Autumn Nurturing (recipe)

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food”  Hippocrates

As the weather shifts, almost imperceptibly, my palate is shifting.  Naturally I begin gravitating to warmer, more grounding foods.  Eating what is in season helps your body get a variety of nutrients and prepares you for the season ahead.  Fresh fruit and salads are great through the summer, but as the cooler weather comes grounding, warming foods are very beneficial.  I am ready to go apple picking and cook up some squash soup!

Autumn is an excellent time for reflection.   I consider the goals I have reached this year, and the ones that I fell short on.  I gather these energies in a positive way, and begin to assimilate the experiences, so they can benefit me next year.  This year I have thought a lot about the American trends of eating that are so costly.  Not just to the pocketbook, but to other people, and the environment.  We have become so picky we don’t like any food that is not idyllic, and have the expectations that we should have all options available all year.  This is grossly unnatural, and the environmental consequences are great.  Even if you are buying organic, if it is shipped from overseas, it is not fresh and it has a costly environmental impact. Buying fresh, organic, local produce is very important.  You will notice your energy levels will vastly improve, and instead of having the exact meal you are used to, branch out, cook new things, savor life.

The example of misdirected food compulsions that led me to write this morning is the trend of Alaskan Wild Caught Salmon.  Many of my “healthier” friends have turned to eating this fish, it’s safe right?  From the clean waters of Alaska.  To me this trend is a tragedy.  Instead of dealing with the issue that the reason we cannot have fresh fish here is that the water is too contaminated, we support an industry that could alter the biodiversity of a more pristine region. We need to address the issue of clean water and food at home, and this way fresh food and water can be accessible in the future.

Following is a favorite dish of mine.  I interchange the veggies depending on what is available, often leaving out the eggplant for extra sweet potato, and adding some greens.  I love to serve it with quinoa, and sometimes I have to add some water or cook the veggies a bit longer to get the potatoes soft.  The veggies are grounding and spices are stimulating with a ton of healing benefits, a perfect Autumn nurturing combo! With amazing gratitude to the abundance of our precious earth, Happy feasting!


The colorful roasted vegetables in this recipe are softer and saucier than typical roasted vegetables, but the high heat and rapid cooking still infuse the vegetables with a roasted flavor and an intoxicating aroma.

1  onion, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
1  zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch thick semi-circles
1  eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch thick semi-cirlces
1  sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thick semi-cirlces
1  red pepper, cut into 1/4-inch strips
2  tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1  can (15.5 ounces), drained
3  garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together the onions, zucchini, eggplant, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, tomatoes, chickpeas, garlic, oil, lemon juice, and seasonings.Spread the vegetables onto an unoiled 11- x 17-inch baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes. Stir well and bake for another 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

Chef Suggestions
Serve over a grain, such as couscous, topped with toasted almonds, raisins, chopped hard-cooked eggs, or grated feta cheese for a balanced, ready-to-eat meal.
Nutrition Facts
As prepared, each serving contains 296 calories, 10g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 1473mg sodium, 49g total carbohydrate and 8g protein.

Ease of Preparation: Easy

Preparation Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 40 min

Servings: 4

Recipe By: The Moosewood Collective

From:  Moosewood Restaurant New Classics; 350 Recipes for Homestyle Favorites and Everyday Feasts

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