Sometimes simple ingredients come together to make the perfect dish. With only four ingredients, this side dish is easy to make yet so tasty. I don’t normally add much salt to my vegetables, but the saltiness of the cheese really put this squash on another level. It tastes as sweet as always but with perfect contrast. I could eat this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The only trick to know here is that the squash can’t be crowded in the pan, or it won’t brown; it will steam. It may seem like an unnecessary effort to use two pans, but it caramelizes the squash so it tastes like something you’d get at a restaurant.
- 1 large butternut squash
- 1 tsp olive oil
- sea salt
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with foil and coat with olive oil spray.
- Use a knife or a vegetable peeler to remove the skin from the butternut squash. Cut it in half and remove the seeds; then cut into small pieces.
- Put half of the squash on each baking sheet, being sure to leave lots of room for the pieces to brown. Drizzle a half-teaspoon of oil over each baking sheet, and use your hands to mix the oil into the squash. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
- Bake for 25 minutes at 425 degrees. Remove the pans from the oven, stir the squash, and return the pans to the oven, but switch the pans—the pan that was on the top rack should now be on the bottom rack.
- Turn the oven down to 400 degrees and bake the squash for 15 minutes more.
- Remove squash from the oven and sprinkle each pan with parmesan cheese. Stir and serve.
Serves 4. Active time 15 minutes; total time 55 minutes. Adapted from http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2013/11/roasted-butternut-squash-with-pine-nuts-and-parmesan/
A steaming bowl of soup is my favorite meal in cold weather, but it doesn’t travel well. I was inspired to make this stew when I was making soup and thinking about how difficult it would be to bring to work for lunch. Adding some whole-wheat couscous took care of the liquid but preserved the flavor, and the dish turned out to be just as filling and warming as a soup.
This is a simple recipe that could be changed in so many ways. The ratio of broth, vegetables, and couscous is important so you end up with the right consistency of stew, but you can throw in any vegetables you have on hand. Different spice and herb combinations would work, too, but I recommend using the goat cheese every time to add a bit of creaminess.
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 carrots
- 1 red pepper
- 1 sweet potato
- 1/2 cup green lentils, rinsed and drained
- 32 oz low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup whole-wheat couscous
- 1 oz goat cheese
- 2 cups packed baby spinach
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- handful of fresh parsley, chopped
- grated parmesan cheese
- Heat the olive oil over medium in a large soup pot. Chop carrots, red pepper, and sweet potato (with skin on) and saute in olive oil for 5 minutes.
- Add the lentils, broth, bay leaf, onion powder, oregano, and thyme to the pot. Bring to a boil and then drop heat to a simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Remove the bay leaf, and add the salt, couscous, and goat cheese. Stir, drop the heat to low, and cover the pot. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, until the liquid is all absorbed. Stir to incorporate the goat cheese.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach and vinegar until spinach wilts.
- Serve topped with parsley and parmesan cheese.
Serves 4 to 6. Active time 20 minutes; total time 50 minutes.
It’s rare that I make a dessert for The Low-Acid Kitchen that doesn’t try to mask whole-wheat flour, do without oil, or otherwise be very healthy. These cupcakes are a true dessert, though, and they’re a treat with their light texture and delicious spice blend. They’re naturally moist from the pumpkin puree, and the fat content isn’t problematic if you eat only one. This recipe also includes a secret ingredient: Shipyard Pumpkinhead, my favorite autumn ale.
The key to keeping this dessert heartburn-friendly is to omit the frosting. Cream cheese frosting would be fantastic on these, but it’s not necessary. I topped each cupcake with shredded coconut instead of frosting, and the pop of sweetness and texture was the perfect finish. The part of the coconut that isn’t directly touching the cake gets browned and crispy and is divine!
I sent these cupcakes to Ginger of Stark Raving Delicious for The Leftovers Club. She made me a moist and well-spiced pumpkin loaf, and I wanted to reply with a seasonal treat. If you love to bake and want to receive goodies in the mail each month, consider joining Ginger and me in The Leftovers Club.
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- a few dashes of cloves
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and add paper liners to a standard cupcake tin.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Mix well.
- In a large bowl, combine the sugars, oil, vanilla, egg, pumpkin, and beer. Stir until smooth.
- Add the dry ingredients in several batches into the wet ingredients, and stir until all lumps have disappeared.
- Fill each cupcake liner with a scant 1/4 cup of batter. Sprinkle each cake with coconut, and bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cake comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from the pan and cool on a wire rack.
Makes 12. Active time 10 minutes; total time 26 to 28 minutes. Adapted from http://shipyard.com/article/pumpkinhead-cupcakes
Looking for a good use for a little bit of canned pumpkin? This recipe uses only half a cup, and it’s combined with applesauce for sweetness. I tried several variations on this recipe, and this version had the best texture. Adding chopped apples never led to a good result, but use chunky applesauce if you’re looking for a bit of fruit in your muffins.
These are low in fat, and the sprinkle of pumpkin seeds makes them feel special. If you don’t have any seeds, though, chopped almonds would work just as well. Either crunchy topping will complement the spices and the soft, carby muffin goodness.
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/2 cup cinnamon applesauce
- 1/2 cup low-fat milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup whole-wheat white flour
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- dash of cloves
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, beat eggs lightly. Mix in the oil, pumpkin, applesauce, milk, and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, stir together both flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices until blended. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until incorporated.
- Pour a scant 1/4 cup of batter into each muffin cup. Sprinkle the surface of each with pumpkin seeds, and press them gently into the surface of the batter with your fingers.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.