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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pasta With Roasted Butternut Squash, Black Pepper and Parmesan

Pasta With Roasted Butternut Squash, Black Pepper and Parmesan
1 Pound linguine
2 Cups butternut squash, cubed
3 Cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
Salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper
1/4 Cup Parmesan, plus more for serving

This pasta is ideal for a cold, dreary night, but I wasn't quite expecting it to be 70 degrees today! Still, this is a delicious vegetarian meal for any time regardless of the weather. For the devoted carnivore, add some slices of left-over maple-mustard glazed chicken, or crumbled sweet Italian sausage.

Pre-heat oven to 475 degrees. Toss the squash in olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper on a baking sheet until evenly coated. Roast for about 30 minutes, or until tender and caramelized. In the mean time boil water for your pasta. Cook pasta until al dente and return to pot. Toss in squash, Parmesan, and black pepper and stir until combined. Season with more salt if needed.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Maple-Dijion Glazed Chicken with Spinach and Squash

Maple-Dijon Glazed Chicken with Spinach and Squash
4 Chicken breasts
1 large shallot, minced
3 TBS maple syrup
3 TBS whole grain Dijon mustard
2 TBS red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Baby spinach
2 Cups cubed butternut squash
1 TSP butter
Cinnamon and ground cloves, pinch of each
Salt and pepper

If I need to buy a special ingredient for a particular dish, I like to try to find as many other uses for it as I can. I had bought whole grain Dijon for my steak and a tofu dish last week, so why not use it for chicken? Maple syrup and mustard are a great combination, especially for a fall dinner. The chicken become sticky, sweet and tangy.

Pound each chicken breast, until about 1/2 inch thickness. In a large bowl mix the shallot, syrup, mustard and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside half the mixture and use the rest to marinate the chicken. Boil the squash until fork-tender, then drain. Heat a grill pan over medium high heat and cook chicken about 4 minutes per side, occasionally brushing each piece with the remaining marinade. In the mean time heat a pan with olive oil and cook spinach until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Mash the squash with butter, salt, pepper, Cinnamon, and cloves until almost smooth. Serve and savor!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


The Menu
Bratwurst and cheddarwurst
Red cabbage with apples
German potatoes
Green beans and spaetzel
Apple crisp
Pumpkin pudding

Every month or so, we take a short trip east for a home-cooked meal and drinks with my family. Oktoberfest started as a family tradition quite a few years ago. We throw a lot of themed cocktail parties at our summer home with family, and we had an event for almost every major holiday throughout the summer. But we didn't have anything for the last long weekend of the season, Columbus Day weekend. From there it has slowly evolved from a cocktail party to a full-blown German feast. Though our family is not German at all, Oktoberfest seemed to be the most fitting theme. And for dessert, we had a little Thanksgiving preview with pumpkin pie pudding and apple crisp. While I can't take credit for this meal, I felt it was definitely worth sharing.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Crêpes with Ham, Smoked Gouda and Apples

Crêpes with Ham, Smoked Gouda and Apples
1/4 Pound black forest ham, sliced
1 Small golden delicious apple, sliced thinly
1/3 Cup smoked Gouda, grated
Fresh ground pepper
4 Crêpes made from whole wheat crêpe batter (see recipe from Vegetable Crêpes, or use your own)

This warm and comforting dish is perfect for a chilly night, or for a fall brunch. For an even more decadence, you can use brie instead of Gouda.

Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray and ladle in batter. Flip after 1-2 minutes and layer apples, ham and cheese. Season with fresh ground pepper. When cheese begins to melt, roll the crêpe and remove from pan. Repeat, then eat!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Grilled Steak With Mustard Shallot Sauce

Grilled Steak With Mustard Shallot Sauce
2 Small flank steaks
1 TSP salt
1/2 TSP pepper
4 TBS EVOO, divided
1 TBS Dijon mustard
2 TBS fresh lemon juice
1 Large shallot, minced

Here's a healthy and easy dish from Women's Health that I had to try since I found perfectly sized, lean flank steaks at the supermarket. Sometimes you just need to cook by what ingredients look the freshest. And did I mention that this recipe is easy? Like, really easy! I serve this dish with steamed green beans and a sweet potato mash, but you can also serve the steak on top of greens and use the sauce for dressing for a main course salad.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Season the steaks on both sides with the salt and pepper. and brush with 1 TBS of olive oil. If the cuts are thicker, pound them a bit so they cook quickly. Mince the shallot and combine in a small bowl with 3TBS oil, mustard and lemon juice. Whisk until combined and set aside. When the pan is very hot, put on the steaks. For a 1/2 inch piece of flank steak cook for 2 minutes per side for medium. After letting the meat rest, slice and top with the sauce.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Eggplant Roulades

Eggplant Roulades
2 Large eggplants, sliced lengthwise, 1/2 inch thick
Cooking spray
4 Cloves garlic, minced
1 Package of baby spinach
16 Oz ricotta cheese
5 Basil leaves, torn
Salt and pepper
1 Jar tomato sauce
Parmesan cheese, for serving

Don't get me wrong, I love fried eggplant covered in gooey cheese, but it's one of those dishes that should be classified as an occasional treat. If you craving eggplant parm, here's a healthy (and tasty) alternative to enjoy anytime. If you want to kick this recipe up a notch you can use spicy marinara sauce, or add thin slices of prosciutto for an entertaining-worthy dish.

First, drain the eggplant of any excess water by placing slices in a colander and generously covering in salt. Cover with a dish and a jar to weigh down the slices. Let drain for up to 2 hours. In the meantime, heat olive oil in a pan. Add garlic and spinach, saute until spinach is wilted. Set aside. In a bowl mix the ricotta, basil, salt and pepper until combined. Fold in the cooled spinach. Set aside in the fridge until ready to assemble the roulades.

Pre heat oven to 425 degrees. Quickly rinse off eggplant slices to remove salt and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Spray a hot pan with cooking spray and begin to cook the eggplant in batches for 3-5 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Let cool. Take each eggplant slice and place a heaping tablespoon of the ricotta mixture on one end. Roll the eggplant up and place in a baking dish coated with non-stick spray. Cover the roulades with tomato sauce and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes. If you do feel like splurging, you can top with some mozzarella cheese before baking in the oven! Serve with Italian bread and Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Greek Chicken Pitas

Greek Chicken Pitas
Chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 Cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
3 TBS lemon juice, divided
4 Cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 TSP dried oregano
1/2 TSP salt
1/4 TSP fresh ground pepper

Tzatziki Sauce
1/2 Cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 TBS lemon juice
1 Clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup cucumbers, seeded and diced
1/4 TSP salt

For Serving
Red onion
1/4 Cup chives

Here's an ode to one of my favorite diner dishes, chicken slouvaki. Make this light and refreshing dish on a particularly cold day, and you'll be instantly transported to the Mediterranean. Marinating the chicken in yogurt, not only makes the chicken tangy and juicy, but it also adds a nice crust when broiled. You can also add zucchini and red pepper to the skewers and serve over orzo for a heartier meal.

Cut chicken into chunks and toss in a bowl with yogurt, EVOO, lemon juice, oregano, garlic and season with salt and pepper. Let marinate for 30 minutes.

For the sauce mix the yogurt, garlic, cucumbers in a small bowl. Stir in lemon juice and season with salt. Set aside in the fridge while you prepare the chicken.

Thread chicken pieces on skewers (if using wood, make sure you have soaked them) and place on broiler pan. Broil on high heat for about 7 minutes, turning periodically.

Arrange sliced onions and tomato wedges on pitas. Top with chicken, tzatziki sauce, and chives.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Turkey Chili

Turkey Chili
2 Large onions
8 Cloves Garlic
2 Jalapenos
1 Red bell pepper
1 Green bell pepper
3 TBS vegetable oil
4 Pounds ground turkey
1 Can of chipotle chilies in adobo
1 Cup water
2 28 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes, excess liquid drained
2 Cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 TBS cumin
1 Bay leaf
1 1/2 TSP oregano
1 TSP chili powder
2 TSP salt
1 TBS cornmeal
1 Can pinto beans
1 Can white beans

What I love about fall and chilly weekends is that I can take the time to make warm, cozy meals that will last for the entire week ahead. Chili is a satisfying dinner perfect for the colder months (and for summer too, if you don't mind working up a sweat over the stove), just throw everything in a big pot and let it simmer away. This recipe from Gourmet called for tomatillos, but I'm using tomatoes instead for a red chili. Adding ground turkey, makes it a more diet friendly dinner too. This recipe makes A LOT of chili, so be prepared to eat this all week (or store leftovers in your freezer).

Puree the chipotles in a blender with 1 cup of water. Set aside. Dice the onions, bell peppers, jalapenos and garlic. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, then add the garlic and onions. Let soften for a few minutes, stir in the cumin and let cook for 30 seconds more. Add the ground turkey, breaking apart the meat with a wooden spoon until no longer pink. Add the chipotle puree, chicken broth and tomatoes. Stir in oregano, chili powder and salt. Let simmer for an hour, adding more water or broth if chili gets too thick. Add the peppers, cornmeal and beans, then let cook for 30 minutes more.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped red onions or cilantro. And of course, don't forget the corn bread!

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About Me

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The Hungry Yuppies, Annie and Rich, are a young couple from CT who are self-proclaimed foodies. Annie is the chef, and Rich is her willing taste tester. Juggling a full time job in the city wasn't going to get in the way of Annie's love for cooking. It's about eating well whether you have just 30 minutes on a Monday night, or all day on a rainy Sunday.