Hippie Harvest Salad

1 butternut squash, halved “hotdog style”
3 sweet potatoes, peeled diced
1 Walla Walla (or other sweet yellow) onion, chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
1 bunch kale, veins removed, chopped into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup white quinoa and 3/4 cup red quinoa (dry measurement)
3/4 cup low sodium vegetable broth
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup roasted hazelnuts, chopped
1 chunk of semi-hard (slightly aged) sheep’s milk cheese, thinly sliced, then cut into bite-sized pieces

Dressing: juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon stone ground mustard, 2 cloves pressed garlic, 3 tablespoons hazelnut oil, eyeball EVOO, salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400.

Add water and veggie broth to a medium sized pot with a fitted lid, and bring to a boil.

While you wait for the above liquids to heat up, dump both the red and white quinoa into a large frying pan over medium heat. Stir frequently to toast evenly. As soon as a few white grains appear toasted (and you’ll smell a nice warm nutty scent) transfer quinoa to the broth-water mixture. Stir well and cover with lid, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the liquids have been absorbed. Remove lid, fluff cooked quinoa with a fork, remove from heat, and set aside for later.

While quinoa is cooking, take the halved butternut squash, drizzle with EVOO, season with S&P, and place face-up on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes. Take out and set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove skin, chop up, and place finished squash in a mixing bowl.

Make dressing by whisking all ingredients together.

Carefully rinse and dry kale before chopping. Place in very large serving bowl and add dressing, tossing to coat evenly. Let sit/marinate while you finish the veggies, this will soften the kale a bit and make the nutrients more available.

Add sweet potatoes, onion and apple to the same parchment-lined baking sheet as above, toss with olive oil, and bake about 25 minutes. When potatoes are soft with slightly crispy/wrinkly edges, remove from oven and add to the bowl with the squash. Season the lot liberally with sea salt and toss to combine.

Add all veggies to the serving bowl of dressed kale. Add however much quinoa looks good to you. Add the sliced cheese to that, and top it off with the hazelnuts. Toss gently to combine and enjoy!

This makes surprisingly good leftovers and would be a great make-ahead potluck contribution.

Locavore Note: butternut squash, potatoes, kale, onion, apple, hazelnuts, garlic, and sheep’s milk cheese can all be easily sourced from PNW farmers in early fall. Olive oil, S&P, quinoa, mustard, lemon are always imports.


My thoughts after the VP debate that really have nothing to do with either candidate or anything they said…

I’m not a fan of the idea of “recessions”. To me, it implies that the stretches of prosperity in between economic lag is more normal, more right. Talk about a “glass is half full” philosophy, except everybody seems to accept it as fact rather than wishful thinking.

Now, that doesn’t mean I’m all “yay for poverty!” or anything. But we have a good chunk of our country–those immersed in generational poverty, for example–whose lives are pretty equally difficult through “recessions” and “economic boons.” They don’t go away, they’re just easier for everybody else to ignore when you aren’t rubbing elbows with ’em in the food bank queue.

That said, I realize that times of prosperity are when most people find it in what passes for their hearts to “work” on helping others. And sure, when there’s money in the bank it’s easier to invest in the future than when you don’t know where your next rent check will come from. I get it. It can feel counter-intuitive to help others when you’re struggling to help yourself.

But man is that a whole Chicken and the Egg situation! By looking out for others you end up helping yourself. By taking care of yourself you end up helping others. I think the key is expanding your idea of who “we” are and reducing who “they” are as much as possible, but that’s a rant for another day.

Back to recessions! 😛 This one we’re in the midst of now is the worst–by degree and longevity–the U.S. has had since the Great Depression. So why is there so little discussion about the GD? You’d think politicians would be all up on that! I mean, all the social stuff Obama has been trying to do, against absurd resistance from asswipe Republicans (no offense meant to non-asswipe conservatives), falls right in line with what worked last time. How are they failing to advertise that? They’re not just making crazy shit up. They briefly went the “hey it works for most of Europe, you guys, look how happy they are” route but that was dumb because the opposition hates being compared to any other country, because Amercuh, damn it! So fine, scrap that. Let’s focus on America being super fucking American, and awesome. Hey look, that’s easy, ’cause we’ve gone down this road ourselves before. Fuuuuck.