Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

 

We recently ate at a new Mexican restaurant in town. They had a Butternut squash dip on the menu, I liked the idea of it but theirs was very greasy. Here is my attempt of a healthier and more delicious dip.

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

1 small butternut squash peeled, seeded and cubed

1 c eggplant cubed ( peeled or unpeeled is fine)

2 poblano peppers cut into 1 ” pieces

1 onion peeled and sliced into 8ths

1 tomato sliced into wedges

1 T olive oil

1 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1 t chopped garlic

2 t cumin

1 T lime juice

Queso Fresco and Chopped Cilantro for garnish if desired

Place cut vegetables on a baking sheet ( I used a silpat to prevent sticking) add oil and toss until vegetables are coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes or until squash is fork tender/soft. Let cool for 5 minutes. Add to a food processor or blender or mash by hand until smooth but not pureed, I like it better with a little texture. Stir in cumin, garlic and  lime juice. place in serving dish and top with queso fresco and chopped cilantro if desired. Serve with tortilla or pita chips. This would also be a great filling for veggie enchiladas or tacos.

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

 

 

 

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup

This is a simple soup with natural ingredients that is big on flavor. Perfect for lunch or with a sandwich or salad at dinner. It is also vegan/vegetarian so it is a meatless Monday favorite.

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup

2t olive oil

1 yellow onion chopped

4 clove garlic chopped

6 cups sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 2″x 2″ pieces

4 c water

1/2 t dried Chipotle Powder ( found in the spice aisle, a little goes a long way )

1 lime zest and juice

1 t salt

Fresh herbs or arugula for topping if desired.

Heat oil in a 2 1/2 quart sauce pan over med high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes. Add potatoes, water, salt, lime juice, lime zest and chipotle powder. bring to a simmer, cover and cook 30-40 minutes. Let cool slightly by removing from heat. Add to blender in 2 batches if necessary and puree. Add back to pan and keep on low until ready to serve. Add chopped herbs or arugula if desired.

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup

The Best Broccoli

The Best Broccoli: Lemon, Olive OIl and Parmesan

Sides can be boring, this one isn’t. Perk up your broccoli with this easy recipe but be careful it might steal the show.

Broccoli with Lemon, Olive Oil and Parmesan

1 head of broccoli, cut into florets

1-2 t olive oil

1 T lemon juice

1/4 c shredded or shaved parmesan cheese

1/4 t salt

Steam broccoli until crisp tender. I used a microwave steam bag this time, but any method with work, just don’t over cook it. Toss with oil, lemon juice, parmesan and salt. Serve.

The Monsters of Templeton: Stuffed Tomatoes with Mushrooms and Goat Cheese

The Monsters of Templeton

This month’s book club selection was the Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff. I admit this was an ambitious piece of literature, family secrets, ghosts, sea monsters, a complete family lineage going back several generations, a student’s affair with her professor, a best friend dealing with a terrible disease, an unwanted pregnancy, and a girl’s search for her father. However this was just way too much information for one book. the main idea was so watered down by the enormous cast of characters that I ended up just not caring about any of  them.It made it a difficult book to read but that also made it a great book for book club. There were many things to discuss and dissect. I think the discussions are always better when everyone doesn’t love the book. (usually I am the everyone, I can be a bit critical)

Some of us even dressed as “The Running Buds, a group of friends that have run together for years and who may or may not be important characters in the book. They were just the easiest costume, headbands, running shorts etc… Unfortunately I don’t have a sea monster outfit in my costume box. The food didn’t jump right out at you in this book but there was a lot of it if you paid attention ( I didn’t really ) I chose to make my version of Tomatoes Farci, Willie mentions this is her favorite dish when her mother makes it for her. We have quite a few vegetarians so I stuffed my tomatoes with goat cheese and mushrooms instead of meat. Another great one was a Huevos Rancheros casserole, Willie’s mom also makes this during an eventful breakfast in the book.

Stuffed Tomatoes with Mushrooms and Goat Cheese

10 Campari Tomatoes ( or 4 large for a meal)

1 T olive oil

1 cup finely chopped mushrooms, (I used baby bellas and porcini)

2 T chopped shallot

2 cloves garlic chopped

1/4 c chopped tomato

2 T chopped parsley

1/4 c white wine ( I used Pinot Grigio)

1 T balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper

1/4 c panko bread crumbs

1 3 1/2 oz log goat cheese

Core tomatoes and remove seeds and pulp, leaving just a shell.( if using a large tomato, cut top off and scoop out insides, leaving a bowl) In a large pan. Add oil and saute mushrooms, shallot and garlic, until mushrooms are soft and shallot is translucent. add tomato, wine, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add bread crumb, cheese and parsley. Let cool.

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Stuff tomatoes with the cheese and mushroom mixture , place in an oven safe dish and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until cheese slightly browns on top.

Stuffed Tomatoes with Mushrooms and Goat Cheese

(oops, so excited for book club I didn’t take a picture of the final product, but they looked the same with a slightly brown top)

Pea Soup with Mint and Feta

Pea Soup with Mint and Feta

Light and perfect for Spring. Great as lunch with a salad or a grilled cheese sandwich.

Pea Soup with Feta and Mint

2 cups vegetable or chicken broth

2 cups frozen peas

1/4 cup cream

1 T chopped shallots

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 T chopped mint

1-2 T crumbled Feta cheese

In a sauce pan bring broth to a simmer, add peas and shallot continue to cook for 4–5  minutes or until peas are cooked, add chopped mint, lemon juice and cream, cook 1 more minute. Remove from heat and puree in blender. Re heat in pan if necessary.  Ladle into bowls and add crumbled feta. Makes 4 appetizer or 2 main course servings.

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Roasted Succotash Salad

Roasted Succotash Salad

Roasted Succotash Salad

This is bursting with flavor and super easy to make.

Roasted Succotash Salad

1 box frozen corn, thawed

1 box frozen lima beans, thawed

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes halved

1 T chopped fresh basil

Olive oil

lime juice (from 1 lime)

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, toss corn and lima beans with about 1 T olive oil. I do this in a colander so I don’t use any excess oil. Place on a sheet pan and season with salt and pepper. Roast veggies for about 15-20 minutes or until corn get brown on the edges. Add to a mixing bowl with tomatoes, basil and squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the top, season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Great warm or room temperature so it’s perfect for pot lucks.

Buffalo Cauliflower

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Yes I am mean, this is what I tried to serve my husband and kids as so called wings. But guess what it was delicious, maybe not low fat but it sure is healthier than regular buffalo wings and if you don’t over think it , it tastes pretty similar. The heat and crunch are there and dip anything in blue cheese and its a winner. Mix it up this Super Bowl and try this, perfect for vegetarians and dieters.

3 T butter

2 T hot sauce

1 head cauliflower , cut into florets

blue cheese dressing (optional)

Met butter in a pan

add hot sauce and stir over med high heat. Add cauliflower and saute for about 4 minutes, until coated, but still crunchy.

Buffalo Cauliflower

Sprinkle with salt. Serve with blue cheese dressing

Buffalo  Cauliflower

Chipotle Maple Acorn Squash

 

Chipotle Maple Acorn Squash

2 acorn squash, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces

1/3 c maple syrup

1 canned chipotle pepper chopped plus 1 T adobe sauce (canned chipotle peppers in adobe sauce can be found in your supermarket in the latin/mexican section)

1T olive oil

1/2 t salt

Preheat oven to 400.Mix together maple syrup, olive oil, adobe sauce and chipotle pepper in a medium sized bowl. Add squash and toss to coat. Place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, bake for 20-30 minutes(or until fork tender), turning once.  Serve.

 

Roasted Vegetable Orzo with Parmesan Cheese

This is a yummy side dish or a meatless main meal, would also be a lovely side for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Roasted Vegetable Orzo with Parmesan Cheese

1 package orzo pasta cooked and drained

I cup chopped eggplant

I cup chopped and peeled acorn or butternut squash

1/2 cup carrots chopped

1/2 cup chopped bell peppers, I used yellow and red

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes

1/2 c chopped onion

2T olive oil

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Toss all chopped vegetables with 1 T olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread on a sheet pan and put into the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are fork tender.

Add vegetables to a large bowl and add in cooked and drained pasta, 1 T olive oil, lemon juice, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. Serve.

*Use what you have on hand this is a great way to use up leftover vegetables, be creative.

Creamy Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Jalapenos

 

I always thought I hated sweet potatoes/yams when I was young because the only way I had ever had them was canned at Thanksgiving with the marshmallows on top. Well then I realized that they could be used in as many applications as regular potatoes and they were fresh and delicious. This was one of my very first sweet potato recipes and is still my favorite, try this for Thanksgiving instead of the old mushy stand by.

Creamy Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Jalapenos

2 large sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 4ths

1 t salt

2 T butter

1 small jalapeno minced ( use more or less depending on your tastes and heat of your pepper)

2 t minced garlic

1/4 c cream cheese

1/4 c milk

salt and pepper to taste

Boil potatoes with salt in a large pot until tender. Drain potatoes and add to a bowl, add butter, jalapeno, garlic, cream cheese and milk, mash together with a potato masher or whip with a mixer until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and serve. This makes approximately 4 servings, can be doubled or tripled.