Cheezy Spaghetti Squash with Broccoli & Garlic

squash

I happen to love spaghetti squash.  I think it’s a fantastic way to get your veggies into your day.  That being said, I have found that A LOT of people don’t particularly care for it.  Maybe it’s a texture thing?  Maybe their brain says “Nope, not spaghetti.  Nope.”  I understand that.  It’s cool.  BUT, I’m still determined to find a recipe that even non-squashers will like….well, try.

I saw THIS video on the ol’ Facebook yesterday and thought it sounded actually pretty great. A perfect combination of carb, fat, protein, and flavor.  Here is what you need to know:

Cheezy Spaghetti Squash with Broccoli & Garlic
Makes 2 servings (I’d say closer to 3)

INGREDIENTS
1 small spaghetti squash
2 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
S&P
4 cloves garlic (minced, I like to use the Pampered Chef garlic press.  I do not work for Pampered Chef….I just think this product is amazing!)
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 Cu broccoli florets
1/2 Cu vegetable stock
1 Cu Cannellini beans, rinsed, drained, & roughly mashed with a fork (I chose to omit this and sub with some leftover steak from the night before, cubed)
1/3 Cu nutritional yeast

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat the oven to 400°F
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
Cut about an inch off of the top and the bottom of the spaghetti squash and discard.
Cut the squash crosswise into rings about 1-inch thick, run a knife (or spoon) around the inside of the rings to get the seeds out.
Drizzle 1 Tbsp olive oil over the baking sheet, then spread the squash rings over it
Coat each side evenly, then season both sides with s&p.
Roast in the preheated oven until squash is tender (about 30 minutes)
Once cooked, remove from oven and set aside (Spaghetti squash is MUCH easier to handle if it has 10 minutes or so to cool)

Meanwhile….
Heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the garlic and red pepper (if using), season with s&p
Cook, stirring just until the garlic is fragrant (only about 1 minute)
Add broccoli and vegetable stock, turn heat down to low
Season with a little more s&p, cook until the broccoli is bright green & al dente and vegetable stock has reduced to about half
Add the nutritional yeast and stir everything together to make a sauce
If sauce is super thick and clumpy, add more stock (1 Tbsp at a time) until it’s thick and a little runny
Add the cooked squash and toss everything together.
Serve immediately
Get ready for a tastebud party

My Thoughts
First of all, I have never cooked spaghetti squash this way before.  I typically just cut the squash in half and let it cook.  I found that I really like roasting it this way.  It cooks a little more evenly. I’ll definitely use this method again.  As I watched the video tutorial, I copied down the recipe. Turns out, the recipe calls for red pepper flakes. I used red pepper powder.  Lets just say that the powder gives the dish a very powerful peppery punch that totally (in my opinion) makes the dish.   As I mentioned earlier, I left out the beans.  I typically avoid beans for the most part.  Sometimes my body just doesn’t do well with them.  Steak was a great sub.  Chicken would also work. Bacon… Really, any meat, I suppose would do. Or no meat.  Whatever tickles your fancy.

Have you guys tried nutritional yeast?  I know…I know, it sounds nasty icky gross.  BUT it’s actually not gross, and it’s packed with so much crazy goodness.  Basically it’s a deactivated yeast and looks like yellow flakes, kind of like fish food. It has a handful of vitamins and minerals, including some of the B vitamins, protein, and iron.  It’s actually used fairly regularly by  vegans and vegetarians for a little added nutrition. It has kind of a cheesy or nutty flavor.  I use it all the time when I cook, especially when cooking veggies.  It gives the dish just a little more flavor. I recommend trying it.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the cheesy fish flakes.

Overall, this dish is definitely a win.  With hints of cheese and spice, the steak and broccoli compliment each other quite well.  There is so much flavor going on that even the biggest critic will be ok trying it.  This has officially been added to my list of favorites.  It also reheats very well, which is a HUGE plus in my book.  Leftovers on leftovers.  Try it out, change it up, let me know what you think!

-TPP

Original recipe HERE

Balsamic Glazed Steak Rolls

 

 

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I have really been slacking lately with posting recipes.  I have been pretty culinarily (is that a word?) lazy.  I have a few recipes that I make over and over again AND I have been grilling the crap out of everything.  That being said, when my medic partner posted this recipe to my Facebook wall and said “Tuesday’s supper?”, I was all over it.  It’s nice to work with people who get me.  I was pretty excited about this one.  1. A new recipe.  2. A Paleo recipe.  3. You use the grill.  4. A perfect combination of protein and vegetables.  Yes, yes, yes, and yes.  So here we go.

Ingredients

For the steak:

8 thin slices sirloin or flank steak (length and width according to personal preference)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh rosemary, chopped
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 medium zucchini, sliced into thin strips
1 medium yellow onion, halved and then thinly sliced
A few white button or cremini mushrooms, cut into thin strips

For the Rosemary Balsamic Glaze:

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup dark balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons dry red wine
2 teaspoons coconut sugar
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/4 cup Progresso beef broth

Instructions

1. Rub each side of the steak slices with a little extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, freshly ground black pepper and some chopped fresh rosemary.

2. Heat one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook the vegetables until crisp-tender, seasoning with salt and pepper. 

3. Place a few of the vegetable strips vertically on one end of each steak cutlet so that once rolled up the end of the vegetables are sticking out of each end of the steak roll. Roll it up, and secure it with a toothpick (or 4). Repeat for each steak roll.

4. For the rosemary balsamic glaze: Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for one minute, until fragrant. Add the balsamic vinegar, red wine, coconut sugar, and the rosemary sprigs.  Bring to a rapid boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Add the broth, return to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for another 15 minutes. Discard the rosemary sprigs.

5. Prepare the grill.  Grill on each side for about 2 minutes or according to desired doneness. Do the same if cooking them in a skillet, frying over medium-high heat until done. Serve immediately drizzled with the rosemary balsamic glaze.

As I mentioned earlier, my medic partner and I made this at work.  This recipe is really easy to prepare.  You can also prepare it well in advance.  Great for people with busy lives.  Prepare it, roll it, chill it, then grill it later.I cooked my steak to a perfect rare/medium rare.  With a normal steak, you are able to cook both sides.  With this recipe, you can’t cook the inside of the roll.  My advice is to grill on a low heat for a while, then at the very end, turn up the heat for just a little crispness.  Make sure you keep a close eye on it.  These steak rolls could easily become just a little too crispy.

This dish is ridiculous!  You have the grilled steak.  You have the veggies.  And THEN there’s the balsamic glaze.  ALL.THE.FLAVORS.  The glaze is the icing on the cake.  The original recipe calls for brown sugar.  To make it Paleo, we opted to use coconut sugar instead.  On a sidenote, I’d be curious how real maple syrup  or molasses would be instead of the coconut sugar.  The rosemary, garlic, sugar combo makes your tastebuds super happy.  I was curious how the rosemary and sugar would be together.  Amazing, turns out.  I’m slowly learning about flavor layering.  To complete the meal, we grilled some asparagus on some tin foil with garlic, Kerrygold butter, and s&p.  The asparagus is also pretty tasty with the balsamic glaze on it.

Per Murphy’s Law, we were expecting to be bombarded with ambulance calls before, after, and during the making of this.  Luckily, we were able to prep the food, grill the food, and actually eat 3/4 of the food before the tones dropping.  I consider that a success.

Have I mentioned how much I love food? And people think that Paleo means only eating berries and seeds…  Now, go make this.  Sure to be a crowd pleaser.

**Disclaimer….there probably won’t be leftovers**

Happy eating!

Original recipe HERE20140527_175301

 

Seared Tuna Steak with Citrusy Salsa

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I have a fun new game that I like to play whenever I go to the grocery store.  I walk around for a good while until I find something that I haven’t made in a while.  This week, it was tuna steak.  Actually, I don’t recall ever eating tuna steak.  I’m also trying to eat more seafood…about once per week.  So here I am with 3 tuna steaks.  I was planning on just grilling them with a little salt, pepper, and dill, but ultimately decided to go to the ol’ Google machine and see how other people seasoned their tuna steaks.  Lo and behold, I found this winning recipe.  What really drew me to it was the interesting combination of spices that you use to season the fish.  I’m all about strange food combos.  So, here we go!

Ingredients
Homemade Chardonnay salt
2 Tbsp kosher salt
Pinch ground allspice
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Sest of ½ orange
Leaves from 1 sprig fresh tarragon

Citrusy Salsa
2 oranges
½ red onion or 2 shallots, finely diced
Leaves from 6 sprigs fresh tarragon, chopped
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of kosher salt

Instructions
1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix with your fingers, gently bruising the tarragon leaves to release their aromatic oils.
2. Cover and let sit for at least 20 minutes; use within a few hours.
3. In the meantime, make the citrus salsa
4. Peel the oranges and cut them into segments; cut each segment into thirds and combine these with the onion, tarragon, and olive oil in a small bowl. Season with the salt and toss well.
5. Set salsa aside.
6. Fire up the grill, concentrating the coals (or heat) beneath the spot where the steaks will go so as to maximize the heat. If it’s rainy or you’re not quite ready to break out the grill yet, crank up the heat under a grill pan.
7. Lightly oil and season the steaks to taste (I recommend being a little conservative with the seasoning.  If you over-season, the tuna steaks can get quite salty).
8. When the grill or grill pan is very hot, throw on the steaks. Now keep your mitts off until the sear is complete. This takes 1 to 2 minutes on each side for a nicely cooked steak. When the time comes to flip, you’ll know the sear is done if the tuna moves easily and does not stick to the grates or pan.
9. Cook the other side for another 1 to 2 minutes
10. Slice the tuna steaks across the grain. Spoon the salsa over the steaks, and pour a glass of chardonnay to go with the wine salt.

That’s it!  It may seem like there are a lot of steps, but really, it’s not too terribly complicated.

After mixing together the spices, I was still skeptical because of how it smelled sweet…kind of like Christmas…but really, I was blown away.  The citrus from the orange and the cinnamon…crazy good.  As I mentioned earlier, I don’t ever recall having tuna steaks before.  I was pretty happy with how they turned out.  They were cooked to perfection, and the flavor was subtly….not overwhelming at all.  The citrus salsa compliments the tuna really well.  Pretty much a must.  I grilled some asparagus with butter and some orange zest to keep with the citrus them.  Lastly, I completed the meal with a recommended glass of chardonnay.  I think this was one of the best meals that I have made in a REALLY long time.  Seriously BLOWN.AWAY.  If you’re looking for a meal to impress, this might just be that meal.  Give it a try.  Super easy, but looks ridiculously fancy and stuff.  Definitely a win.

Happy eating!

-Lindsay

Recipe HERE

Puttin On the Foil

Yes, that is a Slapshot reference.  Ice hockey and grilling.  Both are near and dear to my heart.  Speaking of grilling, I have been a grillin’ fool lately.  I have tried to get creative with my foil packet grilling.  I thought I could just compile a list of a few of my more recent favorites.

Pork
Pork chops, butter, garlic, s&p

Chicken
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I cut up a few chicken breasts, then added garlic, s&p, Italian seasoning

Seafood
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Tilapia, lemon (or lime) slices, butter, dill, s&p

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sea scallops, butter, s&p

Vegetables
Brussels sprouts: sprouts, garlic, onion, s&p
Sweet potatoes 1: sweet potatoes (sliced), butter, real maple syrup
Sweet potatoes 2: sweet potatoes (chopped), onion, garlic, butter, s&p.  You can also add veggies like asparagus, carrots, and mushrooms.

These are just a couple of examples of my most recent foil packets.  Typically I double foil wrap each packet, otherwise it will leak.  right now, I’m definitely into grilling new things.  Next on the list: beets, butternut squash, and cauliflower.  I figure, if you can roast it, you can grill it.  I also want to try putting beef stew meat into a packet as well.  The possibilities are endless!

Happy Grilling!

-Lindsay

Roasted Butternut Squash

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So, I’ve had this butternut squash just hanging out on the counter for awhile.  I’ve really only made soup with butternut squash, so I was on the lookout for a new delicious recipe.  Then it hit me….roast it.  Duh.  Here is a crazy easy recipe for roasted butternut squash.

Ingredients
1 butternut squash – peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and ground black pepper to taste

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2.
Toss butternut squash with olive oil and garlic in a large bowl. Season with salt and black pepper. Arrange coated squash on a baking sheet.
3.
Roast in the preheated oven until squash is tender and lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes.

See how easy this is? Peel, chop, drizzle, cook, eat.

I was really happy with the way this turned out.  Definitely a fun side.  The squash was perfectly cooked.  I think that butternut squash has a hint of sweetness.  That sweet paired with the garlic and s&p is a winning combination.  Flavorful but not overwhelming.  I pan seared some chicken, butter, and Italian seasonings to have with the squash.  Quick and easy for those rushed evenings.

Try it out!

Happy eating!

Recipe HERE.