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Nutty Cauliflower Pilaf

Last night we went to our friends' house for their annual Friendsgiving party. The celebration has grown to about 40 people and features the most amazing potluck feast you can imagine! We all sign up for dishes in advance and this year I brought a Nutty Cauliflower Pilaf using a bag of Taylor Farms Cauliflower Pearls. I thought this would be a good one to bring since it's gluten-free and we have several friends that are gluten intolerant. (Also, one of the only vegetables I can currently get Ezra to eat is cauliflower in this riced/pearl form!) I mixed the cauliflower with quinoa to give it a bit more substance, and for crunch and chew, you can mix in any nuts, seeds or dried berries you have on hand. This will be making a repeat appearance at our Thanksgiving table this Thursday.

I also made a couple quick, seasonal sides to go with it: A simple Kale Salad with baby kale, persimmons and pomegranate seeds, plus some Crispy Old Bay Brussels (see recipes below.)

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Nutty Cauliflower Pilaf

16 oz (1 bag) Taylor Farms Cauliflower Pearls

1 c cooked red or white quinoa

2T butter

2T olive oil

1/4 c golden raisins

1/4 c dried cherries

1/4 c shelled whole pistachios (or chop, if you prefer)

1/4 c sunflower seeds

salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, sauté the cauliflower pearls with the butter and olive oil over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are softer, translucent and just starting to brown. Mix in all other ingredients and serve warm in a bowl or on a platter. Serves 6 as a side (easily doubled or tripled for a larger group).

Kale Salad with Persimmon & Pomegranate

11 oz (1 box) Taylor Farms Organic Baby Kale

1 Fuyu persimmon (I leave the peel on)

1/3 c fresh pomegranate seeds (about a 1/2  pomegranate)

Place baby kale on a large platter and top with slices of persimmon and pomegranate seeds. Use your favorite balsamic dressing. Serves about 6. 

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Crispy Old Bay Brussels

9 oz (1 bag) Taylor Farms Shaved Brussels Sprouts

Olive oil

Old Bay seasoning

Spread the brussels out on a baking sheet in a thin, even layer and drizzle the entire surface generously with olive oil and sprinkle with plenty of Old Bay seasoning (which adds saltiness and spiciness). Roast in the oven at 400ºF for about 20 minutes, tossing once or twice, until some bits are brown and crispy. Check it occasionally to make sure it's not burning. Serve hot. This dish is best served relatively soon after roasting, as the crispiness will reduce with time. Serves about 4 as a side.

We are hosting Thanksgiving for the first time this year– 18 people for dinner in our little cabin will be quite cozy...we are excited! Check my Instagram stories for more (@theforestfeast). 

Happy Thanksgiving,

Erin

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This post was done in partnership with Taylor Farms. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Forest Feast possible.

My Quinoa in People Mag!

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Apparently, 2013 has been named the “International Year of Quinoa”! For this reason, People Magazine reached out to me looking for a quinoa recipe, and they chose one of my favorites- my Fall Quinoa Salad with red bell peppers, butternut squash and dried figs. It’s featured in the November 11th issue of People which is on stands now (a collector’s issue with the Royals on the cover!). This recipe can be served warm or at room temperature and would be a great Thanksgiving side (especially for all your gluten free guests!). 

And if you’re really into quinoa, here are a couple other ideas:

Quinoa Edamame Salad   &   Mushroom Quinoa Risotto

By Erin Gleeson for The Forest Feast

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These tasty little filo cups are simply filled with a piece of brie and some carmelized onions with thyme. Sautée the onions in butter first to get them golden brown.  One large onion and one wedge of brie makes 8-12 onion bites.

Great for entertaining! Enjoy!

By Erin Gleeson for The Forest Feast

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Have you ever seen how brussels sprouts grow? They are so beautiful! I recently came across this field of them not too far from us, in Half Moon Bay, where there is so much gorgeous farmland on the sea. I got some brussels sprouts in my CSA box this week so it inspired me to come home and make an oldie but goodie, roasted brussels sprouts with golden raisins and turkey kielbasa. Swap out the kielbasa for tofu sausage or onions if you’d like a veggie version of this. You can also just as easily use a cookie sheet. Use olive oil generously and keep that oven high to ensure crispy bits on the edges of the sprouts (the best part!).

Recipe and artwork by Erin Gleeson for The Forest Feast

Persimmon Squash Salad

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Persimmons are my favorite autumn fruit and I was so excited to share this recipe on Design Sponge on Friday- it’s a great, alternative Thanksgiving side salad. Trees around the Bay Area are bursting with persimmons right now and my friend, photographer Topher Simon, let me come over and pick from (and photograph!) his tree. Be sure when eating persimmons raw you choose the Fuyu variety- they are more squat and crunchy. The other more oblong variety leave a pasty taste in your mouth when eaten raw- they  are meant for cooking with.

Check out the Design Sponge post of this recipe for more photos and detailed instructions. Enjoy!

By Erin Gleeson for The Forest Feast