Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 3 pounds butternut squash, unpeeled, halved lengthwise, seeds and stringy fibers scraped with spoon and reserved (1/4 cup), and each half cut into quarters
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon packed dark brown sugar

Directions

Heat butter in large Dutch oven over medium-low heat until foaming subsides; add shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add squash scrapings and seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and butter turns saffron color, about 4 minutes.  Add 6 cups water and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt to Dutch oven and bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low, place squash cut side down in steamer basket, and lower basket into pot.  cover and steam until squash is completely tender, about 30 minutes.  Off heat, use tongs to transfer squash to rimmed baking sheet; reserve steaming liquid.  When cool enough to handle, use large spoon to scrape flesh from skin into medium bowl; discard skin.

Pour reserved steaming liquid through mesh strainer into second bowl; discard solids in strainer.  Rinse and dry Dutch oven.

In blender, puree squash and reserved liquid in batches, pulsing on low until smooth.  Transfer puree to Dutch oven; stir in cream and sugar and heat over medium-low heat until hot.  Add salt to taste; serve immediately.

Serve with buttered cinnamon-sugar croutons.  Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove crusts from 2 slices of hearty white bread and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.  Toss bread cubes with 1 tablespoon melted butter.  Set aside.  In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons sugar with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.  Add cinnamon sugar mixture to bread cubes and toss to coat thoroughly.  Spread cubes in even layer on parchment paper lined baking sheet; bake until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.

Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 medium onions, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped medium
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • table salt
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 pounds blade steak, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, pureed with their juice in blender
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup pearl barley
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • ground black pepper

Directions

Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking.  Add onions, carrots, tomato paste and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until vegetables are softened and lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes.  Stir in wine, scraping up any browned bits. (This can be done ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container overnight).

Transfer vegetable mixture into slow cooker insert and stir in meat, pureed tomatoes, broths, soy sauce, barley and thyme until evenly combined.  Cover and cook on low until meat is tender, 9-11 hours (or on high for 5-7 hours).

Gently tilt slow cooker insert and remove as much fat as possible from surface of soup using a large flat spoon.  Stir in parsley, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh cranberries

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour 2 9×5 loaf pans or 2 8.5 x 4.5 and one mini loaf
Combine flour, spices, baking soda, and salt in large bowl.  Combine pumpkin, sugar, eggs, oil and oj in mixer bowl and beat just until blended.  Add pumpkin mix to flour mix and stir just until combined.  Fold in cranberries.  Spoon into pans.
Bake  for 60-65 minutes until wooden pick comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes and then remove from pans

Lemony Quinoa

Ingredients

  • quinoa, cooked
  • pine nuts
  • arugula
  • onion, sliced thin

Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

Blend the lemon juice, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper in a blender. With the machine running, gradually blend in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with more salt and pepper.

Mix quinoa, pine nuts, arugula and onion.  Dress with vinaigrette to taste.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon light-brown sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3-pound boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat
  • Tangy Red Cabbage, for serving (optional)
  • 6 crusty white rolls, split in half horizontally

Directions

In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, stir together 1/2 cup ketchup, sugar, garlic, sage, oregano, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cut pork in half lengthwise; add to slow cooker, turning to coat. Cover, and cook on low until meat is very tender and falling apart, about 8 hours (or on high for 6 hours). Meanwhile, prepare Tangy Red Cabbage, if desired (see below).

Transfer pork to a large bowl. Using a large spoon, skim off and discard any fat from surface of cooking liquid. With two forks, pull meat apart until shredded. Pour any juices from slow cooker over pork, add remaining 1/4 cup ketchup, and stir to combine; season with salt and pepper. Spoon meat onto bottom half of rolls; add red cabbage, if desired, and top of roll.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Follow step 1, using a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid instead of the slow cooker. Add 1 cup water, and cover. Transfer to oven; cook until pork is tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Proceed to step 2.

Serve with Tangy Red Cabbage: In a medium bowl, toss 1 1/2 cups shredded red cabbage with 2 tablespoons cider vinegar and a little coarse salt. Let stand until soft and bright in color, at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.

Flank Steak with Honey Marinade

Ingredients

  • 1 flank steak
  • meat tenderizer
  • ¼ C soy sauce
  • 2 T vinegar
  • ½ t ginger
  • ¾ cup veg oil
  • 3 T honey
  • 1 ½ T garlic powder ( not a typo)

Directions

Sprinkle steak with tenderizer and then poke it all over with a fork. Blend marinade in large ziplock bag.  Add steak.  Marinate overnight or at least 8 hours.  BBQ 7 minutes a side.  Slice  diagonally.

Berry Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup berries
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 cup orange or vegetable juice
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup ice

Directions

Mix together in blender and enjoy!

Moroccan Chicken and Orzo

Ingredients

  • 1 cup orzo, uncooked
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric or 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 14-16 ounces chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces (1″ or smaller)
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 1-1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions

Cook orzo in salted water until al dente.  Drain and set aside.

While orzo is cooking, get out a medium bowl. Add paprika, cumin, salt, turmeric, cinnamon and garlic, and stir to combine. Add chicken and stir until poultry is entirely coated with mix.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion. Saute about 4 minutes, until it’s a little soft and translucent, stirring occasionally. Add chicken. Brown chicken, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 more minutes. Pour in broth and raisins. Drop heat back to medium and let it cook for 5 minutes.

Kill heat. Remove skillet from burner. Pour cooked orzo into skillet. Stir until the whole shebang is thoroughly combined. Top with fresh cilantro and serve.

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups fat-free, low-sodium gluten-free chicken broth
  • 1 cup fresh or thawed frozen corn
  • 1 15 ounce can low-sodium black beans
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 large lime or 2 small ones (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin

Directions

Rinse quinoa thoroughly.  Place in a 2 quart saucepan with the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy. Allow to cool.

Place cooled cooked quinoa in a salad bowl with the corn, black beans, tomatoes, red onion, jalapeno pepper and cilantro.

Whisk lime juice, oil, and cumin in a small bowl. Drizzle over quinoa salad, then toss.

Israeli Couscous

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Israeli couscous
  • 1/2 large cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup parsley, minced
  • zest 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 cup onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup celery, minced
  • 1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, minced

Directions

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large sauepan over medium-low heat.  Add pine nuts and stir until golden brown.  Transfer to a small bowl.  

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the same pan over medium heat.  Add shallots and saute until golden.  Add couscous, cinnamon and bay leaf, and stir often until couscous browns slightly.  Add broth and salt and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed and couscous is tender.  Remove from heat and stir in parsley, pine nuts and lemon zest.  Add the raisins and season with black pepper to taste.  Let cool.  Add onion, celery and pepper.  Top with pine nuts and serve.