A while ago, I toyed around with using mung beans to create “falafels.” They came out great and the concept was super easy! Given my love for regular chickpea falafels, these were certainly a welcoming and delicious surprise.
I used that idea to create a more fall-friendly version. The result? Pumpkin mung-alafels! By incorporating pumpkin purée, you end up with these subtly sweet, pumpkin infused healthy beauties.
This recipe is vegan as well! The creamy dressing contains no dairy and is in my opinion better than any dairy-based dressing I’ve ever had . Thanks to avocado, you can replicate a vegan version of your favorite creamy dressing. In this case, the avocado was intentional as well in terms of the combination of flavors going on throughout the dish.
- Pumpkin Purée (16 oz)
- Sprouted Mung Beans (1 cup)
- Garbanzo Bean Flour (2 tbsp)
- Avocado (1)
- Lime (1/2)
- Honey (2 tsp)
- Brown Rice Vinegar (1 tbsp)
- Cumin (Pinch)
- Coriander (Pinch)
- Cinnamon (Pinch)
- Olive Oil
- Salt + Pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.
- Cook the mung beans, drain, and set aside.
- Cook and purée your pumpkin in advance OR look for organic pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie purée!).
- Place into a mixing bowl the pumpkin purée, cooked mung beans, garbanzo bean flour, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, olive oil, salt + pepper. Use a masher and mix until well combined.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Use two spoons to create bite-sized balls out of the pumpkin mixture and place onto the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet into the middle of your oven and cook until the outside looks crispy and browned (roughly 35 minutes).
- Meanwhile, place into a food processor or blender the avocado, lime juice, brown rice vinegar, honey, salt + pepper. Purée until smooth and creamy. Add a little water if needed (and to your preference) to thin out the dressing.
- When all components are done, place the pumpkin mung-alafels atop the bed of arugula. Add some chopped tomatoes, pour on the dressing, and enjoy!
WILD MUSHROOM + WILD RICE
This dish is a small play on risotto and is meant to showcase the beautiful, earthy wild mushrooms you’ll find well-stocked in the produce section this time of the year. Chanterelles are one of my favorite so you might find me persuading other customers foraging through mushrooms to go for this variety.
This dish isn’t as glutinous as risotto and doesn’t take nearly as much care on the cooking front. You’re all likely busy as I am this time of the year so standing in front of the stove to monitor a dish probably isn’t in the cards.
I went with black whole grain rice for two main reasons: a). its nuttiness complements the earthiness of mushrooms and b). its rich color helps the otherwise monochromatic mushrooms to ‘pop.’ You don’t want to mask the delicacy that mushrooms bring to your palate so a little white wine is all you need. I regret that I did not take a picture of the finished product, but I did remember to get a shot of the beautiful shrooms.
Basking in the afternoon sun:
- Wild Mushrooms (4 cups)
- Garlic (2)
- Shallot (2)
- Parsley (2 tbsp)
- Black Whole Grain Rice (2 cups)
- Dried Red Chile Pepper (1)
- Spaghettata Seasoning (1 tbsp)
- White Wine (1/4 cup)
- Olive Oil
- Parmesan Cheese (1/4 cup)
- Salt + Pepper
- Prep the rice according to package. I season the broth with a little olive oil, salt + pepper.
- Finely slice the garlic clove.
- Drizzle some oil into a pot over low heat and add the garlic.
- Finely slice up the shallot and add to the pot as well. Season with salt + pepper and let simmer.
- Finely chop up the parsley and dried red chile – add to the pot along with spaghettata seasoning.
- Wash and pat dry the mushrooms. Chop up any larger pieces so you’re working with equal-sized mushrooms.
- Raise the heat on the pot to medium and add the mushrooms. Let them sweat out a bit.
- Pour in the white wine and let it reduce, then lower the heat to a simmer. Taste and season as necessary.
- When your rice has cooked, transfer directly to the pot and stir well to combine.
- Grate in the Parmesan cheese and stir until the cheese has melted into the rice. Serve immediately.
THRICE ROASTED SPAGHETTI SQUASH
If there is ever a time to use that oven of yours – now is the perfect time. With fall squash aplenty, your oven is practically begging you to turn up the heat. (What, your oven doesn’t talk to you? Oh…)
Spaghetti squash is great when you’re in the mood for a lighter, “flakier” textured squash. The name is attributed to the spaghetti-like strands that result as you fork through the flesh. Spaghetti squash also holds up well in the oven and therefore makes a great stuffed squash. Why did I thrice-roast? On the first go, I roast the squash whole, allowing the flavors to circulate and acting as a tenderizer for the flesh. Roasting whole also makes it a lot easier to cut the hefty squash in half because, let’s be honest, my 5’1″ frame needs a little help in that department. The second roast exposes the flesh to the direct heat to thoroughly get the cooking process going. Third time’s a charm! With the squash stuffed to the brim with filling, the flavors will come together full circle and the cheese you add will melt into your dish.
[Side note: On cold evenings, I love that my favorite room in the house becomes the warmest, encouraging me to stick around even more so.]
While this recipe is catered to you vegetarians I recommend that you meat-eaters add some sausage or chicken. Regardless of which version you opt to make, you’ll walk away completely and utterly satisfyingly full (squash will do that to ya). Fill’er up!
Talk about comfort food – the cheese says it all:
- Spaghetti Squash (1)
- Yellow Onion (1)
- Zucchini Squash (1)
- Broccoli Rabe (1 bunch)
- Garlic Clove (1)
- Pomo Strained Tomatoes (12 oz)
- Red Wine (2-3 tbsp)
- Herbes de Provence (1 tbsp)
- Grana Padano Cheese (2 tbsp)
- Mozzarella Cheese (4 slices)
- Olive Oil
- Salt + Pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 F.
- Wash, dry and pierce the outer skin of the butternut squash using a fork. Place the whole squash on a baking sheet and pop into the oven for 55 minutes.
- Once the 55 minutes are up, remove from the oven and let cool slightly until you’re able to handle it.
- Cut the squash in half, lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
- Pierce the flesh of the squash, brush the flesh with olive oil, season with salt + pepper and pop the halves back into the oven.
- Meanwhile, create the filling. Start off by finely chopping up the garlic.
- Drizzle some oil into a pot over low heat and add the chopped garlic. Let the garlic simmer.
- Finely chop up the onion. Raise the heat on the pot to medium-low and add the onions.
- Chop up the broccoli rabe and add to the pot. Sauté with the onions.
- Cut the zucchini in half and scoop out some of the seeds. Slice each half – lengthwise – into half again, and chop up into 1/4-inch sized cubes. Add to the pot and sauté. Season with salt + pepper, toss in the Herbes de Provence.
- Raise the heat to medium. Pour in the red wine and let it reduce a bit. Then add the tomato sauce, stir and lower the heat to a simmer. Grate in some Grana Padano cheese and season with salt + pepper to taste.
- Remove the squash halves from the oven and fork out the about 3/4 of the flesh from each half. Add the squash strands directly to the pot and stir into the sauce.
- Fill each half with the filling you just created. Top with sliced mozzarella cheese and pop back into the oven for another 15 minutes (until the cheese is ooey-gooey melted).
- Remove from oven and serve immediately!