Week 20: Moutoux Meals
We read about and hear the headlines regarding the numerous links between our health and our food. The gut-brain axis; link between fast food and depression; food insecurity raises risk for diabetes; etc. A new study published last week examines the link between our dietary habits related to food packaging and chemical exposure. Although the results of the study aren't all that surprising, it concludes food prepared and eaten at home reduces our exposure to food-contact materials (aka packaging) and therefore reduces our exposure to common industrial and consumer product chemicals, specifically per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) (https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/10.1289/EHP4092). Lets start Week 20 being extra thankful that our Moutoux food reduces our exposure to those nasty chemicals!
On that note, it is always fun to try and make meals using 100% Moutoux ingredients. Whether it be the easy and lifesaving meat + veggie side type meals or more complex dishes, take on the challenge and see how well you do! The secret is to swap for things you don't have with things you do, or leave things out if you can't find a good sub. Spices, oils, citrus, rice, etc. aren't grown around here so don't stress over those types of things. No one is grading you, go have fun!
SAUSAGE STUFFED ACORN SQUASH
2 acorn squash, cut half lengthwise and seeds/strings scooped out
1 pack of pork sausage, casings removed
1 large onion, sliced thin
3 TBSP + 2 tsp cooking oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups fresh bok choy, roughly chopped
1 medium-large apple or pear (optional)
1 tsp dried rosemary (or 1 TBSP fresh), chopped
3/4 tsp dried thyme (or 2 tsp fresh), chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Place the 4 acorn squash halves (seeds removed) open-side down on the baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for about 20-30 minutes, or until the top of your squash feels tender when gently pressed. You can always check them and continue to roast a few more minutes if they aren't tender enough. Set aside after removing from oven.
While the squash roasts, make the filling. Begin by caramelizing the onions (this process takes a good 20-25 minutes to really bring the flavor out!)
In a medium skillet, heat the oil over low heat and add all the onions, stirring to coat. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and cook over low heat, stirring every 5 minutes ago to prevent burning. Once onions have been cooking for about 25 minutes and are deep golden brown, remove from heat and set aside.
While the squash roasts and the onions cook, heat a large saucepan over medium low heat and add the remaining 2 tsp cooking fat to melt. Add the garlic and cook until just tender, then add all the sausage and increase the heat to medium.
Cook the sausage and stir to break up lumps, about 5-8 minutes until just browned. Add the apple/pear (optional) and herbs and continue to cook, stirring until the apples soften. Add the bok choy and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the bok choy wilts.
Add the caramelized onions to the sausage mixture, leaving excess cooking fat in the pan. Preheat your broiler, then fill all 4 halves of the squash with the stuffing mixture (you may have leftover depending on how big your squash was)
Arrange the squash on the baking sheet, stuffing side up, and put under the broiler for 5-10 minutes until the tops get nice and toasty, checking often to prevent burning. Once nice and browned, remove from oven, allow to cool a bit and then serve warm. Enjoy!
Notes: Be creative with this, you can basically stuff an acorn squash with anything you saute up.
CREAMY CARROT SOUP
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
1/2 large fennel bulb, chopped
5 medium carrots, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups whole milk
Place large pot over medium heat.
Once hot, add olive oil, onion, fennel, carrots and rosemary. Cook for 5 minutes minutes, stirring occasionally until onions are softened slightly.
Add salt and pepper to taste, beans and broth. Stir to combine, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered for about 20-30 minutes until carrots are fork tender.
Puree mixture in batches using a regular blender or an immersion blender (off the heat).
Pour the soup back into the pot and add the milk. Stir to combine and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
Ladle into bowls, garnish with fennel fronds and serve with toasted bread of choice.
SWEET POTATO PANCAKE STACK
1 cup flour (barley, whole wheat, rye, and buckwheat all work well here)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter or oil
1 cup sweet potato, cooked and mashed
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat and lightly coat with butter or oil.
Pour about 1 tablespoon of the pancake mixture onto the griddle, making as many pancakes as will fit and cook for 2 minutes.
Flip the pancakes and cook for one minute longer.
Notes: Local Purcellville maple syrup from Vale of the Blue Ridge Maple Farm is available in the barn!
Homemade garlic powder. Peeling garlic stinks, but you will be happy all year long that you did. https://growagoodlife.com/homemade-garlic-powder/