Thursday, October 25, 2012

Let's Embrace the Season

Isn't this a wonderful time of year! The crisp air and fall leaves always inspire me to put up our Fall decorations and start cooking and baking! That's how the Fall-themed recipes in the book came to be. Because when all the parties and family gatherings come, complete with all of those tempting dishes that we want to enjoy because they seem inseparable from the day, what are we going to do? Eat the goodies, have the momentary gratification... and then regret it for the next several days? Not on my watch! There is a much better way!

Let's embrace the season! But let's do so in a new, smarter way! We truly do not have to digest all of those calories packed with carbs, fats and sugars to enjoy the party. Honest! That is exactly what my new cookbook, Delightfully Free, is all about.  I have re-created recipes for our favorite things, including Herbed Turkey Dressing (no gluten, low in fat, I promise), home made Orange Cranberry Sauce (much lower in sugar, and unrefined, natural sugar at that), everything we need to complete the package including the gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free Pumpkin Pie! 

Now here is one of my more original dishes that is so much fun! We have been making this one for over 20 years, so it is a solid family tradition. I love this dish and call it Festive Pumpkin Stew. Some dear memories of my kids, their grandparents and other assorted friends and family members around the table come to mind, and so, I'd like to share it with you.

This is a beautiful, one of a kind dish, and not just because you can make it in a pumpkin. It is savory, slightly sweet, and has a hint of sherry. It can be made vegetarian/vegan by eliminating the meat and substituting vegetable broth for the chicken broth. The one shown in the photo was made with Ahi, but chicken or stew meat can be used instead of the fish. It's made with onion, garlic, yams, Yukon Gold Potatoes, bell peppers, dried apricots, tomatoes, corn and a little sherry.

I have always served this dish on the night our family gathers to trim the Christmas Tree. We garnish the white serving platter with a wreath of Kale or parsley and fresh, whole cranberries around the base of the pumpkin. 

This recipe makes enough to easily serve 10-12 people. We usually have some leftover, which is good because my father in-law really looks forward to this dish and I love to pack some up to send him home with. As a regular dinner for a smaller crowd, the dish can easily be halved. It can also be made without using a pumpkin, and served simply as the exotic stew that it is. I hope it might become one of your family's holiday traditions. Here's the promised page from my cookbook which will allow you to create your own Pumpkin Stew tradition!

I wish you all the best as we enter this wonderful time of year and I encourage you to get my cookbook now, so you can prepare the other dishes I will be talking about in the next few weeks. 


About Delightfully Free: Delightfully Free is a gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free cookbook of 141 recipes. It includes delicious resources for autism, Celiac disease, diabetes, lactose intolerance, obesity and just plain healthy living. It contains 114 color photographs, 114 vegetarian or vegetarian compatible recipes, and 103 vegan or vegan compatible recipes