Red Curry Roasted Pumpkin and Fennel Quinoa Salad

Well, Thanksgiving is officially done and over (insert sad face) and everyone is already onto Christmas (ok, insert happy face). Self included. We decorated the entire house this weekend, inside and out. That said, it is still Autumn, people. Despite the gnarly winter storms that have already clobbered the east coast, we still have another three weeks of fall. I feel like poor fall always gets rushed. We want to hang onto the last bits of summer and then we rush into winter with the holidays. My point is, how quickly we discard all things pumpkin for gingerbread, egg nog, peppermints sticks and the like, the minute Thanksgiving is over.

Red Curry Roasted Pumpkin and Fennel Quinoa Salad

Many winter squashes and pumpkins are still in season and need our attention. Don’t leave them in your dust in favor of a Peppermint Mocha, quite yet. You can have your holiday yummies too, but just remember that pumpkins and other winter squashes are still in season. Need more convincing not to ditch these orange beauties just yet? Read this amazing History of Pumpkins from my friend Tori Avery for PBS Food.

Red Curry Roasted Pumpkin and Fennel Quinoa Salad

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RISE - Women's Yoga and Cooking Retreat - Holiday Flash Sale

I wanted to take a moment to let all of you know about an amazing holiday flash sale we are currently offering for our upcoming women’s cooking and yoga retreat, RISE. Rise is a 4-day women’s retreat I am co-hosting this coming spring, April 2015, in Northern California. The retreat features multiple daily yoga classes, guided meditation sessions, cooking demonstrations and workshops, writing workshops, hiking and so much more. All meals on the retreat are provided and the entire retreat will be 100% gluten-free, featuring food sourced from local organic farms. We are also able to accommodate vegans and vegetarians.

We are so excited to announce that for a very limited time, in honor of the holidays kicking off, we are running an exclusive flash sale. From now until Friday, December 5 (We have only a couple remaining discounted spots left, so we’ve decided to extend the sale until the last few spots have been spoken for), you can save 30% on any paid-in-full registration option for RISE! That means, our standard triple occupancy cabin rate of $999 is now just $699! Plus, save an additional 10% by using my exclusive coupon code for my readers, “TASTYYUMMIES”.

This radically reduced rate is being offered for this short time or until the limited number flash sale spots have been spoken for, whichever comes first. So, please don’t delay, they may go very quickly.

This is the lowest we can go on the registration costs, so this is a great time to that yourself. Plus, with these sale prices, this is a great time to purchase a spot for a loved one who has been considering joining us on the retreat. If you are purchasing the registration as a gift, please let us know via the comments at check out and we’ll  send you a gift certificate for the recipient.

Head over now to take advantage of this flash sale and register yourself for RISE.

The discount has already been applied to each of the full registration options, add the exclusive coupon code “TASTYYUMMIES” at checkout. 

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Roasted Butternut Squash, Apple and Leek Bread Stuffing with Collard Greens (Grain-free Option)

Roasted Butternut Squash, Apple and Leek Bread Stuffing with Collard Greens (Grain-free Option)

I am totally aware that I am coming in down to the wire with this recipe. Thanksgiving is just a few short days away and maybe some of you have had your menu’s planned for days or even weeks, but I am not quite that put together. I am serving dinner to somewhere between 7 and 10 people on Thursday and I am still working on what I plan to serve.

With my weekends being consumed by yoga teacher training and trying to maintain a social life amidst a busy work schedule plus making time for my own yoga practice and personal training sessions, life has been feeling a tad hectic, as of late. My saving grace has been our CSA boxes that get delivered every Wednesday. Most weeks I plan our meals based on what shows up in that box, so I always know that we will be eating healthy and well, no matter how busy life gets.

Roasted Butternut Squash, Apple and Leek Bread Stuffing with Collard Greens (Grain-free Option)

Roasted Butternut Squash, Apple and Leek Bread Stuffing with Collard Greens (Grain-free Option)

This stuffing was born on a day that a new CSA box showed up and I still had a couple things from the previous week’s box. So, it’s partially a recipe created with Thanksgiving in mind and partially and more simply, a fridge/pantry cleaning recipe. After getting some beautiful butternut squash, leeks and apples, plus some gorgeous collard greens, I was finding myself inspired to create a dish that used all of them.

This fun version of a classic bread stuffing is so easy to throw together and it is just full of so many incredible comforting flavors. The best part of this recipe is how versatile it is. You can use whatever your favorite bread is, try kale instead of collard greens and you could even add meat, if that’s your preference.

Roasted Butternut Squash, Apple and Leek Bread Stuffing with Collard Greens (Grain-free Option)

I created a super quick and easy to make grain-free bread to make this stuffing with, I kinda impressed myself with how simple it is to make and how perfectly it works in this recipe! What more could you ask for on a busy holiday?

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Roasted Beet and Persimmon Salad with Goat Cheese and Toasted Walnut Vinaigrette

First of all, I have to be honest and tell you that I really wanted to call this post “Ode to Persimmon”. If you can believe it, just a couple weeks ago, I finally tried a persimmon for the first time ever. Yup, to my knowledge, I had never had one until very recently. I haven’t been actively avoiding them, by any means, it just hadn’t happened. I mostly attribute it to growing up in Western New York, where they don’t seem to grow and aren’t as common. On the contrary they seem to be everywhere out here in California.

Roasted Beet and Persimmon Salad with Goat Cheese and Toasted Walnut Vinaigrette

For me, it was love at first bite. A persimmon is unlike anything I have ever tasted before. I honestly can’t compare their flavor or even their texture to anything else, they are a completely unique and beautiful creation. Their size and look seems more like something of the tomato family than any other fruit. The flesh is soft and creamy, similar to a peach or nectarine, but not as juicy. Something about the sweetness reminds me of dates, but I can’t put my finger on it. The skin of persimmons is edible.

Roasted Beet and Persimmon Salad with Goat Cheese and Toasted Walnut Vinaigrette

So far, I have enjoyed the persimmons I have been getting in my CSA boxes, raw, sliced or eaten like an apple, in smoothies and in salads. This particular salad has quickly become a favorite of mine. It has the earthy rustic flavor of the beets, with soft sweetness from the persimmons, the creamy, richness of the goat cheese in contrast plus the fresh and bright flavor of the micro-greens (ir a baby green if you so choose instead) and finished with the toasted nuttiness of the tart vinaigrette.

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