Saturday, September 25, 2010

grilled butternut squash

Fall was definitely in the air this morning after a rather long, Indian summer. Cool temperatures, strikingly blue skies, the perfect morning for a hike with my daughter at Ute Valley Park, just around the corner from our house.
And a perfect day for grilling. It gave me a chance to experiment with a recipe from a new friend who cooks exclusively vegetarian. Grilled butternut squash, with peppers and onions, topped with feta cheese and almonds and served on fresh spinach leaves.

1 butternut squash, peeled
1/2 red pepper,
1/2 orange pepper,
1 small yellow onion
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
 sea salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup nuts (you might use walnuts or pistachios instead of almonds)
6 oz. fresh spinache leaves
Slice the squash into 1/4" rounds, scooping out any seeds with a spoon. Place in a bowl with 1 T. olive oil and toss with salt and pepper. Slice peppers and onions lengthwise (any combination of vegetables might be used: e.g. zucchini and eggplant).  Toss in a large bowl with 1 T. olive oil and minced garlic and season with salt and pepper. Grill the squash on a medium hot grill. I use a vegetable grilling pan, but you could place the squash directly on the grill racks. Sear about 3-5 minutes per side. Place the squash on a plate and grill the peppers and onion/stir fry if you have the vegetable grill pan a few minutes till hot yet still crunchy. Add the squash briefly to heat.  (All the vegetables might be stir fried in a skillet on a stove top too).

Place the spinach leaves on a large serving platter, and add the vegetables, feta cheese, and chopped nuts. Perfect colors for a beautiful fall day!

Here's another gluten free dish I prepared last week.  The pizza dough was adapted from gluten free day, a lovely blog full of delicious recipes.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

best of times...

I love having my daughters and son(in-law) so close by. I love that they love hanging out together. Though I missed their apple picking outing this year, my youngest captured these lovely pictures.


Then she made this yummy pie...

and the oldest made this amazing strawberry rhubarb, her specialty. It's been pie heaven around here lately! (see her fun post of their pie making adventures)

and finally a Banana Walnut Quinoa Bread --my launch into gluten free baking.

Combine dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl: 
1 1/4 cup Quinoa flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda 
1 t. cinnamon
 pinch of nutmeg,
 pinch of salt 
Combine wet ingredients in another bowl:
2-3 mashed ripe bananas
2 eggs
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup raw honey
Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just moistened. Fold in:
1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped walnuts 

Spray loaf pan with Organic Canola and bake at 400 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes. Enjoy warm from the oven...the quinoa adds a sweet, nutty flavor to the bread.

Friday, September 3, 2010

where the lines blur

The first day of school with my students ended with a phone call as I was driving home. One of those calls that "takes your breath away". These first few weeks have been spent wondering and worrying about what's next for me, for my family?

That day I had asked the juniors to think about perspectives, not just their own but especially the Other. I asked them to spend several quiet minutes looking at Escher prints which I have on the wall around the room and one mural that a student created last year from one of his pieces. Here are some of their thoughts written on white boards next to the art:

the orb acts as a "looking glass" distorting the world in its own bias...

we can only see the outside, but you can't really tell what he is thinking/feeling or how he sees himself in the ball.

he sees himself as the center, distorted and larger than anything else

the transformation of ideas...

morphing of a story

change begins where the lines blur

They remind me. They have always reminded me. It's why I love teaching, even when it's exhausting, when life is exhausting.
myopia is a lonely place.
living in the blur often means change is coming
and maybe it's the type that grows wings...