Tag Archives: roast

Roasted Butternut Squash and Mushroom Calzones

I love when I find dinner inspiration in unexpected places. This recipe for roasted butternut squash and mushroom calzones, for example, came from paging through a catalog. Others have come from a commercials on TV, overheard conversations at the grocery store, and forgotten items from the back of the freezer. No matter where the idea comes from, I’m always happy when dinner inspiration strikes.

As I mentioned, these calzones were inspired by a catalog – the Williams-Sonoma catalog.  I had just told my hubby not to throw away the catalog.  No, I didn’t really need anything from Williams-Sonoma, but I wanted to page through it just to see what they had in the fall catalog.  I especially love fall catalogs. As I paged through, I admired some lovely baked goods, commented on the price of the gummy candies they were selling for Thanksgiving, and then I saw it. There was a slow cooker recipe for a gorgeous looking lasagna made with their jarred pumpkin parmesan pasta sauce. Sure, the sauce sounds tasty, and I do like lasagna, but what caught my eye was a photo of some beautiful mushrooms that were being added to the dish. Mushrooms are often a forgotten ingredient in my kitchen, so I was happy for a reminder to add them to something.  After seeing the recipe, I couldn’t get the pumpkin and mushroom pairing out of my head.

A few days later, I had some leftover pizza dough in the fridge that I needed to put to good use. Then I remembered the mushrooms.  Of course, I didn’t have jarred pumpkin sauce on hand.  But, I had some butternut squash from the garden sitting on my counter, so I decided to make butternut squash and mushroom calzones. I roasted the veggies with some fresh sage and added a bit of cheese for a simple and tasty dinner.  Both the hubby and I agreed that the recipe was a winner. It’s perfect for a chilly fall evening!

If you’re participating in October Unprocessed, you’ll be happy to know that this recipe fits the bill pretty well.  If you make your own pizza dough with 100% whole grain flours (which is pretty simple to do) and use good quality cheeses (not the processed cheese-like stuff you can sometimes find at the store), you’re good to go!Continue Reading

Roasted Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad

I’ve heard a lot of people say they think it’s easiest to eat well in the summer… After all, there is a wide variety of fresh produce readily available and we are all supposed to just whip up a salad for lunch and dinner every day. I don’t know about you, but that’s not generally how it works at my house.  Sure, we certainly eat our share of veggies throughout the summer, but I am much more likely to use that fresh, local lettuce to garnish a cheeseburger than I am to whip up a giant dinner-sized salad. Salad really isn’t my thing.

Strangely enough, I actually find that I tend to return to healthier meals in the fall. Part of it is that I enjoy cooking in the fall… It’s much more fun to stand in front of the stove when it’s no longer 100 degrees outside. I also love the flavors of fall produce.  I could eat butternut squash pretty much all day long. I also find that I develop more of a taste for hearty whole grains in the fall. While I’m still not always reaching for the lettuce (though, I do like the fall mixes of lettuce better than giant heads of leaf lettuce), I tend to make a lot of vegetarian dishes that are full of whole grains and veggies.

On a chilly day not too long ago, I decided to put together a nice warm salad for lunch (have I mentioned that I also prefer warm food to cold food?).  I started with some butternut squash from our garden and decided to pair it with quinoa.  For a dose of some green, I wilted some arugula (one of my favorites) into salad.  Topped off with a quick Balsamic dressing, some walnuts, and gorgonzola cheese, I had a hearty and flavorful salad that both my hubby and I enjoyed. Perhaps it’s just me, but I think this kind of salad beats a bowl of lettuce and cold veggies any day.Continue Reading

Friday Favorites – Episode 140

It’s been a few weeks since I had a chance to write a Friday Favorites post… Life has been pretty busy around here, and I’m afraid that my RSS reader tends to be the first thing to be neglected.  This week, however, I’ve had some extra time to do some blog reading.  The hubby and I have been taking shifts keeping an eye on the doggy as she recovers from her surgery, so I’ve been neglecting housework instead of my RSS reader.  In the end, it will all get done.  But, for now, I’m just thinking about all of the fabulous recipes I want to try as soon as I have some time to spend in the kitchen! Here are just a few of them…Continue Reading

Simple Roasted Tomato Basil Sauce

Most years, I attempt to grow tomatoes in the garden.  In the past, I’ve never had luck with anything but cherry tomatoes.  I’ve been lucky to get one or two ripe tomatoes off of my plants throughout the entire summer.  This year, however, I seem to have developed a knack for tomatoes.  I started heirloom tomato plants from seed in the spring and then moved them outside to a new raised bed that my hubby built for me.  The plants are now about 6 feet tall and full of tomatoes.

For the longest time, none of the tomatoes were ripening. I figured that was just my usual luck wth tomatoes.  But, naturally, after returning home from Yellowdog’s surgery last week (we were out of town for two days), I had about 10 ripe tomatoes on the vines.  And, they keep on coming. Between the heirloom tomatoes and yellow grape tomatoes growing in my garden, along with our two CSAs, I’ve had more than my share of tomatoes in the last week.

Of course, now that I actually have lots of tomatoes, I haven’t had much time to deal with them.  So, I’ve been roasting them to make a simple and easy tomato sauce that works on all sorts of recipes.  The recipe is so simple that I almost didn’t share it.  But, I’ve made it a few times now, and we’ve really enjoyed it (both for a pizza night with friends and on some roasted veggie lasagna).   In fact, I have a batch of tomatoes roasting in the oven as I’m writing this blog post.  This time, I plan to freeze the sauce so that we have plenty left to enjoy throughout the winter.

I’ve included approximate measurements for the recipe, but this is one where you can really just wing it.  There’s no need for exact measurements.  Use whatever tomatoes you have on hand and feel free to throw in extra herbs or other veggies you may have from your garden or CSA.  The great thing about this recipe is that roasting the ingredients brings out great flavors and thickens up the sauce without any work on your part.  Then, just throw it in the blender, and you’re good to go!Continue Reading

Kitchen Bootcamp Roundup – Potatoes

This month’s Kitchen Bootcamp challenge was to make a dish using the humble potato. While it may not be difficult to come up with something to make that utilizes potatoes, I hoped that the challenge would inspire some creativity.  And, it did! I was thrilled with the recipes that everyone came up with, and I look forward to trying all of them myself!Continue Reading