My Take On…

22 11 2011

Steph’s take on…

Jessica’s Whole Wheat Autumn Apple Pie.

(Photo credits to Steph and Jessica)

Now that’s a mouthful!

If you haven’t noticed, I have a serious obsession with the recipes that come out of Jessica’s How Sweet Blog.

Not only does she make scrumptious looking desserts that make me want to lick my computer screen, but she also creates some mean savory dishes too.

I found Steph’s interpretation of Jessica’s pizza and decided to give it a whirl.

Though my pictures may not be as pretty, this sure tasted DEE-licious.

Nothin says fall like butternut squash!

So my friends, I give you Steph’s 321delish-ious Autumn Butternut Squash Pizza.

Here’s what you’ll need.


1 package whole wheat pizza dough
2 teaspoons olive oil
1-2 red shallots, thinly sliced
2 apple chicken sausages, sliced
1/2 butternut squash, cut into 1/2″ to 1″ cubes
1 gala apple, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup shredded smoked cheddar
1/3 to 1/2 cup gorgonzola crumbles (your preference)
10-12 fresh sage leaves
dash of teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon garlic salt
salt and pepper to taste

How to:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with pizza stone inside. While the oven is preheating, saute your veggies. In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the onions and sausage, cooking until onions are translucent and sausage are slightly browned. Set aside.

Turn down the heat to medium, add some more oil to the pan, and toss in the butternut squash. Cover, and cook for 1-2 minutes, then, turn the heat up a little and saute the squash so they are slightly browned. You want the squash to be slightly cooked, especially if they are larger chunks.

Roll out your dough into the shape of your choice.

Take out the pizza stone, and carefully put the dough on the stone. Make sure you have some cornmeal down, or the dough will stick to the stone! (Anyone know if this is actually the right way to use a stone?)

Drizzle about a teaspoon of oil on top of dough. Sprinkle dough with some of the cheddar and gorgonzola. Top cheese with half of the sliced apples, then top that with the onions,  sausage, and squash. Layer on the rest of the apples, the sage leaves, and then cover with the remainder of the cheese. Sprinkle pizza with nutmeg, garlic salt, salt, and pepper.

Bake pizza for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crust is browned. Let cool a little before cutting. Enjoy!

Holy yum.

Fake Spaghetti

27 09 2011

Chloe shared her thoughts on meal planning yesterday, so I thought I’d piggyback on her post 🙂

I used to plan my meals for the week on Saturday or Sunday using one of the templates on this website. Then I’d go grocery shopping on the absolute worst day to go: Sunday. Everything was picked over, and I often left the store without checking everything off my list. But since joining a CSA, my meal planning has shifted a little.

Every week, I anxiously await a Tuesday email telling me what I can expect in my box-o-goodies the next day. I generally start formulating my meals in my head the minute I get that email, jotting down notes on a scrap of paper, and then I pick up whatever else I need on Tuesday or Wednesday after I’ve got my share of veggies. The stores are fully restocked by then which makes for a happy Steph 🙂

Last week however, I didn’t really do my regular planning because I had meals scheduled with some friends later in the week. By the time the weekend rolled around, I had a bunch of veggies that I needed to eat, and no real plan. But after catching up on some blogs, I was inspired by Gretchen’s pasta dish and decided to make my own version, using spaghetti squash as a stand-in for the pasta.

I had a huge spaghetti squash and two pints of mushrooms, cremini and shitake. I also had a bag of onions to use up as well. So, on Sunday at halftime (don’t want to talk about the game!) I ran to the grocery store for some red peppers, parmesean cheese and light cream. I had a “pasta” dish to make!

Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Red Peppers and Mushroom Cream Sauce


2 red peppers
vegetable oil, for brushing
3-5 garlic cloves, minced (I split this between the sauce and the squash)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pint mushrooms (I used 1/2 cremini, and 1/2 shitake) sliced
half pint light cream (or heavy, or milk, your choice!)
1 tablespoon parmesean cheese
Salt and pepper
olive oil
1 spaghetti squash

How to:

First, roast your peppers. Wash and de-seed them, and then cut them in half.

Brush them in vegetable oil, and place on a foil-lined pan under the broiler until they are blackened.

Take them out, put in a plastic bag, and let them sit for 10-15 minutes. After they’ve cooled, take the peppers out of the bag, and peel off the skin. Voila! Roasted peppers! Cut into strips and set aside.

While they are roasting, prep your squash. Cook according to Emily’s tutorial when the peppers are done roasting.

While the squash is cooking, prepare the sauce. In a pan, saute the onions in some olive oil on medium low, until soft and slightly brown. Add the garlic, and saute until fragrant. Add the mushrooms, and allow them to cook thoroughly. When all the veggies are cooked thoroughly, add the cream. Bring to a boil, and then immediately turn the heat down and allow to simmer and thicken. Stir in the cheese.

yummy cream sauce!!!

When the squash and sauce are done, you’re all set! To serve, top the squash with some pepper strips and sauce. Stir to combine. Enjoy!!

Question of the day: Have you ever cooked with spaghetti squash? What did you make?

‘Tis the Season

23 09 2011

It’s FRIDAY!!! Did you catch Chloe’s exciting news? I’m SO happy for her and Chris! They are an amazing couple and I think things are only going to keep getting better for them!

Anywho…Is it “officially” fall now? The blogosphere has been going gaga over all things pumpkin since the beginning of this month. I actually haven’t had much pumpkin yet; I’ve been too busy figuring out what to do with all the other kinds of squash I’ve been getting in my CSA box (besides staging them for photos).

The one on the left is a Delicata squash, which this site says is a “novelty squash,” whatever that means…

Right next to it is a Thelma Sanders squash, which I thought was really cute! I think mine is prettier than the ones in the google image search I did! But maybe I’m biased 😉

Hiding in the back is a squash I’m quite familiar with, the butternut squash.

I didn’t really know what to do with these squash except to roast them, so that’s what I did with the Delicata and the Thema Sanders. Unfortunately, I didn’t really like the flavor of either of them, and they were a bit mushy 😦

I knew I could do something more exciting than roasting with the butternut squash, so I searched in some of my magazines. In a recent issue of Cooking Light, the cover story was “Favorites Made Healthy” paired with a picture of baked mac n cheese. I was skeptical that they’d be able to lighten it up AND make it taste good, so I wanted to try it out. The secret ingredient? Butternut squash.

So, I got to cooking, and after a bit of prep and 25 minutes in the oven, out came a full pan of golden baked mac n cheese. I couldn’t wait to dig in! The verdict? It was REALLY good. I guess it was lighter becuase there’s no flour roux, and I think the squash takes the place of some cheese. It wasn’t as ooey gooey cheesy as some mac n cheese I’ve had, but I would definitely classify this as comfort food. I will be making this again, and you should too!

Stop by the market this weekend, grab yourself a squash, and get to cookin!

Mac N Cheese

adapted from Cooking Light


1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 1/4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
2 large garlic cloves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fat-free Greek yogurt
1 1/4 cups shredded Gruyère cheese
1 1/4 cup grated Romano & Parmigiano cheese blend (divided)
1 pound uncooked short cut pasta; I used whole wheat elbows
Cooking spray
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

How to:

1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Combine squash, broth, milk, and garlic in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Place the hot squash mixture in a blender. Add salt, pepper, and Greek yogurt. Remove the center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Place blended squash mixture in a bowl; stir in cheeses (all but 2 tablespoons of the Romano blend). Stir until combined.
4. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well. Add pasta to squash mixture, and stir until combined. Spread mixture evenly into a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.
5. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add panko, and cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Sprinkle evenly over the hot pasta mixture. Lightly coat topping with cooking spray.

6. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately.

On an unrelated note,  could you help a gal out? Since I didn’t get to do a full tri in Atlantic City, I have found an opportunity to do an Olympic tri next weekend at home in Jersey! If I’m one of the first 5 people to get “likes” on my comment on the CityTri Facebook page, I win a free entry to the tri on October 2nd! Pretty please? Like my comment here!


Question of the day: What do you make with squash?