Friday, August 31, 2012

Butternut Squash Quiche

This flavorful quiche makes a light entrée and a great Thanksgiving side dish. We like lots of curry, so we use these amounts as a starting point. Your tastes may vary.

1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups chopped spinach leaves or kale
4 wedges The Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss cheese, room temperature
16 oz butternut squash, roasted and mashed
2 large sweet potatos, baked and mashed
1 1/4 cups fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
1/2 tsp. each salt and black pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp curry powder

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9" pie pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
  • Bring a large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat on the stove.
  • Add onion and garlic and, stirring occasionally, cook until softened and slightly browned, about 6 minutes.
  • Add spinach and cook until wilted and excess moisture has evaporated, about 2 more minutes.
  • Transfer onion-spinach mixture to the large bowl.
  • Add cheese wedges, breaking them into pieces as you add them.
  • Mix thoroughly, until cheese has melted and is evenly distributed.
  • Add all remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix well.
  • Evenly transfer mixture to the pie pan.
  • Bake in the oven until firm and lightly browned on top, about 1 hour.
  • Allow to slightly cool. Cut into 6 slices and enjoy!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

What’s the Weirdest Thing you Ate in China?

This is the question that I’m asked most often when people hear that I’ve spent 7 weeks in Shanghai (so far) this year. By years’ end, I will have logged 10 weeks in China and nearly 100k air miles aboard United.

And the weirdest thing I’ve eaten? It’s the Jellyfish from Chinese New Year’s dinner. Think of fish flavored salty fruit leather, and you’ll know exactly what it tastes like. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Spicy Chick Peas and Cauliflower

This is a flexible dish that can be made with a wide variety of vegetables, depending on what you have in your refrigerator.

1 head cauliflower, chopped
2 cans chick peas, NOT drained
1 red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large hunk of ginger root, minced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 pound butternut squash, chopped
1 large sweet potato, baked and mashed
1/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 tablespoon cardamom pods
Sea salt
2 tablespoons Olive oil

  • Bake the sweet potato in the microwave. When done, remove skin and mash potato with a fork. Set aside. 
  • Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan, add the onions and sauté until onions begin to be translucent. 
  • Add the garlic and ginger. 
  • Add the salt, cumin, garam masala, coriander and mustard seeds. Cook till the mustard seeds pop. 
  • Add the chick peas, cardamom pods, butternut squash, sweet potato and cauliflower. 
  • Mix well. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are cooked. 
  • Add cilantro and stir. Taste and adjust spices as needed.
  • We like our spices strong. Your tastes may differ.

Alternative Preparations
  • You can slow cook this dish, transferring all ingredients from the pan to the crockpot at the same step when you add the chick peas. 
  • You can add or subtract vegetables in accordance to what is in your fridge. I’ve experimented with: 
  • Chopped or shredded carrots 
  • Chopped kale 
  • Chopped spinach 
  • Baby potatos 
  • Chopped eggplant 
  • Red peppers 
Serve with warm whole wheat naan.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"All good recipes start with 'saute an onion'"

Actually, in my house, all good recipes started with a kitchen remodel. After only 14 years of living in our 1973 kitchen with the homemade cupboards and the vintage electric stove, we took the plunge.

Once we did, the world of food took on a whole new attraction. Funny what having the right tools for the job will inspire. 

 Welcome to my kitchen.