Butternut Squash: Roasted with Spicy Chick Peas

A HEALTHY DISH for your friends! The complimentary spices and roasted veggies are bursting with flavour!

Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 5 garlic cloves (1 finely grated, 4 chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed, patted dry
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of curry powder/paste or vadouvan
  • 2 radishes, trimmed, very thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 cup parsley, mint, and/or cilantro leaves8
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds (optional)
Roasted WHOLE Butternut Squash

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Roast squash directly on oven rack until a paring knife poked through skin easily slides through flesh, 50–65 minutes. Let squash cool until you can handle. Trim ends, halve lengthwise, and scoop out seeds. Tear or cut squash into large pieces; discard skin (it will come off easily as you tear).
  2. Meanwhile, mix yogurt, grated garlic, and 1 Tbsp. lemon juice in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high. Cook chickpeas, shaking skillet often, until starting to brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Add onion and chopped garlic and cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle in vadouvan (curry powder) and cook, stirring, until chickpeas and onion are coated and mixture is fragrant, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a medium bowl. Wipe out skillet.
  4. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in same skillet over medium-high. Cook squash pieces, cut side down, undisturbed, until browned and caramelized, about 5 minutes. Turn pieces over, remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper. Spoon chickpea mixture over squash, then dollop reserved lemon-garlic yogurt around.
  5. Optional: Toss radishes, herbs, and pomegranate seeds, with remaining 1 Tbsp. lemon juice in a small bowl; drizzle with a splash of oil and season with salt and pepper. Scatter over squash and chickpeas. Finish with a grind or two of pepper.
Roasted Spiced Chick Peas
(Optional) Pomegranate and Pistachio Nuts …you will be glad you added the pomegranate!
LEMON GARLIC YOGURT TOPPING: Can Be Served On The Side ( No Pomegranate here).

Add kale chips or other greens. Use cranberries as a substitute for pomegranate. Add quinoa or Feta cheese. Make tacos. lightly mash and make burgers (see below). If you have more people at the table, add spinach to the mix to extend the burger.

VARIATIONS (or left overs)

BURGER: Curry / Squash/ Chick Peas/ Pomegranate/ Cilantro/ Parsley

GOOD EATS:

FOODIES ARE # 1!!!

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A Lobster’s Tale ~by Ravioli

Lobster Ravioli in Garlic Butter Sauce

Paper thin pasta filled with succulent lobster, swimming in butter.

Lobster_Ravioli

INGREDIENTS

  • Two – 8-ounce raw lobster tails, shelled and sliced into 1/3-inch pieces
  • 25g fresh root ginger
  • Lemon juice
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 egg
  • Sea Salt

For the Pasta Dough:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 4 Eggs
  • Water

For The Sauce:

  • 60ml vegetable stock
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 20ml sherry vinegar
  • 5 ml soy sauce
  • OR Classic – (combine) 5 to 10 garlic pods diced in grape seed oil.( or your preferred oil) with 3- 6 tablespoons of clarified butter.

INSTRUCTIONS

1.Begin by making the sauce. Reduce the vegetable stock with the butter until it coats the back of a spoon. Combine the vinegar and soy and reduce by half. Add a little of this to the stock until you can just taste it poking through (take care as the vinegar is potent). Reserve the remaining soy vinegar. SAUCE #2: We used a red curry sauce from the freezer. It was excellent. Simple melted butter works well too. Or SAUCE #3: combine butter, oil and garlic. The proportions are to your palate.

2. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Blanch the tail in the boiling water for 10 seconds (and the pincers for 15 seconds-if you are using them). Recover the meat from each part, chill for 1 hour and then cut into 1cm cubes.

3). NEXT, make the raveoli ( open the package of wontons) combine the lobster with cooked salmon, if you like ( Chef Ramsay’s version). You may add an egg to bind the meat. Spoon in the lobster on your ravioli. Baste edges with water and pinch together. I double seal by pressing the glass rim on top of the raveoli. It makes fast work of it. Pre-made wonton squares are ideal. Cook filled raveoli in boiling water until they rise to the top. Plate, sauce it up and serve hot. ( 3-6 per person). YUM!

2 out of 3 diner guests agreed the curry ravioli was tops! Find Bobby Fley’s curry raveoli …if its online. We did taste it once..Double yum!❤

FOOD TIPS

Substitute wonton wraps for PASTA dough. Easy!

WINE PAIRING (New!)

What wine should I serve?

The ideal wine depends on how the ‘LOBSTER‘ was prepared and what types of sauces or side dishes will accompany the main course. Recenlty, I completed a WINE AFICIONADO course to explore new wines and visit old classics. It was very enjoyable! My WINE SUGGESTION for Lobster Ravioli: White: Burgundy Chardonnay, White: Californian Chardonnay, Red: Argentinian Malbec

…………..

Ravioli’s Serving Suggestions

Lobster Ravioli with Sauteed Asparagus, Walnuts and Lightly Grated Parmesan Cheese

Celebrate LIFE!
May All Your Days Be Food-d-licious!

Goulash Soup ~ A Taste of Hungary

Hungarian Goulash (Gulyás) is easy to make! A few simple ingredients are transformed into an incredibly flavored soup.
The word Gulyás means Herdsman or COWBOY. Simmering soup over the camp fire became a standard herdsman’s dinner in Hungary.
This authentic recipe is from my Hungarian neighbor. It was handed down to her from her grandmother.
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 lbs stewing beef, cut into bite size 1 inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 large cooking onions chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic cut in half – remove inside stem
  • 2 table spoons of caraway seed (dissolves in the soup)
  • 2 big ripe Roma tomatoes halved
  • 2 red bell peppers quartered
  • 1.5 inch tomato paste from tube, OR 1 teaspoon of canned tomatoes paste
  • 2 tsp. Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Chilli pepper flakes
  • optional 6 carrots: 2 yellow, 2 orange 2 purple. Cut into cubes.
Red carrots contain lycopene (another form of carotene), a pigment also found in tomatoes and watermelon.
INSTRUCTIONS
  • In a cast iron pot brown onion ‘half way’ in the oil (lightly limp). Then add 4 garlic halves. Brown until golden colored.
  • Add caraway seeds (a must have!) and stir.
  • Add beef cubes. Stir until beef is brown and caraway seeds are nicely distributed.
  • Add 2 cups of water
  • Add: tomatoes, bell peppers, tomatoes paste, Hungarian paprika, salt, black pepper, and or chilli pepper.
  • Add water so that it covers the beef by 2 inches. Cover the pot and cook at medium heat (barely boiling) for 2 hours. (Note: You can place the dutch oven directly in the oven at low heat: 325°F, 160°C.)
  • Check after 1 hour and stir. Cook until beef is tender. Approx. 1 more hour.
  • Add water if the level of the liquid falls an inch.
  • Put in carrots and cook for 20 mins. 2.5 hours cooking time in total.
Tri-Coloured Carrots (The Yellow Carrots Look Like Potatoes)
Grass Fed Veal Makes A Difference In Flavour

Food Tips

Alternative cooking methods:
(1) Pressure cooker: Time: 1 hour 10 min.
(2) Slow cooker: Cook Time: 8 hours.
Storage: Frig. : 5 days, Freezer: 3 months.
OPTIONS: Serve over noodles, mashed potatoes, rice or spatzle.

Hungarian herdsmen enjoying their gulyás soup (left side). Added to the soup were wild onions and caraway that grew on the fields. Paprika was added in the 1800’s.
This makes a very large pot of soup!
If you’d like to freeze some of it,
do it before adding the carrots (vegetables)!

Rutabaga Mash

Rutabaga Mash: Holiday Trending

Buttered Rutabagas were a staple on our Thanksgiving / Christmas table when I was growing up and I’m revisiting them today ~ these delicious pale orange rutabaga are misunderstood and probably the most overlooked veggie.

User comments

TIRED OF MASHED POTATOES?

Some people have never had rutabaga in their entire life.  It is a standard holiday dish in Finland known as lanttulaatikko . Last year at a Scandinavian dinner, my friend had mashed rutabaga for the first time. She loved it! So healthy and easy to make.

Some people mix RUTABAGA with turnips. Turnips are generally smaller and not as sweet as rutabaga. You may also find ‘all white’ turnips at your supermarket. Rutabagas have a pale orange bottom half compared to the white bottom half of a turnip.

Root Vegetables

SIDE DISH: I start cooking my rutabaga first, before preparing my main meal. This veggie is cooked on top of the stove 25-35 minutes before it is popped into the oven. OVEN TIME: 1 hour.  If I have a big bird in the oven, I will center the bird in the oven and leave the rack below it for the rutabaga casserole which can be added in the last hour of cooking the bird.

INGREDIENTS
6 cups of rutabaga (in Finnish, lanttu), peeled, washed and diced in large chunks
1/4 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs beaten
1/4 cup heavy cream or milk
3 tablespoons butter

INSTRUCTIONS:
(Preheat the oven to 350F)
1. PEEL, CUBE AND BOIL RUTABAGA in salted boiling water- until tender-drain and mash.
2. Soak the breadcrumbs in the cream and add nutmeg and beaten eggs. combine with the mashed rutabagas. Add mixture to a buttered 2 1/2 quart baking dish ( or individual dishes ). Bake for about 60 minutes or until golden brown.

TOPPINGS: Top with bread crumbs and butter nobs ( optional ) before the casserole goes into the oven. Before serving: Decorate with chives or chopped parsley.

Secret Ingredient: I always add garlic ~ not in the original recipe.

The traditional recipe from Finland adds heavy cream and dark syrup before the baking process. Add nutmeg ‘to taste’. It’s the most important ingredient.

Food Tip for rutabaga mashed casserole.

FOOD TIP

To speed up the cooking time before mashing the rutabaga, use a microwave ( covered on high, add 1 cup of water 15-20 min. ) or pressure cooker ( 9 minutes) . Use several small baking dishes for freezer appeal. Add apple or carrots for sweetness. You can optionally add a crushed garlic and/or 2 cardamom pods in the boiling water. FOR ADDED ZIP, add spices: ginger, cinnamon or turmeric to taste.

Why are rutabagas (neeps, swedes) half purple? —They are a mix of wild cabbage and turnips. A portion of the plant grows above ground and changes colour from the sun.
(P.S. You can eat the green tops too – tastes a bit like spinach).

News Flash Rutabaga Low in Calories

RUTABAGA has less than half the calories of white potatoes & sweet potatoes!

(1/3 the carbs.)

Ketogenic-friendly!

Here’s the picture from Michael (see comment below) of his rutabaga mash using ramekins. I would enjoy seeing pictures you have from your rutabaga dish and will add them to the post. Please email them to me: info@simplysplendidfood.com

Mashed Rutabaga, Hot From The Oven

Pizza with Spinach and Sun Dried Tomatoes

THIN CRUST SPINACH & SUN DRIED TOMATOES PIZZA has become a staple in our home. Guilt-free pizza with only 1 g of carbs per slice. Lots of protein and full of flavor!
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INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 large clove of Garlic (Minced)
1 Prepared Thin Pizza Crust (12 Inch )
5 ounces of Spinach (Fresh and organic)
1/4 cup of Sun Dried Tomatoes (Re-hydrated ), cut in thin strips
4 ounces crumbled Feta Cheese
Ground Black Pepper (To Taste)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1.  Heat oven to 450 degrees and place pizza pan pan or stone in the oven to heat.  Use the middle rack. Steam sun dried tomatoes to hydrate. They should be ready after you have built the rest of the pizza.
  2. Heat Oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and cook on low for 1 minute (do not brown)
  3. Add spinach and season with pepper. Cover and cook stirring once – just until spinach is wilted.
  4. Top pizza crust with spinach and pan juices. Sprinkle on sun dried tomatoes and cheese
  5. Make a circle from your parchment and place the pizza and parchment on your hot pizza pan or pizza stone. Bake in  preheated oven ( 450 Degrees oven )  for 8-10 minutes



SUN DRIED TOMATOES
Trending sun dried tomatoes! How do I sun dry my own tomatoes – in the oven? please click here. My home made sun dried tomatoes not only have a dollar savings but it does not include any preservatives and is only handled by myself. Note: You do not need to add herbs when drying your tomatoes.

This is part of our theme on PLANT BASED DIETS. Lots of flavour and healthy goodness. I hope you enjoy our pizza.
BON APPETITE!
Some kids don’t like garlic. This can be omitted as you know.