–who says eating healthy has to be boring, time-consuming, or hard?? If you’re looking for something fast and easy and healthy to prepare for a Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, I have a great recipe for you. I found this one on Food 52 last week and made it for a potluck dinner. It was a hit! and don’t wait til Thanksgiving to prepare it. It’s easy enough to mix up the ingredients for a quick and healthy dinner any season of the year.
((MUS•e•YUM note: I altered the recipe below by adding the following: parsnips, radishes and FENNEL, and the result was really good. With this recipe the idea of the “mix of veg” is the important thing, but the components are really up to you. Support your local farmers! Go to your nearest farmer’s market, have fun filling up your bag and experiment! ))
- 2 cups of peeled and cubed winter squash, cut into ¾” dice
- 2 cups cubed thin-skinned red, white and/or Yukon gold potatoes (preferably a combination), cut into ¾” dice
- 2 cups trimmed and halved Brusslies (Brussels sprouts)(measured after cutting)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt
- 3 large shallots, coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 cup)
- 3 medium cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 medium bay leaves (preferably fresh)
- 3-4 tablespoons sherry vinegar, or more, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh marjoram leaves
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the squash cubes and diced potatoes in 2 teaspoons of oil. Put them on a baking sheet and sprinkle on a pinch of salt. Roast for 20 minutes, turning the cubes over and stirring briefly after the first 10 minutes. The vegetables should be fork tender and just starting to caramelize.
- Toss the Brusslies (Brussels sprouts) in 1 teaspoon of oil and a tiny pinch of salt and roast for about 15 minutes. If you like them softer and browner, cook them a bit longer.
- Heat a large skillet until fairly hot, then add the remaining tablespoon of oil and the bay leaves. Cook for about ten seconds, stirring, and then add the shallots. Cook over medium heat with a pinch of salt, stirring constantly. When the shallots are wilted and somewhat translucent, add the chopped garlic and cook for another minute or so.
- Deglaze the pan with the vinegar and, with the heat on medium, add the squash and the potatoes. Toss very gently to combine with the shallots and garlic. Cook over medium low heat for a minute or so.
- Add the herbs and toss again carefully and cook over medium low heat, stirring, for another minute.
- Add the Brusslies, and test for salt and correct, if necessary. Grind on fresh pepper to taste, and carefully toss again. Remove the bay leaves before serving.
- N.B. You can roast the potatoes and squash up to two days in advance. Cool thoroughly before storing in a tightly lidded container in the refrigerator. The Brusslies do much better and retain their beautiful color when they are cooked within a few hours, at most, of eating. You can trim and halve them, though, up to two days in advance, provided that you store them in cold water in the refrigerator. Drain them well, tossing a few times in the colander to get as much moisture off as possible, before roasting. They can be slid in the oven on a rack directly below another one. Feel free to make up the entire dish, except the Brusslies, three or four hours before the meal, and then toss the Brusslies in at the end. This dish is best served warm, but it doesn’t need to be too hot. It’s also tasty at room temperature, if that works out best for you.
I love mashed potatoes but wanted to find an alternative to them that might be a little healthier, without making a sacrifice in terms of taste. This recipe is what I came up with, and I really like it. Despite the conspicuous absence of milk or butter, your guests won’t miss the potatoes and dairy! It’s a MUS•e•YUM original.
Onion, Miso and Cauliflower Puree, with Mushrooms, by MUS•e•YUM
• one head cauliflower
• one white onion
• 1-2 tablespoons concentrated MISO paste
Cut the main stem from one head of Cauliflower
Coarsely cut, separating florets into 1-2 inch chunks
Coarsely cut up your onion
Bring a large pot of SALTED water to a rolling boil.
Add cut cauliflower florets and onion. Water should just cover your vegetables.
Boil until knife easily pierces vegetables. Probably 10-15 minutes
PRE-heat oven to 375 degrees F
Strain vegetables, but reserve half a cup of the water in a measuring cup. Add one tablespoon of miso to the hot water and dissolve.
Return vegetables to pot. Add the 1/2 cup water with miso.
Add 3 T. olive oil (you may substitute butter for 1 T. if you like)
Use a stick blender to puree until smooth
Pour in a Pyrex dish or individual serving ramekins, sprinkle paprika or parsley on top, and
bake at 375 degrees F until golden on top, about 30-40 minutes
While the cauliflower is baking, warm some olive oil in a skillet on your stove. Add a clove of garlic and after a minute, throw in as many mushrooms as you want, sliced.
Spoon mushrooms over cauliflower after it comes out of the oven and serve.
One of my favorite ways to use up leftovers and clear out the fridge is to bake up a frittata, and the joy of it is it’s a dish that truly is greater than the sum of its parts. Of course every week yours will taste a little different, but the approach is easy enough to replicate. Preheat your oven to 400F and start raiding your fridge. I simply mix whatever I have on hand with about a cup of whisked eggs and pour it all into a 10 inch skillet (an oven-proof skillet, mind you.) As is often the case with just about anything, the frittata will be better when it includes some kind of cheese. I find that veggies with a low moisture content are best. Excess water sort of ruins the process so you should consider first roasting your peppers, and tomatoes especially, to dry them out before adding them to your whisked eggs. With everything roasted and chopped, next brown some chopped onions and crushed garlic right in the skillet, to create a flavor-full base for your egg mixture. Once the onions have browned, pour your egg and leftover mix on top; let the mixture cook somewhere around medium, undisturbed until you see some browning where the eggs contact the pan. This shouldn’t take long at all… At this point, put the whole (OVENPROOF) pan right in your preheated oven. After about ten minutes or so, your frittata should be ready. . .oven times vary so use your eyes to determine when it’s done. Don’t forget to use your oven mitt when you grab that handle to get the skillet out of the oven.
ahhh, the crisp. As you’ll discover, perhaps the best part about this deeply satisfying dessert is the contrast in textures, a sweet layer of molten, fruity love hidden just below a dense, caramelized, buttery surface- a surface that truly does remain gloriously. . . “crisp”.
I have L. to thank for this sharing this recipe. Not only only does my new pal L. know a heluva lot about succulents, he knows a heluva lot about food and cooking. He can write damn well, too. Check out his site here. After reading his loving descriptions of food and where to shop for it (he can tell you not merely which farmer’s market you should visit, but even which vendor will have the best example of any kind of produce), I was inspired to tackle some of his recipes. The crisp is the first one I’ve made and I have to say, I hit the ball out of the park with it. My guests were cooing in delight and so was I!
You can’t go wrong with this recipe. In all cases L. gives you a lot of useful information that you wouldn’t normally find in a recipe, such as how to modify the amount of sugar depending on the variety and relative ripeness of the cherry. Or the practical instructions on how to work with the butter and crisp topping without it pulling off with the fork. And, he describes his enjoyment of the food and why he loves it- in short, why he’s sharing it with you.
That’s foodie love.
>> UPDATE 13 July 2010
-my second crisp also turned out well! This time I used half sour cherries and the other half, equal parts blueberries, strawberries and tayberries. (If you, like me, had never heard of a tayberry, my friend L. at Matte Gray tells me “they’re a cross developed by the Scottish Crop Research Institute in about 1970. They crossed an unnamed tetraploid raspberry hybrid of theirs with an American “Aurora” blackberry, and the result was a berry so fine they named it after the River Tay.”
I’m reminded of one of the big reasons I love food so much. It’s the catalyst for bringing friends and family together, and the stage upon which so many lovely memories are made. I believe one of the highest ways we can show one other our appreciation, and affection, is by feeding them. And, breaking bread is always a great reason for a party!
Last night my partner and I joined two dear friends for dinner. As always, it was a fun excuse to try out a new recipe, and this time it was lemon posset, as found on Food52.com, by mrslarkin! This dessert was very easy to make and quite delicious, at once intensely lemony, silky and sweet. I’d been (quite generously) gifted with a heaping bag of Meyer Lemons the day before so, G-d forbid those go to waste;-)
Lemon Posset (via Food52.com)