Roasted Butternut Squash and Sage Pizza

Soooooo it appears that, in addition to fries, cookies, cupcakes, donuts and all things related to fall, I’m also heavily addicted to pizza.

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There could be worse things…you know, crack, meth, cigarettes, spinach. I’m considering myself lucky (but seriously though, I’m also addicted to spinach).

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Especially when pizza can come in FALL flavors , loaded up with delicious butternut squash and sage and gruyere. Double addict. Oh my god it’s just so good.

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And, you guys, I totally made my own pizza crust for this one. I’m not kidding. I’ll give you the recipe soon, I promise.

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Seriously, this pizza is a little weird, I know, but I’m all about weird things on pizzas and the combo of butternut squash and sage is absolutely killer. I literally ate half of it on my own.

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#pizzaaddict

Recipe

Prep time: 35 minutes | Bake time: about 15-18 minutes | Total time: about 1 hour

Yield: 2-4 servings

  • 1  pizza dough- store bought is totally legit
  • 2 cups butternut squash, cut in time 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground sage
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • ¾ cups grated cheddar cheese
  • ¾ cups grated Gruyere cheese
  • ½ white onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8-10 fresh sage leaves

Preheat oven to 425 º F. Add the squash to the baking sheet and add 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper, ground sage and minced garlic to the baking sheet.  Toss to coat and roast for about 25-30 minutes, until the squash is fork tender. Remove and let cool. Maintain the oven temp at 425 º F.

While the squash is roasting, caramelize the onions. Add the chopped onion and butter to a sautee pan and sautee over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes until the onions are slightly browned, soft and translucent. Your house will smell amazing. Set aside.

Lightly grease a baking sheet or pizza stone and spread dough out over pan. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over the pizza. Sprinkle the cheeses evenly over the pizza crust. Do the same with the caramelized onions, then the squash. Then take the sage leaves, tear each of them in half and distribute them over the pizza. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until cheese is melted and edges of the pizza are slightly golden brown.  Remove from oven, cut as desired, and enjoy your perfect homemade pizza!

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Pea and Pesto Whole Wheat Pasta Salad

Hold up. Just hooooolld up. Is it September? Have we already had a full week of it? I feel like I missed something… Like, summer.

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Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE LOVE LOVE fall. It’s seriously my favorite of all the seasons. I’m super excited about it and have already begun experimenting in the kitchen (if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve been a getting sneak peak of what’s to come!). But it’s been 80 degrees here in New Haven, and I still have a few late summer recipes up my sleeve.

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Like this delicious pasta salad. It’s bright, fresh, versatile and oh-so-healthy. I had it warm, room temp and cold and it was super yummy each and every way. The peas and cannellini beans make it a hearty and filling pasta that could be a dinner OR a side! So many possibilities!

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As I squeeze in my last few summer recipes, I’d love to hear from you all… what do YOU want to see up on the blog this fall? What are you most looking forward to eating as the weather turns cool? This is the best season of all!!

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Recipe

  • 1 lb whole wheat pasta, cooked al dente and drained ( I used fusilli, but any kind will work!)
  • 1 cup pesto (I used my own mint pea pesto recipe)
  • 1 (12 oz) box of frozen peas
  • 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, mix  pasta, pesto, peas and cannellini beans. Sir in 1/2 cup of the parmesan. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Top with remaining cheese. Can be served warm, at room temperature or chilled!

Pluot, Goat Cheese and Walnut Summer Salad

First of all, Happy Labor Day! I’ve made you the perfect salad to bring to the BBQ today. Because, if you’re like me, you totally need to bring something to, like, every gathering, ever. And this is a perfect last minute dish.

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Not to brag, but this miiiiight just be the prettiest salad I’ve ever seen. I mean, just LOOK at those colors! It’s to pluots. They totally make the salad special.

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What’s a pluot, you ask? It’s this crazy hybrid of plum and apricot. It’s a pretty pink little ball of sweet deliciousness, and it’s perfect here.

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Throw in some goat cheese and candied walnuts with them and it’s an amazing, refreshing summer salad (you could use regular walnuts, but, lets be honest, candied is always better). Oh yeah, and greens. Lots and lots of greens.

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All this salad needs is a simple, three ingredient dressing over the top, because the rest of it is just that good.  Seriously, If you’re in need of a salad for a crowd, today or any other day, this is a great option. You’ll be a very popular guest at any BBQ! Hope you are all soaking up the last of summer and enjoying a beautiful Labor Day!

Recipe

Prep time: 5 minutes

Serves about 10-15 people

Salad

  • 4 bags prepared mesculin greens
  • 2 plutos, diced
  • ½ cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup candied walnuts
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • salt and pepper to taste

Dressing

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Toss all of the ingredients for the salad together in a large bowl. Whisk together ingredients for the dressing. Toss salad with dressing just before you’re ready to serve and add salt and pepper to taste.

Slow Cooker Coca-Cola Pulled Pork

I LOVE pulled pork.

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I’m, like, totally not your typical pulled pork kind of gal. But when meat is this good, I can be any kind of gal you need me to be.

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I’m not sure if it’s the way it smells, the texture, the way it reminds me of Football Sundays. I definitely love how easy it is to make; literally a “set it and forget it” deal.

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I ate my pulled pork on kale with avocado because I’m a vegetable freak, but this would be amazing on pretty much any kind of roll or bun you can find. Or by itself. I’m pretty sure this would even be amazing on ice cream. Like, 95% sure.

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Regardless, this pulled pork is the prefect meal  in every way. It’s great for a lazy day at home and also prefect for a crowd. It makes your house smell like a delicious, spicy meat house (which is definitely a good thing). The ingredient list is short, so it’s wallet friendly, too! Really, dinner doesn’t get much better than this.

Recipe

Prep time: 10 minutes | Bake time: At least 8 hours, preferably overnight | Total time: At least 8 hours

Yield: About 6 servings, depending on the side of the pork shoulder

  • 1 (5-7 lb) pork shoulder with a good layer of fat on one side
  • 2 large white onions
  • 1 can of coke
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 1 bottle of BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s)

Cut up one of the onions and lay over the bottom of your slow cooker. Season the outside of the pork shoulder with salt and pepper and place in the slow cooker on top of the onions. Add another layer of onions on top. Pour the coke  in to the slow cooker. You want the liquid to go about 2/3-3/4 of the way up the slow cooker, but now more because, as it cooks, the shoulder will release it’s own juices, and you don’t want your cooker to overflow! Set your cooker on low, cover and heat for at least 8 hours,  but preferably overnight.

Shred the pork with a fork, removing the fat as necessary. Add in the BBQ sauce and stir. Heat on low until ready to serve. Your house will smell amazing and keeping your fork out of the bowl will be nearly impossible.

Kale, Cranberry and Pecan Quinoa Cakes with Honey Dijon Dressing

I love cooking with my mom.

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We are, like, kiiiinnddddd of the same person. On so many levels. There she is on the right, so pretty!!  That’s Dee, one of our very closest family friends on the left (Hi, Dee!!)

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Most importantly, we love the same food (priorities, right?). We eat healthfully, but are definitely prone to indulging every once in a while. Totes on the same page.

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Like the other night, still in our post-Basin Harbor food coma, we both wanted a light but filling dinner. I decided I’d whip up some quinoa cakes with some nice autumnal flavors and serve them on a bed of greens and add some killer dijon dressing (and the dressing was killer, really).

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These were FAB. The kale is super healthy and full of nutrients, and the quinoa is high in protein and left us nice and satiated. The flavors of the goat cheese, cranberries, and pecans hinted that fall is coming, which is always always a good thing.

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PS- Does everyone know that Dunkin Donuts is now serving Pumpkin Coffee again?!?!?Ok good, just making sure.

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This had minimal active time and came together so easily. The dressing on top was a prefect compliment to the mustard in the cakes. This may not be a man dish, but it’s a delicious dish, and I’m so lucky that my mom lets me make dinner for her every once in a while so we could try it out! These quinoa cakes will definitely be appearing in my (and my mom’s) kitchen again soon.

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Recipe

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook/Active time: 15 minutes | Total time (including chilling) : 1 hour

Serves 2-3

Cakes

  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups shredded kale
  • ¼ cups scallions, diced
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • ½ cup crumbled goat cheese
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup egg whites (or 2 whole eggs)
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Dressing

  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

To serve

  • Spinach and kale

Place quinoa and vegetable broth in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce to a simmer and heat until the quinoa has absorbed all the liquid.

In the meantime, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the scallions and kale and cook until kale has cooked down, stirring constantly.

In a large bowl, combine quinoa, kale and scallion mixture and the rest of the ingredients. Form the quinoa in to patties about 4 inches in diameter (I ended up with 5). Place in refrigerator to chill and set until ready to serve, about 30 minutes.

When ready to cook, heat remaining two  tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Place the cakes in the skillet and cook for 5-7 minutes, until side is golden brown. Reduce the heat to medium low, flip the cakes and press down slightly to flatten. Cook an additional 5-7 minutes until golden brown then remove from heat.

For the dressing, simply whisk ingredients together in a bowl.

To serve, place cakes over spinach and kale and drizzle with dressing. Enjoy!