A Weekend of Fall Flavored Brilliance.

This weekend I had two brilliant food ideas that utilized more fall festive food items I had stocked in the kitchen.

One: Dinner Friday night.

As you may remember, my husband is kind of obsessed with parsnips. I had pumpkin on hand and had been wanting to use it in a savory dish…so, I guess you could say lightning struck my brain and it hit me…pumpkin parsnip puree. This was the whole dish:

pumpkin parsnip dinner

Coconut milk infused rice, topped with caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms and spinach, and of course the crowning glory – pumpkin parsnip puree.

A few people have asked me for a recipe, so I decided to blog it! Ok, so listen…I’m kind of the queen of just winging it in the kitchen when I am getting creative and don’t always measure; I eyeball and taste, eyeball and taste. BUT I have a pretty good idea of what I did here and did my very best with a recipe. It’s so yummy!

Ingredients:

For the rice:

approx. 1 Tbsp butter (I use organic earth balance buttery spread – coconut or canola oil would work too.)

2 cups dried brown rice

1 can lite coconut milk (full fat is fine if you desire or only have it on hand)

2 cups water

1 tsp salt

3 dried bay leaves

For the puree:

5-6 parsnips (I used one whole bag from Trader Joes.)

1 cup + 2 Tbsp plain pumpkin puree (Trader Joes organic is my fave.)

2 Tbsp plain non dairy milk

1/2 – 1 tsp sea salt (start with 1/2 tsp, you can always add more)

3-4 grinds of fresh ground black pepper

1/2 tsp dried thyme (pinch it between your fingers to release more flavor before adding it!)

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp maple syrup

For the veggies:

1/2 one large white onion, thinly sliced

8 oz package of white button mushrooms, sliced (baby bellas would work too)

2/3 of a 6 oz package of fresh baby spinach (about 3-4 cups I’d say) (frozen would work if you let it thaw completely then squeeze out extra liquid, then use 1.5-2 cups)

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/2 tsp salt

fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

First start the rice. Heat a medium sized pot over medium high heat and throw in the butter and rice. Stir it around to melt the butter and lightly toast the rice for 3-5 min. Add in the coconut milk, water, salt and bay leaf, cover and turn the heat up to high. Once its boiling turn the heat down to low until the water is absorbed. (Follow the cooking directions on the rice you have. If it calls for a higher ratio of liquid just add more water.)

While the rice is cooking add another medium sized pot to the stove filled half way with water. Add a pinch of salt, cover and turn the heat on high. Once the water is boiling add the peeled and diced parsnips. I let them boil for a few minutes then turn the heat down slightly to cook until they are fork tender (about 10 min or so).

While the rice and parsnips are cooking work on the veggies. Heat a cast iron skillet (or large skillet) over medium-medium high heat and pour in canola oil. Add the sliced onion and mushrooms to the skillet. You want the onions to caramelize and the mushrooms to brown a bit so do not add any salt yet. That will cause the veggies to release liquid and they won’t brown. So, give the onions and mushrooms a good 10 minutes or so until they get soft and get some color. Then add the garlic and the salt & pepper. If they seem to stick to the pan or the garlic starts to brown add a splash of water. Once the garlic has cooked for 30-60 seconds add the spinach and stir to incorporate. Let it cook until the spinach has wilted. Turn heat to low, drizzle with truffle oil, stir and let sit until ready to serve.

At this point your parsnips should be done, and your rice should be close to done, if not done. Drain parsnips and add them to a mixing bowl. Add the pumpkin and milk and mix with and electric mixer to combine and create a smooth mixer. Then, add remaining ingredients and mix again to combine. (A food processor would work great too, I may try that next time!)

When rice is done remove from heat, remove the bay leaves and fluff it with a fork.

To serve spoon some rice onto the plate, top with the veggies. I scooped the puree into a plastic baggy, snipped the end off and piped it around the rice and veggies! All of the components tasted so yummy on there own, but they were THE PERFECT combination for stacking bites. A little rice, a little veggies, a little puree. Serious perfection. The flavors went so well together!

Saturday morning is when brilliant idea #2 struck me: Coffee. I have been less than impressed with the coffee I bought on sale at the grocery store recently; so I thought, how could I jazz up the flavor of my coffee???

gb spice tea

Make use of this delightful seasonal gingerbread spice tea!!! I prepped my coffee maker to make a 4 cup pot of coffee, then cut open 2 of these tea bags and added it to the grounds, along with just a drop of vanilla extract. Honestly guys, the flavor rivaled that of any Starbucks seasonal beverage! SO good. It’s my new morning beverage addiction.

So there you have it. A weekend of fall flavored brilliance.

Coming up I am going to be posting about what vegans/vegetarians eat on Thanksgiving! It’s not all about the turkey! 😉 What are your favorite Thanksgiving recipes??

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