Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Cranberries, Apples and Gouda

Here’s the recipe I referenced in my blog post the other day.  I will warn you – gouda is kind of stinky so you might not want to eat it, but it is really delicious in this salad.  I was kind of skeptical at first, but this came together really nicely.  One thing I would recommend that I normally wouldn’t – definitely only use 1 small garlic clove and 1/2 cup shredded gouda.  I typically believe there can never be too much garlic or cheese, but this recipe requires a delicate balance and if you follow the recipe below it will be perfect.

Speaking of things I was skeptical of, if you live near a Trader Joe’s I know just how to make you the hero of our next holiday gathering.  They have these fig and olive crisps and cranberry chevre.  Oh boy is this stuff delicious!  They were sampling it at our store tonight and I almost didn’t try it, but man is it a good thing I did, you’re welcome.IMG_5603.JPG

 

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Cranberries, Apples and Gouda

Serves: 6+

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. whole brussels sprouts, or 12-14 oz already shaved brussels sprouts
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp. shallot, finely minced
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup aged gouda, coarsely shredded
  • 1 apple such as Pink Lady, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)

Directions:

  1. Trim the ends off of the brussels sprouts. In a food processor fitted with the slicing attachment, shred the brussels sprouts. Remove to a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a liquid measuring cup or dressing shaker, combine the lemon juice, Dijon, shallot, garlic, salt and pepper. Add in the olive oil and whisk/shake until well blended.
  3. Add the dressing to the bowl with the brussels sprouts. Toss well, then let stand at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  4. Add the gouda, apple, cranberries and hazelnuts to the bowl with the brussels sprout mixture. Toss well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve.

FullSizeRender.jpg

Creamy Spinach Tomato Tortellini

A week in town means time for cooking!  I printed this recipe forever ago and never got around to trying it, which really is a shame.  It was pretty quick to make, a good weeknight pick. Enjoy!

Creamy Spinach Tomato Tortellini (recipe from here)

Ingredients

  • 1 bag regular sized Barilla three cheese tortellini (8 oz) or 16 oz fresh tortellini in the refrigerated section of your grocery store
  • 2-3 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup fresh diced onion
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half (we used fat free)
  • 1/2+ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Begin by boiling your tortellini noodles until they are al dente (aka ready). Follow the directions on the bag for boiling time.
  2. While the tortellini is boiling, chop the spinach roughly.
  3. Heat a large skillet using medium heat and put the about 1 Tbsp olive oil and the minced garlic and diced onion into it. Sautee it briefly until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add into the skillet the petite diced tomatoes (undrained), spinach, salt, pepper, dried basil, and onion flakes.
  5. Cook and stir over medium high heat until the mixture begins to bubble.
  6. In another bowl, combine the flour and half-and-half. Whisk until fairly smooth.
  7. Add the creamy mixture into the the skillet along with the parmesan cheese.
  8. Heat through and reduce the heat to medium low and continue to stir and cook until it thickens, about 5 minutes.
  9. Add the drained tortellini and mix together gently.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

IMG_5602.JPG

Easy, Healthy Apple Crisp

Another week gone by!  I was out in Denver for work Tuesday afternoon through Thursday night for a team training.  It was nice to get together with the new team, we’re all scattered all over the country and this doesn’t happen a ton so it was nice that it happened so soon after I transferred!  My favorite part was our team building activity on Wednesday night.  We did a cooking class, “A Night in Tuscany.”  Everything was absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to remake some of the recipes at home and share them on here!

Matt’s parents drove down from Syracuse today so we made them dinner and hung out at our apartment tonight.  We made one of our favorite soups, the Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, from last year.  We made a delicious salad (post coming up next), and then this healthy apple crisp recipe!  It is absolutely delicious, the addition of the pecans is absolutely perfect.  I hope you enjoy as much as I did!

Easy Apple Crisp (recipe from here)

Serves: 6+

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats (use certified gluten-free oats if making this recipe GF)
  • 1/2 cup almond meal*
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil (or butter)
  • 4+ apples, cored and diced (about 5-6 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Add oats, almond meal, nuts, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt to a mixing bowl, and toss until combined.
  3. Add maple syrup and melted coconut oil (or butter), then toss until combined. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice and remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and toss until combined.
  5. Spread the apple mixture evenly into a greased 8×8-inch or 9×9-inch pan, then sprinkle the oat mixture evenly on top of the apples.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the topping is crisp and golden and the apples are soft and cooked through. Serve immediately, with vanilla ice cream if desired.

Crisp can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

*If you can’t find almond meal at the store, you can pulse almonds in a food processor until fine to make almond meal.  Or, you can substitute in white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour) in place of the almond meal.

FullSizeRender (1)

Southwestern Spaghetti Squash Bake

Well we’re finishing up a pretty solid weekend with a new recipe to share!  This weekend was just what we needed – a good mix of friends and “us time,” some relaxing, nice weather, and finishing it off with some cooking!  My friend and I babysat on Friday night for our other friends.  Which means we drank wine, painted our nails, and watched Anne of Green Gables.  Man I forgot how great that movie is!  Saturday Matt, James, and I ran the 4.01k, a free race sponsored by Prudential to raise awareness about how 2/3 (!) of Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement – get it, a 4.01K?  I signed up because it was free, a short distance, and clever.

IMG_5562

Post-race water bottles, how do you not find that clever?!

Today we went to church, hung around and caught up with some friends, and then had the afternoon to ourselves.  We relaxed a bit, took a (long) walk to gravelly point to watch the planes take off, and then came home and made this new recipe.

This recipe was perfect for a Sunday.  We had to roast the pepper and the spaghetti squash, which took some time, so we did that while relaxing before our walk.  Then everything was ready to go this evening and came together very quickly for dinner.  We’ve been trying to eat better and I’ve always wondered what the big deal with spaghetti squash was so I bought one from Trader Joe’s earlier this week, and searched for a recipe from my trusted recipe bloggers (Annie’s Eats and Gimme Some Oven).  This recipe is a keeper – a great mix of healthy and delicious!  We modified it a little from the original, added chicken for some extra protein (highly recommended).

Southwestern Spaghetti Squash Bake

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 large or 2 small poblano peppers
  • 1 spaghetti squash, halved and seeded
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. butter, softened
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ¼ tsp. chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • ½ cup greek yogurt
  • ½ lb chicken breast, cooked and shredded
  • 2 oz. shredded medium sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2 oz. shredded monterey jack cheese, divided
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • Sliced avocado, for serving
  • Fresh diced tomato, for serving

Directions:

  1. To roast the peppers, preheat the oven to 475˚ F.  Place the peppers in a medium baking dish.  Bake, turning every 6-8 minutes or so, until the skin is blistered over most of the surface about 15-20 minutes total.  Transfer to a medium bowl, cover with a plate and let sit 15 minutes.  When cool enough to handle, peel away the skin and discard.  Remove the stem, seeds and ribs.  Coarsely chop the peppers and set aside.
  2. Lower the oven temperature to 400˚ F. Place the spaghetti squash halves on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the squash, cut side down, for about 40 minutes or until it shreds easily with a fork. Remove from the oven, let cool briefly, then shred the squash out of the peel. Spread on a plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels (or a clean kitchen towel) and let drain about 10 minutes. Maintain the oven temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the butter, cumin, chili powder, and oregano. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped poblanos, shredded squash, black beans, compound butter, greek yogurt, shredded chicken, and half of each of the cheeses. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fold together until all ingredients are evenly combined.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and spread in an even layer. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake about 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve warm topped with sliced avocado and fresh diced tomatoes.

IMG_5566 IMG_5568 IMG_5569

Fettuccine with Sausage & Kale

Happy Wednesday!

Life update – I started the new position at work this week.  Right now I’m doing more training and learning and it’s really great.  I also travelled to New York (near Westchester) today for a presentation about Investing.  Every day this week I’ve had a ‘pinch me, this is now my job!’ moment.  It’s great.  There are some obstacles to overcome, like the fact that the new office is very different from the old one and I can’t even figure out how to print stuff right now.  But the fact that I can walk outside of this office and be in downtown DC, and walk home from work outweigh that.  I did walk home from work on Monday.  It’s like 3.5 miles, but I’m in a step challenge and needed the steps.  It gets dark really early these days…

This new recipe is another quick and easy one.  Since I flew to and from New York today I needed something quick to make when I got home.  It’s pretty good, and since it’s quick and doesn’t require a ton of ingredients, we’ll be adding it to our rotation for sure.

Fettuccine with Sausage & Kale

Serves: 6+

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fettuccine
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage*, removed from casing
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 large bunch kale, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan, plus extra for topping

Directions:

  1. In large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta until al dente; drain.
  2. In large skillet, cook sausage over medium-low until browned, about 7 minutes. Drain fat if desired.
  3. Add 1/2 cup water and cream; simmer until reduced by half, about 7 minutes. Add 1-2 Tbsp olive oil if you drained the sausage fat.  If you didn’t drain the fat, no olive oil should be needed. Add cheese and mix until melted.  If it doesn’t seem very sauce-like add a little more oil and parmesan.
  4. Add kale; toss until wilted.
  5. Remove from heat; toss with pasta.
  6. Sprinkle with parmesan and enjoy.

*Make sure you use spicy Italian Sausage, even if you don’t think you like spicy things.  It give the dish a majority of its flavor.  Also, it’s not that spicy once the dish all comes together, and my tolerance for spice is very low!

FullSizeRender