How To: Healthy Breakfast – Savoury Squash Pancakes

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I’ve had my eye on this recipe for a long time.

It’s been bookmarked in my “recipe to try folder,” along with so so SO many more. Well, thank goodness for national food holidays. When #pancaketuesday rolled around last month, it was the perfect excuse for a breakfast-for-dinner meal.

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And oh how glad I was that I made these. They are deceivingly simple sounding. Just some roasted and mashed squash, an egg, some cheese and yogurt, and flour. That’s basically it. And somehow, through the magic that is Smitten Kitchen, they become addictive little pancakes that you eat so fast you thoroughly regret not making a double batch.

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These pancakes are honestly perfect for any time of day – feeling like a savoury breakfast but also want pancakes? Make these! Feeling like you want something a little different for lunch? Make these! Feeling like a breakfast for dinner type meal? Make these! Feeling a little peckish mid afternoon? Make these! The fact that they come together lickety-split makes it really easy not to miss out. They also freeze wonderfully so make up that double or triple batch, you won’t regret it.

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I’ve eaten them plain, topped with a dab of butter, and a drizzle of maple syrup. But my favourite way is to top them with a little extra plain yogurt. But you do you – I imagine a soft poached or fried egg on top would be lovely.

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So make them and tell me your favourite way to eat them, okay? And if you’ve made a double or triple batch, give me a ring!

Dara

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Savoury Squash Pancakes

Serves 4-6
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Breakfast, Main Dish, Side Dish
Website Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash (halved and seeds removed)
  • 1/3 cup 2 % Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 3/4 Tsp salt
  • 1 Tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • butter (for frying pancakes)
  • additional butter or yogurt, maple syrup, sour cream (for serving)

Note

These pancakes are great for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! I love them as a side to eggs and topped with some extra butter or yogurt. You could definitely cook up a double batch as they freeze really well.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place squash flesh side down on baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes, or until very tender. Remove and let cool slightly and scoop out flesh and mash. Measure out 1 cup of mashed squash and store the rest in the fridge or freezer for another time.
3. In a large bowl whisk together squash, yogurt, eggs, cheese, salt, and baking powder until combined. Add flour and stir until just mixed in.
4. Heat a large non stick skillet over medium heat and add some butter to coat the bottom of the pan (I used about 1 tbsp or so). Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, spoon batter onto pan, flattening it slightly with the back of a spoon.
5. Once brown on the bottom side, flip and cook until brown on the other side. If the pancakes are cooking too quickly, turn down the heat slightly. If you aren't eating them right away you can keep them warm on a parchment lined baking sheet at 200 degrees.
6. Serve as is, or topped with some maple syrup, additional butter, or yogurt.

How to: Seasonal Cooking – Brown Butter Acorn Squash Pasta

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Dara and I were clearly on the same page this week.  Now that fall is officially upon us, we’re heavy in to the comfort foods and pasta sits at the very top of our faves list.

In addition to Dara’s recipe for a super simple and quick mac & cheese, I’ve got this doozy for you.  It’s sort of a simple mac and cheese, too. Made extra creamy by the addition of…squash!

And get this, it takes a measly 5 ingredients to get it on the table.

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I used an acorn squash in this recipe because well, I had one.  Switch it up with butternut, buttercup or hubbard. Each will give you a slightly different flave. If butternut squash is your reference here, acorn is less sweet.

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The flesh breaks downs really easily.  I used a hand blender to smooth it out, but you could also use a big whisk.

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Because this is such a simple recipe, the quality of the ingredients really matter.  Use fresh sage and the real deal parmesan, OK?  Grana padano would work well too.

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If it’s your first time browning butter, I’m SO excited for you.  It’s a simple technique that adds a delicious toasted caramelly (how is that not a word?) flavour to sweet or savoury dishes.

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Reserving the pasta water is a must here. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again.  I always reserve some pasta water.  Even if you don’t need it for your sauce, I make sure to add  a tablespoon or so per cup to any leftovers I keep.  Don’t mix it in though.  When you reheat your pasta, stir it halfway through and the remaining pasta water will make your sauce saucy again, without thinning it out too much. Otherwise, leftover pasta will absorb the water from the sauce leaving you with dry noodles.

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Drain your pasta and use the same pot to mix the whole deal together. Fewer dishes = happy cleaner upper (AKA husband).  Add pasta water ¼ cup at a time until you get a perfect creamy coating.

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Do not skimp on the sage, either.  It’s dynamite.

Erin

Brown Butter Acorn Squash Pasta with Crispy Fried Sage

Serves 4-5
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 50 minutes
Total time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8-10 sage leaves (finely sliced)
  • 300g pasta of choice
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese (packed)
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Note

Make this a 20 minute meal by microwaving the squash rather than roasting. Follow the same preparation and microwave for 10-12 minutes or until very soft.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Cut acorn squash in half and remove seeds. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use glass bakeware to roast squash, cut side down, for 40 mins until very soft and easily pierced with a knife. Cool slightly, remove and transfer flesh into a bowl and process with a hand blender or whisk until smooth.
2. While squash is roasting, heat butter over medium heat. Once it starts to foam, reduce heat to medium-low and swirl the pan constantly until butter solids begin to lightly brown. Once butter is a light caramel colour, add sage leaves and continue to swirl while they sizzle for about 30 seconds. Remove sage with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel to drain and crisp up. Add remaining browed butter to pureed squash. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Cook pasta per package directions, ensuring the water is salted. Before draining water, reserve 1½ cups of the starchy pasta water.
4. Return drained pasta to pot. Add squash, parmesan cheese and a ½ cup of pasta water. Stir until well combined. Add more pasta water to thin sauce out and coat pasta as needed (you may not use it all). Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
5. Serve immediately and top with crispy fried sage.

How To: Recipe Makeover – Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

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You would think after a large bowl of creamy and cheesy polenta our comfort food craving would be satisfied. Well, think again!

After returning home from sunny Florida where I feasted on frozen yogurt, fresh fish and salads, and green juice, the cold weather here has me craving more comfort. And what is more comforting than a pan of piping hot lasagna?

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I was debating whipping up a batch of our mushroom and spinach lasagna roll ups, but two spaghetti squash taking up space on my counter were staring me in the face. And as we’ve shown you before, these golden strands of squash make a perfect stand in for pasta noodles.

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The usual meat heavy red sauce is lightened up with soy ground round, some fresh veggies, and fresh basil. Low fat cottage cheese and mozzarella add that cheesy goodness to replace the typical white sauce. And come on – who doesn’t love getting their own personal edible lasagna boat??

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The slightly crunchy texture of the spaghetti squash tastes so delicious mixed with the tangy sauce and creamy filling.

Your own personal bowl of comfort that will leave you feeling satisfied and full, without the need for a post-food coma nap.

Dara

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Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Serves 4
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish

Ingredients

  • 2 spaghetti squash (halved and seeds removed)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 red pepper (chopped)
  • 3 Cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 Package yves soy ground round
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano (divided)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh basil (chopped and divided)
  • 1/4 Tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/4 cup low fat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup shredded low fat mozzarella cheese

Note

This lighter and vegetarian version of your favourite lasagna is the perfect winter meal. You can substitute ground turkey or chicken for the soy if you prefer to use meat. Some grated parmesan would also be great sprinkled on top before baking.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and brush squash with 1/2 tbsp olive and oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until tender. Set aside.
2. In a large skillet, heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and red pepper and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until soften.
3. Add ground round, 1/2 tbsp each oregano and basil, red pepper flakes, canned tomatoes, balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 5-10 minutes, or until thickened.
4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine cottage cheese and remaining oregano and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Fluff up some of the strands of the spaghetti squash and divide the cottage cheese mixture evenly among the squash halves. Cover evenly with the sauce and then the shredded cheese.
6. Bake at 400 for about 10-20 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and browned.

How To: Recipe Makeover – Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Tomatoes and Basil

Welcome, 2013.

I wish you all a year of happiness, health and spectacular eating.

What better way to ring in a fresh new year than with a fresh new recipe?

This one ticks all of the popular food-related new year’s resolution boxes:

Meatless? check. Loaded with veg? check. Void of processed ingredients? check.

It’s also a light, bright and fresh tasting; often a tough feat come middle of winter.

I’m having a fling with spaghetti squash at the moment.  Sauteed with a little garlic and seasoned simply with salt and pepper, it’s jumped right in as a side dish replacement for rice, pasta and quinoa and as a brilliant filling for tacos alongside black beans. Next up…spaghetti squash brownies.

I kid.

Prep couldn’t be simpler though. The sticker says so.

For this meal, I used spaghetti squash as a base for roasted cherry tomatoes which I normally serve over a big bowl of pasta. I also added a can of white kidney beans for some oomph.

Once the squash is prepped, I tossed it in a warm skillet with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, the pan of roasted tomatoes and a can of white beans.  Season with salt and pepper, top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and basil and serve.

To save on oven time, the tomatoes and squash can be roasted for the same amount of time at the same temp.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 1 hours, 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Medium spaghetti squash
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil

Note

If you're short on time, you can also microwave a spaghetti squash.  Pierce the squash with a very sharp knife all over the surface.  Microwave on high for about 10-12 minutes, flipping the squash halfway through.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375F
2. With a sharp knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise
3. Scoop out the seeds of the squash, and brush the flat edges with canola oil.
4. Roast squash, cut side down for 45-60 minutes on a foil lined baking sheet.
5. Allow squash to cool for 10 minutes, and using a fork, scrape out the flesh.

Looking forward to sharing many more meals with you this year!

Erin