Black Onyx Brownies - The Clean Gourmet

Black Onyx Brownies

Black Onyx Brownies - The Clean Gourmet

These brownies are for grown ups.  They are not chewy and cloyingly sweet but, they are richly flavored of chocolate and their texture is velvety smooth.  If you’re a lover of super dark chocolate, these are the brownies you’ve been waiting for.

Black onyx cocoa powder is ultra Dutch processed (a.k.a. alkalized), which neutralizes the bitterness and acidity in cocoa, while also reducing fat content (not that I’m against fat- it’s important to be aware of fat content though when baking, as it affects texture and how much oil or butter your recipe will require).  Black cocoa’s flavor is very chocolatey, which is why I love it for non sugar laden brownies.  You get tons of flavor without all of the sugar traditionally found in brownies.

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Black Onyx Brownies

Note: This about half the amount of a standard batch of brownies.  If you want enough for a 9″x 9″ pan, double the recipe.

Makes 8 brownies

Ingredients:

4 ounces unsalted butter (1/4 cup)

50 grams natural cocoa powder

13 grams black onyx cocoa powder

35 grams all purpose flour (ideally sprouted)

1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, room temperature

37 grams cane sugar or maple crystals

43 grams dark brown sugar (light is a fine substitute)

To serve:

whipped coconut cream or raw cashew butter

berry preserves

What to do:

Gently melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat.  Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease a standard loaf pan.

Sift or whisk together natural cocoa, black onyx cocoa, flour, espresso powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.

In a smaller bowl, whisk eggs with cane sugar and brown sugar.  Drizzle in melted and cooled butter.  (It’s important the butter not be too hot, or else you’ll end up with scrambled eggs!)

Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients until fully incorporated, but being careful not to overmix.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 15-18 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool 30 minutes in pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.  Top with whipped coconut cream or raw cashew butter and berry preserves.

Adapted from: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/salty-deep-dark-chocolate-brownies-brownie-recipe-ovenly-bakery-brooklyn/

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Black Onyx Brownies for Valentine’s Day


Smoky Beet and Feta Tart with Whole Wheat Crust - The Clean Gourmet

Smoky Beet and Feta Tart with Whole Wheat Crust

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This tart is a showstopper.  For the crust I use leaf lard, which, believe it or not, is lower in saturated fat than butter (not that you should completely avoid saturated fats, as your body needs some, but an overabundance taxes the liver) and makes for the flakiest crust.  Also, the savory flavor of lard contrasts with the sweetness of the balsamic, giving the tart an almost meaty taste, especially combined with the texture of grated beets.  Of course, butter or olive oil will do if you haven’t come around to lard yet or don’t have any.

I think these would be really nice as mini tartlets for a party.  Just press small crust rounds into a mini muffin pan, blind bake with pie weights, and fill.  You’ll want to decrease the baking time by about half if you go this route.

I’m a fan of beets as a circulatory and workout recovery aid, so I think it’s wise to incorporate them into your meals at least once a week.

I streamlined the recipe to be quick enough to do on a weeknight.  Serve it alongside garlicky sautéed greens (such as the greens from the beets you use here) or an endive salad with mustard vinaigrette.

Smoky Beet and Feta Tart with Whole Wheat Crust

Makes 1 pie

Ingredients:

For the crust:

150 grams whole wheat flour

50 grams all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

100 grams leaf lard (butter or olive oil will do as substitutes), chilled (remove from fridge just before using)

1/4 cup very cold ice water

For the filling:

400 grams trimmed beets, then peeled and grated over large holes of grater

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium/large yellow or red onion, minced

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

scant cup water

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

3/4 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika

2 teaspoons grated fresh horseradish (a 1/4 teaspoon of wasabi paste dissolved in a teaspoon of water is a fine substitute)

pinch salt and black pepper, plus more to taste

150 grams feta, crumbled (double cream smooth is best)

2 eggs, beaten with 1/3 cup creamy almond milk or whole milk

1/4 cup toasted pistachios, roughly chopped, to serve

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 375ºF and make the crust.

Whisk flours and salt in a medium bowl.  Sprinkle chilled fat over flour and cut in with a pastry cutter, fork or the tips of your fingers.  Keep going until flour looks like fine sand.  Incorporate cold water, using your hands, being careful not to overwork.  Form into a ball and flatten.  Wrap tightly with plastic and refrigerate 15-30 minutes (or up to overnight).

Roll dough between two pieces of parchment until 1/4-inch thick.  Remove top piece of parchment and place open side of pie dish onto rolled crust and flip, transferring crust onto pie dish.  Remove parchment carefully, pressing crust against pie dish.

Blind bake crust: Get a fresh piece of parchment and place on top of crust, then fill the cavity with pie weights or a pot that fits inside.   Bake 10 minutes, then remove parchment and pie weights/pot.  Bake another 5 minutes and remove from oven.

While the crust is chilling and baking, begin work on the filling:  in a large high-sided sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion and sauté a few minutes, until softened and about to brown.  Add grated beets and balsamic and sauté until balsamic has mostly evaporated.  Add thyme, smoked paprika, horseradish, salt, and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until beets are fully cooked, about 15 minutes.

Taste to adjust seasoning, then transfer all but 1 cup of filling to baked pie crust.  Crumble feta over filling, then add remaining filling.  Top with beaten egg and milk mixture and bake 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and, just before serving, top with chopped toasted pistachios.

Adapted from: http://www.sugaretal.com/2014/07/09/beetroot-and-feta-tart/


Roasted Artichoke and Basil Hummus with Harissa - The Clean Gourmet

Roasted Artichoke Hummus with Basil and Harissa

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This will satisfy your craving for artichoke dip and hummus all at once.  I especially like it freshly made, while still warm from the roasted artichokes.

Harissa is the North African version of Sriracha.  A thick sauce made of different chiles, it has an earthy spice that I love to put on eggs, dips, pasta, and other Mediterranean dishes.

Roasted Artichoke Hummus with Basil and Harissa

Ingredients:

For roasting:

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 14.5 ounce can artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained

2 teaspoons harissa

3 whole garlic cloves (with skin)

1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

black pepper

To make hummus:

1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup packed fresh basil, roughly chopped

zest and juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons tahini

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 400ºF.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Toss roasting ingredients together and spread out on prepared baking sheet.  Roast in preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, place remaining ingredients in a food processor.  Once artichokes are done, remove skins from garlic and add, along with artichokes, to food processor.  Run until mixture is very smooth, pausing once or twice to scrape down sides.

Serve with pita chips or spread on toast.

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Warm Kale Salad with Citrus and Spice Roasted Kabocha Squash and Fennel

I crave a salad of this nature-sturdy greens with warm roasted vegetables-at least once a week in the fall and winter.  Here is one of my favorite variations so far.

Notes:

If you’re making this in advance, instead of blanching the kale, you can just toss the raw kale with all of the other ingredients, then warming the prepared salad in a pan as you need it.

I don’t add extra oil to the salad, as I think the oil from the roasted vegetables provides enough when mixed with the kale.  Of course, this is my preference and you can add more oil if you feel it needs it.

The fresh cranberries add a nice touch of bitterness that offsets the sweetness of the kabocha and orange.  If you don’t like bitter, feel free to omit the fresh cranberries or toss in some dried cranberries (which are usually sweetened) at the end.

I sometimes add rainbow chard stems to the roasting vegetables, as they get nice and tender when roasted and I’ve always got chard stems on hand.

Warm Kale Salad with Citrus and Spice Roasted Kabocha Squash and Fennel

Serves 3-4 as a side dish

Ingredients:

For roasting:

1/2 kabocha squash, deseeded and cut into 1-inch chunks

1 head fennel, halved lengthwise and cut into wedges with core in tact

1/2 cup fresh cranberries

heaping 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

heaping 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika

pinch salt, preferably flaky sea salt

about 3 tablespoons olive oil (or enough to coat the vegetables well)

For the salad:

1 bunch purple kale, stems removed and leaves cut into chunks

1 cara cara or navel orange

black pepper and salt, to taste

1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds or poppy seeds

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or champagne vinegar

crumbled feta, to serve

What to do:

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Combine roasting ingredients and spread on a parchment lined sheet pan.  Roast in preheated oven for 20 minutes, until vegetables browned and tender.

While the vegetables roast, place kale in a large strainer and pour boiling water over to soften.  Allow to drain fully and place in a large bowl.  (See note above if making in advance.)  Zest the orange over the kale.

Remove remaining peel of the orange with a knife.  Cut orange into segments and add to kale.  Toss with salt, nigella or sesame seeds, and vinegar.

When the kabocha and fennel are roasted, remove from oven promptly and add to kale.

Taste and adjust for salt, vinegar, and oil.  Serve warm.


Venison and Juniper Shepherd's Pie with Juniper and Horseradish Mashed Potatoes - The Clean Gourmet

Venison and Juniper Shepherd’s Pie with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

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This is the time of year in which hunters begin cooking up their reserves.  Enter cozy venison shepherd’s pie with zingy horseradish mashed potatoes.  Juniper is a classic pairing with venison, so I couldn’t help but add it to the meat.  If you can’t find juniper, don’t let that discourage you from making this!  Simply omit it.

Venison Shepherd's Pie with Horseradish - The Clean Gourmet

Since venison is so lean, be sure not to overcook it in the first stage of cooking.  It’s ok to have some rare spots, especially since it will cook further in the later stages of making the pie.  Also, I only partially peel the potatoes, since the peel is full of nutrition and fiber.  However, leaving all the peel on would compromise the texture of the potato mash.

Ingredients:

For the potatoes:

2 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, partially peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

4 cups light bone broth or chicken broth

1 tablespoon grated fresh horseradish, plus more to taste

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

pinch black pepper

5 tablespoons softened butter or olive oil

For the venison:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 pound ground venison (ground bison or grass-fed beef are good substitutes)

3 juniper berries, crushed and chopped (optional)

1 yellow onion, small dice

1 stalk celery, small dice

2 carrots, small dice

1 bay leaf

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup red wine

3 tablespoons reserved broth from potatoes

1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley, plus more to serve

1 tablespoon potato starch (or cornstarch) dissolved in 2 tablespoons broth

3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

about 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 425ºF.

Put potatoes and broth in a medium/large pot over high heat and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low and cook potatoes at a simmer until tender, about 12-15 minutes.  Drain potatoes over large bowl or measuring cup, reserving liquid for venison.  Return potatoes to pot, along with horseradish, salt, pepper, and olive oil/butter. Mash with a potato masher until smooth and fluffy, adding a few tablespoons of reserved potato broth if necessary.  Set aside.

Preheat a large (preferably cast iron) high sided skillet over medium high heat.  Add olive oil, ground venison, and juniper and let brown, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon or metal spatula.  Once the venison is mostly cooked with a few rare spots, about 5 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon into a medium bowl and set aside.

With pan still hot, cook onion, celery, carrot, and bay leaf in venison drippings (add more oil if necessary) over medium high heat.  Once the vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes, add garlic and cooked venison.  Cook an additional 1-2 minutes.  Deglaze pan with red wine and allow to evaporate.  Add broth, thyme, parsley, and dissolved potato starch.  Season with salt and pepper and remove bay leaf.  If using a cast iron pan, top meat mixture with mashed potatoes directly in the pan.  Otherwise, scoop meat into into oiled casserole dish and top with mashed potatoes.  Spread the potatoes evenly, allowing for a few peaks and valleys, and brush with olive oil or spray with a Misto oil sprayer.

Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes, or until mashed potato peaks are browned.  If the potatoes need help browning, turn on the broiler for a few minutes before removing from the oven.  Sprinkle with minced parsley and serve immediately with a fresh green salad and bold red wine.


Spiced Lamb and Cauliflower Stew with Yogurt Sauce - The Clean Gourmet

Spiced Lamb and Cauliflower Stew with Yogurt Sauce

This stew is essentially a cross between two Arab dishes, shakriya, a lamb and yogurt stew, and zahra bi leban, a cauliflower side with yogurt sauce. The creamy tang of yogurt, combined with warmly spiced lamb and cauliflower make this dish incredibly satisfying and unique.  Serve atop a bed of saffron rice with toasted almonds and you’ve got the perfect accompaniment.

As always, I used Maple Hill Creamery‘s third party certified 100% grass-fed yogurt.  Not only is the flavor of their yogurt superior to others and the health benefits of a higher omega-3 ratio hard to beat, but Maple Hill’s dedication to paying fair prices for grass-fed milk from small New York state farmers is a cause we should all support!

Spiced Lamb and Cauliflower Stew with Yogurt Sauce

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

For the cauliflower:

2 tablespoons avocado oil or other neutral oil

1 small/medium head cauliflower, cut into florets

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

scant 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

salt and black pepper, to taste

For the stew:

2 teaspoons olive oil

1.5 pounds lamb stew meat, cut into 1-inch chunks

2 cups bone broth (beef or chicken broth are best alternatives)

2 medium cloves garlic, crushed and peeled

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

freshly ground black pepper

16 ounces (2 cups) Maple Hill Creamery 100% Grass-Fed Plain Cream on Top Yogurt

2 tablespoons potato starch (or corn starch) dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water or broth

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

pinch coriander

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 375ºF and pull 2 cups yogurt from fridge to allow to come to room temperature.  Toss cauliflower with oil, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, and salt and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Roast until browned and tender, about 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside.

Heat a medium/large pot (I used a clay pot) over high heat.  Add oil and lamb.  Cook until browned on most sides (allow each side to brown before agitating).  Add broth, garlic, bay leaves, and salt.  Bring to a boil and simmer 30 minutes, until lamb is done and tender.  Add roasted cauliflower and simmer another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine slurry and yogurt in a medium heat proof bowl or measuring cup (such as stainless steel, ceramic, or Pyrex glass).

Slowly add about 1/2 cup of hot broth from stew pot to yogurt mixture to temper. (DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.)  Add tempered yogurt to stew pot and reheat to just a simmer and continue to cook over low heat for 5 minutes.

Serve immediately atop cooked long grain rice with toasted almonds and a lemony green salad on the side.

**This is a sponsored post, but all content is honest and reflects my true beliefs.

 


Red Kuri and Chestnut Purée with Browned Butter - The Clean Gourmet

Red Kuri and Chestnut Purée with Browned Butter

Just three harmonious ingredients and a little technique make this deceptively simple side seem extra sophisticated.  Chestnuts enhance the nutty flavor of red kuri squash and toasty browned butter adds notes of burnt marshmallow to the lusciously smooth purée.  A perfect pairing for holiday roasts.

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This was actually my first time cooking with red kuri squash.  I’ve known about it for a few years, but have always gotten distracted by other winter squash varieties to try.  I didn’t know what to do with it until I roasted it and tasted the squash on its own.  Oh my goodness…  Sweet and nutty with a creamy texture, I almost ate it plain for dessert.  That said, if you can’t find red kuri squash, I would use half of a kabocha and half of a butternut to substitute.

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Browned butter sounds fancy, but it’s actually very simple and should be a part of everyone’s culinary repertoire.  Just melt butter (high quality, pastured butter) in a saucepan over a medium/low flame and just keep going until it turns caramel in color and fragrance.  Next, be ready to remove promptly from the heat so it doesn’t burn!

In this recipe, the warm butter poured over the chestnuts will help them to break down for puréeing.  Which, speaking of, I prefer to use a Vitamix for, as nothing compares to the smoothing capabilities of a good high speed blender.  It takes a little coaxing with the tamper and perhaps a hit of water, but I think it’s worth the effort.  Otherwise, a food processor will do just fine.

Red Kuri and Chestnut Purée with Browned Butter

Serves 6-8 as a side dish

Ingredients:

1 medium red kuri squash, halved and deseeded (be sure to get all the stringy bits out)

3 ounces roasted and peeled chestnuts (about 1 cup)

4 tablespoons butter (preferably pastured)

3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Place squash halves on a parchment lined baking sheet, cut sides down.  Bake until a fork can pierce the skin without much resistance, about 50 minutes.

Once the squash is cool enough to handle, scrape flesh from skin into a bowl (if you get some skin in there, don’t worry too much.  It’s generally edible.)

Place chestnuts in a Vitamix or food processor and set aside.  Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium/low heat and simmer until it begins to brown and release toasty caramel aroma.  Immediately remove from heat and pour into blender or food processor with the chestnuts.   Pulse to break down the chestnuts.  Add cooked red kuri flesh and salt.  Process (be sure to have that tamper handy if using a Vitamix) until very smooth.  Feel free to add a bit of warm water to aid in this process.  Adjust for salt and serve immediately or at room temperature.

 

 


Arugula and Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate and Pumpkin Seeds - The Clean Gourmet

Arugula and Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

In the midst of a season of holiday treats and decadence, this is what your body is craving.  Clean and colorful, this salad will fill you with nutrients without killing your holiday buzz (hey, it’s red and green!).

Another plus, this peppery and sweet salad requires minimal chopping and can be put together easily in less than 10 minutes.

For a Latin twist, replace the parsley with cilantro, the lemon with lime, and add a bit of minced jalapeño.

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Arugula and Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Serves 4 as a side (serves 2 as a main)

Ingredients:

2.5 oz arugula, roughly chopped (unless using baby arugula)

3 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

1 cup chilled cooked quinoa

1/2 cup pomegranate arils

1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Procedure:

Toss arugula, lemon, olive oil, salt, and parsley together in a medium bowl.  Top with quinoa, pomegranate, and pumpkin seeds.  Finish with some freshly ground black pepper and serve.

Alternatively, just toss all ingredients together so everything is evenly combined.


Pumpkin Hazelnut Espresso Muffins - The Clean Gourmet

Pumpkin Hazelnut Espresso Muffins

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Pumpkin is still going strong!

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Kefir is a cultured milk product similar to yogurt, except it has different, more potent strains of bacteria, and is thin enough to drink.  It’s a great alternative to buttermilk in baking and pancake recipes, thanks to its similar consistency and acidity to buttermilk.  Kefir is also a perfect base for smoothies!

Maple Hill Creamery arguably produces the best kefir, because they use the highest quality milk from third party certified 100% grass-fed cows.  Not only is grass-fed dairy better for you, as I discussed here, supporting grazing cattle also promotes the natural ecology of the planet and preserves various perennial grass species, which are at risk of extinction.  Grass farmers (the farmers who raise grass-fed cattle) have a vested interest in using a variety of grasses to support the cows’ health.  These cows then preserve these perennial grasses  by clipping them at the right moments so that the grasses can form deep roots.  The cows are also responsible for aerating the soil with their hooves, which allows water to penetrate the soil more effectively.

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Also, Maple Hills flavors cannot be beat. Maple, Strawberry, and Vanilla, to name a few, are naturally flavored and only gently sweetened.  Of course, Plain is a classic option if you prefer something more neutral.

Now about these muffins.  They’re a sophisticated twist on pumpkin spice with hazelnut and espresso.  However, if you don’t like hazelnuts, almond flour should be a fine substitute and if you don’t want caffeinated muffins, you can easily substitute with decaffeinated espresso or espresso powder.  Just try to look for water processed decaf, rather than chemically processed so that you’re not exposing yourself to unnecessary toxins.

If you prefer a loaf or bundt, go ahead and bake this in a loaf or bundt pan.  Just add extra baking time and check it until a knife or toothpick comes out clean.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups spelt flour or gluten free flour mix (1/2 cup arrowroot + 3/4 cup brown rice flour is a great ratio.  Cup4Cup and ATK all-purpose mixes are great too.)

3/4 cup hazelnut meal/flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (DIY: 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg + 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves)

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

4 teaspoons instant espresso powder or 1 shot of espresso

3/4 cup pumpkin purée, room temperature

1/2 cup Maple Hill Creamery 100% Grass-Fed Plain, Vanilla, or Maple kefir, room temperature

1/3-1/2 cup coconut sugar (more or less depending on preference for sweetness)

1/4 cup coconut oil (liquid) or neutral oil (avocado is best)

1 large egg, room temperature

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Raw pecans, for topping

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease or line a standard muffin pan with 9 muffin liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin spice, and salt.

In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, kefir, coconut sugar, oil, egg, and espresso powder. Mix until well combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix gently until just combined.

Spoon the muffin batter into the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle pecans over the batter in each muffin cup.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 20 minutes.

Allow muffins to cool in pan. Remove and store in an airtight container for up to one day, or in refrigerator for up to one week.

Pumpkin Hazelnut Espresso Muffins - The Clean Gourmet


Pumpkin Creamed Kale - The Clean Gourmet

Pumpkin Creamed Kale

Get ready for the holidays, because they’re basically here!  If you want a to “healthify” your holiday a bit, this is a superb way to add some virtue to the spread of candied yams, sugared cranberry sauce, and stuffing.  While those each have a well deserved place on the Thanksgiving table, there should be room for a bit of greenery as well.

Don’t get me wrong; this doesn’t taste “diety” and will certainly hold its own next to the candied yams, stuffing, and the like.  Another bonus, you won’t need more than 20 minutes from start to finish.

Rather than making a traditional roux with butter, flour, and cream, I brown the pumpkin with the shallot and garlic, then I gradually add in the broth until emulsified.  The toasted pumpkin purée, combined with a touch of cashew cream or milk creates a much healthier and nutrient dense alternative to the white béchamel used in most creamed dishes.

Pumpkin Creamed Kale

Serves 4-6 as a side dish

Ingredients:

1 1/2 tablespoons grass fed butter or olive oil

1 medium shallot, minced

1 clove garlic, peeled and left whole

1 1/2 cups pumpkin purée (ideally from scratch, but canned is fine)

2/3 cup broth (chicken, bone, or vegetable)

1 bay leaf

1/8 teaspoon white pepper  and/or a dash of cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 bunch kale (any kind), stems removed and thinly sliced

1/2 cup cashew creamalmond milk, or grass fed whole milk

Salt, to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon)

What to do:

Warm a large high sided pan over medium heat.  Add butter or olive oil, shallot, garlic, and a pinch of salt.  Continue to cook, stirring, until shallot is pale and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add pumpkin purée and cook, stirring, until thickened and beginning to darken.  Slowly whisk in broth, stirring constantly, until emulsified with the pumpkin.

Add bay leaf, nutmeg, pepper, and kale.  Mix thoroughly and cover.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until kale is soft, about 10 minutes.

Turn off the heat, stir in cashew cream or milk of choice and adjust for salt.  Serve immediately.

(Optional: top with toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish and a little bit of crunch)