Easy Chicken & Super Veggies Meal

 

Happy April!

I had to share another success recipe from Flavcity 🙂   Everything I’ve made from Flavcity has been a big hit.  The kids weren’t thrilled with wild rice…. big surprise.  And the looooong list of salad ingredients comes together much faster than you think.  The kids put together the dressing and we had a meal in less than 45 minutes!

Several notes about this recipe if you would like to read them —

  1.  The Instant Pot makes this recipe easier because it cooks rice faster, but that equipment is totally unnecessary!  I just mention it as one option.
  2. Feel free to substitute ingredients as you see fit.  No pepitas?  Leave them out!  Oranges are awesome this time of year and I loved them in the salad – so I will add more next time.
  3. This recipe was originally conceived as a meal prep recipe.  So if you have 5 lunch containers, you can split the recipe 5 ways and have lunch for the whole week!
  4. If you want vegetarian, you can skip the chicken.  The salad is delicious as is – or you could add some kidney beans for added protein.

 

Easy Chicken & Super Veggies Meal

Ingredients

  • INGREDIENTS
  • FOR THE CHICKEN:
  • 5 boneless/skinless chicken breast
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. ancho chile powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp.dried thyme
  • olive oil - if cooking on stove top
  • FOR THE SALAD:
  • 1 cup wild rice - not cooked, comes in 8 oz. packages sometimes
  • 2 c broccoli florets
  • 2 c cauliflower florets
  • 2 T pepitas pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives finely sliced
  • 2 c snow peas sliced diagonally
  • 1 orange - peeled and cut into 1" pieces
  • 2 carrots - peel and grate or buy 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • FOR THE DRESSING:
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger, fresh
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1/2-1 tsp. lemon zest
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 T orange juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. For chicken, mix the spices and sprinkle on chicken. Cook in a large skillet over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until internal temperature is 165 degrees. In the instant pot, pour in 1 cup water, add chicken, add spices and cook on high pressure 15 minutes.
  2. For salad, cook wild rice according to the directions on the bag. I used my instant pot at high pressure with 1 cup rice to 1.5 cups water for 15 minutes and natural release 10 minutes. Roast the broccoli and cauliflower on a rimmed cookie sheet (sprayed first with oil) at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
  3. Once cooked and cooled, add the broccoli and cauliflower to a very large bowl. Add the remaining salad ingredients.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Add dressing to the salad.
  5. Gently fold the dressing with the salad. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.
  6. Enjoy!
http://www.whisktogether.com/2019/04/08/easy-chicken-super-veggies-meal/

Black Bean and Mango Salad

Good morning everyone! Happy Ice Storm Day from here in the Midwest! We need a little hint of summer and this is the perfect! You can make this SUPER easy salad in winter with canned black beans and frozen mango. You can find frozen mango in the frozen fruit section of the grocery store – sometimes you will see it next to smoothie fruit packs as well.

Why make this dish?

  1. It is a quick lunch – you have protein and vitamins in one bowl with no heating required!
  2. It is delicious!
  3. You can serve it as a side dish with tacos, enchiladas, nachos, etc.
  4. You could put it on tortilla chips for a quick salsa!

 

Black Bean and Mango Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cans (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 and 1/2 cups frozen or fresh mango, diced
  • 1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 cup chopped cherry or grape tomatoes (optional and tasty when in season!)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix the beans, mango, onion, bell pepper, cilantro, spices, salt and optional chopped tomatoes.
  2. Squeeze half a lime into the bowl. Gently toss. The salad is ready to eat! Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  3. For dietary reasons, if you need to add fat, you can stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
http://www.whisktogether.com/2019/02/10/black-bean-and-mango-salad/

Rice Pudding & Book Review | Instant Pot Recipe

Rice Pudding on Whisk Together Photo by Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

Happy Summer Everyone!  I have been busy painting the house from top to bottom and hope to have photos very soon!!

My children and I were at Costco and tried a sample of Kozy Shack rice pudding.  We all LOVED it!  And since rice pudding is one of those staples, I had to try and make it myself.  This recipe is also great for leftover rice in the fridge.

Understanding Exposure

Book Review:

This book is a must read for any D-SLR owner who wishes to get their camera off of “Auto” mode.  The three items for exposure – ISO, aperture and shutter speed – are discussed in detail with accompanying full color photographs.  I particularly enjoyed the section about “Creative Exposure” and how there are 6 different correct exposures you can take.  In addition to the exposure triangle of the camera, light is discussed section by section as well.  Sidelight, backlight and frontlight are discussed as well as some “tricks” on how to make it look like it is raining on your flowers.
“Understanding Exposure” also goes beyond the basics and introduces to readers about flash photography and using special filters.
Peterson writes in a very conversational tone with easy to understand vocabulary.  Although the book does not go into a lot on composition and posing, those items really do not matter until exposure is perfect and second nature.  That is why I think this is a go-to book about photography.
This book is helpful at any photography level.  I have been reading and doing photography for years and never knew that the sharpest aperture of your camera is f8-11.  This is due to the ellipsoidal shape of the lens.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Rice Pudding 3 on Whisk Together Photo by Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

RECIPE:

Rice pudding is one of those go-to desserts (or breakfast?) because you almost always have the ingredients on hand:  rice, sugar, milk and eggs.  That’s pretty much it!  I throw in a little vanilla and cinnamon just for some fun.  It is eaten traditionally hot or cold – but in these hot summer months we like it cold.

Now I added the brown rice spin on it to make it healthier.  The kids like the white rice medium grain version they tried at Costco.  Go figure :-/

Well okay.. it IS tastier with the medium grains.  Use medium grain rice!!

The brown rice was cooked in the pressure cooker (Instant Pot aka Magic Pot)… but of course you can make brown or white rice on your stove top!  The pressure cooker just makes everything fast and easy.  Instead of 45 minutes of cooking, the brown rice only takes 18 minutes.  But what I really like about it is that it cooks large cuts of meat (2-3 pound roasts) in 35 minutes instead of 8-10 hours like a slow cooker.

Rice Pudding 2 on Whisk Together Photo by Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

Rice Pudding & Book Review
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup medium grain white rice (or 1 cup brown rice)
  • water per directions on bag
  • 2 cups milk, divided (or cream or half and half or mixture of them)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Optional toppings: whipped cream, raisins soaked in water, bourbon or whiskey, ground nutmeg or cinnamon, etc.
Instructions
  1. Cook white rice per the directions on the bag. Or select “rice” on the Instant Pot and cook with 1 cup water. If using brown rice, cook on “high” (15 psi) for 22 minutes in pressure cooker, then allow to cool 10 minutes at least before releasing the valve or allow valve to go down naturally.
  2. Once the rice is cooked, add 1 and 1/2 cups of milk and 1/2 cup sugar. Stir thoroughly.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the 2 eggs and 1/2 cup of remaining milk. Strain this through a fine mesh strainer and add to rice. If you don’t strain it – you will still be fine.
  4. Cook over medium heat until boiling. Stir often. Once at a boil, the egg should be cooked.
  5. Remove pot from heat and stir in vanilla and cinnamon.
  6. The mixture should be thicker and coat the back of a spoon. Eat while warm, or as we prefer, put into the fridge until chilled. Add toppings and enjoy!
Notes
Recipe adapted from: http://www.pressurecookingtoday.com/the-best-pressure-cooker-rice-pudding/

Rice Pudding 4 on Whisk Together Photo by Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

Let’s Party! — Salad in a Jar Party That Is

Salad in a Jar-6337 on Whisk Together copy

Want a healthy side dish or lunch in the fridge for every single day of the week?  This is a great solution.  And no there is nothing to buy or sell.

My friend Alison hosted this super-fun and uber-productive party and I had to share it with you!  She posted the event on Facebook and each of us responded whether we were going to attend or not.  Those attending were asked to bring two salad toppings (and the jars to put the salads in of course…. you could use ziplock storage, pyrex, tupperware, etc.).  The host provided the lettuce and baby spinach.

Salad in a Jar-6369 copy

On the day of the party, we had a ton of fun chatting and making our salads.  Look at them all!  Everyone’s toppings were laid out and we dished what ingredients we wanted into our salad jars.  I brought my stuff in a cooler and then simply put the jars back into the empty cooler to keep them cold.

I think this would be fun with smoothies too.  We really like green smoothies here 🙂

Salad in a Jar-6359 copy

The document below is my compilation of all the Panera Salads that I have tried.  This is my favorite go-to salad place.  I have others… but Panera is everywhere.  So, I listed all of the salads, their ingredients and ingredient shopping lists to take with you!  These can be used for inspiration or to hand out.  It is a LOT of ingredients of course.  But, I figured you can also cross it out if you don’t like the ingredient or don’t need to make that many salads.

Salad in a Jar-6353 copy

I just eyeball the amounts.  If I like it, I add more.  If I don’t like it, I omit or add less.

 

Here are the Panera salads on the list:

Strawberry Poppyseed Salad

Power Kale Caesar Salad

Cobb Salad

Thai Salad

BBQ Chicken Salad

Fuji Apple Chicken Salad

Asian Sesame Salad

Here is the FREE DOCUMENT for printing and making your own Panera Salads at home ready to go!  Or just make your own to your tastes.  I include some tips on how to layer the salad in the jar in the document as well.  Remember you can add chicken or hard-boiled eggs to any salad to make it a protein/main meal!

Panera- Lovers

{Copycat} Salad Menu & Grocery List

Strawberry Poppyseed Salad

Power Kale Caesar Salad

Cobb Salad

Thai Salad

BBQ Chicken Salad

Fuji Apple Chicken Salad

Asian Sesame Salad

What is included?

  1.  Recipes
  2.  Grocery List broken down by Category
  3.  Grocery Master List

How Do I Use This?

  1.  You can simple use the recipes as they are.
  2.  You could team up with a few friends.  Everyone bring a salad ingredient and make Quart Jar salads.  Everyone takes home 7  salads!
  3.  Divide among friends or yourself a few favorites and trade.  

Strawberry Poppyseed Salad

Romaine Lettuce

Strawberries

Blueberries

Pineapple tidbits

Poppyseed

Chicken

Pecans

Power Kale Caesar Salad

Kale

Romaine Lettuce

Caesar Dressing

Chicken

Fat: Parmesan Cheese

Cobb Salad

Romaine Lettuce

Grape Tomatoes

Bacon

Protein: Chicken and Hard-boiled Egg

Dressing: Herb Vinaigrette

Fat: Avocado

Thai Salad

Romaine Lettuce

Cilantro

Shredded carrots

Red Pepper, small dice

Edamame

Chicken

Thai Chili Vinaigrette

Cashews

BBQ Chicken Salad

Romaine Lettuce

Fire Roasted Corn

Black Beans

BBQ Sauce

Chicken

BBQ Dressing

Fried Onions or Tortilla Chip Strips

Fuji Apple Chicken Salad

Romaine Lettuce

Field Greens

Red onion

Grape Tomatoes

Dried Apples

White Balsamic Apple Vinagrette

Chicken

Pecans

Asian Sesame Salad

Romaine Lettuce

Cilantro

Almonds, sliced

Sesame seeds

Asian Sesame Vinaigrette

Chicken

Wonton Strips

For Quart Jar Salads layer the ingredients as follows (from bottom to top):  

  1.  Salad Dressing
  2.  Hard Vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, peppers, etc.
  3.  Grains, beans or pasta.
  4.  Cheese/protein
  5.  Nuts and seeds
  6.  Lettuce

Master List

Romaine Lettuce

Field Greens

Kale

Strawberries

Blueberries

Pineapple tidbits

Grape Tomatoes

Bacon

Cilantro

Shredded carrots

Red Pepper, small dice

Edamame

Fire Roasted Corn

Black Beans

BBQ Sauce

Red onion

Dried Apples

Cilantro

Almonds, sliced

Sesame seeds

Chicken

Hard Boiled Egg

Pecans

Parmesan Cheese

Avocado

Cashews

Fried Onions

Pecans

Wonton Strips

Dressing: Poppyseed, Caesar, Herb Vinaigrette, Thai Chili Vinaigrette, White Balsamic Apple Vinaigrette, Asian Sesame Vinaigrette

Grocery List by Category

Produce:

Romaine Lettuce x7

Kale x1

Field Greens x1

Strawberries

Blueberries

Grape Tomatoes x2

Shredded Carrots

Red Bell Pepper

Cilantro

Red onion

Dried Apples

Avocado

Nuts/Seeds:

Pecans

Cashews

Sliced almonds

Sesame Seeds

Dairy:

Eggs

Parmesan Cheese

Meat:

Chicken

Grocery:

Black Beans

Pineapple tidbits *

Fried Onions * or Tortilla Chip Strips

BBQ Sauce

Wonton Strips *

Frozen:

Fire Roasted Corn *

Edamame *

Dressing: Poppyseed, Caesar, Herb Vinaigrette, Thai Chili Vinaigrette, White Balsamic Apple Vinaigrette, Asian Sesame Vinaigrette

Cranberry Sauce and Christmas Menu

Cranberry Sauce on Whisk Together

 

Cranberry sauce is a nice side dish with most meats at Christmastime.  Even though it is a traditional “Thanksgiving” side dish, I really like to make it also at Thanksgiving.  The flavor and texture of cranberry sauce tastes fantastic with ham, turkey and chicken!

Christmas Menu

Best Ham Ever on Whisk Together

Best Ham Ever

Honey Wheat Rolls
Honey Wheat Rolls

sweet potato casseroleCR

 

Sweet Potato Casserole

Cheesey Spaghetti Squash and Spinach on WT

 

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash and Spinach

Cranberry Apple Cake (recipe coming this week!)

Recipe:

Why I love this recipe:

1.  It’s all homemade.
2.  You can make it 1-2 days ahead of your party.
3.  The flavor and texture is a little different than standard sauce – I like that.
4.  Super simple.

Perfect Cranberry Sauce and Christmas Menu
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Ingredients
  • 12 ounce fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup sugar (up to 1 cup for sweeter sauce)
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 2 Tb. water
  • 1 cinnamon stick or 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Put a medium pot on the stove. Set aside 1/2 cup of the cranberries.
  2. Add the rest of the cranberries to the saucepan with the sugar, orange zest, orange juice and water.
  3. Cook on low for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the spices: cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. Stir together.
  5. Cook on medium heat for 12 minutes. Gently stir and smash the cranberries. They will burst.
  6. Turn the heat down to low.
  7. Add the reserved 1/2 cup cranberries. Stir together.
  8. Add any sugar, salt or pepper to taste.
  9. Remove from heat and serve once cooled off. Or let cool on the stove and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Food Network’s “Perfect Cranberry Sauce”

 

Butternut Squash Salad

Butternut Squash Salad on Whisk Together-5528

If you followed the last post regarding roasting your Fall vegetables, then this salad will be easy!  It is the quintessential salad for Thanksgiving:  lots of bright greens, deep orange squash and radiant red fruit.  Simple to put together and it can be prepared the day before or even several days before you need the salad.  Just keep the vegetables in separate containers until it is ready to put together.

Here is a photo looking out from my kitchen in the morning!

House on Whisk Together-5352

I like to have a salad like this sitting in a large bowl in the fridge.  It lasts the week and we take out what we need with tongs throughout the week.  I prep them on Sunday after church along with the other meal prep for the week like hard boiled eggs, celery sticks, etc.  Hopefully, I will have my meal prep post ready soon!

Butternut Squash Salad on Whisk Together-5529

Speaking of meal prep.  Remember freezer cooking is a life saver around the holidays.  Prep and freeze baked mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, homemade rolls, gravy,  pumpkin pie, Dutch apple pie, and cherry pie.

To make my gravy ahead of time, I use my recipe for the slow cooker turkey breast.  I simply make the gravy in a saucepan separately.  This time of year, Trader Joe’s carries turkey stock or you can make your own.  Follow the recipe for the gravy and put it on the stovetop.  Most importantly, you do not need so much liquid.  Start with half the amount and add more later if necessary.  Cool and freeze.  Thaw and then pop it back onto the stovetop to heat through or in the microwave for a gravy that doesn’t have 50 chemical ingredients in it (yes, you know who you are you 99 cents jars of gravy this time of year).  Okay, not 50. Only 30 ingredients.

For the juiciest turkey ever, follow this recipe.  I have been using it several times a year for 7 years and without fail makes the best turkey ever.  Over the years, I did learn one trick.  It is hard to brine the turkey in the fridge and sometimes the garage isn’t cold enough.  Two ways have worked for me.  One, putting the turkey and brine in an oven bag.  Place this in the roasting pan in case of drips (My new preferred method).  Or two, put the turkey into a stockpot with the brine.  The entire amount of brine won’t fit and that is probably why I gave up on this method.  But, it does work as long as you use the 12-14 lb. turkey size in the recipe.

Butternut Squash Salad on Whisk Together-5531

 

Butternut Squash Salad
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Ingredients
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 Tb. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tb. brown sugar
  • 8 oz. baby spinach
  • 1 red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/4-1/2 cup dried cranberries (like Craisins) or pomegranate arils
  • Dressing: balsamic vinaigrette
Instructions
  1. To prep the butternut squash: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Trim the ends of the butternut squash. Slice off the skin. Cut the flesh into 1/2″ cubes. Toss the cubed squash in olive oil. Sprinkle the cinnamon and brown sugar on top. Lay on a rimmed cookie sheet and roast in the oven for about 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
  2. To prep the salad: Pour spinach into a large salad bowl. Top with prepped butternut squash, sliced red onion, and dried cranberries or pomegranate arils. Drizzle with dressing. Eat immediately or store items separately and store in the fridge until ready to eat.

 

Individual Squash Mac and Cheese

Squash Mac and Cheese-5397 on Whisk Together

 

Oh yes, we have LOTS of spaghetti squash here thanks to Aldi.  The stock up store.  And their 69 cents squash sale!

Unless you want to stock up on: canned green chilies and whole wheat sandwich buns…. then you’re pretty much out of luck at Aldi. 🙂

But back to the squash.  This recipe is based on one of my favorite recipes: Cheesy Spaghetti Squash and Spinach.  On meal prep day, I will roast some items for lunches and include a few spaghetti squash.  I don’t recommend freezing this dish.  Squash just doesn’t usually freeze well and becomes very mushy.

Why I love this recipe:

1.  It’s super fast (once the squash is roasted)
2.  It’s full of flavor
3.  You can add what you want to it
4.  You can make it just for yourself because your kids aren’t being fooled by squash instead of pasta 🙂
5.  Simple ingredients you probably have at home
6.  It’s healthy, nutritious and filling

To pack this in your lunchbox, just layer everything in a sealed microwave safe bowl.  Then, at work you can just pop it into the microwave and stir!  Hot lunch that tastes as good as mac and cheese without all the calories.

How to Roast Spaghetti Squash:
The last post is how to roast all the squash on sale at Aldi.  But here is a refresher for spaghetti squash.

Cut it in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the seeds.  Spray the inside with a little olive oil.  Place cut side DOWN on a rimmed cookie sheet that has been sprayed with olive oil.  Bake 375 degrees for 40 minutes.  Or bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.  Or bake 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  It is soooo easy!  You can’t mess it up.  Then let it cool a little bit and drag your fork inside to get the “spaghetti”!  I would not recommend freezing the cooked spaghetti squash.

Trick for Scooping Seeds
The trick for scooping seeds out of the squash is… wait for it…. a grapefruit spoon!  Yes we love grapefruit spoons because they are NOT uni-taskers.  Instead, grapefruit spoons are perfect for using their serrated edges to scoop out the fibers and seeds inside your squash.

 

Squash Mac and Cheese-5388 on Whisk Together

Squash Mac and Cheese-5391 on Whisk Together

 

Squash Mac and Cheese-5393 on Whisk Together

Squash Mac and Cheese-5394 on Whisk Together

Individual Squash Mac and Cheese
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Ingredients
  • 1 cup roasted spaghetti squash
  • 1 Tb. milk
  • 1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1-2 Tb. shredded Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4-1/2 cup baby spinach (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a microwave safe bowl, add the spaghetti squash.
  2. Pour in a splash of milk (about a tablespoon).
  3. Sprinkle cheese on top.
  4. Sprinkle salt, pepper and onion powder.
  5. Stir in baby spinach.
  6. Microwave covered and on high for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave for another 30 seconds if cheese needs to melt more. Mac and Cheese is ready once cheese is melted and the squash is hot.
  7. Top with more Parmesan cheese if you like.

 

 

How to Roast Squash

Roasted Acorn Squash on Whisk Together-5451

Book:  Still re-reading “The Last Child” by John Hart.  In the meantime, I discovered “The Good Wife” has Season 6 released on Hulu.  One of the smartest shows ever!  The writing is so funny, and you learn so much about the behind the scenes of politics and the law.

Recipes:  I almost titled this post “How to Roast Autumn”…. but then felt bad for the little girl I know 🙂

So… here is how to Roast Acorn Squash and the other Fall Vegetables.   I find roasting is my favorite way to eat vegetables (other than perhaps hidden in a warm soup).  It isn’t the fastest, but with a little prep you can have yummy veggies quick and easy while the main dish cooks.  This is also another reason why I love having a little convection oven in the kitchen – I can cook the main meal in the oven and use the little oven to roast the veggies.  I know it is $250 – but it lasts forever.

Unlike my Keurig machine.  Which was totally awesome until it died last week.
My French press hasn’t died in 20 years.

Roasted Acorn Squash on Whisk Together-5454

Aldi right now has spaghetti squash on sale for 99 cents and butternut and acorn squash on sale for 69 cents.  Super cheap side dishes with a huge nutritional boost as well!  So what’s the best way to make them?

This acorn squash is cooked differently than most.  Spaghetti and Butternut squash do well in the oven.  Acorn squash turns stringy or grainy and tends to be dry.  This microwave method is faster and results in a nutty and silky acorn squash you are sure to love.  The printable recipe is at the bottom.

How do you roast the other vegetables?

Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna_3 on WT

Butternut Squash:  First, you could cut it in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the seeds.  Spray it with olive oil.  Place on a rimmed cookie sheet that has been sprayed with oil.  It should be cut side DOWN.  Bake 375 degrees for 40 minutes.  Or bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.  Or bake 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  Your fork should pierce through easily.  Scoop, mash and eat!
Second, you could cut the skin off.  It is tough skinned, but it is possible.  This is the kid’s favorite way to eat squash.  Cut it into 1/2″ cubes.  Toss in a little olive oil or melted butter. Throw on some cinnamon/brown sugar or thyme/rosemary/garlic.  Bake for 25-30 minutes at 375 degrees or until tender.

Make Butternut Squash Lasagna!  You will not regret it!  I STILL here about this recipe a year after I served it.

Cheesey Spaghetti Squash and Spinach on WT

Spaghetti Squash:   Cut it in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the seeds.  Spray the inside with a little olive oil.  Place cut side DOWN on a rimmed cookie sheet that has been sprayed with olive oil.  Bake 375 degrees for 40 minutes.  Or bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.  Or bake 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  It is soooo easy!  You can’t mess it up.  Then let it cool a little bit and drag your fork inside to get the “spaghetti”!  I would not recommend freezing the cooked spaghetti squash.

Make Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese!  Or Spaghetti and Meatballs!  Or any favorite dish with squash instead of pasta.

Pumpkin Bowl Soup_7 on Whisk Together

Pumpkin:  Cut off the top.  Scoop out the seeds.  Spray inside with olive oil.  Roast at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  It will be tender when pierced with a fork when done.  Fill it up with your favorite soup and eat!  Coolest eating bowl ever and much healthier than a bread bowl.

Try with this Squash Soup in a Pumpkin Bowl!

sweet potato casseroleCR

Sweet Potatoes:  I peel and cut these into cubes and store in the freezer.  When I want sweet potatoes as a side dish, I just thrown some olive oil, brown sugar and cinnamon on them and pop into the oven at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes or so.  When I want mashed potatoes, I’ll nuke the frozen cubes until tender.  Storing sweet potatoes in the pantry works, but I would forget about them and they would go rancid.  So now I prefer storing them in the freezer.  Mashed sweet potatoes freeze well, too.

Make Sweet Potato Soup or Sweet Potato Casserole!

Brussel Sprouts CR

Brussels Sprouts:  Break off the outer leaves if they are about to fall off.  Slice them in half lengthwise.  Toss in a little olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Toss in a little lemon zest, browned butter or maple syrup.

Try Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Browned Butter Glaze!

**Technically most of these are NOT vegetables.  Pumpkins are large berries.  Squash obviously have seeds.  But most people consider them veggies, and they are on the vegetable side of Aldi.  Plus “How to Roast Fall Fruit” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.**

How to Roast Acorn Squash
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Ingredients
  • 1 acorn squash
  • salt
  • 2 Tb. butter
  • 2 Tb. light or dark brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Cut the acorn squash in half longways. From top to bottom. Use a nice big sharp chef’s knife because these are pretty tough.
  2. Scoop out the seeds in the middle along with the stringy stuff attached to them. I find the best way to do this is with a grapefruit spoon! Yes. Grapefruit spoon! My saving grace in Fall in this spoon.
  3. Now sprinkle a little salt on the inside.
  4. Place the squash cut side DOWN into a pyrex dish or other microwave safe and oven safe container. If using pyrex (I use my 7×11 dish), fill the bottom with 1/8 cup of water).
  5. Cover the squash with a microwave safe lid like glass or the plastic one made for microwaves.
  6. Microwave for 15 minutes.
  7. Pierce a fork through the center of the squash. It should go through easily and this means the squash is done.
  8. While that cools, melt the butter in the microwave. Add the brown sugar and give it a stir.
  9. Flip squash over. Drizzle the butter/sugar mixture.
  10. Broil the acorn squash on high for a few minutes. Of course, always remember to keep the door slightly ajar when broiling. Keep an eye on it because the sugar will caramelize quickly.
  11. Scoop and eat!
Notes
Recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

 

 

Mexican Cauliflower “Rice”

Mexican Cauliflower Rice_1 on Whisk Together

Good Morning!  It is our First Day of School here!


Book:
  I finished “Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty.  I think her last name rocks!  What a fun last name, don’t you think?  But anyway, the book is hilarious, the ending is jaw dropping and the conclusion perfect.  Great beach read and fun fiction.

Here’s a photo of my reading buddy, Oreo 🙂

Oreo on Whisk Together

Recipe:  After making Cauliflower Fried “Rice”, I thought we would try a Mexican version to go with our beef enchilada burritos.  That recipe is next!  The food processor makes this super simple to pulse into little bits of rice.  Everything is made in the skillet in less than 15 minutes!  You can make this one day and store it in the fridge or freezer – it reheats great.  The recipes makes enough for 7-8 servings, so you could freeze some of it if it is too much food for the week.

Mexican Cauliflower Rice can be served inside a lunch burrito, a breakfast burrito, a side dish to chimichangas, tacos, enchiladas, dinner burritos, taco lasagna, Mexican beef casserole, quesadillas, taco chili, etc.  Add a can of black beans on top tossed with a little cumin and chili powder for a veggie and protein dinner.

I used salsa verde and a green bell pepper in this recipe.  But feel free to use what salsa and bell peppers that you have on hand.

Mexican Cauliflower “Rice”
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Ingredients
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 Tb. olive oil or bacon fat
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 green or red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Cut off the florets from the cauliflower head. Chop into same size chunks. Pulse the cauliflower in the food processor about 15 times – about the size of rice. This will take 2-3 batches.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat.
  3. Add onion and pepper. Cook about 5 minutes or onion is translucent.
  4. Add the garlic and spices. Cook thirty seconds.
  5. Add the cauliflower rice and salsa. Put the lid on the skillet. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 7-8 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and salt and pepper to taste. Add tomatoes and cilantro. Serve warm.
  7. Alternatively, you could mix everything together into a baking dish and bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees – being sure to stir halfway through.

 

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