Fall Flavors: Beans, Squash And Root Vegetables

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Fall Flavors: Beans, Squash And Root Vegetables

Fall is the time when Canadians traditionally give thanks for the harvest of fruit and vegetables that will carry over into the winter months. The issue, we've combined some of the best flavors of fall -- squash pumpkin, beet and other root vegetables -- with our favorite bean recipes.

Legumes are versatile, easy to cook and economical. They're also rich in fibre, protein, complex carbohydrates and essential numerals like potassium and phosphorus and contain moderate amounts of calcium and iron. If you're in a rush, canned beans need only be rinsed and drained before cooking -- but if you've been thinking ahead, it's cheaper and healthier to purchase organic dried beans at your health food store and soak them over night. Always sort the beans, rinse them and discard the soaking water.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Beautiful Beet Soup

This delicious dish brightens any table.

1. tbsp (15 mL) organic, cold-pressed olive oil
2. 2 medium onion
3. 2 tsp (3 mL) curry powder
4. medium beets, peeled and chopped
5. medium potato, peeled and chopped
6. cups (750 mL) vegetable stock or water
7. 1/2 tsp (8 mL) honey

salt and pepper to taste

lemon juice to taste

* 2 Tbsp (30 mL) yogurt or kefir
* 2 Tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped green onions

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft. Add curry powder and cook for a minute longer, then the beets, potatoes and stock or water. Bring to a boil, then simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender 30-45 minutes. Purée or mash with a potato masher. Reheat the soup and add the honey. Season to taste. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the sour cream and green onions. Four servings.

From Many Hands, Community Kitchens Publishing, 1999

Red Bean, Sweet Potato and Squash Gratin

Miles better than the plan, mushy potato version!

* 3 cups (750 mL) diced sweet potato
* 2 Tbsp (30 mL) butter or cold-pressed organic olive oil
* 2 cups (500 mL) diced squash
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 4 to 6 scallions or one medium-sized onion, chopped
* 2 Tbsp (30 mL) soy sauce or tamari
* 1 1/4 cup (312 mL) milk (or coconut milk or soy milk)
* 1 14 fl oz (398 mL) can red kidney or cannellini beans, drained, or 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) soaked dried beans
* 2 Tbsp (30 mL) fresh basil leaves or 2 tsp dried basil
* 1/2 tsp (3 mL) dried thyme
* 1/2 tsp (3 mL) ground black pepper
* 1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground cloves
* 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
* 1 cup (250 mL) shredded Gouda cheese
* 1/4 cup (62 mL) bread crumbs

Place the sweet potatoes in boiling water to cover and boil for about five minutes. Drain in a colander and cool slightly. Discard the water.

Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add squash, scallions, garlic and soy sauce. Sauté for five to seven minutes. Add milk, beans and seasonings and cook over medium heat for about five minutes, stirring frequently.

Place the potatoes in the bottom of a lightly-greased 20 cm (eight inch) casserole or gratin dish. Pour the vegetable-milk mixture over the potatoes and sprinkle with the cheese and bread crumbs. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until a crust forms on top.

Remove from the oven and serve hot from the baking dish. Four servings.

Wild Rice, Beans and Vegetable Paella

* 2-3 Tbsp (30-45mL) organic, cold-pressed olive oil
* 1 large onion, diced
* 1 green or red bell pepper, seeded and diced
* 1 unpeeled yellow squash, diced or 1 cup (250 mL) winter squash, peeled and diced
* 10 to 12 mushrooms, sliced
* 3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 3/4 tsp (4 mL) ground turmeric or a pinch of saffron
* 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) water or vegetable stock
* 2 cups (500 mL) cooked or canned small lava or red kidney beans, drained
* 2 carrots, peeled and diced
* 1 cup (250 mL) green peas
* 1 cup (250 mL) medium-grain brown rice
* 1/2 cup (125 mL) wild rice
* 1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp (5 mL) dried
* 1 tsp (5 mL) ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large flameproof casserole or Dutch oven, heat the oil and add the onion, pepper, squash, mushrooms and garlic. Cook over medium heat for seven to 10 minutes. Add the turmeric and cook one minute more. Stir in the water, beans, carrots, green peas, both rices and seasonings and cover.

Place in the oven and bake for 55 minutes to one hour, until the rice is done.

Fluff the paella and serve hot. Season with salt at the table. Four servings.

Squash and Adzuki Bean Pancakes

* 2 cups (500 mL) uncooked, peeled, diced acorn or butternut squash or 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) mashed pumpkin
* 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) cooked or canned adzuki beans, drained
* 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) whole wheat flour
* 1/4 cup (63 mL) cane sugar
* 2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
* 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
* 2 large eggs, beaten
* 1 3/4 cups buttermilk, kefir or your milk of choice
* 1/4 cup (63 mL) melted butter
* 1/2 tsp (3 mL) ground allspice
* 1/2 tsp (3 mL) ground nutmeg

Place the squash in boiling water to cover and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until soft. Drain and cool. Transfer to a mixing bowl and mash the squash with the beans.

Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk and butter together. Fold the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Blend in the squash/bean mixture along with the allspice and nutmeg.

Preheat a lightly-greased griddle or skillet. When the surface is sizzling, spoon about half a cup (125 mL) of batter onto the griddle. Flip after three or four minutes, or when the edges are golden brown. Continue cooking until the other side of the pancake is golden brown. Place the pancake on a serving plate and repeat the process with the remaining batter. Cover the finished pancakes with waxed paper.

Serve with apple chutney or apple butter. Eight pancakes.

Apple Butter

* 2 apples
* 1/2 cup (125 mL) pitted dates
* 1/2 cup (125 mL) water

Wash and core apples. Dice and cook with dates and water until apples are tender. Blend until smooth.

Cheese and Nut Pie with Liqueur Cream

* 8 oz (250 g) soft cream cheese
* 4 oz (125 g) dried cane sugar
* 1 cup (250 mL) cooked pumpkin
* 2 eggs, separated
* 1/2 tsp (3 mL) ground cloves
* 1 Tbsp (15 mL) honey
* 1/2 cup (125 mL) thick cream

almond halves or crushed macadamia nuts

1. recipe biscuit crust
2. recipe liqueur cream

Prepare biscuit crust. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Beat cream cheese and cane sugar together. Add pumpkin, egg yolks, cloves, honey and cream. Whisk egg whites until stiff, fold into mixture. Spoon into crust, cover and top with almond halves or crushed macadamia nuts. Bake for one hour, test. Allow to cool at room temperature. Serve with Liqueur Cream.

Biscuit Crust

* 18 ginger or honey snap biscuits or eight Tbsp graham cracker crumbs
* 2 Tbsp (30 mL) unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Crush biscuits. Transfer to a bowl and stir in butter. Pat into a greased 20 cm (8 inch) pie dish. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool.

Liqueur Cream

1. 1/4 cup (312 mL) whipping cream
2. Tbsp (15 mL) honey
3. Tbsp (15 mL) Grand Marnier or Cointreau liqueur

Whip cream with honey and liqueur of your choice until thick.

Canadian Health Reform Products Ltd.

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By Christel Gursche

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