Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Essence of Fall - Harvest Grains Full of Thanksgiving Flavor




Early the other morning I awoke with a massive Thanksgiving craving. I am literally counting down the days until I get all the flavors of the day of giving thanks in my mouth.  That being said, it would be terribly irresponsible of me to spend my hours cooking up a Thanksgiving feast for two, two weeks early. Irresponsible is a gross understatement. I tried to sink back in to my slumber, only to be tortured by dreams of dancing turkeys, candied sweet potatoes, luscious cranberries and the such. Action had to be taken. In my half conscious state, I began obsessing over a healthy, smaller scale Thanksgiving dinner alternative. I was also lucky enough to have a big box of farm produce packed full of inspiration sitting in the kitchen. Below is the result, and it might just hold me over for the next 16 days. 




Thanksgiving Dinner Adaptation

8 oz of Trader Joe's Harvest Grain Blend
½ cup of wild rice
3 cups of Turkey broth
1 cup of white wine
2 very small sweet potatoes, cubed
½ acorn squash
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
6 oz of dried cranberries
1 chopped brown onion
6 oz of cooked, peeled chestnuts
1 tablespoon of orange zest
½ tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary
1 bundle of kale – red spines removed and torn into large pieces
Salt


Wash the grains and wild rice a sieve to clean. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill a medium saucepan with 2 cups of turkey broth, heat on medium heat, add wild rice, bring to a simmer, lower heat and cover for 45 minutes. Cut acorn squash in half, clean out the seeds, drizzle with olive oil sprinkle with half of brown sugar and cinnamon. Cube the  sweet potatoes, lay in a foil lined baking dish and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with remaining brown sugar and cinnamon, add the acorn squash to the dish, place in the oven and roast until tender, about 25 minutes. In a large saucepan pour in remaining 1 cup of turkey broth, white wine and the harvest blend over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, cover, turn heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the cranberries and onion to the harvest blend, cover so the cranberries can plump and onion can cook, set aside. Remove potatoes and squash, set aside to cool then cut into chunks. Fill a large pot with water, heat on high until it boils, add the kale, cover and cook 3 minutes. Drain. Add the wild rice, squash, sweet potatoes, chestnuts, orange zest and rosemary to the harvest blend, stir gently to mix, heat to desired temperature, salt to taste. Serve on top of kale.

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