Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Gnocchi with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli

1 Package of Gnocchi (usually this is found near the deli section)

15 oz Frozen Broccoli
4 tbs Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 Pound Fresh Chicken Sausage
1/2 Red Onion Chopped
3 Garlic Cloves Finely Chopped
1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
Juice of 1/2 lemon
crusty bread

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add gnocchi and cook according to package directions. Before draining, reserve 1 1/2 cups of pasta water.
Meanwhile, cook frozen broccoli until tender (microwave works great!). Heat 2 tbs olive oil over large skillet. Saute chicken sausage until cooked through. Add in onion, red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove sausage mixture from skillet and reserve. Add the remaining 2 tbs olive oil and saute drained gnocchi for 3-4 minutes or until slightly browned. Return the sausage mixture to pan and add cooked broccoli. Toss to combine. Pour in reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer for 2 minutes. Add in lemon juice and serve with bread. Enjoy! 

Friday, October 24, 2008

Goolish Guac

Vegetable-oil cooking spray
8 assorted large flour tortillas (red pepper, garden, spinach, or whole wheat
Coarse salt
8 avocados (pitted. peeled, and smashed)
1 lime squeezed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes cut in quarters
2 cloves of minced garlic
Halloween cookie cutters (I used a pumpkin and moon)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Using a the Halloween inspired cookie cutters cut shapes from tortillas. Arrange as many shapes as can fit in a single layer on oiled sheet. Coat tortillas with cooking spray, and season with salt. Bake until slightly darkened and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining tortilla shapes, using a clean, cooled baking sheet.
Put avocados, lime juice, 11/2 teaspoons salt and the pepper, garlic, and cilantro in a large bowl. Mash with a fork until chunky. Stir in tomatoes. Serve with chips

I made this for our Little Foxes Playgroup and it was simple, fun, and festive! Enjoy!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Turkey Garbanzo Bean Soup

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 pound turkey sausage, casings removed, crumbled
8 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 cans diced peeled tomatoes with juices (Hunts with Basil and Oregano works best)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried
2 cans garbanzo beans (chick-peas), undrained
2 cans chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Chopped fresh cilantro
1 avocado, peeled, sliced

Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add turkey sausage and chopped garlic and sauté until sausage is golden brown and cooked through, breaking up sausage with back of fork, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add tomatoes with their juices and chopped fresh rosemary and simmer 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garbanzo beans with their liquid and chicken broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer soup 15 minutes. Stir in fresh lemon juice. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before continuing.)
Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle soup with chopped fresh cilantro and top with sliced avocado.

This soup recipe was given to me from my mom who originally got the recipe from my Aunt Kitty. This is the season for soups and I thought it was a perfect time to share one of my favorite recipes with you! Enjoy!
*For the ones that need a rating, Jared gives this one 5 out of 5 stars!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Butternut Squash Soup with Sage

1 3-pound butternut squash—peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage (about 6 large leaves)
6 cups chicken broth

Preheat oven to 400° F. In a large bowl, toss the squash with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 teaspoons of the salt, and the pepper. Place the squash on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in oven for 15 minutes. Turn the cubes over and continue roasting for 15 minutes or until they are caramelized; set aside.
In a Dutch oven or a large stockpot, heat the butter and the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and sage and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are translucent and tender, 10 minutes. Add the squash, broth, and the remaining salt and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the liquid is flavorful. Remove from heat. Using a blender or a food processor, blend the soup in batches until smooth. Return to the pot and keep warm.

This is a perfect soup for a fall day! I found this recipe in my REAL SIMPLE COOKBOOK (which is worth buying by the way). It freezes really well (up to 3 months) and is definitely a kid pleaser! Enjoy!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Bison Burgers

4 patties of bison (1 lb if not sold individually -either fresh or frozen)
fresh whole grain buns toasted on grill
4 slices Monterrey jack cheese
1/4 cup Hellman's Canola Mayo
1 tbs homemade pesto recipe below (or store bought)
1/2 carton of mushrooms sauteed
1/2 small yellow onion sauteed
1/4 cup sliced English cucumber
1/8 cup bread crumbs
salt/pepper/garlic powder
spring mix lettuce

Preheat grill. Mix bison patties with sauteed onion, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Form into 3-4 patties and set aside. In a small bowl, mix mayo and pesto together - set aside. Cook burgers on preheated grill until desired temperature. Melt cheese on top just before taking them off the grill. Spread pesto mayo on toasted buns and ketchup. Layer the bottom bun with cucumbers, burger, mushrooms, and finally lettuce. Enjoy!

Bison may sound a bit intimidating. I was a skeptic at first; however, after an encounter at a great restaurant, I was sold on this healthy alternative to beef (Bison has 18-20% protein compared with 10% in regular beef, and has 5-7% fat compared to 25-30% in beef). Unlike traditional beef, bison is grain feed and is free of hormones and antibiotics. Try it and prepare to be surprised!

Kennedy's Fav Pesto

2 cups basil stems removed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (extra virgin is important!!)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 tbs pine nuts (optional)
4 cloves garlic

In food processor or blender, combine basil and remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth.

I usually make a large batch of this (double the recipe) and use it in a variety of dishes. It's freezable and can be used in pasta, as a pizza sauce, or over grilled chicken. Kennedy requests this pesto at least once a week!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

20 Minute Shepard's Pie
1 pound ground turkey
2 minced garlic cloves
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
8 oz organic frozen vegetables thawed (Cascadian Farms is the best!)
16 oz mashed potatoes (Alexia brand comes frozen and it saves you a step)

Preheat oven to 400. Cook turkey until no longer pink on med/high add minced garlic and salt/pepper to taste. Turn burner off. Add ketchup, worcestershire sauce, and thawed vegetables. Mix through. Add mixture to an oven safe casserole dish. Spread potatoes (add some salt/pepper to potatoes to kick up the flavor) on top and sprinkle the
shredded cheese on the potatoes. Bake for 10 -15 minutes or until heated thoroughly. Enjoy!