Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Serves 4
2 small spaghetti squash, cut in half and seeded
1 tablespoon oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound ground turkey
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1 (15 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or oregano
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon basil, chopped
1 cup low fat cottage cheese or ricotta
1 tablespoon basil, chopped
1 cup partially skim mozzarella, shredded
Brush the inner flesh of the spaghetti squash with oil, season with salt and pepper and roast, skin side up, in a preheated 400F oven until tender, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the turkey, about 8-10 minutes, and set aside. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat, add the onion and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and fennel and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add the turkey, tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, paprika, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the spaghetti squash is cooked and then mix in the basil and remove from heat.
Fluff up some of the inside of each spaghetti squash half, divide the mixture of the cottage cheese and basil between them followed by the sauce and the cheese. Broil in the oven until the cheese has melted and turned a light golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. 

Option: Use ground beef or Italian sausage instead of ground turkey.
Option: Instead of making the sauce from scratch, use your favorite marinara or other tomato sauce.
Option: Add one 2-inch piece of parmesan rind to the sauce while it simmers. 

Grapefruit Vinaigrette with Greens or Broccoli

Serves 4 
1 pink grapefruit
1 teaspoon mild honey or agave syrup
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar or cider vinegar
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or sunflower oil
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch broccoli, broken into florets, stems peeled and chopped
Squeeze 1/2 of the grapefruit. Measure out 1/3 cup of juice and place it in a small saucepan. Add the honey or agave and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to 1/4 cup and remove from the heat. Whisk in salt, vinegar, and the oils. Cut away the peel and pith from the remaining grapefruit half. Cut the sections away from the membranes that divide them and chop fine. Stir into the vinaigrette. Steam the broccoli for 4 minutes and transfer to a platter or to plates. Spoon the vinaigrette over the florets and serve.
Variation: Substitute 1 to 2 bunches chard, beet greens or kale, stemmed, washed and blanched or steamed, for the broccoli. Chop the greens and reheat in a little olive oil, with garlic if you wish, and dress with the vinaigrette.

Collards with Dill and Parsley

4 servings
1 bunch collard greens
1 cup fresh chopped dill
1 cup fresh chopped parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of sea salt
Wash collards, cut stems off, chop into small pieces and put aside. Stack leaves and roll them up, as you would a sushi roll, then slice from the end to create long strips.  Warm oil in a pan with black pepper, add stems, and sauté for a few minutes. Add collard greens and sea salt, then sauté for about 3 minutes. Add water, cover and allow to steam for about 3-4 minutes, then remove from heat. Add chopped dill and parsley, toss well and allow to sit uncovered for a few minutes, then serve.
Mix the juice of a lime and a dash of cayenne. Toss with the greens for a little extra kick!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What to do with Pie Pumpkins

Below is a link to an article about the many ways you can use these guys!


Roasted Broccoli and Turnip Soup

I washed 2 heads of broccoli and trimmed the greens from 4 turnips and skinned two cloves of garlic. Put everything in a roasting dish with 5 oz of water and 2 tsp of olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 tsp of salt. Roast veggies for an hour at 400°. Once everything is roasted you’ll need an immersion blender or regular blender to make the soup. Blend veggies with unsweetened soymilk, salt, pepper, and a little lime juice, till you reach your desired consistency (I like my creamy soups a bit on the thick side). I also used 3 oz of filtered water to thin my soup and I added 2 tsp of olive oil for a silkier, creamy texture. You can stop here or you can strain half of the soup with a mesh colander, throw out fibers and broccoli bits, then blend in the unfiltered other half.  I like all the fiber so I don’t usually strain soups. I just blend and blend till I get the texture I like. I think this soup has a very mild flavor and could really lend itself to some amazing creativity. I think next time I make it I may want to use some sesame oil or truffle oil.

Sweet Potato Curry with Tofu and Bok Choy

1 cup uncooked brown basmati rice
1 pound sweet potatoes
1 can coconut milk
3 tsp Thai red curry paste
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 carton firm tofu, drained, dried, and cubed
1 Tbsp peanut oil
a few Tbsp soy sauce
6 shallots, thinly sliced
4 baby bok choy or 1 head chinese cabbage, cut into half-inch slices
1 lime, quartered
Rinse the rice well and put in pot with 2 cups water, 1/4 tsp salt. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover for 15-20 minutes until cooked. While the rice is cooking, heat the coconut milk and 1 cup water in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in curry paste and cilantro and add sweet potatoes and lower the heat. Heat another skillet over medium heat, then add the tofu cubes. Don’t touch it! Let the tofu get a nice sear for about 5 minutes, add a little peanut oil, then season with salt and some soy sauce and shake up the pan to move the tofu around. Cook for another 3 minutes or so and add to the sweet potatoes. Wipe the pan and return to the heat with a little peanut oil.  Add the shallots and some salt and let caramelize, 4-5 minutes. In another small pot, simmer the bok choy in some salted water for 3-5 minutes. Put some rice on each plate, add sweet potatoes, tofu, and sauce, and garnish with bok choy, shallots, and lime.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Spaghetti Squash with Arugula Pesto

1 spaghetti squash (about 3 lbs/1.4 kgs)
3 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and freshly grated pepper
3 cups packed (4 oz/115g) baby arugula plus a little extra for garnishing
2 cloves garlic, peeled
¼ cup (25g) sliced almonds plus a little extra for garnishing
¼ cup (28g) shredded parmesan cheese
¼ tsp salt
½ cup (120ml) extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Split the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. Place on a baking dish with cut side down and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Remove spaghetti squash from oven. When cool enough to handle, use a fork to gently scrape around the edge of the squash to shred the pulp into strands. Toss strands of spaghetti squash with lemon juice, salt, and freshly grated pepper. Combine arugula, garlic, almonds, parmesan cheese, and salt in a food processor. Give it a few pulses. With machine running, gradually add olive oil through the feed tube of food processor. Process until smooth. To serve, toss flavored spaghetti squash with desired amount of pesto. Garnish with extra arugula and sliced almonds.

White Bean and Swiss Chard Soup

Serves 8
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch swiss chard, rinsed and roughly chopped
6 cup vegetable broth
1 15.5oz (439g) small white beans (or navy beans)
salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot over high heat add olive oil, garlic, onions and carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add swiss chard and cook for 3 minutes. Add broth, bring to boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add beans, stir and cover. Cook for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Miso-Braised Turnips

Remove the tops and root ends from a bunch of turnips (but save the tasty tops for another use). Depending on their size, cut the turnips in half or quarters lengthwise, or leave them whole. Slice each turnip (or turnip wedge) widthwise in 1/4″ slices. Put the turnips in a high-sided skillet, pour in enough broth to cover them (I used veggie), drop in about a teaspoon of butter, and simmer until the liquid has mostly evaporated. I also added a small handful of fried shallots. At the end, stir in about a teaspoon of miso and taste it. Add a little more if you want. Serve warm.