For the Love of Fall

Let's cut right to the chase:

Fall. Cucurbits. Beans. Herbs. Period.

Two recipes to follow...

But first,

keep dry beans handy in your cuboard, and visit any neighborhood farm stand to buy a dozen squash for a greatly reduced price!

Thank you local farmers!!!

Step 1: At least one day in advance, rehydrate and cook one pound of beans (I use black-eyed peas in these recipes) and roast three winter squash (I use spaghetti squash, buttercup, and mexican hat).

To rehydrate the beans (peas): first rinse under water, then let beans soak in a pot of water (water to equal twice the volume of the beans) for 24 hours (or at least 12 hours). Rinse again, add fresh water, and cook: bring to a boil, then simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the beans are tender. Once beans are cooked, if you have left over cook water, reserve this for use in the following recipes and/or to make a soup stock!

To cook the squash: cut in half lenght-wise (from stem to bottom), scoop out the seeds (if you want to roast the seeds, place those on a small baking sheet and bake at the same time as the squash), then place the squash, insides down, a baking dish/ casserole dish; add about 1/4" water to the baking dish. Place in oven and bake for 30-40 minutes.

The beans and squash will keep, cooked, in the refrigerator for severals days. So you can cook these well in advance of making the following recipes, if you want!

Spaghetti Squash and Black-Eyed Pea Pasta

Ingredients

The Spaghetti:

1 smallish spaghetti squash, cooked and scooped from the skin

2 fat cloves garlic, minced or sliced

cooking oil (I use pure olive oil)

about 2 cups cooked black-eyed peas

2 Tbsp dry basil

2 Tbsp dry parsley

1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (an excellent non-dairy topping that tastes like parmesan!)

sea salt and black pepper to taste

1 splash white balsamic vinegar

The Sauce:

1/4 red onion, sliced or diced

1 Tbsp cooking oil (I use pur olive oli)

1 fat clove garlic, minced

1 15-ounce can crushed tomates (or use your own fresh stewing tomatoes)

1 tsp crushed red pepper

1 Tbsp dry basil

1 dash dry marjoram

1 tsp cinnamon

What To Do:

1. In large pot, combine combine all Spaghetti ingredients over low heat. Stir to combine completely. Remove from heat.

2. Make the sauce: in a sauce pan over low-medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook for two minutes. Add all other ingredients, bring to a simmer, then simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Serve one heaping scoop of spaghetti in a bowl and top with a generous portion of sauce.

Squash Soup feat. Buttercup and Mexican Hat

Ingredients

1/2 buttercup squash, cooked, leave skin on!

1/2 mexican hat squash, cooked and scooped from the skin

1/2 red onion, sliced

1 local seasonal apple (I'm not sure what variety I used...it was from a tree in a friend's yard...it was tart with a very mild sweetness), cored and sliced

1 Tbsp cooking oil (I use pure olive oil)

8 ounces full-fat coconut milk (I buy a 15-ounce can, and reserve the rest in a jar in the fridge for later)

1/2 cup water, or the reserved cooking water from the black-eyed peas

1 generous tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cumin

sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: 2 cups cooked black-eyed peas for roasting and topping your soup