Super Easy Squash

I love all the squash that comes around in the fall but hate the time and mess it makes to prepare it. This recipe is super easy and can be kept around for a long time.

1 Butternut Squash (peeled, seeded and chopped)

1/8 Apple Cider Vinegar

1/4 Orange Juice

1/4 Water

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Put all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on high for 6 hours. Use a potato masher to mash it down in the cooker. Cook an additional 2 hours on low. If you want to lose some water remove lid at the end and let it cook an additional 30 min.

I keep it in the fridge for a week and always find fun ways to use it!

 

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No Joke Banana Pancake

I am always on the hunt for super easy and healthy breakfast. Can never go wrong with pancakes 🙂 You wont believe this one until you try it.

1 Banana

1 Egg

1 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Sugar

(Optional) Pinch of Cinnamon

Put all ingredients in food processor and blend will. Allow mix to sit for a few minutes and then cook on a hot, oiled pan.

I am not sure why but the second batch is always better.

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Five Alarm White “Chilly”

Its officially fall time and time to make some great chili. As always I need to make it a little different so this is my white version using a squash base instead of tomato. An easy slow cooker meal that is put together in the morning and have ready when you get home.

Ingredients:

1 Pound Ground Chicken Breast

1/2 Tomato Sauce

3 Cups Cubed Butter Nut Squash

1/2 Large Diced Onion

1 Green Pepper Diced

3 tspn Chili Powder

2 tspn Cinnamon

2 tspn Paprika

1 tspn Garlic powder

1 tspn Nutmeg

Salt and Pepper

1 Cup Chicken Broth

1 Can Red Beans Rinsed and Drained

1 Can White Beans Rinsed and Drained

2 Tbs Brown Sugar

First thing is to sauté onion and pepper with some salt and pepper. Place the mix into slow cooked. Next, place meat in same pan and brown along with tomato sauce, garlic powder and a little more salt and pepper. Drain meat slightly and place in slow cook. Then, add cubed squash to hot pan and lightly cook for a few minutes and place in the slow cooker. Add both can of beans. Now its time to add the nutmeg, cinnamon, chili powder, paprika and sugar. Stir well and add broth. Turn slow cooker on low and cook for about 10 hours. You may want to remove slow cooker lid for last hour if you prefer your chili more thick and less liquid. I serve with some Greek yogurt on top but cheese and sour cream are always fun.

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Green Hot Toddy

With the start of fall comes the sniffles. No better cure then a wonderful hot mug of heaven.

Ingredients:

1 Oz Whisky
1 Green Tea Bag
1 Tbsp Honey ( We Bee Brother Honey)
1 Lemon
Hot Water

Place whisky, honey and two lemon rounds in mug. Pour in hot water and add tea bag. Allow tea to steep for five minutes. Remove bag and add one tablespoon lemon juice. Stir well and enjoy.

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Festive Spinach

Spinach is a super heathy addition to any meal. Try my version for a fun spin.

Ingredients:

1 Pound Fresh Spinach
1 Slice Canadian Bacon
2 Cloves Garlic
1 tsp Salt
Juice Half of Lemon
1/4 Cup Raisin or Craisin

Spray a pan well and begin by lightly browning bacon and chopped garlic. Add lemon and raisin’s while cooking for another minute. Toss in spinach and continue to cook on medium heat. Once spinach cooks down add salt, mix well and serve.

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Elote Recipe

Elote is a mexican corn on the cob dish that sweet, spicy and creamy. When my boyfriend is in the mood for something he will ask for it repeatedly until he gets it. It’s kinda funny because it is always something very random that he sees in passing. The other day while walking in the market he must have found someone selling it so as always he called and started chanting “Elote… Elote….. ELOTE.” With corn in season this is a great alternative to spice it up a notch.
Since Jay is the Mexican food expert I finally got him in the kitchen to make this one. Check out what he did and give it a try.

Ingredients:

2 Full corn on the cob still in husk
1 Tbs Mayo
Juice of half a lime
1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese (Cotija if possible)
2 tsps chile powder
2 tsps cumin
1 tsp ground red pepper
1/4 cup cilantro chopped

Soak corn for about an hour in water. Then broil corn in husks until dark brown on outside. Rotate 1/2 turn after 7 mins then cook another 7 mins. If you don’t have a broiler feel free to cook the corn in the same way on the grill or in am oven at 500 degrees.

When corn is cooked remove from husk. In one bowl combine 1 tablespoon of Mayo with 1/2 lime squeezed. In another bowl mix together Cotija cheese (or Parmesan if you don’t have Cotija) , chile powder, cumin, ground red pepper. When your ready to serve, brush on mayo lime mixture. Then coat heavily with cheese spice mixture and top with chopped cilantro. Enjoy!

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Tour Stop: Monroe New York

The tour continues, this time I am back to where it all started. Home to the town where I grew up and have been hearing about a huge gluten free movement starting. Monroe is a cute town in the Hudson Valley about an hour from the city. Tons of farms, shopping, outdoor sports and great vineyards. Both places I visited have great on-line stores and totally worth checking out.
First stop, was Katz bakery. It is a gluten free and kosher bakery. The stuff is great with all fresh and high quality ingredients. It is a small business that started in someone’s basement and has blown up in to a nationwide distributor. Everyone that runs the place is super nice ad believe in what they do. It’s funny that a a great gluten free bakery would open up in the town I grew up in. They make the best gluten free donuts I have ever tried and they are only 180 calories. They also make a traditional Jewish dessert called rugelech that is like a flaky dough similar to philo dough with a sweet cinnamon or chocolate filling. When I was deployed in Iraq my mom sent me a huge box of her homemade ones and it is one of the many things I was worried I would never have again. Katz has a great on-line store and you can even get a free sample box shipped to you. Check the out at http://www.katzglutenfree.com/Katz_Assorted_Gluten_Free_Sample_Pack_p/kasp.htm
The next stop, I made was a tradition Italian specialty shop that I grew up on named Little Italy. My small home town does not have the Italian Market like we do here in the city but this is the best next thing. A family run shop making all the homemade Italian dished, salads, mozzarella cheese and much more. They even do some great catering and community work. Over the years two of the owners sons had friends that were gluten free so they started to sell gluten free product in the store. It became a hit and now they have one of the two five door fridge’s dedicated to gluten free products. They sell gluten free breads, pizza, pasta, chicken nuggets, homemade gluten free mozzarella sticks, eggplant parm and much more! They offer fresh made gluten free sandwiches using Boars Head Meat and homemade roast turkey and ham. I tried the ham and cheese which was wonderful. It’s hard to find quick gluten free eats in town so this place is truly a gem. This family cares about what they do and the community they are apart of. It shows in a everything they do and how they treat every customer. The best part is that they have an on-line store selling all the gluten free goodies. It is something special because they only sell the gluten free products that they approve and think are good. They recognize that gluten free food is always more expensive and they try hard to provide all product at a reasonable price which is hard to find on-line. Check it out at http://www.bestoflittleitaly.com/categories/Gluten-Free-Products/

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Peanut Clusters

I have to admit this recipe happened by accident but my cousin Leigh said that I had to post it so here it is.

Ingredients:

2 Cans of Roasted and Salted Peanuts ( Each Can should be about 6 OZ and I found mine at the Dollar Store.
1 Pound melting Chocolate ( check label for gluten free or Vegan)
3 Cups Sugar
3 Cups Water
1/4 Any Color Sprinkles

Crush Nuts in food processor. Place sugar and water in a pot and bring to a high simmer. You have to watch this not to boil over or burn. Simmer till it reduces by half and starts to brown. Please don’t leave the stove while this is happening, it can take about 30 minutes. The liquid will be VERY HOT! Once liquid is thick and light brown pour in crushed peanuts. Stir fast trying mix it all together. Spread on a well oiled baking pan and break it up a bit. Once its cooled, break up into chunks by hand and place in large bowl.
Melt chocolate in double boiler or microwave. Pour melt chocolate in bowl with nut clusters and toss well. Spread back onto baking pan and cover with sprinkles. Let the tray cool in fridge for at least an hour and then enjoy :).

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Italian Pasta Salad

I always inspired by the Italian Market to make something fun. I made this recipe for a family picnic and it was a hit.

1 Box Quinoa Pasta ( Works Best with Ancient Harvest Pagodas which are like little different color twists http://www.quinoa.net)
1/2 Cup Chopped Sun dried Tomato’s
1 Can Artichoke Hearts
1/4 Cup Slice Green Olives
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
Juice of Half a Lemon
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Sugar
1 Tbs Dried Oregano

Cook pasta and make sure not to over cook, your looking for it to be firm. Drain the pasta and allow it to cool. Then, in a food processor place the oil, salt, sugar, lemon and oregano in the food processor and mix well. Pour dressing over pasta and mix in Artichoke, Tomato and Olives. Toss well and Serve.

* This can be prepared ahead of time but keep the pasta and dressing separate until ready to serve.

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