Soy Chorizo & Fruit Stuffed Acorn Squash

Soy Chorizo & Fruit Stuffed Acorn Squash

This is a great vegetarian meal packed with textures and flavors. Savory, sweet and nutty this is a perfect main meal or side dish. It makes a lot but you can freeze. It would be a great side dish for Thanksgiving for vegetarian guests.

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Ingredients

  • 2 acorn Squash
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup pitted golden raisins
  • 1 small chopped apple
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 package of Soy Chorizo (I love Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 sprigs thyme, stems removed (optional)
  • 1 large (or 2 small) butternut squash
  • 1 cup quinoa cooked as directed
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • tsp butter for each squash half (I used Brummel & Brown yogurt butter)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup for each squash half

Directions

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine 1/2 cup coconut milk, cinnamon stick, clove, cherries and raisins. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let ingredients soak for about 10 minutes. Set aside, and discard cinnamon stick.

Preheat oven to 350°. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion, salt. Cook, stirring, until caramelized, about 8-10 minutes. Add chorizo and cook until brown. Add the apple and mix well. Keep warm.

Cut squash in half lengthwise. Using a sturdy metal spoon, scrape out and discard seeds. Continue scraping flesh to hollow out center Add a tsp of maple syrup and butter to each squash half. Place squash on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 -40 minutes until soft.

While the squash is baking cook the quinoa according to directions. Add the the fruit and Soy Chorizo mix. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of coconut milk and mix well.

Spoon into the squash halves and serve.

We ate this the next night just headed up without the squash and it was wonderful all on its own.

 

 

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Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

This is great comfort food and taking advantage of all the wonderful fall squash available.  I used these smaller Honeynut Squash but Butternut works great. I roasted the squash for extra flavor.

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Ingredients

1 lb pasta (I use trottole or ribbed elbow)
6 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 1/2 cups whole milk (I used skim)
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cayenne
dash of smoked paprika
Salt, to taste
4-6 cups grated cheese
(I use sharp white and gruyere, how much you use is up to how cheesy you like it)

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
3 cups roasted butternut squash (recipe below)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350˚F and butter a 2 quart baking dish.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the pasta to a al dente.

Meanwhile make roux by melting 4 tbsp of the butter in a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pan over medium low heat. When butter is melted, add flour and cook, whisking for about 2 minutes or until golden brown.

Slowly whisk in milk and mix until it is all incorporated. Switch to a wooden spoon and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly,until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Season with salt, pepper, cayenne and nutmeg. Remove from heat and add cheese. Stir until melted. Add pasta and roasted butternut squash, if using, and fold until well combined.

Add the macaroni and cheese to the buttered baking dish. Melt remaining butter and toss with the parmesan cheese and both breadcrumbs. Season with a pinch of salt. Add breadcrumb mixture to the top of the mac and cheese, sprinkle with paprika and bake for about 45 mins or until golden brown and bubbly.

I also made this without the roux and tossed the pasta with just 3 1/2 cups of cheese and the squash, added about a 1/4 cup of milk to the casserole, and topped with bread crumb mix. It was not as rich and gooey but better for the waistline.

Roasted Butternut Squash
3 cups butternut squash cubes (about 1 inch in size)
2 tbsp olive oil
}Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Add the butternut squash to a parchment lined baking sheet. Add olive oil and salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast for about 25 – 30 minutes or until tender.

Three Cheese Stuffed Butternut Squash

Three Cheese Stuffed Butternut Squash

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This makes a great side dish or vegetarian main meal. Autumn comfort food. I served it with Grilled chicken and asparagus. You can easily double the recipe. I think it would make a great side on Thanksgiving. This was inspired by a recipe from Rachel Ray.

IMG_3359.jpgIngredients

1 butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
Olive oil, for brushing
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil for onion
Salt and pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cups fresh ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (dried will also work)
1 tablespoon grated orange zest (optional)
1/2 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup freshly shredded or grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Brush the squash with Olive Oil and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Roast the squash until just tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Leave the oven on.

While the squash is roasting heat the tablespoon of olive oil in the pan and add the onions. Cook until caramelized and golden brown

When the squash is cool enough to handle, carefully scrape out the flesh into a bowl, leaving just enough flesh to keep the shells intact. Add the onions, ricotta, thyme, lemon zest, and cheeses into bowl with the squash flesh and mix well. Fill the squash shells and top with the shredded parmesan cheese. Bake until browned and bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes.

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Roasted Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onion & Apple Soup

Roasted Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onion & Apple Soup

It has been a while since I posted anything. Life got busy. I did not stop cooking, just did not have time to blog. But I am back. Fall makes me want to cook up stews and soups (and all things Squash and pumpkin). This is easy, filled with flavor and freezes well. Perfect for a cool fall night.

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Soup Ingredients

1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks (about 2 pounds)
4 Tbs Olive oil, divided
Sea Salt to taste
32 oz vegetable or chicken stock
2 large Onions, sliced thin
1 Tbs of Pumpkin Spice White balsamic Vinegar (optional)
2 large apples (I used honeycrisp), peeled, cored and cut into chunck
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp roasted ground ginger
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt (or half & half)
toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400. Place the squash chunks in a bowl, drizzle with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil (more if needed) and toss until coated. Place the chunks on a baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for about 15-20 minutes until fork tender.

While the squash is roasting caramelize the onions. Heat oil in a large pan and add onions. Cook slowly over medium heat, stirring often. When onions are a golden brown add the pumpkin Spice balsamic vinegar. I get this at the Olive Oil store and it is wonderful.

In a large stockpot add the roasted squash, onions, apples, stock, spices and yogurt. Simmer until apples are tender. Add the yogurt and use an immersion blender and blend until smooth (you can also use a regular blender).

Serve hot with toasted pumpkin seeds.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
1 Tbs butter
1 Tbsp brown sugar

Melt butter in a small frying pan. Add pumpkin seeds and brown sugar. Cook until brown sugar has melted and is starting to caramelize. Remove from heat and place on tin foil to cool. When the mixture has hardened crack into pieces.

 

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Zucchini Soup

Zucchini Soup

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This was a recipe adapted from Skinnytaste. My husband loved it. I served it hot as a side dish with a roast beef flatbread but it could easily be a meal or served with a salad..

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Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 3 medium zucchini, skin on cut in quarters
  • 32 oz vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp goat cheese (or greek yogurt)
  • kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • fresh thyme

Directions

Heat olive oil and cook onions slowly over medium heat until golden. Combine broth and zucchini in a large pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and purée with an immersion blender, add the goat cheese (or yogurt), onions and purée again until smooth. You do not have to caramelize the onions it makes the soup a little brown, but i love the taste.

Sprinkle with fresh thyme. Serve hot.

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Tofu with Roasted Veggies and Quinoa

Tofu with Roasted Veggies and Quinoa

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The roadside farm stands are open! On my walk the other day I stopped to pick up sweet corn (peaches and cream), Vidallia onions, yellow and green zuchinni, tomatoes and red peppers. I decided it called for a healthy sort of stir fry. I chopped up some tofu, roasted the tomatoes and with a little Balsamic glaze to drizzle on top I threw this together and served over quinoa. Your could substitute chicken or shrimp for the tofu as well. I roasted the tomatoes and stir fried the squash and pepper but you could also roast all the veggies.

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Ingredients

2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
olive oil for roasting tomatoes and caramelizing onions and stir fry
sea salt
fresh ground pepper
1 block of extra firm tofu
2-3 ears sweet corn
1 red pepper
1 large Vidallia or sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 golden Zucchini (or crooked neck squash)
1 zucchini
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
Balsamic glaze for drizzling

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chopped tomatoes on a sheet of tinfoil, drizzle with olive oil – about 1-2 tablespoons, sprinkle with sea salt, pepper and roast until juicy, about 15-20 minutes. Set aside, saving any of the juice.

While tomatoes are roasting heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil (depending on size of onion) in a large pan. Add onions and cook slowly until golden, about 20 minutes.

In a large bowl slice corn kernels off the cob. In a large pan heat a teaspoon of oil and cook corn until just warmed and getting a bit caramelized. Set aside.

In same large pan add red pepper and zucchini, cook until just tender remove from pan and mix in with corn and tomatoes.

Heat another tablespoon or so of olive oil and add the tofu. I add a little soy sauce to help brown and give extra flavor. Brown all sides of tofu. When tofu is nice and brown, add the veggies back in to warm everything.

Serve over a bed of rice, couscous or quinoa. Drizzle with Balsamic glaze. You can make your own or use a bottle.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Trottole & Cheese

Roasted Butternut Squash Trottole & Cheese

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This is a grown up Mac and cheese with wonderful flavors. I think kids would like it. Slightly sweet from the squash and onions it is Mac and cheese with hidden veggies. I got the idea for this recipe from The Olive Oil Store Blog but their version was pretty much a heart attack on a plate. I cut out the heavy cream (and 5 cups of cheese!). I also roasted the squash instead of boilingand added caramelized onions.

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Ingredients:

1 large Butternut Squash, cut into chunks
1 large sweet onion, sliced thin
4-5+ Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
1 pound of Trottole (or macaroni)
1 1/2 Cups shredded Gruyere cheese (or white cheddar)
1 cup whole milk (I actually used 2%)
1/2 Cup all purpose flour
1/2 Cup bread crumbs
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400. Grease a large 2 Qt baking dish.

Cut up squash into bite size chunks and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with at least 2 tablespoons (I never measure, just kind of drizzle it), and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast squash for about 20 minutes or until fork tender. After cooking lower the oven temperature to 375.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to directions. Drain and set aside.

While the squash is roasting slice an onion into half and each half into thin slices. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large sauce pan and heat. Cook onions, stirring often, until golden and caramelized.

Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the onion mixture. Whisk in the flour and blend to create a roux. Slowly pour in the milk whisking constantly. Add the butternut squash and mix with an immersion blender (or use a mixer/food processor) until smooth. Add the cheese and stir until melted and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce. Mix well and pour into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown on top and bubbling.