Foodie Blog Roll 2

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Butternut Squash and Wild Mushroom Rotini

Butternut squash is such a great vegetable. It's sweet and goes well in so many types of dishes, especially around this time of year. It's also the key ingredient for week 29 on my pregnancy foodie project.

 Butternut Squash & Wild Mushroom Rotini

The other reason I'm maybe a little too excited to share this with you is because every time I hear the words "butternut squash," it makes me think of the TV show, Friends. Joey "Remember when Ross tried to say 'butternut squash,' and it came out 'squatternut bosh?'" That episode is great for so many reasons! The Thanksgiving episodes were always ranked among my favorite, and this one just so happens to be one of those. If you want to check it out, it's a clip from Friends Thanksgiving 1992.

Anyways, I actually got this recipe from my mom. She  found it in a magazine and forwarded it on to me for "butternut squash week." I have to admit that I was very skeptical at first because of the cup-and-a-half of water that you add in part way through, thinking that this was going to be very soupy. You actually DO need the water though to help everything come together, otherwise it would be way too thick.  Don't worry when you're adding it in. It will all work out. 

If I had to pick a favorite part of this recipe, it would be the wild mushrooms! They were great. I know they are more pricy than the regular button mushrooms that your normally get {or at least the ones I normally get} in the store, but it was worth it! The mushrooms with the flavorful turkey sausage and the sweet squash, mmmmm, delicious! 

The pasta is cooked separately in water, and then added to the large pot to get cozy with everyone else. 

Butternut Squash & Wild Mushroom Rotini
serves 8, adapted from Barilla
1 T olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1.25 lb Sweet Italian turkey sausage, removed from casings
6 oz wild mushrooms {the package I used had cremini, shiitaki & yellow oyster}
2 C butternut squash, cut into about 1/2" cubes
1 1/2 C water
24 oz jar pasta sauce {I used Prego brand}

1 T blend of herb mix {I used 1 t each dried oregano and basil, 1 t fresh rosemary}

1 lb whole wheat rotini noodles
1/2 C shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion; sauté for a few minutes until softened. Add the sausage and break up with a wooden spoon or spatula, Cook until done. Add the mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes. Add the cubed butternut squash and season with salt and pepper. Add the water and cook thoroughly for about 7 minutes. Add the pasta sauce and herb mix and bring to a simmer.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to directions. Drain and add to the dish and stir. Lastly, stir in the cheese and serve. Top with more cheese if you want. {I always do}.

If you've never tried whole wheat noodles, you really should. Remember earlier how I said that the wild mushrooms were better than the regular ones? It's kind of the same idea here. Whole wheat noodles just have a better flavor. They have an earthy tone to them that regular pasta just doesn't have. And for a recipe like this one with great herbs and squash, it really deserves the best kind of noodles. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Cabbage Chicken Stir-Fry

I like making stir-frys because they are pretty quick and simple, really healthy and totally customizable. For this stir-fry, I used load of fresh veggies and then added a few of the fun canned ones {like baby corn and water chestnuts}. I also used a huge Chinese cabbage and chicken, although pork would also work great.

I've didn't know what a Chinese cabbage was until week 28 of my pregnancy foodie project. I had seen them before in the grocery store, but I just didn't know that is what they were called. They are the long heads of cabbage, not the more round one that you are probably used to seeing. {If you want to see a picture of one check out my project.}

Cabbage Chicken Stir-Fry

I didn't realize until I started cooking just how much food this would make. I was expecting the cabbage to shrink down like spinach, but it didn't get quite that small. You'll have to cook the veggies in a wok or skillet first, then cook the cabbage. It only takes a few minutes so don't let that shy you away form this recipe; it actually comes together fairly quickly.

Cabbage Chicken Stir-Fry
   Serves 8    
Teriyaki marinade
3 tsp sesame seed oil, divided (1 for chicken, 2 for veggies)
1 C snow peas
1 C shredded carrots
3 C broccoli florets 
15 oz can baby corn, drained
8 oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained
8 oz can bamboo shoots, drained
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound) 
2 T sriracha sauce
1 T teriyaki sauce
2 T low sodium soy sauce
1 Chinese or Napa cabbage

Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and rest in teriyaki marinade in the refrigerator for 1 hour. 

Cut Chinese cabbage in 4th's, lengthwise. Chop into thin strips and set aside. 

In a large skillet or wok, heat a 2 tsp of sesame seed oil over medium heat and add snow peas, carrots and broccoli. 

Stir-fry veggies; add the teriyaki sauce and cook until veggies have softened. Add in the baby corn, water chestnuts and bamboo shoots.

Cook until everything is tender-crisp. Transfer everything to a large bowl. 
In the same skillet, cook the cabbage for a few minutes with the soy sauce until it becomes slightly wilted. 

Meanwhile, in a second large skillet, heat remaining tsp of sesame seed oil over medium heat and cook chicken. 

Add the 2 tsp of sriracha sauce and continue cooking until chicken is all the way cooked through. 

Mix everything together in a large bowl and serve. 

This is great with brown rice or alone. Chris really likes to eat stir-fry with chow mein noodles so we always have those on hand too. For another stir-fry recipe, try this spaghetti squash and pork stir-fry recipe. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

First off I have say, I know this doesn't sound very exciting. Cauliflower, roasted, with cheese on it. But hear me out. Its actually, it's pretty dang good. Think roasted potatoes, roasted with lots of garlic and Parmesan cheese, only lower in carbs. This would actually be a great alternative to mashed potatoes or another potato dish at Thanksgiving. Plus, it couldn't be any easier. It is quick to cook and the prep work is minimal.

This dish is for my Pregnancy Foodie Project, week 27. I'm a few weeks behind, can you tell?

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower 
      serves 6-8
1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
2 T olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
Sea salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
3/4 C grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil and cauliflower. Make sure to evenly coat. Add the garlic, salt, pepper and nutmeg and stir. Pour into a baking dish. 

Bake for 25 minutes and remove. Add Parmesan cheese and place back in the oven for 5 minutes. You could broil the dish on low for a few minutes to crisp up the top if desired.

Remove from oven and serve. 

I know this sounds like a lot of garlic, and it is! Which is another reason this simple dish was so wonderful. However, if you're not worried about keeping the vampires away, I guess it won't hurt my feelings if you only use 2 cloves. Or 3. 

For a low carbohydrate, fally veggie dish, you really can't go wrong with this. Plus, you probably already have the olive oil and seasonings, so buying 3 ingredients isn't bad either! 

For another great cauliflower dish, try my Cauliflower Gruyere Gratin! {This one would be great for Thanksgiving too!} 
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