Sous Vide Sweet Asian Butternut Squash

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Sous vide cooking is a girl’s best friend. Yes, a boy’s best friend, too. You see I cooked this incredibly delicious side-dish while I was out in the garden. It’s the beauty of sous vide…I don’t have to babysit the cooking process. Set it, forget it and get outside to soak up the vitamin D. Life is good and so is this butternut squash recipe.

I know. What the heck is black garlic molasses? It’s a complex flavor explosion in your mouth is what it is. Kind of like an orchestra of nutty, roasted garlic in harmony with savory and sweet dried fruit. A product of Japan it’s made from fermenting garlic and then slow-roasting the black garlic into this black gold molasses syrup. It’s expensive, but a little goes a long way.

Whenever vacuum sealing I recommend putting all liquid ingredients in the bottom of the bag. Fold the top of the bag back so not to get it wet or sticky with ingredients which could prevent the bag from sealing properly. Add the squash. The squash becomes like an obstacle so the vacuum sealer doesn’t draw the liquid up to high and into the machine. Just watch.

Now just drop the bag in your heated water bath and go do something fun for an hour……

When ready to serve just snip open the bag, pour into a serving dish and toss with a little green onion and cilantro. Perfectly fork tender and fragrant this side dish can pair well any protein, but equally as good served over rice as a main dish for my vegetarian friends.

Sous Vide Sweet Asian Butternut Squash

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 tablespoon sweet Asian chili sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

¼ teaspoon black garlic molasses

¼ teaspoon grated ginger

1 small butternut squash, peeled, cubed (2 cups)

Garnish

1 green onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Optional: add ¼ teaspoon toasted sesame oil to bag and then finish with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.

Heat water bath to 170F. Place chili sauce, soy sauce, molasses and ginger in bottom of cooking bag. Add squash and vacuum seal bag. Cook for 45 minutes. Pour squash and sauce into a serving bowl. Add green onion and cilantro; toss. Serves 4.

last year’s harvest

A Super Bowl of Mulligatawny Noodle Soup

Want to know what a no-brainer is? It’s me participating in the JSL Foods Fortune Noodle Blogger Recipe Challenge. Already a lover and consumer of Chef Yaki’s healthy wholesome products it just makes sense to be in the mix stirring the pot. Plus the challenge involves noodles and soup. After my husband and my children and my grandchildren…noodles and soup are next in line of things that I love.

Soup Time

Fortune Noodle products are developed with a focus on flavor, noodle texture, 4 simple ingredients and convenience. They are sure to inspire both authentic Asian and fusion recipes. Today, I am featuring a nutritious, winter-warmer-upper soup made easy with these versatile noodles.

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Indian in origin, Mulligatawny soup is a creamy chicken soup flavored with curry and apples. Traditionally it calls for rice, but I switch out the rice for wholesome udon noodles and boost the healthfulness and spice with a bit of turmeric. Husband, daughter and son-in-law approved I like to call it my Souper Bowl of soup.

This soup could not be easier to prepare. Simply chop, sauté and simmer and you will have the most delicious and healthy bowl of soup in about 20 minutes. Yes, you can use lite coconut milk, if you prefer, and yes I use leftover cooked chicken or pick the meat from a deli roasted chicken for extra easy prep.

Mulligatawny Noodle Soup

1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil

1 cup chopped onion (1 medium)

1 cup shredded carrots (2 carrots)

2 stalks celery, chopped (include the leaves)

1 (7.27 oz) package Fortune Udon Noodles Chicken

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

2-3 cups diced cooked chicken

1 crisp apple, peeled and diced

4 cups (32 oz. carton) low sodium chicken broth

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or cilantro

2 green onions, thinly sliced

In a large pot or Dutch oven melt butter or coconut oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery; stir and cook 3 to 5 minutes or until onions begin to soften. Stir in Fortune flavor packet, curry powder, turmeric and black pepper. Add chicken, apples and broth. Turn up heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Add udon noodles and coconut milk. Cook, stirring to separate noodles, for 3 to 4 minutes or until heated through. Ladle into serving bowls. Garnish each serving with a sprinkle of herbs and green onions. Serves 6

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All Fortune noodle products can be found in the produce department in the tofu section at Safeway and ShopRite grocery stores. Want a free package?

I encourage you to join the Fortune Noodle Club here www.jslfoods.com. As part of belonging, you will receive a coupon for a free package of Fortune Udon Noodles. That’s a Super Win!

Christmas Pear & Kale Salad

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What will you be serving for holiday dinner? Prime Rib, Roast Turkey, Beef Tenderloin? Whatever your main course I have the perfect side dish to go with it.This healthy salad featuring fresh USA Pears is total “eye candy” and mouthwateringly (is that a word?) delicious.

Last, but certainly not least, this easy recipe is my final entry in the USA Pears Blogger Recipe Challenge Appetizers/Side Dishes category. It could be my favorite entry of all or maybe this pear poundcake is my favorite or I don’t know I really liked this pear crostini and this pear dessert and this pear pad Thai salad. You can’t go wrong with recipes featuring fresh USA Pears.

With a bright lemony dressing and dazzling superfood colors, textures and flavors this fresh pear and kale salad with be a feast for your eyes and party in your mouth…..

Christmas Pear & Kale Salad

  • Servings: 4 to 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Dressing

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, (1 lemon)

1 tablespoon honey

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salad

6 cups torn kale leaves

¼ cup baby arugula

2 USA Pears, sliced

¼ cup honey glazed sliced almonds (or nuts of your choice)

¼ cup pomegranate seeds

2 tablespoons roasted sunflower seeds

Shards of manchego cheese

Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar with a screw top lid; shake to blend. Place kale in a large bowl. Drizzle kale with a tablespoon or two of dressing. Massage kale with your hands for 1 to 2 minutes or until it becomes tender and a deeper green in color. Pour remaining dressing into a small serving bowl and place in center of a large round serving plate. Arrange kale around the bowl on the plate forming a wreath. Top with arugula, sliced pears, almonds, pomegranate seeds and cheese. Spoon dressing over salad just before serving. Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish.

❤ Cheers to 2020. May you resolve to eat more pears ❤

For more information and delicious recipes check out the website www.usapears.org and their social media platforms @usapears Instagram  Pinterest  Facebook  Twitter