Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna

For the Butternut Parmesan Sauce:
1 lb butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh grated parmesan cheese
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Lasagna:
9 lasagna noodles, cooked
10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, heated and squeezed well
15 oz fat free ricotta cheese
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
salt and fresh pepper
9 tbsp (about 3 oz) part skim shredded Italian Blend Cheese
1 tablespoon parsley, minced

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add butternut squash and cook until soft. Remove squash with a slotted spoon, reserve about 1 cup of the water and set aside, then blend until smooth with an immersion blender, adding 1/4 cup of the reserved liquid to thin out.

Meanwhile, in a large deep non-stick skillet, add the oil, sauté the shallots and garlic over medium-low heat until soft and golden, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add pureed butternut squash, season with with salt and fresh cracked pepper and add a little more of the reserved water to thin out to your liking. Stir in 2 1/2 tablespoons of the parmesan cheese and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Ladle about 1/2 cup butternut sauce sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish.
Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dry. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.

Ladle about 1 cup of sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top each one with 1 tbsp Italian cheese blend. Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts and everything is hot and bubbly. Top with parsley and serve. Makes 9 rolls.

To serve, ladle a little extra sauce on the plate and top with lasagna roll.

(I put the butternut squash sauce inside the lasagna and then put a simple tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish and then over the rolls).

From skinnytaste.com

Sriracha Marinated Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos

2 cups ¼” cubed and peeled butternut squash
2 tablespoons sriracha*
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½ cup black beans, (drained and rinsed if using canned)
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons cilantro
2-3 ounces goat cheese
4-6 tortillas

Whisk together sriracha, honey, and vinegar. In a shallow pan, toss butternut squash with sriracha mixture, cover, and let sit for 1-2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375˚.

Place pan of butternut squash in oven and let roast until tender and lightly browning, 25-35 minutes. Stirring halfway through.

In a bowl, toss together black beans, lime juice, and cilantro.
Once butternut squash is done, turn off oven. Wrap tortillas in a damp towel and place in the oven and heat until warm and pliable.

To serve layer black beans, butternut squash, and goat cheese on the warm tortilla. Sprinkle with extra cilantro if desired.

from Naturally Ella

Autumn Panzanella Salad

serves 2 as an entree, 4 as a starter/side dish

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 apples, chopped (I left the skin on)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3-4 cups fresh arugula
4-5 thick slices multigrain bread, cut into chunks
1/3 cup pomegranate arils (or the arils from one pomegranate)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix salt, pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, and garlic powder in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, mix sweet potato and squash chunks, then drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil on top and mix to coat with your hands. Add about 3/4 of the spice mixture, and mix again to coat. Lay on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, flipping once.

After 20 minutes, toss apple chunks with remaining spice mixture. Add apple to the baking sheet and bake for another 25 minutes, tossing once or twice.

Let squash, potatoes and apple cool, then add bread chunks to the baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil if desired.

In a large bowl, combine arugula with roasted fruit, veg and bread cubes. Toss with about 1/4 cup of dressing (or more/less) then sprinkle with pom arils. Serve immediately.

Spiced Pomegranate Vinaigrette
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup pomegranate juice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
pinches of: salt, pepper & nutmeg

Combine mustard, honey, pom juice, vinegar, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a bowl and whisk. Stream in olive oil while constantly whisking until dressing emulsifies. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

from How Sweet It Is

Warm Autumn Salad

1 small butternut squash, chopped
2 apples, chopped (I used gala)
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 cup chopped brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons olive oil (I used pumpkin seed oil)
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
chopped parsley for garnish
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Lay chopped squash, apples, brussels sprouts and onions on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and add cardamom, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Roast for 45-50 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes.

Remove vegetables and let cool for 5 minutes. You want them to be warm, but not piping hot. Add veggies to a bowl and combine with feta and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

from How Sweet It Is blog

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

1/2 cup butter
3oz cream cheese
1 cup brown sugar
2 ripe bananas
1 egg
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups flour (I subbed whole wheat)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan.
Cream butter, cream cheese, and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add in mashed banana, sour cream, and egg and mix ’til smooth.
Stir in dry ingredients.
Fold in chocolate chips. Bake for 60-75 minutes.

From How Sweet It Is

Carrot Cake

Unsalted butter, for the pan
12 ounces, approximately 2 1/2 cups, all-purpose flour, plus extra for pan
12 ounces grated carrots, medium grate, approximately 6 medium
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 ounces sugar, approximately 1 1/3 cups
2 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 1/4 cup firmly packed
3 large eggs
6 ounces plain yogurt
6 ounces vegetable oil
Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter and flour a 9-inch round and 3-inch deep cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.

Put the carrots into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process for 5 seconds. Add this mixture to the carrots and toss until they are well-coated with the flour.

In the bowl of the food processor combine the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and yogurt.

With the processor still running drizzle in the vegetable oil. Pour this mixture into the carrot mixture and stir until just combined. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 45 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and bake for another 20 minutes or until the cake reaches 205 to 210 degrees F in the center.

Remove the pan from the oven and allow cake to cool 15 minutes in the pan. After 15 minutes, turn the cake out onto a rack and allow cake to cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting after cake has cooled completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese
2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
9 ounces powdered sugar, sifted, approximately 2 cups
In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter on medium just until blended. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. With the speed on low, add the powdered sugar in 4 batches and beat until smooth between each addition.

Place the frosting in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes before using.

from the Food Network

Skinny Spanakopita

10 oz fresh (or frozen) spinach
5 scallions (white end of green onion), minced
2 green onion stalks, chopped
1 c part-skim ricotta cheese
1/3 c fat-free feta cheese crumbles
1 egg, beaten
1/4 t salt
1/2 T lemon juice
10 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large frying pan, add half of the fresh spinach and cook on low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Push spinach to one side of the pan and add remaining spinach. Stir occasionally for an additional 5 minutes.

Spray a 9 1/2 inch pie pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, feta, dill, egg, scallions, green onions, lemon juice and salt. Mix well. Add spinach and stir again.

When working with phyllo pastry, keep the sheets that aren’t being used in a damp paper towel. This will prevent the pastry from drying out and crumbling. Lay 1 sheet of phyllo in prepared pie pan and allow it to extend over the rim. Lightly coat with spray.

Repeat with 4 more sheets of phyllo, placing corners at different angles and lightly coating each sheet with spray.

Press down on the dough to form the shape of the pan. Start in the center and work your way out. Next, fold the edges in to form a 1 1/2 inch-high rim.

Spread spinach mixture over the dough.

Lightly coat 1 of the remaining sheets with spray, crumple loosely and cover one section of the spinach mixture.

Repeat with remaining sheets.

Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Pumpkin No-Bake Energy Bites

8 oz. (about 1 packed cup) chopped dates (or cranberries)
¼ c honey
¼ c pumpkin puree
1 T chia seeds or flax seeds
1 t ground cinnamon
½ t ground ginger
¼ t ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 c old-fashioned oats (dry, not cooked)
1 c toasted coconut flakes
1 c toasted pepitas

Combine the dates, honey, pumpkin puree, chia (or flax) seeds, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt in a food processor, and pulse until smooth and combined.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, and stir in the oats, coconut flakes and pepitas until evenly combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Once the mixture is cool (and easier to work with), use a spoon or cookie scoop to shape it into your desired size of energy balls. (Mine were about 1-inch in diameter.) Alternately, you can line a small baking pan with parchment paper, and press the mixture evenly into the pan, let it cool, and then cut into bars.

Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. (Storing them in the refrigerator especially helps the energy bites hold their shape.)

(from gimmesomeoven.com)

Spinach Lasagna Rolls

9 lasagna noodles, cooked
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and completely drained
15 oz fat free ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
salt and fresh pepper
32 oz tomato sauce
9 tbsp (about 3 oz) part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Ladle about 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish.

Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dry. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.

Ladle sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top each one with 1 tbsp mozzarella cheese. Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts. Makes 9 rolls.

To serve, ladle a little sauce on the plate and top with lasagna roll.

Summer Corn Soup


3 ears fresh corn (I like Brentwood or White), kernels removed from cob

1 medium sweet or yellow onion, chopped

1 shallot, chopped

1 garlic clove, diced

2.5 cups water

.5 cup 2% milk

Fresh basil , chopped, for garnish

1-2 medium early girl tomatoes, chopped, for garnish



Pinch of chipotle chile powder


Directions :

1.  In a large pot, cook your chopped onion and shallot on low heat until translucent.  Avoid the temptation to crank up the heat or you could burn your onion and loose the sweetness.

2.  Once your onion/shallot mixture is fully translucent add your garlic and cook for one more minute.

3.  Add your corn kernels to your pot and cover with the 2.5 cups of water.  Turn up your heat and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, turn down heat and let simmer.

4.  After your soup has simmered for ~5 minutes, turn off the heat and let cool for several minutes (you don’t want it to be boiling when you blend, in case you splash yourself).  Then, using a food processor, blend thoroughly.  

5.  Season your soup with the pinch of chile powder, generous pepper and very generous salt.  (Since you cooked with water, you will need to season heavily.)  Add the final .5 cup milk and stir.  Once you add your milk, you can keep soup warm but don’t boil it.

6.  Serve in bowls with the chopped basil and tomatoes.

 (adapted from http://pinkbrandywine.tumblr.com/)