I started the fall season with a beautiful wellness luncheon hosted by one of my favorite designers, Jenni Kayne. Sitting down to eat with Jenni is a delight, she’s in the know on the latest wellness trends and the conversation can flow between health, children, and the latest wellness trends with ease. We created a menu that was healthful and restorative, but a bit richer and warmer for the fall season. The main course consisted of wellness bowls with ingredients like chickpea tofu, roasted eggplant, and hen of the woods mushrooms, and a dairy-free pear tart with almond crust for dessert. The meal was colorful and comforting and presented so that everyone got to compose their own bowls so they could indulge or abstain depending on their preferences.
We started the day with my “fall elixir”; a juice made with beet, fresh pineapple, cucumber, and fresh ginger. I love green juice year-round, but it’s fun to mix it up and this blend can be especially helpful during cold season to keep your immune system strong.
Photo Credit: Mordan Pansing
Fall Beet Juice Blend:
1 small beet
¾ cup fresh pineapple
1 small Persian cucumber
1 ½ inches fresh ginger
Run ingredients through juicer. Stir and enjoy.
Fall Wellness Bowls:
Sorghum Sauteed with Lemon, Olive, Oil, and Leeks
Roasted Maitake Mushrooms
Wild Smoked Salmon
Bagna Cauda Tomatoes
Wild Green Blends
Herb Detox Dressing
Lemony Cashew Cream
Signature Ingredients for Wellness Bowls:
If you’ve made polenta before, the process of making chickpea tofu is very similar. Chickpea flour is whisked with salt and water in a saucepan, then whisked until smooth, then poured into a pan to set. To add a little flavor to this, I added a couple cloves of pressed garlic in the process, and some dried herbs.
1 cup chickpea flour
1 tsp. sea salt
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tsp. dried herbs (your choice, I used basil, thyme, oregano)
3 cups of water, divided
1-2 tsp. olive oil
Lightly oil a square pan (I used 8 x 8 inch size) with olive oil.
To a medium mixing bowl add chickpea flour in a bowl along with the salt, garlic, and ground seasonings. Whisk to combine. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and whisk until smooth.
In a medium stock pot, bring 1 ½ cups water to a boil, then reduce heat to medium/high and vigorously stire in the chickpea flour and water mixture from above. Whisk this over the heat consistently until the mixture becomes thick, smooth, and “glossy” about 6-7 minutes.
Pour mixture into the greased pan. Leave out at room temperature to cool and set for minimum of two hours. You can serve chilled, at room temp, or sauté in a little coconut or olive oil and enjoy warm.
Cut into cubes. Store in a container in the fridge up to 3 days.
Roasted Maitake Mushrooms:
10 ounces (approx. bunches) maitake aka “Hen of the Woods” Mushrooms
1 T. fresh thyme, finely chopped
½ T. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon
3 T. olive oil
generous pinch of sea salt
fresh ground pepper
Preheat over to 350 degrees.
Shred the small bunches of mushroom into small clusters. Add to a medium mixing bowl and toss with olive oil, seasonings, lemon juice, and a couple pinches of sea salt and grind of black pepper.
Arrange seasoned mushrooms in a single layer on a large sheet pan. Place in oven and roast until golden brown and crisped on the edges (approx. 45-50 minutes). Taste, adjust seasoning and enjoy warm.
Tomatoes Bagna Cauda
1/3 cup olive oil
2 T. grass-fed butter
3 anchovy fillets
3-4 large garlic cloves
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Blend oil, butter, anchovy, and garlic in blender until smooth.
Place tomatoes in an oven safe 8-inch pan. Pour the bagna cauda sauce over the tomatoes. Place in oven to roast for 25 minutes.
Lemony Garlic Cashew Cream Sauce with Dijon:
1/2 cup cashews, soaked in hot water minimum 3 hours
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
3-6 T. of filtered water
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1-2 cloves garlic
generous pinch sea salt
Add all ingredients to a high powered blender or food processor. Add water 1 T. at a time, as needed to blend until smooth and creamy
Sorghum with Lemon, Garlic, Leeks
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill sorghum
2 T. organic extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, pressed or finely chopped
2 large leeks, thinly sliced
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
pinch sea salt and cracked black pepper
Soak sorghum in a bowl of water 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse. Place in a pot covered with 3-4 inches of water. Bring to a boil over high, then reduce heat to constantly simmer (uncovered) for about 35-45 minutes. Add more water if needed to keep sorghum covered. Remove from heat when cooked to your liking. (If you don’t pre-soak, cook sorghum for 50-65 minutes. Taste for doneness.) Drain water and place in a large bowl.
Heat a medium sized sauté pan over medium heat with tablespoon olive oil. Once hot, add sliced leeks with a pinch of salt and cook for about 5-6 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add lemon juice and zest and toss in the cooked sorghum. Finish with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.
Gluten Free Pear Tart:
8 inch tart pan, lined with parchment paper
1/3 cup melted grass-fed butter or non-dairy alternative
½ cup coconut palm sugar
1 cup gluten free All-Purpose Flour (I like Arrowhead Mill’s)
2 whole Bartett pears (could also use D’Anjou), the firmer the better
2 cups water
½ cup honey
1 cinnamon stick
2 tsp. grated ginger
1/3 cup almond butter
¼ cup coconut palm sugar
2 egg yolks
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, beat butter with a mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add ¼ cup of sugar; beat until combined. Beat in the 1 cup of flour until crumbly, being careful not to over-mix. Press mixture into the bottom of an lined 8-inch round tart pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool as your prepare other ingredients.
Peel the pears, cut them into quarters and remove the cores. Heat a medium saucepan over medium high heat, add water, honey, spices stirring until the honey has dissolved completely.
Add the quartered pears. Then turn heat to a low simmer and cover the pot until the pears are cooked through but still firm, about 10-12 minutes.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pears to a wire rack. Let them cool until you can handle them comfortably. Slice each pear quarter into 1/4-inch thick wedges.
Add the almond butter, egg yolks, and coconut palm sugar to a small mixing bowl. Hand mix until smooth.
Finish the Tart:
Adjust oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Pour the almond butter filling into the cooled crust. Use a spatula to smooth the filling evenly over the crust. Then, carefully layer the slices of pear, overlapping, in a circular pattern
Place in oven and bake 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely.
To unmold the tart, push the base of the pan up from the bottom and put aside the frame. Leave the base of the pan underneath the tart and carefully slide it onto a serving plate.
Cut into slices and serve with coconut ice cream.