I love savory pumpkin dishes. Also, anything involving Ritz crackers is likely to be delicious. Perhaps not slenderizing, but delicious, especially when also featuring a savory blend of pumpkin, red pepper, onion, and garlic, with some smoked paprika and chipotle for pizzazz, topped with crunchy pecans and panko, and baked until slightly puffed and golden brown. The original recipe from The New York Times uses yellow summer squash, which one steams and purees for inclusion in the dish, but I didn’t have enough squash so I substituted a can of pumpkin for half the squash puree; you can make the whole casserole with all pumpkin instead of squash. Plus, it’s less work that way since you needn’t steam and puree the squash. Win! You can bake this in a casserole (2 1/2 quarts), or small ramekins or cocottes for a cute presentation (just bake it for less time). We had this as a main dish, but it would also be great as a side for a holiday meal such as Thanksgiving. Yay!
Celeriac? What’s that? I confess, the first time I saw one, I was completely baffled by this brown, rough sphere with tendrilly roots still attached. Approximately the size of a large grapefruit, it was kind of intimidating, reminding me of a creature from Doctor Who. But now we are friends! Do not judge a vegetable by its cover. Why should you get to know it? Well, celeriac has a very mild celery flavor and is crisp when raw, and creamy and soft when cooked. It is much lower in calories than potato – 42 calories per 100 grams, versus 322 calories per 100 grams for potato, but when you roast it, you feel as if you are enjoying a very large, slightly celery flavored baked potato, with a creamy interior and crispy skin. Prep is extremely quick, but roasting it takes a while, so make it on a Sunday afternoon and enjoy the delicious aroma wafting through your home. This got two thumbs up from my husband! Continue reading
Just back from London, mates! Did you miss me? Here’s some healthy comfort food to make it up to you! Savory bread pudding features cubes of hearty whole-grain bread, broccoli rabe, mushrooms, and Gruyére cheese, bound with eggs & low-fat milk, then baked until puffed and golden. Having just been in London, I’m reminded that the Brits call dessert “pudding”. But this is not that kind of pudding. This is a main dish if you’re vegetarian, or a hearty savory side if not. It would also be a most excellent brunch dish! Or should I say egg-cellent? Teehee.
Ready to wake up your taste buds? Try this as a healthy appetizer at your next pre-game party. This four-ingredient winner features crisp, fresh cucumbers topped by spicy buffalo sauce, sliced green onions, and blue cheese. The recipe is inspired by a restaurant in my office building called Parm, which features classic Italian-American fare for the most part, but there was something on the appetizer list that caught my eye: Buffalo Cucumbers. Wait, what? I had to try it. I wasn’t sure if it would be a weird fried cucumber type of thing, but no, it turned out to be a fresh and spicy little salad! Continue reading
This garlic spinach soup is my new favorite thing for a fall weeknight. It uses ingredients I almost always have on hand – garlic, bread, eggs, spinach – plus some dried herbs and grated Parmesan or Gruyere cheese. I run in the door, put the water on to boil, change my clothes, and proceed with the recipe. It doesn’t seem like something so simple would be good, but it is simply delicious! You simmer rather a lot of garlic plus some dried herbs to make a clean broth, add some small pasta such as orzo, toss in some spinach or frozen peas, then swirl in some eggs to add protein and body. To serve, ladle it over some hearty, garlicky toasted bread in the bottom of each bowl. Voilá! Continue reading
Do you ever have a day in the early autumn when you absolutely *must* have comfort food? OK, maybe more than one day? A day like that just happened for me, while the NYC area was being rained on by a Nor’Easter for a week, while waiting to see if a hurricane was going to hit us next. I decided I *needed* to make classic macaroni and cheese, with a Radish Rose twist.
Where does one turn for the best classic recipes? To Cook’s Illustrated New Best Recipe, of course! For my Radish Rose variation, I added smoked paprika and dijon mustard to the classic cheese sauce, and I mixed in some kale before baking for extra healthy yum (not that this dish is slenderizing in any way!). And instead of regular bread crumbs, I used panko for extra crunchiness in the golden brown topping. I also baked it instead of broiling it as the original recipe says, because of that time I caught a breadcrumb topping on fire in the broiler. See? I can be taught. Continue reading