Welcome to the first post in what will be a monthly installment from our practice member and an outstanding cook, Sherry. Each month Sherry will share with us a healthy recipe she has lovingly created, using ingredients that she has often grown herself in her garden. Without further ado, the amazing Ms. Sherry! -Dr. Collins
From Sherry’s Garden Kitchen…
To educate people about good food–growing it, preparing it, loving it, getting healthy from it–is one of my passions. I want to share the joy I have found in the garden, and in the kitchen, with you…
I want to let you know a little bit about my garden…
My home is on an average lot, 50′ X 100′. This means, of course, I don’t have a huge amount of land on which to grow food, as is the case with most of us. However, I have proved that it’s amazing just how much food can be grown in a small space! In addition to beautiful decorative plants in the garden, I have built raised beds to grow vegetables, the contents of which rotate from year to year. The “permanent” part of my food garden includes a small grape arbor, “columnar” apple trees, an herb bed, an asparagus bed, a rhubarb bed, a blueberry bed, a raspberry bed, and a strawberry bed. WOW! Who would think all of that could be grown in a small front yard?? But it can–and you can do it, too…
I don’t use pesticides in my garden, preferring to wash chomping critters, like aphids, off with a soap preparation, or buy lady bugs to do the job. Weeds are zapped with white vinegar–I keep a 2-gallon sprayer handy. The soil is built up from worm compost, leaves, and regular bagged compost. So, really, everything guests and I eat from the garden is “organic”.
One last note: All of the recipes on this blog are original and include at least one vegetable, fruit, or herb harvested from my garden seasonally. Ingredients from the garden are listed in italics.
January’s Delight: Stuffed Delicata Squash
Created from the kitchen of Sherry Edwards
Delicata squash is just the perfect stuffing squash this time of year… Its flavor is mildly sweet, and the skin is so “delicate” it can be eaten along with the pulp. Plus, it’s a small squash, which means it can be handled with ease in preparation.
Garden note: I always plant kale in August for a fall harvest, as it likes cool weather to grow well. It continues to do well in our mild climate, allowing me to use its abundant nutrition for meals all winter. My apples keep very well in the vegetable bin in the refrigerator from the fall harvest.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Total time: 2 hours
One 8-inch delicata squash—bud and stem ends cut off, and squash cut in half lengthwise, with seeds and pulp removed
6 oz. chorizo, lightly browned. Add 2 T olive oil during cooking.
One small red potato with skin left on, finely chopped
One small apple with skin left on, cored, and finely chopped
One small kale leaf, finely chopped
One small carrot, shredded
Four green onions, chopped
½ cup flour, regular or gluten-free
One cup pecorino romano cheese or mozzarella cheese, shredded
Oil a 4-qt. baking dish and place the squash cut side up.
Mix the browned chorizo with the remaining ingredients.
Spoon the mixture evenly into the prepared squash halves, mounding and spreading it over the surface of the squash.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1½ hours—until the potatoes and squash are soft. Remove from oven and place ½ cup of cheese on top of each squash. Return to oven until cheese is melted—about 2 minutes. Cool ten minutes before serving.
Makes 4 servings as a side dish, or 2 servings as a main dish.
*To make this a vegan dish, eliminate the chorizo, eggs, and cheese topping. Add 1 T each red pepper flakes, paprika, and xanthan gum powder.
*Variations: Add chopped pecans, currants, or dried cranberries