January 14, 2009

Squash Fritters and Starting School

It happens all the time – despite my best intentions, food goes to waste because I only need, say, HALF an onion or 1 cup of cauliflower instead of the whole head. The remainders sometimes sadly are forgotten until they go bad and with a heavy heart I toss 'em in the trash. Which reminds me I need to figure out how to compost, apartment-style. Anyway, with 3/4 of a butternut squash aging in the fridge, I was determined to find an easy recipe to use it up tonight. No one recipe was quite right so I combined a couple of ideas and came up with some quite delicious veggie fritters! Kickass.

Butternut Squash Fritters

2 cups butternut squash
1/2 onion
1/4 cup amaranth
8 oz. tofu
1/2 cup cashew pieces
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbl. olive oil
1/2-1 cup soymilk
S+P to taste
Ghee, for frying
Tamari, as dressing.

Preheat oven to 275. In food processor, grind cashews. Add tofu and combine. Set aside in bowl. Again in food processor using grating blade, grate squash and onion. Add to cashew mixture and blend. Add amaranth, flour, eggs, oil and S+P and mix well. Finally, add enough soymilk to create a sort of batter. It should not be runny at all, just moist enough to hold together.

In cast iron skillet, heat 1 Tbl. ghee over medium heat. You could use oil instead but the smoking point of ghee makes it less likely that your fire alarm will go off. Drop ice cream scoop-fulls of veggie batter onto skillet and flatten with a spatula. Cook for a few minutes and flip. Cook until browned. Since you will be working in batches, keep cooked fritters in the oven to stay warm. Serve with tamari and a green salad or green veggie side dish!

Part of my reason for using up extra stuff in the fridge is because I'm going away for 3 nights to start school at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in NYC! It's going to be once or twice a month until July and at the end I'll be certified as a holistic health counselor, ready to work with individuals and groups. It's so exciting! This is a field I am (obviously) so interested in and committed to. It feels awesome to start something fresh and do something I believe in. So, the travel back and forth to NYC might be rough but I'm going to do my best to stay sane and get enough rest so I actually make it through my classes. So much more to come about this, I will surely be writing more in the future about the program. Biggest news for weekend #1 is that Marion Nestle, author of What To Eat, will be speaking. Stay tuned and in the meantime, use up that leftover celery in the fridge, would ya?


amandalouden said...

Congrats on the school! that's great! I am a holistic nutrition educator too and it's a very rewarding field. my website is www.eatyourroots.org

Anonymous said...

You are going to love IIN! Don't worry about the getting back and forth to NYC. I did the commute thing too. The best part is that you get there on Fridays so you have time to rest up before Saturday class. Get up early on Saturday and have a really good breakfast. Lunch time is short and you won't have time to go too far from where class is held or time to hang out usually. I found having a hearty breakfast was the best thing and lunch should be light so you don't feel the afternoon slump. After the class on Saturday, go out for a really healthy dinner with IIN friends if you can :) I mean go to the great places like Mana or Souen. Eat early (by 6pm) and get to bed by 10 and repeat all this on Sunday :) It will help you stay focused, light and energized.
Okay I know it was unsolicitized but any time I know someone is going to IIN, I get very excited for them. I graduated from the program 4 years ago and have never been happier!
Good luck and enjoy every minute!

Anonymous said...

PS...oh and it's Institute FOR Integrative Nutrition...not OF :)

Ellen Claire said...

This recipe looks delicious! And I'm so freakin' excited for you. :)

Darya Pino said...

Creative, nice!!

Have a blast in your new program. It sounds awesome!

chia pet said...

Hi, i recently found your blog, and with this post and the previous one i have a question. I am usually constipated. However, I eat plenty of vegetables, fiber 1, and fruit. But in order to induce a bowel movement I need to consume a lot of prunes and even a lot of coffee. Do you have any ideas of what else I can do?
Enjoy the school. Sounds great.

jenn said...

hi! i've never written but i frequent your blog which i found through 101 cookbooks. anyway, my mom is also just about to start school at the institute for integrative nutrition! i don't know that much about the program but, from what i can tell, you'll probably be in the same class. kind of nuts!

Pia said...

Good Luck with starting school Michelle! I'm excited for you! - Pia

Pia said...

Good Luck with starting school Michelle! I'm excited for you. -Pia

Lori said...

How exciting! That is such great news. I can't wait to hear how you like it. I'm exploring what I want to do in addition to writing when we move back to the States. What you are doing is something tat is on my list to look into more. Keep us posted!

Oh and those squash fritters look so great! I just bought a butternut squash yesterday and that might be a good thing to use it for. Yum!

Michelle said...

Amanda--yes, I've checked out your site! maybe you can help me understand how on earth I will get clients? i have never considered myself an entrepreneur!

Anon--thanks for all the great info. i ended up doing very poorly this first weekend, getting sick with fever and leaving New York by lunch on Sunday. Ugh. I'm really going to need to start doing something differently. And yes, you're right, Institute FOR Integrative Nutrition!

Ellen--thx, and me for you as well ;-P

Darya--yeah i dabble in fritters from time to time. this is the first occasion I didn't smoke out the house though. score!

chia pet--everyone is different, as you can tell by the comments on this post. maybe try eggplant, like christine! in all seriousness, it could maybe be due to medication you're on, or any number of reasons specific to your body. don't give up, just pay close attention to what goes in and out of your body and try to find patterns.

jenn--oh, that's funny! small world.

pia--thank you!

lori--so far the school seems great. it's MY health that's the problem. i just don't know how i am going to manage all this travel and school and ultimately business building, WHILE still working my normal 40 hrs/week, and not get sick constantly!

Erica said...

mmmmmmmmmmm the fritters look so good! I am sorry you've been sicky! I hope you feel better

Anonymous said...

a friend of mine is a holistic nutrition counselor also, also graduate of IIN. she teaches yoga too. find a local studio that will let you put a column or something in their monthly emails about nutrition...

Noodlegirl said...

omg that looks so good!

Rachel Murray said...

Hi Michelle- I enjoy your blog, congratulations on the new schooling. I don't know if you were serious about composting in your apartment, but if so, can I suggest a worm bin? I used to have one until we got municipal composting, and it was great! You can order one, but I suggest making your own, lots of instructions available online like this: http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/Easywormbin.htm

REC(ession)IPES said...

Nice post: throwing out leftover spoiled produce drives me crazy too!