Arugula Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Warm Cider Vinaigrette

Talk about a multi tasking salad! This one is loaded with all things good and nutritious; from beta carotene, (among other important nutrients), packed butternut squash, to Omega 3 loaded walnuts. Arugula, which is a super food, is loaded with Vitamins A, C and folate, and provides 100% of your daily Vitamin K intake, which is important for blood clotting.

Talk about a multi tasking salad! This one is loaded with all things good and nutritious; from beta carotene, (among other important nutrients), packed butternut squash, to Omega 3 loaded walnuts. Arugula, which is a super food, is loaded with Vitamins A, C and folate, and provides 100% of your daily Vitamin K intake, which is important for blood clotting.

INGREDIENTS:

1 (1 ½-pound) butternut squash, peeled and 3/4-inch diced

  • Good olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries

  • 3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice

  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 4 ounces baby arugula, washed and spun dry or pre-washed bagged

  • 1/2 cup walnut halves, toasted

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the squash on a sheet pan. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper and toss. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Add the cranberries to the pan for the last 5 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about ¼ cup. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard, ½ cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper.

Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture and the walnuts. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten, and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

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Cauliflower Lentil Soup

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Nothing says fall like a hearty nutritious soup that warms you to the bone. This one fits that bill perfectly!

Ingredients:

1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup dry red lentils rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 bay leaf
6 cups water or vegetable broth
4 cups cauliflower florets
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
diced red bell pepper, for garnish

Directions:

1.Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, or until softened.
2. Stir in carrots, celery, bell peppers, lentils, cumin, tumeric, and bay leaf.
Add water; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 30-35 minutes, or until lentils are nearly tender, stirring occasionally.
4. Add cauliflower, salt and pepper. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Remove bay leaf.
6. Using an immersion blender or food processor, process until smooth. If soup is too thick, add a little water or broth. Adjust seasonings to taste. Garnish with the diced red pepper.

NOTE: When cooking legumes such as lentils or beans, don’t add the salt until the last few minutes of cooking or the legumes won’t become soft.

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Bourbon Honey Cake

Just in time for Rosh Hashana, this cake will transport your tastebuds, as you welcome the New year in sweetness and health!

Just in time for Rosh Hashana, this cake will transport your tastebuds, as you welcome the New year in sweetness and health!

Technique tip: Prepare the cake completely, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and store at room temperature for one day, refrigerate for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 4 months.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup vegetable oil, plus extra for the pan

    1. 3¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for the pan

    2. 1½ cups granulated sugar

    3. 1 cup honey

    4. 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

    5. 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

    6. 2 teaspoons grated orange zest (from 2 oranges)

    7. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    8. 1 tablespoon baking powder

    9. 1 teaspoon baking soda

    10. 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

    11. 1 teaspoon kosher salt

    12. 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

    13. 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

    14. 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

    15. 1 cup hot coffee

    16. 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from 2 oranges)

    17. 1/2 cup good bourbon

    18. 1/2 cup blanched sliced almonds

    19. Preparation

      1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush a 9-inch angel food cake pan with a non-removable bottom with oil, line the bottom with parchment paper, then oil and flour the pan.

      2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the oil, granulated sugar, honey, brown sugar, eggs, orange zest, and vanilla on medium speed for one minute. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves, allspice and ginger, and blend.

      3. Combine the coffee, orange juice, and bourbon in a 2-cup glass measuring cup. With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour and liquid mixtures to the oil-sugar mixture in thirds, beginning and ending with flour, until combined. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula (the batter will be very liquidy).

      4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Rap the pan 5 times on the counter to get rid of any bubbles in the batter. Sprinkle the top with the almonds. Bake in the center of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely, then remove from the pan and place almond side up on a flat serving plate. Serve at room temperature.


Chilean Sea Bass in Honeyed Pecan Sauce

Stop the presses! This is hands down the easiest and most delicious fish recipe I have tasted and cooked! If you are looking for a fish recipe, look no further. This one is a winner!!

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Ingredients:

Chilean sea bass fillets, about 3 pounds
1/2 cup candies pecans, chopped
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Additional candied pecans for garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 ° F.
Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with non stick cooking spray
Rinse the sea bass and pat dry. Place in prepared pan.
In a bowl, mix together pecans, soy sauce, honey, brown sugar and olive oil.
Spoon over sea bass, bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes.
Garnish with a few whole candied pecans.
Serve immediately.

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Kale and Cheddar Flat Bread

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Jeff and I made this together and devoured it over the course of two days. Jeff ate it cold out of the refrigerator the following day, while I preferred it heated in the oven directly on the rack so the crust became crispy. We piled on the kale and tomato. You can adjust the amount according to your taste. This is a fun and easy recipe to do with kids, as well! For instance, they can help roll out the pizza dough, and add the toppings.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for baking sheet

  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 bunch kale, leaves torn into bite-size pieces

  • 1 pound prepared pizza dough, at room temperature

  • 2 cups grated Cheddar cheese, divided

  • 1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained

Directons:

Preheat oven to 450°F. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add onion, garlic, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add as much kale as will fit and cook, tossing often and adding more kale when there is room, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl; let cool.

Stretch dough into a large oval. Transfer to a lightly oiled baking sheet. Brush dough with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Top with 1 cup cheese, then tomatoes, kale mixture, and remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake until golden, 18 to 20 minutes, rotating halfway through.


Chicken Strips and Crunchy Brussels Sprouts with Peanut Dip

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This recipe is so good, that we have made it several times already, and to rave reviews, from all members of my family….young and old. I think it’s the peanut dip that makes it so outrageously delicious. I keep a jar of it in my fridge…it’s that good! Thank you to the fabulous Kim Kushner to whose (Kosher) recipes I am always drawn. You can purchase Kim’s books here.

Ingredients:

6 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips, and NOT pounded thin
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 batch of spicy peanut dip (see below)
1 lb brussels sprouts, halved
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
juice of 2 limes


Peanut Dip:

¾ cup (200 g) smooth peanut butter

¼ cup (60 ml) rice vinegar

¼ cup (60 ml) hot water

⅓ cup (75 ml) soy sauce

3 Tbsp pure maple syrup

1 ½ tsp grated fresh ginger

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ cup (50 g) roughly chopped roasted peanuts

½ tsp red pepper flakes

  

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine the peanut butter, vinegar, hot water, soy sauce, maple syrup, ginger, garlic, peanuts, and red pepper flakes. Use a whisk to mix well, until the consistency is creamy.

For the chicken and Brussel Sprouts:

Preheat the oven to 375 ° and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the chicken strips in a medium sized bowl and toss with 1/2 cup of the peanut sip.

In a large bowl, toss together the brussels sprouts, onion powder and oil.

Tip the sprouts into the middle of the pan and arrange the chicken strips around them to form a frame.
Discard the marinade, and roast until the brussels sprouts are golden and sizzling, for about 20-25 minutes.

Add the lime juice to the remaining peanut sip. Serve with the chicken and brussels sprouts for dipping.

Makes 4-6 servings


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Asian Cauliflower Lettuce Cups

These are so good, that I have made and devoured them for two weeks in a row.

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 clove garlic
1-inch knob fresh ginger
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sambal oelek (or sriracha)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 head of cauliflower separated into florets

Directions:
Toss 6-8 cups of cauliflower florets with some olive oil and roast on a pan at 450 degrees for about 30 mins. When it's done, toss enough sauce on the pan to get the cauliflower nice and saucy.
Load into butter lettuce cups and top with extra sauce, crushed peanuts and chives.

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Fig Salad with Baby Arugula, Goat Cheese and Walnuts

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I love fig season…and now is the time to enjoy them. Figs are great in salads and pair beautifully with soft cheeses like goat cheese as well as nuts like walnuts. The dressing for this salad is so delicious, that I will use it long after the season ends. Adjust the dressing and salad ingredients according the the amount of people you are serving.

Ingredients:

1-1/2 teaspoons minced shallots (1/2 tablespoon)

  • 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt or fine sea salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil

Fig Salad

  • 4 large fresh figs (or 8 small), I used Black Mission

  • 5 cups baby arugula (5 oz package)

  • 2 ounces goat cheese , crumbled

  • Instructions

    Toast the Walnuts

    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread walnuts into a single layer on a small baking sheet. Roast for 5-10 minutes until fragrant and toasted, stirring halfway through. Let cool while you prepare the vinaigrette.

    Make the Vinaigrette

    • In a small bowl, stir together shallots, 1 tablespoon vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. Slowly drizzle in walnut oil, whisking, until emulsified.

    • Taste the dressing. If you like it to have a more tart flavor, add an additional 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons vinegar. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

    • Assemble the Fig Salad

      • Cut stems from figs and slice in quarters if large and in half if small.

      • Toss baby arugula with the toasted walnuts and half of the vinaigrette. Arrange figs on the top of the salad and lightly drizzle each with a little of the remaining vinaigrette. Sprinkle the salad with crumbled goat cheese.

      • If desired, finish the salad with a few grinds of cracked black pepper and a few pinches of a medium-grind sea salt. Serve immediately.

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Skinny Chocolate Cheesecake Dip

This low calorie, low fat dip is the stuff dreams are made of. Dip in and enjoy!

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Ingredients

3/4 cup light whipped topping (like Cool Whip or So Delicious Dairy Free CocoWhip! Light)

1/3 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup light/reduced-fat cream cheese, room temperature

2 1/2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

2 packets no-calorie sweetener (like Truvia or Splenda)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Dash salt

2 tsp. mini (or chopped) semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except chocolate chips. Mix until smooth and uniform. Stir in 1 tsp. chocolate chips.

Top with remaining 1 tsp. chocolate chips.

MAKES 6 SERVINGS

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Capellini with Tomato and Peas

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Delicious and so easy to prepare. This recipe is a must have to pull out when you are in need of a pasta dish and you are short on time!

Ingredients:

1 pound capellini or other thin spaghetti
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
5 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese

Directions:

Btring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving 2 cups of the pasta water.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic, carrot, salt and pepper. Cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and a 1/2 cup of the hot pasta water. Stir to melt the tomato paste and create a sauce. Stir in the oregano, thyme, parsley and peas. Gently fold in the pasta and the cheeses, adding the reserved pasta water if necessary. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately.

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