Fall Veggie Burgers With Black Bean & Sweet Potato

The Spring Veggie Burger recipe is a fantastic staple for quick meals, and this seasonal reprise is a delicious variation.  It has a sweeter flavor combination with apples and sweet potatoes, and a great balance of proteins with black beans and pecans.  Serve on a freshly baked bun with fresh arugula, Basil Garlic Aioli, and Roasted Tomatoes & Peppers seasoned with chipotle chile pepper or smoked serrano pepper.

Ingredients: (Recipe for about 3 dozen burgers) About 4 cups cooked black beans, or three 15-oz cans (drained and rinsed) 1 cup dry wild rice or quinoa, cooked with Rapunzel vegetable bouillon until tender 3 bunches of greens (kale, collards, kohlrabi greens, etc.), stems trimmed, blanched and chopped finely 2 kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and diced small 1 bunch of radishes, trimmed and diced small A 3-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and grated 1 large, or two medium sweet potatoes, finely chopped About 2 cups of shiitake mushrooms, stems removed & finely chopped 1 apple, finely chopped 1 large sweet onion, finely chopped 12 medium cloves of garlic, peeled and minced or crushed 2 cups ground pecans 1 Tbs dried or fresh thyme 1 tsp ground allspice 1/2 tsp ground cloves Black or red pepper to taste 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs 1 cup whole wheat flour Juice from one lemon 2 farm fresh eggs 1/2 cup olive oil 1 Tbs sea salt

Method: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheets with oiled parchment paper. Add all ingredients to a large bowl in the order listed. (You can prepare some ahead of time if desired.) Combine well, then form into patties (or make balls, then press gently on the baking sheet until it forms a patty.)  Bake on oiled and lined baking sheets for about 30 minutes.  Let rest for 10 minutes before serving, or until cool before storing.  (The burgers will be quite crumbly when they first come out of the oven, but are firm enough to move once they have cooled.) Gently remove the burgers from the baking sheet with a spatula and place in freezer bags or containers, with parchment paper between each layer. Warm in a skillet, toaster oven, or microwave oven before serving.

Preparation suggestions: All of the vegetables can be chopped in a food processor, but I like to hand-dice the radishes and kohlrabi a little larger so the burgers have a little crunch and texture. For the sweet potatoes, mushrooms, apple, onion and garlic, however, it's easier to chop them finely in a food processor.  You can leave the skins on the sweet potatoes and apples, so no need to do any peeling beforehand.  If you tried the Spring Veggie Burger recipe earlier this year, you will notice that this one has a slightly different texture.  There is a lot of moisture in the fall veggies, so you have to make sure you don't salt the mixture too soon.  The salt will cause the vegetables to release their juices, so you may want to add it just before you begin to form the patties. Also, the parchment or waxed paper is essential. Since the sugars in the sweet potatoes and apples will caramelize while baking, and therefore stick to the pan if the parchment is not used.

Moroccan Spiced Butternut Squash & Red Lentil Soup


This soup is an absolute staple for fall.  I have had the most basic version of butternut squash soup, which is essentially boiled squash, onions and broth, pureed until smooth.  That soup is satisfying and delicious, But when you spice it up, toss in some fresh aromatics, and add some red lentils for protein, the whole thing goes to another level. This is a delicious, warm, and filling soup.


One large butternut squash
Moroccan spice blend (see below)
1 1/2 cups red lentils
3 leeks
3 cubes of Rapunzel vegan vegetable bouillon with sea salt and herbs
a 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated 1-2 stalks of fresh lemongrass (optional) Chop if tender, or leave whole and remove before pureeing if it's woody and tough
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 cups of diced tomato
1 bunch of fresh cilantro
Juice from 1-2 lemons
Moroccan Spices:
This is basically the same as the Ras-El-Hanout blend on Epicurious.com, with a few minor changes. Whisk together spices that are already ground, or use whole and grind in a clean coffee grinder or spice grinder. Keep in mind that you may need less of the spice blend if the spices are freshly ground. The Neo Masala Indian Spice Blend by Alchemy Spice is very similar to this one, and can be used as a substitute if you don't have time to blend your own. 1/2 tsp each of the following:
Sea salt
Black pepper
Turmeric 1/4 tsp each of the following:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel, seed and cut the butternut squash into cubes and place on a baking sheet. Toss with some oil and sprinkle some of the Moroccan spices over the cubes and roast in the oven until the tips begin to turn dark brown.
Meanwhile, trim the green parts from the leeks and chop the tender white parts. Place in a large stock pot with some oil. Saute on medium-high heat until tender. Add the lemongrass, garlic, ginger, stock cubes, lentils, and 2 tablespoons of the spice blend. Stir until combined, then add 8-10 cups of water. Stir occasionally. Allow to boil a few minutes, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are very tender. When the lentils are cooked completely, add the cooked butternut squash. Remove from heat and let cool enough to puree safely. Remove the lemongrass stalks if they are whole. Either with an immersion blender or standard blender, puree the soup until smooth.
After the soup is pureed, warm through on low heat. Stir in the diced tomato, chopped cilantro and lemon juice. Add water if too thick. Season with more salt or spices to taste.

Hearty Homemade Pot Stickers


I should preface this post with saying that I'm not a professional pot sticker-maker.  Actually, this was my first time.  I was staring at a bag of frozen pot stickers from Costco, and looking at my bag of freshly milled flour from Sonrisa Farm, and thought to myself, "I could do this...and I bet it would be better because it's fresh, whole-wheat, and full of local goodies." So I gave it a whirl.  I was surprised at how easy it is to make homemade pot stickers, and in case I miss the convenience of pulling them out of the freezer for a quick meal: This recipe made enough for filling our bellies and the freezer.

Filling: 1 lb ground pork, chicken, or pressed tofu 1 head of napa cabbage 1 bunch green onions, chopped 1-2 tbs grated fresh ginger 6 garlic cloves, minced 1 Tbs toasted sesame oil 1 Tbs soy sauce 1 Tbs Mirin (or can use honey and rice vinegar) 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

Dough: 1 lb (3 cups) Sonrisa Farm stone ground whole wheat flour 1 tsp salt (optional) 1 cup warm water

Sauce: 1 recipe for Teriyaki Marinade and Stir Fry Sauce (or make a simple dipping sauce with rice vinegar, honey, soy sauce and garlic)

Method: Wash and thinly slice the napa cabbage.  Place in a bowl and salt generously to draw out the moisture.  Let stand for about 15 minutes. When the cabbage has wilted, squeeze out the moisture (you can use your hands or wrap it in cheesecloth or strong paper towels).  Place the cabbage in a large bowl with the ground meat or tofu and the remaining ingredients.  Mix well with your hands so the ingredients are thoroughly combined.  If you want to test the mixture for flavor balance beforehand (which I recommend, because the strength of your ginger and garlic can vary), cook a spoonful of the mixture in oil or water for about 5 minutes.  Adjust seasonings to the filling as necessary. Cover and refrigerate until the dough is ready.

To prepare the dough, mix the salt into the flour and slowly add the warm water while stirring with a fork.  When the ingredients are combined the dough will feel quite firm (harder than a pizza dough, softer than pasta dough).  Let rest for 10 minutes.  Then begin to knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or until the texture is uniform.  Pinch off one-inch cube pieces of dough (or less if you want smaller pot stickers), roll into a firm ball and set aside until you have portioned out all of the dough.  With a rolling pin, flatten and turn the dough until you have made a circle a bit larger than the palm of your hand.  It may stick to your rolling pin a bit, but should peel off easily.  You can use a little flour for dusting the board and pin, but be careful to not use too much or the pot stickers may not seal easily.  If you have someone to help with the filling and sealing, the process can go quite quickly.

Put a spoon or two of the filling in the center of the disc of dough and stretch the dough around the filling and pinch the sides together across the top.  Place the pot stickers in a heated, well-oiled, non-stick skillet with enough water to cover the bottoms of the pot stickers by about 1/3.  Cover with a lid and steam for 15 minutes. Serve with Teriyaki sauce or a simple dipping sauce.  If you want to freeze extras, place the uncooked pot stickers on a baking sheet covered with waxed or parchment paper and freeze.  Once frozen, place in a freezer-proof bag or container.  Cook as directed above.

Basil & Peach Gelato (Vegan)


I have nothing against cows or the milk they produce, especially milk from those happy grass-fed cows.  But 30% of the world can't digest milk products, and millions more choose not to eat animal-related foods.  That's a lot of people who don't really enjoy ice-cream.  And even for the 70% who do, this coconut-based gelato is phenomenally good. I would love to say I made this up in my kitchen, but the credit goes to CSA member Oriel Wiggins, who scooped out a bowl and handed it to me. She smiled wickedly, as she knew I would want the recipe...and want to share it with the world. It would be immoral to keep her recipe, and this goodness, hidden from the basil-loving, peach-loving, ice-cream-loving population of this great earth.  Don't worry if you don't have an ice-cream maker, David Lebovitz will tell you how to make it by hand in your freezer.

Ingredients: 2 cans unsweetened first-pressed coconut milk, chilled 1/2 cup local raw honey 2 locally grown ripe peaches, pitted 15 to 25 large basil leaves 1 tsp vanilla dash salt

Method:  Put all ingredients in the blender and blend thoroughly. Taste and adjust sweetness to your preference.  You may also add more basil to taste. (note: sweetness and flavors are subdued when frozen so take that into consideration when tasting the mixture) Freeze in an ice cream freezer according to manufacturers instructions, or click here to follow the David Lebovitz instructions for making it without an ice-cream maker.

Red Pepper and Peach Chutney


I'm amazed at how one can take three or four common vegetables around the world and end up with thousands of different dishes.  Looking at the box of sweet and hot peppers this week, I was certain that they would end up as a red pepper salsa. Somehow I ended up diverting to the southeast a bit...all the way to the southeast of Asia, as a matter of fact.  I was searching through my collection of dried spices and found a packet of black kokum.  I found these little dried fruits at a spice market in Boston, but they may be available at a local Indian grocery upon request.  The sweet and sour smell of kokum, which happened to be right next to a few other aromatic Indian spices, was enough to convince me to boil up a tasty chutney. One thing led to another, and by dinner time I had Minty Potatoes and Squash, Tandoori Chicken, and Cucumber Raita to go with my chutney. If you want to pair it with other meats or vegetables, however, this red pepper chutney will easily add a delicious sweet and spicy kick to many other foods.

Ingredients: 4 sweet bell peppers 1-3 fresh red chili peppers, depending on how much heat you like 1 large peach 1 medium yellow onion 4-6 garlic cloves Juice from one lime 3 Tbs good apple cider vinegar 1 Tbs blackstrap molasses 2 Tbs local honey 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp each of ground cloves, cardamom, coriander 1/4 tsp whole cumin seed 1 tsp paprika 1 cinnamon stick 1 dried black kokum (optional), or substitute 1 tsp tamarind paste

Method: Blanch the peach in boiling water, then dunk in a bowl of ice water and remove the skin and stone.  The texture of the chutney is softer if the skins of the peppers are removed. There are several ways to do this, but the first step is to remove the stem and seeds. Next, the skin needs to blister, either under a broiler, in a hot skillet, or on the grill.  I used the toaster oven on a broil setting and it worked well.  Before you peel the skins, let the peppers sweat in a covered bowl for at least 10 minutes, and they should slip right off.  There is a great tutorial with photos on theKitchn if you would like more detail on how to peel roasted peppers.  The red chili peppers are quite hot, so you may want to take care in removing their skins, or leave them on if you don't mind the texture.

Dice the peach, onion, roasted peppers, chili peppers (with seeds if you want more heat), and garlic.  Add to a medium saucepan with the remaining ingredients and simmer with a lid.  Stir occasionally, and cook for at least one hour, or until the chutney caramelizes to your preferred texture and sweetness.  Serve warm or cold.  Refrigerate extras, or seal in jars with a water-bath or pressure caner.