Winter Minestrone

Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage and Cranberries

1 medium butternut squash 
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided Sea salt and ground pepper 
2 medium onions
 2 tablespoons chopped sage 
4 tablespoons dried cranberries or cherries 

Directions Preheat oven to 375°F. Peel squash and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds from the center and discard. Cut squash into large chunks. Coat with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until well caramelized. Peel onions and cut into large chunks. Coat with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and spread on a second lined baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until well caramelized. When squash and onions are done, toss with sage and cranberries. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6

White Bean and Spinach Salad

3 cups cooked no-salt-added cannellini beans or October beans
(from 2 (15-ounce) cans beans, drained and
rinsed) or fresh shelled
1 small red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
4 cups tightly packed fresh spinach leaves (about
1/4 pound), tough stems removed
21/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
21/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

In a large mixing bowl combine beans and onion. Slice spinach into thin
ribbons and add to the beans.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar and Italian
seasoning. Pour dressing over the bean mixture and stir to combine all
ingredients. Serve immediately or chill until ready to use. Serves 6
Recipe courtesy of Whole Foods Market

Easy October Beans Recipe 

submitted by SparkPeople user DEBIROTH.
October Beans, 8 cups 
Bacon grease, 6 tsps 
Onions, raw, 0.5 cup, chopped 
Cumin, 1 tsp
Water to cover beans
Salt and pepper to taste 

 In bottom of pot put bacon grease and saute onions. Add beans, cumin, and water. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook on medium high for 60-80 minutes adding water as needed.  Makes 16 1/2-cup servings. Great with Cornbread!

Kale Chips

olive oil
sea salt or tamari

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Destem kale and chop it into 1-2 inch pieces. Put in bowl and coat lightly with olive oil and sea salt or tamari (soy sauce). Place on cookie sheet and bake for a 2-3 minutes, then flip leaves over and bake another couple of minutes until crispy, but not brown. (Keep an eye on it, since it can burn quickly!) 

Roasted Kohlrabi

Serves 4 (smallish servings since roasted vegetables shrink so much)
1 1/2 pounds fresh kohlrabi, ends trimmed, thick green skin sliced off with a knife, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic (garlic is optional, to my taste)
Good vinegar

Set oven to 450F. Toss the diced kohlrabi with olive oil, garlic and salt in a bowl. (The kohlrabi can be tossed with oil and seasonings right on the pan but uses more oil.) Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and put into oven (it needn't be fully preheated) and roast for 30 - 35 minutes, stirring every five minutes after about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with a good vinegar (probably at the table so the kohlrabi doesn't get squishy).

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

8 oz. tomatillos, husked and rinsed (appx. 5-6 med. Tomatillos)
Fresh hot green chiles to taste (appx. 2 serranos or 1 jalapeno), stemmed
5 or 6 sprigs fresh cilantro, stems removed, roughly chopped
Scant ¼ cup finely chopped white onion

Roast the tomatillos and chiles on a baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler, until darkly roasted, even blackened in spots, about 5 minutes. Flip them over and roast the other side- 4-5 minutes more will give you splotchy black and blistered tomatillos and chiles that are soft and cooked through. Cool, and then transfer everything to a blender, including all the delicious juice that has run out onto the baking sheet. Add the cilantro and ¼ cup water, blend to a coarse puree and scoop into a serving dish. Rinse the onion under cold water, and then shake to remove excess moisture. Stir into the salsa and season with salt, usually a generous ¼ teaspoon.

Strawberry Delight

1 graham cracker pie crust, crumbled
1 cup of milk
1 cup of sour cream
1 small box of instant vanilla pudding
2 quarts of fresh, ripe strawberries
Cool Whip

Combine graham cracker crust with milk, sour cream, and pudding package contents. Chill. Rinse and slice strawberries. Serve with pudding mixture and top with Cool Whip

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

¼ cup balsamic vinegar 
¼ cup cider vinegar 
2 tablespoons brown sugar 
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 
½ teaspoon ground cumin 
¼ teaspoon salt 
1 garlic glove, minced 
1 cup fresh corn 
1 cup chopped red bell pepper 
¾ cup chopped onion 
1/3 cup cilantro 
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained 

Bring first 7 ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Combine vinegar mixture, corn and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; cover and chill. Yield: 8 servings (1/2 cup servings). 

Japanese Eggplant

4-6 Japanese eggplant
Rock salt
Olive oil
Crushed garlic to taste
Chopped basil leaves
Wine vinegar

Slice eggplant in 1/4 inch slices. Arrange on towel and sprinkle with rock salt. Let sit about 1 hour or until beads of water form on surface. Dry well rubbing off salt. In a small amount of hot olive oil, quickly fry eggplant until browned. Drain well on paper towels. Place a layer of eggplant in a flat glass or ceramic casserole dish and sprinkle with crushed garlic, chopped basil and wine vinegar. Repeat until all eggplant is used. Refrigerate at least 4 hours. Serve cold or at room temperature.