Thursday, October 24, 2013

Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta

The Menu:
Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta


 

The Original Recipe:
Boy oh boy! Doesn't that picture look good! I had a huge butternut squash I wanted to use. I found this recipe on Pinterest (where else!?!) and decided to try it. In my honest opinion, I would just go with a homemade Alfredo sauce or even use a jar of store bought Alfredo Sauce. This sauce was nothing to blog about. I had to add nutmeg, parmasean, some of the sautee'd onions, and lot's of salt and pepper to get it to taste halfway decent. That being said, the top was delicious! I could of just eaten a bowl of the squash, onions and bacon by itself!! So, do yourself a favor. 1. Try this recipe 2. Use your favorite Alfredo sauce or buy some already made. Just skip the Alfredo part of the directions!
 
Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta via myrecipes.com

Ingredients 

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
  • Cooking spray
  • 6 sweet hickory-smoked bacon slices (raw)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 8 ounces uncooked mini penne (tube-shaped pasta)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded sharp provolone cheese
  • 1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, rosemary, and pepper. Place squash on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with salt mixture. Bake at 425° for 45 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Increase oven temperature to 450°.
  3. Cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 1/2 teaspoons drippings in pan; crumble bacon. Increase heat to medium-high. Add shallots to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until tender. Combine squash mixture, bacon, and shallots; set aside.
  4. Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well.
  5. Combine flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add provolone, stirring until cheese melts. Add pasta to cheese mixture, tossing well to combine. Spoon pasta mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray; top with squash mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Asian Turkey Soft Tacos

The Menu:
Asian Turkey Soft Tacos
 
The Original Recipe:
The ingrediants for this recipe sounded delicious! I pinned it on Pinterest in order to go back to make something out of this I knew my kids would love. I was right! Here is the original recipe via "The ComfortofCooking.com" I don't like to put already cooked meat in the crockpot. To many steps. If I'm gonna cook it ahead of time, I might as well cook it when we're ready to eat. This recipe is a fast recipe and didn't take long to make. My 8 year old helped me make this supper tonight, and boy it went over really well!

Slow Cooker Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Yield: Makes 4-5 servings

Ingredients:

1 pound ground chicken1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped fine
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
4 oz. sliced water chestnuts, finely chopped
1 cup cooked rice (I used brown)
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 head Bibb, Romaine or iceberg lettuce, rinsed and pat dry
Sriracha hot sauce, for drizzling, optional
                                  

Directions:

Microwave ground chicken in a medium bowl, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink, 3-5 minutes. Drain off liquid and transfer mixture to slow cooker. Crumble chicken with a wooden spoon and stir in bell pepper, onion, garlic, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, ginger, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Cover and cook on low until chicken is tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Stir in water chestnuts, rice and scallions. Let sit until heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve with lettuce leaves and Sriracha hot sauce, if desired.
Enjoy!
TIPS
Make sure to use ground chicken not ground chicken breast.
The chicken mixture simmers on “Low” to keep from drying out, so don’t set to “High” to quicken the process. If you don’t have a slow cooker, or just don’t have time, simmer everything together in a large nonstick skillet until fully cooked and warmed through.



The Way I Made It My Own:
Yes, I changed a few things! I don't know if Tacos and Asian go together, normally, but these were a HUGE hit!! We also like our asian foods a bit sweet, too. You can eliminate the honey if you want. You can also make them into lettuce wraps. My kids prefered the tacos. :)

Asian Turkey Soft Tacos

Ingredients:

1 pound ground turkey
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped fine
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
2 garlic cloves, minced


Sauce:
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground ginger
1 Tablespoon Honey (additional 1 Tablespoon brown sugar is desired)

1 cup cooked rice (optional to add chicken bullion for more flavor)
3 scallions, thinly sliced
Clean and rinsed fresh baby Spinach

Directions:
Saute carrot, garlic, red bell pepper, and onion in lightly oiled pan. Add ground turkey; salt and pepper to taste,  saute until cooked through.
Meanwhile, combine hoisin, soy sauce, ginger, and honey (brown sugar if desired).
Stir sauce mixture into meat mixture. Heat through until bubbly. Add rice and scallions; stir. Serve on soft tortilla shells with spinach.

Buffalo Cauliflower

The Menu:
Buffalo Cauliflower
Hot and Steamy!

 
The Original Recipe:
So, I found this on Pinterest. What recipes, now a days, do I not find on Pinterest? I had to try out these Buffalo bites. They were really good! I would not compare them to buffalo wings, but they do hold up on their own as a great appetizer or even a good lunch! I had no problems with the mixture sticking to my cauliflower while it baked. It didn't run off or anything. They turned out perfect! I ate the whole half a head that I had made. No dipping sauce needed!


Buffalo “Chicken”-Vegetarian Style  recipe via "The Curvy Carrot"
Servings: enough for at least 3-4 people

Ingredients
1 head cauliflower, cleaned and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 cup buffalo sauce
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, flour, and garlic salt, whisking until mostly smooth (it’s ok if there are a few lumps left).
3. Very gently (cauliflower can be pretty delicate), place the cauliflower in the bowl and lightly toss to completely coat with the buttermilk mixture.
4. Place the cauliflower in a shallow baking dish and bake for about 15-18 minutes or so (watch it, it may start to brown up quickly on you.)
5. Meanwhile, combine the buffalo sauce and the melted butter in a small bowl.
6. Carefully remove the hot cauliflower from the oven and pour the buffalo sauce mixture over it, stirring gently to coat it as best you can.
7. Return the cauliflower to the oven and bake for another 5-8 minutes or so. Let cool slightly and serve immediately.