Sage is an excellent flavour companion for squash. When combined with the earthy flavours of mushroom and hearty quinoa, this filled squash makes for a deliciously satisfying meal. Great sources of dietary fibre, winter squashes like delicata and acorn are also good sources of thiamin, which aids in the transformation of ingested carbohydrates into energy.
You can fill and stuff the squash up to a day in advance, and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. To heat, set the oven to 350 F (180 C) and bake on parchment-lined baking tray for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut squash in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and discard or save for another purpose. Place squash halves on parchment-lined baking sheet and brush cut side with 2 tsp (10 mL) olive oil. Sprinkle with 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper. Rub 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sage leaves over the surface and centre of each squash half and flip halves over, cut side down, onto baking sheet. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, or until skin of squash is easily pierced with a fork. When squash is ready, remove from oven, allow to cool, cut side down, for about 5 minutes. When cool enough to handle, flip over squash halves to cool further and set aside until you’re ready to fill. Keep oven on.
Meanwhile, to saucepan, add quinoa with 1 cup (250 mL) vegetable stock; cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow quinoa to simmer, uncovered, for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, or until white endosperm or “tail” emerges from each quinoa kernel. Remove from heat, cover for 5 minutes, and then fluff with a fork. Set aside.
In large shallow pan, add 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil. Add shallots and cook on medium-low heat, stirring often, until shallots are translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, and allow to brown, stirring occasionally, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add garlic, 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sage, and thyme and stir thoroughly for about two minutes. Add apple cider vinegar to pan and deglaze pan, scraping up any brown bits with a wooden spoon. Add kale, 1/4 cup (60 mL) vegetable stock, and cooked quinoa and mix thoroughly, until kale is slightly wilted, about 2 minutes. Add walnuts, along with remaining 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper and stir through. Remove from heat and set aside.
Into roasted and cooled squash halves, divide mushroom quinoa mixture and fill, being careful not to pack too tightly. Return baking sheet to oven and heat for about 10 minutes.
Serve baked squash halves on large platter.
Pears and chocolate make for a very natural friendship and play together beautifully in this plant-based, dairy-free cake. This cake is dense and rich, with a medley of spices, and enhanced by just a hint of espresso powder, which allows that chocolate flavour to shine through. In addition to slices of pears being laid on top, this cake employs some pear purée to add moisture and sweetness to the slightly nutty texture provided by the whole wheat flour. Pear primer A firm pear such as Bosc, recognizable by its distinctive dusty brown skin, is perfect for this dish. When eaten raw, Bosc pears are crisp and not too sweet. When baked, this variety softens up and its flavours are enhanced, but it maintains its characteristic long-necked, graceful shape. Unlike a Bartlett pear, which turns from green to bright yellow when ripe, Bosc pears don’t change much in colour when ripe. Give it a little nudge with your thumb near the neck of the pear and it will give slightly—that’s how you know you’ve got a ripe one. Compared to other pears, Bosc will still be quite firm.
Many flavours that complement pears—sage, ginger, maple syrup—also go well with butternut squash, so it makes sense to bring the two together. For this autumn salad, mixed greens are tossed with marinated squash ribbons that serve to dress the salad with spicy, gingery brightness. A juicy yet firm medium-sweet pear, such as red Anjou, works well here, and its vibrant red skin makes a pretty plate alongside butternut squash. The finishing touch is a sprinkling of crispy sage and maple syrup-toasted hazelnuts. Refrigerator tip Treat butternut squash ribbons as you would a dressing, keeping them in the refrigerator until ready to use. They will last a few days in the refrigerator, and you can have them on hand to dress small amounts of lettuce. If, rather than making one large salad, you want to serve individual amounts of this salad, just dress a few leaves with some ribbons; cut up pear and fry sage leaves as you serve.
Luscious figs loaded onto hearty flatbread make a satisfying breakfast or brunch. They’re sweet and delicious when paired with savoury cinnamon-flavoured crunchy pumpkin seeds and tart goat cheese. And, with a dough enriched with whole wheat flour, hempseeds, and nigella, these flatbreads are sure to be satisfying. They’re also chock full of fibre and protein, and with 6 mg of iron, you’ll be on your way to 31 percent of the recommended daily value. A freezer favourite By making dough in advance and freezing, you can make these individual flatbreads part of your routine for days when you don’t have much time. Simply portion dough individually right after mixing, allow it to rise in the fridge for 8 to 10 hours, and then freeze in individual containers. To thaw an individual ball of dough, 24 hours before you wish to use it, remove the container from the freezer and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator. At least an hour before baking, allow dough to come up to room temperature outside of the fridge.