Taste the Local Difference: October Four Food Finds 1

It is time for this week’s Four Food Finds with Taste the Local Difference.

Michelle caught up with friend of ‘the four’, Tricia Phelps who is the CEO of Taste the Local Difference. Fall is here and that means in season veggies are changing and fall festivities are just round the corner.

One of Tricia’s favorite in season veggies is the Delicata Squash which is only in season for a short period of time. She loves to slice them into half-moons and back them in the oven, but she also shared a couple great recipes with us.

Here they are:

Roasted Delicata Squash and Ginger Salad


  • 2 delicata squash (Local sources: Lakeview Hill Farm, Loma Farm, Spirit of Walloon)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 cups Baby Arugula (used Lakeview Hill Farm for this recipe)
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 apple (used Bakker’s Acres for this recipe)

Ingredients for Ginger Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon tahini paste
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey (Local Sources: Bear Creek Organic Farm, Champion Hill Farm, Sleeping Bear Farms)
  • 1 tablespoon baby ginger (Local Sources: Lakeview Hill Farm or Open Sky Organic Farm)
  • Splash of water (to adjust desired thickness)
  • Salt to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut the delicata squash in half, cut the stems off the end, and scoop out the seeds.
  2. Coat the squash with olive oil (canola or sunflower oil will work too). Place the squash with the cut side up on a baking sheet. Salt and pepper as desired and place in the oven for 30 minutes (or until squash is tender all the way through).
  3. Meanwhile, prepare your salad while the squash is cooking. For the dressing:  Add all of the ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend together.
  4. Slice up your apple, and toss with the arugula, goat cheese and salad dressing is a small bowl.
  5. Take squash out of oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
  6. To serve, pour the desired amount of salad directly over the squash.

Savory Squash Soup


  • 1 medium butternut squash (or 2 delicata), halved and seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée fresh or canned
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 3 cups vegetable broth or water
  • Juice from ½ lemon


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the squash, cut sides down, on the baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes. Let the squash cool, then scoop the flesh into a small bowl and discard the skin.
  2. In a medium pot, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, squash, pumpkin, salt, chili powder, cumin, oregano, coriander and cloves. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Pour in the vegetable broth or water and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the squash is completely softened.
  4. Using an immersion blender, blend the squash soup until smooth, about 1 minute.
  5. Taste the soup and add more salt as needed, around ½ teaspoon for vegetable broth or 1 teaspoon if you used water.

Roasted Delicata Squash


  • 2-4 delicata squash, depending on size (~1.5 lbs)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and wipe off the squash.
  2. Cut delicata in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Cut each delicata half into 1/2 inch segments, creating moon shaped pieces.
  3. Arrange the pieces in a single layer on a baking pan and toss with olive oil. Too much oil can make the squash soggy. Salt gently.
  4. Place in oven and roast 10 minutes. Using a spatula, turn the squash in the pan so the browned sides are facing upward.
  5. Continue roasting, turning every 7-10 minutes until both sides of the squash are golden brown and the squash is soft (about 25-30 minutes). Adjust salt as needed.

For her second topic of the week, she is recommending the Iron Fish Distillery at the top of her list of places to eat and drink this fall. From home grown grain to locally grown food, they are always helping out the community and dishing out some of the best drinks around. Plus, who wouldn’t want to enjoy some live and local music with their meal?

Next, she told us all about how you can take advantage of the plentiful amounts of apples being grown locally with Michigan Apple Crunch Day being this Thursday, Oct. 10. People from all across Michigan will take videos and pictures with their friends, families, and co-workers as they crunch into an apple with nearly 1.6 million other people across the state. To register and make sure you are in the count, click here.

Plus, she told us all about what is happening this fall in the wine world. It is harvest season for grapes and that means vineyards across northern Michigan are toasting to the season of fall. To learn all about some of the great vineyards near you, click here.

Enjoy the fall weather and get cooking and drinking with Taste the Local Difference.

Categories: Recipes, the four