This velvety, butternut squash sauce is nutritious with a taste of decadence. Enjoy this guilt-free, creamy sauce topped with a little sausage or substitute toasted pecans for a vegetarian meal. Roasting the squash in advance makes this a quick meal to throw together for family or friends. When I have a lot of butternut squash in my CSA share, I like to roast up several batches to freeze for later use. Simply follow step one below and scoop the inside flesh from the squash. Store squash in zip-top bags and freeze until ready for use. Defrost squash in the refrigerator the day before preparing this recipe and you’ll have a homemade meal with farm-fresh ingredients on your table in less than 15 minutes.
Ingredients: 1 large butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded 2 teaspoons butter 8 ounces any short whole grain pasta noodle, cooked according to package directions 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup skim or low-fat milk ½ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon white pepper ½ pound mild ground sausage Fresh grated Parmesan cheese for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. On a medium baking sheet, place squash halves flesh side up. Place 1 teaspoon of butter in the hollow of each squash. Roast until flesh is tender, about 50 to 60 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to touch. This step can be done several hours earlier or the day before.
Scoop inside flesh of squash from skin and place in a food processor or blender. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté for about a minute, until fragrant, and combine with squash.
Add milk to food processor or blender and puree to create a smooth and creamy consistency. Pour butternut squash sauce into a medium sauce pan and warm over medium heat, stirring occasionally and careful not to boil. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low to keep warm until ready to serve.
Meanwhile, cook the sausage in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until browned and crumbly, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain the fat and set aside.
Divide pasta on four plates and cover with equal amounts of sauce. Top with sausage and Parmesan cheese.
Nothing says fall like a bowl of chili, especially one with seasonal squash. Fresh pumpkin or acorn squash would also work well in this recipe. In less than 30 minutes, you can serve a warm bowl of comfort food to your family. Leftovers taste just as good, if not better. If you do not eat all the leftovers, this meal freezes well in a tightly sealed container or zip-top bag.
Ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 pound ground chicken 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon salt 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into bite-size pieces 2 (15.5 ounce) cans low-sodium Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth 2 teaspoons Sriracha hot chili sauce, plus more for serving 1 lime, sliced into 6 wedges cilantro, chopped cotija cheese, crumbled
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
Add the ground chicken and cook until it begins to brown. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano and salt and continue cooking for about five minutes.
Add the butternut squash, beans, chicken broth and Sriracha hot chili sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for at least 20 minutes.
Ladle chili into six bowls and squeeze a lime wedge over each serving. Top with cilantro, cojita cheese and additional Sriracha hot chili sauce if desired.
Lasagna and eggplant parmesan are two of my favorite Italian dishes and this meal is the perfect blend of both. Ready in just a little over 30 minutes, it’s a fast take on lasagna that’s perfect for a busy weeknight meal. It’s excellent made with homemade marinara using farm-fresh tomatoes.
If you’re struggling with recipes that please the carb lovers and low-carb people in your life, this recipe is perfect for both. You can easily prepare whole wheat spaghetti or garlic bread on the side and give your dinner guests options.
Ingredients: 2 large eggplant, trimmed and cut lengthwise into ¼ inch slices 2 tablespoons olive oil ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon black pepper 4 cups good-quality marinara, divided 1 pound mild ground sausage 15 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese 1 tablespoon dried basil 2 teaspoons fresh grated nutmeg ¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Heat the broiler to high and arrange half of the eggplant in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Brush both sides of eggplant with half of the olive oil and sprinkle with half of the salt and pepper. Broil for 5 to 6 minutes, until lightly browned, flipping halfway through cook time. Set aside until cool enough to touch. Repeat process with remaining eggplant. Turn off the broiler and heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cook the sausage in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until browned and crumbly, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain grease from skillet and return to the stove top. Add 3 cups marinara to the sausage and stir to combine.
Spread 1 cup marinara in the bottom of a large rectangular baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, basil and nutmeg. Top each eggplant slice with about a tablespoon of ricotta filling and spread it out evenly. Roll up the eggplant, starting with the shorter end and arrange seam side down in the prepared baking dish.
Top eggplant rollups with sausage and marinara mixture and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, until the sauce is warm and bubbly.
These appetizers with pulled pork are game day favorites in my hometown of Memphis, Tenn., and they are about as popular as Elvis around my old stomping grounds. For my take on this southern classic, I recommend a tangy and slightly sweet sauce. I keep my pantry well stocked with my favorite barbecue sauces so I am ready for any good sports event throughout the year or a summer get together. Using leftover pork that has been smoked and pulled the day before, makes this a quick recipe you can whip up during halftime or for a meal with friends.
Barbecue Pork Potato Skin Ingredients: 7 to 8 small Yukon gold potatoes 2 cups pulled pork ¼ cup barbecue sauce ½ cup yellow cheddar cheese, shredded ½ cup white cheddar cheese, shredded hot and sweet jalapeño pepper slices Light sour cream for serving
Barbecue Pork Nacho Ingredients: 4 ounces tortilla chips 2 cups pulled pork ½ cup barbecue sauce, divided ¼ cup yellow cheddar cheese, shredded ¼ cup white cheddar cheese, shredded 1 extra small red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced hot and sweet jalapeño pepper slices 1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Pierce potatoes a few times with a fork and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove potatoes, leaving oven on. Let potatoes cool enough to touch and cut each in half. Scoop out a small amount of potato, leaving a divot like space in the potato halves.
In a small bowl, toss 2 cups of pulled pork with barbecue sauce and stir to evenly coat. Place potatoes on a baking dish and add equal amount of pork to potato halves and top with two types of cheddar cheese and 1 jalapeño pepper slice.
On another baking dish, arrange tortilla chips across the pan and top with pork. Drizzle half of the barbecue sauce over the pork and chips and top with cheddar cheese, onion slices and jalapeño slices. Drizzle the remaining sauce on top of the nachos.
Bake potatoes and nachos for 7 to 10 minutes, until cheese has melted. Top potatoes with sour cream and nachos with diced avocado before serving.
This pizza is the perfect use for leftover ham, and if you smoke your ham it is even better. The combination of salty ham with caramelized pineapple from the grill and spicy arugula is a new take on this Hawaiian classic. Grilling the thin pizza dough creates a crispy crust that is similar to a flatbread.
This is a great pizza to serve family or friends on a spring or summer patio night. For a real island experience while entertaining, welcome guests with an Aloha and a Mai Tai.
Ingredients: ½ fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced into 2 large pieces 1 homemade or store-bought pizza dough ball, about the size of a grapefruit 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided 1 cup leftover ham, diced ¼ cup ricotta cheese ⅔ cup shredded mozzarella cheese 2 cups arugula
Prepare the grill for medium-high, indirect heat. For a gas grill, leave one or two burners off and for a charcoal grill, place coals on one side and use the coal free side.
Brush pineapple with half of the olive oil on all sides. Grill directly over burner or charcoal until light brown grill marks appear, about 4 or 5 minutes per side. Remove from grill and dice after pineapple is cool enough to handle.
Roll or stretch (I do a combination) the pizza dough to a thin layer, about ⅛ inch thick and 12 to 14 inches in diameter.
Place crust on the grill over indirect heat (a pizza peel comes handy here) and cook for about five minutes, until top of crust starts to bubble and light brown grill marks appear on the bottom of the crust.
Remove crust from grill. Top cooked side of crust with remaining olive oil, spreading evenly. Add ham and pineapple in an even layer. Add dollops of ricotta and sprinkle shredded mozzarella.
Return pizza to the grill and cook for about five minutes, until mozzarella cheese has melted and bottom of crust has light brown grill marks. Remove from grill, top with arugula, slice into 8 wedges and serve.
The aroma of grilled meat lofting in the air makes me hungry, even if I’ve already had a meal. Add a little bourbon, maple syrup and Dijon mustard in the mix, and the smell of your pork tenderloin on the grill may even bring your neighbors over for dinner. Paired with creamy goat cheese mashed potatoes, this recipe is simple enough for a throw-together meal and impressive enough to serve when entertaining. Doubling the recipe will give you more to pass around if you are serving a crowd. Add some grilled broccoli to round out this delicious meal and serve with your favorite bourbon of course.
Bourbon Maple Pork Tenderloin Ingredients: 1 whole pork tenderloin, about 1 pound ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon ground black pepper 2 tablespoons maple syrup 2 tablespoons bourbon 2 tablespoons country Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
Goat Cheese Mashed Potato Ingredients: 1 pound potatoes (about 2½ cups), diced and unpeeled water ½ tablespoon butter ½ cup skim milk 4 ounces goat cheese ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
Preheat an outdoor grill to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place pork on a large plate or platter and season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together maple syrup, bourbon, mustard and rosemary. Reserve half of the glaze in a clean bowl and brush the pork with the other half of the glaze.
Grill the pork tenderloin for 17 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally and brushing with the remaining glaze, until pork reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Place pork on a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil. Let the tenderloin rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, add potatoes and cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce to low heat. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, until tender. Drain water and return to the stove over low heat. Add skim milk, butter, salt and pepper and mash with a potato masher while butter melts. Add goat cheese and use a hand-held mixer to whip potatoes on high until smooth and creamy.
Sautéed zucchini makes an excellent side dish for a steak topped with blue cheese butter, but this dish goes a step further by combining all of those delicious flavors. Steak and Zoodles with Blue Cheese Sauce is a perfect summer meal when you are in the mood to fire up the grill and use your farm-fresh zucchini. Zoodles, made from zucchini noodles, are as fun to make as they are to eat. There are a lot of vegetable spiralizers on the market now, and this kitchen gadget leads to endless possibilities for new takes on vegetables.
Ingredients: 4 medium zucchini ¼ teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon butter 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 cups skim milk 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese ¼ teaspoon white pepper 16 ounces sirloin steak, grilled to desired degree of doneness and thinly sliced
Spiralize zucchini into thin noodles. Place in a colander over a large bowl, sprinkle with salt and set aside.
Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add flour and cook another minute. Gradually add the milk, whisking as the sauce thickens. Reduce heat to lowest setting and add blue cheese and white pepper. Whisk together until cheese has melted.
Place zoodles in a tea towel and gently squeeze over bowl to remove excess water. Place zoodles in skillet with blue cheese sauce and gently combine with the sauce. Cook for about two minutes, until heated through.
To serve, add zoodles with sauce to plates and top with with slices of steak.
There is something about eating a burger with a knife and a fork that makes it seem more classy than something you would order at a burger dive. And who can resist the freshly made bread these turkey burgers sit on. This recipe will elevate your next backyard cookout.
The secret to creating open-faced burgers is topping them with delicious ingredients. And you don’t have to worry about cramming all those ingredients under another slice of bread. Get creative and try piling on your favorite seasonal vegetables, like grilled zucchini and asparagus.
Ingredients: 1 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon butter 2 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced 1 teaspoon sugar 3 tablespoons mayonnaise 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar 1 pound ground turkey ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon ground black pepper 4 slices fresh bread, preferably homemade or from a local bakery 4 slices gouda cheese arugula (or other seasonal vegetables) for topping
In a large skillet, heat olive oil and butter over medium-low heat. Once butter has melted, add onion slices and sprinkle with sugar. Stirring occasionally, let the onions cook about 20 to 25 minutes, until caramelized and golden brown.
In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise and balsamic vinegar and set aside.
Form turkey into patties and season with salt and pepper. Prepare grill to medium-high heat. Grill burgers until they reach 165 degrees with a meat thermometer, which should take about 5 minutes per side. During the last three minutes of cooking, top each burger with a slice of cheese and allow to melt while burgers continue cooking.
Grill bread slices for about a minute per side, until light brown grill marks appear. Spread each slice with balsamic mayonnaise. Top turkey burgers with caramelized onion and arugula.
Stir-fry dishes are great for introducing family and friends to vegetables they may not have tried before, like daikon radishes. This winter root vegetable is frequently used in Asian dishes and when cooked, it gains a sweetness that mellows out its peppery spice. This vegetable pairs well with sweet carrots and oranges in my quick stir fry.
Stir-fry recipes are excellent choices for nights when you want a homemade meal without spending too much time in the kitchen. If you prep the ingredients and cook the rice the night before, this meal can be made in less than 15 minutes. If you are making this meal for one and have leftovers, they are great for breakfast with a fried egg on top.
Ingredients 1 teaspoon sesame oil 2 teaspoons canola oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated 1 (6 ounce) center cut pork chop, cut into bite sized cubes 4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced 2 medium daikon radishes, peeled and sliced 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce 2 medium navel oranges or 3 small mandarin oranges ½ cup unsalted cashews Prepared brown rice
Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over high-heat. Add garlic and ginger and heat for one minute, until fragrant. Add pork and cook for about 4 minutes, constantly stirring with a spatula to evenly brown all sides. Transfer pork to a plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
Add carrots, radishes, celery and soy sauce to the wok or skillet and sauté until tender but slightly crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Peel and separate oranges and slice each section in half, removing any seeds. Add oranges, cashews and pork to the vegetable mixture. Stir to combine and cook for another minute.
Check seasoning and add a splash of extra soy sauce if needed. Serve with brown rice.
Summertime meals should be easy, delicious and fun to make. Nothing says fun like food on a stick, and the aroma of grilled kebabs will make everyone thrilled to eat their veggies. Light on the meat and heavy on the vegetables, my Summer Veggie and Steak Kebabs are a great way to use seasonal produce. Substitute the squash and tomatoes for zucchini and bell peppers or use all to add even more color your plate. Serve with whole grain rolls and a simple salad for a quick and well-rounded meal. Cheers to outdoor cooking and making simple meals with fresh produce.
Kebab Ingredients: 1 pound sirloin steak 2 medium zucchini or summer squash (or one of each) 1 small red onion 1 cup cherry tomatoes
If using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for 30 to 60 minutes before assembling to prevent charring.
In a small bowl, whisk together honey, mustard, olive oil, vinegar, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper.
Cut the steak, squash and onion into bite-size pieces. Thread steak and veggies through skewers and set aside on a large platter or baking sheet. Brush the marinade evenly on the kebabs and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes at room temperature.
Prepare a grill to medium-high heat. Place the kebabs on the grill and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare.