Archive of ‘Food’ category

Stuffed Delicata Squash with Apples and Sausage

title stuffed delicata squash

I really don’t post recipes that often here — not because I don’t love cooking and want to share, but mostly because of time constraints. 5:00-6:00 pm in our household is a busy time. The toddler is hungry and tired, I’m trying to get dinner on the table, and Chris is running around trying to do some maintenance on the house/yard before the sun goes down. By the time my simple meal is on the table, it’s dark out (it gets dark at 6:45 these days) and there’s just no light to photograph before we eat!

So you know when I put a recipe on there it’s good! It’s usually something new I’ve tried that I like so much it’s going into the regular rotation. Last time, that was delicious poke salad with raw salmon and avocado. This time, I’m getting into the harvest theme with delicata squash stuffed with sausage and apples. I kind of figured, pork+apples = good. Pork+apples+stuffed in something = even better!

Delicata squash is, as its name suggests, more delicate than other winter squashes, and because it’s a bit more perishable, it’s not in season that long. So snap it up when you see it! I find the flavor to be quite similar to acorn squash. The skin becomes soft when cooked so you can eat it if you like.

paleo stuffed delicata squash

This recipe is gluten-free and paleo-friendly. If you don’t mind grains, you can of course use panko instead of coconut for the topping.

Stuffed Delicata Squash with Apples and Sausage

2 delicata squash
1 package sweet Italian sausage (5 links)
1 medium gala apple
2 ribs celery
1 small-medium onion
3-4 tablespoons unsweetened dry coconut
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper
olive oil

Prick the whole squash all over with a sharp knife. Put them, whole, into the microwave and nuke them on high for 6 minutes, or until they are tender enough to slice easily in half with a knife.

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Meanwhile, dice the onion, celery, and apple. Remove the sausage from its casings.

Saute the onion and celery for 3-4 minutes in some olive oil until softened. Stir in the apple and saute for another 3 minutes. Add the sausage and saute until sausage is browned and cooked through. Add a pinch of nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.

Slice the microwaved squash in halves and scoop out the strings and seeds. Pack each half full of the sausage filling and sprinkle dried coconut over each squash half. Bake for 20 minutes until coconut is browned and filling is sizzling.

Serves 4.

 

Sharing at SavvySouthernStyle, TheBlissfulBee

Homemade Hawaiian Poke Bowls

poke bowls title

It’s been a while since I posted a recipe but I hope this recipe will make it worth the wait. I first heard about poke from my friend Tricia, and I first tried it at North Shore Poke in Huntington Beach. It’s kind of a Hawaiian fish salad…delicious fresh chunks of fish and seasonings layered on top of either greens or rice. If you like sashimi, you’ll love poke. If you like ceviche, there’s a good chance you’ll like poke too.

The great thing about poke is it’s kind of like the poor person’s sashimi. The fish has to be fresh, but it doesn’t have to be the most expensive cut of fish, and it is kind of just hacked into chunks rather than sliced with precision. That’s good news for those of us lacking professional knife skills ;p!

poke bowl top

poke bowls top 1

I got my fish from our local Japanese grocery just because I trust it a little more to be fresh (high turnover, and they serve sushi and sashimi in the store). I wouldn’t get fish from your local supermarket or Costco or something like that. Go to a good fishmonger’s or farmer’s market, or a smaller grocery store that you trust, because the fish will be raw and can harbor harmful bacteria if you’re not careful. Although I’ve never had a problem, there’s always a risk in not cooking seafood fully.

I love salmon so that’s what I made my poke from. However, some people might find the oiliness of the salmon combined with the avocado to be a bit too rich. Poke is usually made from ahi tuna so you might want to go that route (although salmon tends to be cheaper). Get a good salmon or tuna steak, preferably de-boned and skinned to cut down on prep time. Keep your fish chilled until ready to mix with the sauce.

poke bowl side

Poke Bowls
Serves 2

1 large salmon or tuna steak (about 1 pound)
1 avocado, cubed
cooked white rice, to serve

Sauce
1 small shallot, finely diced
3 green onions, diced
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 (ish) tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1 tsp grated ginger
1-2 tbsp sesame seeds (to taste)
extra green onions

Mix all the sauce ingredients together and let them sit for about 30 minutes so their flavors meld.

Remove bones and skin from fish, and cut into 3/4″ chunks.

Mix sauce together with the fish and avocado and refrigerate until ready to serve. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with extra diced green onions, sesame seeds, and soy sauce (I also like to serve it with furikake). Serve on top of steamed white rice that has been cooled to room temperature.

You can easily double all the ingredients to make enough for 4 people.

 

Sharing at SavvySouthernStyle, TheShabbyCreekCottageTatertotsandJello and Remodelaholic!

Coconut Crusted Chicken with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

coconut crusted chicken

Here’s a fun twist on an old classic! Thinking about doing fried chicken and potatoes this summer? Maybe to pack for your Fourth of July picnic? This recipe is fast, easy, and is a crowd pleaser. Instead of a typical breadcrumb breading, the crust on this chicken is made of dried coconut and panko. If you wanted to make it gluten-free, you could even omit the panko and it would still be delicious!

I fell in love with sweet potatoes when I was doing a Whole30, which is basically a one-month cleanse that follows the principles of the paleo (or caveman) diet. Although I don’t think the paleo lifestyle is for me in the long haul, I do keep its principles in mind while meal planning. I try to use more complex, more nutritious carbs when I can, instead of relying on refined grains. White sweet potatoes are an excellent substitute for traditional mashed potatoes. They mash up soooo easily and they have such a great flavor.

These days, I mostly love recipes that are easy and fast, and that can be left to cook by themselves while I play with my toddler. This coconut crusted chicken fits the bill! Just add a tossed salad for a quick and healthy meal.

coconut chicken

Coconut Crusted Chicken
4 servings

10 chicken drumsticks
2 eggs
1 cup dried unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (optional)
Lawry’s seasoning salt
olive oil

Note: Omit breadcrumbs to make this gluten-free. Instead, add more coconut as needed. If you’re planning to make this paleo, you may also need to sub salt, pepper, and your own spices (I like smoked paprika) in stead of the seasoning salt.

1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Sprinkle seasoning salt all over the chicken and rub in gently with your hands.
3. Beat the eggs in a medium bowl. Mix panko and coconut together in a shallow bowl. Dip each chicken drumstick in the eggs, and then dunk them in the coconut mixture.
4. Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Using tongs, transfer half of the breaded drumsticks to the hot skillet. Fry, turning once, until browned on both sides. Transfer them to a greased cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining drumsticks.
5. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until juices run clear.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

3 medium-large white sweet potatoes
salt and pepper
3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup whole milk (optional)

Note: butter and milk are optional if you want to make this paleo.

1. Peel and cut sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes.
2. Place in medium saucepan and add cold water to cover.
3. Cover; place on stove over medium-high heat until water boils. Lower heat to a simmer.
4. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Drain sweet potatoes.
5. Mash in a bowl with salt, pepper, butter, and milk. Serve!

Chive and Cheese Drop Biscuits

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Sometimes you just want a biscuit. Right? I made these the other day when I was at a loss as to what to eat for lunch. There was hardly any food in the house (at least, that I wanted to eat) but there were chives in the garden and a hunk of cheese, so I made these, and they were delicious. And fast, which is key. I mixed these up in the time it took to preheat the oven, all during my baby’s morning nap.

Speaking of chives in the garden, the garden is starting to explode with all manner of good things. None big enough to eat, yet, but we have a japanese cucumber that promises dozens of tender cukes, several tomato plants that are soon going to rival me for height, and a stunted, but recovering, summer squash that has a couple of yellow babies. And there are herbs. Oh delicious herbs. Delicate, oniony chives, pungent parsley, fragrant rosemary. Herbs are a gift of summer.

Chive and Cheese Drop Biscuits

1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
6 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cheese, coarsely grated (I like Gouda)
1 bunch chives
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp milk for brushing

Preheat oven to 400 F (about 200 C).

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub it into the flour using your fingertips, until the mixture becomes a fine crumble, like cornmeal.

Hold the bunch of chives in your hand and use a pair of scissors to snip small pieces into the  flour mixture (about 1/6 inch). Add the grated cheese and stir into mixture.

Pour in the buttermilk and fold in gently with a spatula until mixture forms a sticky dough. Divide roughly into 8 and drop onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with milk.

Bake for about 12 minutes until golden.

Enjoy hot with butter!

Spring Dinner: Asian Turkey Noodle Salad

turkey soba noodle salad

Ahhh…not to rub it in, all my friends who live in cooler climes…but the weather here in Southern California has been downright balmy. I mean, shorts and tank-tops, SPF-30, carry a bottle of water around, kinda weather. We’ve been enjoying the longer days and more time spent outdoors before bedtime (at least, bedtime for Gracie). We’ve also been enjoying the delicious spring produce that the warmer weather has brought!

Yesterday was one of those nights where you look up all sorts of recipes for dinner and nothing sounds good. So I decided to throw together a cool, fresh, main-course salad inspired by a Vietnamese rice noodle salad that Chris and I frequently enjoy. The best thing was that it used up some ground turkey I had on hand (which is super budget-friendly) and the rest of the ingredients are ones I commonly have on hand.

If you don’t have fish sauce you can omit it and just add salt to taste, although it won’t be anywhere near as funky-smelling (that could be a good or bad thing, depending on you haha). Oh, and I didn’t have cilantro last night, so I used parsley (which usually isn’t used in this dish), but it was still delicious. Parsley has a lovely anise flavor which isn’t alien to Southeast Asian dishes so it worked well.

Hope you like it too!

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Asian Turkey Noodle Salad

Serves 4

Meat Marinade
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

Salad Dressing
1/4 cup Vietnamese fish sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup water
3 tbsp honey or sugar
juice of 1 large lime
pinch of crushed red chili flakes
2 tbsp chopped cilantro

Salad
1 pound ground turkey
6 oz dried soba noodles
1 bag washed baby greens (about 5 oz)
1 English cucumber, julienned (or 5 persian cucumbers, or 2 asian cukes)
handful of bean sprouts (optional)
toasted sesame seeds
extra sesame oil, cilantro, hot chilies, lime juice, to taste

Mix the dressing ingredients together and set aside to let the flavors meld.

Mix the marinade ingredients into the ground turkey. Mix it thoroughly and let it sit for 30 min. Then saute the turkey over medium-high heat until browned and cooked through. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, cook the soba noodles according to package directions. Rinse the noodles thoroughly in a colander set under running water. As in, really get in there with your hands and scrub all the slimy stuff off the noodles. Drizzle a bit of sesame oil on the noodles and mix well with your hands (this prevents noodles from sticking together while they wait).

Fill the bottom of 4 large noodle bowls with salad greens. Top with julienned cucumbers, bean sprouts (if using), noodles, and ground turkey. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Drizzle with dressing and serve with extra dressing on the side, as well as other condiments such as chopped cilantro, hot chilies, and lime wedges.

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