Monday, November 28, 2011

Thai cabbage salad


Are you looking for another healthy recipe to help you recover from Thanksgiving overindulgences? Or do you want to prepare your waistline for an onslaught of Christmas cookies? Or maybe you just like food that tastes good? Whatever the case may be, this is a recipe you should try. It's a Thai salad packed with colorful crisp vegetables, fresh herbs, and your choice of protein, all tossed with a sweet and sour dressing. I had tagged this recipe last year in Food & Wine, and adapted it quite a lot to create this version. I kept the dressing similar but changed pretty much all the main ingredients. I was really happy with the final version - the flavors blend beautifully and this dish makes a wonderful light meal.

What kinds of fall/winter salads are you making?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Soba noodles with mushroom-ginger broth, vegetables, and tofu


I ate a lot of pie yesterday. Like, really, a lot. And it was delicious. But as much as I enjoyed it yesterday, I definitely did not feel like eating pie today. Good thing we don't have any leftovers around! (that would be because, um, I ate the slice we brought home last night). I don't know about you, but on the day after Thanksgiving, I like to eat light and healthy food. Plus to be honest, I like vegetables better than turkey anyway.

I was craving Asian food today, and found this recipe while I was looking through magazine recipes I have tagged in the past. It's got soba noodles, tofu, and seasonal vegetables (cabbage, carrots, sweet potatoes) topped off with a warm and comforting broth that is made with ginger, shiitake mushrooms, cilantro, and kombu (a type of seaweed). It is packed with good-for-you ingredients and there is zero added fat. It tastes good and will make you feel good too. And with a bowl of this for dinner, you definitely deserve to have some pie for dessert!


What do you feel like eating the day after Thanksgiving? Do you go right for the leftover turkey, or take a break with something different?


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pumpkin stuffed with bread and cheese


This dish would be an amazing choice for a vegetarian main dish for Thanksgiving. I feel a little bad telling you this now - first of all, you probably have your Thanksgiving menu planned, and second, sugar pumpkins are pretty hard to find this close to the holiday. I had to go to three different places yesterday (fighting my way through Thanksgiving grocery shoppers each time) to find them. But, even if you can't make it until next year, I want to tell you about this dish anyway, because it is awesome. The recipe is from Melissa Clark's In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite and Molly's recent post made me want to try it. I hosted a pumpkin & squash themed dinner party last night, and this was the perfect choice for a main course. It is pretty simple to prep, but nice enough to serve to guests. It comes out of the oven with pumpkin skin crackling and gooey cheese bubbling, and can be cut at the table. I'd say the Thanksgiving turkey has got some competition...


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sweet potato and kale hash with baked eggs


In my last post, I mentioned that with some busy weeks ahead, I need to have quicker solutions for weeknight dinners. Well, breakfast food is always a good source of inspiration for simple meals - most people (myself included) don't have the energy to create elaborate meals first thing in the morning! And of course, breakfast food is just as good, sometimes better, at dinner time. Something like hash is easy as well as very versatile - it can be made with whatever ingredients you prefer. I must admit that this sweet potato and kale hash is not particularly quick, but all the cooking happens in the oven, leaving plenty of time for watching Glee doing important thesis-related work. Versions of hash have been all over the blogs lately, and I was definitely inspired by Cara, Jen, Emily, and Kerstin when I created this one. It's got sweet potatoes lightly spiced with coriander and smoked paprika, roasted with kale and bacon, and topped with baked eggs. It's a complete meal in itself and involves almost no active work.

What is your favorite starch for a fall hash: potatoes, winter squash, or sweet potatoes?


Friday, November 11, 2011

Butternut squash souffles


Here's another fun squash dish from this month's Cooking Light. I never would have thought to make a squash souffle (or put squash in cinnamon rolls, for that matter), which is why I love turning to magazines and cookbooks for ideas. I'm no expert on souffle making, so mine is not as pretty as the one in the magazine, but it sure tasted good. Airy and light, like eating a squash flavored cloud, if such a thing were to exist. Hehe. Anyway, this makes a lovely light dinner with a side salad.

Now on a separate note, I need your help. I have a busy couple months ahead as I finish up (!) my Ph.D. thesis. While I love cooking dinner from scratch after work and find it to be great stress relief, it doesn't work so well when I come home late, already starving. I still want to eat home-cooked food, so I'm planning on spending some weekend time cooking make-ahead meals as well as some freezer-friendly dinners. I have a tendency to want to make things that really do not fill these criteria (like um, souffle, for example), so I clearly need your ideas! I'd love to hear about your favorite recipes and get some new inspiration.

What are your favorite make-ahead or freezer-friendly meals?


Monday, November 7, 2011

Delicata squash cinnamon rolls with maple glaze


The November issue of Cooking Light has a feature on winter squash, with some of the coolest recipe ideas I have seen in a while. It definitely inspired a full on squash obsession for me. As evidence - after I read the magazine, I went out to the farmers' market and bought 7 squashes, and only 2 of them made it through the weekend without being cooked. Honestly, I haven't been this excited about squash since I was an infant! (apparently it was my favorite baby food). Anyway, I thought these cinnamon rolls were such a fun way to use squash. If you're thinking that baking with delicata squash is weird, just remember that it is essentially the same as baking with pumpkin. The pureed squash adds sweetness and moisture to these rolls, which are deliciously spiced and drizzled with a maple glaze. They are great for dessert as well as breakfast.


Do you ever make baked goods with winter squash?


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pasta with cabbage and potatoes


Okay, I hope you're ready for a recipe full of carbs! I normally wouldn't put pasta and potatoes together in the same dish, but the New York marathon is coming up this weekend, so I figured something carb-heavy was appropriate in honor of those running. Personally, I know I'll never reach the level of athleticism of a marathon runner, but the carbo-loading part? That I can handle =).


This recipe is another one from the November issue of Food & Wine which I've been cooking a lot from lately. It's described as "peasant food" - simple, tasty, and filling. The pasta is tossed with steamed cabbage and potatoes, and a sauce that is flavored with garlic, rosemary, thyme, and cheese. It's a nice rustic dish that is perfect comfort food for colder weather.