Poblano Cornbread Stuffing

poblano cornbread stuffing / loveandlemons.com

I come from a very traditional midwestern family where some Thanksgiving traditions are not to be messed with. I don’t know how some of these culinary delights came to be, but I’m sure many of you can relate… the infamous canned green bean casserole made with canned cream of mushroom soup and canned fried onions? Plain white mashed potatoes with a stick of butter? Sweet potatoes made sweeter with sticky marshmallows? And I’m not sure if this is a midwest thing or a “my family” thing, but there’s always Jello (and not for dessert… it’s “dinner Jello”).*

I won’t be with my family this Thanksgiving, but if I were, I might bring something like this to spice things up…

poblano cornbread stuffing / loveandlemons.com

I’ve had cornbread stuffing on my mind lately and when I saw these cute little poblano peppers at the farmers market, I knew they would add just the right kick (of course you could use jalapeños if you can’t find poblanos).

poblano cornbread stuffing / loveandlemons.com

It’s a bit of an extra step to have to make the cornbread, but you can make it a day or two in advance. (And it’s ok if you sample a piece).

poblano cornbread stuffing / loveandlemons.com

I mixed in some traditional stuffing ingredients – onions, celery, carrots, and sage – as well as some southwestern accents – scallions, cilantro and mexican oregano. And for a healthy kick I even snuck in some kale.

poblano cornbread stuffing / loveandlemons.com *disclaimer: my mom is also not a fan of the green bean casserole and of course she makes many other delicious Thanksgiving dishes aside from the ones I listed above. And “dinner-jello” is made with love by my Aunt Kathy, and was, in fact, my sister’s favorite dish as a kid.

{ loving this enamelware, pictured above, from the new West Elm Market }

Quinoa stuffed acorn squash

quinoa stuffed acorn squash / loveandlemons.com My idea of a vegetarian thanksgiving looks something like this… seasonal acorn squash stuffed with a sauté of quinoa and kale… kicked up a notch with scallions, tangy feta, sweet currants, and toasty pumpkin seeds. A colorful & hearty meal that doesn’t sacrifice on flavor. With all of the great produce this time of year, who really needs turkey and mashed white potatoes? (ok, just kidding, don’t answer that).

quinoa stuffed acorn squash / loveandlemons.com quinoa stuffed acorn squash / loveandlemons.com

Spicy Seared Okra

spicy seared okra // loveandlemons.com

I realize, it’s halloween and okra is not exactly candy. But this simple recipe is so good, you’ll crave it like chocolate. Ok, maybe that’s a stretch, but you’ll crave it nonetheless.

Okra is something that’s completely new to me. I’ve been living here in Texas for awhile now, but have never been so inclined to give this humble vegetable a try until I had it at this summer at Contigo.

Their preparation is pretty straight forward: oil, garlic… cook them over high heat so they get that nice char without becoming slimy. The genius part is the way they finish it with sherry vinegar. It gives them such a sweet, tangy, almost pickled, kind of flavor… you’ll start eating these and not be able to stop.

spicy seared okra
  • a tablespoon or so of olive oil
  • 12 or so pieces okra, sliced in half
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • ½ jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
  • small handful of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 4 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet. When your pan is really hot, add the okra and sauté until they start to turn brown. Add a few pinches of salt.
  2. Add shallots and jalapeños; sauté for 1 minute. Add garlic, sauté for 30 seconds. Add walnuts and tomatoes, and toss to incorporate.
  3. Deglaze pan with sherry vinegar, and reduce until it’s almost dry. Remove pan from heat, and add the butter, tossing and stirring to create a glaze.