Monday, September 27, 2010

kombucha squash and kale pasta

Fast and easy. 1 pan + 1 pot + 1 dish + 30 minutes = enough food for 2 for dinner and 4 lunches. Not too mention it tasted ridiculously good and had everyone in my office asking where I bought it so they could order take out, even though we work at Whole Foods...

1/2 lb. Whole Wheat Penne
1 package Light Life Italian Sausage, roughly chopped. Or just use the real thing, no hate.
1/2 Kombucha Squash (about 2 cups), peeled, seeded, and 1/2" sliced (it's rustic, you don't have to be exact)
1 bunch Kale, roughly julienned
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 Cup Pecorino Romano cheese, shredded (or nutritional yeast)
Salt to taste
Pepper (I like a lot of it in this dish)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, better keep the bottle handy.

Set your oven to 200 degrees and oil a casserole dish.

While pasta water is heating up, add 2 Tbsp. of olive oil to a saute' pan set to medium high heat. Add the 'sausage' and brown for about 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Try to get it out of the pan without losing to much of the oil since it will help to flavor the rest of the components of the final dish. Place the sausage in the casserole dish and pop it back in the oven.

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Add the squash and garlic to the pan (and any oil if you need to) and continue to saute' for about 10 minutes until the squash is fork tender. Season with salt and pepper and place in the casserole dish. By this time your pasta should also be done so shock it with cold water, oil lightly, and add it to the casserole dish as well and place it back in the oven.

Lower the heat of the saute' pan to medium and gently wilt the kale. You might need to do this in two batches if your pan isn't very large, or your bunch of kale is. As you may have guessed; put it in the dish and put it ba- wait! Hold on. Mix everything together in the dish, season to taste with salt (be careful though, pecorino romano is salty as well), tons of freshly ground black pepper, and any extra oil you may like to add. Heck, throw some butter in there if you want. Cover the entire thing in cheese and get down to grubbin', or put it back into the oven until you are ready to eat.

After writing this out, I really want to eat this again. We have been using veggie "sausage" a lot since moving here, especially the Light Life line mentioned above. It just has a super flavor "POP" that we can't resist. It makes even the easiest and fastest pasta night so much tastier, and goes really well with seasonal greens. Mmmmmm fake sausage.

Mexican Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash

2 Acorn Squash, halved and seeded
1 Cup Long Grain Brown Rice (if you use white, ditch 1/2 of a cup of the water below)
1 can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 Onion, 1/4" dice. We had a red onion.
1 Jalapeno, small dice, seeded if you ain't inta the spicy ish
2 Tbsp. 2x Tomato Paste
1/2 Cup Cotija Cheese, crumbled
2+ Tbsp. Canola Oil
1 Tbsp. Ground Cumin
1/2 Tbsp. Cayenne (or substitute 1.5 Tbsp. Chili Powder for this and the cumin)
Salt, cause it's good
Pepper, cause it's Salt's BFF
2.5 cups Water
Cilantro if you have it, I kind of wish we would have

Halve and clean the squash. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Oil the inside of the squash and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. of the cumin/cayenne blend. Add some salt and pepper at your discretion and place them in a baking dish.

Saute' the onion and pepper in a sauce pan with set to medium with 2 Tbsp. of oil. Add spices and season with salt and pepper. After onion becomes translucent (about 7 minutes) add your rice and stir until its coated in the goodness that is in the pan. Toss in the tomato paste and incorporate for about 90 seconds. Now get that water in there and cover that pan. Pop the squash in the oven, and pop a squat on the couch. Wait 25 minutes. Check the squash. Is it fork tender? Good. Take it out. Don't check the rice though, it needs 5 more minutes. Take this time to crumble your cheese and make another margarita.

OK, rice is done. Mix in the black beans, and season it if you need to. Stuff it into the squash. Top it with the cheese and the (hopefully not imaginary) cilantro. Eat it. Be careful, it's hot.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

We used to have a blog.

We were really proud of what we had done, and were excited to create each and every week.

Since we moved to NYC a lot of things have changed; we couldn't find a CSA, we were far busier than we could have imagined, and reconnecting with family and friends (and making new ones!) had taken up a large part of our time. Not to mention that we are planning a wedding!

We still shopped at the Union Square Green Market, still cooked like crazy, but every time we had thought to take a picture, or try to remember a recipe, our plates were already empty or an exact recollection couldn't be made. Something was always missing; from our lives, our plates, our intentions; our blog.

We decided last week that we would come back with a different focus, local, organic, and add budget conscious. We both took a large pay decrease to come to New York, and are paying more in rent here (I know, but we LOVE our place!), so with a wedding coming and adjusting to a new income level, our budget has been under scrutiny. BUT, we still have standards we can't compromise.

Last week we did 4; count 'em; 4 recipes that we are so gung-ho to post. And we will post them this week, but last night we found out about an organic, some what local-as-can-be, cost-conscious delivery service from our good buddy Nicole. With Winter coming in the Northeast and the availability of local produce depleting, we decided to sign up, and use this as our base. We will also be doing some features on local producers of some awesome products that we love, and have found we can't live without.

We will still be visiting the USQ Green Market as well; dammit, we are just gonna keep it real, and keep it on a budget.

Interwebs, we have missed you. Here we come!, again.