Mexican Veggie Bowl

This mexican veggie bowl covers of all of your bases- healthy whole grains, fats, greens and beans. Oh, and it tastes fantastic too!

Mexican Veggie Bowl- Emma's Little KitchenHello friends, I’m back! Thank you for your patience during my little blog hiatus, I have missed you! The last 6 weeks have been totally bonkers adjusting to life with a newborn. As it turns out, babies are a lot of work, and sometimes you just can’t reason with them… However, I am happy to report that our little James is gorgeous, healthy and thriving. Thank you for all of your well wishes :)

Mexican Veggie Bowl- Emma's Little KitchenMexican Veggie Bowl- Emma's Little KitchenSomewhere in the blur of early parenthood I have managed to find time to cook and even develop a couple of great recipes. I can’t wait to share them with you! I’m starting with this lovely mexican veggie bowl, it is packed full of good for you stuff, vegan, and makes for fabulous leftovers. There are five components: lime-marinated kale, brown rice, roasted sweet potatoes, stewed black beans and a big dollop of guacamole.

Mexican Veggie Bowl- Emma's Little KitchenI love it because you are covering so many bases in one meal- whole grains, healthy fats, protein, iron, greens. Plus it is super filling! Kirk and I have eaten this every week for the past month, we are pretty obsessed. I’m thinking of branching out into other themed veggie bowls, Med bowl? Indian Bowl? Japanese bowl? Any takers?!

Mexican Veggie Bowl- Emma's Little Kitchen

Hope you enjoy this one! So happy to be back!

Mexican Veggie Bowl
 
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This mexican veggie bowl covers of all of your bases- healthy whole grains, fats, greens and beans. Oh, and it tastes fantastic too!
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For the kale:
  • 1 large bunch of kale (I like lacinato in salads)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch of sea salt
  • Chili flakes (optional)
  • For the rice:
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • For the sweet potatoes:
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • For the black beans:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tin of black beans or 1¾ cups of prepared black beans
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (or more or less to taste)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp water
  • For the guacamole:
  • 2 medium avocados
  • juice of 1 lime
  • sea salt to taste
Method
  1. Prepare the kale: rinse kale well, destem, and then cut the leaves into thin strips. Place into a large bowl, and set aside. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil and sea salt in a cup and pour over the kale leaves. Using your fingers, massage the dressing into the leaves for about a minute until the leaves are evenly coated in oil and dark green in colour. Set aside in the fridge to marinate while you prepare the rest of the bowl.
  2. Prepare the rice: cook rice according to package instructions
  3. Roast the sweet potatoes: preheat the oven to 425F/220C. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 1 inch chunks. Lay them in a large baking dish ensuring that there is space between each chunk (use a second baking dish if necessary). Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake for about 25 minutes until tender.
  4. Cook the black beans: Heat olive oil in a small saucepan. Add onions and saute for a couple of minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more. Add the black beans, spices, tomato paste and water. Simmer gently while the rice and sweet potatoes finishing cooking.
  5. Prepare the guacamole: Cut the avocados in half lengthways. Remove the stone, and scoop out the filling of each fruit into a bowl. Add the lime juice and salt, and using a fork, roughly mash the avocado until you have reached your desired consistency.
  6. Assemble bowl: When the rice and sweet potatoes are ready, divide each component of the veggie bowl into four, and serve in large shallow bowls.

Notes:

Another reason I love this is that it is very easily adaptable, change your grains, greens or beans if you don’t have the specific ingredients to hand!

You may also like my Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchillada Bake, my Tofu Racheros, or my Black Bean Quinoa Chili.

Top 5 Recipes 2014 & Year Recap

Happy (almost) 2015! Rather than a new recipe I wanted to recap 2014 with you all today, and share the top 5 Emma’s Little Kitchen recipes of the last year. 2014 also happened to be my first year of blogging, so these are currently the top E.L.K. recipes of ALL TIME!

2014 started off all very innocently with smiles, champagne and big plans for Kirk and I. We were just going to keep our heads down and work hard, Kirk to complete his masters degree and I had plans to grow this blog and finish several more half marathons before the end of the year. However, somewhere around March we were surprised with a little spanner in the works, and this little guy changed everything.

After a tumultuous Summer that included (another surprise!) house move and living in two different States for work, we had a relatively laid back Autumn before our family grew by one this Winter. We are so excited for what the future may bring, and I thank each and every one of you for sharing it with us through this little corner of the internet. Sharing my love for simple vegetarian food has truly been one of the highlights of my year, I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings. Happy New Year!

Alright, without further ado, the top 5 Emma’s Little Kitchen 2014 are-

5. Rainbow Slaw with Sweet Ginger Lime Dressing- This salad is so fresh, crisp and full of sweet zingy flavour! I absolutely love it as a boost in the cold wintery months.

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4. Mushroom & Chickpea Curry- A surprise hit! I was really indulging myself on this one as I adore both mushrooms and chickpeas (if you read my blog often, you have probably noticed!), but I’m so pleased you this one too!

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3. Black Bean & Quinoa Chili- This is a true staple in our household. It is so easy, so full of great spicy flavour, and packed full of vegan protein. Additional bonus- it freezes well!

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2. Honey Glazed Tofu- My simple solution to bland tofu seemed to capture your hearts! I love the blend of sweet and spicy in this recipe, and it remains one of my favourite ways to eat tofu.

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1. Go-To Spinach & Chickpea Curry- I’m sensing a theme here, the top recipe of 2014 captures the essence of Emma’s Little Kitchen perfectly. It is quick, easy, full of flavour and good for you! Exactly what I aim to bring to all of my recipes. This go-to family staple was a huge it, and it makes me so happy!!

Spinach & Chickpea Curry- Emma's Little Kitchen

Lastly, I want to hear from you!! What would you like to see from Emma’s Little Kitchen next year?! Stay in touch on Instagram, Facebook, Bloglovin, Twitter, or shoot me an email!

 

 

Announcement

Hello All!

Just dropping in quickly to announce the birth of our precious babe! James was born on Tuesday 9th, and he is beautiful! Things will be a little quiet around here until we adjust to our new normal, but I’ll be back with more recipes as soon as possible!

Until next time!

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Kale Salad with Citrus, Almonds & Feta

This immunity boosting winter kale salad with citrus, almonds and feta makes the most of seasonal ingredients and is bursting with flavour and texture.

Kale Salad with Citrus, Almonds & Feta- Emma's Little Kitchen

I have been doing pretty well on the hearty soups this winter, but decidedly less well on the salads. I love a good winter salad, and I think its a perfect time to experiment with nourishing bean and lentil salads, grain-based salads or even warm potato salads. I find the trick is to stick to fruits and vegetables that are in season, otherwise you will be left with something pretty blah.

Kale Salad with Citrus, Almonds & Feta- Emma's Little Kitchen

This salad is far from blah. Last week I had a REALLY strong craving for something raw, fresh, crunchy and light, so I whipped this up from ingredients languishing in my fridge. The result was winter salad NIRVANA, so I wanted to share it with you fine people as soon as possible.

Kale Salad with Citrus, Almonds & Feta- Emma's Little Kitchen

The kale ribbons provide a robust and bolstering base with just a little crunch along with the almonds, and the feta compliments this perfectly with its creaminess. The orange provides a little extra texture, sweetness and zing, and finally the honey lime dressing ties everything together, and gives everything a lift. Don’t you love it when a seemingly random hodgepodge of ingredients combine to make something wonderful?!

Kale Salad with Citrus, Almonds & Feta- Emma's Little Kitchen

Happy salad munching, enjoy!

Kale Salad with Citrus, Almonds & Feta
 
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This immunity boosting winter kale salad with citrus, almonds and feta makes the most of seasonal ingredients and is bursting with flavour and texture.
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 2 large salads, 4-6 as a side
Ingredients
  • For the dressing:
  • Juice of one lime
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ¼ tsp chili flakes
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • For the salad:
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale (dinosaur/tuscan kale)
  • 2 naval oranges
  • ⅓ cup flaked almonds
  • ½ cup feta, crumbled
Method
  1. Whisk the dressing ingredients and set aside.
  2. De-stem the kale, and cut the leaves into small ribbons (the smaller the ribbons, the more tender they will become). Transfer the kale into a large bowl, sprinkle with sea salt and pour the dressing over the top. Using your fingers, massage the kale for a few minutes until the leaves start to become tender, then set aside. The leaves will continue to become tender as they marinate in the dressing, so you can leave the leaves for up to a few hours if you desire
  3. Cut each orange into quarters segments, and then run the knife along the peel of the orange and remove any excess rind. Cut each orange quarter in half and add to the bowl
  4. Toast the almonds gently in a hot dry pan until they are golden and fragrant, add them to the bowl with the kale and orange
  5. Finally crumble feta into the bowl, and give everything a good toss to combine

PS. This salad contains two of my favourite ingredients, kale and feta! See more recipes with kale here, and more with feta here!

Mushroom Tempeh Tacos

Ultra satisfying and hearty, these delicious spicy mushroom tempeh tacos come together in less than 30 minutes. They are vegan and gluten free too!

Mushroom Tempeh Tacos- Emma's Little Kitchen

Oh, HELLO all! I’m still here, still no baby boy! I have been doing my very best trying to keep myself busy, taking Dexter on long walks, making many a mess of my kitchen and binge-watching Walking Dead (do you watch it?!). To parents out there: anything else I should be doing in these last few days?! To everyone out there: anything else I should be binge-watching on netflix in these last few days?!! I would love you all to weigh in.

Mushroom Tempeh Tacos- Emma's Little Kitchen Mushroom Tempeh Tacos- Emma's Little Kitchen

Ok, enough personal chat. Lets talk Tacos! These babies are a great option for the wintery months when our bodies crave something hearty, with just enough zing and brightness to compliment the earthy, nutty combination of mushrooms and tempeh. Additionally, they are a cinch to pull together, and ridiculously satisfying for hungry winter bellies.

Mushroom Tempeh Tacos- Emma's Little Kitchen

Ok, I’m leaving you now in pursuit of new distraction ( the next season of Walking Dead isn’t going to watch itself ya know!). I will let you know when there is news. Until next time, enjoy!

Mushroom Tempeh Tacos
 
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Ultra satisfying and hearty, these spicy mushroom tempeh tacos come together in less than 30 minutes.
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 16oz (450g) package of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 8oz (225g) package of tempeh
  • 2-4 tsp chili powder
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • dash of low sodium tamari
  • dash of liquid smoke (optional)
  • 12 small corn tortillas or whole grain tortillas
  • fresh coriander to garnish
Method
  1. Coat the bottom of a large frying pan with oil, and heat on medium. Add the onions and cook for a few minutes until softened, and the garlic and cook for another minute.
  2. Add the mushrooms, crumbled tempeh, chili powder and cumin to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often
  3. Add the lime juice, tomato puree, tamari and liquid smoke to the pan. If the mixture appears a little dry, add a couple of tbsp of water too. Give everything a good mix and cook for another 5 minutes
  4. While you are cooking the taco filling, you can also be warming the tortillas: heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Toast each tortilla on both sides for about 30 seconds and set aside.
  5. Assemble tacos: stuff each taco shell with 2-3 tbsp of filling, garnish with fresh coriander.

Notes

If you need these to be gluten-free, make sure you are using gluten-free tortillas! Most corn tortillas are gluten-free but check the package because they can be tricky!

My husband loves a little guacamole on these too…!

If you fancy making your own tortillas, try this 100% whole wheat recipe from The Lean Green Bean!

Carrot & Parsnip Soup with Crispy Curried Chickpeas

This delicately spiced carrot and parsnip soup is topped with crispy curried chickpeas, and makes for a light, healthy and satisfying soup for autumn and winter.

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I would like to claim this latest creation the PERFECT late November Soup. For my American readers: a light but filling option to negate the Thanksgiving madness. For my Brits, Canadians and everyone else living in the Northern Hemisphere: it is warm, comforting, delicately spiced, and will brighten your spirits on those short, dark days of early winter. To those in the Southern Hemisphere: I would wait until you have finished celebrating Christmas on the beach… pin for later perhaps?

Carrot & Parsnip Soup with Crispy Curried Chickpeas- Emma's Little KitchenCarrot & Parsnip Soup with Crispy Curried Chickpeas- Emma's Little Kitchen

The soup itself is good as a solid stand alone, but it is so, SO much better with these lovely crispy curried chickpeas on top, and perhaps  sprinkle of fresh coriander if you have it to hand. I also like this with a swirl of plain yoghurt if you are not after a vegan option. Similarly, there is no reason why these crispy chickpeas couldn’t be enjoyed on their own as a nutritious snack. Careful though, they are oddly addictive.

Carrot & Parsnip Soup with Crispy Curried Chickpeas- Emma's Little Kitchen

Enjoy!

Carrot & Parsnip Soup with Crispy Curried Chickpeas
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For the soup:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (peeled and diced)
  • 1 celery stalk (diced)
  • 3 large garlic cloves (minced or finely chopped)
  • 2 large parsnips (peeled and chopped into small chunks)
  • 3 medium carrots (peeled and chopped into small chunks)
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • For the chickpeas:
  • 1 tin or 2 cups of cooked chickpeas
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 400F/200C
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot
  3. Add the onion, and cook gently with the lid on for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
  4. Add the garlic and celery and cook for 5 minutes more, again with the lid on and stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the parsnips, carrots and spices, and give everything a good stir together
  6. Add the stock and bring everything the pot to the boil, reduce to simmer and cook for about 30 minutes
  7. While the soup is simmering away, make the chickpeas: simply pat chickpeas dry with a clean cloth or paper towel. Toss together with oil, curry powder and sea salt, and lay onto a foil lined baking sheet. Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes, give the tray a shake every 5-10 minutes to ensure even cooking
  8. When the vegetables are softened in the soup, transfer everything to a blender and blend until smooth (be careful blending hot liquids!!), alternatively, use a hand blender directly in the pan, adjust seasonings and add a splash more stock if needed
  9. Split the soup between 4 bowls, top with crisped chickpeas, and garnish with a tbsp or so of yoghurt and fresh coriander

Notes

Soup freezes very well, however I have found that the chickpeas only stay nice and crisp for about a day, and they are best fresh.

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Maple Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa, Kale & Smoky Tahini Sauce

This recipe for Maple Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa, Kale & Smoky Tahini Sauce makes for a hearty and flavourful main or side dish for the late autumn and early winter months.

Maple Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa, Kale & Smoky Tahini Sauce- Emma's Little Kitchen

Hello my lovelies, how is your week going? Tomorrow will be my last day at work before I go on maternity leave, and I am so ready! Sleep has been elusive for weeks, and I have felt particularly wiped out in the last few days, I’m ready to hibernate. Speaking of such things, West Michigan has outdone itself again with the old lake effect weather- we have been blasted this week! This timely combination of snowfall and sleepiness is making me want to curl up and never leave the house, so I have found myself with a little extra time to play in the kitchen- yodelay!

Maple Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa, Kale & Smoky Tahini Sauce- Emma's Little Kitchen

I wanted to create a Thanksgiving themed dish for you all, and here it is: Maple Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa, Kale & Smoky Tahini Sauce (admittedly, not the punchiest title for a recipe…). Obviously being British I didn’t grow up celebrating Thanksgiving, but it is a holiday I have embraced wholeheartedly since moving to the States. Any holiday that centers around food, drink and family is a-ok in my book! As a vegetarian, I always like to make sure that I bring something creative to family gatherings. A dish that is festive and delicious for me, but can also be enjoyed by everyone else. This recipe ticks all of those boxes, plus it is pretty easy to make so you don’t have to have any Thanksgiving morning meltdowns.

Maple Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa, Kale & Smoky Tahini Sauce- Emma's Little Kitchen

Aside from this dish, I haven’t decided what else to bring to Thanksgiving yet, but I’m thinking it will be one of the following:

Smoky String Bean Casserole with Sriracha Buttermilk Onion Rings from Eats Well with Others

Sweet Potato Pie with Sweet and Salty Pecan Crust from Ambitious Kitchen

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with a Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette from Orchard St Kitchen

Sweet Potato & Kale Gratin from Oh My Veggies

Pumpkin Hummus from the Muffin Myth

What are you making for Thanksgiving?!

Maple Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa, Kale & Smoky Tahini Sauce- Emma's Little Kitchen

Maple Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa, Kale & Smoky Tahini Sauce
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Main/Side
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • For the Squash:
  • 2 small delicata squash
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 tbsp maple syrup
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • For the Quinoa and Kale:
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup vegetable stock (or 1 cup of water)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 small bunch of kale, destemmed and finely chopped
  • ¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
  • For the Smoky Tahini Sauce:
  • ½ cup tahini
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Dash low sodium tamari
  • Dash liquid smoke (optional)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp chili powder
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C
  2. Cut the squash into 1 inch rounds
  3. Mix the olive oil, maple syrup and cayenne pepper in a bowl, and toss the squash slices with the oil-syrup mixture, or brush each slice individually. Lay the squash in a single layer on a baking sheet (line with foil for easier clean up!)
  4. Roast for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and flip, then roast for 15-20 more minutes until tender and golden
  5. Meanwhile make the quinoa and kale: Combine the quinoa, stock and water in large pot. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed, and the quinoa is tender (with a little bite!)
  6. Heat the olive oil in a large shallow skillet, add the onions and saute until softened, and the kale and saute until tender. Add the cooked quinoa to the skillet and toss to combine.
  7. Make the sauce: throw all of the sauce ingredients into a mason jar and shake shake shake until everything is well combined
  8. Assemble the dish: Place the cooked squash atop the quinoa kale mixture, sprinkle with pumpkin seeds if desired, and drizzle with the sauce

Notes:

Squash inspired by this recipe from Edible Perspective, and the sauce is adapted from this recipe from Vegan Yack Attack.

If delicata squash is not available, you can substite with any other squash- I love delicata squash as it requires no peeling (hurrah!).

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Pumpkin, White Chocolate & Cranberry Scones

These pumpkin, white chocolate & cranberry scones are made with whole wheat flour, and have a mild pumpkin flavour with pockets of sweetness from the white chocolate and cranberries.

Pumpkin, White Chocolate & Cranberry Scone- Emma's Little Kitchen

It is my observation that scones can be neatly divided into two categories: the British Scone and the American Scone. The British scone is plain, no frills. It might be dotted with dried fruit, but its main function is to provide a vehicle for the dollop of jam and cream (if you’re lucky, clotted cream) scooped liberally on top. The American scone is more of a self contained unit. Often larger and sweeter (of course…!), the American scone comes in all sorts of flavours, and stuffed full of all kinds of goodies- fruit, chocolate, nuts, spices, sometimes all of the above. No jam or cream are required on the American scone, that would be overkill.

Pumpkin, White Chocolate & Cranberry SconePumpkin, White Chocolate & Cranberry Scone- Emma's Little KitchenPumpkin, White Chocolate & Cranberry Scone- Emma's Little Kitchen

This scone is much more American in nature, moist and amber-hued from the pumpkin, mellow sweetness from the white chocolate and vanilla, and studded with tart dried cranberries. Happily it is also made with 100% whole wheat flour, just like the rest, and has a relatively low sugar content. Even though they are made with whole wheat flour, they are remarkably light, and didn’t dry out for a couple of days (although, for best results: always eat your scones on the day of baking if possible!). These scones are perfect for a weekend breakfast with a strong coffee, or for a nice mid afternoon snack. I adore them for there autumnal quality, but I have a feeling I will be enjoying them all winter long.

Pumpkin, White Chocolate & Cranberry Scone- Emma's Little KitchenEnjoy!

Pumpkin, White Chocolate & Cranberry Scones
 
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Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 5 tbsp butter, chopped into small chunks
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup white chocolate chips
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar
  3. Cut the butter into the dry mixture, you can use a pastry cutter or knife, but personally I like to use my fingers!
  4. Stir in the pumpkin puree, milk and vanilla until the mixture is fully combined
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips and cranberries
  6. Turn the mixture onto a lightly floured surface, and use your hands to mold the mixture into a circle shape, about an inch in depth
  7. Cut the circle into 8 equal portions, and transfer each scone onto a lined baking sheet
  8. Bake for about 15 minutes, until risen and slightly golden brown, remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for just a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling
  9. Eat as soon as possible!

Notes

Basic scone recipe adapted from Cookie and Kate.

These can be easily made vegan by using coconut oil in place of butter, almond milk in place of milk, and vegan white chocolate chips.

Store for 2-3 days in an air tight container.

Pasta with Butternut Squash Sage Sauce

This creamy butternut squash sage sauce is simple, quick, and can be enjoyed with any kind of pasta.

Pasta with Butternut Squash Sage Sauce-  Emma's Little Kitchen

A couple of weeks ago, after a string of failed kitchen experiments, I found myself dangerously low on blog-worthy material. Gazing into my fridge for inspiration, my eyes landed on a butternut squash, and I realised that there is something I have been keeping from you. My butternut squash sage sauce is a recipe I make so often, it really hadn’t occurred to me to blog about it. This is one of Kirks absolute favourite recipes, not just for the creamy, velvety texture, or the sweet, warm, nutty flavour, or even the fact it can be made in about 20 minutes. No, what Kirk likes most about this dish is the way it sounds when I say “Butternut Sauce” with my accent…

Pasta with Butternut Squash Sage Sauce- Emma's Little KitchenButternut Squash Sage Sauce- Emma's Little KitchenButternut Squash Sage Sauce - Emma's Little Kitchen

ANYWAY, a little more about this fabulous pasta dish: I found the original recipe for this a few years ago, but I confess I do not remember where! It was so simple that I only looked at it once and had it pretty much locked in. Over time I have tweaked and evolved the original, and it has become a staple for us in the autumn and winter months. I often double the batch so I have an easy dinner ready to go ahead of time. It can also easily be made vegan by omitting the parmesan- it will still taste great!

Butternut Squash Sage Sauce - Emma's Little KitchenEnjoy!

Pasta with Butternut Squash Sage Sauce
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large sprig of sage
  • 1 small onion
  • ½ medium butternut squash, peeled and diced (3-4 cups)
  • 1½ cups water
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan, plus more for sprinkling
  • generous helping of salt and pepper
  • One 14oz/400g box of pasta (I used whole wheat penne, but pick your fave!)
Method
  1. In a large saucepan, melt butter and olive oil over a low medium heat, add sage and cook gently for about 2 minutes, letting the sage flavour infuse the oil
  2. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes until softened, but not browned
  3. Add the butternut squash and give everything a good stir, cover and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 10-12 minutes until tender
  4. While the butternut squash is cooking, prepare the pasta according to package instructions
  5. Pour the contents of the butternut squash pan into a blender, add grated parmesan and season generously with salt and pepper, blend until smooth (be extra careful when blending hot liquids!!)
  6. Check the seasoning and consistency. If it is a little thick you can water down with a little pasta water (or just water if you are making ahead)
  7. When the pasta is cooked, drain, and return to the hot pan. Toss the pasta with the desired amount of sauce and gently heat through until piping hot
  8. Serve into bowls and sprinkle with extra parmesan

Notes

To make vegan, simply omit the cheese. The sauce is still wonderful without it.

Depending on how saucey you like your pasta, you may have a little sauce left over. It stores for up to 5 days in the fridge, or can be frozen for pasta emergencies.

Parkin

Parkin is a traditional cake native to Northern England. This better-for-you version is made with whole wheat flour and reduced refined sugar, but it is every bit as good as the original!

Whole Grain Parkin- Emma's Little Kitchen

When I tell my American friends about Bonfire Night, or “Guy Fawkes Night”, they are often a little bewildered. Maybe it’s the way I explain it, “so there was this man called Guy Fawkes who tried to blow up Parliament in 1605, but he was caught. Now we celebrate by lighting fireworks and eating toffee”. Yes, bewildering indeed!

Whole Grain Parkin- Emma's Little KitchenWhole Grain Parkin- Emma's Little Kitchen

I will  not use up anymore of this space laying out the facts of Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot, thats what google is for! What I REALLY want to talk to you about is Parkin. Oh lovely Parkin! This traditional cake is native to Northern England (where I hail from!) and it is usually served on Bonfire Night alongside the aforementioned toffee.

Whole Grain ParkinWhole Grain Parkin- Emma's Little Kitchen

A classic Parkin cake is made with treacle, ginger and oats, and some versions might even contain lard…! My version of Parkin is a little better for you than the traditional as it contains whole wheat flour, reduced refined sugar and certainly no lard. Don’t worry purists (Hi Mum!), this Parkin retains every bit of its Northern character- it’s no nonsense, perfectly spiced, moist, sticky and dense. Absolutely perfect to nibble on a cold November evening with a hot chocolate.

Whole Grain Parkin- Emma's Little Kitchen

It really is a favourite of mine, and not just out of sentimentality. Give it a try, and enjoy!

Parkin
 
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Parkin is a traditional cake native to Northern England. This better-for-you version is made with whole wheat flour and reduced refined sugar, but it is every bit as good as the original!
Author:
Serves: 9 squares
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole what pastry flour
  • ½ cup oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup plain yoghurt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ¼ cup maple syryp
  • 1 tbsp treacle or molasses
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C
  2. Grease a 9 x 9 square pan
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger
  4. In a large bowl, combine yoghurt, sugar, butter, maple syrup, and treacle
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir to combine
  6. Bake for 40 minutes until a knife or toothpick come out clean, and the edges of the cake start to pull away from the side of the pan
  7. Cool in the pan for an hour, and then turn onto a cooling rack to cool completely

Notes

Recipe adapted from here.

Parkin keeps incredibly well and becomes more sticky and moist a few days after baking, just store in an airtight container.

More about Bonfire Night at this handy dandy Wikipedia Page!