Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Butternut Squash Risotto

Posting the recipe for a friend :) One of our favorite and the meal I used to introduce Kevin to squash and convince him it wasn't "yucky health food".

Butternut Squash Risotto

2 c water
2 cans veggie broth (about 4 c)
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 c finely chopped onion
3 c cubed, butternut squash
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 c Arborio rice
grated Parm-Reggiano cheese
3 tbsp butter (i prefer unsalted)
fresh parsley, chopped

bring 1 1/2 c water and broth to a simmer in a saucepan (without boiling) and keep warm over low heat.

heat oil in a dutch oven (or stockpot) over medium heat. Add onion, and cook 8 minutes or until translucent, stirring frequently. Add 1/2 c water, squash, salt, and pepper. Cook 10 minutes or until squash is tender.

Add rice, and stir until mixture is combined. Stir in 1/2 c broth mixture and cook until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining broth mixture, 1/2 c at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next. Stir in cheese, butter and chopped parsley.

Butternut Squash Penne

Adapted from a Cooking Light Cookbook.

I love Butternut Squash. It is easuly one of my favorite foods and really is the taste of fall for me. The leftovers of this recipe make a great lunch for the next day and I prefer my meals to do double duty ;)

Butternut Squash Penne

Med Butternut Squash, chopped into 1" pieces
4-6 shallots or 2 sweet onions, juilienned
Sage, 1 tsp
Olive Oil, 1 tbsp
Brown Sugar, 1 tbsp

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

Combine Squash, shallots, olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper in baking dish and mix well. Distribute evenly throughout the pan. Cook in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until squash is fork tender.

Prepare Penne according to box directions. I prefer whole grain.

After squash is out of the oven, toss with sage and serve over pasta. I also sometimes add a sprinkling of shaved parmesan cheese.


If you have leftover squash and shallots, it can make a quick base for butternut squash soup tomorrow. Just mash in a stockpot, add some chicken broth (about a cup for 1 serving) and a couple tbsps of plain yogurt and PRESTO...yummy fall soup!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Quinoa Stirfry

Quinoa is one of my favorite foods- totally verstile and a serious superfood. If you haven't tried quinoa, read about its benefits here.

It's also available in the commissary, but I use it quite a bit so I purchase in bulk from Bob's Red Mill. That website is very, very bad for my bank statement- but great for my pantry.

For tonight, I sauteed a julienned pepper and onion, string beans, diced cooked chicken breast (left over) and cooked quinoa. Seasoned with soy sauce, garlic powder, craked pepper and a little salt- the whole meal took less than ten minutes and is a popular alternative to carb heavy stirfry.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Chicken Bolognese

Ok, so its not really Bolognese- but it's a similar texture. After errands today and with GM being fussy in the evening, I needed an easy dinner. Sticking with my plan of emptying my pantry and fridge, this is what I came up with.

leftover half box of spaghetti, prepared according to box
3 c of basic tomato sauce
1 c cooked chicken breast, shredded

Combine shredded chicken and tomato sauce in sauce pot over medium heat. Serve over cooked spaghetti.

Not fancy, but it tasted good, was filling and offered something different than the usual spaghetti and sauce .

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Crockpot Chicken Chili

Chili is one of my favorite ways to use up bits and pieces left over in my fridge and pantry, along with stirfry. I'm trying to use up everything before I go grocery shopping again so tonight is a chili night (plus, I needed a crockpot meal so I could get caught up on some housekeeping).

I use dry beans so this morning when I made breakfast, I threw about 1/3 c each of red kidney beans and white northern beans into the crockpot along with 4 c of chicken broth, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.

Once the beans were mostly cooked, I added 1 c of salsa, 1 c of water, and chopped up the odds and ends from the fridge: yellow pepper, 1 1/2 cooked chicken breasts from last night's Picatta, celery, carrot and a couple potatoes.

I make my chili pretty chunky and thick because otherwise Kevin doesn't consider it a meal, silly man. I'll whip up some quick fresh guacamole when it's time to serve (just avacado, a little red onion and a squeeze of lime juice).

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Chicken Piccata

Yummm...I'm being a little more ambitious tonight since Kevin cleaned the kitchen (mostly...he never wipes the counter or completely empties the sink for some reason) last night. So tonight, Chicken Piccata. Tweaked a little.

Chicken Piccata

1/4 c whole wheat flour
sea salt and ground pepper
4 chicken breasts, pounded to flatten
3 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c chicken stock
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp olives, rinsed and chopped (these only go on my plate, Kevin doesn't like them)
**I add rosemary because I like it and it goes well with olives!**

  1. Reserve 1 tbsp of flour, mix remaining flour with salt and pepper. Coat chicken in flour mix completely and shake off excess.
  2. Heat 1 tsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook 2-3 minutes per side or until light brown. Remove chicken to a plate.
  3. In the same pan, add remaining oil garlic, and reserved flour. Heat mix, stirring constantly to scrape up any brown bits from pan. Add stock and lemon juice (olives too if everyone wants them). Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium-high and simmer until sauce thickens. Add chicken back to pan and continue to simmer for a couple minutes. Remove from heat, stir rosemary into sauce and season with salt and pepper.

I served this with sauteed potatoes and steamed green beans. :) A neat twist on a favorite dinner.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Lazy Day Dinner

I love meals that you can eat for two days :)

For tonight, I'm taking the leftover filling from the chicken pot pie, adding more chicken broth so that it is a bit more soupy and serving it over brown rice.

Yummm...again- major comfort food for my lazy day.

Macademia Nut Crusted Porkchops

This was dinner one day last week and turned out well. I adapted it from a chicken recipe in Oxygen. The original recipe included coconut, which Kevin can't stand. The next time I make it I'll play with seasonings, as it could use a little more creaminess.

Macadmia Nut Crusted Porkchops

Chops (boneless)
4 oz macademia nuts (I used 2 ozs and it was just fine for 1 lbs of chops)
1 egg, beaten

**I also tossed in a seasoning mix I like with chops

  1. preheat over to 400 degrees. Spray a baking rack with cooking spray, placing it over a cookie sheet.
  2. Combine Macadamia Nuts and seasoning on a large plate. Dip each chop in the egg, then coat with nut/seasoning mixture.
  3. Place Chops on baking rack and bake for 40 minutes (mine were quite thick) or until cooked through. Note- you might want to cover with foil for first 25-30 minutes so the coating doesn't start to burn.
Very, very good. Healthy and one of the better versions of chops I've had. I think with a little tweaking this would be a favorite. If you like coconut, just subtract the seasoning and add 1/4 c of flaked coconut. A great way to use some left over coconut sitting in the pantry.