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!
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 :).
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
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.
4delicata squashchoose larger ones that will be easier to stuff
1lbpasture raised ground pork(other ground meats will also work)
112 ozbag of riced cauliflowerfresh or frozen
Spice Blend Ingredients
½tspfresh ground pepper
2tbspparsley chiffonadeoptional garnish
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.
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?
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.
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 ripeand 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.
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.
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.
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?
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)
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.
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.
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
The 52 New Foods Challenge Food of the Week: Romanesco
I LOVE roasted crucifers, and this oneis 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! 🙂
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)