Autumn

Cranberry Cherry Cheesecake

cranberry
Here’s a lovely holiday dessert that you can serve in slices or individual ramekins.

This three-layer dessert has a date-nut crust, a ricotta cheesecake and a beautiful topping of red cranberries and cherries—all sweetened with low-glycemic date paste.

I think it would look even prettier with pomegranate arils sprinkled on top like sparkling rubies, but I didn’t think of that until after I took the photo.

Very delicious.

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Spiced Pickled Beets With Red Grapes and Pomegranate

Spiced Pickled Beets With Red Grapes and Pomegranate
 

The spiced pickled beets in this beautiful salad are made by fermentation, not vinegar. This way they are filled with natural probiotics that aid digestion.

It’s very easy. You just put all the ingredients in the jar and let it sit for three days and that’s it.

I’m going to give you a recipe for Spiced Pickled Beets. Then serve them in a bowl with sliced-in-half red grapes and pomegranate seeds on top. So good in so many ways.

I’m eating these almost every day for a mid-afternoon snack. I think a jar of these Spiced Pickled Beets would make a great holiday gift

 

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Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving day

 

I know it’s still two weeks until Thanksgiving, but really, aren’t you already thinking about what you are going to make? I am.

I’ve gathered up all my Thanksgiving recipes here for you. Take a look.

AMAZING ALMOND FLAXSEED QUICK BREAD – A great substitute for corn bread if you don’t eat corn.

BUTTERMILK CORNBREAD, CORNBREAD STUFFING, AND STUFFING SOUFFLE – This is the real thing, made gluten-free from 100% cornmeal.

THANKSGIVING GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE – This is that famous casserole, but made better from scratch.

BAKED SWEET POTATOES AND YAMS – No need for marshmallows on the yams.

THREE GLUTEN-FREE GRAVIES – Here are three different and all delicious ways to thicken your turkey gravy without wheat flour or cornstarch.

CARAMEL APPLE BREAD PUDDING – Here’s a wonderful change from pumpkin pie.

PUMPKIN PIE FOR EVERYONE – There’s no crust on this pie and no sugar, but it tastes sweet and everyone at your table should be able to eat it.

TWICE BAKED PUMPKIN – This is twist on twice-baked potatoes, where you roast the pumpkin, scoop it out, and bake it again with additions.

MY ROSS FAMILY MASHED POTATO SALAD – This is my favorite family recipe—mashed potatoes with potato salad ingredients added. Delicious!
 

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My Ross Family Mashed Potato Salad

mashed-potato-salad

 

Since Thanksgiving is coming up, I thought I would share with you my favorite Thanksgiving recipe.

This is my #1 favorite childhood family recipe. It’s mashed potatoes with ingredients you would add to potato salad: hard-boiled eggs, raw onions, fresh parsley, and vinegar. So it eats like mashed potatoes, but tastes like potato salad. I just looked this up online for the first time and I see there are other recipes for mashed potato salad that use mayonnaise and mustard and pickles, but my recipe is simpler. And it’s authentic to my family.

We only ate mashed potato salad twice a year: at Thanksgiving and Christmas. So as I share this with you, it is with fond memories and with love from my holiday table to yours.

I have made this so many times. This actually is my personal version. The version that was handed down to me was made with white onions and white vinegar, served at my great-aunt Ollie’s house in Saratoga, California. She lived in a beautiful house in a forest that she and her husband had built. It was all glass around the exterior so you could see the trees and deer, and had a big round fireplace in the middle with a big copper hood. And these potatoes were always on the table.

After my great-aunt died, holiday dinners were at my father’s house, but we still had mashed potato salad. His new wife wanted to use green onions and she and I would argue about how much vinegar to use. I, of course, thought it should be MY way because the potatoes were from MY family.

And even though i only make mashed potato salad twice a year, it connects me to my roots.

 

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Easy Plant-Based Fat-Free Mushroom Gravy

mushroom-gravy

 
Most gravies are made using meat or poultry stock and rely on the classic flour-and-fat method to thicken.

But lately I’ve been adding more plants to my diet and wanted to have the option of a plant-based gravy that still had the full flavor of a meal-based gravy.

So I played around with mushrooms last night and came up with something wonderful.

The combination of mushrooms, tamari and coconut aminos is delicious and the arrowroot thickens this gravy nicely without any fat at all.

It’s one of my new favorites.

 

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Lasagna Al Fresco

lasagna-al-fresco

I am a big fan of lasagna, but usually don’t eat grains, so am always happy to come up with a way to eat something that takes like lasagna but doesn’t have the noodles. And this one is a winner.

Larry was visiting from California to take care of me during my second eye surgery and we were considering what to make from the various foods we had collected when we went grocery shopping.

We started by cooking the whole box of organic baby spinach with onions, then topped it with a layer of ricotta cheese and a layer of pasta sauce and a layer of provolone and finished it off with sliced mushrooms. We baked it in the oven and it satisfied every craving for Italian/pizza/lasagna.

But it was even better the second night when we paired it with a huge salad with garlic dressing (that’s the “al fresco” part—fresco being Italian for dining outdoors. I am using the word loosely to mean “fresh” as in “from the fresh air outdoors.”)

Anyway we agreed that the lasagna paired perfectly with the green salad and can’t wait to make it again.

And if you love lasagna, try my Skillet Lasagna as well.

 

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Cinnamon Pecan Muffins

Cinnamon Pecan Muffins  

Today I did my first baking of the season with autumn flavors.

This muffin—made with the perfect mix of almond and coconut flour and sweetened with date paste—has a very cake-like texture that is very much like a wheat muffin. Topped with more date paste mixed with cinnamon and sprinkled with chopped pecans that toast a bit while baking, it’s just a bite of autumn in your mouth. So good I had to eat two.

This recipe makes 12 muffins, so i was wondering what to do with the rest. I would love to eat all of them, but not all in one day.

So I’m going to freeze them and take a few out next week when Larry comes from California to visit and help get the house ready for his move here to live with me. He loves apples, so I’m going to make apple crisp by crumbling these muffins on top and adding more pecans and a sprinkle of date sugar. I’ll serve it nice and warm from the oven and he will love it.

If you like bread pudding, it would be great made with these muffins as well. If you don’t eat the all first.

 

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Simple Shaker Lemon Pie

shaker-lemon-pie

I used to have a lemon tree in my backyard that would be sagging with the most delicious lemons every year about this time, so I was always looking for recipes for my lemons.

One year II found an interesting old Shaker recipe for a pie that has a custard filling using the whole lemon–peel and all. I remembered eating this pie years ago at the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Kentucky (see it on their menu). We stayed overnight at the Inn and had dinner in the restaurant. Ibought some measuring spoons made by hand from wood. This place is worth a visit.

The original pie is made by putting the filling between a bottom and top pastry crust. But I like eating the filling plain, with whipped cream. You could also spoon it over cake or ice cream.

It’s just a wonderful celebration of lemon!

The original called for white sugar, of course, but I made it with agave. You could substitute powdered unrefined cane sugar, maple syrup, or honey and the results should be the same. You can also add more sweetener if you want. I’ve used one quarter the amount of sweetener of the original recipe here.

If it looks like ingredients are missing, they’re not. This really is the recipe. And it makes a beautiful lemon custard.

Remember, Shakers are all about simplicity.

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Autumn Vegetable Saute

autumn_vegetable_saute

Xtrema Cookware

 

There’s really no recipe for this—it’s just organic carrots, celery, onions, parsnips, green beans and whole cloves of garlic—sautéed and simmered together in organic grass-fed butter.

But I was making this for myself for dinner tonight, and it looked so beautiful in the pan—especially with the purple carrots with orange centers—that I had to take a photo and share it with you.

They are selling organic rainbow carrots at my locally-owned natural food store here in Clearwater, Florida now, so they probably have them at your local natural food store too.

Food doesn’t have to be complex to be gorgeous and delicious and full of nutrients.

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