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!