23 February, 2011

Roasted Squash and Kale Tart

This tart is the perfect example of the circumstances that usually create dinner. This reoccurring scenario starts as I enter my “house” (in quotes because it is all of 600 square feet) after a long day at work. It’s cold outside and I hate going to the grocery store during the week. Let me remind you that I have a grocery store exactly 479 feet from my front door. This is no exaggeration as I found out from Google maps that the travel time of 59 seconds. Yes, I am aware how lazy this is. Moving on, I take a peek into my fridge and see leftover roasted squash from last night’s dinner and some fresh kale. I open the the freezer and a pie shell literally falls on to my foot. No other sign could confirm that tonight’s dinner will be a tart including roasted squash and kale. If you don’t loathe baking (as by now you know I do), I suggest you make a fresh pie shell instead of using frozen. I hear for those who do not have a baking handicap it is actually quite easy. You could also use puff pastry or forgo the dough and put the ingredients into a casserole dish. However, as I have noted with the turkey pot pie that if I put things in a pie shell, my family is more likely to try it. Weird? Whichever you choose, the flavors of the squash and kale are amazingly comforting and delicious.

In this recipe I used kabocha squash also known as a "Japanese pumpkin". Kabocha is easier to break down than other winter squash because the skin is tender enough to be eaten. It is a bit sweeter than butternut squash and tastes similar to sweet potatoes which would be a great replacement if you can't find the squash.

1.5 -2 cups of winter squash
1 bunch of kale (about 2 cups)
one clove garlic
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup feta
1/4 cup pecans
one pie shell

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash into cubes and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for about 20-30 minutes. While the squash is roasting, wash kale and chop. Heat one tablespoon of oil on medium heat and cook kale until wilted. Add one clove of garlic, remove from heat when fragrant and set aside. Combine one beaten egg, 2 tablespoons of milk and ¾ cup of feta in a bowl. Once squash is done remove it from the oven and break it down a bit with a fork. Combine kale, squash and egg mixture, add to the pie shell and top with pecans. Put into the oven for about 30 minutes or until pie shell is browned.


16 February, 2011

"Love Me for Me" Turkey Burger

Turkey burgers get a bad reputation. No, they do not taste like beef burgers because they are not beef burgers. They are in fact, a completely different animal. Too often people decide they don’t like “healthy food” because they are expecting it to taste just like the “unhealthy food” they are trying to replace. We should change our mindset and enjoy the food we are eating for all that it is and not chastise the food for what it is not.

Grilled fish is not fried fish; brown rice is not white rice and turkey burgers are not beef burgers. With a change of our attitude we can find a whole new menu to enjoy.
 ½ onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, finely diced
1 lb ground turkey
3/4 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon pepper

 Preheat your outdoor or indoor grill on medium to high heat. Combine ground turkey, onion, jalapeno, cumin, salt, and pepper. Mix to combine and make four or five burgers. Grill for 10-12 minutes per side and remove from heat. Pile with toppings of your choice and serve with crispy wedge potatoes
I'm not trying to be a beef burger!

08 February, 2011

Emergency Bean Burritos

In case of emergency break glass.
I recently saw a social networking status update (website’s name withheld for privacy purposes) by a friend that declared herself a “frequent flyer of Taco Bell”. Oh the horror! This is an emergency! I hope this post will save my friend and any other late night victims of the drive through window.

I have made many different sober and not so sober variations of the bean burrito.  If you find yourself in an extreme late night situation in which knives seem dangerous, I would advise you to grab a can of re fried beans, melt some cheese on top and stuff it in a tortilla. On the other hand if you still have some wits about you, please try the below recipe.

Makes about 4 burritos:

15 oz can of pinto beans
¾ tbsp cumin
Salt and pepper
¼ of an onion, diced
½ jalapeno, minced
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
Hot sauce (couple shakes)
¼ cup salsa
1 cup cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain one can of pinto beans, pour into a bowl and smash. Add diced onion, jalapeno, salt, pepper, cumin, hot sauce, salsa and yogurt. Stir in ½ cup cheddar cheese and put into a small casserole dish. Top with remaining cheddar cheese and bake for about 20 minutes or until cheese melts and beans are heated through. Load into a tortilla and enjoy.