration than a recipe – I encourage you to use your favorite cheeses and whatever fruits are in season!

Thanksgiving Seasonal Charcuterie Board
Christmas Seasonal Charcuterie Board

How to Build a Seasonal Charcuterie Platter:

  • Select 2-4 types of cured meats.
    • Salami, smoked chorizo, and prosciutto are pictured here and just some examples of smoked and aged meats. Pate would be another good option.
  • Select a mixture 3-5 of cheeses.
    • Pictured here are Goat milk chèvre, mozzarella, and burrata (Thanksgiving) and I added manchego and Brie. I recently took a cheese making class where we learned how to make these three cheeses, hence why these are included in the cheese board. I do suggest a mixture of hard and soft cheeses. For the chèvre, I added bacon, figs, and a drizzle of honey (in the center of the Thanksgiving picture) and pomegranate seeds on the Christmas picture)
  • Add crackers and/or bread. 
    • Here I have Jilz crackers and Simple Mills crackers
    • For the Christmas board I added homemade paleo bread
  • Add Seasonal Fruits and/or preserved fruits. 
    • We have pears, pomegranates, and figs pictured here. For Christmas I included pears, mandarin oranges, pomegranates, and some quince paste.
  • Lastly, add some veggies and olives. 
    • For Thanksgiving, we had olives and Sonoma Brinery pickles. For Christmas, I will also inlcude pickled green beans and cornichons. 

As we are now in the winter months, my goal for this charcuterie platter is to include only preserved foods and in-season foods.

I hope you try out a Seasonal Charcuterie Platter in the coming months! 

Here is a link to Farmcurious, where I took the cheesemaking class. She also sells kits for those that aren’t local. The kits include the recipes for how to make the cheeses :). 

Stuffed Delicata Squash

I’ve been LOVING delicata squash lately and I’ve been seeing people get really creative with how they use it. The more creative they get, the more inspired I get. I decided to try out a simple stuffed delicata squash recipe and when it turned out pretty good, I knew I wanted to step up my game. Here is the result.

Stuffed Delicata Squash

cleaneatingwithkatie
Delicata squash is a new favorite of mine because the skin is edible when roasted meaning there's no need to peel it! Stuffing it with meat and veggies makes for the perfect hearty and filling fall and winter dish.
Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 4 delicata squash choose larger ones that will be easier to stuff
  • 1 lb pasture raised ground pork (other ground meats will also work)
  • ½ med red onion diced
  • 2 med carrots sliced
  • 3 celery stalks sliced
  • 1 12 oz bag of riced cauliflower fresh or frozen
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

Spice Blend Ingredients

  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried parsley
  • ½ tsp granulated garlic
  • ½ tsp granulated onion
  • 2 tbsp parsley chiffonade optional garnish

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat oven to 350° F and coat a rimmed baking sheet with coconut oil. 
  • Slice the delicata squash into 2 inch rounds and scoop out the seeds. Place on the coconut oil coated baking sheet and put in the oven to par-bake for 10 minutes. 
  • While the squash is par-baking, combine the ground pork, riced cauliflower, celery, onions, and carrots in a large bowl. Mix in the spices and stir well.
  • After 10 minutes, take the par-baked delicata squash out of the oven. Being careful of the hot baking sheet and the hot squash, carefully spoon the pork and veggie mixture into the delicata squash rounds until over stuffed.
  • Continue baking for 25 minutes. When the meat is cooked through and the squash pierces easily with a knife, remove from oven. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. 
  • Sprinkle with parsley chiffonade and serve. 
Keyword ground meat, ground pork, stuffed squash, winter squash

In Season, in March

Happy March!

March is one of my favorite months because SPRING officially begins and because my birthday is in March. 🙂 As for what’s in season in Northern California in March, I wish there were fruits that were in season besides citrus fruits, but since there aren’t, I’m enjoying the citrus. March is officially asparagus season in most of North America. After reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life I decided that I would only be eating asparagus during the late winter and early spring. 

It’s what I’m most excited for this month! Bring on the stinky pee!! What seasonal produce are you going to enjoy in March?

Hugs and Health <3,

Katie

 

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Grapefruit

The 52 New Foods Challenge Food of the Week: Grapefruit

Grapefruits are not a new food for most of us, but Jennifer Tyler Lee has a recipe for broiled grapefruit with a touch of honey which sounds pretty yummy. I’ve been wanting to try grilled or baked grapefruit because I think the caramelization of the sugars might make it more appealing to me. 

Food Facts:IMG_0170

  • Good source of vitamins A, C, B6, B5 (pantothenic acid), folic acid, thiamine, copper, selenium,  potassium, and magnesium
  • Good source of fiber
  • Contains antioxidants called anthocyanins, liminoids, lycopene, and carotenoids
  • The only citrus indigenous to the “new world” or the Americas (first found in Barbados)
  • They are known for helping to lower blood cholesterol, help normalize hematocrit levels (important if you are anemic), and helping to protect against cancer, macular degeneration,  and cardiovascular disease.
  • Can also help the body get rid of excess estrogen, helping to prevent breast cancer
  • Like oranges and mandarins, they are often picked when green, shipped, and then artificially ripened with ethylene gas which causes them to ripen. This causes them to look ripe but they aren’t truly ripe  and have fewer bionutrients than tree ripened fruit.
  • Grapefruits harvested after December are more likely to be tree ripened (their season is late winter/ early spring)
  • Organic Grapefruits (mandarins and oranges too) have not been degreened
  • To select the best grapefruits: look for large, smooth-skinned fruits that are heavy for their size
  • Until about one hundred years ago, all grape fruits had white flesh! The pink flesh was a natural mutation making it sweeter.
  • Some Medications and grapefruit should not be used together – meds used for blood pressure, cholesterol, anxiety, and those that reduce the rejection of an organ after transplant. Check with your doctor.

From Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health by Jo Robinson, The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year, with 150 Recipes by Jennifer Tyler Lee, Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno, and Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet
by Tonia Reinhard. 

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Mandarins

The 52 New Foods Challenge Food of the Week: Satsuma Mandarin Oranges

After doing The 21-Day Sugar Detox, this was one of my first fruits. I really enjoy eating a couple Mandarins for a snack. Like some of the other foods in the book, mandarins are not a new food for most of us, but Jennifer Tyler Lee has a recipe for mandarin orange and fennel salad which sounds pretty yummy.

Food Facts

IMG_0480

  • Good source of vitamins A, C, B6, thiamine, calcium, folate, potassium, and magnesium
  • Good source of fiber
  • Contains antioxidant carotenoids: alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin, as well flavonoids: tangeretin and nobiletin
  • They are known for helping to control blood glucose, lowering blood cholesterol, and helping to protect against cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and cardiovascular disease.
  • Like oranges, mandarins become sweeter and less acidic as they mature.
  • They are often picked when green, shipped, and then artificially ripened with ethylene gas which causes them to ripen. This causes them to look orange but they are more acidic, less sweet, and have fewer bionutrients than tree ripened fruit.
  • Organic Mandarins (and oranges) have not been degreened. 
  • Many of the nutrients in Mandarins are concentrated in the inner peel and the white pulp.

From Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health
by Jo Robinson, The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year, with 150 Recipes by Jennifer Tyler Lee, Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno, and Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet by Tonia Reinhard

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Avocado

The 52 New Foods Challenge Food of the Week: Avocado

I think we all love Avocado. Obviously there is guacamole- my favorite! But for a quick and easy option, I also like to have a half or whole avocado sprinkled with sea salt and lemon and maybe hot sauce. What I’ve been really digging lately is: guacamole deviled eggs! Jennifer Tyler Lee has a recipe for avocado chocolate pudding – I do want to try this too! I tried avocado ice cream and I wasn’t a big fan. What are you favorite ways to use avocado?

Food Facts:IMG_0163

  • Good source of vitamin E, folate, potassium, and magnesium
  • Very good source of soluble fiber
  • High in healthy monounsaturated fats
  • Haas avocados have 2-4 times more antioxidants than other varieties sold in stores
  • Unripe avocados will ripen quickly in a brown paper bag
  • They will also ripen on your countertops – but they stop ripening once in your fridge – so they can be kept in the fridge until ready to be eaten (usually for several days)
  • “One serving gives you more antioxidants than a serving of broccoli raab, grapes, red bell peppers, or red cabbage” (Robinson, 2013, p. 206)


From Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health
by Jo Robinson, The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year, with 150 Recipes by Jennifer Tyler Lee, and Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planetby Tonia Reinhard

In Season, in February

It’s February!! <3 <3 <3 For me, the first day of February means January is over. Woot! I’m not a fan of January. 1.) It’s winter. 2.) It’s cold. 3.) It’s dark really early. 4.) It’s winter. 🙂

With the start of February in Northern California, comes cherry blossoms. I also love seeing trees, plants, and bushes in my garden with little flower buds. Just this morning, I saw blossoms on my blueberry bushes! This fills me with happiness because homegrown blueberries = happiness in my world. 

Well, even though blueberries aren’t on the list, here is what is in season in February. What seasonal produce are you looking forward to? I’m enjoying mandarins and arugula.

Health & Hugs <3,

Katie

 

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Leeks

The 52 New Foods Challenge Food of the Week: Leeks

I’ve used leeks before in Potato Leek Soup (YUM!!) and instead of onions in a recipe, but I’ve never cooked them on their own before. Jennifer Tyler Lee has a recipe for “roasted leeks” and I made them and they were delish! I did use bacon grease instead of EVOO, which might have helped with the YUM factor.

Food Facts:

  • Good source of manganese, and vitamins k and c.
  • Leeks lose most of their nutritional value within a few days, so they should be cooked as soon as possible
  • The greenest part of the leek is often discarded, even though it has the most health benefits – save the tops to put in your home made broth!
  • Leeks are a member of the allium (lily) family and are related to garlic & onions
  • Alliums are known to have a cholesterol reducing effect
  • They have a milder and sweeter flavor than onions
  • Known for their ability to help fight off cold and flu viruses

From Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health by Jo Robinson, The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year, with 150 Recipes by Jennifer Tyler Lee, and Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet
by Tonia Reinhard

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Romanesco

The 52 New Foods Challenge Food of the Week: Romanesco

I LOVE roasted crucifers, and this one  is no exception. Jennifer Tyler Lee also recommends sautéing it with EVOO (I would use butter) and lemon and parmesan. Sounds yummy too!! I recently made “cauli rice” using romanesco and it was delicious! 🙂

Food Facts: IMG_0147

  • Member of the cruciferous family- related to cauliflower
  • Contains four times more glucosinolates than white cauliflower
  • Cauliflowers have a lower respiration rate than broccoli and therefore can be stored for up to a week in the fridge without compromising the nutritional value.
  • Was developed from wild cabbage
  • Cancer fighting vegetable
  • Good source of B Vitamins, vitamin K, & C, potassium, phosphorous, boron, and fiber
  • On the ANDI scale it scores 295/1000 (a rating of nutrients per calorie)

From The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year, with 150 Recipes by Jennifer Tyler Lee, Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health by Jo Robinson, and Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Bok Choy

The 52 New Foods Challenge Food of the Week: Bok Choy

Food Facts: 172a2806-edit-bok-choy-1500px

  • Higher nutritional content than cabbage
  • Member of the cruciferous family
  • Contains high level of antioxidants making it great for fighting free radicals and preventing cancer
  • High levels of beta-carotene- 11th highest food source of vitamin A
  • Good source of Vitamins B6, K, & C, potassium, folate, iron, manganese, and calcium
  • It ranks 5th on the ANDI scale and scores 865/1000 (a rating of nutrients per calorie)

From The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year, with 150 Recipesand www.whfoods.com.