When I think of Fall, I think of cozy fires, a stack of my favorite books in my favorite nook, and the yummy fragrance of savory dishes baking in the oven. Over the years I’ve learned to appreciate the beauty to be found in each season and more recently, to cherish every moment. Fall is a great opportunity to get creative in the kitchen!
I love the challenge of creating yummy and healthy meals using products that are in season and are ethically and sustainably sourced. Fall veggies ring in a new season of goodness and are a great opportunity to learn more about where my food comes from. Are you making the right choices when it comes to what’s on your plate? I love hardy greens and kale is one of my favorites because it’s so versatile as both a salad base and cooked dishes. Unlike spinach, it holds up well for both cold and hot recipes.
Obviously, today’s recipe is centered on kale as the basis for my spicy kale dish favorite! My basic rule for ALL of my recipes is that every dish must have a full-bodied flavor profile and incorporate gut-friendly and anti-inflammatory properties. This is a huge issue for me as I have struggled off and on with digestive maladies and have fully dived into the benefits of using spices and other ingredients that promote gut health.
Squash is another Fall favorite of mine. For this dish, I’ve used butternut squash baked in the oven with a savory blend of fresh garlic and herbs to complete this vegan dish. If you have another favorite or preference, substitute it in place of the butternut squash.
What you will need for this recipe: (Approx. 45-50 mins to prep and cook)
1. Fresh organic kale (yes, people! quick and dirty rule: if you’re going to eat the skin /leaf (s), they need to be organic veggies to limit your exposure to harmful pesticides and herbicides).
2. Fresh butternut squash (conventional non-GMO or organic, depending on your preference and budget).
3. Fresh, fine-chopped garlic (equivalent to 3 tablespoons to one large butternut squash)
4. 2 tablespoons of thyme (fresh or dry; this will be enough to season both the squash and kale).
5. 2 tablespoons of finely chopped chives (organic fresh or dry).
6. 1 tablespoon of curry powder (African curry is what I use for all my Afro-fusion dishes).
7. 1 tablespoon of spicy paprika (this will be enough for both the kale and squash portions of the recipe).
8. 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric (to be used for cooking the kale portion of the dish)
9. 2 tablespoons of Braggs amino acid (to be split equally between the kale and squash portions).
10. 1/2 tablespoon of sea salt, equally portioned between the kale and squash (none of the stripped-down stuff!).
11. 1/2 teaspoon of allspice (equally portioned between the kale and squash).
12. 1 teaspoon of ground African crayfish (eliminate this ingredient if you’re allergic to shellfish or if you want the vegan alternative).
13. 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground nutmeg.
14. 1/4 cup of olive oil (this will be enough to prepare the kale and butternut squash).
Cooking instructions: Kale
This is a two-part dish with the kale cooked on the stove top and the butternut squash baked in the oven. It’s not complicated and only requires a bit of organization on your part. First, place a skillet on the stovetop over medium heat and add two tablespoons of olive oil to gradually warm up(using the two tablespoons of olive oil that was set aside for the kale portion of this recipe).
Next, add your spices and gently mix them together in the olive oil and allow the heat to release the aroma. Don’t allow the ingredients to burn, so you need to keep a close eye on this process at this point! Incorporate the chopped garlic and crayfish and allow the mixture to cook for 1 min. Finally, add both the chopped /shredded kale and the chopped chives to the mixture and sauteé for approximately 10-15 mins or until wilted and then set it aside while you continue prepping the other half of this dish(your greens should still be green and not overcooked!).
Cooking instructions: Butternut squash
First, set your oven to 375ºF, lightly coat your baking dish with 1 tablespoon of olive oil (set aside the second tablespoon of olive oil until you’re ready to season the butternut squash). Wash and peel the butternut squash and then cut it into small to medium sized cubes and then season with the spices you set aside for this half of the recipe. Next, top the squash with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil making sure that the squash is fully coated in both the olive oil and the spices. Finally, cover the pan with foil and bake for ten minutes on the top rack of the oven. After 10 minutes, remove the foil and place the baking pan on the middle oven rack and back for an additional 15 mins and once it has cooked remove the butternut squash (once it’s medium soft with a light brown tint, it’s done!).
Finally, allow the squash to cool for five minutes and then plate your creation! Bon appetite and help yourself to the freebies on this page!
P.s. if you’re still on the fence about how to break free into healthy habits CLICK HERE!
Freedom At The Crossroads Founder
Tonye Tariah, Holistic Health Strategist and founder of Freedom at The Crossroads Blog, helps free women from inaction and unhealthy habits so they can get fit, healthy, and live free. Her approach is “the cookie cutter method only works for cookies,” meaning she helps each person in a unique way helps them transform their lives from the inside out. She’s not about helping you lose weight quick. She’s about changing your habits and helping you fall in love with yourself so you can live a life with pure joy.