Thursday, September 25, 2014

Turkey, Spinach, and Mushroom Lasagna


Lasagna can be one of the most calorie-laden pleasures of life, a reason why I used to reserve it for the holidays. I will freely admit that my favorite lasagna is made with homemade spinach noodles, bechamel, and a long-simmered Bolognese sauce. My second favorite lasagna is the way my mother and my grandmother made it--filled with full fat ricotta cheese and mozzarella and served with meatballs, sausage, bracciola and preceded by a huge antipasto. And did I mention the garlic bread?

Well, of course you can't eat that kind of a meal on a weeknight. First of all, you'd need to get up in the wee hours of the morning to start the sauce. More importantly, eating that kind of (delicious, I love it) rich food is definitely not part of a healthy eating plan. So, for nights when I want lasagna, I turn to a quick, leaner version. I use bottled sauce because it's quick and because it has way fewer calories.

I have several versions that I've posted over the years I've been doing this blog (Quick and Easy Turkey Lasagna; Mushroom Lasagna).  Here's another.


Serves 8
1 lb ground turkey breast
2 tsp olive oil
1 (10 oz) pkg cremini mushrooms (sliced)
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (10 oz) bag spinach, trimmed
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups light marinara (Ragu has a good one)
1 (8oz) box no-boil lasagna noodles (I like Barilla)
1 (15oz) container fat free ricotta (store brands are fine; hey, it's fat free)
1 1/2 cups shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9 X 13 inch baking dish with nonstick spray.

Spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add the turkey and cook, stirring frequently, until no longer pink (about 5 minutes). Add the oil and reduce heat to medium. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened (about 5 minutes). Add the mushrooms and garlic and continue stirring, cooking another 5 minutes. Add the salt and pepper, stir, then add the spinach and cook, stirring, until it's wilted (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat. Drain away any extra liquid from the mushrooms and spinach.

To assemble, spread 1 cup of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Cover with 4 lasagna noodles, overlapping them if needed. Cover with half the turkey mixture, dot with half the ricotta, sprinkle with a handful of the mozzarella, and top with another 1 cup of marinara. Add another layer of 4 noodles and cover with remaining turkey mixture, remaining ricotta, another handful of mozzarella, and 1 cup of the marinara sauce. Add 4 more lasagna sheets, then spread the remaining 1 cup of marinara sauce on top and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese.

Spray a sheet of foil with nonstick spray; cover dish with foil, sprayed side down, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes, until mozzarella is starting to brown and noodles are very tender. Let cool 15 minutes before cutting into 8 equal portions. DO NOT CUT until the lasagna has cooled for 15 minutes and set up. Pass the grated cheese (and add those extra points).

9 WW PP per serving
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TASTE NOTES
I usually don't use fat free ricotta nor do I bulk up my lasagna with veggies, but I must say that this lasagna surpassed my expectations. It was really, really good (so good I'd have loved a second piece). I will say that next time I make this I intend to saute the mushrooms and spinach separately with lots of thinly sliced garlic. That way, instead of being a "filler," the vegetables will really bring something to the table, so to speak. Spreading the mozzarella through the layers instead of just putting it on top gives you that wonderful stretchy-melty cheese throughout. Of course, I had to add grated cheese at the table. All in all, I'm looking forward to the leftovers.




Monday, September 15, 2014

Beef and Vegetable Ragu


I love Bolognese sauce, but let's be real-- it's a weekend kind of sauce because it needs a bit of tending. I've made quick ragus before and they're acceptable, but I try to keep my weekday eating as healthy as possible and the calories can add up quickly when you're making a ragu. What to do? Incorporate veggies to stretch the meat, reduce the fat and calories, and save time.

Serves 6  (Sauces 1 pound of pasta)

3/4 lb very lean ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
8 oz white mushrooms, finely chopped (use a food processor for uniformly chopped pieces)
1 small eggplant, peeled and diced (1 inch dice)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can San Marzano peeled whole plum tomatoes (I like to put them through a food mill, but you can just chop them)
1 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Spray a nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium heat. Add the ground beef and onions and cook, stirring, until the beef is browned (5-10 minutes). Add the mushrooms, eggplant, garlic, and oregano and cook another 5 minutes, stirring, until eggplant begins to loose its raw look. Add the vinegar and salt and pepper, cooking about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook 15 minutes longer.

Serve over your favorite pasta (I served this over gemilli; penne or cavatelli would be other good choices).

1 1/4 cup sauce = 5 Weight Watchers PP values
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TASTE NOTES
I've made other ragus that contain veggies, but they were too obviously vegetable-based for my tastes. What I liked about this ragu was that the mushrooms, chopped as finely as they were, weren't distinguishable from the beef. The vegetables lent a sweetness to the sauce that made it seem as if it had cooked longer. I think the next time I make this sauce I will roast the eggplant first to add another dimension--smokiness. I served my 1 1/4 cup portion over a cup and a half of pasta (3 oz dry) and it was more than enough along with a tossed salad.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Baked French Toast



Lately I've found that I am far more satisfied with meals prepared at home. Not only do I control the portion size, I know exactly what ingredients go into each dish. Eating breakfast out may be faster, but the calories--often empty ones--can add up quickly and for someone who is health conscious, this gets the day off to a poor start (not to mention the difficulty of squeezing in lunch, dinner, and a snack without going off the charts). While I usually opt for a savory breakfast, given the success of my pancake squares, I decided to venture into the land of French toast.

I've made other versions of French toast that require preparing the mixture the night before, then baking off in the morning, but none had this souffle-like texture and streusel topping.

Serves 6 (8 PP values per serving)

12 slices reduced-calorie whole wheat bread (I recommend Sara Lee wheat)
2 cups nonfat milk or 1% milk (I used nonfat)
1 1/2 cups fat-free egg substitute
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1 packet Stevia
pinch salt

topping:  2 tbs light stick butter, at room temperature
              1/2 cup packed brown sugar

Spray an 8 inch square baking dish with nonstick spray (I like the butter flavored).

Arrange bread in 4 equal stacks in the baking dish; it will be very tight. Whisk together the milk, egg substitute, vanilla, cinnamon, Stevia, and salt. Slowly pour this mixture over the bread. Use a spatula to lightly press bread and make certain that the egg mixture is equally distributed over the bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to one day.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

With a fork, mix together the brown sugar and butter in a small bowl until smooth. Spread this mixture evenly over the bread. Bake for 1 hour or until a knife inserted one inch from the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes. Cut into 6 portions. I served mine with heated sugar free syrup (love Mrs. Butterworth's) with a half cup of blueberries.

TASTE NOTES
This was so good I'd have loved to eat more than one piece. I was surprised at how high it rose. It looked like a souffle! Ir did fall a bit when it was taken out of the oven. It was by far the best baked French toast I've ever tried, sort of a cross between a bread pudding and French toast. I'm certain it would be a delicious dessert served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

In the future, I would add a few points to this by placing additional streusel between the bread slices before it bakes. While it won't crisp, that yummy buttery-cinnamon flavor throughout will be delicious.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Pancake Squares


As much as I love to cook and bake, I've never enjoyed making pancakes. I could blame it on the electric stove, which makes using any kind of griddle hit or miss. I could blame it on the fact that you either have to eat them as you make them or hold them in a warm oven, which never keeps the pancakes the same as those fresh off the grill. And while I don't mind standing at the frying pan with potato pancakes, somehow standing there flipping pancakes has never been as rewarding. Enter King Arthur. No, not the sword-wielding Knight of the Round Table, but the King Arthur Flour Blog, which has the most incredible recipes and ideas. It was there that I read about pancake squares. (Like probably everyone else who saw that post, I slapped myself up along the side of the head and said, "Now, why didn't I think of that?") So, while I'm late to the party, I decided to give the idea a try.

You could certainly use a pancake mix, but why bother when making them from scratch is just as easy and tastes better. This is enough batter for this recipe:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbs sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
3 tbs melted butter

Mix well. Pour into a very well greased 9 X 13 inch baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes, until  a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.  The batter will brown around the edges, but the top will not be golden brown. You could add berries or chips or other add in's before you bake. I chose to bake mine plain and top with blueberries and syrup warmed together. You could even make a simple confectioners' sugar glaze. Any way you top them, they are ready in under a half hour and you can sit and sip your coffee while they bake.


TASTE NOTES
In addition to the wonderful smell of pancakes that will waft through your home, if  you close your eyes while you eat these pancake squares, you won't even know they haven't been cooked on a griddle. An added bonus is leftovers can be frozen and reheated for a weekday breakfast. I seldom eat pancakes,but that may change.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Chicken and Beef Fajitas

These were so good that I never got a chance to take a photo. Making your own fajita seasoning is easy--you may want to make a big batch and keep it in a sealed container. This is simple enough for a weeknight dinner, but makes a great addition to a party or picnic as well.


Serves: 8-10 with side dishes

Ingredients
2 tbs chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 cup Wishbone Italian dressing
4 skinned and boned chicken breast halves
2 lbs flank steak

2 green and 2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into strips
2 large vidalia onions, sliced thinly
oil for frying

20 small flour tortillas, warmed

Toppings:  sour cream, guacamole, shredded lettuce, tomatoes

Preparation
Combine the first 7 ingredients with the dressing and stir well. Pour half of the marinade into a large, heavy-duty ziploc plastic bag and add the chicken and seal. Pour the other half into a second bag and add the beef and seal. Place both bags in a bowl and refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.

Fry the peppers and onions in a small amount of oil to desired doneness.

To Grill:
Remove meats from the marinade. Grill the chicken 15 minutes on each side until cooked through. Grill the beef to medium rare (about 6 minutes per side, then rest for 10 minutes).

To Serve:
Slice chicken and beef into strips. Serve with tortillas, peppers and onions, and toppings.
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TASTE NOTES
Why buy a packaged fajita seasoning mix when you can make your own so inexpensively and easily, not to mention more flavorfully? I made these for a family BBQ since not everyone loves hot dogs and hamburgers. Most of the prep work can be done ahead of time and leftovers taste just as good the next day.




Monday, July 28, 2014

Moros y Cristianos (black beans and rice)




 Moros y Cristianos (also called Arroz Moro), is a very popular dish of black beans and rice. The name recalls Spanish history: the black beans symbolize Muslim Moors and the white rice stands in for Christian Spain. Simmered together,Moros y Cristianos soak up vibrant flavor from an array of herbs and vegetables. 



Serves: 8-10
3 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped (about ¾ cup)
½ cup green bell pepper, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 packet of Sazon
2 tsp. sugar
½ tsp. oregano
2 cans (15 oz) black beans
2 bay leaves
2 cups white rice (extra long grain)
2 tsp white distilled vinegar

Directions




1.Heat 2 tsp. oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and peppers; cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, Sazon, sugar and oregano, cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
2.Transfer liquid from can black beans to measuring cup; add enough water to measure 4 cups. Add liquid and bay leaves to pot; bring liquid to boil. Stir in black beans and rice. Bring rice mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, until rice absorbs water, about 25 minutes. Add vinegar; stir to combine.
3.Remove rice from heat; let sit until rice is tender, about 5 minutes more.


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TASTE NOTES

This Cuban-inspired take on rice and beans is my favorite. I like cooking the beans with the rice since it imbues the rice with more flavor than simply serving the beans atop the rice. As an accompaniment to chicken and beef fajitas, the dish was a big hit.


Check out my new blog:  http://arlene-onestitchovertheline.blogspot.com

Monday, July 21, 2014

Come Check out My New Blog




I've often posted about my quilting on The Food of Love, but I decided that this pursuit, which takes up so much of my time, deserves its own space.

Please come visit me at One Stitch over the Line.

Arlene

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Chocolate - Hazelnut Ice Box Cake



My mother was a great cook. When she baked, she baked well, but she definitely preferred cooking. One dessert she did make frequently was ice box cake. It was quick and easy and inexpensive. While I enjoyed her chocolate and vanilla pudding layered with graham crackers, this icebox cake takes the concept to another level. Remember that icebox cakes taste better after the cookies have had a full day to soften.

Serves 8 - 10
Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups cold heavy cream
1 1/2 cups mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (I prefer Nutella)
20 whole chocolate graham crackers

Instructions:
Beat 1 cup heavy cream, 3/4 cup mascarpone, the confectioners' sugar, and vanilla until combined, then increase speed and beat until stiff peaks form (1-2 minutes) --I used my stand mixer, but you can use a hand mixer as well.

In another bowl, combine 3/4 cup heavy cream, 3/4 cup mascarpone, and the Nutella until combined, then increase speed and beat until stiff peaks form (1-2 minutes).

Line the bottom of an 8 inch springform pan with about 4 graham crackers in a single layer, breaking them into pieces to fit any fill any gaps (seriously, this is the hardest part). Spread half the vanilla whipped cream over the graham crackers, then top with another layer of graham crackers. Spread half the chocolate-hazelnut whipped cream over those grahams then repeat with another layer of grahams, another layer of vanilla, another layer of grahams, and finish up with the other half of the chocolate-hazelnut whipped cream.

Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

Uncover the cake and run a thin knife around the edge to loosen. Remove the springform ring and smooth the sides of the cake using an offset spatula (the second hardest part). Put the remaining grahams in a large resealable bag and crush them into fine crumbs. Press the crumbs around the sides of the cake and sprinkle the remains over the top.
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TASTE NOTES
Oh, my, how can I get across just how incredibly delicious this simple dessert tastes? I don't often "lick the bowl" or the beaters, but I could not resist after tasting the creams. I've already decided that the next time I make this--and there WILL be a next time--I'm going to replace the vanilla layer with an espresso one for a tiramisu and hazelnut icebox cake. I'm sure the cake would be equally delicious made with the Famous chocolate cookies.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Shrimp and Corn Fritters



A month ago I tested a new recipe, one for shrimp and corn fritters. While they tasted good, they would not hold their shape and they were nowhere near as good as the fritters I normally make. I decided to try again, this time using my tried and true recipe from the Good Housekeeping cookbook, the first real cookbook I ever bought. I simply added the shrimp to my usual recipe, as follows:

Yield:  18 fritters
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp vegetable oil (more for frying)
1 (11 0z) can Green Giant yellow corn niblets, well drained)
1/2 lb shelled, deveined shrimp, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt. Beat the eggs; add the milk and vegetable oil. Stir in the flour, then the corn, then the shrimp.  Heat enough oil to cover bottom of a frying pan and fry by heaping tablespoonsful into hot oil ( use a 1/8 cup measure for each fritter). Fry 3-5 minutes, turning once. Drain on paper towels. Keep warm in a 250 degree oven. Serve plain or with a remoulade sauce.

TASTE NOTES
What a world of difference using my usual fritter recipe made! While the recipe I tried sounded good--it used yellow corn meal--the batter was too wet and didn't hold together. These fritters were light and crispy on the outside. They could be the star of the show or they could serve as a very substantial side to a grilled London broil, which is how I served them. I know I would love them with crab instead of shrimp and that will be the next round.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

One of the blogs that I've followed for some time is Barbara Bakes (www.barbarabakes.com). As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it. Intended for my guild meeting, I must confess that a few cookies "fell off the tray." They are ooey goeey right out of the oven, but equally delicious when they cool off.  Check out Barbara's site for a photo as well as other great recipes.



Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 (10 oz) pkg peanut butter chips
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line cookie sheets with parchment or silpat liners.
  2. In large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and mix until well blended.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just blended. Stir in peanut butter chips and chocolate chips.
  5. Using a small cookie scoop, drop by rounded spoonfuls on to cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until edges are set but the center is still be soft.
  6. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, December 30, 2013

An Early Happy New Year

Despite good intentions, I never got to blog on Christmas. I hope all my foodie friends and readers had a very Merry Christmas. As always, we had too much food (thank heavens for freezer bags). New Year's Eve will be quiet, dinner out, then home to try to stay awake to watch the ball in Times Square come down. I know it's after the fact, but I wanted to share our Christmas dinner and wish everyone a Happy New Year.






Monday, December 2, 2013

Sausage and Peppers Revisited


I'm sure you've all got your own recipe for sausage and peppers. My tried and true comes from a 1983 issue of Bon Appetit and marks the first time I roasted red peppers over an open flame. When I'm lazy, I simply fry the peppers and onions. Wandering around the Food Network site, I came upon a recipe from Giada for sausage and peppers. What caught my eye was the Marsala listed in the ingredients. I decided the wine would be an excellent addition. Here is the recipe as I tweaked it.

Serves 4-6
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lb sweet or hot Italian sausage (I actually used Italian turkey sausage this time)
3 red bell peppers, seeded and sliced
2 Vidalia onions, sliced
1 tsp Kosher salt
ground pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbs tomato paste
1 cup Marsala wine
1 can (15 oz) diced petite tomatoes put through a food mill
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
4-6 Italian sandwich rolls, optional or 1 lb. cooked pasta


Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausages and cook until brown on both sides, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain.

Keeping the pan over medium heat, add the peppers, onions, salt, and pepper and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the oregano, basil, and garlic and cook 2 more minutes.

Add the tomato paste and stir. Add the Marsala wine and chili flakes, if using. Stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the browned bits. Bring to a simmer. Add the tomatoes.

Cut the sausages into 4 to 6 pieces each, about 1-inch cubes. Add the sausage back to the pan and stir to combine. Cook until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes.

Serve in bowls over pasta. Or, serve as a sandwich., 
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TASTE NOTES
It took incredible will power to eat just one sandwich. I think that this preparation is every bit as good as the one with the roasted red peppers. I do not like chunky tomatoes, nor do I like my sausage, peppers, and onions with a heavy tomato sauce,  which is why I pressed them through a food mill. The resulting "sauce," which is greatly reduced, just adds a wonderful flavor. This is definitely going on the Christmas Day menu.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Classic Meatloaf


A lot of people turn up their noses at meatloaf--I used to be one of them. Then I discovered the meatloaf sandwich and all that changed. I've tried any number of recipes for meatloaf, some more successful than others. My favorites taste just as good lukewarm as they do hot, have a bit of sweetness, and have a consistency that holds together but is not dense. This recipe had an almost perfect proportion of beef, pork, and veal.

Serves 6 - 2 slices per serving

Ingredients
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tbs nonfat milk
1/2 cup ketchup, divided
2/3 lb extra lean ground beef
1/2 lb lean ground pork
6 oz lean ground veal
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1 tbs Dijon mustard
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
2 egg whites
cooking spray

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse breadcrumbs measure 1 1/2 cups.
  3. Combine breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl; let stand for 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons ketchup and remaining ingredients except cooking spray.
  4. Shape meat mixture into a 9 x 5-inch loaf on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Spread remaining 6 tablespoons ketchup over top of meat loaf. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a thermometer registers 160°. Let stand for 10 minutes. Cut the loaf into 12 slices.

  5. ***********************************************
  6. TASTE NOTES
  7. I enjoyed this for dinner with mashed potatoes and glazed carrots, but I enjoyed it even more on a soft kaiser roll with some BBQ sauce. Meatloaf shouldn't just be ground beef baked in a loaf and this combination of beef, pork, and veal was far more flavorful than just beef alone. I'm sure there'll be other meatloaf recipes to try, but, in the meantime, this one has a star next to it that says "make again soon."
    1. `

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup



Fall is my favorite season. I love the cool, crisp air, the changing leaves, and the wonderful root vegetables and squash that form the basis of so many hearty soups and stews. I may have come late to the party, but since I discovered butternut squash, it has become one of my favorites. My usual method of preparation is to peel it, cube it, drizzle it with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast it at high heat until it carmelizes.

I've ordered butternut squash soup at a number of restaurants and I'm almost always disappointed. What I've been served has been sweetened artificially, which is totally unnecessary. When roasted in a hot oven, the natural sweetness of the butternut squash is much more delicious. I decided to make my own soup, roasting rather than boiling the squash and the result was fantastic.

Makes 10 cups soup
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2  pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 " pieces
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • 1 small Vidalia onion, chopped

  • 1 medium apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 4cups vegetable broth (chicken broth may be substituted)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 2 tbs. sour cream
  • OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup toasted seeds, for garnish 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place cubed butternut squash in a large bowl; drizzle with the olive oil; season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Place in a single layer on a cookie sheet and roast 30 minutes. Turn pieces over and roast an additional 30 minutes.

Place tablespoon of butter in a large pot. Add onion, butter, and sage and saute for 5-7 minutes. Add vegetable broth and water and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add roasted butternut squash to broth mixture. Use an immersion blender to puree. Add sour cream and combine. Serve topped with toasted pumpkin seeds, if desired.
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TASTE NOTES
This soup is a wonderful appetizer course for dinner or a stand-alone lunch. It is creamy, yet not too filling. A bonus is that it freezes beautifully. I toasted my own seeds to use as garnish (forgot to photograph them), but often swirl a teaspoon of sour cream into the hot soup for a nice counterpoint to the sweetness.