Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Pancetta

I love recipes that look like the holiday they celebrate. Brussels sprouts and cranberries bring the green and red for a festive Christmas dish.

For this recipe I chose pancetta rather than bacon. Like bacon, pancetta is made from pork belly and cured but it is not smoked. There are lots of flavors happening in this dish and I didn’t want bacon overpowering it.

The fresh cranberries are quite tart so go ahead and add a bit more maple syrup if it’s too much for your palate. Dried cranberries work perfectly as a substitution, just toss them in after everything else has roasted.

Enjoy!

roasted brussels sprouts with cranberries & pancetta

roasted brussels sprouts with cranberries & pancetta

roasted brussels sprouts with cranberries & pancetta

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Pancetta
Serves 6
Roasted brussels sprouts with caramelized onions, pancetta, fresh rosemary and fresh cranberries.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups brussels sprouts - sliced in half
  2. 1 cup pancetta - cubed into small pieces
  3. 1 cup onions - thinly sliced
  4. 1 tbsp lard or coconut oil
  5. 1 tsp salt
  6. ½ cup fresh cranberries - sliced in half*
  7. 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  8. 1 tbsp maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Blanch the brussels sprouts for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, drain in a colander and run cold water over them.
  3. Melt the lard. In a large mixing bowl, toss brussels sprouts, pancetta, onion and cranberries with lard and salt.
  4. Divide everything among pans so that it is evenly spread out and touching the bottom of the pan. This will ensure that the brussels sprouts stay crispy.
  5. Roast for 20 minutes, tossing everything halfway through cooking.
  6. Discard rosemary sprigs. Stir in maple syrup and serve hot.
Notes
  1. *Substitute the fresh cranberries with dried. Just don’t roast them. Toss them with the vegetables after roasting.
Sparkle Kitchen http://sparklekitchen.com/
roasted brussels sprouts with cranberries & pancetta

Roasted Cauliflower Gratin – Dairy-Free/Paleo/Vegan

The November recipe for the Local Eats Project is here! I really thought there would be less variety to work with this month but I sure was wrong. The Northeast is still showing gorgeous colors at the farmers market. The unseasonably warm weather is helping things out too.

If you’re new to the Local Eats Project you can find all the rules to play along here.  But basically, once per month I’m making one meal made entirely from local foods.

With this project I always want to challenge myself to cook something I’ve never tried before. One, to stretch my creativity and two, to eat a larger variety of foods to support my microbiome. My digestive health improves and my brain stays stimulated as well. 

As I browsed the market, the oddly colored cauliflowers, orange and purple, sprung an idea: a cauliflower gratin to call back my Southern roots. I knew there was a way to make dairy-free cheese with butternut squash but I had not attempted it yet. No better time than now! I got to work and whipped up a casserole to make my mamma proud.

So what makes the cauliflower so colorful? Well it’s actually naturally occurring. The orange variety has more beta-carotene and the purple has the antioxidant anthocyanin, which is also found in red cabbage.

Here are the farmer market ingredients I took home:
2 heads cauliflower        $10.00    ($3.50 per lb)
2 butternut squash        $05.25    ($2.50 per lb)
1 medium onion             $02.15    ($3 per lb)
1 bulb garlic                    $00.10    ($10 per lb)

TOTAL $17.50 (to serve 6 people)

Everything else I purchased at my local food co-op.

Jacksons Honest Chips are used to make the crunchy topping. I choose these over other chips because they’re made with coconut oil. Most other chip brands use canola or safflower oil I’m not crazy about. You can most easily find them at Whole Foods.

I’d love to see your Local Eats Project recipes! Post the recipe, photos and cost of your meal on your website or any social media site and share the love of local food. #localeatsproject

Enjoy!


RESOURCES:

The Story Behind Orange Cauliflower
http://www.saveur.com/article/Kitchen/The-Story-Behind-Orange-Cauliflower

What’s the Deal with Purple and Orange Cauliflower?
http://www.thekitchn.com/look-purple-and-orange-cauliflower-ingredient-intelligence-33348

Roasted Cauliflower Gratin - Dairy-Free/Paleo/Vegan

Roasted Cauliflower Gratin - Dairy-Free/Paleo/VeganRoasted Cauliflower Gratin - Dairy-Free/Paleo/VeganRoasted Cauliflower Gratin - Dairy-Free/Paleo/Vegan 

Roasted Cauliflower Gratin - Dairy-Free/Paleo/Vegan
Serves 6
A creamy, dairy-free cauliflower gratin made with butternut squash "cheese" and nutritional yeast.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
55 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 cups cauliflower - chopped into bite-sized pieces
  2. 1 cup sweet onion - thinly sliced
  3. 3 tsp coconut oil - for roasting pan
  4. 1 bag (5 oz) Jackson’s Honest Sea Salt Potato Chips - for topping
  5. “CHEESE” SAUCE
  6. 2 cups butternut squash - cooked and pureed (canned butternut squash works too)
  7. 1 cup canned fullfat coconut milk - I use Native Forest Organic brand
1 tbsp arrowroot powder - for thickening
  8. 3 tsp lemon juice
  9. 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  10. 1 tbsp garlic - minced
  11. ¾ cup nutritional yeast
  12. 2 tsp smoked paprika
  13. 1 tsp salt
  14. 1 tsp black pepper
  15. ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 425F degrees.
  2. Toss the cauliflower and onions with coconut oil and salt. Spread evenly across a roasting pan and roast for 20 minutes, flipping them over halfway through.
  3. While the cauliflower and onions are roasting, make the sauce.
  4. Add the coconut milk and arrowroot to a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Begin whisking constantly as the mixture heats. Make sure there are no lumps.
  5. Turn off the heat. Pour the milk into a food processor and add in all sauce ingredients including the cooked butternut squash. Puree on high for 5 minutes.
  6. Pour 1 cup of sauce into the bottom of an 8½”x11” baking dish. Spread the cauliflower on top and then pour on the remaining sauce.
  7. Reduce oven temperature to 350F and bake for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and sprinkle the top with the chip crumbles.
  9. Turn oven to broil and cook for 8 minutes until chips are crunchy.
  10. Serve immediately so that the chips stay crunchy.
Sparkle Kitchen http://sparklekitchen.com/
Roasted Cauliflower Gratin - Dairy-Free/Paleo/VeganRoasted Cauliflower Gratin - Dairy-Free/Paleo/Vegan

Moroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn Squash

October is really an abundant time for seasonal food in the Northeast. Tomatoes and peaches are still hanging on in the beginning of the month and all the fall food is fully ripened too.

I walked through the market looking for inspiration. First the winter squash caught my eye. Acorn, butternut, spaghetti and then kabocha, that was a new one. I did a quick Google search and leaned it is super tough to cut into so I passed. Maybe next time.

The acorn squash looked friendly and some sort of stuffed squash sounded tasty. Then I saw the lamb and immediately thought Moroccan spices. Yes, that was it!

Here’s what I ended up buying:

3 acorn squash             $03.25   ($1 per lb)
2 lbs ground lamb       $28.00   ($14 per lb)
1 bunch chard               $05.00   ($5 per bag)
1 large onion                 $02.45   ($3 per lb)
2 hot peppers               $00.29   ($3 per lb)
2 bulbs garlic                $00.10   ($10 per lb)
12 ounces honey          $10.00   ($10 for 12 oz)

TOTAL $58.99 (to serve 6 people)


If the lamb filling gets a bit dry, add some broth. This will keep the squash moist and creamy too.

Enjoy!

Moroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn SquashMoroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn SquashMoroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn SquashMoroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn SquashMoroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn SquashMoroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn SquashMoroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn Squash

Moroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn Squash
Serves 6
Ground lamb with Moroccan spices, hot peppers and onions stuffed into a roasted acorn squash.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3 medium acorn squash
  2. 1 tbsp lard
  3. 1 cup onion - chopped
  4. 2 lbs ground lamb (or ground beef)
  5. 1 medium poblano pepper - seeded and chopped
  6. 1 small serano pepper - seeded and chopped
  7. 3 tbsp garlic - minced
  8. 3 cups chard - stems removed and roughly chopped
  9. 1 tsp honey
  10. optional topping - roasted walnuts
  11. SPICES
  12. 1 tsp ground coriander
  13. 1 tsp ground cumin
  14. 1 tsp sweet paprika
  15. 1 tsp salt
  16. ¼ tsp cinnamon
  17. ¼ tsp cloves
  18. ¼ tsp caraway seeds
  19. ¼ tsp black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Slice squash in half vertically. Use a spoon to scrap out the seeds and stringy bits and compost them. Place the squash face down on a high-rimmed baking pan and add ½ inch of water to the pan. Roast for 45 minutes until very tender. Test it by poking a fork into each half.
  3. While the squash roasts, make the filling. Combine all spices into a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Melt 1 tbsp lard in a large skillet over medium-high heat and sauté the onions for 3 minutes. Then add the peppers, sautéing for 2 more minutes. Add in the lamb, swiss chard, garlic, all dry spices and honey. Stir together to combine, making sure the spices are well incorporated. Cook for 5 minutes until lamb is thoroughly browned.
  5. Scoop the filling into each squash half until just over-filled and serve.
Notes
  1. Top with toasted walnuts for a bit of crunch.
Sparkle Kitchen http://sparklekitchen.com/

Moroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn SquashMoroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn SquashMoroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn Squash