You may have noticed that the sweets factory has decreased its production around here lately, and you'd be right.
See, the this whole October Unprocessed thing, although I haven't been as good as I hoped to be (ahem), has really raised our awareness of what's in our food and how it affects us.
Yeah, so much that Sarah and sugar are no longer such good friends (huh? Didn't think that'd happen, did you!). Not only is sugar highly processed (it DID used to be a plant, once upon a time), but it's bleached with ground up animal bones, and its nutritious value is basically null. On top of that, it comes from far away.
The thing is, sugar addiction is kind of hard to break. On both sides of my family, there is a big cookie love, and we all admit to having demanding sweet toofers. So, my mom and I have decided we are going to try to wean sugar from our diets. We want to replace sugar with local honey and maple syrup, consumed in lower quantities. And so far it feels great: no more sugar crashes and empty calories.
Although we haven't been able to give up crackers and the occasional other processed good, during the past few months, and especially this past month, we've been removing certain foods from our diets and adding others to eat locally, seasonally, sustainably, and unprocessed.
How's your October Unprocessed been going?
Delicata squash salad with kale and garbanzos
Inspired by a recipe by Martha Stewart via Whole Living
1lb delicata squash (one medium), halved lengthwise and seeded*
1 ½ TBSP olive oil, divided
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP honey (use local)
6 oz (weight) kale
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 tsp sea salt (or other coarse salt)
Pepper, to taste
15 oz can organic garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (I like Eden Organics brand because of the BPA-free can)
Preheat the oven to 400F with rack in the middle. Slice the squash halves crosswise into ½-inch thick half moons. Toss with ½ TBSP oil and place on a baking sheet or pan in one layer. Bake about 18 minutes, or until just tender. Mix together balsamic and honey until well combined; remove the squash from the oven and brush some of it onto the squash halves with a pastry brush. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 5 more minutes.
While you're baking the squash, remove the coarse stems from the kale by tearing the leaves off them. Wash the leaves, leaving some water clinging to them. Slice into 1-inch chiffonade. Place the washed leaves in a medium nonstick skillet and cook over medium heat until wilted, about 5 minutes. Empty into a serving bowl, then add the garbanzo beans and squash and set aside.
Add the remaining 1 TBSP olive oil to the skillet and cook the shallot and garlic in it over medium heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the red wine vinegar and the leftover balsamic-honey mixture to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the kale, beans, and squash and toss well to coat the veggies.
*A note about the squash: You can use 2 medium squash (2 lbs) if you wish, but I found one was enough.