08 Oct Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

1 1/2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds

2 teaspoons butter, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C)
  1. Toss seeds in a bowl with the melted butter and salt. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown; stir occasionally.

Cajun Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  2. Toss pumpkin seeds with paprika, Cajun seasoning, and salt until coated. Mix Worcestershire sauce with melted butter in a small bowl, pour over seeds, and stir to combine. Spread seeds onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
  3. Roast seeds in the preheated oven until browned and crunchy, 45 minutes to 1 hour; stir and turn seeds several times during roasting.

Tips:

Carve the pumpkin, scoop the seeds into a colander and the pumpkin onto newspaper. After you drain the rinsed seeds, pour them onto a large, dry cookie sheet and let them sit for 24 hours or so to dry out. Seeds will roast better if not wet when they go into the oven.

You can boil the seeds in salted water for 20 minutes, and then lay out on a cookie sheet overnight to dry. Mix with 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon melted butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil and spread the coated seeds on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes at 300 degrees.

Double or triple this roasted pumpkin seed recipe depending on how many cups of seeds you have. One large pumpkin will generally yield 1 cup of pumpkin seeds, and smaller pie pumpkins will yield about the same amount. Toss a salad with these seeds, sprinkle over a chicken dish, or serve as a snack.

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01 Oct Beef Bolognese

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground, grass-fed beef
  • 2 ounces fettuccine per serving
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine
  • Handful fresh thyme sprigs
  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • Grated parmesan for garnish

Directions:

1.  Heat the olive in a big saucepan and sauté the onions, celery, and carrot until soft.  Add the ground beef.  Break up with a large spoon and cook until browned, about fifteen minutes.  Add the wine, bring to a boil and cook for about a minute scraping up the brown bits.  Add about 2 1/2 cups of the broth, thyme, and tomato paste then stir to combine.  Let simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

2.  Bring milk to a simmer in a small sauce pan.  Add to the Bolognese, mostly cover, and let simmer for about 45 minutes until the milk is incorporated.  Add a little more stock as needed so it doesn’t get too dry.

3.  Cook the pasta in salted water, drain, and mix with the appropriate amount of sauce. This is great to freeze in quart size freezer bags for quick dinners in the future.  Top with freshly grated parmesan.

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24 Sep Rotini with Spicy Winter Squash

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 2 pounds butternut squash—peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds Rotini or small shells
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated caciocavallo, pecorino or Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Directions:

1.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, onion and crushed red pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic and onion are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the squash and thyme, season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender, about 5 minutes.

2.  Meanwhile, add the rotini to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Add the rotini to the squash mixture in the skillet, then stir in 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water and toss gently to combine. Add the 3/4 cup of caciocavallo, season with salt and pepper and stir gently; add a little more pasta water if necessary. Serve the pasta right away, passing more cheese at the table.

**You can substitute pumpkin or hubbard squash for the butternut. Cook the squash until it’s soft but not falling apart—you don’t want al dente squash, but not too soft.

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19 Sep Crostini with Roasted Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds plum tomatoes, preferably both gold and red
  • 1 head garlic
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups olive oil
  • 1 baguette
  • ½ pound fresh goat cheese

Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise and arrange them cut-side up in an 11 1/2-by-14-inch baking pan, preferably earthenware. They should fit tightly.

2. Separate the garlic into cloves and peel the cloves. Scatter them among the tomatoes. Season the tomatoes liberally with salt and pepper and pour over enough olive oil to come at least halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake, uncovered, until the tomatoes turn golden brown on top, at least 2 hours. Cool for at least 10 minutes.

3. Cut the baguette on a bias into half-inch slices. Toast the bread until lightly browned on both sides.

4. To serve, use a fork to remove each tomato slice from the pan (allowing excess oil to drip back into pan) and place it on a slice of toasted bread. Top each with a dab of fresh goat cheese, about 2 teaspoons. Servings: 8 to 10

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11 Sep Mahogany Broiled Chicken with Smoky Lime Sweet Potatoes and Cilantro Chimichurri

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 5 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons bottled hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon chopped canned chipotle pepper
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce (from canned chipotle)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
  • Cilantro sprigs, for garnish

Directions:

1.  In a small bowl, mix together chopped cilantro, olive oil, minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper; set aside.

2.  In medium bowl, mix together brown sugar, mustard, hoisin sauce and vinegar. Reserve 2/3 of this mixture. To remainder, add 1/2 cup lime juice and stir in chicken; cover and refrigerate.

3.  Place sweet potatoes in a heavy saucepan and cover with boiling water. Cook, covered, over medium-high heat until tender, about 15 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking liquid, then drain potatoes in colander. Return potatoes to reserved cooking water and add butter, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice, cumin, lime zest, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Mash potatoes.

4.  Preheat the broiler. Thread chicken on 8 bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water for 30 minutes. Broil about 6 inches from heat, basting with reserved mahogany sauce until done, about 8 minutes. To serve, divide potatoes among 4 plates; top each with 2 skewers of chicken and drizzle with cilantro chimichurri sauce. Garnish with cilantro sprigs. 4 Servings

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03 Sep Stuffed Zucchini

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 large zucchinis
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 6 ounces of fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes
  • 4 cups of basic marinara sauce
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

1.  Prep zucchini by cutting them in half lengthwise and scooping out some of the flesh from the center of each half leaving about a 1/4 inch thick shell. Season the flesh side with a little salt and pepper. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

2.  Coat a large pan with olive oil (about 3-4 tablespoons) and sauté the onion until soft (10 minutes or so). Add the garlic and cook for another few minutes. Add the ground chicken to the pan, season with salt and pepper. Cook until the chicken is completely cooked. Turn off the heat, add a cup of the tomato sauce to the chicken and mix well. Let the mixture cool, (you don’t want to scramble your eggs) then add the beaten eggs, the basil, the parsley and cubed mozzarella and mix well.

3.  Spray 2 large baking dishes with non-stick spray and add 1 1/2 cup of tomato sauce to each baking dish. Spoon some of the chicken mixture into each zucchini shell filling them nice and full so that the filling is rounded on top and place them on top of the sauce in a single layer. In a small bowl, mix together the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese with some salt and pepper. Sprinkle the mix onto the top of the zucchini’s and then drizzle them with olive oil (about 2 tablespoons or so). Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until zucchinis are tender and the tops are golden. You may need a minute or two under the broiler to get the tops nice and golden. Serve garnished with fresh basil.

** May substitute ground beef or ground turkey for ground chicken. Makes 6 servings in 2 baking dishes

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26 Aug Tips for Grilling Chicken

Close the top: If your grill has a cover, always cook your chicken with the cover down. It will make your grill more oven-like, and your food will cook more evenly. Also, because the cover cuts off some of the oxygen, you’ll have fewer flare-ups.

Be patient: Resist the urge to continuously move the chicken around while it cooks.  Use long-handled tongs-Poking chicken with a fork will cause precious juices to escape.

Test for doneness: Make a small cut into the thickest part so you can be positive that it’s no longer pink inside. You can also use a meat thermometer to check if your meat has reached a safe internal temperature: 180 degrees F. for whole chicken, and 170 degrees F. for breasts.

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26 Aug Grilled Chicken Ratatouille

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • 1 red bell pepper, halved lengthwise, stemmed and seeded
  • 4 small tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Canola or olive oil cooking spray
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar

Directions

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  2. Combine oil, basil, marjoram and salt in a small bowl and reserve 1 tablespoon of the mixture in another small bowl; set aside.
  3. Coat both sides of bell pepper, eggplant, zucchini, tomato and onion pieces with cooking spray. Grill the vegetables, turning once, until soft and charred in spots, about 5 minutes per side for the pepper, 4 minutes per side for the eggplant and zucchini and 3 minutes per side for the tomatoes and onion.
  4. Rub the tablespoon of reserved herb mixture on both sides of chicken and sprinkle with pepper. Grill the chicken until cooked through and no longer pink in the center, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
  5. Transfer the grilled vegetables to a cutting board and chop into 1-inch pieces. Return to the bowl and toss with vinegar and the remaining herb mixture. Serve the grilled chicken with the ratatouille. 4 Servings
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21 Aug Easy Peach Cobbler

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 cups fresh peach slices
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Ground cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)

Directions

1.  Melt butter in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

2.  Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt; add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter over butter (do not stir).

3.  Bring remaining 1 cup sugar, peach slices, and lemon juice to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly; pour over batter (do not stir). Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.

4.  Bake at 375° for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve cobbler warm or cool. 10 servings

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21 Aug Chicken and Peach Curry

Ingredients

  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 2 tsp Thai red curry paste (for a hot curry, add 1/2 to 1 tsp more)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp finely grated lime peel
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 peach, skinned and sliced
  • 2 handfuls of fresh green beans
  • 1 small red pepper, (cayenne or other pepper) thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced,
  • 2 Tbsp coarsely chopped cilantro or green onion
  • Cooked rice

Directions

1.  Using a sharp knife, cut the chicken into 3/4-inch cubes; reserve.

2.  Heat oil in a wok or frying pan over high heat. Add the onion and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the chicken and the garlic and cook until the chicken is golden-brown and almost cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the red curry paste, sugar, lime peel, red pepper, and coconut milk and stir until well mixed. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.

3.  Meanwhile, skin and slice the peaches. Add the green beans to the chicken mixture. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add peaches right before serving. Sprinkle with basil, green onions and cilantro. Serve over rice, serves 4

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