Saturday, October 24, 2015

Harvest Chilighetti with Ground Turkey and Butternut Squash

I absolutely love the changing of the seasons. That warmth in the winter air as the snow begins to melt when spring is on its way, pink cherry blossoms and lilacs perfuming the air in May, the smell of fresh mown grass, and the sound of crickets as a new school year approaches. But perhaps the most glorious changing of the seasons comes in Autumn when that first chill is in the air and the trees display their fiery splendour in all shades of red, gold, yellow, and orange.

So what better when this kind of vibrant fire is in the air than to serve a warm and comforting dish like to day's Harvest Chilighetti!

 This gorgeous dish is a healthy adaptation of dish my mom used to make when I was growing up. She made hers with ground beef and pork and beans and it was such a great meal because it wasn't only delicious, it was super economical and always made a large potful leaving plenty of leftovers.

My rendition is full of delicious ingredients like butternut squash, black beans, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, and lean ground turkey. Better still (shhhh... don't tell my mother) it's even more comforting and yummy than the original.

If you try this recipe, let me know! As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.

I upload new recipe blog and video every week week! 

Visit the printable recipe here: Harvest Chilighetti with Ground Turkey and Butternut Squash
Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!




Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked cubed butternut squash (can use frozen and par-boil)
  • 1 cup cooked greens like spinach, swiss chard, or kale
  • 1 lb ground turkey (breast or thigh)
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 1/2 cup diced red pepper
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans (chick peas), rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 large tin diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 cups dry macaroni or other pasta 
Directions 
  1. Cut each cube of squash into four small cubes 
  2. Chop the greens
  3. Saute the turkey, onion, and red pepper in a nonstick pan lightly sprayed with olive oil or cooking spray 
  4. When the turkey is cooked through and the vegetables are soft, add the garlic, chili powder, and cumin and saute 1 minute until fragrant. 
  5. Add the squash, greens, beans, salsa, tomatoes, and brown sugar and bring to a simmering boil. Turn to low and let simmer while you cook the pasta.
  6. Cook the pasta just until al dente and then toss into the ground turkey mixture.

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Witch's Chicken Fingers with Monster Brain Dip

Happy Halloween everyone!

This year I have an extra special treat for all your little ghosts and goblins (and the big ones too)!


 Chicken tenders are dipped in mayonnaise, coated in a crunchy Panko bread crumbs, and baked to moist crispy goodness with almond finger nails and gooey witch's blood!

Serve with a side order of monster brain dip and you've got the fixings for a spooktacularly delicious Halloween!

This is an incredibly delicious main dish or appetizer, and if you try it, let me know! As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.

I upload new recipe blog and video every week week! 

Visit the printable recipe here: Witch's Chicken Fingers with Monster Brain Dip

Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!




Ingredients

  • 2 lb chicken tenders
  • 1/2 cup Hellmann's Mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 cups whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp creole seasoning 
  • 1 egg beaten 
  • sliced almonds
  • red cake decorating gel
Directions
  1. Mix the mayonnaise, worcestershire sauce, and mustard together. 
  2. Marinate the chicken tenders in the mayonnaise 4-6 hours.
  3. Mix the breadcrumbs and creole seasoning together in a shallow dish and then place the chicken into the dish turning to coat well on all sides. 
  4. Brush the tip of each finger with beaten egg and add an almond finger nail.
  5. Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet, at 400 for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
  6. Let cool slightly and then put a little of the red gel around the nail beds, smearing it slightly to make it extra creepy.

Monster Brain Dip 
  • 1/2 cup red pepper jelly
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
Mix just enough to make the jelly and mayo look like goopy brains :-) (as per the video) Gross looking but absolutely delicious!


Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.   

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Bangers and Mash with Apples, Green Beans, and Onions

There's something about Autumn that makes me want to strap on a feed bag and dive into mounds of mashed potatoes. It's like the weather begins to change and my body says: "We need to up your fat stores for the winter."

Can anyone else relate?

The thing is, though, I did so well last winter maintaining and not gaining that I want to keep the momentum alive while continuing enjoy my life. I know that sounds drastic, but I'm a cook and a foodie who also works really hard, long hours and wants to come home to beautiful meals featuring whatever it is I might be craving at the time.

In other words, life is too short for deprivation - for me anyways - and so that's where recipe development comes in. I've learned over the years that just about anything can be made into a healthier version of the original. For example, many recipes call for more oil than you actually need for sauteing - especially if you have a good non-stick pan. And the way you cook your dish, can also make a difference.

So today I'm going to share my healthy (er) version of Bangers and Mash!



















To make this iconic dish leaner and healthier I did a few things...

First, I purchased my sausages at the butcher shop so that I knew I was buying excellent quality, fresh, local sausages and then instead of doing them up in a frying pan, I poked holes in them and roasted them on a rack in a hot oven. Roasting on a rack this way helped release some of the additional fat without losing anything on flavour. And, using my method, you get a gorgeous crispy exterior.

Next, I decided to forgo the gravy and instead do a topping with apples, green beans, and onions. I knew the flavours would go beautifully together and that the fruit and veggies would add all kinds of additional nutrition and fibre to the dish.

Finally, I whipped up my mashed potatoes with chicken stock instead of butter and cream. This is a great way to enjoy mashed potatoes without all the additional calories. The chicken stock adds gorgeous flavour and with all that lusciousness from the sausages, apple, and green beans, you won't miss the butter.

This is an incredibly delicious rendition of Bangers and Mash, so if you try it, let me know! As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.

I upload two new recipe blogs and videos a week!

Visit the printable recipe here: Bangers and Mash
Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!




Bangers and Mash
  
Ingredients
  • 4-6 Bratwurst Sausages
  • 1 medium white onion cut into thin rings 
  • 2 cups green beans, trimmed and cut in half
  • 2 large tart apples (like the honey crisp) cored, peeled, and diced 
  • 1/4 tsp herbes de provence, or thyme 
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup apple wine, apple cider, or apple juice
  • 1 cup chicken stock 
  • 1 Tbsp butter
Directions
  1. Saute the onion, apple, and green beans in a medium non stick pan sprayed with PAM or olive oil over medium high heat until the onions are caramelized, the beans begin to go tender, and the apples are soft and golden.
  2. Add the herbes de provence, wine, and garlic and stir until the wine has almost evaporated.
  3. Add the chicken stock, reduce heat, and simmer until the liquid reduces by 3/4.
  4. Turn the heat to low, add the butter, put a lid on the pan, and let the sauce sit on low while you roast the brats. 
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 400. 
  6. Poke holes in both sides of the brats using a fork and place on a roasting rack over a baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes, turning once and then place under the broiler for 5 minutes a side until crispy. 
  7. Add the brats back to the pan and smother them in all that apple goodness.
  8. Serve over your favourite mashed potatoes. (I like to lighten mine up by mashing with chicken stock instead of cream and butter) 
  9. Spoon even amounts of the apples and beans over each.


Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.