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Posts Tagged ‘roasted root veggies’

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Side dish envy: Balsamic Butternut Squash

As much as I like a perfect bite of roast beef, turkey, or ham, filling my plate with multiple side dishes is my favorite part of a big holiday meal. Side dishes are often unfortunately overlooked during the holidays–a time when meats and desserts really shine. This recipe is so easy and results in a bold, flavorful side dish that will certainly be noticed. Leftovers reheat well or can be used as a tasty base for soup the next day. You can multiply this recipe to feed as many people as needed.

Roasted Balsamic Butternut Squash

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash

olive oil

salt and pepper

good Balsamic vinegar

To make:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

If you buy whole squash, peel the squash with a sharp vegetable peeler then dice into approximately 1 inch cubes. To save some elbow grease you can buy the pre-cut butternut squash in most grocery stores in the produce aisle. I find the pre-cut are a bit dryer than cutting your own, but peeling and cutting the squash takes some effort. In a mixing bowl, toss the squash salt and pepper and olive oil until the squash are coated. Layer the squash onto a baking pan, lined with foil, in a single layer. Roast in the preheated oven for approximately 20-30 minutes or until browned and softened to your likeness (you can check the tenderness with a fork). Turn the squash about halfway through the cooking to get a more even caramelization/browning of the squash. I actually don’t turn them and prefer one crispy side and one softer side 🙂 Remove from the oven and sprinkle with you favorite balsamic vinegar. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy…have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Perfect Butternut Squash bites!

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The forecast for the Northeast….more soup weather! We’ve had a few really nice days lately but the cold chill is back in the air. In my effort to eat fresh and budget friendly the only option until spring is to take advantage of the plethora of root vegetables that are readily available in the supermarket. This recipe is thick, creamy, and has tons of flavor–without the actual calories from the cream. The boiled potatoes thicken up the soup  nicely and the lowfat milk is sufficient for giving the soup that velvety texture of regular cream-based versions.  Not to mention if you are cleaning out your cupboard and come across leftover canned pumpkin from Thanksgiving, this is a go-to idea for using it up (alternatively try my pumpkin bread recipe).

Creamy Root Veggie Soup

Roasting the root veggies before adding them into the soup intensifies the flavor and adds a rich caramelized not to the soup. This soup is perfect for a cold, late winter day but flavorful enough to remind you that spring is near!

Root Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

1 lb parsnips, peeled and large diced/cubed

1 lb carrots, peeled  and large diced/cubed

2 tsp Kosher salt

2 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp garam masala (or use 1/2 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp dried oregano)

olive oil

4 medium sized russet potatoes

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin spice)

2 cups chicken broth

1/2 package of Hidden Valley Dill dry mix

1/2 cup milk

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix parsnips, carrots, olive oil, salt, pepper, and garam masala in a large bowl until mixed well. Place onto a baking sheet in a single layer–roast in oven for approximately 25-30 minutes until slightly browning at edges. Meanwhile, boil potatoes in a large pot in water until fork tender. Add roasted vegetables, boiled potatoes, butter, and pumpkin back into large heavy bottom pot and mash with a potato masher until well blended and slightly chunky. Place over medium low heat and begin to add chicken broth slowly, add Dill mix and stir until well blended. Use an immersion blender to blend ingredients until smooth (you can also blend the soup in batches in a blender and return to the pot when smooth). Add milk or cream, continue to stir on medium low heat. If the soup is to thick feel free to add warm water 1/4 cup at a time until desired soup consistency is achieved. Serve warm.  Feel free to add a dash of red hot to spice it up or a sprinkling of your favorite shredded cheese on top for that extra richness! Makes 8-10 servings–feel free to freeze leftovers!

This soup pairs perfectly with caramelized honey mustard bacon.

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