Last time you heard from me, I was discussing the ongoing battle between Staying Fit and Getting Lit. Well, it turns out that getting fit is impacting more than just my social (and ok, I admit, sometimes antisocial) drinking habits. Getting fit has also had an effect on my blossoming second career as a vegetarian connoisseur and chef! I haven't been wining or dining out as much in an effort to control portions and drop pants sizes. Well, one size down! Huzzah!

But just because I haven't been dining out as often, it doesn't mean that I haven't been experiencing new and exhilarating vegetarian taste creations! I have returned to share with you some of my new favorite (and fairly nutritious) fall recipes. I rediscovered a spice that was long loved by family growing up — paprika. And I uncovered another family favorite from the vegetable platter — radishes. Radishes, when roasted with paprika, change from bitter, unapproachable dividers between the carrots and the celery, to soft, warm delights. Here's how I roasted mine:

 

Roasted Radishes

  • 3 cups of radishes, quartered
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 large leek, cut into 1 inch slices
  • ½ tsp of paprika
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

Turn oven to 375. Mix spices into the oil. Cover radishes, garlic, and leek with oil/spice mixture. Lay on cookie sheet. Bake for an hour, turning every 15 minutes or so.

After two batches of these radishes, I was still on a paprika kick, but I was ready to try something new, and something that didn't take so long in the oven. Butternut squash is everywhere right now, especially in my good friend Courtney's garden — she sent me home with two! Here's how I brought paprika and butternut squash together for an exciting treat:

Spicy Grilled Squash

  • ½ large butternut squash (or one small winter squash, like festival squash)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

Fire up your grill. Peel the squash, and remove seeds and stringy stuff. Cut into 2-3 inch cubes. Mix spices into oil. Cover squash with oil, and lay on a sturdy piece of foil. For a nice compliment, split a banana pepper in two, and also cover in oil and lay with squash (see picture). Grill for 10 minutes, or until the squash gets some nice, dark grill lines on it.

Right now, the Farmer's Market has some great squash and radishes. I may return soon with more ways to prepare these versatile fall delights. I also have an organic cucumber from a coworker's garden that is just begging to be turned into tzatziki, and some eggplants that could grow up into smoky baba ganoush... I'd better not think about the next article too much, I am making myself hungry. Go Veg!