Chicken Sausage, Apple, and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

27 May

Stuffed-Acorn-Squash



Chicken Sausage, Apple, and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

      • 1 acorn squash
      • half sweet onion, diced
      • 2 cloves garlic, diced
      • 3 links of chicken sausage (I used Sweet Apple from Al Fresco), casing removed & crumbled
      • 1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced
      • 1/2 c. quinoa, cooked
      • salt and pepper
      • turmeric, coriander, and smoked paprika

Preheat the oven to 425*F.  Cut the acorn squash in half and remove the seeds.  Trim the intact end down so that you will be able to turn it over and it will sit level, then salt and pepper the flesh of the squash.  Spread a few tablespoons of oil on a sheet pan (I used coconut oil), then place the squash cut sides facing down onto the sheet pan.  Roast the squash for 20-25 minutes or until the squash becomes flexible.  Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your squash obviously!   While the squash is roasting, heat up about a tablespoon of cooking oil in a frying pan over medium heat.  Cook the onions and the garlic for a few minutes until they become translucent.  Remove from the pan and place in a small bowl.  Place crumbled chicken sausage into the pan and cook until browned.  Add the diced apple into the pan, then add the onion and garlic mixture back into the pan.  Stir to combine and let cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add in the quinoa and season to taste with turmeric, coriander, smoked paprika, and salt. Once the acorn squash is ready, turn them over and fill with the sausage mixture.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

These were pretty portable and were easy to take to lunch with me, but fair warning: your coworkers are going to track you down to find out where the delicious smelling food is coming from and ask you what you are eating.  And BONUS: you get to eat the bowl!

Pesto Pasta w/ Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Baked Asparagus

12 Apr

I couldn’t get too far into the Seasonal Eats: Spring Edition without some asparagus.  It’s one of my favorite springtime staples!  Sun-dried tomatoes don’t last too long either and I refuse to waste food, so finding a recipe that called for both became essential (we used sun-dried tomatoes with our meatballs the other day, remember?).  I’m loving this new series and I hope you are, too!  It’s been really fun hunting around, looking for yummy new recipes.  I’ve added a bunch of new ones to my permanent rotation.


 

Pesto Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Baked Asparagus (from Damn Delicious)

  • 8 oz. medium shells
  • 1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 1/3 c. julienned sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • 1/2 c. basil pesto
  • 1/3 c. diced mozzarella cheese
  • salt & pepper
  • 2. T. olive oil
  • 1 egg

Preheat the oven to 425*F and bring a large stockpot of water to a boil.  Place the asparagus in a single row on a baking sheet, drizzle in olive oil, salt, and pepper, then toss them around to coat.  Bake the asparagus for around 8-10 minutes, or until it’s tender but still crispy.  Cook the shells according to the instructions.

While the asparagus are baking, prepare the sun-dried tomato and basil in a large mixing bowl.

PestoSunDriedTomato

When the asparagus have finished baking, let them cool down. Then, cut them into 1″ pieces.

Asparagus

I added shells into the pesto mix as soon as they were finished cooking, along with the 1/3 c. of diced cheese.  This way the cheese would get all melty and delicious.

Mozzarella Cheese

 

Then, mix everything together into a glorious medley.

PastaMixture

I ate mine with a fried egg on top because that’s what Chungah suggested in her post.  Always listen to Chungah because her food really is damn, delicious.

Pasta Sundried Tomato Asparagus Pesto Fried Egg

No, really.  It is.


Baked Turkey Meatballs w/ Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Spinach

10 Apr

It’s time for another round of Seasonal Eats: Spring Edition!  One of my favorite things about spring and eating seasonally?  The greens.  All of the greens.  I can’t get enough!  Spinach, chard, collard greens, kale, broccoli rabe – I want it all.  I had a few cups of leftover spinach this week after stuffing my face with spinach salads.


 

Baked Turkey  Meatballs w/ Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Spinach (from I Thee Cook)

  • 1/3 c. shredded onion
  • 1/4 c. sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup spinach, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 2. T. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. pepper
  • 1 t. dried basil
  • 1/2 t. dried oregano
  • 1 lb. ground turkey (or chicken – either is fine)
  • marinara sauce
  • 2 slices provolone cheese

Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Place the first nine ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Stir together with a fork.

MeatballMix

Then, add the ground turkey and mix gently with your hands.  Ground turkey and chicken tend to turn to mush pretty easily, so be careful not to over-mix.  Roll into the size of your choosing and place on a greased cookie sheet.

rolledmeatballs

I cooked mine for 18 minutes.  When the meatballs are done. let them rest for a few minutes and turn the broiler on high.  I moved mine to another dish for some reason (not sure why), added a bit of sauce to the top of each one and then placed provolone .

Toppings

Broil until browned to perfection.  :)

BakedChickenMeatballsSunDriedTomatoSpinach


Pork Chops with Balsamic Roasted Veggies and Gorgonzola

3 Apr

It’s the first installment of Seasonal Eats: Spring Edition!  I thought I would start with something seriously simple: mushrooms and onions.  Mostly, I was just craving them and they happen to be on the list.  STILL COUNTS.  I’m still working on perfecting a few other recipes that I can’t wait to share!


Pork Chops with Balsamic Roasted Veggies and Gorgonzola

Porkchops Balsalmic Veggies Gorgonzola


  • 4 pork chops
  • 1/2 t. salt, divided
  • 3/4 t. pepper, divided
  • 1/4 c. olive oil, divided
  • 12 oz. small red potatoes, halved
  • 3 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 t. tomato paste
  • 1 t. dried thyme (or 1 T. fresh thyme)
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
  • 8 oz. baby bellas, halved
  • 2 T. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 c. crumbled Gorgonzola

Preheat oven to 425*F with a large casserole dish inside (yes, we want to preheat the casserole dish, too!).

Heat a large skillet over high heat.  Add 2 T. of oil to the preheated pan and sprinkle porkchops with 1/4 t. salt and 1/4 t. pepper on both sides.  Brown on each side for about 3 minuets, then remove from the heat and let rest.

porkchops

 

Reduce heat to medium high, then add the halved potatoes to the oil – cut side down.  Cook for 2-5 minutes (depending on the size of the potato), until the potatoes are browned.

redpotatoes

Remove the pan from heat and prepare the mushroom mixture.  Whisk 1/2 t. pepper, 2 T. olive oil, balsamic, and tomato paste in a small bowl.  Combine 2 T. of this balsamic mixture with the mushrooms, onions, and thyme – toss to coat.  Add the mushroom mixture and potatoes to preheated casserole dish and bake for 10 minutes.  Stir the mixture, then cook for another 15 minutes.

roasted veggies

Place the pork chops on top of the veggies, return the dish to the oven and bake for another 10-20 minutes or until the pork chops are done.  Remove the pork from the pan and let it rest, then mix in the 1/4 c. Gorgonzola and parsley into the veggies.

roasted veggies with garnish

Before serving, drizzle the remaining balsamic mixture over the pork chops and garnish with more parsley.

PorkChopsBalsamic2


Seasonal Eats: Spring Edition

12 Mar

I’m trying a new series on the blog this year and I’m really excited about it!  Around Western PA, the snow is melting and the daffodils trying their hardest to force spring into existence. I thought it would be an appropriate time to roll out a seasonal recipe spotlight.  I hear the same thing from a lot of people: “I want to eat locally and seasonally.”  Seems simple, right?  Just hit up the local farmer’s market, grab some veggies, and done?  It is and it isn’t…

You might be interested to know that not all the veggies sold at your local farmer’s market are local.  Or seasonal actually!  While I’ve gotten plenty of resistance with this tactic, I don’t ever hesitate to ask my local farmer’s market vendor if they are re-selling produce or if it’s home-grown.  I’ve touched a few nerves over the years, but I don’t see anything wrong with expecting transparency from a grower.  I’m not a snob about it and it doesn’t stop me from purchasing out-of-season food (farmer’s have to make money during he slow seasons, too!), but I like to know as much as I can about the food I buy.  If you want to eat locally, make sure you ask if you’re eating locally.  Either way, you’re supporting a local food producer/grower/vendor – but educate yourself about what you’re buying and why.

If you’ve ever grown your own food, you know that some things don’t just spring up year round.  In Western PA, there is a very limited amount of seasonal product that’s available from March-April.  It’s still early spring and that means LOTS of greens, but it also means some staples like broccoli, carrots, beets, mushrooms, rutabagas, and turnips.  There are some things I usually pass over because they seem a little intimidating – like artichokes, kohlrabi, even endive is a mystery to me.  Well not this year.  This year I’m embracing all the things I’ve never embraced before.  That’s what 2015 is about, remember?  So this year, I’m not only embracing local, seasonal eating – I’m going to try as much of the produce that my region has to offer!

March-April in Western PA:

Artichoke, Arugula, Asparagus, Beets, Beet Greens, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Broccoli Rape, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cardoons (not sure I’m this adventurous yet!), Carrots, Cauliflower, Chard, Chicory, Collards, Cress, Dandelion Greens, Endive, Fava Beans/Greens, Fennel, Garlic, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Mustard Greens, Onions, Parsnips, Pea Shoots, Radishes, Rutabagas, Scallions, Spinach, Sprouts, Sunchokes, Tatsoi, Turnips

If you have been curious about how to work with any of the ingredients found in this list, shoot me a comment and I will make sure I find a great way for us to get comfortable with them.

Keep an eye out for the new series on Twitter and Instagram, I will be posting under the hashtag: #springeatsSFTS

Seasonal-Eats-Spring-Edition

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