Quinoa Jambalaya

Quinoa Jambalaya

4 1/2 c lower-sodium chicken broth, divided
2 c quinoa (12 ounces)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb Kielbasa, sliced in 1/4-inch rounds
1 large onion, chopped

1 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 c spicy tomato juice
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 c fresh or frozen peas
1 c grape tomato halves
Combine 4 cups chicken broth and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook 15 minutes.

Heat oil in a skillet and add kielbasa, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Sauté about 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add remaining broth and tomato juice; bring to simmer. Add shrimp and simmer 5 minutes or until done. Add peas, tomatoes, and cooked quinoa and toss.


Stuffed Acorn Squash

This is a super versatile recipe: sub whatever squash, hardy greens, and sausage you have on hand or prefer. The end result is still a tasty combination and impressive presentation.

Stuffed Acorn Squash
2 medium acorn squash, halved down the middle, seeds removed (you could also stuff a Kobacha, Butternut, or Sweet Dumpling squash)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil cooking spray
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
8 ounces hot Italian sausage, casings removed (sweet sausage or turkey sausage would also work)

1 large leek, white and light green parts only, halved and sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 cups tightly packed torn Kale (Tat Soi or Chard would also work here)
5 oz cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken stock
2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan
2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
Heat oven to 375°. Cut a thin slice off round side of each squash half to create a stable base. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; coat with cooking spray. Place squash flesh side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil; bake until golden and tender, 30 minutes.

Remove from oven; flip squash and set aside. Heat broiler.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 teaspoon oil. Add sausage; cook, breaking into coarse pieces, until brown, 6 minutes; transfer to a bowl.

To same skillet, add remaining 2 teaspoons oil and leek; cook until leek is soft, 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook, 30 seconds. Add kale and mushrooms and toss; add broth. Cover and cook until kale is tender, 5 minutes; stir in sausage.

Divide kale-sausage filling among squash. In a bowl, combine walnuts, Parmesan and panko; sprinkle evenly over squash bowls and coat with cooking spray. Broil until panko is golden, 2 minutes.

Grilled Sausage & Peppers

Grilled Sausage & Peppers
1 tsp olive oil 2 sweet bell pepper, sliced—try purple grilling peppers, sweet red peppers, throw in a hot pepper or two, or classic green would work

1 onion, sliced—a classic red onion, or a Walla Walla onion or Sweet Vidalia would also work here. Certainly, a basic yellow onion would be fine

5 sausages—Cerdito Sausage, Kasekrainer Sausage, or Saturday Nite Sausage would all work. Whatever strikes your fancy!

5 hot dog buns

For the peppers & onions: you can grill them in a grill basket or try placing a heatproof skillet directly on the grill. Skillet: head the olive oil in a skillet. Once the oil has heated up, add the peppers & onions to the skillet. Cook for 5-7 minutes.
Grill Basket: toss the pepper & onions with the teaspoon of olive oil and add to basket. Grill 5-7 minutes.

Add the sausages to the grill while continuing to sauté the peppers and onions. Cook for 10 minutes, flipping the sausages half way through cooking.

Place the buns on the grill for 1-2 minutes, then remove everything from the grill, place the sausages in the buns and top with the peppers & onions.

Parsnip Gratin

Parsnip Gratin
1 1/4 lbs Parsnips
1 lb Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 medium Onion
3 c  Half & Half (may substitute heavy whipping cream)
3 tbsp Butter, for greasing pan
1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg (or ground)
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 T Fresh Thyme
1 T Flour
3 large minced cloves Garlic
6 ounces, grated Gruyere (swiss) cheese or Cheddar
Preheat oven to 400 FPeel Parsnips. Using a mandolin, slice parsnips to 1/8 thin slices. The thinner the slices the better. If you don’t have a mandolin, slice them as thinly as possible. Peel the potatoes. Again, a mandolin will give you thin, uniform slices, but just slice them as thin as possible if you don’t have one.
Thinly slice the onion.
Grate the cheese.
Generously grease a 9 x13 inch baking dish with butter.

Layer the parsnips, potatoes, and onion and 1/2 of the cheese and 1/2 of the thyme, reserving the bigger pieces of parsnips & potatoes for the final layer. Press down and make sure layers are even. It’s OK if the inside layers are messy. Place the last layer of parsnip & potatoe slices in nice looking overlapping rows.

In a small pot heat 3 cups of Half & Half (or whipping cream, if you’re using that). Whisk in salt, nutmeg, the remaining thyme, white pepper, flour and the garlic and when it just comes to a simmer, pour over the layered parsnips, slanting the baking dish to get the sauce in all the nooks and crannies. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, a few more leaves of thyme and a little sprinkling of nutmeg.

Cover securely with a lid or foil and bake for 50 minutes on the middle rack. Remove foil, pierce with fork, parsnips should be al dente. (If not- your slices were perhaps cut thicker that 1/8 of an inch, and you may need to cook longer with the foil on.) Don’t worry if it seems watery at this point, bake another 15 minutes uncovered, or until golden and bubbly. It is important to let it sit at room temp for 15-20 minutes before serving, so it sets and thickens.
Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 1 hour 10 mins Total time: 1 hour 25 mins Yield: 6

Zucchini Boats

Zucchini Boats
1 1/4 cups homemade marinara sauce
4 (31 oz total) medium zucchini
1 tsp oil
1/2 small onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper (sub mini sweet snackin’ peppers)
14 oz hot Italian sausage
1/2 cup part skim shredded mozzarella
8 tsp grated Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of water to boil.

Preheat oven to 400°.

Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and using a spoon scoop out flesh, leaving 1/4″ thick. Chop the scooped out flesh of the zucchini in small pieces and set aside.

Drop zucchini halves in boiling water and cook 1 minute. Remove from water.

Place 1/4 cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 12″ baking dish, and place zucchini halves cut side up.

In a large saute pan, brown sausage, breaking up as it cooks into smaller pieces until browned; set aside.

Heat oil and add onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Cook on a medium-low heat for about 2-3 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add chopped zucchini, season with salt and pepper and cook about 2-3 minutes. Add cooked sausage to pan and cook a few more minutes.

Using a spoon, fill each hollowed zucchini with 1/3 cup cooked sausage, pressing firmly. Top each with 2 tablespoons each of sauce, 1 tablespoon each of shredded mozzarella cheese and 1 teaspoon each of parmesan cheese.

Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes until cheese is melted and zucchini is cooked through. Makes 8 boats.