Stocking up for Winter

Butternut squash + pumpkin + apples = stocking up the fridge. The cold, rainy weather was a good excuse to finally put the remaining fall & winter produce to use. I dug up recipes from Everyday Food for inspiration, and made a mess in the kitchen, but it was worth it! Now we can enjoy at least a week’s worth of butternut squash soup, roasted pumpkin, meatloaf and mashed potatoes.

About once a year I go to battle with a butternut squash, armed with knife and peeler, and tonight was no exception. But knock on wood, I haven’t lost a finger or pulled a muscle yet, and the various recipes I’ve used never disappoint. This time, I tried “Corn and Butternut Squash Chowder” from the September 2009 issue of Everyday Food. I made some slight adjustments, substituting olive oil for vegetable oil, and cumin instead of curry. The changes seemed to fit right in and the results were just as delicious, with the added texture of corn.

Meanwhile, I cut and peeled the last sugar pie pumpkin from my Capay delivery to use in a Roasted Pumpkin recipe from the October 2008 issue of Everyday Food. I left out the sage and substituted onions for shallots. The pumpkin was soft, but a little bland without the sage, so I’ll likely add it to pasta or chicken and rice later this week.

This one’s an original, and an experiment at that: I thought apples might make a nice addition to turkey meatloaf, which has previously been dry due to a lack of moisture (and fat) in the meat. So I peeled and shredded three apples in a bowl and added ground turkey, an egg, salt and pepper. I baked the “loaf” at 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes (or until the meat was cooked through and slightly browned on the edges). The apples leave juice at the bottom of the pan, but that means extra moist meatloaf with a nice sweet aftertaste! We had ours with buttery mashed potatoes on the side.

We have leftovers across the board – so one night of extra dishes might help alleviate the next 2-3. 😉

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Pumpkin Meatballs

Pumpkin + ground turkey + mushrooms = delicious meatballs. I regularly stock my fridge and freezer with ground turkey for instances when burritos or meatballs call our name. Tonight, while I went to town prepping meatballs, I serendipitously set my sights on the Sugar Pie Pumpkin that came in our bi-weekly Capay delivery.

Meatballs require moisture, whether it’s bread crumbs or egg whites, so pumpkin is the perfect seasonal addition. I simply scooped out the seeds and added the fleshy portions to my meatball mixture. I roasted the remaining pumpkin slices in the oven, just like you would with butternut squash.

I served the meatballs with Healthy Harvest pasta, topped with olive oil and parmesan. Delish! (The pumpkin will be saved for another time – unfortunately I had a small thumb casualty when attempting to peel the skins.)

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