As Fall sets in and the leaves begin to change colors, the chilly weather signals one thing: really really really cold weather is coming. In a gloomy and sometimes arctic region like New England, it is necessary to find the bright spots that accompany the arrival of Fall. For us foodies, that would be apple picking, the abundance of certain root vegetables, and of course, our favorite group of foods: winter squash. If you can recall, we once packed a stuffing into a pumpkin, baked it until it was soft, and then took a trip to food heaven as we enjoyed one of the best meals ever (Happiness in a Pumpkin). Marnina jokes that I am so much in love with squash, especially butternut and buttercup, that I should have her engagement ring resized so that it can be given to a squash.
We have recently gone on a pumpkin craze, and we would like to share two recipes that have been indulgent but still relatively healthy due to pumpkin’s nutritional content. For dinner on Friday night we made a dairy-free pumpkin custard, a light dessert that takes like pumpkin pie filling. Then, for Sunday morning brunch, we cooked up a baked pumpkin french toast dish that was off the charts good. While we enjoyed the smell of our apartment during the cooking process of both of these dishes, we REALLY enjoyed the buttery pumpkin sweetness that infused our custard and french toast.
As we continue our soup splurge (try saying that 10 times fast), Marnina and I have expanded into adding new kinds of ingredients into our soups: never before have we used fish or pumpkin. And in our continual quest to find IBD-friendly soups, this one is high up on the list. With the salmon, turmeric, and extra virgin olive oil, this soup is an omega-3 and anti-inflammatory powerhouse. As I noted in a previously, omega-3’s can be found mostly in the fat of cold water fish, such as the salmon in this recipe. Omega-3’s are thought to reduce inflammation, and play a number of key roles in improving one’s circulatory system. Research indicates that omega-3’s may be better absorbed from food than supplements, so it is more cost-effective and healthier to just get your omega-3’s from natural food sources. You also have to be wary of some supplements, especially those that are not labeled with a USP (a Dietary Supplement Verification Program that helps dietary supplement manufacturers ensure the production of quality products for consumers).
Last weekend, Marnina and I wanted to go apple-picking with some friends from Brandeis University. When we arrived, we were told that the apple-picking season was over at this particular orchard due to the substantial amount of rain. Therefore, we ended up going ‘pumpkin-picking’ instead. At first, we were disappointed. But then Marnina mentioned that she had a pumpkin stuffing recipe back home that sounded delicious. I was suspicious at first, mainly because the recipe called for baking an intact pumpkin in our smaller-than-small oven. However, as our neighbors (and our taste buds) can attest, the pumpkin smelled (and tasted) like a slice of heaven. We wandered around the pumpkin patch for about 20 minutes, took some awesome pictures (see below), and painstakingly picked out the smallest pumpkin we could find (6 lbs!).