I’ve been buying extra corn on the cob every saturday at the market these past few weeks. Every time I fear it might be the last of it. Now that I’ve said it out loud I know it probably will be. It has been such a good season for it this year I’ll be sad to see it go, but I guess I should consider ourselves lucky it has even lasted this long. I sort of have a hard time letting go of summer. As much as I love fall, the cold weather always creeps up on me and I find myself biking to work in sandals on mornings when temperatures don’t quite match my sense of fashion.
It always takes me a week or two to get into a groove of fall cooking. It all just takes a little bit more thought and planning than summer meals that can be thrown together from the the fridge and garden. With fall comes a little more sautéeing, simmering, stirring and roasting. Some of my favorite meals are one pot wonder recipes that can be thrown on the heat after work and then simmer away until dinner time. I love delicata squash this time of year because it doesn’t require a cleaver to cut into and there is no need to peel it. I make a quick and delicious vegetable stock that is full of flavor by adding my own stock powder and a cob of corn. A pinch of turmeric powder brings out the yellow hues and in my mind makes you feel just a little warmer and brighter. A few simple steps to save time and boost flavor.
We’re headed to a thanksgiving potluck this weekend. I’ll be bringing a big salad with some roasted beets thrown in the mix, some sort of fall focaccia to nibble on before dinner and maybe even my favorite pumpkin pie. In the meantime, we’ll be eating delicata squash stew by the spoonful and crossing our fingers that there will be corn at the market tomorrow morning. Friends, food and something to look forward to – I hope this weekend brings the same to all of you too.
DELICATA SQUASH STEW WITH CHICKPEAS + QUINOA
Throughout the winter I always keep a jar of Elenore’s Mighty Vegetable Stock Powder in the fridge. It is a quick and easy way to add flavor to soups and stews without adding any undesirable ingredients. Another quick tip to getting a buttery, full flavor vegetable broth is adding in a cob of corn. That little cob will add so much flavor to broth based soups, so don’t throw it away. You can even stock them up in your freezer throughout the summer instead of tossing them in the compost!
Vegan and gluten free. Serves 4-6.
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 large leek, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic
2 small or one large delicata squash, seeds removed and skin still on, diced
1 cob of organic corn, kernels removed from cob and cob reserved (or about 1 cup frozen corn)
1 + 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
8 cups vegetable stock (or 8 cups water with 2 tablespoon mighty vegetable stock powder)
1/2 cup quinoa
3-4 stalks tuscan kale, stems removed and leaves thinly sliced
Sea salt and pepper to taste
What to do
Place quinoa in a small bowl and cover with water. Set aside.
Heat oil in a heavy bottom pot and add onions and leeks and sautée until soft. Don’t rush this step, this is where we develop flavor. Stir often to prevent burning, add a splash of water if the pot gets dry. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to season. Once soft and cooked down, after about 10 minutes, add in the minced garlic and stir. The add in the diced delicata squash, corn kernels, chickpeas and turmeric and stir to combine. Cook for a few minutes, stirring often, then add in stock, or water + stock powder and if you have a bare cob of corn, throw that in as well. Add enough water/stock to cover ingredients fully, in my case this was 8 cups. They quinoa will soak in some water as it cooks as well, so a little extra is ok.
Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium simmer. Cook until the squash is almost tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and rinse quinoa in cold water then add the quinoa to the pot. Cover once again and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes. Add in the kale 2 to 3 minutes before the end, I like it to be just wilted but feel free to cook it for longer. Continue simmering until all the flavors have melded together. Taste, adjust seasoning as needed. A good pinch of salt and some fresh cracked black pepper should do the trick.
Serve warm or reheat for quick meals throughout the week. The flavor only gets better.
Let me in on your kitchen creations – tag your photos #happyheartedkitchen and share the love!