Happy Full Hunter's/Garlic Moon!
Read about the agricultural background of this moon (which I use as a template for each month's recipe) here: https://www.almanac.com/content/full-moon-october
This month's "Moon Meal" is: Garlic Chicken (slow-cooked) and Apple-Pumpkin Ravioli made with Yuca Root (Cassava) flour! Full recipe at the bottom!
This "Grounding Meal" utilizes root veggies (garlic, cassava) to help root and ground our bodies and attune to the element of Earth before wintertime sets in (the meditative Water element is strong during winter). Seasonal foods red apple (red helps to balance the root chakra) is mixed with pumpkin to fill the cassava root raviolis, and can be topped with more filling or a sweet red sauce. Chicken with plenty of whole garlic cloves helps boost our immune systems before the dreaded "sickness season" starts, and helps give this meal a complete protein to boost Seratonin production. Sadly, I didn't acquire anything "Hunted" to recognize the "Hunter's Moon", because hunting season here in Upstate NY has just begun.
As for the Nutritional Psychology aspect I include in my Moon Meals, it's got the chicken for protein that I mentioned, no gluten, and no added sugar. It'll keep your blood sugar more stable than using white flour dough for raviolis, which keeps stress hormones and mood stable, as well as decreasing the risk for Diabetes. You can add ricotta into the pumpkin-apple mixture for added creaminess, if you do dairy, but it's great without it too. The chicken is slow-cooked in a mixture of manuka honey and raw apple cider vinegar, which boosts gut health (and strengthens the mind-gut connection).
Local ingredients include: Garlic from Wolf Hollow Farm, Newport NY, Eggs from Verona, NY (bought at Peter's Cornucopia, New Hartford), tomato sauce from my garden tomatoes which I made and froze at the end of summer, apples from North Star Orchard, Westmoreland, NY (I'm not sure if the apples are organic, which is important especially with apples, but again I'm not sure so it might be something to look into)
(Please pre-read the recipe for ingredients. It's an entire meal, and the recipes are whole foods, basic, and open to interpretation. I want to encourage people to be flexible and creative in their cooking, and to add their own personality!)
Garlic Chicken thighs
- Dry off 2-3 pounds of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, and generously sprinkle with pink sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Chop 1/2 a yellow onion and peel *but leave whole*15-20 garlic cloves.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy-bottom pan or cat-iron skillet, on medium-high heat.
- Sear the chicken thighs, skin side down about 3 minutes. Do not turn. Avoid over-crowding; may have to use 2 pans or sear in batches. Set aside on paper towels, and then put in a slow cooker on low.
- Add the onions, garlic, 1 tbsp. dried basil, and 1 tbsp. dried bay leaves to the pan, and cook about 8 minutes, before the onions starting turning brown.
- Deglaze the pan with 1/3 cup raw Apple Cider Vinegar and 1 tbsp. honey (I used Wedderspoon Apple Cider Vinegar with KFactor 16 and Manuka Honey) Let cook for 1 minute, stirring up any brown bits stuck to the pan.
- Pour ACV/honey mixture into slow cooker over chicken thighs and cook on low for 4 hours.
Step 1: Make the filling
- Cut 1 pie pumpkin in half, scoop out seeds and guts, place cut side down in a glass baking dish, and rub a little olive oil on the outsides of the pumpkin. Add a little water in the bottom of the dish, and bake at 375F for 60 minutes. When the pumpkin is done cooking, the skins should easily slide off.
- Mash the pumpkin in a large bowl. Peel and chop 2 soft apples (I used Macintosh) and mix into the mashed pumpkin. Add 2-4 tbsp. of maple syrup (start small and taste-test depending on how sweet you want the filling), and mix into the pumpkin and apple well.
- If you are dairy-free, the filling is done! If not, add about a 1/4 cup of ricotta cheese and mix well.
Step 2: Make the dough and raviolis
- Mix together 1 cup cassava flour, 1 tsp. salt, 1 egg, 2 tbsp olive oil, and 2 tbsp. bone/stock broth or water, until a pliable but not-too-sticky dough forms. Add more cassava flour or more broth/water until dough is slightly tacky, but not too sticky.
- Wrap in plastic wrap or a similar wrapping and leave on the counter for about a half hour.
- Sprinkle a little cassava flour on your counter and rolling pin, and carefully roll out the dough as thin as you can without destroying it (about 1/8'' thick).
- With a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut out as many squares as you can fit, at least 4''x4'' (you'll want them a little big). Any remaining dough can be re-rolled and shaped into more ravioli squares.
- Fill one of the squares with a little filling, wet the edges a little, carefully top and seal in the filling with another square, and gently press sides together with a fork, creating a pattern down all 4 sides.
- Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil. Carefully drop each ravioli, one at a time, into the boiling water (I put mine on a big slotted spoon and gently lowered into the water). Be careful not the overcrowd. Each ravioli takes about 6 minutes to cook (they will float when they are done). Gently lift each out and place on a plate to dry and cool down.
Raviolis can be topped with more filling, or a little sweet red sauce!