This week’s recipes
This week we’re focusing heavily on vegetables. I don’t know about you, but I eat so many sweets and rich foods over the holiday season that in January, I want food that’s both comforting and light. It has to sustain me on the cold blustery days, but not make me feel like I want to nap immediately afterwards. We’ll be making a veggie sauté from one of my favorite cookbooks ever, Fast, Fresh & Green. If you don’t want to do the entire prep timeline and want to make that recipe individually, I’ve tried to make sure that you can easily find the instructions below. The Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup is a fairly new recipe in my arsenal, and I am really excited to share it with you all because it is GOOD! The Black Bean Spinach Enchiladas are a longtime staple in my kitchen. That sauce. OMG. Every time I make it, I wonder how I lived before it.
Tools you’ll want to have on hand this week include some form of blender, a large bowl, a large baking sheet, a small saucepan, and a large nonstick skillet.
My favorite part of both the soup and enchiladas is that if you’re cooking for one, you can freeze portions of both and mix them in for a little variety in future weeks!
A note about affiliate links:
There were a couple of items this week that I couldn’t find free (Suzie Middleton’s cookbook, white miso paste for purchase online), so I linked to them on Amazon. I strongly encourage you to shop local, but I get that sometimes that’s not possible. If you click through the link in this email and buy the book, I’ll earn a small referral fee. If you happen upon Fast, Fresh, and Green in Barnes and Noble a year from now and just pick it up, I won’t get a fee, but I’ll be equally glad you have it on your shelf. It’s an amazing, tasty book, and I wholeheartedly endorse it either way. 😉
The Savour: Live Fast, Cook Slow Pantry
Always verify that you have bolded pantry items in stock before going shopping. If any are missing, add them to your grocery list. Items that are not bolded are assumed to be in your pantry because we’ve used them before, but they aren’t called for this week.
Shelf stable items
All purpose flour | Honey or agave nectar | Extra virgin olive oil | Tahini | Lentils | Pumpkin seeds
Herbs and spices
Bay leaves | Cumin | Chili powder | Salt | Pepper
Butter (or Earth Balance if you’re dairy free) | Eggs | Parmesan cheese | jar of lemon juice | Fig preserves
Read through this week’s recipes in their entirety before you go shopping, just in case you need to make a last minute substitution because of availability or a surge in price.
Always buy the best ingredients you can afford. The key there is “you can afford.” Don’t let the price of a gourmet brand over generic be a deterrent to cooking and eating well. This may be a pricier week because we’re stocking up on some higher ticket pantry items (spices, maple syrup). For the spices, check to see if there’s an Aldi or Dollar Tree near by. The supermarket is the most expensive place to buy spices. The extra stop could save you as much as $8.
If you’re concerned about the cost of an item, feel free to ask if it’s absolutely necessary or if there’s some substitution you can make. For example, the Southwestern Butternut Squash Sauté calls for maple syrup, and that’s a sweetener that I really want you to have in your pantry over the longterm. If this isn’t the week for it, though, you could substitute honey or agave nectar instead and make a note to get the maple syrup next time it’s called for.
Two of the recipes call for vegetable stock, which is super cheap to make yourself, but can be pricey to purchase. You can substitute chicken stock if you have some left over from last week, or you can substitute water and add extra spices and seasonings to make up the difference in flavor.
Be good to yourself! This program is about joy and creativity in cooking, not lip-biting or peer pressure. 😉 Your food, your body, your choices!
- Fresh thyme
- Fresh cilantro
- Butternut squash (@1 lb)
- Baby spinach (buy at least 12oz so you have some left for grab bag salads, or buy 6oz spinach and another green for the salads to add variety)
- 2 shallots
- 1 med-large yellow onion
- 1 head cauliflower (@2 lbs)
- green onions
- 1 lime
- Vegetable broth (7 cups)
- Maple syrup*
- 15oz can black beans
- Tomato paste
- Ground coriander*
- Garlic powder*
- Onion powder*
- Frozen corn
- Shredded Pepper Jack cheese (or any Mexican blend)
- Goat cheese
- 8 large flour tortillas
- White miso paste* (Miso is made of fermented soy beans and is easily found at Asian groceries. If you can’t locate it, subst. 1 cube of veg boullion and then salt to taste or purchase it online here.)
Print out this email. Check over your list and your existing pantry. Head to the grocery store or farmer’s market and avoid impulse buys by shopping the perimeter of the store. You may have to venture into the aisles for a few things, but everything else should be found on the perimeter of the store. If you only go down the necessary aisles, you’ll save time and money.
Home again? Time to start prep! This week’s meal plan can be shopped for and prepped in a single morning or afternoon. Allot approximately two and a half hours once your shopping is completed to prep for this week’s meals all at once and minimize the time you spend cooking Monday through Friday.
0 – :30
Butternut squash sauté
- Set out a large baking sheet. Spread out about 2 Tbsp. of pumpkin seeds and put them in a cold oven to toast as the oven warms up. Keep an eye on them for the next ten to fifteen minutes and pull them out when you see they’re lightly browned.
- Preheat the oven to 400.
- Take the corn out of the freezer. Measure out 1.5 cups and set aside to thaw.
- Rinse and roughly chop the entire head of cauliflower, including the core. It doesn’t have to be neat; just make sure all the pieces are roughly the same size. I cut mine to about an inch – inch and a half.
- NOTE: Keep an eye on the pumpkin seeds in the oven while you’re doing this and pull them out when ready. They’ll probably be ready before you’re done with the cauliflower. When they are, take them out of the oven, scoop them into a bowl, and leave the pan out while you finish with the cauliflower.
- Line the now-empty large baking sheet with parchment paper if you have some. If you don’t, then drizzle some olive oil on the pan and spread it around. We’re about to use it for the soup.
- Peel the two shallots and chop them to around the same size as the cauliflower.
- Spread the cauliflower and shallots out on the baking sheet. It’s okay if the pan is crowded. Drizzle them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Separate out four cloves of garlic, but don’t peel them. Place them on a piece of foil large enough to wrap them in. Drizzle them with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and then wrap the foil around them. Place the little foil packet on the baking sheet with the cauliflower and shallots.
- Place baking sheet with veggies in the oven and roast for 30-35 minutes.
:30 – 1:30
- Get out a small saucepan.
- The enchilada sauce starts with a roux. This can be a little tricky, and the original recipe doesn’t spell this out, so follow my instructions here closely. Heat 2 Tbsp of oil over medium heat, then whisk in 1/4 cup all-purpose flour. Continue whisking this mixture until a thick paste forms, and keep whisking it as it starts to bubble. Keep on whisking it as it bubbles for a few minutes more until it smooths out and becomes thinner. This will take about five minutes. Now do a little kitchen dance. You’ve made a white roux!
- Add 1/4 cup tomato paste, 2 tsp. cumin, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder, and 1/4 tsp chili powder. Keep whisking and cooking for another minute.
- Add three cups of broth to your sauce and whisk it just a little bit longer until it all starts to boil. You can raise the temperature briefly at this stage to help bring it to a boil.
- Once the sauce is boiling, reduce the heat and let it simmer around 8 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until it’s thickened up a bit.
- While the sauce is simmering, heat olive oil in a skillet and sauté 6 oz. fresh baby spinach until it begins to wilt. Set aside to cool.
- Once the sauce has thickened, taste and adjust seasonings as desired. It should be a smooth consistency, but if you have lumps, don’t get upset. You can strain them out, and no one will ever know! Set aside for now.
- Thinly slice 6 green onions and chop about 1/3 cup of cilantro and toss both in a large bowl
- Open the can of black beans. Rinse and drain the beans before adding them to the onions and cilantro.
- Add 2 cups of cheese, the wilted spinach, 1.5 cups of frozen corn, and 2 tsp cumin to the green onions, cilantro, and black beans. Stir to combine. This is your filling.
- Fill the tortillas with a large scoop of the black bean mixture, then wrap the tortilla around the mixture like an envelope..
- If you’re feeding more than one person
- Spread some sauce in your baking dish and place all the enchiladas in your dish fold side down. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- Store the rest of the sauce in a separate container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake.
- If you’re feeding one person, this is a lot, so consider freezing some for later!
- Spread some sauce in your baking dish and put half the enchiladas in a baking dish. Place the others with the fold side down on a piece of plastic wrap, individually or collectively. Wrap in plastic, and then wrap again in foil for the freezer.
- Put any remaining sauce in a freezer safe container (or in multiple portion-sized freezer bags) to use for the frozen enchiladas.
- The enchiladas are done!
- When the veggies have browned around the edges (but not blackened), remove the baking sheet from oven. Set the cauliflower, shallots, and garlic aside to cool.
Butternut squash sauté
- Peel the butternut squash and remove seeds. Dice the flesh into 1/2″ cubes.
- Peel and dice the yellow onion into 1/2″ cubes.
- With the burner set to medium heat, warm up 2 Tbsp. of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Sauté the butternut squash, onion, and 3/4 tsp of salt. The pan should be crowded — that helps to steam the vegetables and soften them more quickly. (That’s one of the techniques the woman who created this recipe teaches, and it is DIVINE.) Stir thoroughly at the start of cooking to make sure the vegetables are coated with oil, then leave the vegetables to sauté untouched for a few minutes.
- THIS IS IMPORTANT! The squash sautés for around 20-22 minutes, so you’re going to finish the soup while the squash cooks. You’ll be moving back and forth between them a bit, stirring the squash rarely in the beginning, and more frequently once you start seeing brown bits form.
1:30 – 2:30
Soup AND Sauté
- Set aside 1.5c of the roasted cauliflower in a container to use as a garnish when you eat the soup.
- If you have an immersion blender, place the rest of the roasted cauliflower and shallots in a Dutch oven or other saucepan with deep sides. If you have a regular blender, place the veggies in that. Work in batches if you need to. Make sure your workspace is set up so you can keep an eye on the sauté while you’re working on the soup. Stir the sauté very occasionally in the beginning.
- Pierce the cloves of garlic with a sharp knife and squeeze out the roasted garlic into the cauliflower and shallots. Yum! Add 4 cups vegetable broth, leaves from 5 sprigs of thyme, 1/2 Tbsp. white miso paste, 1 tsp cumin OR ½ Tbsp. Dijon mustard, 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, salt and pepper. As you measure out the other ingredients, you’ll start keeping a closer eye on the the sauté and stirring it a bit more often. Don’t get stressed — these are both pretty low key tasks. Get a rhythm going. Add a few ingredients to the soup, stir the sauté, go back to the soup.
- When you can easily cut into the butternut squash with a fork and the onion is brown and crispy, turn the heat off and set the pan aside. You want browning on both veggies — that’s caramelization. You may do this step before you blend the soup, or you may do it after. Eyeball it rather than relying only on a timer.
- Blend soup until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning to your own version of yum.
Butternut squash sauté
- Wash the small saucepan you used for the enchilada sauce, and use it to melt 1 Tbsp unsalted butter. Keep the burner on a very low heat for this. When the butter is melted, add 1/4 tsp ground coriander, 1/4 tsp ground cumin, 1/8 tsp chile powder, 1/4 tsp salt, and stir.
- After stirring and heating the spice-butter blend for a minute or two, add 2 tsp maple syrup. Let the mixture bubble for up to 30 seconds, then remove the pan from the burner.
- Stir in the juice from half a lime, and then lightly pour the sauce over your butternut squash sauté and stir gently to coat the squash evenly.
- Allow squash to cool before spooning into a container and storing in the refrigerator for later. The sauté is done!
- Ladle cooled soup into jars and store in refrigerator for later. It’s okay to freeze some if you don’t think you’ll eat it all this week. The soup is done!
Now just tidy up and enjoy the rest of your week.
Notes for when you’re ready to eat
- Preheat your oven to 375.
- Spread a little sauce in your baking dish, and then arrange the enchiladas fold-side down. Top generously with sauce and cheese.
- Bake 20 mins and enjoy!
- NOTE: There are tips for cooking enchiladas from their frozen state on The Garden Grazer site.
- If the soup is too thick when you go to reheat it, just add a bit of water to thin it out. Garnish with reserved cauliflower and enjoy.
Butternut squash sauté
- Spray or drizzle a nonstick skillet with a bit of olive oil or another vegetable oil and heat the sautéd squash and onions on the stove. I prefer this method because of the yummy effects on texture, but you can also use a microwave, especially if you’re at work.
- Once your veggies are heated, add about 1/2 Tbsp of chopped fresh cilantro per serving, and top with crumbled goat cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds to taste. Serve.
Feel free to move meals around if your schedule or cravings call for it. This schedule is just to give you an idea of how you might break up your week to avoid eating the same thing too many times in a row!
Dine out for lunch | Butternut squash sauté
Cauliflower soup | Enchiladas
Grab bag salad (add pumpkin seeds, crumbled goat cheese, leftover herbs, and some of those reserved roasted cauliflower florets to greens and drizzle with dressing of choice) | Butternut squash sauté
Cauliflower soup | Make a quick quesadilla with a leftover tortilla, spinach, and cheese. Cut in quarters and serve over greens.
Butternut squash sauté | Enchiladas
Cauliflower soup and grab bag salad