Things have been busy around here (or, as Kathleen would say, “wildly productive and living the dream“), but I wanted to pop in here to wish you a happy fall with this simple, satisfying, autumnal smoothie.
Last weekend we went upstate with friends for our annual apple picking trip. I left my camera at home so as not to pressure myself to document the experience, only to thoroughly document the event with my cell phone. Of course, we came home with a lot of apples, so I’ve been tucking them into every meal I can manage.
This apple pie smoothie is the way to keep my smoothie habit alive as we transition to cooler weather. It’s cold yet cozy, thanks to apple pie spices like cinnamon and nutmeg; it’s creamy yet vibrant, thanks to the marriage of soaked cashews and sweet-tart apple. I bumped up the nutritional value with maca powder, its maple-y flavor a wonderful complement to the dessert-themed snack.
Now, back to living the dream…
(PS – I’m sending out a newsletter tomorrow with another fall-inspired recipe. Sign up below if you’re not already on the list.)
Apple Pie Smoothie
1/4 c raw cashews
1 medium apple, quartered and cored
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp maca
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c water, plus more for soaking
handful of ice
Place the cashews in a small bowl and cover by an inch of water. Soak 4 hours or overnight.
Drain the water from the cashews and move the nuts to a blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend on high until smooth. Serve immediately.
Anyone who’s asked me about meal planning, how to put CSA produce to use, or otherwise discussed any topic in that realm knows I’m surprisingly enthusiastic about scrambled egg tacos. We eat them for dinner at least once a week, a welcome vessel for almost any vegetable. I adorned a recent rendition of our weeknight go-to with this corn and peach salsa. It’s simple and sweet, and, particularly because I opted to keep the corn raw, it’s fun to chew. Serve it with tortilla chips or gussy up your next taco night. Heck, call it a corn salad and eat it on its own.
Corn and Peach Salsa
2 ears of corn, stripped
2 peaches, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 serrano pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped
1 lime, juice and zest
1/4 tsp salt
In a large bowl, stir together all ingredients. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.
Whoa, this week. Between the heat and both kids being sick, I feel…heavy. Like I’m trying to do everything underwater, but, you know, really hot water. I catch myself daydreaming about our recent trip to VA and NC, where temperatures were probably pretty high, too, but we had the beach or pool to keep us cool and only fun things to tackle.
I’m also missing the awesome produce from my mother-in-law’s garden, particularly the eggplant. When we visit this time of year, we eat obscene amounts of eggplant – no meal is safe (I’m looking at you, breakfast). Grilled, roasted, sauteed, parmigiana’d…
We were sent home with a small bag of these precious beauties, both your standard dark purple and a magenta and white variety called Rosa Bianca. Rather than recreate one of our vacation experiences, I thought up a dip quite different from anything we’ve eaten recently. It’s inspired by this eggplant spaghetti with miso brown butter sauce, which haven’t had in over a year but still remember how deeply satisfying it was. This spread boasts those same nutty, salty, umami flavors but is versatile enough to use in any meal of the day, or even as a party appetizer.
We dug in the first night to this roasted eggplant dip with homemade brown butter pita chips, and then layered it with tomatoes and cucumbers for a pita pocket lunch the following day. For the third rendition, we re-made the pita pockets, added sauteed ground beef.
That last application was my favorite, but given the current weather conditions I’d probably just dip in cucumber rounds if I made it today.
Note: I put za’atar in both the dip and on the pita chips, but they’re both great without the extra nutty, herbaceousness. I’m just a little obsessed with this spice mixture.
Miso Brown Butter Eggplant Dip
2 medium eggplant
1 red onion, peeled and halved
3 garlic cloves, peeled
4 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp white miso
1/2 tbsp za’atar (optional)
Place an oven rack on the second-highest position and turn on the broiler. Place the eggplant and red onion (cut-side up) on a baking sheet and top the onion with a splash of olive oil. Place the garlic on a small piece of aluminum foil, cover with a olive oil, seal shut, and add to the baking sheet. Broil the vegetables until the eggplant skins are burnt and everything is tender, about 20 minutes, flipping the eggplant after 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the butter in a small saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, being whisking and continue cooking until it becomes light brown and smells nutty, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Peel the skins off the eggplant and remove the stem. Put the roasted eggplant, onion, and garlic in a blender or food processor. Add the brown butter (use a spatula to get all the browned solids), miso, and za’atar and process until smooth.
Brown Butter Pita Chips
4 tbsp unsalted butter
4 rounds of pitta bread, cut into 8 pieces each
1 tsp flaky salt
1 tsp za’atar (optional)
Preheat oven to to 375 degrees F. Heat the butter in a small saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, being whisking and continue cooking until it becomes light brown and smells nutty, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, toss the pita triangles with the brown butter to evenly coat. Spread on a large baking sheet and sprinkle with the salt and za’atar. Bake until crispy and just starting to brown, 7-9 minutes.