Tag Archives: dinner

Crusted Butternut Squash

It’s no secret that I LOVE butternut squash.  This time of year, there’s always an extra batch of this Winter Squash soup in the fridge.  Over the summer, I found a recipe for Crusted Butternut Squash and let me tell you – last night when I finally tested it out, it did not disappoint.  I had the produce guy cut the squash in half, and to my surprise, he even scooped the seeds for me (bonus!).  To prepare, I just had to peel the squash (which I do, carefully with a knife, after I section each half, in half), then cut into 1/4-inch slices.  For the crumbs, I used whole wheat panko, and gave them a whirl in the mini food processor, with all the ingredients, except cheese (I omitted).  Baking was simple, and gave me time to make a salad.  By the time the timer went off, the house smelled great and the final product was even better!  Scott had a late night at work, and when he enjoyed, at room temperature, he thought it was really good too.  We will definitely be making this recipe again!

Some notes

  • My squash was about 2 lbs. and I used two baking sheets, lined with parchment.
  • To coat the squash with olive oil and nutmeg, I put it all in one pile to coat, and then placed on two baking sheets.  Also, there’s barely any oil in this recipe, so to cook properly I would not reduce the amount.
  • I used ground nutmeg, rather than “fresh ground” – still tasted great!  It’s a really unexpected flavor that makes this recipe a winner.
  • Preparing fresh thyme can be tedious, so this part takes a little patience, but really adds to the overall flavor.
  • I ended up cooking it a few minutes longer than 30, only because my squash really didn’t brown.  Perhaps I didn’t coat the oil properly, or my pieces were too thick.  Just keep an eye on it after 25 minutes, and adjust accordingly.

Crusted Butternut Squash

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Faux Pancakes + Real Apples (for Dinner)

A few years ago, I stumbled upon Bethenny Frankel’s turkey burger recipe and it is a definite hit for company.  What I didn’t know about, until earlier this week, was her recipe for a “faux pancake.”  It is probably one of the easiest things to whip up for a weeknight dinner.  In fact, it was so delicious and quick to make, we didn’t even have time to take a picture!  The maple syrup in this recipe never fails to be that perfect comfort as the weather gets colder.  We paired our pancakes with a green salad and a chopped apple.  I think next time, we might try it with the apple on top of the pancake instead!

Some notes

  • I used 2 fresh egg whites, and 1 egg – because that’s what I had in the house.  Per her recipe, liquid egg whites will also work – but I wouldn’t substitute the 1 whole egg.
  • I used raw sugar, not sweetener.
  • Instead of cooking spray, I used 1/4 tsp. of Earth Balance butter for each pancake (I was told years ago that cooking spray on non-stick pans can ruin the surface)

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Meatless Monday – Smoky Red Lentil Soup

Yesterday, I spent the day cooking with my mom and I’ve got a few posts to share over the next weeks with what we made.  First up, our lunch – Smoky Red Lentil Soup – a great soup to add to your cold month lineup!  This is a recipe from Sara Forte’s new cookbook, The Sprouted Kitchen: A Tastier Take on Whole Foods.  With several of my favorite recipes from her blog, her cookbook is likewise full of recipes that are easy to make, and feature fresh, wholesome ingredients.  At the outset, the ingredients you may not have in your house are Red Lentils (picked those up from Whole Foods), Smoked Paprika (also labeled Pimenton), and liquid smoke.  I used most of the Red Lentils – and from My Father’s Daughter, I learned that Smoked Paprika can be used to add a similar flavoring to recipes, as does bacon – a good trick for us Kosher or non-bacon eaters.  The liquid smoke is optional in the recipe, but I was curious how it would add to the recipe (I might omit on my next batch and compare flavors then.)  The verdict?  The soup was quite comforting and savory, but I felt a little bland; however, my mom loved the flavors and how with all the different ingredients, no one ingredient was overpowering.  The soup took barely any time to make – and could definitely be a great weeknight meal, leaving some hearty leftovers for lunch or a light dinner later in the week.

Some notes

  • I roasted the sweet potato earlier in the morning, before we started cooking.  Per the cook’s notes, I wrapped the sweet potato in foil.  I roasted it at 400 for 45 minutes, unwrapped and let cool.  If I were refrigerating, to use later in the week, I would just leave it wrapped in the foil, and unwrap when I need to use it.
  • We used no-chicken broth (vegetable broth with no tomato in the ingredients).
  • To blend, we used an immersion blender, but a standard blender will work equally well.  Either way, cut the sweet potato up in a few pieces before blending.  (I had to do it mid-blending, when I noticed it wasn’t getting blended in)
  • All of the cilantro is needed for this recipe.  It adds great dimension to the soup.
  • We used fresh lemon juice, because that’s what I had in the house.  I have a funny feeling lime juice instead, will knock this out the park!  Of course, if you’re a bacon-lover, adding it per the recipe might also add that extra level of flavor (we omitted).
  • Recipe yields 4 servings, I think it’s more like 5-6.

Smoky Red Lentil Soup
(from The Sprouted Kitchen)

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