Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Roasted Turkey with Raspberry Salsa, Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash Stew

Have you ever had the experience of attending a luncheon or supper in honor of someone? It's an exciting event, all friends and admirers gather from near and far with the intention of honoring this fine individual.

But what do you do when your guest of honor never arrives?

We were supposed to have as our guest of honor, Dr. Bonnie Camo, former Monday Suppers attendee, current resident of Trebisacce Marina, Calabria, Italy. She is an MD who now practices homeopathy and holistic medicine, and she has written a number of articles for the Suppers program. Brain Health explores methods of maintaining your brain function against the onslaught of memory loss, Alzheimer's, mental imbalance and other ailments. Biotypes of Alcoholism was presented at the National Council on Alcoholism in 1982. She has served as a medical adviser to the Suppers program before her move to Italy.

Unfortunately, despite the turnout of over a dozen members, Dr. Bonnie was unable to make it. She didn't have a car and since we were unaware of this fact until after the meal, no car (or limo) arrived to take her to the Suppers luncheon. 

However, she might (hopefully) be happy to know that the Monday group created and enjoyed another successful Suppers meal. Since it was February 14, the theme was "red" foods, so we had a raspberry salsa, roasted butternut squash soup (with its orange-red carotenoid) and as a special Valentine's Day treat, living foods carob coconut candy. As much as we missed Dr. Bonnie's presence, everyone had a great time catching up with old friends. It seems she brought Suppers members together just by the possibility of her presence, which certainly is a good thing.

I helped chop vegetables and fruit for the raspberry salsa. This salsa was an intriguing mix of savory vegetables, herbs and sweet fruit, not committing itself to any one category, and subsequently a refreshing harbinger of spring/summer without being too cloying. I can't recommend this salsa enough. Not only is it a healthful, nutritious choice, it is positively addictive. I asked Dorothy where the recipe was from, and she said, "There's no recipe, I just made it up, like I usually do!" It really is a gift to be able to throw together ingredients that seem so disparate and to end up with something so scrumptious. Inspired by Marcia Willsie's flavor demo, I recently purchased "The Flavor Bible" with the intention of developing this talent. The book is a reference point for experienced cooks who want to take their cooking to another level. I was pleased to see that the couple who started Vij's in Vancouver were contributors to this book, along with other noted chefs such as Alice Waters and Eric Ripert.

This salsa was intended to be served with roasted turkey or chicken, but it certainly can hold its own as a side dish. I can't wait to make it when the pertinent vegetables, herbs and fruits are in season in New Jersey. I imagine farm fresh raspberries, greens and orchard apples would create an even more delectable and unforgettable raspberry salsa.
The vegetarians ate the Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash Stew, which was also a nice, hearty dish. Even though Monday was warmer than usual, this stew was fine even in the milder weather.

Butternut squash is sweeter and not as low carbohydrate as spaghetti squash, so you must be aware of this fact if you have any tendency toward high blood sugar. However, squash is rich in beta-cryptoxanthin, an orange-red cancer-fighting carotenoid.

For dessert, one of our members arrived with some living food Death By Chocolate macaroons made with carob. She owns a dehydrater and put them in the dehydrater at 100 degrees for 24 hours. I am not sure what the oven equivalent would be. I would bake them for the same amount of time as any macaroon.

As you can see from this Valentine's Day bounty, our luncheon was a sweetheart deal. I'm just sorry that Dr. Bonnie was unable to savor it, but she is returning to Italy, which is certainly no hardship when it comes to fresh, healthful and delectable food choices.

Roasted Turkey with Raspberry Salsa


  • 1 turkey breast, 6 – 8 pounds
  • High quality, coarse salt
  • olive oil

Salsa Ingredients:

  • 3 bell peppers, red, yellow or orange
  • 1 small red onion
  • 3 apples, unpeeled
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • 1 orange
  • ½ - 1 whole bunch parsley
  • ½ bunch cilantro
  • juice of one lemon


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Rinse the turkey breast and pat dry.

Place breast up in a roasting pan.

Rub it with a little salt and drizzle on a little olive oil.

Roast the turkey, basting a couple times, for about 3 hours or until the thermometer registers done for turkey.

Let it sit for 20 minutes before carving.  Serve with pan juices.

Salsa Directions:

Juice the lemon and put it in a mixing bowl and toss the following ingredients as you add them.

Finely chop the peppers, onion, apples and orange. 

Mince the herbs.  Toss in raspberries and serve.

Serves 10 – 12.

Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash Stew


  • 1 pound dried chick peas, prepared according to package directions, or two large cans
  • olive oil or coconut fat
  • 2 butternut squashes
  • 2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 TBS ground cumin
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bunches collard greens, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • water
  • salt, pepper, and/or hot sauce to taste


Clean and peel the squash and cut into thick rounds, at least an inch thick.

Coat a cookie sheet with olive oil.  Lay each round on the sheet and flip it so that there is a film of olive oil on top.

Roast the squash at 400 for about 25 minutes and flip.  Continue roasting until it’s fork tender.  Allow to cool enough to handle.

In enough oil to coat the bottom of the soup pot well, sauté cardamom and cumin for a minute, then add the onions and garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes.

Add the collards, chick peas and vegetable broth and just enough water to cover the greens. 

Simmer until the greens are tender enough.

Cut the squash into large chunks and add them to the stew.  Heat through and serve.

Makes 8 – 10 dinner portions.

Death by Chocolate Macaroons

  • 2 cups dried coconut flakes
  • i cup carob powder or chocolate powder
  • 3/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp. Himalayan salt

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl with your hands or a spoon.  
Form the mixture into one-inch balls and place them on Teflex-lined dehydrator trays.  
Flatten the cookies with your hands or a fork and dehydrate at 115 degrees for 20 to 30 hours, depending on the size of the cookie.

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