Unlike many stuffed winter squash recipes, this one is more savory than sweet thanks to the spicy sausage and fresh sage. The combination of sausage, meaty Portobello mushrooms, sweet apples and crunchy walnuts rounds out the flavor of this satisfying main course. Variations: For less heat, use ½ pound spicy and ½ pound mild Italian sausage. If you prefer a sweeter dish, simply add more brown sugar prior to baking.
2 butternut squash, cut in half, seeds and pulp removed
2 T. olive oil
1 lb. spicy Italian pork sausage
3-4 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and finely minced
½ red onion, chopped
1 ½ cup baby Portobello mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 T. fresh sage leaves, julienned
2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into small chunks
2 t. ground cinnamon
4 oz. chopped walnuts
3 T. cold butter, cut into small chunks
2 T. brown sugar (optional)
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray two 13 x 9” glass baking dishes with non-stick cooking spray. Place butternut squash halves in glass dishes, cut side up. Brush exposed edges lightly with olive oil.
Place both dishes in oven on middle rack at 375 degrees. Bake until soft enough to scoop out interior with a spoon, approximately 45 – 50 minutes. (Actual baking time will vary depending on individual oven temperature, size of squash and how ripe it is).
While the squash are baking, add sausage to a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat. While the sausage is cooking, break it into small pieces with a spatula or wooden spoon.
After sausage is mostly browned, add garlic, red onion and chopped mushrooms to the skillet and cook over medium heat for several minutes until the mushrooms are soft, stirring occasionally.
Add fresh sage, chopped apples, and cinnamon to pan. Continue cooking over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until apples become soft, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and if necessary, drain excess liquid from skillet. Stir in chopped walnuts and season mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
When ready, remove squash from oven and allow to cool slightly. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Remove squash one at a time from hot glass baking dish and place on a cutting board. With a sharp knife, trace a ½” inch border around the perimeter of each squash. Scoop out all of the squash inside the border and reserve the cooked flesh in a large bowl. Be careful not to puncture the exterior of the squash skin during this process.
When finished, return each empty squash shell to the baking dish.
Cut the cooked squash into bite-sized chunks and add to sausage mixture. Gently fold mixture together until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Spoon sausage mixture into empty squash cavities and top each with chunks of butter, brown sugar (if desired) and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Place in 350-degree oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until filling is nicely browned. Remove from oven and top with additional Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley, if desired. Serve immediately while hot.
Chop Cauliflower and add to a boiling pot of hot water and boil for 10- 12 minutes.
Drain cauliflower well. ( while draining in colander.. I push out any excess water out with paper towels.)
Meanwhile in a bowl combine the cream cheese, light cream, salt, garlic and Parmesan cheese and using hand mixer mix until blended... add cooked cauliflower and mash together with mixture. I then use hand mixed to mix ..leaving some small chunks and place into greased baking dish, top with cheese sprinkle with paprika and bake for 30 minutes or until cheese starts to lightly brown.
This easy, yet elegant, side dish can elevate a basic weeknight meal into something truly extraordinary. This eye-catching creation features rich, beautiful jewel tones that add a vibrant pop of color, along with plenty of great flavor.
3 large red beets, cleaned, peeled, and cut into uniformly thick slices
1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, ends removed and cut in half
3 T. oil, divided(I use grapeseed oil)
1 T. garlic powder, divided(I use Garlic galore)
1 red onion, outer skin removed and cut into uniformly thick slices and then quartered
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 T. pink Himalayan sea salt
1 t. fresh cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Add sliced red beets and Brussels sprouts and toss with 2 tablespoons oil and 2 teaspoons garlic powder.
Arrange beets and Brussels sprouts on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper in a single layer. Add red onion quarters and brush with remaining oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
Add fresh thyme sprigs to baking sheet. Sprinkle vegetables with pink Himalayan sea salt, and fresh-cracked black pepper. Bake in pre-heated oven for 25 minutes or until Brussels sprouts are golden brown and other vegetables are tender.
Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving.
This simple, yet delicious, side dish comes together quickly so it is perfect for mid-week meals. When lightly tossed with sesame oil, it pairs perfectly with Asian-inspired dishes like this Seared Sesame Tuna with Mixed Greens.
2 heads fresh broccoli, washed and florets removed (stalks and stems reserved for another use)
2 12 oz. bags of frozen broccoli florets
2 T. water
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
2 T. olive oil, divided
1 t. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
2 T. unsalted butter, divided
2 T. sesame oil
salt and pepper, to taste
Place fresh or frozen broccoli florets in a microwave-safe bowl with 2 tablespoons water. Microwave on high until crisp-tender. Cooking time will vary depending on individual microwaves, so test after 2 minutes and adjust cooking time accordingly. Do not overcook. Florets should be firm when finished.
Add one half of the chopped garlic to cold skillet with one tablespoon olive oil. Set heat to medium and add ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (if desired) and one tablespoon of butter.
Cook garlic over medium heat for approximately 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Increase heat to medium-high and add ½ broccoli florets to pan. Stir broccoli constantly while searing the florets.
Once blackened, remove the broccoli from the skillet and place in a large glass bowl. Cover and keep warm.
Repeat process with remaining garlic, olive oil, red pepper, butter and broccoli.
When second batch of broccoli is finished, add it to the bowl with the original batch. Drizzle with sesame oil and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.
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Grilling is a great way to enhance the natural sweetness of summer garden vegetable. For best results, cut all vegetables to a uniform thickness and angle your cuts to ensure the largest surface area possible.
3 small yellow squash, washed and halved
3 small zucchini, washed and halved.
3 red bell pepper, core removed and cut into equal-sized flat pieces
1 medium red onion, tough outer layer removed and cut into ½“ half round sections
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. black Hawaiian salt
For the Herb Butter:
4 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 t. fresh thyme leaves, stems removed
Pinch of salt, or prepare on Himalayan salt block.
For herb butter, combine butter, thyme and salt into a small bowl or on a Himalayan salt block, if you have one. (Do not add additional salt if you use this method). Combine thoroughly with a fork (bowl method) or a large knife blade (salt block). When finished, transfer to a serving container.
Prepare grill by brushing grates with a wire brush. Set heat to medium. When ready, temperature should be between 350-450 degrees.
Brush both sides of each vegetable section with extra virgin olive oil and place on grill. Cook on medium, direct heat until vegetables are crisp tender. For zucchini and yellow squash, this should take about 5 minutes. Onion and bell pepper will take approximately 10-12 minutes, maybe slightly longer. Turn once while cooking.
Remove from heat and serve immediately with grilled bone-in pork chops. Add a pat of herb butter to the vegetables and pork chop for an extra bit of flavor and a nice presentation.
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