Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash with Walnuts & Cranberries

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 acorn squashes, halved and seeded

  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided

  • 2 pinches each sea salt and ground black pepper, divided

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed

  • 1 yellow onion, diced

  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tbsp raw honey

  • 4 tsp fresh lime juice

  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper, optional

  • 2 cups spinach, finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup naturally sweetened dried cranberries, chopped

  • 1/2 cup raw unsalted walnuts, chopped

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut a little bit off the end of each squash half, if needed, to help it stand cut side up. Lightly coat squash with 1 tbsp oil, sprinkle with pinch each salt and pepper and place cut side down on a large baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes. 

  2. Meanwhile, cook quinoa: In a small saucepan, bring quinoa and 3/4 cup water to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork.

  3. Meanwhile, in a small skillet on medium, heat 1 tbsp oil. Add onion and cook until softened and starting to turn golden, 4 to 6 minutes. 

  4. In a large bowl, whisk together remaining 2 tbsp oil, vinegar, honey, lime juice, mustard, cayenne pepper (if using), and remaining pinch each salt and pepper. Add quinoa, onion, spinach, cranberries and walnuts; toss to coat. 

  5. To each squash cavity, place one-quarter of quinoa mixture in each well, pressing to fit. 

  6. To heat, place one serving on baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes at 350°F or until squash is soft and filling is hot. To heat leftovers directly from refrigerator, heat at 350°F for 30 minutes.

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Shallots

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 slices bacon, no added nitrates or nitrites, chopped

  • 3 small shallots, thinly sliced

  • ½ tsp sea salt, divided

  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded

  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper

  • 3 tbsp roasted, salted pumpkin seeds

PREPARATION:

  1. To a large skillet on medium, add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until bacon is crisp and fat has rendered, 6 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate.

  2. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add shallots to skillet and season with ⅛ tsp salt and cook, stirring often, until golden, about 8 minutes. Increase heat to medium; add Brussels sprouts and ⅛ tsp salt and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute. Add vinegar and cook 1 to 2 minutes more, until Brussels sprouts are wilted. Season with remaining ¼ tsp salt and pepper.

  3. Transfer to a serving bowl; top with reserved bacon and seeds.

Miso Orange Glazed Chicken with Carrots & Leeks

INGREDIENTS:

  • Olive oil cooking spray

  • 5 large carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces

  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts, halved lengthwise and sliced 1⁄2-inch thick

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided

  • 1 tsp ground ginger, divided

  • 1 tsp dried thyme, divided

  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper, divided

  • 1⁄4 tsp sea salt, divided

  • 8 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin removed (about 2 lb)

  • 3 tbsp fresh orange juice

  • 2 tbsp white miso

  • 1 tbsp raw honey

  • 1 tsp Sriracha or other hot sauce

  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon leaves

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F and mist a large, rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

  2. To a large bowl, add carrots and leeks. Add half of each of the following: oil, ginger, thyme, pepper and salt. Toss to coat. Spread in a single layer on prepared sheet. To same bowl, add chicken and remaining half of oil, ginger, thyme, pepper and salt. Mix and place chicken over vegetables. Roast on center oven rack for 20 minutes. Turn chicken and gently stir vegetables. Continue roasting until juices run clear and temperature reaches 165°F in thickest part of chicken, 10 to 15 minutes more. (NOTE: If using larger chicken pieces, remove vegetables after 30 minutes and continue cooking chicken as needed.)

  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine orange juice, miso, honey and Sriracha. Pour over cooked chicken and vegetables and gently stir. Divide among serving plates and sprinkle with tarragon.

Roasted Fennel Pasta with Ricotta

INGREDIENTS:

  • 10 ounces fresh linguine

  • 1 fennel bulb

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • ⅓ cup part-skim ricotta cheese

  • 3 cloves garlic minced

  • 1 lemon zested and quartered

  • ¼ cup chopped parsley

  • 1 shallot minced

  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs

  • Salt and Pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

  2. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high.

  3. Pick off and mince a few of the fennel fronds. Cut off and discard the fennel stems. Halve and core the fennel bulb; slice into ½-inch-thick strips. Place the sliced fennel on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss thoroughly to coat. Arrange in a single layer and roast, 18-20 minutes, tossing halfway through, until tender and golden.

  4. While the fennel roasts, combine the ricotta cheese and the juice of 2 lemon wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste.

  5. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic, shallot and half the parsley. Cook until fragrant and softened. Add the breadcrumbs and toast over medium heat, until browned. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and transfer to a small bowl. Wipe out the pan.

  6. In the now clean skillet, combine lemon zest, juice of remaining two lemon wedges, ½ cup water, and 2 tablespoons olive oil; heat to boiling on high heat and stir to combine. Remove from heat.

  7. Boil the pasta until just short of al dente. Reserving ¼ cup of the pasta cooking water, drain the pasta and add it to the skillet of sauce. Add the roasted fennel, minced fennel fronds and reserved cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is well coated in the sauce.

  8. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper, to taste, top with breadcrumb mixture, a dollop of the ricotta mixture, and remaining chopped parsley.