The leaves are changing from green to beautiful yellows, reds and orange. The air is getting cool and try, and the wind carries the leaves from the trees to the ground ( this is important, because now I can shuffle in the leaves!)
Actually, everything is turning and changing...even our bodies. And a great way to not get let behind by Mother Nature this Fall is to eat of the bounty of the season...
Leafy Greens, ftw!
I loooove Collard Greens, because I am southern... but also because when you cook them they are deliciously sweet. They are also very filling and I consider them the meat of the edible leaf world.
I have developed a southern-style Vegetarian Collard Greens recipe that brings out the gorgeous flavors of the leaves (without getting out the pork!...bc we don't do that 'round here).
But let me tell you, my favorite part of Fall by far is the culinary delight that is WINTER SQUASHES. There is butternut squash, spaghetti squash, pumpkin, turban squash, hubbard...butnear and dear to my heart the sweet Acorn Squash.
I love Acorn Squash so much that as soon as it comes into season I find a way to put it into just about everything I cook.
My all time favorite recipe is the Acorn Squash Bowl. It is so easy, versatile and it saves a LOT of dishes. (hate washing dishes? use food as your edible platter!)
So without further ado......
Acorn Squash Bowls
2 Acorn Squash (preferably Organic. My favorite brand is Organic Valley because they are so sweet!)
2 TBS Olive Oil
Salt to Taste
Preheat Oven to 375 degrees. Using a large Kitchen Knife (or meat cleaver), pop the stem of the Acorn Squash off. Cut the Acorn Squash down the middle vertically (from the top where the stem was).
Scoop out the seeds and discard in compost-bowl, or save to salt and roast later.
Drizzle olive oil inside squash, then rub until oil coats the inside of the squash.
Lightly sprinkle with salt. (My salt is pink and pretty! Himalayan Pink salt is great.)
Flip the squash halves onto their faces and place in preheated oven...
After about 35 minutes, check to see if the squash has softened by gently inserting a fork in through the skin. The Acorn Squash is done if the fork goes in smoothly. If the squash is still a bit hard, leave it in the oven for another 10 minutes and check again. Larger squashes may take a longer time. My squashes here are about medium size.
Here is the Acorn Squash Bowl...fill it with water you would like! We are going to fill ours with Collards...so let's get started on those....
Vegetarian Collard Greens
1 Medium Yellow Onion
1 Bunch Organic Collard Greens (they are way sweeter than the conventional, plus no pesticides were used on them)
3-5 Cloves of Garlic Finely Chopped
1 Medium Tomato, Chopped (or ¼ can of Chopped Canned Tomatoes)
Salt to Taste
Red Pepper Flakes (to taste...for milk about 1/8 tsp)
1 TBS of Apple Cider Vinegar OR 1 TSB of Vinegar Brine from Kalamata Olives
2 TBS Olive Oil
2 cups Water
Optional*** Kalamata Olives
1. Chop onion into medium sized pieces.
First, chop a medium-sized yellow onion into medium size chunks.
Set a heavy-bottomed pot on Medium heat. Add the olive oil.
Next, add the onions to the olive oil and lightly saute...
wash the collard leave and cut...
Add the collards to the pot with the onions and stir.
Get the red pepper flakes ready... (this was a bit on the warm side...use less if you prefer)...
Add garlic, red pepper flakes and salt to taste to the collards...
Next at 1 TBS of Vinegar... this is the key to having delicious collards, so do not omit this step! Any vinegar will do. The acidic vinegar breaks the cell walls of in the collard leaves and releases the nutrients and sugars, giving them a rich flavor!
I will use the vinegar brine from Kalamata olives because I plan on using them at the end. Add the vinegar and allow the strong smell to cook out of it for a minute. Keep stirring!
Lastly, add 2 cups of water and then cover the collards and let them simmer on medium heat.
Serve your collards as a side dish, or stuff your Acorn Squash Bowls with some for a deliciously wholesome Fall Meal.
Say Bismillah and Enjoy!