Photographer: Julia Morris
I wonder, will you secretly judge me if I admit to you that I don’t really like pie? Every year I’m reminded of my pie-oriented “skeleton in the oven,” thanks to all the holiday festivities. You can usually spot me fighting a cringe, as one pie after the next is passed before me, and I have to spontaneously compose a new, polite way to decline.
I can’t help it — I don’t like traditional pastry crust (boring), I don’t like perfectly good fruits smothered in some sugar goo, and I’m terribly sorry, but that pretty lattice pattern adorning the top isn’t going to do anything to get me more excited. Luckily there is, however, one exception to my no-pie rule: pumpkin pie.
I really get amped over a good pumpkin pie. (To be honest, I invariably get amped over a good pumpkin “anything.”) But as much my love is genuine, I can’t help but feel our favorite orange globes have enjoyed a little too much pop-star-style dependence in the winter squash world. Pumpkins continually overshadow a vast, deliciously endowed, and diverse spectrum of beautiful winter squash, time and time again in recipes.
I can’t help it — I don’t like traditional pastry crust (boring)
But not this year.
I don’t know who decides the “chic food trends,” but nonetheless this has really been the year of winter squash. These different “pumpkin cousins” have been the new darlings of farmer’s markets and chefs alike, and I am all too happy to participate in the fun. I have so many favorites: delicata, butternut, acorn, and for making pies, the undeniable winner in my book is kabocha squash — aka the “Japanese Pumpkin.”
With a pumpkin-esque shape, and bright beautiful orange flesh, kabocha appears to be very similar to a traditional pumpkin, with the exception of its dark green exterior skin. Where it really trumps other pumpkins though, is in its flavor. Kabocha is one of the most inherently flavorful squashes of all — which makes it ideal for a pie! What I love most about it though, is that it enables using a fraction of the amount of sweetener compared to a traditional pie recipe . . . and in this case that sweetener is healthy molasses-like yacon syrup. Together, these ingredients ensure that this pumpkin pie is not only superbly tasty, but that it also has something to truly be thankful for: health! Now that’s my kinda pie. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
Oh Thanksgiving, how it snuck up on us this year. It seems as if just yesterday it was summer, and now there is a chill in the crisp blue air and we are entering the season of winter holidays. Our favourite. Family, friends, cooking, sharing, and being grateful for it all are all the things that I adore the most. Which is precisely why I love Thanksgiving.
I realize that the holiday is about abundance and tradition. This colourful dinner is about a new, albeit delicious, abundance. The kind that will satisfy your belly, nourish your body, but won’t leave you reaching for the antacid drawer. As for tradition, here at Golubka we always try to push the envelope and come up with tasty and healthy alternatives. That is our own little tradition.
As for tradition, here at Golubka we always try to push the envelope and come up with tasty and healthy alternatives.
Begin with turkey-shaped tarts filled with caramelized onions, mushrooms, fava beans and pomegranate sauce. A great combination of hearty flavours. Then, try a parsnip pasta – a winter root vegetable marinated in wine, and mixed with a creamy sauce of macadamia, sage and thyme.
Continue with vegetable skewers – any vegetables of your choice marinated in an aromatic mixture of oils, herbs, and spices. And what is Thanksgiving without a good cranberry sauce? Ours contains Irish moss, so that it can be presented on a plate in perfect little scoops. Just like ice cream. And for dessert – pumpkin pie. A pumpkin spice crust filled with a coconut and carrot custard.
Have a happy Thanksgiving! Eat well and rest well.
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Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away and this year we have a few green additions to our family. With my newly turned eco leaf and with one of our family members going vegetarian, this year Thanksgiving presents a whole new set of challenges.
But the idea of a green or even a vegetarian Thanksgiving seems like blasphemy to die hard turkey stuffers. To ease them into what will inevitably be a culture shock, I already started dropping the idea of a green feast that goes beyond just an organic turkey. When asked how they’d “green” their Thanksgiving, I got all sorts of responses from “add more plants to the dinner table” to “use green dye on the turkey”.
If we’re to be literalists, then I’d rather go cold turkey than sit across the table from a green turkey. There two options for ‘greening’ your thanksgiving: 1) by local turkeys 2) homestead/raise your own turkeys 3) go vegetarian.
Most people are immediately turned off when thinking of vegetarian alternatives to traditional meat dishes.
Rethinking the Main Course
A growing number of Americans are trying homesteading. In addition to healthier, steroid free livestock, you have done your part to substantially reduce your carbon footprint. Furthermore, you’ve reaffirmed a commitment to sustainable living and are likely to reap government benefits. A number of states allow homestead exemption to owners of principal, full-time residences. (see Office of Tax and Revenue) Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
Hunting down a gazillion different organic ingredients at the market and slaving away in a hot kitchen all day might be some people’s idea of a great time, and all part of the familiar ritual of the big holiday dinner – but for most of us, we’d rather just enjoy our food and the company of our family without the fuss. Quite frankly, the idea of spending the entire day in the kitchen whipping up 10 different recipes bores me. If you don’t even trust yourself with a kitchen knife, or you’re just a lazy cook like me, the best idea is to order your meal from a local organic restaurant. That is if you are lucky enough to live near one. If you are in L.A. or NYC, you are indeed in luck. If you have a Whole Foods Market near you, you can also order an organic holiday meal from their catering menu. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos