Chickpea flour encrusted-pan seared skate with caper mustard sauce and roasted cauliflower
Fresh pappardelle with roasted butternut squash, broccoli rabe and parmigiano reggigano
Sauteed mixed mushrooms with rosemary and garlic
As the end of October begins to encroach upon us and each evening seems to begin a litter earlier, the abundance of fall produce shines in the farmers' markets and groceries. Squash is the quintessential fall vegetable, and there are numerous types that all have unique and delectable attributes. For my pasta recipe, which I actually got from the Today Show (don’t judge), I settled on the ever faithful, delicate, and delicious butternut squash. It was simply roasted with olive oil and then combined with vegetable stock, garlic, chilies, broccoli rabe, a little pasta water, and tossed with the fresh pasta and cheese. The fresh pasta made it relatively light and the sweet butternut squash balanced really well with the peppery bitterness of the rabe.
Butternut squash is a great source of beta-carotene, which is the precurser to Vitamin A. Beta-carotene is an anti-oxidant and helps flight free radicals, which are damaging substances that attack healthy cells in the body. If healthy cells are damaged, they are more prone to cancer and disease. Other sources of beta-carotene include: tomatoes, broccoli, dark leafy greens, carrots, sweet potatoes, and spinach.
On a separate occasion, I picked up some skate for a quick and simple supper. Skate is a fish that is part of the ray family. It is mild in taste, has medium firmness, and is tender to the bite. For the skate preparation, I took a spin on the traditional prep and coated my skate in chickpea flour, a fiber and iron rich alternative to traditional wheat flour. It gave the skate the same desired crisp texture on the outside and enhanced the flavor with a slight nuttiness. I pan seared the skate in Earth Balance vegan all natural spread for about 5 minutes a side. I took the skate out and made a sauce with the pan remnants. I added a little more Earth Balance, some Dijon mustard, white wine, and capers, and let it slightly reduce. After about 3 minutes the sauce was done, and the skate was ready to be devoured. A quick, simple, and healthful meal on a crisp fall night.
Check back soon for black bean and butternut squash chili with swiss chard and pumpkin spiced cookies...mmmm fall!