Monday, October 17, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup
Created by Amy Day

1 shallot, sliced thin
1/4 yellow onion, diced
1 butternut squash
4 medium sweet potatoes (not yams), peeled
2 apples, peeled and diced
1 can of pumpkin puree
8 dashes of curry powder
4 dashes of cinnamon
fresh grated nutmeg (about 20 swipes)
fresh grated ginger root (about 1.5 tbsp)
salt and pepper
about 8 cups of homemade chicken stock (I had a lot of sage and thyme in the stock that I used)

1. Early in the day: Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise (I did this by cutting off a slice from each end, standing it up on the fat end, and going straight through from top to bottom). Scrape out all the seeds. You don't need to peel the squash. Bake along with the sweet potatoes at 350 for about 2 hours, or until everything is starting to get soft (but not mushy - a little firm is OK).

2. When the squash and potatoes are done: Put a drizzle of olive oil at the bottom of a large pan. Add the shallots and onion and cook on low heat until they get soft. Add the apple and the ginger.

3. After they've baked and cooled enough to handle, cube up the sweet potatoes and add them to the pot. Scrape the squash out of its peel and throw that into the pot, in chunks. Add the pumpkin. Add the curry powder, salt, pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon.

4. Add a few inches of chicken stock to the bottom of the pan and turn up the heat to medium-low, so that you're basically simmering everything you've got in there. Leave it cooking this way, covered and on a very low simmer, for a few hours, stirring occasionally, until everything becomes very soft.

5. Use a big whisk (or hand mixer or food processor) to puree everything the pot. It should be soft enough that a whisk does the job. Continue adding chicken stock until it's the consistency that you want it to be, not too thick or too thin. Add more salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg or curry powder depending on your taste.

***the recipe I sent you a few weeks back (for squash soup) is actually made so much more easily in the slow cooker! I did it that way over the weekend. Instead of roasting the potatoes and squash, you just peel everything on the ingredient list, dump every ingredient into the slow cooker, and mash it up at the end of the day! So easy and every bit as tasty - and even lower calorie because you can skip the oil you'd have used for roasting and for starting the onions and shallot.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Hannah's Turkey-Stuffed Peppers

Hannah's Turkey-Stuffed Peppers
From the
The Season 11 finalist takes the new contestants into the kitchen!

On this week's episode, we watched Season 11 runner-up Hannah Curlee give the Black Team a good dose of inspiration and a cooking lesson on how to make one of her favorite healthy dishes. Here's the recipe.

1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1.25 pound extra-lean ground turkey
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ cup low-sodium tomato sauce
1 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro or parsley
3 large red bell peppers
¼ cup reduced-fat shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet with olive oil cooking spray. Heat over medium heat. Add onion and garlic to the pan. Sauté about 2 minutes, or until softened. Add ground turkey to the pan. Season to taste with salt and add garlic powder and ground cumin.

Cook turkey, breaking into chunks, 10 to 12 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink and juices run clear. Add tomato sauce and ½ cup of the broth. Reduce heat and simmer over low heat about 5 minutes. Add cilantro.

Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds and stem. Place bell pepper halves in baking dish and spoon about 1/3 cup of the turkey mixture into each. Pour the remaining broth into the dish. Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes. Sprinkle peppers with cheese before serving.

Yield: 6 servings

Per serving: 140 calories, 20 fat calories, 2.5 g total fat, 0.5 g sat fat, 35 mg cholesterol, 150 mg sodium, 10 g total carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 5 g sugars

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Below is a recipe from my friend Oriana Montani. She created it

Here is what she did to make Pumpkin Turkey Chili:

Saute yellow and yellow pepper and onion with two cloves of garlic.
Add ground turkey and brown
Add can of pumpkin puree, can of Kidney, can of corn, and can of diced tomatos.
Add half cup of chicken broth
I put a little dark beer in (like 1/4 cup) but you don't need it

Spices--I used chili powder, smoked chipotle chili powder, cumin, corriander, cinnamon, salt and pepper (to taste).

I would say I used a lot of the two chili powders and then probably a teaspoon on the others. I just added the spices to taste, but this should be a good base for you.

Good luck! This was one of my favorite meals that I have made. Hope you have the same experience.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Morning Glory Muffins

Morning Glory Muffins
From the Kitchen of Margot Bass

2 1/2 cups sugar
4 cups flour
4 teaspoons cinnamon
4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
(sift together)
1 cup of raisins
1 cup shredded coconut
4 cups shredded carrots
2 cups diced or shredded apples
1 cup pecans (optional)
6 eggs
(add to dry ingredients)
2 cups vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
(add to mixture)

Bake @ 375 for 20 minutes
Makes 36 muffins
These are amazing! So filling with all the yumminess inside :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Green Gobble-'Ems Garlic Bread Chunks

Green Gobble-'Ems Garlic Bread Chunks (Seriously the best garlic bread I've ever had)
From the Kitchen of Julia Jezowski
Courtesy Of: Rachael Ray, Ghoulish Grub

4 cups spinach leaves, stemmed
4 cloves garlic, cracked from skins
1 stick softened butter
Salt and pepper
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 loaf good quality Italian bread

Preheat broiler or set oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the spinach in a food processor with garlic, butter, salt and pepper and cheese and process, scraping the mixture down if necessary.

Halve bread lengthwise and slather it with spinach butter. Broil or bake to crisp, 3 minutes under broiler, 6 to 7 minutes in hot oven.

Cut into large cubes and serve with pasta.

Oatmeal Coconut Cookies

Oatmeal Coconut Cookies
From the Kitchen of Margot Bass

2 cups butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
(cream together)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
(add to the creamed mixture)
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 cups oats
2 cups coconut flakes
(mix & add to the creamy egg mixture)

I use my kitchen aide & it really makes the motor groan :) Don't get nervous it's dry dough...
You can easily 1/2 the recipe and that makes things easier on your arm or mixer.
Place a teaspoon mounds on a baking sheet @ 350 for 8-10 minutes.
as soon as they come out of the oven smash one Hershey bar square in the center of each cookie!
Enjoy at least one while the cookie's hot and the chocolate's gooey!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Vegetarian Curry Stew

Vegetarian Curry Stew

Serve this fragrant and robust stew over steaming brown rice or whole grains for a hearty meal. You can also experiment with different beans or try substituting lentils or tofu.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups finely chopped red onions
2 tablespoons finely chopped, peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup diced fire-roasted tomatoes or chopped, seeded, peeled fresh tomatoes, or tomato sauce
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups fat-free, low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 (12-ounce) sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes (about 2 cups)
1 cup cooked black beans (see note)
1 cup cooked chickpeas (see note)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, without stems
Fresh lime wedges

In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until tender but not brown. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for about 1 minute or until fragrant. Do not brown the garlic.

Add the tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the coriander, cumin, cardamom, and cinnamon and cook for about 1 minute, or until very fragrant. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the sweet potato and simmer for about 4 minutes. Add the beans and chickpeas and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot, sprinkled with cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.

Note: For chicken curry, add 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2" cubes, in place of the beans and chickpeas.

Yield: 8 (1-cup) servings

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Baked Ziti

Baked Ziti
From the kitchen of Diana Brewster

One pound of Ziti noodles (cook for 10 mins)

Ricotta Cheese Mixture:

16oz Ricotta Cheese

1 egg

Half jar of sauce or if your sauce is homemade about 1 ½ cups

Garlic Powder ½ Teaspoon

Italian Seasoning 1 Teaspoon

½ Cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Cup of Grated Mozzarella Cheese

½ teaspoon Salt

Mix Everything together, it should be very moist

Add to the cooked pasta and stir. Add more Mozzarella Cheese if needed up to 1 cup more.

Layer 9x13 pan with sauce and then pour pasta mixture in. Top with sauce, mozzarella cheese and a sprinkling of Parmesan Cheese.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes
Note: ( you can double this recipe very easily, and if you like meat just add to the Ricotta Mixture)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Cobbler

Pumpkin Pie Cobbler
From the Kitchen of Rebecca McGuigan

One 21 oz. can pumpkin filling
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup butter, melted

Stir pumpkin pie filling and pie spice. Pour into 13 by 9 " baking dish. Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over pie filling. Sprinkle walnuts(optional) over the cake mix. Drizzle melted butter over the cobbler. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes. Add vanilla icecream. Enjoy!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

BBQ Ribs

BBQ Ribs
From the kitchen of Stephanie (modified version of my Mother-in-Law's...Hilda...recipe)
**Sorry for the lack of pictures, I forgot to take them while I was making these. Next time I make them I will take pictures and add them in.


To Parboil:
Babyback Pork Ribs (I bought the two half rack pack from Costco and cut each rack in half and made just one of the halves...about 8-9 ribs...for my family of three meat eaters)
1 1/2 Bottles of Beer (one you, or in my case, your husband would drink...we used Fat Tire)
1 large yellow onion (quartered)
Garlic (4-5 minced cloves)

To make rub:
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Pepper (fresh cracked is best)
Ground Yellow Mustard
Cayenne Pepper

Favorite BBQ Sauce (We like Randy Jone's All Natural BBQ Sauce)


Parboil Ribs:
1. Place ribs in a deep dish skillet (with lid) that is big enough for all of the ribs
2. Add Onion and Garlic
3. Add one bottle of beer, then fill that empty bottle of beer with water and pour that in as well. If you still need more liquid to have about 90% of the ribs covered, than add 1/2 to a whole bottle of beer along with equal parts water. Cook on Medium to High heat
4. Bring to a boil...turn down heat to medium to low heat (so it's simmering).
5. Add lid and parboil for about an hour (a little more or a little less is fine, you just don't want the meat falling off of the bones when you go to grill.

Dry Rub:

1. Once ribs are done parboiling, pull them out and place on plate to cool. (you can use the beer/water/onion/garlic mix the next day in a crockpot recipe if you want to get more bang for your buck)
2. While ribs are cooling make rub. In a bowl combine equal parts: garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, paprika, and yellow mustard (I just used the palm of my hand to measure, so about 1.5 TBSP of each). Then add a little bit of salt and pepper (I did about 1/2 of a palm each, so about 2 tsp). Finally add even less cayenne pepper (I did about 1/4 of a palm, so about 1 tsp). Mix seasonings all together (I did this rub in this size quantity b/c I have three other rib racks in the freezer and I wanted enough for those ones too).
3. Rub generous amounts of rub on both sides of the the rest of the rub in an air tight container for future use.

Grilling these bad boys:

1. If possibly, place on top rack (bone side down first) of a preheated grill.
2. Close the lid for about 5-7 minutes to let the rub really soak in.
3. Then, I used a basting brush and put BBQ sauce on the meaty part of the ribs (and let cook for another 5-7 minutes or so with the lid closed)...remember these ribs are already cooked through b/c of parboiling them, so you are just grilling to add flavor and make sure you grill isn't too hot (we kept ours on Med to Low heat)
4. Flip the ribs and baste the bone side with BBQ sauce as well...close lid and let cook for another 5-7 minutes
5. At this point, we took our ribs off b/c we were happy with how they looked and with the texture we'd created...crispy, but not too crispy...feel free to leave them on as long as needed to get them to a "doneness" you are happy with.