Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Let's Hash it Out

Ah Butternut Squash. The epitome of a perfect Fall food.  This squash is hearty, has a nice nutty flavor and it's chock full of vitamins and minerals such as potassium, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Butternut squash also has filling power, providing almost 3 grams of fiber per 1 cup! 

After looking through all the ways to use up an ENTIRE squash, I decided on doing my own healthier version of a hash.  I'm still not 100% sure what is the defining factor of a hash but whatever I made ended up being really delicious and semi-hash like. 

Butternut squash and sage are frequently paired together in dishes and they complement each other really well.  It's a more substantial herb and has a nice earthy flavor to it.  Also, it looks really pretty in the presentation of the dish.  

For the salty, goodness part of the dish that really makes a hash a true hash (in my mind), I decided to add in some meat--more specifically Trader Joe's Jalapeno chicken sausage.  For me, the meat makes it more of a substantial meal option but this dish can certainly be made without it.  

Another addition which I thought would be yummy is to top the whole thing with an egg. Sadly I ran out of eggs so this creation unfortunately couldn't happen. 

 Regardless, the whole thing was delicious! A very simple recipe that's healthy, flavorful and filling at the same time. Bon appetit!

Butternut Squash Hash with Sausage and Sage
(serves 4)

3 lb Butternut Squash
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 large yellow onion
4 chicken sausage links of your choice
1/2 cup fresh sage, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

To soften the squash to peel and cut into cubes, pierce the skin with a fork and microwave for 2-3 minutes. Be careful handling because it's hot!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  While the oven is heating up, peel and cube squash into 1 inch cubes, and chop onion coarsely.  Toss with olive oil and salt and pepper.

Place onion and squash on baking sheet(s) making sure to not crowd the sheet. Put in for 30 minutes, toss squash and put back for another 30 minutes or until lightly browned/crispy exterior.

While the squash is in the oven, cube sausage into 1/4 inch pieces and brown on the stove top. Set aside.

Once the squash is browned, add to pan with sausage, toss in the chopped sage and add additional salt and pepper to taste.


Friday, 11 October 2013

Tastes of the World

This past weekend I went on a really interesting food tour in Jackson Heights, Queens with a few fellow dietitians.  Even though I grew up in Queens, I never really explored this neighborhood or all the amazing food that's available.

Jackson Heights is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the country and the variety of foods we tried in a few block radius was astounding.   

Our tour guide, Jeff Orlick has lived in the area for a good number of years and has a 
good deal of knowledge about the ethnic cuisine in the area. We had a variety of foods including 
Tibetan, Nepalese, Indian, Bangladeshi, Peruvian and Ecuadorian.    

Throughout the tour we got to talk to the chefs and learn a bit about the culture behind the dishes.  

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would definitely come back to the area in the future.  The food was all so flavorful and diverse. 

It's always good to try new things and be adventurous with your eating. You never know what you will end up loving!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

mini huevos rancheros

I had the idea to post this recipe after my lovely friend got me a set of ramekins as a housewarming gift (thanks Becca!) Normally I would use ramekins for a dessert--molten lava cake (my all time favorite) or maybe a fruit crisp but I wanted to try something different.

Ramekins are a great cooking vessel as they are easy to clean and are perfectly portioned. This recipe would be great for a small brunch or a solo dinner night.

This huevos rancheros recipe is fairly low-cal (around 200 calories) so it would be great to pair with some fruit or a side salad if you eat this for dinner.  The corn tortilla gives the dish such a distinct flavor and the cumin and garlic spice up the dish without all the added salt.

Recipe (1 serving)

Cooking spray
1 corn tortilla (6 inch)
1 egg
2 Tbsp black or pinto beans, cooked
Pinch of ground cumin and garlic
1 Tbsp part skim cheese (mexican, cheddar, mozzarella, your choice!)
1 Tbsp salsa

1. Preheat your oven to 350 F
2. Mix together beans, cumin and garlic
3. Spray the inside of the ramekin with cooking spray
4. Heat up the corn tortilla for 10 seconds or until pliable, spray with cooking spray and place into ramekin
5. Once tortilla is in place, put in beans, egg, and cheese (any order you wish)
6. Place ramekin(s) in the oven and cook for approximately 15-20 minutes depending on how well done you like your eggs
7. Once cooked, you can eat it straight from the ramekin or plate the dish. Top with salsa and you're done!