Spaghetti Squash with Prosciutto and Mushrooms in a White Wine Sauce

By Julie

Serves:  4

Time:  60 min

Well.  That title is a mouthful isn’t it?  Well so is this:

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Isn’t that lovely?  And we ate it without guilt.  Except for the second and third glasses of wine.. there may have been some guilt there… but it was already open from the sauce so… anyway it’s delicious.

This was inspired by a similar dish, Linguine with Prosciutto and Mushrooms that I made last week.  It can be gluten free as long as you are using gluten free deli meat.  Check your labels.

You Will Need:

  • 1 large spaghetti squash or 2 small ones.  Halved and seeded.
  • olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan plus more for garnish
  • 8-12 slices of prosciutto
  • 2 lbs of mushrooms (they will cook down to almost nothing.  Don’t be shy.)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1/8 tsp of chili flakes
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  • 1 cup of white wine – use something dry and not sweet

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Prepare The Squash

Preheat the oven to 375.  Brush the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place the squash cut side down on a baking pan (use stoneware or line the pan with foil to save mess) and bake for 40 min or until you can pierce the skin easily and the squash is tender.  Shred squash with a fork and set aside.

Meanwhile Cook The Sauce

Render the prosciutto in a pan over medium heat until most of the fat is melted.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Add butter, 1 tbsp of olive oil and onions to the pan.  Cook until softened, 5 to 7 min.  Add mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms have released most of their moisture and are cooked.  Add the garlic and chili flakes and cook for 1 minute until fragrant add the wine.  Have your wine ready so that you can toss it in the pan before the garlic burns.  Simmer and let the contents of the pan reduce by half, about 8 min.   Add the Parmesan and stir until melted.  The sauce should be a bit thickened from the cheese.  Add the prosciutto, squash, and spinach and stir until spinach is wilted and squash is heated through.

Serve immediately with the remainder of the wine… if you haven’t drank it all already.

 

Italian Chicken Soup with Quinoa and Spinach

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By Corinne

Doesn’t this sound like some sort of hipster healthy living type soup? Well. Sure it does. But just because it’s good for you doesn’t mean it can’t also be filling and delicious! If you don’t love quinoa, then feel free to use a small pasta instead.

This recipe calls for a parmesan rind. If you haven’t started using fresh parm (or asiago) I highly recommend it. While it’s more expensive than the stuff that comes in a can, it also has a great deal more flavour, since you know, it’s not mixed with sawdust. One of the best things about using fresh cheese is saving the rind for soups. When you get down to the rind, just throw it in a bag and put it in the freezer until you need it. It adds an incredible amount of flavour to soups and stews. It generally doesn’t dissolve fully in the soup, but does get softer. If your soup is at a full roiling boil it may somewhat dissolve, and I’ve accidentally forgotten to take it out before pureeing soups. Oops.

Serves: 3-4

Time: about 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on how long you let the soup simmer

You will need:

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/4 pound (250 grams) boneless, skinless chicken thighs – about 3
  • 1 tsp each dried oregano, thyme, basil
  • several generous grinds of fresh pepper
  • 1 cup white navy beans -I used dried, which I rehydrate and freeze. 1 cup is more than half of a standard can – you can probably just use a whole can if you’re using canned beans, unless of course you have a use for your leftover beans!
  • 1 can (28oz, 794g) tomatoes -I used whole and smushed them up, but diced would work great as well
  • 4 cups chicken or veggie stock – I used my favourite Homemade Veggie Bouillon
  • 1/2 cup dry wine – red or white, if you happen to have some open, it’s awesome to deglaze the pot with after cooking the onion/celery/chicken, but it’s ok to omit
  • 1 parmesan rind
  • grated parm or asiago for garnish if desired
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup dry) – to be added to individual bowls
  • handful of chopped fresh spinach- to be added to each bowl

Dice onion and celery, add to a heavy bottomed pot with a few tbsp of butter or oil. Chop chicken into small pieces and add to pot with onion and celery. Allow to cook until the vegetables have some colour and the chicken is cooked. Add the minced garlic and stir around until fragrant, but don’t let the garlic burn.

If you are using wine to deglaze – pour a little in the pot and scrape up all the delicious browned bits.

Add the tomatoes, stock, carrots, beans, thyme, basil, oregano, pepper and parmesan rind. Allow to simmer for at least 20 minutes, but longer if you have time.

While soup is simmering, rinse quinoa well in a small mesh sieve to remove bitter saponins. Cook quinoa in a 1:2 ratio of water – if you are using half a cup of quinoa, use 1 cup of water. If you are using 1 cup of quinoa, use 2 cups of water etc. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce heat to low for about 20 minutes. When liquid is absorbed and quinoa has ‘popped’ it is ready.

Chop a handful of fresh spinach for each bowl, ladle in hot soup, and then add a few tbsp of cooked quinoa to each bowl. Garnish with grated parmesan or asiago cheese if desired.

Butternut Squash Soup with Turkey Meatballs

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By Corinne

I tend not to eat a lot of soup in the summer, with the exception of a fresh dilly bean soup that is my go to summer soup fix. But all it takes is the first rainy September day to rekindle my love of soup in preparation for the cold, snowy months ahead. Today wasn’t really a soup day, it was a glorious fall day, one where if you close your eyes and feel the sun on your face you might imagine that summer is still here for a few moments more. But still, I love soup and this is a good one for the fall as the squashes are coming in 🙂

This soup is inspired by Deb Perlman’s Carrot Soup with Turkey Meatballs.

Like most soups, this one freezes well.

Serves: 6

Time: 1 hour

You will need:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1-2 stalks of celery chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled if you like, chopped
  • 2 large clove minced
  • 3 generous cups of butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 7 cups water 3-4 tbsp veggie bouillon or equal amount of chicken stock
  • a generous handful of fresh spinach for each bowl of soup

For the meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs (to make this GF, leave out the breadcrumbs, the meatballs will still stick together fine, I find the bread crumbs just gives them a smidge of extra tenderness)
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 cup grated asiago cheese
  • 1 minced clove of garlic
  • salt and pepper

In a large pot over medium heat, add the butter, chopped onion, celery and carrot. Cook, stirring occasionally while you prep the butternut squash. Cut off ends, and peel and cube. I usually peel with a vegetable peeler, but a sharp knife also works. I love toasting my squash seeds the same way you can do pumpkin seeds. I usually mean to use them as a garnish, but sometimes we eat them before the soup is done 🙂

Add the squash and the water and bring to a gentle boil. While the squash is cooking, prep the meatballs. Add the 2 tbsp of milk to the bread crumbs, then add all ingredients together and mix.  Cook until squash is tender, and then using an immersion blender, blend until smooth and return to a boil.

After the soup is blended, form the meatballs, rolling into about one inch balls and dropping into the soup. I find this easier with wet hands as generally ground turkey and chicken is more ‘sticky’ than ground beef. Once all meatballs have been added, simmer for ten to fifteen minutes to ensure all are cooked through.

Shred or cut a generous handful of spinach into each serving bowl. Ladle hot soup over shredded spinach. Garnish with asiago if desired.

When I freeze this soup, I do so without the spinach. I like adding the spinach to the bowl rather than directly to the pot as it wilts but still retains a nice texture.

Apple and Spinach Salad with Cider Dill Dressing

By: Julie

Serves: 4-6

I get spring fever.  And then I get summer fever.  It’s May, and still chilly, but I desperately needed something delicious and fresh to hold me over until the first of the spring veggies arrives.  This salad was amazingly light, and flavourful, and spoke of warm days to come.  I would serve it with anything burgerish, or sandwichy.  I plan to make it again next weekend with an antipasto plate, some delicious cheese and some honey mead I’ve been hoarding for just the right meal.  This is that meal.

 

You Will Need:

For The Dressing

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp apple juice
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp dill, chopped
  • 1 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper

For The Salad

  • 2 cups of cucumber, halved and sliced thin
  • 2 medium apples, cored and chopped
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup of red onion halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 cups of spinach

Combine apples, cucumber, and onion in a large bowl.  Whisk dressing ingredients in a separate bowl and pour over apple mixture.  Allow this to marinate for 20 min or more, then add the spinach and pecans.  The amount of flavor in this is amazing.  Let us know how you liked it!