Posts Tagged ‘squash’

squash mac & cheese

In culinary experiments, easy weeknight meals, leftovers, lunch, side dishes on 01.29.12 at 3:32 pm

it’s mac & cheese sans mac. that’s right, folks. no-pasta mac & cheese. true story.

ever have one of those days when you’re really craving comfort food like mac & cheese, but that little voice in your head tells you that you should know better? well, you should know better… there are healthy options for mac & cheese. this is what i fondly refer to as ‘faux pasta’ — spaghetti squash! and it works great as a pasta substitute in this squash-infused ‘mac & cheese’…

the spaghetti squash:
– gently wash spaghetti squash since you’ll be cooking it with the rind
– cut spaghetti squash in half, along the vertical. gently scrape pulp and seeds using a fork.
– gently brush the squash w/ extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle w/ ground black peppercorns
– place squash halves in a microwave-safe dish (squash side down) with 1/2 cup of water and microwave squash for approx 12-15min
– allow to cool before handling. using a fork, the squash should ‘string’ out nicely just like spaghetti noodles. true story. :)

(tip: cooking time varies depending on your microwave. if the spaghetti squash is still firm to the rind and doesn’t easily ‘string’ out like spaghetti noodles, you’ll need to adjust the cooking time accordingly. if you’d rather roast your spaghetti squash in the oven instead, check out this recipe modification for roasted squash.)

prep ingredients:
– 1 link of landjäger smoked sausage (diced. this sausage was already cooked.)
– 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
– 1/4 cup queso fresco (grated, or use another variety of cheese that melts well, such as gouda, cheddar or gruyere)

make the mac:
combine the following ingredients in a microwave-safe dish:
– 1 cup leftover cooked spaghetti squash (divided)
– sprinkle panko breadcrumbs, landjäger smoked sausage and grated cheese (between layers of cooked spaghetti squash)
– season w/ ground black peppercorns
– sprinkle remaining grated cheese for a melted topping
– warm up the squash mac & cheese for approx 2min in a microwave-safe dish, until cheese is melted.

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pumpkin gnocchi w/ mushrooms & spinach

In culinary experiments, dinner, easy weeknight meals, ethnic food, side dishes, vegetarian on 11.18.11 at 7:27 pm

gnocchi. not as complicated as you think. with a little help from martha. :)

gnocchi is one of those dishes that i’ve always thought was easier (and better) to order at your favorite italian bistro. my friend sam had nothing but great things to say about this simple pumpkin gnocchi recipe from martha stewart. the gnocchi got rave reviews from her adorable three-year-old twins. so i just knew that i had to try out this autumn recipe in my kitchen… and for my friends south of the border, this pumpkin gnocchi would make for a fabulous side dish to go with your thanksgiving turkey! (gobble, gobble.)

adapted from martha stewart recipes

– pre-heat oven to 400F

the pumpkin:
– 1 small pumpkin (cut in half, seeded)

(tip: reserve pumpkin seeds and roast them on a baking sheet at the same time as the squash. see previous yumyumyummers recipe for roasted acorn squash seeds.)

– add 1 tbsp water to each pumpkin half
– place pumpkin halves (cut sides up) in baking pan lined with cooking parchment paper (wrapped around the pumpkin like a present)
– cover baking pan with aluminum foil on top
– roast pumpkin for approx 45min at 400F. remove from oven. allow to cool on cooling rack before handling pumpkin.
– scoop pumpkin puree & reserve in prep bowl. discard pumpkin rind.

the dough:
on a clean, flat surface (eg, cutting board), sift the following ingredients together by hand
– 1 cup all-purpose flour
– 1 cup whole-wheat flour
– 1 tbsp salt (reduce amount if you’re not a big fan of salt)
– fresh ground nutmeg

(tip: use a rasp to grate fresh nutmeg for best flavour, instead of the pre-ground spice.)

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summer squash & sausage fried rice

In culinary experiments, dinner, easy weeknight meals, ethnic food, leftovers, lunch, side dishes on 10.29.11 at 5:01 pm

summer in autumn. kinda, sorta.

just because the leaves have already changed colours this autumn, doesn’t mean that the vibrant colours of summer can’t find their way back into your cooking! i found a fantastic batch of green and yellow summer squash in the produce aisle and just knew they would be perfect for my next culinary experiment. the leftover jasmine rice from the night before meant one thing… fried rice!

the summer squash:
– heat up 1.5 cups water in a large wok on high heat
– add 3 cups summer squash to wok and blanch squash for 1-2 min
– remove squash from wok and place squash in large bowl of ice-cold water (ice bath to stop the cooking process)
– brown 1/4 white onion (thinly sliced) in wok w/ 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
– add the blanched squash to wok
– add a dash of sea salt
– season w/ ground black peppercorns
– sauté summer squash w/ onions in wok for 4-5min until squash semi-firm

the sausage:
– add 1.5 cups white wine salami sausage (sliced in half-moons) to squash & onions in wok
– season w/ ground black peppercorns
– stir-fry sausage w/ squash & onions for a few min
– add 1-1.5 cups leftover steamed jasmine rice to other ingredients in wok
– stir-fry & fold ingredients together until well combined and rice is lightly toasted

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