Sunday, April 6, 2014

Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Risotto

I was in the mood to try a new recipe for dinner last night. I found and saved this recipe a while back and wanted to give it a shot. The mouthwatering combination of butternut squash and goat cheese did not disappoint. This is a recipe I will definitely be making again. Once you prep/chop the veggies it is so easy and takes less than 45 minutes.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion
1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 1 1/2 to 2 cups)
about 3 cups beef stock
1 1/2 cup portobello mushrooms, chopped
200 grams uncooked pearled barley
4 handfuls fresh spinach
120 grams goat cheese

Heat the oil in a pot, then add the onion and saute for 4-5 minutes until slightly softened. Add the squash and continue cooking for 4-5 minutes or until it starts to change in color.

Add about 2 cups of the stock, then cover and simmer for about 10 minutes until the squash begins to soften. Stir in the barley and mushrooms and continue to simmer gently for about 15 minutes. When the liquid has been absorbed, add the remaining stock. Stir occasionally until the barley is tender and the liquid is almost absorbed.

Remove from the heat and stir in the spinach, cover and allow it to cook in the residual heat. Stir in the goat cheese until it is fully mixed in.


Healthy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I have been meaning to post this recipe for months. A while back Michael and I were both craving oatmeal raisin cookies, but I wanted to try to make a healthy version. After a few test batches I think ended up with a decent oatmeal cookie recipe. This recipe makes about 15 small cookies so depending on your appetite you may want to double it. 

1/4 cup coconut oil
about 4 dates
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
5 drops vanilla stevia
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup oat bran
3/4 cup quick oats
raisins (or chocolate chips) - if you have access to homemade raisins I highly recommend using them. Michael's mom makes the BEST raisins that I love to use in these cookies (thanks Barb!)

In a food processor, combine the coconut oil and dates until the dates become clumpy. Add the brown sugar, vanilla, stevia, egg, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and continue to process until smooth. Add the oat bran and pulse until it is well mixed into the batter.

Spoon the contents into a bowl and fold in the oats and raisins (or chocolate chips). Roll into tablespoon sized balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Thanksgiving Turkey

This was our Thanksgiving Turkey. It was delicious, and we got to enjoy the leftovers for quite a while. Look for our post on turkey pot pie, coming soon, which uses the scraps from this roast turkey. 

  • 2 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 Tbsp ground dried rosemary
  • 2 Tbsp rubbed dried sage
  • 2 Tbsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1 Tbsp lemon pepepr
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 (20lb) whole turkey, neck and giblets removed
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 orange, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 7 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
  • 1 (750 mL) bottle champagne 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line turkey roaster with long sheets of aluminum foil that are long enough to wrap over the turkey.

Chop the onion, orange, celery, and garlic. Line the pan with 1/3 to 1/2 of the chopped fruit and vegetables.

Prepare your turkey by cutting any rope tying the legs. 

Remove neck and giblets.

Stir together the parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, lemon pepper, and salt in a bowl. Rub most of the mixture into the cavity of the turkey, leaving some to sprinkle over the top of the bird. Then stuff the cavity with the remaining orange, celery, onion, and garlic. 

Pour the chicken broth and champagne over the turkey, making sure to get some champagne into the cavity (but not so much that all of the seasoning is washed out).

Place the neck and giblets back in the pan in free space around the turkey. Sprinkle the remaining seasoning mixture over the top of the bird until covered. 

Bring the aluminum foil over the top of the turkey and seal. Try to keep the foil form touching the skin of the breast of legs.

Bake the turkey in the preheated oven for 3 - 3 1/2 hours until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear. It is helpful to leave a meat thermometer in the bird while is is cooking. The turkey is done when the thermometer reads 180 degrees F from the center of the thickest part of the thigh. (Note: a thermometer touching the bone will not give an accurate reading). When done, remove the turkey from the oven and let rest for at least 10-15 minutes before carving.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Simple Mashed Potatoes

Michael made the mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving and I have to say they may have been my favorite dish. See his recipe below.
3 large russet potatoes (or about 6 small potatoes), peeled and cut into chunks
1/4 cup margarine
1/2 cup soy milk
salt and ground black pepper to taste
In a large pot bring water to a boil, add the potatoes, cover, and simmer until a fork is easily inserted, about 15 or 25 minutes. Drain, and return the potatoes to the pot.
Mash the potatoes with a potato masher until a chunk consistency, then add the margarine and milk. Continue to mash to consistency of choice. Stir in the salt and black pepper until evenly distributed.