That’s why turning the calendar to November is as good an excuse as any to cook more substantial meals and load your plate with winter vegetables and whole grains.
This isn’t about bulking up for winter, it’s about eating for the season and enjoying warming food that’s satisfying…
Of course it helps if your cold weather side dish recipes are a little healthy and get you eating your vegetables and whole grains.
Fine dining can be had at home, any night of the week.
We go through a good 50 pounds of buttercup squash each year and I have about a dozen ways that I like to prepare it.
Roasting wedges of squash is a particular favourite because it’s easy to prepare and looks pretty on a plate.
It’s especially delicious served alongside a hearty and flavourful pilaf of wild rice and hulled barley.
This pilaf is warming, seasoned with aromatic turmeric, cumin and coriander and tossed with currants and toasted almonds for added flavour and texture.
Wild rice and barley pilaf
(Adapted from my friend Kara’s wild rice & lentil salad recipe)
- 1 cup wild rice, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup hulled barley, farro or pot barley
- 1 cup minced red onion
- ½ cup parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup currants or dried cranberries
- ½ cup toasted slivered almonds or pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup vinegar (white wine vinegar or cider vinegar)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tsp. Grandma Fancy Molasses
- 1 tsp. coriander
- 1 tsp. cumin
- ½ tsp. turmeric
- ¼ tsp. cinnamon
- Combine wild rice in a pot with 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Cook until tender then drain.
- Combine barley with 3 cups water in a heavy pot. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until tender (but still chewy), about 40 minutes. Add more water during cooking, if necessary.
- Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl, whisk until combined.
- Add currants to dressing and let rest while you prepare the remaining salad ingredients.
- Toss cooked rice with barley and dressing.
- Fold in onion and parsley and sprinkle with almonds.
Roasted squash with molasses-cider glaze
- One buttercup squash cored and cut into 8 wedges
- Olive oil for brushing squash
- Sea salt & fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup cider or apple juice
- ¼ cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- Salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 F
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and brush with oil.
- Lay squash wedges cut side down and brush the top side with olive oil.
- Season with salt & pepper
- Roast for about 25 minutes, flipping half way through (time will vary so keep checking)
- While squash are roasting combine molasses and cider in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer , remove from heat and stir in butter.
- When squash are done, stand them up on their skin edge and drizzle with molasses-cider glaze.
- Plate and pass the leftover glaze for anyone who wants a little extra.
Oops, forgot the meat. Pair this dish with roasted pork tenderloin in a red currant glaze:
One more thing…
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Here’s to eating well, everyday,