Goat Cheese Spiked Brussels Sprouts – Serves 6+

I’ve got news!  In a week from today I start my journey West.  I recently accepted a position in San Francisco…  Time for a whole new adventure.  I am super excited and nervous but I will channel that energy for something positive.  About five months ago I set out to change my career and well, it finally happened, anything is possible.

Fall weather has me reaching for everything pumpkin when I have a sweet tooth but when I want something savory then I reach for butternut squash or sweet potatoes.  I am over pumpkin at the moment; my savory taste buds have kicked in, hence this recipe was born.

Butternut squash is an excellent way to increase your dietary fiber as well as nourish your body with vitamins A & C.  With the winter months upon us your skin needs these vitamins more than ever (#makeyourskinglow).

Ingredients:

  • 1# Brussels sprouts; quartered with roots removed
  • 1# butternut squash; diced
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 shredded pieces of proscuitto
  • 3 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
  • Drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • To taste: 1 tsp sea salt

Methodology:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a bowl toss the following ingredients well: Brussels, butternut squash, olive oil, black pepper, goat cheese, proscuitto, and sea salt.
  3. On a parchment lined baking sheet spread out the Brussels and butternut squash.
  4. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the vegetables.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Set aside and serve with your favorite entree (or in my case, eat from the baking tray and pass out in a food coma).
  7. Cheers!

 

xxx – Sarah

Triple Bean Turkey Chili – Serves 6

Despite no longer living on the East Coast I’m still cold…  Texas is having quite the cold front this year and only feeds into my desire for hearty dishes.  When in doubt, chili can just warm anyone up, I promise.

This variation to chili is protein dense due to its content of three different beans (kidney, black, and chickpea) as well as lean ground turkey.  The dish is also antioxidant rich due to its ingredients such as peppers. 

Jalapeño peppers can be green or red in color and are a great source of vitamin-c.  These small peppers contain capsaicin aka ‘heat’ which stimulates endorphins/natural stress fighters.  Studies have begun to prove jalapeños may assist with appetite reduction and metabolism of fat.  

Bell peppers are also a great source of vitamin-c and beta carotene.  Bell peppers that are red in color are harvested longer and have the sweetest taste as well as the greatest nutrient content of the other colors (green, yellow, and orange).  Just like jalapeños these peppers are low in calories.

Ingredients:

  • 1.25# lean ground turkey
  • 1 medium yellow onion; diced
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans; strained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas; strained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans; strained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 medium jalapeño; minced
  • 1 large red bell pepper; diced
  • 1 cup beef or chicken broth (I used beef for extra flavor)
  • 2-3 shakes of the following spices: Tumeric, Cumin, Garlic Powder, Paprika, and Curry Powder
  • EVOO as needed for heating the stockpot
  • To Taste/Optional: 2-3 shakes of sea salt or regular salt

Methodology:

  1. In a large stockpot, drizzle EVOO under medium-high heat then add the yellow onions.  Sauté for 5 minutes or until slightly browned.
  2. Add the ground turkey and sauté for 5 minutes.
  3. Shake as needed with the following spices: turmeric, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, and curry powder (I did about 2 shakes of each).  Toss in both types of peppers.  Cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add all three types of beans, cilantro, tomato paste, and beef broth – mix well.  Allow the combination to simmer under medium heat for 20 minutes.
  5. OPTIONAL:  Taste before serving and if needed add salt – absolutely not necessary for myself but some are quite the ‘salt-holics.’
  6. Remove from heat and garnish as needed with cilantro.
  7. Voila!

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DISCLAIMER :: Don’t forget to wash your hands after handling jalapeños – no one needs their eyes to water or for their skin to burn!

 

xxx – Sarah

Twice Baked Squash Bowls with Rosemary Steak – Serves 4

Hellllllooooo December!  Thought I would start off the colder weather with a hearty food post.  I love butternut squash and even more so when it is in spaghetti form!  It’s a great way to fool your kids, spouses, loved ones, and friends into eating something healthy.  

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Spaghetti squash is a starchy vegetable that looks like spaghetti.  Its benefits are immeasurable; loaded with fiber, vitamin-A, vitamin-C, magnesium, and potassium.  Its caloric content for 1 cup plain ranges from 40-60 calories.  Meals are brightened with this addition since when cooked its flesh turns bright yellow or orange.  I often cube the squash or turn it into spaghetti by means of roasting.  A quick way for preparation is utilizing the microwave.  

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 sprigs of rosemary; minced
  • 1 medium-sized yellow spaghetti squash; halved into bowls with the pulpy insides and seeds scooped out
  • 3 tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • 1 pound skirt steak; cubed
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper (or as desired)
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil to douse the steak (along with a drizzle to heat the frying pan)

Methodology:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Top a cooking sheet with parchment paper.  Place the halved spaghetti squash (aka bowls) with its outside shell directly on the paper.  
  3. This step is optional but highly recommended – add a thin slice to the bottom of the squash bowls so they lay flat on the pan when roasting.
  4. Roast the plain squash in the oven for 30 minutes or until tender.
  5. Toss the meat with olive oil, black pepper, and rosemary until all pieces are uniformly covered.
  6. While the squash is roasting, heat up a frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil under medium-high heat and cook the meat until as desired (I prefer rare-medium).
  7. Add the pomegranate seeds to the meat and set aside.
  8. Remove the squash and scoop out half of the insides.  Add the insides from the squash to the meat mixture and mix well.  
  9. Evenly disperse the meat/squash mixture into the bowls and return to the oven for 7-10 minutes.
  10. Remove from heat and cool for a few…
  11. Pop open a bottle of full-bodied red vino and enjoy!

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Disclaimer…  I recently started a membership with Club W which is an interesting way to learn about wine and its recommended food pairings.  It customizes wine recommendations based on a little test that you complete based on your taste preferences.  If you are tight with time this is a great way to get bottles that are fan favorites and well-priced ($16/bottle).  Best part is – its delivered to your doorstep!

 

xxx – Sarah