Disclosure: This recipe is part of FIJI Water’s “Perfection Takes Time” campaign. I am being compensated for my recipe development and photography; all opinions are 100% mine.

I grow Cheese Pumpkins in my garden every year and one of my favorite ways to use them is in this gorgeous-hued Pumpkin Soup.

Pumpkin Soup | Healthy Green Kitchen

I thought it would be a great fit for the “Perfection Takes Time” campaign because it’s not a quickie recipe (just like FIJI Water isn’t quickie water!). FIJI water is collected in a natural aquifer, the result of rainwater trickling down through layers of volcanic rock. This is a slow process that allows for the gathering of minerals and electrolytes along the way, and which results in an amazingly pure, great-tasting water. (You can learn more about FIJI Water here.)

Pumpkin Soup | Healthy Green Kitchen

The recipe, which I adapted from the Butternut Squash Soup with Brown Butter in The Essential New York Times Cookbook, requires the ingredients to rest at several stages so the flavors can develop. Here’s how I recommend you time the making of this soup:

Day 1: bake the pumpkin and prep the leeks, carrots, and shallots/onion
Day 2: Prepare the soup then allow it to rest overnight
Day 3: Reheat the soup, make the fried sage leaves, and serve.

This makes a great first course any day, but will also fit right in at a holiday meal this season.

If you cannot find the variety of pumpkin that I used, substitute a winter squash such as Butternut. Sour cream makes a perfectly acceptable substitute if you don’t have crème fraîche (my “diy” crème fraîche recipe is here); the fried sage leaves are fun, but definitely optional.

Get this and other “Perfection Takes Time” Recipes on fijiwater.com.

Get a full Thanksgiving menu with recipes in my brand new eBook Fresh and Flavorful Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Soup | Healthy Green Kitchen

I love everything from MightyNest and I am a big fan of their efforts to support schools. So when they recently sent me some of their Anchor Hocking Glassware (and asked if I’d like to do a giveaway for the same items on my blog), I was thrilled. I’ve been cooking up a storm lately: testing and photographing recipes for my new Thanksgiving eBook. So it was the perfect opportunity for me to take these glass dishware items for a spin.

brussels sprouts done 1 550

Here’s what I got (and one of my readers is going to win the same set, a retail value of $100!). PLUS, MightyNest will be giving the winner’s school a $100 cash donation!:

Anchor Hocking Glass Casserole
3 Quart Splashproof Bowl
4 Quart Splashproof Bowl
True Fit Cake Pan
True Fit 3 qt Baking Pan
Chiller pitcher
2 Cup Bake & Store Glassware

I’m so excited about the glass mixing bowls with lids. They’re big and super useful. They are leakproof and sturdy enough to handle everyday use. You’ll love using these year round for storing leftovers in the fridge, batter, etc.

B sprouts and kabocha in glass

And the lidded chiller pitcher is wonderful: now you can transport the makings of cocktail to your buddy’s house!

cocktail 2_

The glass casserole dishes are awesome for holidays such as Thanksgiving because they are ovenproof and come with sealable lids. So you can bake your food right in the glass, then easily seal it right up for transport or storage in the refrigerator in advance of entertaining. No more fiddling with plastic wrap that doesn’t come close to actually sealing. And no more struggling to awkwardly balance your foil-covered dish on your lap so it doesn’t spill in the car.

honey veggies prep

pandowdy vertical

All of the Anchor Hocking glassware is free of worrisome chemicals associated with plastics and can be used to cook in the oven up to 425 degrees F.

To celebrate this giveaway and my Thanksgiving eBook, I am sharing one of the eBook recipes here: the Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Squash and Bacon. It’s pictured at the top of this post and you’ll find the recipe below (and you can check out the rest of the book and buy it here). Underneath the recipe is the widget to enter the giveaway…good luck!

brussels sprouts recipe

Please leave a comment on this post and pledge to bring a wholesome side dish to share with family and friends via the widget below. When you use the widget to pledge, you’ll automatically be entered to win the giveaway and you’ll be signing up for the MightyNest for Schools Program. When you sign up for this program, 15% of any purchase you make from MightyNest in the future goes back to the school of your choice (it can be your child’s school or simply a school that is in your local area). The approximate retail value of this giveaway is $100 and on top of that, Mighty Nest will make a $100 donation to the winner’s school.

This giveaway is only open to readers in the USA and ends on 11/25/14 at 11:59PM Central Time.

Some more of my Thanksgiving side dish recipes:

Cranberry Pomegranate Compote
Cranberry Chutney with Dried Apricots and Spices
Fall Garden Greens with Apples and Walnuts
Perfect Fall Salad
Arugula Salad with Pomegranate, Avocado and Goat Cheese
Roasted Squash Salad with Dates and Spicy Pecans
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cream and Aleppo Pepper
Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pears
Maple Butternut Squash and Parsnip Soup
Parsnip and Apple Soup
Celery Root, Kale, and Wild Rice Soup
Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Garlic
Roasted Vegetables with Cardamom
Spiced Sweet Potato Puree
Pumpkin Gingerbread Stuffing

cookies before baking_

I first met Cathy Barrow “virtually” back in 2009. We were both new bloggers. And frequent participants in the recipe contests run by Food52.

In the summer of 2010, Cathy and I made plans to meet up for lunch at The Spotted Pig in NYC. I recall being extremely nervous beforehand: I didn’t know if we’d have anything to talk about! Well, conversation didn’t end up being a problem…we gabbed for hours, and we have been good friends ever since. We’ve roomed together at blogging/writing conferences, we’ve had many more meals together, and I’ve spent the weekend at her lovely home in Washington, DC. And now it is with great pleasure that I get to tell you about Cathy’s newly published cookbook: Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round Preserving.

Cathy is truly a preserving maven: she is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the craft of canning. Her first book (I am pretty certain there will be more!) is both beautifully written and photographed (the photos were taken by Christopher Hirscheimer and Melissa Hamilton, the team behind the wildly successful Canal House). If you enjoy spending time in the kitchen and have an interest in preserving fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, canning beans and soups, and making cheese, I think you will love Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry.

One of the things I like most about this book is that it’s not just a collection of preserving techniques. It also includes numerous “bonus” recipes that show you how to use what you have preserved. Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Rugelach, which I made with 2 kinds of jam, is the perfect example.

I’ve sampled Cathy’s jams many times before this book was published and I know them to be exceptional, so I was excited to see her recipe for Straight-Up Preserves with Any Fruit. This is a brilliant recipe that works as a starting point for turning just about any fruit into jam, and Cathy gives many suggestions for herbs, spices, and other flavorings one may use to complement the fruit. With guidance from the book, I made Pear Preserves with Bourbon and Rosemary.

pears_

syrup dripping

pear preserves

Then I used some of the pear preserves (along with some of my Preserved Rose Petals) in Cathy’s rugelach.

dough and rolling pin_

2 preserves on dough 1_

2 preserves on dough

cookies in process

pear preserves + walnuts on dough

These rugelach are really fabulous and I will be making them again and again! I hope you’ll give them a try, and that you will pick up a copy of Cathy’s book.
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brown rice salad with chard and grapes

The first killing frost has come and gone, and while my garden is pretty much a wasteland right now, not everything edible is gone. I have some herbs that are still hanging on, for example. And lots of chard.

chard | healthy green kitchen

I planted far more chard than was reasonable this year considering I don’t cook with it all that much. I used some of mine a couple of months back when I attempted a chard-based version of one of my favorite Indian dishes: Palak Paneer, and I’ve thrown a few leaves into soups every now and then. But I still have lots, so I was happy when I saw a pretty salad featuring chard in the beautiful cookbook Vibrant Food: Celebrating the Ingredients, Recipes, and Colors of Each Season.

I love this book (written and photographed by the very talented Kimberly Hasselbrink of The Year in Food)! I have been cooking from it for the past few months since publisher Ten Speed Press sent me a review copy. In addition to the brown rice salad with chard, grapes, and hazelnuts you see here, I’ve made the Poached Apricots with Rose Water, the Squash Blossom Quesadillas, and the Sweet Corn and Squash Fritters with Avocado Crema. Everything has been great.

Kimberly’s recipe for this chard salad includes wild rice. I like wild rice a lot, but I didn’t have any in the house. So I opted to use short grain brown rice instead. I didn’t use the rosemary garnish, but otherwise followed her recipe for this fabulous salad to the letter.

brown rice salad with chard and grapes
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Never in my life did I imagine that at 44 years old I would:

1. wear a singlet in public
2. lift weights in front of judges and a crowd of people

But last weekend I did just that when I competed in my first powerlifting meet.

squat

And I had a awesome day, you guys! I lifted well and I had a really great time. I very much look forward to doing it again. I’ll try to write more about the experience when I’ve had a little more time to process “all the feels”.

Now let’s talk about this Thai Chicken Curry recipe. It comes from The Real Food Cookbook: Traditional Dishes for Modern Cooks by Nina Planck. I received an advanced reading copy of this cookbook from the publisher a few months back, and I have tried a bunch of the recipes since then. In addition to this Thai Chicken Curry, my favorite recipes so far have been the Caesar Salad, the Ricotta Pesto, and the Fermented Ginger Ale. The Downy Vanilla Cheesecake is also terrific!

thai chicken curry | healthy green kitchen

I really like Nina’s writing. I enjoyed her book Real Food: What to Eat and Why(2008) very much, and was excited when I heard she was writing a cookbook. The great thing is this cookbook is not preachy or pretentious, and it’s filled with exactly the type of food that I like and want to eat: food that’s nourishing and immensely satisfying, without being fussy. You don’t have to go to the ends of the earth to find the ingredients needed to make the food in this book :)

My son proclaimed this his favorite Thai dish that I have cooked, and since I use Thai flavors a fair amount, I think that says a lot. FYI cold leftovers are quite wonderful!
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