Acorn squash are one of my favorite sweet treats but this week I switched up the game! I made a savory version of this little gem and it was just as amazing.
I first saw a version of this on Buzzed but then didn’t use their recipe. Typical.
Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash
1 acorn squash!
1/2 lb Italian sausage!
1 apple, diced!
1/2 onion, diced!
1/2 t dry thyme
1 T fresh parsley, chopped!
1 garlic clove, minced!
1/4 t smoked paprika!
salt and pep!
1/8 cup parm!
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut a small portion on the acorn bottom off, to give it a solid base. Then remove the top 1/4 and scoop out the seeds. Bake off until tender- about 1 hour. You essentially make a squash bowl.
While the squash is baking, brown the sausage. When cooked, pour off all the excess grease then add onion and garlic. Cook until the onion start to soften.
Mix the sausage love with apple, herbs and spices! (Over)fill your squash bowl with this mixture and top with the parm. Pop it back into the hot oven until the cheese melts, about 10-15 minutes!
As you eat be sure and get a squash scoop with every bite. YUM
I pretend I’m not but I am such a basic white girl. I love fall, boots, Starbucks, selfies, pumpkin, and yoga pants. Pumpkin gets a bad wrap because of the PSL but it’s really an amazing ingredient. I love to use it in soups! Here is a quick and yummy pumpkin chipotle soup!
Chipotle PUMPKIN SOUP
2 Tbsp EVOO
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1-2 chipotle peppers chopped (canned in adobo)
8 cups chopped, cooked pumpkin
4 to 6 cups chicken stock
1/2 half & half
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoons salt, more to taste
2 Tbsp lime juice
Bacon, sour cream and avocado for topping!
In a large dutch oven, add the EVOO and onion. Cook the onion for around 2 minutes over medium high heat then add the garlic. Add the cumin, peppers, pumpkin, stock, and oregano. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
Using an immersion blender or working in batches, blend the soup until its smooth and creamy. Add half & half, lime, and salt and pep to taste.
Top it off with sour cream, toasted pumpkin seeds, bacon – whatever you like! But be aware, the chipotle peps can be really spicy! So don’t go too crazy – you can always add more but can take any out.
Today I was exhausted. I’ve begun my surgery rotation and have been working at least 14 hours days. I walked 15,000 steps last Thursday! Makes you want to turn off the pedometer, ya feel? When I am that beat down I need just three things – a nap, an outing and comfort food. I got my power nap (praise) and we went to the pumpkin patch (so basic it hurts but check out my pumpkin).
All that was left was some comfort food! I had always found risotto really intimidating until recently. The steps seemed complicated, the window for perfection small. But I learned that risotto is really just a method and with a little faith and patience can be easily added to your culinary repertoire.
Lemon & thyme risotto
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 T butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/3 cups risotto rice, preferably Arborio
Approximately 1 quart vegetable stock ( or chicken!)
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan
Salt and Pep
In a saucepan heat the stock to a simmer. In a seperate heavy dutch oven heat 1 T butter and and olive oil heat the onion and garlic until fragrant. Mix in the rice, stirring to give it a good coating of oil and butter.
Begin to to add the stock to the rice, one ladle at a time and keep stirring until the stock is absorbed. Then add another ladleful and stir again. Continue doing this until the rice is al dente (soft but with a chew to it). You may need more or less stock but you can use some water if you run out of stock!
When it’s just right pop in the butter, cheese, lemon zest and juice, thyme and salt and pep! Mix it up and eat up! Risotto is good reheated- but it’s transcendent the moment it’s done.
Oh yea I said it. I’ve been on the kale train and rocking the kale shirt long before Queen Bey. And by request I’m tossing in more veggie recipes! This one includes bacon… but you can leave that out.
braised rainbow kale
6 cups raw rainbow kale (or regs green kale) washed and chopped
3 slices of thick cut bacon chopped
4 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 onion diced
3 cloves garlic minced
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper (or more!)
Salt and Pep
In a large skillet cook off the chopped bacon strips! Pull them out when crispy and drain on a paper towel. Pour most (but not all) of the grease.
Toss in the onion and garlic – cook for about 2 minutes over medium high heat. Add the vinegar, sugar, and red pepper and give it a spin around the pan.
Load it up with kale! Use tongs turn the kale in your sauce coating all the leaves as the begin wilt down. You can let them go as long or as little as you’d like- depending on your desired crunchiness.When you’ve reached wilted yet crunchy perfection stir back in bacon and season with salt and pep to taste!
If you opted for the pig free version – begin with some EVOO or coconut oil. About 2 teaspoons should do the trick.
My birthday is tomorrow! Woohoo. I’ve reached the age where a birthday is pretty much just another day – BUT it’s a beautiful day where I can eat cake and carbs with ZERO guilt. I started the carb train a night early… so sue me.
ricotta and sausage stuffed shell in brown butter sweet potato sauce
1/2 lb Italian sausage browned and drained
1 package pasta shells
2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 shredded parm cheese
1/2 teaspoon Italian seansonig
3 Tablespoons butter
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 Tablespoon AP flour
1 cup boiled sweet potatoes
1/2 cup water
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Boil the shells but don’t cook them all the way! About 9 minutes. Drain and cool and set aside.
In your ninja or blender – blitz potatoes and water! Set aside.
Mix cooled sausage, ricotta, 1/2 the parm, egg and Italian seasoning together. Set aside. (I like saying set aside. It’s like a check off a check list.)
Browned butter can be tricky but the key is DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM IT. Place your butter in a large skillet and melt the butter. Bubbles will begin to form as the butter melts, keep whisking the butter as it begins to turn brown. You’ll see the color change and smell the nuttiness.
Remove from heat and add the garlic, cook or about 30 seconds. Whisk in 1 Tablespoon of flour. Add the milk, sweet potato puree and pepper. Whisk well and slowly add the remaining parm. Poor this sauce into a baking dish.
Fill each shell with a heaping tablespoon of your cheese/sausage goodie then place in the dish. Bake off at 375 until bubbly! About 25 minutes. Top with grated parm and something green!
Poblano peppers are perfect. They have flavor and a subtle heat. They come alive when roasted and you can truly stuff them with anything. I’ve been trying to ease off the carb train (which is funny because I also have begun to bake bread) so I didn’t want to stuff them with rice. Clearly jicama is the next choice… said no one ever….
jicama and andouille stuffed poblano peppers
2 cups jicama diced
3 poblano peppers
2 andouille sausages diced
1/2 red onion diced
1 avocado diced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 dried cilantro (or 1T fresh)
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
Big pinch of salt and pep
Roast the peppers in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Allow them to cool before handling them! Slice in half and remove the seeds and pulp. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl mix jicama, sausage, onion, avocado and spices. Fill the peppers with your mixture and pop back into the hot oven. Cook covered for 20-30 minutes.
The jicama doesn’t completely soften but the texture is similar to the classic rice filling! Top with cheese, sour cream, salsa or cilantro!
I can’t honestly say that I have a favorite food because it changes daily. But I do have a favorite weeknight meal and it’s only recently gone into rotation. It’s flipping delicious and so quick!
spaghetti squash with bacon spiach and goat cheese
1 spaghetti squash
3 slices of thick cut bacon
3oz garlic and herb goat cheese
1 bag baby spinach
1 teaspoon reserved bacon renderings (aka grease of the gods)
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
Salt and Pep
1 egg (optional)
Halve the spaghetti squash and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle lightly with EVOO and place face down on a cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees until tender, about 25 minutes.
At the same time bake off the bacon and save one teaspoon of the grease. Crumble the bacon when cooked. Let your squash cool slightly before using a fork to scrape down the flesh to make the “spaghetti”. Set aside.
In a large skillet add the bacon grease, red wine vinegar and syrup. When it’s warm add the spinach, a handful at a time as it wilts down. Toss in the bacon and add the squash. Stir to combine. Add the crumbled goat cheese (just use your fingers to break it up), salt and pep and it’s ready to serve! I topped mine with a poached egg, because I’ve yet to find something an egg doesn’t improve. Also protein. Boom.
Sweet, smokey, creamy, crunchy, tart- this quick dish has it all. It’s even yummy cold for lunch the next day!
This little weirdo is a chayote squash. I got hooked on them in Costa Rica – my Mama Tica would use them in chicken soup and it was life changing. Slowly but surely they’re working themselves into local grocery stores. They’re yummy cook and raw! Tonight I had no clue where the recipe was going but spiralized chayote turned into an awesome dinner!
cOLD CHAYOTE & CHICKEN THAI SALAD
Serves one. #foreveralone
1 spiralized chayote (or thinly sliced)
1 roasted chicken breast (left overs for the win!)
2 Tablespoons sweet chili sauce
1 Tablespoon red wine vinagar
1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
Raman noodles, about 1/4 of the brick.
In a bowl toss together all you ingredients. That’s it. Can you really call that a recipe? I don’t know. But it’s good. I topped mine with sour cream and cilantro.
Jared claimed today that national guac day seems to happen 5 times a year (or monthly in my world) but I’m convinced today is the real one. So in solidarity with my favorite fruit – we celebrated. Avocados are perfect. I’ve yet to find a dish that avocado doesn’t improve. This single seeded berry is perfect in dips, salads, soups, cakes, ice cream, smoothies… the list goes on and on. But it’s famous for guacamole (I know guac is extra). Guac is not complicated and yet people love to complicate it. I keep it simple and let the avocado shine. Here’s a basic guac for you avocado purists like myself.
3 ripe avocados
1/2 fresh jalapeño diced (more or less on your spice tolerance!)
Halve your avocados and use a knife to score them into cubes. Scoop those green nuggets of love into a big ‘ol bowl. Add in lime juice, salt, garlic, cilantro and jalapeño and GENTLY stir together. If you squish all the cubes or blend it you’ve killed all the magic.
Boom. Unadulterated, pure, unplugged avocado.
Long live fake holidays in honor of my favorite foods. When is National Ranch Dressing Day?
This might be my favorite dish. It’s so easy but you can still develop complex flavors quickly. It’s even yummier on day 3 and blends my love of tacos with my love of german stews. It’s even hearty enough that the men in your life will love it – it’s Daddy, big brother and boyfriend approved.
1 lb ground beef (or turkey!)
1 16oz jar salsa
1 packet taco seasoning
2 cups dried pasta (wagon wheel is cute)
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
1 can corn drained and rinsed
½ cup sour cream
In a large dutch oven brown off the meat. Drain any excess fat and add the meat back to the pot. Add the taco seasoning, jar of salsa and pasta to the meat and stir. Fill the salsa jar with water, give it a shake and add it to the pot as well. Simmer uncovered until the pasta is al dente, about 20 minutes. (Add more water if needed!)
Once the pasta is tender add in corn & beans; stir to warm them through. Remove from the heat and fold in the sour cream. Boom you’re done! Top with cheese, sour cream, avocado, and jalapeños.
You can go wild with this one. Use different salsas to change it up, try chipotle smoky flavors or add some cocoa and cinnamon for a mole twist. Holy mole it’s good (I just went there).