Butternut Squash and Kale Casserole

6 cups peeled seeded butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt plus additional for sprinkling
7 large eggs
2 1/4 cups half and half
6 tablespoons dry white wine
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 day-old baguette (do not remove crust), torn into 1-inch pieces (about 10 cups)
1 cup chopped shallots (about 4 large)
1 lb. kale, ribs removed and coarsely chopped
8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated

Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss squash with 1 tablespoon oil on rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt; bake until squash is tender, turning with spatula occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes.
Whisk eggs in large bowl. Add half and half, wine, mustard, and 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt; whisk to blend. Add baguette pieces; fold gently into egg mixture. Let soak 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté until soft, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add kale; cover and cook 2 minutes. Uncover and stir until kale is wilted but still bright green, about 5 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Generously butter 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Using slotted spoon, transfer half of bread from egg mixture to prepared baking dish, arranging to cover most of dish. Spoon half of kale over bread. Spoon half of squash over bread and kale; sprinkle with half of cheese. Repeat with remaining bread, kale, squash, and cheese. Pour remaining egg mixture over bread pudding.
Cover bread pudding with foil. Bake 20 minutes. Remove foil; bake uncovered until custard is set and bread feels springy to touch, about 20 minutes longer.
Preheat broiler; broil pudding until cheese browns slightly, about 2 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and serve.

source: Yum Sugar

Types of Kale

Curly, Dino or Red?

Dinosaur kale, also know as Lacinato or Tuscan kale, is more tender than curly and red kale, making it a good candidate for raw dishes.
Curly and Red kale can be used interchangeably. Use either in cooked dishes. They are particularly good with dishes with a sauce. Sauce will nestle into the leaves' nooks and crannies. You may want to avoid curly and red kale in dishes where the green is served raw.

Japanese Hibachi Steak, Fried Rice and Zucchini

Hibachi Steak
11/2 pounds steak (sirloin, flatiron, etc)
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Season the steak(s) with salt and pepper on both sides
Cut the steak(s) into 1-2 inch cubes, trimming any fat.
Heat the oil and the sesame oil in a large skillet/griddle.
Add the steak, season with the garlic and soy sauce. Cook for about 5-10 minutes or until desired doneness. Serve on fried rice with Yum Yum sauce.

source: The Kitchen Eclectic

Fried Rice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
3 teaspoons sesame seed oil, divided
4 cups cooked white rice, at least a couple hours "old"
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon pepper, divided
2 small onions, chopped
1 bunch scallions, chopped, white and green parts
1/2 cup bean sprouts
4 eggs

Heat a wok over medium-high heat, coat with 1 tablespoon of the veg oil and 1 tsp of the sesame oil. Add the rice and break it up as you move it around, coating with the oil. Fry the rice for a couple of minutes, then add the soy sauce, garlic powder, sesame seeds, and ½ tablespoon each of salt and pepper. Cook for a few more minutes, to your desired "doneness", then transfer to a large bowl.
Return the wok to the heat, coat with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1 tsp sesame seed oil. Add the onions, moving around the pan. After a minute or so, add the scallions and bean sprouts, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are translucent and soft. Transfer to the bowl.
Return the wok to the heat and, once again, coat with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1 tsp sesame seed oil. Add the eggs, season with salt and pepper, cutting the clumps of scrambled egg with your spoon, spatula, flipper/stirrer thing. When done, transfer to the bowl and toss everything together, mixing well.

Japanese Steakhouse style Zucchini and Onions
1 Onion. peeled, sliced in half and then into slices
2 Zucchini, quarter each zucchini and then cut each quarter in to 3-5 strips each
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Tablespoon Rice wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon Sesame oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon Soy sauce
1 Tablespoon Sesame seeds

Once onion and zucchini is sliced up, splash zucchini and onions with the rice wine vinegar and some sesame oil and let sit for a few minutes.
Melt butter in a wok or griddle. Saute onions for about 2 minutes. Add the zucchini spears and season all with salt, pepper, and soy sauce. Cook until the veggies are to your desired tenderness. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and toss to coat.

source: Big Oven

We also had a simple salad with lettuce and cucumbers with Yum Yum sauce as the salad dressing.

Spring Salad with Honey-Roasted Walnuts and Berry-Balsamic Vinaigrette

For the Honey-Roasted Walnuts:
1/2 cup (raw) walnuts (could use Pecans)
1/2 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a bowl then add honey and pecans. Toss to coat then spread out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 5-6 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant (watch carefully so they don’t burn.) Sprinkle lightly with salt then set aside and let cool completely (can be made ahead of time.)
For the Berry-Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup fresh blackberries (could use blueberries, strawberries or raspberries)
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoon honey
salt and pepper

:Add all the ingredients to a food processor or blender then process or blend until smooth. Set aside (can be made ahead of time.)

To Make the Salad:
1 bag spring mix lettuce or baby kale, spinach and swiss chard mix
10 oz fresh blackberries (could use blueberries, strawberries or raspberries)
3 oz string cheese (could use blue, chevre or feta cheese)

Divide lettuce between plates then top with blackberries, cheese pieces, and honey-roasted pecans. Dress with berry-balsamic vinaigrette then serve.

source: modified slightly from the recipe at Iowa Girl Eats.

Tuscan Bean Soup with Kale

2 cans cannelllini (white kidney beans) drained and rinsed, a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice added
3 Tab. olive oil
1 1/4 cups chopped yellow onion
1/4 tea. salt
1 1/2 cups peeled and diced carrots
1 1/2 cups diced celery
1 Tab. diced shallot
2 Tab. minced garlic
fresh herbs such as thyme, oregano and the like
6-8 cups vegetable broth
2 Tab. lemon juice
1 bag kale or swiss chard, cut into bite sized pieces

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onions and salt and saute until golden. Add carrots, celery, shallots and saute for 3 minutes more. Add garlic and any spices and saute 2 minutes more. Deglaze the pot with 1/4 cup of the broth and allow liquid to evaporate. Add 6 cups broth and the beans and simmer 20 minutes.Add greens and salt and simmer until the greens have wilted. Taste to see if you want to add any more lemon or salt. Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

source: slightly modified from the recipe at One Bite at a Time, Rebecca Katz

Butternut Squash Soup with Apple and Pear

1/4 tea. allspice
1/4 tea. cinnamon
1/4 tea. salt
1/4 tea. red pepper flakes
1/8 tea. nutmeg
3 Tab. olive oil
2 pkg. cubed butternut squash
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 Tab. finely chopped shallot
1 tea. minced ginger
2 pears, peeled, cored and cubed
1 apple, peeled, cored and cubed
8 cups vegetable broth

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a sheet with parchment paper. Mix half the spices with oil and mix with squash. Roast 30 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and the rest of the spices and cook until golden brown. Add the shallots, saute 3-5 minutes. Deglaze with 1 cup of broth. Loosen all the bits from the bottom for great added flavor. Add 3 cups more of the broth.and simmer gently. Add squash. Add four more cups of broth. Simmer 15 more minutes. Taste, and add a pinch of salt, a squeeze of lemon, or a few drops of maple syrup to adjust to taste.

source: modified slightly from the recipe at One Bite at a Time, Rebecca Katz

Chili Garlic Beef Stir-fry with Jasmine-Coconut Rice

Chili Garlic Beef Stir Fry with Coconut Rice I howsweeteats.com

Chili Garlic Beef Stir-Fry
1 1/2 pounds thinly sliced stir-fry-type beef
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Thai Chili-Garlic sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 sweet onion, sliced

At least 2 hours before, put together in a ziploc bag the oil, sugar, chili pepper sauce, beef, salt, pepper and garlic cloves in a bowl. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or even overnight.

When you're ready to cook the beef, heat a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add the coconut oil and once melted, add the beef and sear the beef for 1 to 2 minutes, then flip and sear the other side. Remove the beef and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium-high. Add in the peppers and onions and stir well to coat, scraping any bits off the bottom. Cook until the vegetables just start to soften, about 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the beef back to the skillet and toss. Cover and let sit over warm heat for 5 to 10 minutes so the flavors can marry a bit. Serve immediately with the coconut jasmine rice.

Coconut Jasmine Rice
1 1/2 cups jasmine rice
1 1/2 cups canned coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut water or water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
I put all the ingredients together in a rice cooker and cooked until done.

source: slightly modified from the recipe at How Sweet It Is

Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup

2 tsp olive oil
2 leeks, chopped (whites and light green only)
2 cloves garlic
3 medium carrots, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 lb lean corned beef brisket (yields 9 oz cooked)
6 cups of water
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
1 small head cabbage, cored and chopped
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
pepper to taste

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium low heat. Add leeks and sauté until soft, about 4-5 minutes; add garlic, carrots and yellow pepper and sauté about 2-3 minutes. Add corned beef, peppercorns or seasoning packet that comes with the corned beef, bay leaves, parsley and water; cover and bring to a boil. Simmer covered on low heat for 3 hours, until the meat becomes tender.Remove the corned beef, set it on a cutting board and shred with a fork. Return it to the pot then add the cabbage and potatoes, taste for salt and pepper and adjust as needed. Cook until the potatoes and cabbage are tender, about 45 more minutes.ater; cover and bring to a boil. Simmer covered on low heat for 3 hours, until the meat becomes tender.

source: Skinnytaste

Gingered Sweet Potatoes

8 cups peeled and cubed sweet potatoes (about 8)
4 tea. salt
4 Tab. butter or margarine
1 tea. grated ginger
1/2 tea. maple syrup

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add sweet potatoes and salt and cook 25 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid and return potatoes to pot with the liquid. Add butter, ginger, maple syrup and nutmeg to taste. Use a potato masher or electric hand mixer to mash potatoes. You may want to add salt, lemon juice or more syrup to taste.

source: One Bite at a Time, Rebecca Katz

Bombay Beans

1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound string beans, ends removed
2 Tab. Olive oil
1 tab diced shallots or onion
1 tea. dry mustard
1 tea. cumin
1/4 tea. turmeric
2-3 tea. lime juice

Fill a large pot 3/4 full of water and 1 tea. salt to a boil. Add string beans and blanch for 3 minutes Drain and set aside.
In the pot, saute shallots and mustard and cumin with the olive oil for 30 seconds. Add the blanched beans and 1/4 tea. salt and turmeric. Toss, squeeze lime juice over the beans and serve.

source: modified slightly from One Bite at a Time, Rebecca Katz

Open-Faced Tortilla Stack

2 cans black beans, drained, rinsed and mixed with a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice
10 Tablespoons Fresh Salsa
1/2 teaspoon cumin
8 corn or wheat tortillas
8 large eggs
2 cups Monterrey Jack, shredded
1 avocado, cut into slices
a few springs of cilantro

Heat black beans with 1 Tablespoon of salsa and cumin.
Heat tortillas until heated through and crisp.
Break the eggs into a mixing bowl. Add 2 Tablespoons water and whisk until they are foamy (about 30 seconds). Cook eggs into scrambled eggs.

To serve:
Place a tortilla on a plate, top with a portion each of black beans, eggs, cheese, salsa and avocado. Sprinkle with cilantro.

source: One Bite at a Time, Rebecca Katz

Amish Raisin (Funeral) Pie

2 cups raisins
2 cups water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
3 tea. cinnamon
1/4 tea. allspice
3 Tab. cornstarch
1 Tab. apple cider vinegar
3 Tab. butter
2 crusts, homemade or store-bought

Preheat oven 400 deg. F Put raisins and 1/3 cup water in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Mix together sugars, spices, cornstarch and remaining water in a bowl. Pour over raisins and cook of medium-high until it begins to bubble. Add vinegar and butter. Cook, stirring, until the butter is melted. Remove from heat, let cool. Pour into prepared pie crust and top with top crust. Crimp edges. Cook for 15-25 min., until golden brown.

source: The Amish Cook at Home, Lovina Eicher

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