In last month's blog we featured a warm bisque using fall vegetables including a golden nugget pumpkin, butternut squash, acorn squash and a sweet dumpling squash. Other ingredients used were golden apples and a seasonal bouquet of herbs. This month we'll continue turning fall harvests into delicious winter fare as we take a closer look at the Kabocha squash.
The Kabocha is a Japanese squash which they use in vegetable Tempura, in rice dishes, it's simmered in seasoned dashi broth, used for salads, soups, and it is used to make desserts. It is used similarly in the U.S., and is commonly used in the same manner as the squash, pumpkin, potato and melon varieties. It is a darker green pumpkin-shaped gourd with green and white stripes. It's sweeter than butternut squash and similar in taste to a butternut squash, pumpkin and sweet potato combined.
Autumn marks the onset of the harvest season and is a precursor to holiday traditions, feasts, religious observances and many family gatherings. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, food, festivals and décor are a big part of this tradition. The land is now yielding its fall harvests. The mood is gay with thanksgiving for the bounty of the earth, mixed with expressions of woe as winter approaches.
Children are settling into their school routines and it is a time of transition and continuous work. While most crops are harvested during the autumn, foods more commonly associated with the season include pumpkins and another in particular, apples. There are many varieties to sample. They are at their best this time of year! You’ll want to collect them, preserve and display them and share your recipes for the holidays.
We may have saved the best for last in this series, Yogurt Friendly Gardens. Some foods just pair well with yogurt - whether refrigerated cup varieties or frozen yogurts. We've shared a little more on how the cup yogurt varieties are used in cooking and baking, but frozen yogurt can be used in many interesting ways too, like in nutty, fruity, chocolaty frozen desserts, whipped toppings, frozen cocktails, dips, frozen treats, you name it. Just refrigerate or freeze when not in use, but there probably won't be many leftovers!
So first up this month is a Chilean Sea Bass which has a rich, buttery texture, and we're pairing it this time with a walnut yogurt and spices that will enhance this fish's delicate, sweet flavor. It is found in the cold, deep waters of the south Atlantic Ocean and has a very large increasing size. In this recipe it's marinated in nut yogurt overnight, with the addition of a ginger, garlic and citrus profile of flavors.
School's opening now and students in traditional programs are returning to the classroom, while others have been enrolled this summer in year round school. In this current series we're discovering yogurt friendly food options that can be used for breakfast, lunchbox and after school. So each Fall as parents continue to look for new and interesting meals, yogurt, whether refrigerated or frozen, is a favorite good food item.
This month at a local Fresh Foods market we found locally grown meats - poultry, beef, lamb and pork; home baked breads - wheat, sourdough, whole grains and pumpernickel- and in our own gardens vegetables that are sure to solve a few meal time dilemmas. These foods are compatible with yogurt, whether used for its tanginess in salads, meats, or in veggies; as a cream in dressings and sauces, or a spread on sandwiches, its versatile and delicious. We're putting a new twist on the BLT, chicken salad and hamburger with our Bacon Lettuce Cucumber Avocado, the Chicken Nugget Salad and a Caprese Burger, as grills are still hot throughout Labor Day and more than likely still heating up, until the first frost.
In keeping with our theme of all things yogurt, what foods would be more reminiscent of summer than sweet corn with a yogurt spread, crisp lettuce served with a cool, yogurt dip, or beefy tomatoes roasted and blended with yogurt for a refreshing dip filled with vitamins C, B6 and manganese. Not many right,but today they are being rivaled by a summer fruit that may not be generally known as a fruit, but is thought of as a vegetable. It is the heirloom squash whose flavors are very compatible with yogurt.
Squash is actually classified as a fruit, a berry with a thicker outer rind, and though it is known of as a vegetable, it is traditionally used in sweet desserts. Its flesh has a sweet flavor that is enhanced by yogurt's tanginess. Cooked squash have a softer texture that is easily blended with yogurt; and when roasted, squash have a nutty flavor that is enhanced by the tangy, tartness of yogurt.
One of the best things about this time of year is the abundance of fresh locally grown foods. Last summer some of the most popular blogs were on food, grilling in particular, and on gardens. We heard you loud and clear, and this season we're on the lookout for some fresh local produce and for Yogurt friendly gardens and foods. These foods are in keeping with our theme of all things Yogurt, and food flavors that are enhanced by Yogurt.
In our community we are lucky enough to find farmer’s markets, whole foods grocers, fresh foods and veggie stands, artisanal shops and an accommodating climate for home grown vegetables and herb gardens. In the Triangle this summer we're finding an array of foods which are indeed yogurt friendly, and very favorable conditions for healthy and thriving gardens.
In this edition of the Yogurt Fusion Blog we're grilling some recipes for spring! This week we're making a Grilled Chicken Tortilla Salad and we’re using the same ingredients to make a Grilled Chicken and Veggie Pizza.
These ingredients are probably in your pantry and fridge, and in these combinations can create two week night meals. The chicken is marinated in yogurt which adds a lot of moisture and flavour. While the grill is hot, cook as many of the ingredients on the grill as possible for wonderful barbeque flavour. The chicken and vegetables are grilled, as well as the tortillas and pizza dough. They are two easy and delicious meals. Enjoy these and share them with family and friends!
Two readers of the Yogurt Fusion blog (actually two of my best girlfriends) sent in their ideas this month for favorite holiday cuisine in response to the December blog. We're still waiting on the pics girls, but you've inspired this month's menu - Turkey Cheddar Sandwiches, Lemon Saffron Rice and Fruit Salad.
Thank you Mattilon and Yvonne for sharing what's cooking in your holiday kitchens! I bet the readers will enjoy these ideas and flavors as well. Our family had a taste and gave them two enthusiastic thumbs up! We loved your use of yogurt in the menus and the suggestions to serve before or after the holiday for breakfast or brunch. Versatility, convenience and utility are always a plus.
Are your skin and hair giving you the Winter blues? Try using Yogurt as a conditioner--plain, unflavored, unsweetened yogurt. Smoothe it onto your hair, your face, on your body, anywhere you can use a little extra moisturization. While it is important to make it a part of your diet, make it a part of your beauty routine too this winter and enjoy its healthy, soothing benefits.
The combination of cold weather, fireplaces and central heating combine to dry out the skin and hair. You can rehydrate with a few simple homemade remedies. Those who live in extreme temperatures are particularly effected with very cold winters, and at the other end of the spectrum unusually hot summers. They too have to take extra special care of their hair and skin. Yogurt can be used alone or in combination with other ingredients to nourish the hair and skin. Yogurt tastes good and is good for you, inside and out. And the bonus is that you can actually eat the left overs for good health!
Thanks so much to everyone who contributed this season and made our #Hurricane Sandy relief efforts a success!
A very special thank you to two moms who contributed greatly to our relief efforts, Michelle and Janet and the local boyscouts! Check out our newsletter this month for more information on these special families. A very special thank you to Holly Springs Baptist Church for coats, blankets and hand knitted sweaters, mittens and scarves. Your gifts for children from your special Christmas Tree were beautiful and the hand knitting was especially nice! We collected 6 huge boxes of clothing, coats, blankets, cleaning supplies, bedding, feminine, senior, baby supplies, LEDs and batteries throughout the community. They are all currently enroute to The Chelsea Foundation in NY, and other effected areas of NJ and NY. On behalf of those effected by Hurricane Sandy, your efforts are so very appreciated!!
Thanks for visiting the Yogurt Fusion blog. This month we’re pleased to have a guest blogger who will share some tips of simplifying Thanksgiving. Thank you Rachel for contributing an article that can be beneficial this time of year!
With the arrival of November, and December right around the corner, we’re currently preparing for the holiday hustle. It seems as though we were only just celebrating the newyear and before you know it the holiday season is approaching. Although Thanksgiving is the beginning of the annual holiday season, with millions jumping on the traditional bandwagon it’s not surprising that going anywhere near the shopping malls is like entering a war zone. Yet, it is unavoidable for millions of people. Fortunately, there are ways to make the holiday’s comings and goings, shopping, cleaning and baking easier and more enjoyable.
Thanks for visiting the Yogurt Fusion blog and Happy Fall!
In the last blog we took a closer look at Yogurt, featured recipes with yogurt and discussed how the good bacteria in yogurt communicates with the bacteria in our bodies. This time we'll look at some of the messages that are transmitted and how they are beneficial to good health. We'll also compare some of the products on the market today.