Warm Kale and Cheese Dip

Kale

Warm Kale and Cheese Dip

courtesy of My Recipes.com

Ingredients

5 bacon slices, chopped
1 pound fresh kale, stemmed and finely chopped (about 1 bunch)
1/2 medium-size sweet onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 (8-oz.) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. (4 1/2 oz.) shredded Asiago cheese
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. (4 1/2 oz.) shredded fontina or Swiss cheese
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Assorted crackers and crudités

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring often, 6 to 7 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 1 Tbsp. drippings in Dutch oven. Sauté kale, onion, and garlic in hot drippings 7 to 8 minutes or until onion is tender. Add wine, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until particles loosen from bottom of Dutch oven.

2. Stir together cream cheese and mayonnaise in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in Asiago cheese, next 4 ingredients, and kale mixture. Spoon into a lightly greased 1- to 1 1/2-qt. baking dish.

3. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until center is hot and cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes; top with bacon. Serve with crackers and crudités.

Savory Butternut Squash Dip

Squash Dip

Savory Butternut Squash Dip

by Alexandra Kazimir, RAFFL

Often prepared mashed with maple syrup or brown sugar, winter squash is delectable. I love transforming this sweet, nutty squash into a savory dip, that also boasts of the versatility of butternut.  By utilizing savory spices, such as a curry, and the subtle sweet earthiness of nutmeg, the natural sweetness of the butternut is intensified. This dip makes a lovely spread for sandwiches, pasta sauce alternative, or a simple appetizer with crackers or toasted baguette (top with chopped walnuts or toasted pumpkin seeds to dress it up for the holidays).

Ingredients:

Makes about 2 cups

  • 2 c roasted butternut squash
  • 1/2 c soft, tangy cheese (quark, goat cheese, yogurt)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder (add more for a punchier dip)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 2-4 Tbsp water to thin

Cooked squash

Directions:

  • Cut, peel, and de-seed squash. Chop into 1-2″ cubes.
  • Drizzle squash with olive oil. Roast for 35 minutes at 400-425 degrees F on a lined baking sheet.
  • Add cooled squash, cheese, oil, nutmeg, and curry powder to a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add lemon juice or vinegar. Add water to thin mixture until desired consistency is reached.

Transfer to a bowl and serve with a drizzle of olive oil. This dip is delicious served simply with crackers; use it as a sandwich spread, or even as a pasta sauce!

The flavors continue to develop and intensify as the dip sits, so it will be even tastier the next day. If possible, make it ahead of time, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator (for up to a week).

Kohlrabi and Apple Coleslaw

KOHLRABI AND APPLE COLESLAW

Between the two – kale and kohlrabi – people sampling our salads seemed to know less about the kohlrabi. The part that is most often eaten, and that is used here, is the swollen stem that loosely resembles a turnip. However, kohlrabi grows above ground rather than under. Its taste is comparable to cabbage and broccoli, but a little more sweet, which is why it pairs well  here with the tartness of apples and tang of the yogurt dressing. This is a great way to change up a traditional summer barbecue dish. I added in a few handfuls of dried cranberries to add some color. Out of the two salads I gave out, this one disappeared the quickest. 

Serves 4   Prep: 15 minutes

  • 1 large kohlrabi or 2 small, peeled
  • 1 large tart apple or 2 small, cored
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • juice of half a lemon, or 2 tablespoons
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Julienne the kohlrabi and apple. You can use a mandoline or do it manually. If doing manually: slice the kohlrabi and the apple thinly, then stack slices and cut into matchsticks. Note: You may want to sprinkle the apple with lemon juice to prevent browning. For the honey yogurt dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, honey, pepper, and salt. Toss in the kohlrabi and apple, and mix well. Let sit 10 minutes before to allow the flavors to mingle.

From shinycooking.com

Kale and Mango Salad

KALE AND MANGO SALAD

While you probably won’t find mangoes in Vermont any time soon, this is an example of how to incorporate a more exotic item with something you can find in Vermont throughout the summer and into the fall. Massaging the kale leaves really helps soften them down and transform the texture into more of a lettuce-like consistency. And when paired with the sweetness of the mango and dressing, I think people were surprised with the results. 

Serves 4     Prep: 15 minutes

  • 1 bunch kale stalks removed and discarded, leaves thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 mango, diced (about 1 cup)
  • Small handful toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds

In large serving bowl, add the kale, half of lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and a little kosher salt. Massage until the kale starts to soften and wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside while you make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk remaining lemon juice with the honey and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stream in the 1/4 cup of oil while whisking until a dressing forms, and you like how it tastes. Pour the dressing over the kale, and add the mango and pumpkin seeds. Toss and serve.

From: foodnetwork.com

Vegan Creamy Roasted Parsnip Soup

Photo Courtesy of www.podgardening.co.nz

Photo Courtesy of www.podgardening.co.nz

Vegan Creamy Roasted Parsnip Soup
courtesy of In Pursuit of More

1 large sweet onion, chopped
3-4 large whole garlic cloves, unpeeled
2-3 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound parsnips, about 6 small parsnips, washed and chopped
4 cups chopped red potatoes, about 3 large potatoes
4 cups veggie stock
1/2 cup cashews
2 cups water
1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
Fresh pepper, parsley, and minced red pepper to garnish

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Wash and chop the parsnips, and combine with the onion and the whole unpeeled garlic cloves in a mixing bowl. Toss the veggies with the olive oil, cumin, and salt, and place in a large rimmed baking pan. Toss the pan in the oven and roast the veggies until fragrant and browning, about 30 minutes.

While the veggies roast in the oven, combine the vegetable stock and chopped potatoes in a soup pot. Heat to a gentle boil and cook gently until the potatoes are nice and soft, about 10 to 15 minutes. Turn the heat off once the potatoes are soft and leave the pot until the rest of the ingredients are ready. Once the roasted veggies are done, remove them from the oven and carefully free the garlic cloves from the skins. When cool enough to handle, combine the roasted veggies and potato stock mixture in batches and blend each batch until smooth. Combine the blended batches into another large pot as you go. Keep going until all of the soup is pureed to a smooth consistency.

Turkey and Stuffin’ Soup

Photo Courtesy of www.foodnetwork.com

Photo Courtesy of www.foodnetwork.com

Turkey and Stuffin’ Soup

Ingredients

  • 4-6 cups leftover stuffing
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • Leftover carrots, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
  • 2 quarts turkey stock
  • 1 1/2 pounds light and dark turkey meat, diced
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup leftover prepared peas, (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and transfer stuffing into a small baking dish. Place dish in oven and reheat 12-15 minutes, until warmed through.
  2. Heat a pot over moderate heat and add EVOO. Add carrots. Add celery and onion and lightly season vegetables with salt and pepper. Add bay leaf and stock and bring liquid to a boil by raising heat. Add turkey and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer about 10 minutes. Stir in the parsley, and peas, if using.
  3. Remove stuffing from oven. Using an ice cream scoop, place a healthy scoop of stuffing in the center of a soup bowl. Ladle soup around stuffing ball. Your soup will look like a chunky matzo ball soup. Pull spoonfuls of stuffing away as you eat through your bowl of soup.

Turkey Holiday Hash

Turkey-Holiday-Hash-BoulderLocavore.com-459.jpg (583×800)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 cups cold cooked turkey, chopped
  • 1 cup cold dressing/stuffing
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 2/3 cup gravy or heavy whipping cream
  • Garnish: chopped Italian parsley

Instructions

  1. In a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, place sliced almonds. Stir constantly until the almonds begin to turn light golden brown; 2-3 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  2. Melt butter in the same skilled over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and red pepper to the skilled and sauté, stirring constantly until the onions begin to become translucent.
  3. Add the turkey, dressing, salt, and pepper; stir to mix well. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through; about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the gravy/cream and almonds to the skillet. Cook until the liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently, scraping the bottom of the skillet to incorporate the browned butter into the mixture. Allow mixture to sit a few minutes in between stirring to develop a light golden crust. Hash should still be moist when done; about 5-10 minutes.
  5. Garnish with chopped Italian parsley and serve immediately.

Whipped Turnips with Leeks and Sage

Photo Courtesy of www.floatingkitchen.net

Photo Courtesy of www.floatingkitchen.net

Whipped Turnips with Leeks and Sage
Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish

Ingredients:

4 large turnips, peeled and cubed

2 medium red potatoes, cubed with skin on

2 tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 leek, white part only, sliced thinly, soaked to remove sand/grit and then chopped finely

2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage or 1 tsp of dried sage

¾ cup milk

kosher or sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

Fill a large pot with the turnips and potatoes. Fill with cold salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until tender and soft. About 20 to 25 minutes.

In a small saucepan, combine the olive oil and butter and melt over medium low heat. Once melted, add the leeks and sage, salt and pepper and saute until the leeks are tender and the sage is fragrant, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the milk and bring to a simmer over low heat, infusing the milk with sage flavor.

Drain the turnips and potatoes, reserving about ½ cup of the liquid. Set that aside. Put the vegetables back into the pot they were cooked in, add the hot milk and using an immersion blender, puree until smooth. If needed, add small amounts of the cooking liquid to the vegetables until the puree is silky, but still thick. If you prefer a chunky texture, mash roughly until mixed. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot or cold.

Roasted Pumpkin Stuffed with Many Good Things

Stuffed Pumpkin

Roasted Pumpkin Stuffed with Many Good Things

Serves approximately 2 as a main dish or 4 as a side dish. Can double the recipe for a larger crowd!

Ingredients:

1 small pumpkin, about 3lbs

Salt and ground black pepper

1 ½ cups bulghur or brown rice, cooked

1 ½ cups chopped apples

¼ cup sharp cheddar

1 clove garlic, minced

1 small onion, diced

1 tsp each dried rosemary and parsley (or 1 T each of fresh, chopped)

pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

4 T shredded parmesan, divided into two parts

⅓ cup of vegetable stock or milk

Directions:

Center the rack in an oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line a baking dish large enough to hold the pumpkin(s) with parchment paper. Keep in mind that you may need a bit more room to maneuver a spatula in case you want to serve the pumpkin on a different dish.

With a sharp and sturdy knife, carefully cut the top ¼ or ⅓ off from your pumpkin, like you are making a jack-o-lantern. Set aside the top. Scoop out the seeds and pulp, leaving a cavity that can be filled. Season the inside of the pumpkin with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss together the next 8 ingredients, setting aside 2 T of parmesan. Pour half of the measured liquid on the mixture and toss to coat. Add more liquid as needed so that the stuffing is moist, but not swimming.

Spoon the stuffing into the pumpkin until filled to the top. Any leftover stuffing can be baked separately in a dish. Set the pumpkin in the parchment lined dish and sprinkle the remaining parmesan on top of the stuffing. Put the pumpkin top on and bake until the pumpkin is tender, about 2 hours. About 20 to 30 minutes before it is done, remove the pumpkin top so the stuffing can brown.

You can serve the pumpkin straight from the baking dish or for a more elegant presentation, using a steady hand and a sturdy spatula, transfer the whole pumpkin to a serving dish. Cut into wedges and serve!

Notes: Pumpkin seeds can be cleaned and roasted with a little olive oil. All the vegetable bits, including the pumpkin pulp, can be added to a pot with water, brought to a simmer for several minutes and strained for a delicious vegetable stock.

Cooking Variations:

  • Almost any winter squash can be used in place of the pumpkin, with roasting times varying. Smaller or elongated squashes (like delicata or butternut), can be sliced in half and the cavities filled.
  • Think of this recipe as a guideline and try variations. For example, in place of the bulghur or rice, try pieces of whole grain stale bread. Or dried cranberries or apricots for the apples. Try pairing sage with chevre or mix in feta, mozzarella and swiss. This stuffing also pairs well with cooked sausage or bacon if you would like to add meat and nuts are delicious for additional protein and healthy fats.

Sauteed Brussel Sprouts

Sautéed Brussel Sprouts

Serves 4

2 cups Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons olive oil
Zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh, chopped herbs

Over medium high heat, sauté the Brussels sprouts in the olive oil. Cook until just starting to brown, 3-4 minutes. Add ½ cup water to the pan with the lemon zest. Cook until the water has evaporated. Toss in the cheese and herbs.

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