Thursday, October 19, 2017

Pumpkkin Mac and Cheese with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower

Pumpkin Mac and Cheese with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower

This dish screams fall to me. I love the way the flavors of nutmeg, sage, gouda, pumpkin and the vegetables all compliment each other.

-1 small head cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
-1 lb brussels sprouts, sliced in half and outer leaves removed
-2 Tbsp olive oil
-1 1/2 tsp salt, divided use
-1 box rotini pasta of choice (can use whole wheat, glutenfree, etc.), cooked according to package directions
-2 Tbsp butter
-2 Tbsp flour
-2 c milk
-8 oz smoked gouda, shredded, divided use
-8 oz sharp cheddar, shredded, divided use
-1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
-1/4 tsp pepper
-1/8 tsp nutmeg
-1 tsp ground sage

Preheat the oven to 400°. Toss cauliflower and Brussels sprouts with olive oil, and 1 tsp salt. Spread in an even layer on a greased baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.

While the vegetables roast, melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour, cooking stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes, until the flour is golden. Add milk and broth and whisk, Whisk in milk and simmer 4 to 5 minutes, until it thickens slightly. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, nutmeg and sage. Stir in cheese, reserving 1/4 c of each cheese on the side. Continue to cook and stir until the cheese melts. Stir in pumpkin. Remove from heat, add the cooked rotini and mix well. Stir in the vegetables. Pour into a greased casserole, top with reserved cheese and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Chili Lime Melon

Chili Lime Melon

This is a sophisticated twist on a bowl of fruit. It is reminiscent of the flavors found in a South American fruit salad. The cilantro and chili powder add a depth of complexity making this a great side dish or salad for brunch, lunch or dinner. You could use any melon you desire here (honeydew, cantaloupe or watermelon) or a combination of all 3).

-1 melon (the size of a basketball), cut into bite sized chunks
-zest and juice of 1 lime
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp chili powder
-1-2 Tbsp honey
-1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

In a medium bowl, whisk together the lime zest and juice, salt, chili powder and honey. Toss with the melon. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Rosemary Focaccia

Rosemary Focaccia

This is my favorite bread that I've ever made. The texture, moisture and flavor are perfectly balanced. You could dress it up a little by topping with grape tomatoes, olives, chopped garlic, fresh rosemary or grated cheese before baking.

-1 3/4 cups warm water
-1 Tbsp active dry yeast
-1 Tbsp sugar
-5 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for kneading
-1 Tbsp dried rosemary
-1 Tbsp sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
-1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

In a small bowl, stir the sugar into the water. Sprinkle the yeast over top of the water. Put the bowl in a warm place for 15 minutes.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, rosemary, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1/2 cup olive oil and the yeast mixture on low speed. Once the dough has come together, continue to knead for 5 to 6 minutes on a medium speed until it becomes smooth and soft. Give it a sprinkle of flour if the dough is really sticky and tacky.

Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly floured surface, then knead it by hand 1 or 2 times. Again, give it another sprinkle of flour if the dough is really sticky and tacky.

Coat the inside of the mixer bowl lightly with olive oil and return the dough to the bowl. Cover it with a kitchen towel dampened with warm water and put it in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, at least 1 hour.

Coat a 13x9 pan with the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil.  Put the dough into the pan and begin pressing it out to fit the size of the pan. Turn the dough over to coat the other side with the olive oil. Continue to stretch the dough to fit the pan. As you are doing so, spread your fingers out and make finger holes all the way through the dough.

Put the dough in the warm place until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour. While the dough is rising a second time, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Sprinkle the top of the focaccia with sea salt. Bake the dough until the top of the loaf is golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the focaccia from the oven and let it cool before cutting and serving.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Egg Roll Bowl

Egg Roll Bowl

This is a quick, easy  yet delicious meal.

-1 lb lean ground pork
-2 Tbsp sesame oil
-1 Tbsp minced ginger
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-4 Tbsp soy sauce
-2 Tbsp honey or brown sugar
-1 Tbsp rice vinegar
-1 Tbsp sriracha
-6 c coleslaw mix (or shredded cabbage and carrots)
-4 scallions
-sesame seeds and 2 additional raw scallions for topping

Sriracha Mayo Sauce

-1/4 c mayo
-1 Tbsp sriracha
-1 Tbsp rice vinegar

Combine ingredients for sriracha mayo sauce and set aside.

Heat sesame oil in wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add ginger, saute 1 minute. Add garlic, saute 1 additional minute. Add pork, cook for 10 minutes, stirring often and breaking up pork with spoon. Add coleslaw mix, continue to cook until cabbage has softened, 5-10 minutes. While cabbage cooks, stir together soy sauce through sriracha. Once cabbage is softened add soy sauce mixture and scallions to the pan. Turn off heat and stir everything well. Serve in bowl with sesame seeds and scallions for topping and drizzled with the sriracha mayo sauce.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

This is a lightened up version of the Indian classic. I also added peas, although nontraditional, to increase the nutrition. We like to eat this over basmati rice.

Chicken marinade

-1 lb chicken, cut into bite sized chunks
-1/2 c yogurt
-1 1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp turmeric
-1 tsp garam masala
-1 tsp coriander
-1 tsp cumin

Masala sauce

-2 Tbsp butter, ghee or coconut oil
-1 onion, diced
-1 inch knob ginger, minced
-1 can crushed tomatoes
-1 tsp turmeric
-1 tsp garam masala
-1 tsp coriander
-1 tsp cumin
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp sugar
-1/4 tsp cayenne
-1 cup frozen peas, thawed
-1/2 cup heavy cream
-handful of chopped cilantro for garnish

Whisk together marinade ingredients, then stir in chicken. Place in refrigerator to marinate for at least 1 hour, and up to overnight. After marinating shake off excess marinade and broil chicken for 7-8 minutes, until charred and just cooked through.

While chicken broils, heat butter/ oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onion and ginger, cook 10 minutes, stirring intermittently. Add tomatoes, then stir in turmeric through cayenne. Simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in peas, stir in heavy cream, then stir in cooked chicken. Serve over rice and topped with cilantro.

Slow Cooker Korean Beef

Slow Cooker Korean Beef

We like to serve this over brown rice and top it with raw scallions and a squirt of sriracha.

-1-1.5 lb flank steak, cut across the grain into 4 pieces
-1/2 c soy sauce
-1 cup beef broth
-1/2-3/4 cup brown sugar
-1 Tbsp rice vinegar
-1 Tbsp sriracha
-2 Tbsp sesame oil
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1 inch knob ginger, minced
-1 red bell pepper, diced
-2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbsp water
-scallions, sesame seeds and sriracha for garnish

Grease or spray the inside of your slow cooker. Combine soy sauce through ginger in the slow cooker and whisk well. Stir in diced bell pepper. Add flank steak and spoon sauce over top. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, until meat shreds easily with a fork. Add cornstarch mixture, stir and cook an additional 30 minutes. Add water, 1/2 cup at a time, if the mixture isn't sauce-y enough (or add more cornstarch if you want to thicken it). Serve.

Cheese Stuffed Mini Bell Peppers

Cheese Stuffed Mini Bell Peppers

These are so yummy and work as an appetizer or side dish. I've done them with and without the turkey bacon and like them either way, or you could use regular bacon if you prefer.

-1 pack mini bell peppers, tops cut off, sliced in half and seeded
-1 wheel laughing cow cheese (we like the pepperjack or chipotle)
-1 pack turkey bacon, sliced in half (optional)

Spread cheese inside each pepper half. If desired, wrap each stuffed pepper in turkey bacon and secure with a toothpick. Bake peppers at 425 for 15-20 minutes or until peppers have softened and bacon is crisp and browned. Cool 5 minuteds and serve.