Side, Fall, Gluten Free, Winter, Salad


sprouted kitchen
sprouted kitchen

About a month ago now, I was invited to Wisconsin to get a better look into their thriving cheese community. I was aware prior to my visit that Wisconsin is big into cheese, but I had no idea how much people live for it over there. I had seen those cheese-head hats, which yes, they do sell at the airport, but that is no joke. These people are serious about cheese. A small group of us were able to tour the grounds of some great cheese makers, both small and large scale, and I was so impressed by how passionate these people are about their craft. What a pleasure it was to learn from people who know their subject so well. I am not a cheese afficiando, I have my favorites but I eat it pretty sparingly. That said, I hadn't seen the process run its course from the start of seperating the curds and whey, adding the cultures, shaping, caring, and the details of aging the cheese. What an art. I am so attracted to people who love what they do, and do it exceptionally. Not to mention that the landscape was gorgeous and it was refreshingly chilly while we were having a 90° October at home.

I've been brainstorming what to bring for my Thanksgiving side dish and fiddled around with a cheese I had tried at Uplands Cheese. It's similar to a gruyere - creamy, nutty and bold. If you're looking for something with vibrant color and a bit of richness, squash and greens with a hint of cheese is my favorite combination. This salad is still a favorite. Not that it will only do for the holiday, but I figure that's the topic of the week, so I wanted to participate. Happy meal planning. I've got my stretchy pants ready. 



The dressing included is from the House Salad in my cookbook. It's pretty mild and the perfect amount of creamy. I also think Aida's tahini dressing would be interesting here if you aren't planning on using the cheese. Or hey, maybe if you are. If you need a quicker fix, a 2:1 ratio of a great quality extra virgin olive oil, white balsamic and pinch of salt + pepper will do. In any case, go easy on the dressing or the salad portion of the dish gets too heavy. 

sprouted kitchen
sprouted kitchen
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • few pinches of salt
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup halved, red grapes
  • 1 rib of celery, sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup toasted pecan pieces
  • a hearty handful shaved, Gruyere-type cheese (I used Pleasant Ridge Reserve)
  • // dressing //
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. crème fraiche
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. honey 
  • 1 scallion, white part only, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. fresh ground pepper
sprouted kitchen
sprouted kitchen

Preheat the oven to 400'.

Cut the acorn squash into quarters, scoop out seeds and prick the flesh a few times with a fork. Drizzle the squash with the oil and vinegar and rub it around to coat, being sure the flesh is coated. Lay them cut side up on a baking tray, sprinkle with salt and bake for about 35 minutes or until the outer edges are crisp and you can easily pierce through the flesh. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

In a mini blender or food processor, blend all dressing ingredients until smooth and combined. The dressing can be prepared up to three days in advance. Combine all the salad ingredients, besides the cheese, in a large bowl and toss with a few Tbsp. of the dressing (or desired amount). Arrange the squash on a plate and stuff the centers with the green salad. Top with desired amount of the shaved cheese and fresh ground pepper to finish. 

I was invited to Wisconsin by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

sprouted kitchen
sprouted kitchen
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Appetizer, Fall, Spring



My sister is not the easiest person to feed. She has all sorts of food aversions so I’ve learned not to get offended when she doesn’t clear her plate. She loves to shop, I hate it. She’s a free spirit, I’m somewhat of a planner. She likes to stay up late, I'm early to rise... you get the idea. At some point, after playing in the clothing racks at Target and bathing together, we stumbled into completly different interests. We’re the kind of friends that probably wouldn’t have chosen the other out of a group, yet I consider my relationship with her indispensable. We all need broader perspective, and it’s the people who are least like you, who make you see things through new eyes. She is going to be a famous clothing designer, and spends long nights in front of a humming sewing machine, cutting, threading and studding pieces I am consistently impressed with.

If there is anything I have learned about working, it is that you need good snacks. Can I put that on a resume? Sitting down and using no other muscles besides your brain and hands can get awfully exhausting. So this is what I made for Cydney, a snack that is difficult not to like. I hope this was a nice respite from your frozen taquitos, sister. I love you.


RED GRAPE SALSA CROSTINI // Makes One Quart Salsa and About 20 Crostini

This makes a great holiday appetizer and can be made a day in advance. It keeps well, the onion just becomes stronger. Also goes well on some fresh fish or with some simple quesadillas, so you shouldn’t have an issue with leftovers.

1 1/2 lb. Seedless Red or Blue/Black Grapes*

1 Anaheim Chile

1 tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar

1 Bunch Fresh Cilantro, Finely Chopped

Half a Small Red Onion, Finely Chopped (more or less to taste)

Salt and Pepper

1 Whole Grain Baguette

8 oz. Chevre, room temperature

2 tbsp. Milk


Oven to 375’

1. Cut the anaheim chile into fourths and remove the seeds, dice as small as possible. Dice the red onion as tiny as possible, and throw those into the bowl as well. Use your discretion with how much onion you like. Dice the grapes, best to halve length and width wise, then chop. Add the vinegar and ½ cup of cilantro and toss. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper to your taste.

2. Slice the baguette, on a bias into ¼’’ slices and arrange on a baking tray. You will need to do this in two shifts. Bake on the upper rack for about 4 minutes, take them out and flip them over, bake for another 4 minutes and let them cool. Repeat with the other half.

3. Put the goat cheese in a small bowl, add the milk and mix it around to make it spreadable. Swipe one side of the baguette with about 1 tbsp. chevre. Place a heaping spoonful of the grape salsa on top and garnish with fresh cilantro.

* By using the most fresh, firm grapes you can find, you will make the chopping easier on yourself. Not to mention the texture benefit. I think using two tones of grapes, makes a beautiful final product.

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