I don't fall for all of the pumpkin frenzy that goes on in October, though I'm not opposed to it. I love squash and pumpkin; I just wouldn't choose them to flavor one of my daily treats if I had chocolate as an option.
The overabundance of sweet potatoes hanging out on our bakers rack inspired me to bake outside of my comfort zone. Jamie at Home, one of many in my collection of Jamie Oliver cookbooks, includes a recipe for Butternut Squash Muffins with a Frosty Top that I've had in the back of my mind since I saw him make them on his show.
Sweet potatoes are close enough to butternut squash that I thought I could make the substitution work. I used the same amount of potatoes by weight that Jamie calls for in his recipe, and steamed them for about five minutes to soften them a little before pulverizing in the food processor.
I also cut back on the sugar (I used a scant two cups instead of 2 1/4) and used vegetable oil instead of olive oil. The olive oil flavor would probably be a nice foil for the sweet potato, but Jamie made muffins, and I was making cupcakes, and vegetable oil just seemed more appropriate. It made the cupcakes less orangey, which was a little surprising, but I found the color to be appealing. They were fluffy but not too light in texture, and held up well to the icing.
I love Jamie, but my cupcakes were not going to have a frosty, citrusy "top" like his muffins did. The frosting I made was thick and flecked with cinnamon, and the base was cream cheese instead of sour cream.
We may or may not have dipped gingersnaps in the extra frosting after the cupcakes were gone - I tried to pile as much of it on top of the cupcakes as I could, but we still had some extra.
To counter the indulgence of the cupcakes, I made a veggie soup with the collard greens. Until my mom made soup with collards, I didn't think they were a viable soup ingredient. The leaves are tough, but as long as they're cooked long enough, they are delicious in soup.
I sauteed chopped onion, carrots, and the greens in a little olive oil. When they wilted down, I added chicken stock and a big cheese rind to the pot. Everything simmered together, and sat overnight. Before dinner the following evening, I added the remainder of a box of orzo and a can of white beans, and let the soup boil softly until the pasta was cooked through. Unfortunately I forgot to photograph the finished product, but it was a hearty and pretty soup.
The roasted broccoli from earlier in the week turned out beautifully, and tasted as great as it looked. I had it with some pasta and pesto when I was on my own for dinner one night.
We ate the sweet peppers raw, cut into slices and dipped into hummus with the last of our homegrown cherry tomatoes.
I ate both of the Asian pears for my mid-morning snack, and I wasn't blown away by them. The smaller one definitely had more flavor, but they were both fairly bland and it wasn't easy to get used to the texture. I like them better than, say, eggplant, but wouldn't go out of my way to eat them again.
Our kohlrabi and turnips were neglected for over a week, so I decided to roast them with the massive sweet potato. When I was chopping the turnips, I was surprised to see how beautiful they were inside.
I wish I could say that I liked them better than I have in the past, but I'm still not a big fan of their bitter taste. Davy and I both preferred the sweet potato to the kohlrabi and turnips after everything was roasted.
We ate them with roasted red snapper and sauteed spinach.
I wish I could say that the subsequent meals were as healthy as that one, but the only vegetable we've eaten at home since them is sauteed broccoli rabe with leftover Belmont pizza. Don't worry though, I'm still getting my daily (plus) dose of chocolate.