Recipe: Calabacitas con Huitlacoche

On the one hand, the word calabacita means zucchini. On the other hand, it is also the name given to various Mexican or South American side dishes that include zucchini (or some type of squash), corn, and cheese as the staple ingredients.

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Recipe: Pumpkin Pancakes with Fresh Blueberry Sauce

I’ve never been a pancake fan – sweet breakfasts weren’t my thing, especially anything involving maple syrup. But these are pancakes like no other. Neither they nor the sauce that goes over them are overly sweet. You actually taste pumpkin and blueberry, not sugar and sugar. The whole grain flour makes them very filling, so you don’t have a sugar crash mid-morning.

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The Pumpkin in the Vegetarian Diet

Pumpkins are native to the Americas, with seeds going back 9,000 years discovered in Mexico. They were a versatile item, used not only for food and medicine, but as containers when hollowed out and dried. They were one of the foods that the early European settlers, thanks to the natives who showed them the way, were able to survive on, given their nutrient content and the fact that they kept well, without rotting, for many months (having grown them myself, I can attest to this fact!). This is the main reason the pumpkin is so closely identified with the Fall harvest and with Thanksgiving.

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The Potato in the Vegetarian Diet

Potatoes are another food regularly attacked by the low-carb foodies. Some so-called experts go so far as to decree that potatoes should never be eaten forever and evermore, amen.

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Legumes – The Beans

Beans are an excellent source of carbohydrates, fiber and protein, as well as other vitamins and minerals necessary for a healthy diet. Paired with grains, they provide all of the essential amino acids necessary for complete protein in the vegetarian diet. There are many bean varieties to choose from:

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Recipe: Cretan Braised Pulses

“Pulse” is a somewhat archaic term for dry grain and legume crops, but this is a fairly ancient dish, so it seems a rather appropriate name.

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Winter Squash in the Vegetarian Diet

Winter squash is called such due to the fact that it is harvested later on in the year, into the fall, when the skins are thick and hard – as is the flesh. Winter squash does not make for good raw eating. It is, however, very flavorful when cooked – much more so than the summer varieties. The seeds are an excellent source of protein and quite delicious when toasted with a few choice seasonings.

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Native American Food in the Vegetarian Diet

Many of the foods we consume today were introduced to the early European explorers and later settlers by the native inhabitants they soon displaced.

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Seeds in the Vegetarian Diet

Along with nuts, seeds also play an important role in the vegetarian diet.

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Recipe: Spicy Pumpkin-Sweet Potato Soup with Homemade Croutons

…and you thought pumpkin was only good for pie or bread!

Au contraire!

This is a sweet-and-savory harvest soup with a kick that will take the chill off of any Fall evening. Serve it with fresh-baked Pillow Biscuits and a mixed-greens salad livened up with some dried cherries, walnuts, and crumbled blue cheese.

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