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A PARTNERSHIP WITH TUPELO BLOGGERS recipe by Lauren McElwain photographed by Joe Worthem


hanging seasons inspire food blogger Lauren McElwain to experiment with new recipes in her Tupelo kitchen. Anticipation of cooler weather and falling leaves led her to imagine this dish featuring international flavors, warm spices and seasonal produce. “International flavors inspire me to put a different twist on Deep South cooking,” McElwain said. “Soups are always a coolweather favorite at my house. For something a little different, curries offer the same comforting experience with a bit of a worldly flair.”   Find more of McElwain’s recipes at and 1cookingchick

Butternut Squash, Kale and Chickpea Curry 2 Tablespoons olive oil 1 sweet onion, chopped 1 shallot, minced 2-3 garlic cloves, minced 2 Tablespoons red curry paste 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon coriander 1 teaspoon turmeric ½ teaspoon cumin 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced 1-2 jalapeño peppers, finely chopped 1 bunch kale (stems removed), roughly chopped 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 1 can coconut milk 1 cup water Juice of ½ a lime Salt and pepper, to taste 2 cups cooked basmati rice Fresh cilantro for garnish Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pan or Dutch oven. Cook onion, shallot and garlic in oil, stirring, for about 5 minutes, until onion starts to tenderize. Add the curry paste and spices, and cook, stirring, for a couple more minutes. Add the butternut squash, jalapeño, kale, chickpeas, coconut milk, water, lime juice, salt and pepper, and stir. Turn up the heat, and allow mixture to come to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil, turn the heat down to medium-low, and simmer, covered, for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the butternut squash has reached desired tenderness, remove from heat, and serve with basmati rice or warm naan (see following recipe to make your own). Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Naan 1 package active dry yeast 1 cup warm water ¼ cup sugar 3 Tablespoons milk 1 egg, beaten 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon white pepper 4½ cups bread flour 1 Tablespoon garlic powder ½ cup crumbled feta cheese ¼ cup butter, melted In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Let stand 10 minutes, until it foams. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, pepper and enough of the flour to make a soft dough. On a lightly floured surface, knead 6-8 minutes or until smooth. Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. After 1 hour, punch down dough, and knead in garlic powder and feta cheese. Divide dough into small balls, about 2 inches in diameter, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and let rise again until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat grill pan over high heat. Roll dough balls out into thin circles. Oil grill pan, and place circles of dough on it, cooking each for 2-3 minutes or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and flip. Then brush cooked side with butter, and grill until browned, 2-4 minutes. Remove from griddle, and serve warm.

Lauren McElwain is founder and creator of Tupelo Bloggers, a group of creative people from the community who are excited to share their ideas and thoughts about things that matter and inspire in Tupelo. Learn more in this monthly column and at

10 INVITATION TUPELO | October 2017

Invitation Tupelo - October 2017