Butternut Squash & Sausage Stuffed Shells

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Can you believe that it is the last week of October? Each week and month seems to go by faster than the next. Before you know it we will be celebrating the New Year and it will take me 2 months to get used to writing 2016 instead of 2015 on everything! Ok but I am getting ahead of myself! IMG_5664The fall weather has been gorgeous and I have been cooking all of my favorite fall recipes including Stew in a Pumpkin, which was the first recipe I posted on Ski Boots in the Kitchen three years ago last week! It’s hard to imagine it has been three years! It has been so much fun cooking and writing recipes and even more fun when I hear that you’ve been cooking my recipes. This year I am doing Thanksgiving dinner at our new house in Park City and I have already started to think about what I am going to make, stay tuned in the coming weeks for some fun Thanksgiving recipe ideas.

I came across this recipe for Butternut Squash and sausage stuffed shells and it sounded so good I had to try it. It was a delicious balance of fall flavors, spicy sausage, and creamy cheese. Enjoy!

Butternut Squash and Sausage Stuffed Shells (Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 Onion, sliced
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound jumbo shells, cooked al dente
  • 15 ounces ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup parmesan, shredded
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella, shredded
  • Additional parmesan, shredded
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange onion and butternut squash in an even layer on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Roast for 50-60 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook sausage over medium heat. When sausage is mostly browned, add spinach and garlic. Cook until spinach is wilted and remove from heat.
  3. Place roasted butternut squash and onion in a food processor or blender.
  4. Pulse until a smooth puree forms. Blend in milk and vegetable broth. Pour half of the butternut squash sauce into base of a 9×13 baking dish.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, stir together ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella and egg. Add sausage and spinach into ricotta and stir until evenly distributed. Fill cooked pasta shells with 3-4 tablespoons of filling.
  6. Arrange shells in butternut squash sauce in the 9×13 baking dish. Pour the rest of the butternut squash sauce over the top and bake for 30 minutes covered with aluminum foil followed by 15 minutes uncovered. Top with additional parmesan.

Pork Chops with Spinach-Prosciutto Sauce (GF)

IMG_5255It’s been a rainy few days in Park City and I have been craving some comfort food. I have also been looking for any excuse to turn on my stove! It has been so cold but I am refusing to turn on the heat yet… it’s too early! A few weeks ago I went over to a friends house and she made me this dish from one of her favorite cook books, Gluten-Free Girl Every Day. After one bite I asked her for the recipe! It was so delicious with the combination of the salty prosciutto and the sweet onions and cream. It tasted like a dish you would order in a restaurant yet it only took 30 minutes to make and about 8 ingredients! It didn’t take me long after getting the recipe to make it again and I was just as pleased the second time around. Plus it’s gluten free and I love finding some delish GF recipes for when we have guests with dietary restrictions over. Give this recipe a whirl… you won’t be disappointed! Enjoy!

IMG_5253Pork Chops with Spinach-Prosciutto Sauce (Serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless pork chops
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 5 slices prosciutto, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F degrees
  2. Season pork chops with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place chops in the pan and let them cook until one side is brown, about 5 minutes. Flip the chops and put the pan in the oven. Cook until they reach an internal temp of 145F degrees (about another 5-7 minutes). Take them out of the oven and put them on a plate to rest.
  3. Put the same skillet back on medium-high heat. Add prosciutto and cook stirring occasionally, until it is crisp (about 5 minutes). Remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent – about 6-7 minutes. Stir in rosemary and cook 1 minute longer.
  5. Pour in cream and bring to a simmer. When cream begins to simmer add chopped spinach and stir. Add prosciutto back into the sauce and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Plate the pork chops and spoon all the spinach cream sauce over the top of the 4 pork chops.

Greek Quinoa Salad

IMG_4299Summer is not over yet folks! It kind of feels like fall is creeping in, especially this last weekend when we went camping and the temperature dropped into the low 40s. I was not prepared for those kind of temperatures which required me to stay by the fire all night long. What I love most about this time of year is all of the fresh veggies, herbs and produce at the farmers markets, they are bursting at the seams!

I was looking for a delicious gluten free side for the Deer Valley concerts on Wednesday nights and I stumbled across this recipe from Eating Bird Food. It sounded so fresh, healthy and easy I couldn’t help but try it! Next time I make it I would suggest adding Kalamata olives because I feel like they always make Greek salads tasty! Hope you enjoy!

Greek Quinoa Salad (Serves 6-8)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa or 1 box orzo (cooked to package directions
  • 2 cups roughly chopped baby spinach
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 3/4 cup pitted katamala olives, halved
  • ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¼ cup toasted almond slices or pine nuts

Directions:

  1. Cook quinoa in water, according to package directions. Let cool.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together quinoa, spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese, red onion, basil and parsley.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar, lemon juice, oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper.
  4. Pour the dressing over quinoa salad and toss to combine. Top with almond slices.
  5. Serve immediately or let the salad chill in the fridge a couple hours before serving.

 

Bacon & Spinach Mini Quiches (Gluten Free)

IMG_3240Happy summer solstice! A few days late but who is keeping track, right? Especially when the weather has been so beautiful, warm and sunny! I love this time of year when it stays late out until 10pm, it makes me feel really productive, like I have a few extra hours in the day! Even though summer has officially started and school is out for the year, us adults still have to work (big bummer) Oh to be a kid again! The morning “rush” is as usually in our house hold through the summer and I’m not one to skip a meal! And lets be honest, skipping breakfast because you’re in a hurry is a recipe for disaster!

These quiches are great for a quick breakfast, lunch or snack, especially when time is of the essence. Make them ahead of time and pop them in the freezer for later, they are easy to reheat in the microwave and off you go! They are also great for school lunches and after school snacks but don’t let your kids know I’m already talking about back to school… (even though you moms out there are probably already looking forward to it!) These taste delish even when you’re not in a rush… My favorite way to eat them is paired with a big ol’ Bloody Mary or mimosa on a Sunday morning! Enjoy!

IMG_3242Easy Bacon & Egg Mini Quiches (Makes 10-20 depending on the size of your tin)

Ingredients:

  • 12 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup half and half or heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 10oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, half and half, garlic powder, pepper, and parsley until fully combined. Add Parmesan, cheddar, spinach and bacon, mix well.
  2. Spray muffin tins (I used mini and smaller sized ones) with cooking spray. Be sure not to miss any spots so the quiche does not stick! Fill muffin tins about 3/4 of the way full. Place them in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and puffy. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before removing them from the tin.
  3. Serve warm or these can be easily frozen and heated up in the microwave for a quick breakfast on the go.

Kale Monster Detox Smoothie

photoI hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving! Sorry for the delay in posts- I’ve been recovering from cooking and eating overload! I can’t wait to share some of the awesome recipes I made for our Thanksgiving feast. I was in serious need of a detox after the holiday weekend- I ate pumpkin pie for breakfast Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend… Sorry I’m not sorry- it was delicious! img_7398BUT with only two and half weeks until Christmas and all those holiday parties around the corner, I’m feeling the need for a healthy dose of green goodness. If you’re looking for the ultimate super food or “queen of greens” its KALE. IMG_5547It literally has all the good stuff- it’s an excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K, its also packed with fiber and anti-cancer health benefits- You get the picture, this stuff is GOOD! I understand, drinking straight kale in the morning doesn’t sound super appealing- but you throw some strawberries, banana and almond milk in the picture and you’ve got a delicious, healthy and detoxifying breakfast! Enjoy!

Kale Monster Detox Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 5- 6 large frozen or fresh strawberries
  • 1 large frozen banana, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 a large cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1 1/12 cups vanilla almond or soy milk
  • 4 large kale leaves, chopped (stems removed)
  • 1 large handful spinach
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed (optional)

Combine almond milk, frozen banana and cumber in a blender. Add kale, spinach, strawberries and flax seed. Blend until smooth. If the smoothie is looking too thick add more almond milk until desired consistency. If you’re using fresh strawberries you may wish to add a hand full of ice.  Enjoy!

Lentil and Sausage Soup for a (warm) winter’s night

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Although its starting to feel too much like spring here- I there’s nothing more satisfying than a big bowl of soup for dinner, even if it doesn’t look anything like winter out your door. This is more of a stew than soup, but it has a lot of fresh veggies and fresh spinach which gives it vibrant color and delicious flavor! I modified this recipe and used vegetarian sausage from Whole Foods instead of meat sausage and vegetable stock to make the stew vegetarian. photo-231The sausage was so tasty you’d never know it was vegetarian- I bought the Italian style with garlic and red pepper to give it a kick! Any sausage you use will taste great. I also added twice the amount of spinach as I am a huge fan of spinach and I wanted more green in my soup. The red wine vinegar really opens up all the flavors so don’t leave it out- its a must! Enjoy!!

Lentil & Sausage Soup (Click for printer friendly version)
Serves 4 hungry adults with lots of leftovers.
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cup French green lentils
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 or 4 sausages made with herbs and/or garlic
  • 1 large yellow or white onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup sturdy red wine
  • 3 stalks of celery, and their leaves if possible
  • 1 tablespoon dried marjoram or an equivalent amount of fresh
  • 4 or 5 carrots, depending on their size
  • 4 cups chicken or beef stock (or vegetable)
  • 3 tablespoons organic ketchup
  • 2 cups chopped spinach (I did 4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Red wine vinegar, to taste

Directions:

  1. Fill at tea kettle and bring it to a boil while you prep the other ingredients.
  2. Heat the 4 cups of stock either on the stove or in the microwave if you don’t have time (or space) on the stove.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in large pot/skillet with one bay leaf and cook sausage until browned on each side (even if the sausage is already fully cooked) remove with slotted spoon and set aside.
  4. Rinse the lentils in cold water two or three times, pick out any stones or other debris, and put the lentils on the stove in a saucepan with at least three cups of hot water from the kettle. Cook lentils over medium heat, stirring occasionally. (don’t worry if the lentils are not fully cooked when you add them to the soup.)
  5. Meanwhile, dice the onions so they are about ½” square; chop the garlic. Cut celery into small dices and carrots into slices or chunks depending on how thick they are, and set them aside. Add the remaining oil, as well as the onions and garlic, to the pan in which the sausages were browned; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the onions start to look a bit translucent, push them aside with a spoon and add the wine. Cook for a minute or two to deglaze the pot.
  6. Stir the lentils in with the cooking water. It doesn’t matter whether they are cooked. Just add them now, and add the stock to the pot with the onions and garlic. Add the celery and marjoram and stir well, continuing to cook.
  7. Add the carrots to the pot, with the reserved sausages, and the salt and pepper to taste, and stir well.
  8. Cook for at least another ten minutes, adding more water if necessary and stirring occasionally, to prevent the lentils from sticking.
  9. Add the ketchup and stir well (I didn’t measure the ketchup I just added enough till it looked good- but I am also weirdly obsessed with ketchup). Cook until the carrots are tender. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Add the spinach and the parsley. Heat soup until very hot!
  10. Pass the red wine vinegar separately, for people to add, to taste. Serve with a hearty whole grain bread and fresh butter.IMG_6965

Original recipe from Food52

Pumpkin, Spinach, and Tomato Gratin

It’s fall and fall means pumpkin season! Pumpkins and squash are my favorite to cook- they have great flavor and are easy to prepare. This yummy recipe is super easy and a healthy alternative to the classic potato gratin (which I also love)! I got this recipe from the Tante Marie’s Cooking School in San Francisco. Their monthly news letters always have great seasonally inspired recipes. Enjoy!

Pumpkin, Spinach, and Tomato Gratin

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb. sugar pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, seeded,  and cut into 1-inch wedges.
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lb. fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 28-oz. can San Marino tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 lb. cave-aged Gruyere cheese

Pre-heat oven to 400. To cook the sugar pumpkin, place it on a baking sheet, coat with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt.  Roast in a 400 degree oven, until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork (about 20-30 minutes).  Turn half way through the cooking, so that it browns slightly on both sides. (I used sugar pumpkin when I made this but I would recommend using butternut squash instead).

While the pumpkin or squash is baking in the oven wilt the spinach. In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Drop hand full of spinach into boiling water until wilted. Remove spinach from water with tongs and place on baking sheet lined with paper towels until all the spinach is cooked.

Next, cut tomatoes in half and set a side the juices. I used San Marino tomatoes since the fresh ones in the store didn’t look amazing. Grate cheese on large holes of box grater. I used Jarlsberg cheese, I prefer its flavor.

To assemble, line a Pyrex or ceramic baking dish (about 14 by 10 inches) with a layer of squash, cover with the spinach, then the tomatoes, cut side up.  Sprinkle with the grated cheese.  Bake in 350 oven, until the tomatoes and cheese have melted, about 30 minutes.  Serves 8.

This dish is great served with chicken, fish or enjoyed on its own. I used the leftover juices from the tomatoes to make my own version of chicken Parmesan.

Easy Chicken Parm

For the Chicken I took 4 chicken breasts and dipped them in 1 egg (whisked). I dredged them in Panko Bread crumbs and placed them in a skillet coated with olive oil on high heat. Let the chicken breast cook about 4-5 minutes on one side before flipping and turning down the heat to medium-low and covering. Let chicken cook for another 10 minutes on low before pouring remaining tomato juices and topping with grated Parmesan cheese. Cover and turn the off heat. Let chicken marinate for a couple of minutes covered on the stove. Serve with Pumpkin Gratin and Enjoy!