Butternut Squash Parmigiana

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I was going to make eggplant parmigiana, but I decided last week mid-week that I wasn’t going to do any grocery shipping and I was going to use the ingredients I had in the house. I had planned to make this eggplant parmigiana, but didn’t have an eggplant . . . so I searched through my fridge and found a butternut squash that was asking for me to use it. I’ve made mini pizzas on butternut squash before, so I figured this was a good choice of foods to make parmigiana with. I really love butternut squash. This meal turned out to be decadent – with the sweetness of the squash mixed with the salty of the tomato sauce . . . YUM!!! I’m going to not go grocery shopping more and force myself to make do with what I have in the house, because this was magical.

Butternut Squash Parmigiana

Ingredients
3 cups crushed tomatoes
2 medium butternut squash
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350. Slice the squash into slices 1/3 of an inch thick. Make sure you clean out the center of the squash, disposing of the seeds.

2. Brush the squash slices with olive oil. Place on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until tender.

3. Raise oven heat to 400. Place the tender squash slices in a casserole dish, layering the bottom of the dish. Spoon the tomato sauce on top, followed by the mozzarella, and then the parmesan.

4. Cover the casserole dish with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

5. Cool for 10 minutes before enjoying!

* serves 4
* shared with Tasty Tuesdays

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Roasted Butternut Squash and Udon Noodles

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Alphabakes has reached the end of the alphabet. This makes me sad. This has been a fun activity to participate in. *Hint Hint* People should suggest other round-ups like Alphabakes to me! I participate frequently in We Should Cocoa, Random Recipes, and some others as well. What other ones should I do?

I obviously have not been updating frequently. I’ve been cooking, but nothing exciting. Work has been overwhelming me. And on top of work (which really just means my volunteer attorney position that involves a $0 paycheck,) I’ve been applying for jobs and trying to find an office that will actually pay me. I’ve been feeling bitter and have been having a hard time emotionally with this, which is making my updating pretty abysmal. But I did decide to participate in the last Alphabakes – this month’s letter is U.

This was ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS. The squash, the garlic, the noodles – this was such a good dish. The longest part of the whole thing is waiting for the squash to roast. Once roasted though, it comes together easily.

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Roasted Butternut Squash and Udon Noodles
(inspiration)

Ingredients
3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
9 oz udon noodles
3 cloves garlic
1-inch piece ginger, peeled
1/4 cup parsley
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tsp honey
1 tsp sesame seeds

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss together the squash and olive oil. Spread on a baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, until tender.

2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the udon noodles and cook to the package specifications. Drain and set aside.

3. In a food process, add the garlic and ginger. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the parsley and pulse until the parsley is finely chopped. Add the soy sauce, lime juice, honey, and sesame seeds. Pulse some more.

4. Toss the squash, udon, and sauce together.

* serves 2
* besides Alphabakes, this recipe is being shared with Weekend Cooking

Curried Lentil Squash Stew

IMG_9025This month I hosted Food ‘n Flix, showing the French  film Delicatessen. As I mentioned in my announcement postDelicatessen is a dark movie. The movie focuses mainly on Louison, an unemployed clown, who answers an ad in a newspaper for work. This ad however actually designed to lure unknown victims to the building, so that he can butcher them for meat.

Let me say, this isn’t a movie based in the world as we know it. Rather, Delicatessen is a post-apocalyptic film in a time where people use food as currency.

In the beginning of the movie, when Louison arrives at the butcher’s in a taxi, he pays the cab driver in lentils (and his shoes.) I love lentils, and such, I ran with that thread in making this dinner of lentils and squash. I wonder how much all of the components of this dish would be worth in Louison’s world.

If you haven’t yet, make sure you enter your post-apocalyptic or French or wherever you decide to take it dish before May 29th to be included in our round-up. Please no cannibalism! 😉

Curried Lentil Squash Stew
(source)

Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger powder
1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup dried lentils
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 summer squash, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
2 red potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
5 oz baby spinach

Directions

1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onions and carrots, for about 8 minutes or until soft.

2. Add the garlic, ginger, curry, and salt. Cook, stirring until fragrant.

3. Stir in the lentils, broth, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil and cover and simmer for 25 minutes.

4. Add the squash and potatoes. Cover and simmer for an hour.

5. Remove the lid and stir in the spinach until wilted.

* serves 2
* besides Food ‘n Flix, this dish is being shared with See Ya In The Gumbo

 

Apple and Butternut Squash Hash

Apple Butternut Squash Hash

 

My life as a law student changed in the last few days. The reason for the lack of posts was due to a lack of cooking. This lack of cooking was due to the fact that I’ve been in trial. I wasn’t on trial for myself, but I was acting as the defense attorney. I was being supervised the entire time, but the trial was mine. It was my strategy, it was my questions, it was my opening and closing. I ended up not winning, my client was found guilty, but I truly feel that was because the law just wasn’t really on my side in this case.

While I wasn’t happy that I lost, it was a great experience. I’ve been pretty useless for the last week. I haven’t stayed caught up in my classes. I haven’t been cleaning my house. I haven’t cooked dinner or made lunch. All I’ve been doing is prepping.

I don’t even know how I’m going to make my life function when my trials are more than two days long. 🙂
Just kidding. I loved the whole thing and not cooking for a week was so worth it.

This is the first meal I’ve made since I took my trial hiatus. It was a great breakfast. I love the combination of apples and butternut squash.

Apple and Butternut Squash Hash
(source)

Ingredients
1/2 butternut squash, skin removed, seeds removed, and shredded
1 apple, seeds removed and shredded
1/2 lb mild Italian sausage
2 strips bacon, diced
1/4 yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Shred the butternut squash and the apple in a food processor with the grater attachment.

2. In a cast iron skillet cook the bacon pieces. Flip the bacon several times and cook until the bacon is crispy. Remove and set aside.

3. In the bacon grease cook the onions and garlic. Cook until the onions are translucent.

4. Add the sausage to the skillet. Break up with a wooden spoon. When the sausage is half way cooked add the shredded apples and butternut squash. Add the basil, salt, and pepper and mix around. Cook for about 3 minutes.

5. Cover the skillet and lower the heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If after 10 minutes the squash isn’t tender, cook for 10 more.

6. Add the bacon squash mixture.

* serves 2-3
* shared with Foodie Friends Friday, Foodie Friday, & Weekend Potluck

Spaghetti Squash Fritters

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I don’t usually end up with leftovers, but I only made half of the recipe when I made the Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Meatballs, so I had extra spaghetti squash that was already roasted that I needed to use. I decided it would make a great breakfast. These fritters kept me full until lunchtime. They were seasoned perfectly and really easy to make and were definitely something different from the standard breakfast food.

I’m trying to use more leftovers to make breakfast foods. Yesterday I had the mushroom mixture leftover from the same spaghetti squash dish and served it over scrambled eggs. Today I’m having tuna patties on toast. And tomorrow I’m having poached eggs in curry (with a curry dish I haven’t posted about here yet, but will be doing probably tomorrow.)

Do you ever repurpose leftovers to make breakfast?

Spaghetti Squash Fritters

Ingredients
1 cup spaghetti squash, roasted and dethreaded
1 egg
2 tbsp onions, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
pinch of chili powder
1/2 tbsp olive oil

Directions

1. Combine together the spaghetti squash, egg, onions, garlic, and chili powder. Make a batter by mixing it together.

2. Form about three patties with the mixture.

3. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot fry the patties for 7 minutes on each side.

* serves 1
* shared with Weekend Cooking

Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Meatballs

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I’ve been having a huge spaghetti squash obsession lately. Last week while I was staying with my parents’ I made the Spaghetti Squash Casserole I posted about recently. Since I didn’t have all the same ingredients I had the first time, the dish instead had portobello mushroom instead of kale and turkey breast instead of ground beef. This spaghetti squash obsession basically means every spaghetti squash recipe I run into.. I have to have it.

I saw this Martha Stewart recipe on 33 Shades of Green and immediately started drooling. And really, the drooling was worth it. This dish was great.

Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Meatballs
(source)

Ingredients
1 spaghetti squash
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp grated Parmesan
1 tbsp dried breadcrumbs
8 oz ground turkey
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 cup chicken broth
3 cups frozen spinach, thawed

Directions

1. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Using a spoon take out the seeds and other innards (like inside a pumpkin.) Place the squash cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes at 375. Once the squash is cooked remove. Using a fork scrape the flesh into threads. Set aside.

2. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic, stirring until soft about 8 to 10 minutes. Divide the mixture between two bowls.

3. Stir 1 1/2 tbsp of cheese into one of the bowls of the garlic-onion mixture. Mix in the breadcrumbs, turkey, and salt and pepper to taste using your hands. Form this mixture into about 12 meatballs.

4. Heat the remaining olive oil in the pot over medium heat. Brown the meatballs, turning them to brown each side and cook all the way through (about 6 minutes.) Remove the meatballs and transfer to a palte.

5. Add the mushrooms to the pot and cook the mushrooms with salt and pepper over medium heat. Cook the mushrooms 6 to 8 minutes. Add the remaining garlic-onion mixture, meatballs, and chicken broth. Bring to a gentle simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Add the spinach and stir through until heated.

6. Serve the meatballs and mushroom mixture over the spaghetti squash.

* serves 4
* shared with Wednesday Whatsits & Wednesday Extravaganza

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

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I’ve never participated in the Alphabakes Challenge before, but there’s always a time to start new things! Alphabakes, hosted by Ros and Caroline, where each month bloggers are challenged to make a dish that features an ingredient made with the random recipe of the month. This month’s random letter is S. You can find more information about this month’s Alphabakes here.

The cold weather has made an increase in squash consumption in my house. Since squash starts with an S (and so does Spaghetti Squash!) this seemed to be the perfect dish to share with Alphabakes.

I wish I could claim this recipe. It is however not mine. Everyday Maven posted this recipe and I was intrigued, for good reason. I should have roasted the squash the day before and if you do make this recipe, you should also roast your squash earlier than I did. By roasting the squash, prepping the dish, and then baking the casserole all back to back made this a pretty time consuming meal. But it really was worth it.

Spaghetti Squash Casserole
(source)

Ingredients
1 large spaghetti squash (you can prep the spaghetti squash in advance, but the directions to roast it are below)
1 egg
15-oz ricotta cheese
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp Italian seasoning
3 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
1/2 lb ground beef
1 head kale, sliced into thin ribbons
15-oz crushed tomatoes (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup bread crumbs

Directions

1. First prepare the squash. Preheat your oven to 350. Slice the top end of the squash. Cut the squash longwise so that you have two halves. Remove the seeds from the inside of the squash, scraping clean.

2. Place the squash halves cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes.

3. Once the squash is cooked, remove and let cool. Once the squash is cool enough to touch (but not cold) take a fork and scrape the inside of the squash, to remove the strands of the spaghetti squash. Place them into a bowl.

4. Now you can prepare the rest of the casserole. Combine the egg, ricotta, 1 tsp salt, ground black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning in a small bowl.

5. In another small bowl combine the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, and 2 tbsp olive oil. Set aside.

6. Turn the heat on the oven up to 425. Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside. Place a large skillet (or a big pot) over medium-high heat. Once hot add 1 tbsp olive oil. Then add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until tender.

7. Add the ground beef and break up with a wooden spoon. Cook until almost all the pink is gone.

8. Add the kale and crushed tomatoes. Stir to combine. Place the lid on the skillet and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the kale is wilted.

9. Remove the lid and add the spaghetti squash. Mix until well combined. Remove the dish from the heat and stir in the ricotta cheese mixture.

10. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish and use a spoon to even out the top. Bake for 40 minutes.

11. Remove from heat and top with the breading. Spray with cooking spray and bake for 10 more minutes.

12. Let the dish sit for 10 minutes before cutting into it.

* serves 8
* besides Alphabakes, I have shared this recipe with Weekend Cooking

By the way, entries for Pantry Party should be entered during this next week!

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Jalapeno-Ginger Butternut Squash Soup

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I love butternut squash. I love soup. The combination of the two is the perfect blend.

Speaking of blends, I haven’t had a blender in a really long time after my last one broke. I haven’t had the money to replace it, so a lot of recipes that use a blender I avoid. I do have my food processor which could do the trick sometimes, but you can’t fill the food processor too high or it will overflow. I really need a blender for some things. I mean, making milkshakes in a food processor is tough.

I went to the Goodwill recently and I got some new (or I mean, old and used) clothes. I scanned the electronics section and they had a whole lot. I figured none of it would work though, due to past experience at Salvation Army with a food sealer.. thing. Anyway, there was a blender for $8. I tested it in one of the outlets and it spun, so I figured for $8 I didn’t have very much to lose. I got it home, washed it up really well, and used it to make this soup. And guess what? It works! $8 blender for the win!

This soup is perfect. I had it with some garlic bread that I had in the freezer. It was the perfect meal for a cold night. Apparently I forgot to add the water from the original recipe in, so my soup was definitely thicker than it would have been. While it may have made it last longer to have added the water, I liked the consistency a lot the way it was.

Jalapeno-Ginger Butternut Squash Soup
(recipe from Sunset Magazine)

Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp ginger, peeled and minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
3 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp heavy cream

Directions

1. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add garlic, ginger, jalapeno, and salt. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the cayenne and cook for 30 seconds. Add squash, chicken broth, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, until the squash is tender.

2. In a blender, puree the soup in batches until smooth. Add the heavy cream. Serve hot.

* serves about 3
* Shared with Souper Sunday hosted by Kahakai Kitchen, Tuesdays at the Table, Delicious Dishes, Tasteful Tuesday Party, & Recipe Box   

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for the mini muffin pan!

Thanksgiving 2012

 

After I uploaded my pictures I realized this photo was preemptive – I forgot to put the turkey on my plate! I didn’t actually go turkeyless though, so everything is right in the universe. For Thanksgiving I am at my parents’ house. I wasn’t responsible for all the dishes and will only be sharing the recipes for what I actually made. But our dinner consisted of:

– Turkey
– Bread
– Sauteed green beans
– Twice baked potato
– Roasted winter vegetables
– Stuffing
– Cranberry
– Biscoff pumpkin cheesecake
– Chocolate pecan pie

It was all great.

The first dish I was responsible for was the roasted winter vegetables. Last week at work we had a potluck and someone brought something similar to this. After having it at work, I knew I needed to make this at our own Thanksgiving because it was such a nice accompaniment to an otherwise heavy meal.

Roasted Winter Vegetables

Ingredients
3 beets
1/2 butternut squash
4 yams
1 fennel root
2 tbsp sage, chopped
1 tbsp rosemary, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 400. Chop all the vegetables into cube sized pieces. Combine in a baking dish.

2. Add the olive oil, sage, and rosemary to the roasted vegetables. Toss with your hands.

3. Place in the preheated oven for about an hour and a half, until soft. Check every half hour and stir.

* serves about 14

Naturally I was also responsible for a dessert. While searching the web recently I found this recipe for a biscoff pumpkin cheesecake. On foodie penpals biscoff spread seems to be making its way through the boxes, so I decided that it must be good and I should try it. The biscoff spread is crazy good. Basically you’re eating the creamed version of the biscoff cookie. It’s hard to fathom such a thing even exists!

The cheesecake was a huge success and very loved at dinner. I think the cheesecake is one of the best Thanksgiving desserts. You make it the day before and all you have to do is cut it on Thanksgiving day.

Biscoff Pumpkin Cheesecake

Ingredients

CRUST
30 biscoff cookies, ground into crumbs
1/4 cup melted butter
3 tbsp brown sugar

CHEESECAKE
24 oz cream cheese, room temp
2 cup fresh roasted pumpkin, mashed
3 eggs, room temp
1 egg yolk, room temp
1/4 cup sour cream, room temp
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
pinch nutmeg
pinch cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup biscoff spread, melted

Directions

1. `Preheat your oven to 350. First make your crust. In a bowl combine the cookie crumbs, melted butter, and brown sugar. In the bottom of a springform pan, pour the crumb mixtures. Press against the bottom of the pan and up the sides. Place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Remove and bake for 10 minutes. Let cool.

2. Next, make the cheesecake. Beat the cream cheese until smooth, for about 5 minutes. Mix in the pumpkin and beat until smooth. Add the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time until incorporated. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla until just combined.

3. In a small bowl combine the sugar, four, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Pour this mixture into the cream cheese and stir together well.

4. Pour your cheesecake filling into your cooled crust. Pour the melted biscoff spread on top of the cheesecake randomly and swirl with a knife.

5. Wrap the springform pan in several layers of aluminum foil. Put the pan in a roasting dish. Boil water and fill the roasting dish so that the water comes about half way up on the pan. Place the roasting dish in the oven and bake for 1 hour and 40 minutes, until the top is brown and the cheesecake is puffy.

6. Let sit out and bring to home temperature. Once cooled, cover and put in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

* shared with Sweet Treats and Swanky Stuff Saturday & Weekend Cooking

Roasted Vegetable Orzo

 

I always forget how much I love orzo until I eat orzo. And then when I eat it I inwardly question why I don’t eat it more. I’m sure you know, but despite looking like rice orzo is actually a noodle. While the word orzo, also known as risoni, is also called “big rice,” and even “barley,” orzo is not a grain. It’s a short-cut macaroni. And it’s so versatile. I can’t believe how often I forget orzo exists. I need to load my recipe list up with orzo recipes just to force myself to make it more because . . . YUM!

This recipe using orzo reminded me of my love of the pasta. It made a good vegetable dish, a good pasta/orzo dish, and was generally pretty easy to make.

I paired it with a chicken dish, but really I think this recipe could stand alone.

Roasted Vegetable Orzo
(source)

Ingredients
1 zucchini, sliced
1 yellow squash, sliced
1 red onion, cut into chunks
1 lb asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 pinch sugar
salt and papper, to taste
4 tsp chicken bouillon
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 (16 oz) package orzo
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 450.

2. Place the zucchini, squash, onion, asparagus, and mushrooms in a large bowl. Add in the garlic, olive oil, and sugar. Mix to coat the vegetables. Spread the vegetables in a single layer on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper.

3. Roast the vegetables, for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender.

4. While the vegetables are roasting, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the bouillon, wine, and orzo. Cook the orzo until al dente, for about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain.

5. Stir the roasted vegetables and Parmesan into the orzo.

* serves 6
* 369 calories per serving
* Shared with Presto Pasta Nights & What’s Cooking Wednesday,