Browsing Tag:

fall vegetables

GF, Vegan & Raw/ Meals/ RECIPES

Orzo Pasta With Caramelized Fall Vegetables & Ginger

This pasta was so very comforting and hit the spot!  The orzo pasta is chewy, and the caramelized vegetables add layers of flavor to the pasta.

The garlic, ginger and sage add wonderful flavor, just enough; not overpowering.  I love a pasta that is so flavorful that it does not need any type of sauce, and this is exactly that!

This Orzo Pasta dish is very simple to put together.  After boiling the orzo pasta, you only need to use one skillet for this dish.

Have everything chopped up and ready to go before you start to cook, ready to go in and caramelize in steps.  This is important.

It is not complicated, but you need to follow the instructions below.  You put the sweet potatoes in first, cook until they start to brown a bit, then push them to the side and throw in the onions.

Once the onions start to caramelize, you push those over and add garlic.  Do the same with ginger and mushrooms.

Use one large skillet over fairly high heat, add the ingredients in order according to instructions, pushing them to the side of the pan as they cook. Easy!

My favorite part was deglazing the pan with a mixture of soy sauce and balsamic vinegar.  I am a huge balsamic vinegar fan, so I loved that this recipe utilizes this ingredient.

You serve this hot, but I liked it cold the next day eaten as a pasta salad, too.

It is hearty and filling, and it is vegan if you leave the Parmesan cheese off.

My girls loved it and were bummed the next day when I ate the leftovers for lunch and there was not any left for them. They wanted it as an afternoon snack!

I wondered if the green kale would throw them but it is chopped so finely that it looks like an herb and they didn’t even notice it.

It makes a lot and would make a great main dish for vegetarians or a great side dish for meat eaters!


Orzo Caramelized with Fall Vegetables & Ginger
serves 4 as a main dish and 6 as a side dish


1/2 pound orzo pasta
Grapeseed, peanut, or vegetable oil
1 large sweet potato (about 3/4 pound)
2 medium onions (about 1 pound), finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3-inch piece fresh ginger — peeled and grated, about 1 tablespoon
6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps diced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 big leaves chard or kale, stalks removed and leaves finely chopped — about 2 cups
Freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan, optional

Heat a large pot of water to boiling and salt it generously. Cook the orzo until barely al dente — about 6 to 7 minutes. Drain and toss with a generous drizzle of oil so that the grains of orzo are lightly coated with oil. Set aside.

Peel the sweet potato and dice it finely into cubes about 1/4 to 1/2 inch to a side. Heat a large sauté or frying pan (the largest you have — you want plenty of room and hot surface) over high heat. Drizzle in a little grapeseed or vegetable oil (not olive oil — you want an oil with a high smoke point) and heat until very hot. Add the sweet potatoes and arrange them in one layer. Cook them over high heat until they are beginning to caramelize and turn brown — about 4 minutes. Flip them over and cook for another 3 minutes or so.

Turn the heat down to medium and push the sweet potatoes up in a pile against one side of the pan. Add the diced onions to the center of the pan and sprinkle them lightly with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are beginning to turn brown. Add the minced garlic and grated ginger and stir them into the onions. Push the onions off to the side of the pan, next to the sweet potatoes, where they will continue to caramelize.

Add the diced shiitake mushrooms to the hot center of the pan and cook them for 4 minutes without turning them. Then flip and stir them and cook for another 4 minutes.

At this point everything should be getting well-cooked; the onions should be quite dark brown and the garlic should be golden and soft. The potatoes should be softening.


Whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons of oil. Pour this into the pan with the vegetables and mix everything together, scraping the bottom as you go. Cook all the elements together for about 3 minutes on medium heat. Then turn the heat up to high, as high as it will go.
Add the orzo gradually, shaking in a cup at a time, and stirring and scraping constantly. Cook the orzo over high heat with the rest of the vegetables for about 5 minutes, letting the orzo get browned on the bottom of the pan, then scraping it up. You are developing a little more color and flavor on the pasta, and helping all the flavors combine.

Finally, toss the chopped greens into the mix and cook for 1 more minute or until the greens are barely wilted. Turn off the heat and taste. Add salt and pepper if needed. Serve hot, with shavings of Parmesan if desired.


Healthy Eating/ RECIPES/ Sides

11 Delicious Ways To Eat Squash

Brown Sugar Acorn Squash

How To Peel, Cut & Bake All Types Of Squash

Creamy Acorn Squash Soup

Squash Mac N Cheese

Spaghetti Squash

Squash and Potato Mash

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Chips

Butternut Squash Cake w/ Vanilla Spiced Icing

Squash Butter


Acorn Squash And Sweet Potato Soup

I’m sitting here eating a bowl of soup, taking occasional bites of an apple, and feeling quite proud of myself!  I just created a recipe that is…da bomb!  Well, ok, sort of created a recipe.

I wanted to try an Acorn and Sweet Potato Soup recipe that sounded and looked so good, but I had been warned by my friend Katie that the original recipe was a bit bland.  She suggested a few additions to make it better, I used some of them but forgot what she had told me while at the store, so I ended up adding different ingredients.  So, I guess you could say I created a third of a recipe, but hey, that counts for something, right?  I’m still proud because it is goooood!

*the ingredients I added to the original recipe are highlighted

Acorn Squash & Sweet Potato Soup
1 large sweet potato
1 medium acorn squash
2 tbls olive oil
6 cloves garlic
3 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 c. light cream (I used whole milk)
1 shallot, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika  (if you have not tried smoked paprika, you must!)
1 1/2 tbls. pure maple syrup (adjust depending on how sweet your potato is)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg (I used whole nutmeg, ran it over my microplane about 4 times-ish)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
pat of butter
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut sweet potato and squash in half lengthwise.  Scoop out squash seeds and brush cut sides with oil.  Place squash and sweet potato halves cut-side down in a shallow roasting pan.  Add unpeeled garlic cloves around the vegetables after tossing them in a bit of the oil.  Roast for 40 minutes until tender.

(I baked a couple of extra potatoes for my lunch.  Had not added the garlic cloves, yet:))
When cool, scoop out insides of the squash and sweet potato, leaving the skins behind.  Peel garlic and add soft insides and scooped squash/sweet potato to a large saucepan.  Add chicken broth and shallot and season with salt and pepper.  Stir well.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat.  Add remaining ingredients, except for the milk and pat of butter.  Process with the hand blender until smooth (if you do not have a hand blender, cool slightly and transfer to a food processor or blender, working in batches as to not overflow machine.

Return soup to pan and stir in milk and butter.  Check seasoning.  Adjust salt, pepper and cayenne as desired.

It is not as complicated as it sounds.  You could roast your veggies earlier in the day, scoop and set in refrigerator until dinner time.  Throwing together the rest of the soup is a breeze.  I recommend either eating it with apple slices, cooked apples as a side, or with a mug of apple cider.  I did both apple slices and apple cider, and it really complimented the soup.  Maybe some diced apple as a garnish to add texture and crunch to the soup?

In a jar, ready for my husband to take to work for lunch.

I wanted my soup to have a sweet and savory taste to it with a kick, and that is what I got.  My friend Katie added roasted red peppers, Italian seasoning,  smoked paprika and a pat of butter and said her husband loved it.  Her version sounds great, too- it would be more of a smokey, savory soup.  I will for sure have to try it her way for a change.  She is a vegetarian and told me that she uses smoked paprika in lieu of ham or bacon in recipes.  I love that tip, you get the smokiness, but not the calories or the cost of the meat.  She mentioned a vegetarian quiche recipe that uses smoked paprika instead of bacon..yum.  Sounds like a recipe I need to blog about, so I will get it from her or maybe she could do a guest post!!:)

Happy Fall!