I’ve found my favorite winter squash recipe of all time. Full of flavor and very satisfying for a hearty winter meal. The gruyere cheese adds a salty, almost mushroom-like flavor. Yummy!
I came across this recipe quite by accident. L bug requested chocolate pudding (from scratch) last weekend and grabbed a cookbook off of the shelf and thumbed through it saying “hmmm…here is the recipe we need!” Total three year old cuteness.
The cookbook remained on the counter over night and this recipe was dog eared when I opened the book this morning while enjoying a cup of coffee.
It sounded yummy- seasonally appropriate and husband friendly.
Butternut Squash Gratin with Onions and Sage
From: Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison
1/4 c olive oil divided
4c thinly sliced onion
2 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper
1 large butternut squash cut into 1/2 inch cubes (6 cups)
1/2 c flour
1/2 c grated Gruyere
1/2 c plus 2T heated whole milk
1 c fresh bread crumbs (I used a local sourdough)
Preheat oven to 350
Heat 1/2 oil in large skillet over med heat. add onion, thyme, sage and cook until onions are lightly caramelized- about 15 minutes. Place onions in a buttered baking dish.
Place squash in a gallon ziplock bag with 1/2c flour- toss to coat. Add remaining oil to skillet over med heat. Shake excess flour off of squash and add to heated skillet. Sauté 7-8 minutes-or until lightly browned.
Place squash on top of onions in baking dish.
Top with 1/2c gruyere cheese. Add hot milk.
Cover and bake 25 minutes.
Add bread crumbs. Uncover and bake additional 25 minutes or until lightly browned on top.
We are snowed in. I had planned to prepare a lovely romantic dinner tonight…and I bought an incredible bottle of wine.
Unfortunately, I’ve run out of places to put the snow that I need to shovel in order to locate the driveway.
School was cancelled today. It’s been fun lifting 20lb shovel fulls of white stuff while dashing inside every 15 minutes to check on two pint sized maniacs who ate candy for breakfast while I was outside. Good times!! I love seeing what they’ve done to the house (destroyed it) while I’ve been valiantly attempting to clear a path.
Frozen pizza is romantic. Besides, you will work up quite an appetite shoveling
I’ve always been one for honesty. I’m not the type of blogger who only shows the good stuff. You need only look back at a few of my cooking disasters to realize it.
This week, I posted lots of delicious healthy breakfast ideas. I truly do eat that way- 80 or 90% of the time. The other 10-20%?? Meh…
This morning, I had high hopes for a healthy French toast recipe. I’m trying to push myself for good suggestions since several friends are slimming down and struggle with breakfast.
I gathered ingredients- whole grain bread, pasture raised eggs, my friend Steph’s insanely delicious homemade vanilla. I grabbed a banana to caramelize on the griddle. I reached for my jar of Nutiva organic coconut oil next to the stove and twisted the lid open….and that is when it happened.
My oil, typically solid at room temperature, was an explosive liquid mess from being on the side of the counter directly over a heating vent. A good ten dollars worth of oil shot out of the jar-dousing the counter, my cabinets, and my hardwood floor.
I dropped the F bomb. More than once. My paper towel roll was empty and I grabbed a dish towel. There was so much oil on the towel that I threw it away, thinking it would likely explode in my gas dryer.
There was plenty of oil splashed over the griddle for the French toast! I threw the egg soaked bread into the coconut oil with a grimace. Both furious and hungry– I let it cook while working coconut oil into my cabinets. Perhaps it will be a great wood conditioner? I threw down some salted butter from a local farm and added banana. I knew the calorie count was lost…and I did not care. I added a handful of pecans to the butter and a pinch of sea salt. Go big or go home.
It was amazing. So good that I stopped caring about the coconut oil bath that the floors took. I savored. Every. Single. Bite.
French Toast with Caramelized Bananas
2 slices whole grain bread
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 tbs salted butter
1 small banana
Maple syrup (2tbs)
Mix egg, vanilla, salt. Saturate bread. Cook in coconut oil over med heat 2-3 minutes and flip. Add butter and banana slices to skillet. Add pecans. Remove bread when 2nd side is done. Flip bananas, stir pecans. (I added a second pinch of salt here). Top toast with bananas and pecans. Drizzle with pure maple syrup.
I’m guessing that I inhaled 800 calories.
This was my treat before shoveling snow (again) this morning.
Two whole grain blueberry waffles 200 calories
1/2 cup blueberries. 40 calories
4 oz Greek yogurt (plain). 150 calories
2 tbs maple syrup. 50 calories
440 calories of yum.
This looks and tastes decadent- it’s also loaded with calcium, fiber, and protein.
I am on a roll with soups. As the polar vortex continues to deliver below freezing temps, it’s great to have fresh and delicious homemade soups on hand. This one is packed with vitamin A and the aromatic flavor of ginger. You can find ginger paste with the fresh herbs at the grocery store. If using fresh ginger- mince it and sauté during the last 2-3 minutes of sautéing the carrots and parsnips.
Recipe: serves 4-6
1 tbs oil
1 lb carrots
1/2 lb parsnips
1 can coconut milk
32 oz vegetable or chicken stock
2-3 tbs ginger paste
Salt and fresh ground pepper
* peel and coarsely chop carrots and parsnips. Add oil to large stockpot. Over medium heat, sauté carrots and parsnips 8-10 minutes until vegetables soften and begin to brown. Add coconut milk and stock. Heat to a boil, reduce heat to med/low and simmer 20-30 minutes until veggies are tender. Purée soup–either with immersion blender or in small batches with regular blender. Stir in ginger and heat through.
Top individual servings of soup with cashews. Enjoy!
I have been playing around with coconut based recipes- the health benefits of coconut have been gaining attention lately. Coconut milk and coconut oil contain Lauric acid, a substance with anti bacterial and anti viral properties. Put simply–it’s a great thing to add to your diet during cold and flu season or any time you need an immune system boost.
Is it high in fat? Yes. However, research from the National Institutes of Health shows that this vegetarian source of saturated fat might in fact lower bad cholesterol while raising your heart healthy HDL levels. Some say it even helps reduce belly fat.
Now, on to my soup recipe. This was rich and packed with flavor beyond my wildest dreams. The combo of onion, garlic, tomato, and coconut delivers a super charged immune boosting soup loaded with vitamin C, and anti viral, antibiotic goodness. I had a lonely sweet potato in the pantry that I added to thicken the soup while providing extra nutrition. I think the slight sweetness really balanced out the acidity in the tomatoes. Also- I tried to use organic products whenever possible. Who wants to eat a bowl of pesticides?!?
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes packed in juice
1 can coconut milk
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
3 cloves garlic
1 small diced red onion
1tbs coconut or olive oil
1 med sweet potato
Salt, pepper, shredded Parmesan, toasted pine nuts
* pierce sweet potato with fork and microwave 4 minutes until tender. Remove flesh and mash.
* heat oil in soup pot over medium. Add garlic and onion. Sauté 3-5 minutes until onion is translucent. Add tomatoes, coconut milk, broth. Stir to combine. Increase heat to boil. Reduce heat, stirring occasionally. Cook 30 minutes. Remove 1cup soup and place in blender with sweet potato. Purée till smooth. Add to soup and stir.
Season to taste with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Ladle soup into cups or bowls and garnish as desired.
Note: I left mine chunky. You can purée the entire soup if you prefer less texture.