Monthly Archives: February 2013

Quinoa with Moroccan Winter Squash and Carrot Stew

Full of color and full of flavor!!  I seriously loved this dish.  This recipe is taken from “The Epicurious Cookbook, More than 250 of our Best-loved Four-fork Recipes” by Tanya Steele and the editors of Epicurious.  The ingredient list looks long, but it’s super easy to make.  I premixed all my spices before I started. 

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pinch of saffron
1 cup water
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 cups 1-inch cubes peeled butternut squash (from 1.5 pound squash)
2 cups 3/4-inch cubes peeled carrots

1 cup quinoa
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped peeled carrot
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 cups water
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint, divided

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion; sauté until soft, stirring often about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic; stir 1 minute.  Mix in the paprika and the next 8 ingredients.  Add 1 cup water, tomatoes, and lemon juice.  Bring to boil.  Add the squash and carrots.  Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

1. Rinse quinoa; drain.  Melt the butter with oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and carrot.  Cover, cook until vegetables begin to brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic, salt, and turmeric; sauté 1 minute.  Add the quinoa; stir 1 minute.  Add 2 cups water.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low.  Cover; simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.
2. Rewarm the stew.  Stir in half of the cilantro and half of the mint.  Spoon the quinoa onto a platter, forming a well in center.  Spoon the stew into the well.  Sprinkle with the remaining herbs. 

Marinated Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli

This is a great cold salad! I had salmon tonight with this amazing salad as a side. This recipe is taken from “The New Moosewood Cookbook” by Mollie Katzen.  Instead of the walnut oil, I used olive oil and I used the red wine vinegar instead of the raspberry vinegar. When I make this again I will try adding the toasted chopped pecans to sprinkle on top.  Easy to make and super good!

Yield: about 6 servings
15 to 20 minutes to prepare
at least 2 hours to marinade

3 medium-sized sweet potatoes or yams (1 1/2 to 2 lbs)

1/2 cup walnut oil (if unavailable, use olive oil)
1 large clove garlic, minced
3 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs raspberry vinegar (if unavailable, use red wine vinegar)
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. dry mustard
1 Tbs. honey
freshly ground black pepper

1 large bunch broccoli (1 to 1 1/2 lbs), cut into small pieces

Thin slices of green apple
Chopped, toasted pecans

1. Peel the sweet potatoes, cut them in halves or quarters, then into thin slices.  Put them up to cook, either on or over boiling water (in a steamer).  Meanwhile, prepare the marinade.
2. Combine the marinade ingredients in a medium-large bowl.  As soon as the sweet potato slices are tender, add them, still hot, to the marinade.  Mix gently.
3. Steam the broccoli until bright green and just tender.  Rinse under cold running water and drain completely.  Lay the broccoli spears carefully on top of the salad.  Cover tightly and marinate for several hours.
4. Within 15 minutes of serving, mix in the broccoli from on top.  Serve garnished with thin slices of green apple and chopped, toasted pecans. 

Brown Butter M&M Cookies

I found this recipe on a blog called “Dinners Dishes & Desserts”.
I have never made cookies with brown butter before, and I have to say that these are fantastic!  I added Valentine Smarties to mine since it’s almost Valentine’s Day, and I am making cookies to give away to friends. I love the combination of the hard shelled candies with the chocolate chips. I also omitted the salt since I used salted butter.

1 cup brown butter (recipe below)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 (12 oz) package semi-sweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
3/4 cup M&M’s

1. Prepare brown butter and allow to cool.
2. Preheat oven to 350 F.
3. Mix brown butter, sugar and brown sugar together until well combined.
4. Add vanilla and 2 eggs.  Mix until everything is incorporated.
5. Stir in flour, salt, and baking soda.
6. Fold in chocolate chips.
7. Scoop golf ball size balls of dough onto a baking sheet.  Top with a few M&M’s.
8. Bake for 10 minutes.
9. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Brown Butter:

Unsalted butter, sliced into tablespoon sized slices

1. Heat a thick-bottomed skillet on medium heat.  Add the sliced butter (sliced so that the butter melts more evenly) whisking frequently.  Continue to cook the butter.
2. Once melted the butter will foam up a bit, then subside.  Watch carefully as lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan.  Smell the butter; it should have a nutty aroma.  Remove from heat and place on a cool surface to help stop the butter from cooking further and perhaps burning. 

It’s pretty easy to overcook browned butter and go from brown to burnt.  If the butter starts to blacken, the blogger suggests dumping it and starting over.

Bang Bang Chicken

This recipe is outstanding!  Great for a dinner or an appetizer.  I found the link to this recipe on Twitter.  ( )  I used the 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce in the dipping sauce.

For Chicken:
4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into small pieces
1 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp hot sauce
1 egg
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
Panko breadcrumbs
oil for frying

For Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce (Jo Cooks used Frank’s)
1 tbsp Frank’s hot sauce
2 tbsp honey

1. In a medium bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.  To the bowl add the hot sauce, egg, and buttermilk, and whisk until you have a smooth batter.  Add the chicken pieces to the bowl, toss to make sure each piece is coated in the batter and set aside.
2. In another bowl add about a cup of Panko breadcrumbs
3. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together and refrigerate until ready for serving.
4. Heat the oil in a large skillet.
5. Coat each piece of chicken with breadcrumbs, add more breadcrumbs if needed, and fry on both sides for 3 to 5 minutes until chicken is cooked through.  Place on paper napkins to soak up some of the oil.  Repeat with all the chicken pieces.  Only add a few pieces of chicken to the skillet at a time, so the chicken turns out crispy.
6. Drizzle chicken with sauce and serve. 

Turkey Pesto Meatballs

I took this amazing recipe from @theKitchn on Twitter.  I did not make the homemade tomato sauce on the recipe since I make big batches of my own marinara sauce to freeze.  I will one day do the whole recipe with the sauce listed.  My 6-year old son, my husband and I LOVE these meatballs.  I used store bought pesto and regular breadcrumbs, although I would use the panko next time (I thought I had some in my pantry).  I also shaped my meatballs larger since I served them over pasta for my family.  For the whole recipe please visit

1 pound ground turkey
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup pesto
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
2 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix the ground turkey, pesto, Parmesan, eggs, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until just combined.  Be careful not to over mix.  Wet your hands and form meatballs (about 1 inch) and place on non-stick baking sheets (or baking sheets sprayed with non-stick cooking spray).  Space meatballs evenly without crowding.

2.  Bake until browned on the bottom, about 10 minutes.  Turn using tongs and bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until browned on the other side.  Remove from oven and gently place in pot with simmering sauce.    Be sure meatballs simmer in sauce until cooked through, about 10-20 minutes. 

3.  Serve meatballs in sauce with toothpicks while warm.