Thursday, January 10, 2008

Garlicky Baked Butternut Squash

2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 1/2 lbs of butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a large bowl, combine the parsley, oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Add squash and toss to coat.
2. Transfer to an ungreased shallow 2-quart baking dish. Bake, uncovered at 400 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until squash is just tender.

I stirred mine halfway through cooking and sprinkled the cheese over the last 10 minutes of baking (since the recipe didn't specify when to include the cheese).

Note: The squash is hard to peel. I had to use a very sharp paring knife, a veggie peeler will not cut it. I've seend recommended to poke the squash a few times with a fork and cook in the microwave 8 minutes then peel and seed; but this makes it messier.
I also haven't tried this with frozen squash. I'm not sure how the consistency would turn out, I'm not sure if you have to cook frozen squash less or not.

Whole Wheat Pita Bread

2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 1/2 c. water
2 tsp. sugar
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
2 tsp. salt

1. Combine yeast and water in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer and let stand until bubbly.
2. Add sugar, 1 c. whole wheat flour, 1 cup all purpose flour and the salt. Mix well.
3. Continue to add all purpose flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixer bowl.
4. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth and springy (if you pinch the dough, it should spring back to it's original shape).
5. Shape the dough into a ball and cover loosely with a towel. Let rise for 30 minutes.
6. Place a baking sheet or baking stone in the bottom third of the oven and heat to 500.
7. Divide dough into eight pieces. On a well floured surface, roll the dough out until it is approximately 1/2 inch thick. Repeat for all eight pieces. Cover rounds with a damp towel and let rest for 15 minutes.
8. Place rounds on baking sheet or stone. Bake until golden brown and puffed, about 6-8 minutes.
9. Immediately after removing from the oven, cover pitas with a damp kitchen towel, or place them in a paper bag to steam.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. unbleached, all purpose flour
2 packages (2 1/4 tsp. each) active dry yeast
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 c. lukewarm water
1/2 tsp. olive oil

1. Place flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a mixer fitted with a dough hook. While mixer is running, gradually add water and knead on low speed until dough is frim and smooth, about ten minutes. Turn machine off.

2. Pour oil down inside of bowl. Turn on low once more for 15 seconds to coat inside of bowl and all surfaces of dough with the oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm spot until doubled in bulk, about two hours.

3. Preheat oven to highest setting (500 or 550). Punch dough down, cut in half. On generously floured work surface, place one half of dough.

4. By hand, form dough loosely into a ball, stretch into a circle. Using a floured rolling pin, roll dough into large circle until very thin. If you get a hole, just pinch edges back together.

5. To prevent dough from sticking to counter, turn dough over, add flour to dough, counter and rolling pin as needed. Transfer dough to a pizza stone or cookie sheet with no lip. Add toppings.

6. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden.

Spinach Pizza Pie

2 cans (13.8 oz each) refrigerated pizza crust dough
1 can (8 oz) pizza sauce
1 jar (4.5 oz) sliced mushrooms, drained
¼ c. sliced ripe olives
1 ½ c. shredded mozzarella cheese (6 oz)
2 pkg. (9 oz each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain
1 tsp. olive or vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 400°. Lightly spray 9” glass pie plate with cooking spray.
Unroll 1 can of pizza crust dough. Place dough in pie plate; press against bottom and side of pie plate to form crust.
In small bowl, mix pizza sauce and mushrooms; spoon onto dough in plate. Layer with olives, ¾ c. of the mozzarella cheese, the spinach and remaining ¾ c. mozzarella cheese.
Unroll remaining can of dough. Press dough into 9” circle; place over filling. Pinch edges of dough together to seal; roll up edges of dough or flute to form rim. Cut several slits in dough. Brush with oil; sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cut into wedges.
Yield: 6 servings

Cheese Enchiladas with Green Chilies

1 ¼ c. Enchilada sauce
15 6” flour tortillas
1 lbs Monterey jack cheese, sliced into 15 strips
1 c. shredded Monterey jack cheese
1 c. salsa
1 can whole green chilies, sliced into 3 strips

1. Preheat oven to 350˚.
2. Combine enchilada sauce and salsa in medium bowl, mix well.
3. Pour 1 ½ c. sauce onto bottom of ungreased 9” x 13”baking pan.
4. Heat tortillas, one at a time in lightly greased medium skillet over medium heat for 20 seconds on each side or until soft.
5. Place 1 strip cheese and 1 strip Chili in center of each tortilla; roll up.
6. Place seam side down in baking pan.
7. Repeat with remaining tortillas, cheese and chilies.
8. Ladle remaining sauce over enchiladas; sprinkle with shredded cheese.
9. Bake covered for 20 minutes.
10. Remove cover; bake for an additional 5 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Chicken Tortellini and Roasted Vegetable Salad

4 sun-dried tomato halves, not packed in oil
Boiling water
½ c. chicken broth
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil or 2 tsp. dried basil leaves
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. water
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper

3 c. whole medium mushrooms
2 c. cubed zucchini
2 c. cubed eggplant
¾ c. red onion wedges (about 1 medium)
Nonstick cooking spray
1 ½ pkg. (9 oz size) cheese tortellini
6 c. bite-sized leaf lettuce and arugula
1 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into 1 ½ inch pieces

For dressing: place tomatoes in a small bowl. Cover with boiling water. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes or until soft. Drain well; chop. In small jar with tight-fitting lid, combine tomatoes and remaining dressing ingredients; shake well. Chill until ready to use; shake before using.
Heat oven to 425°.
Place mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant and onion on baking sheet. Spray lightly with cooking spray; toss to coat. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until vegetables are browned. Cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, cook tortellini according to package directions; drain. Cool to room temperature.
Combine vegetables, tortellini, lettuce and chicken in large bowl. Drizzle with vinaigrette; toss to coat.

Yield: 8 servings

Cheeseburger Soup

I've never made this one before, so I can't vouch for it yet. As I'm going pretty meatless, I'm going to take veggie "Meatballs" break them up and use them instead of the ground beef.

½ lbs. lean ground beef
½ c. chopped onion
¾ c. shredded carrots
¾ c. chopped celery
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried parsley
6 c. chicken broth
2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and diced
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
¼ c. all-purpose flour
¾ lbs. processed reduced-fat American cheese, cubed
1 ½ c. milk
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper

Cook ground beef in a large pot over medium-high heat about 3 minutes, stirring until meat crumbles. Add onion and next 4 ingredients, and sauté 4 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Drain well. Return beef mixture to pot.
Stir in chicken broth and potatoes. Bring to boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Melt 3 Tbsp. butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Gradually stir in flour, and cook, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes or until flour is lightly browned.
Whisk flour mixture into simmering beef mixture; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 6 minutes or until thickened.
Whisk in cheese and next 3 ingredients just until cheese melts.

Yield: 12 cups