Kale Salad with Butternut Squash, Pomegranate, and Pumpkin Seeds

YIELD
8–10 servings
ACTIVE TIME
50 minutes
TOTAL TIME
1 hour

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds), peeled cut into 3/4″ cubes
  • 1/2 cup, plus 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 whole head garlic
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • 1 1/2 pounds Tuscan kale (about 2 large bunches), stemmed, leaves thinly sliced
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds (from 1 large pomegranate)

PREPARATION

Heat oven to 425°F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together squash, 2 tsp. olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Place whole head of garlic on a sheet of aluminum foil, drizzle with 1 tsp. oil, wrap securely in foil and place on baking sheet with squash. Roast, stirring squash occasionally after the first 15 minutes, until squash is golden and tender and garlic is tender, 35–40 minutes. Remove garlic and squash from oven and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp. oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add pepitas and cook, stirring occasionally, until about half are golden brown, 2–3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with 1/4 tsp. salt. Set aside.

Cut off the top of the garlic head and squeeze all of the softened garlic into a medium bowl. Whisk in the lemon juice, maple syrup, mustard, shallot, 1 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper, then whisk in oil in a slow, steady stream.

In a large mixing bowl, combine kale with about 3/4 of the dressing, and use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale. Add more dressing as needed (you may not need all of it). Reserve any leftover dressing for another use.

Add roasted squash, Parmesan, and pomegranate seeds to bowl; toss together to combine, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl, and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.

Do ahead

Dressing can be prepared 3 days ahead; cover and chill. Squash and garlic can be roasted, and kale can be sliced 1 day ahead; place separately in airtight containers and chill. Salad can be tossed together 30 minutes ahead; keep at room temperature.

Recipe Cred: 

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Mustard Vinaigrette

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 rounded tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, or use half olive oil and half canola or grapeseed oil
  • 1 small garlic clove

PREPARATION

  1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Whisk in the oil.
  2. Peel the garlic clove and lightly crush, or cut down to the root end with a paring knife, keeping the garlic clove intact. Place in the dressing and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes. Remove from the dressing before serving.

Spinach Pesto Quinoa Bowl

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups multi-colored quinoa, uncooked
  • 6 cups baby spinach
  • 4 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for topping
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Cook quinoa according to the instructions on the box or bag. (Instead of water, I used chicken stock for more flavor but if you want to keep this a vegetarian dish, go with water or vegetable stock.)
  2. Once quinoa is done cooking, turn heat to medium then add spinach, pesto, salt, and Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine and heat until spinach has wilted, pesto is evenly distributed, and Parmesan cheese has melted.
  3. Serve immediately with extra Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Recipe Cred: Table for Two

 

BBQ Shredded Chicken

8 to 10 servings

3 to 4 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, or a mix of thighs and breasts
Olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 (or more) cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) barbecue sauce, store-bought or homemade, plus more for serving

Heat the oven to 325°F. Remove the chicken from its packaging and pat it dry.

In a Dutch oven or heavy pot (with a lid) heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic for 5 minutes or until quite soft. Add the smoked paprika and stir. Add the chicken one piece at a time, stirring to mix well with the onion. Stir in the salt and a few generous grinds of black pepper. Pour in the barbecue sauce and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat.

Cover the pot with a heavy lid and put in the oven. Bake, covered, for 90 minutes, or until the chicken is extremely tender. Remove from the oven and use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a large bowl. Use two forks to shred the chicken finely.

While you’re shredding the chicken, put the sauce, uncovered, back on the stove over high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce the liquid in the pan to about half of its volume. Pour this thickened sauce over the chicken and stir.

Serve with buns, slaw, avocado, and extra barbecue sauce on the side. Refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Slow-cooker instructions: Follow the recipe as written above, but instead of putting the chicken and sauce in the oven, pour it all into a slow cooker. Cook for 5 to 7 hours on LOW. If desired, you can lift out the chicken and reduce the sauce in a separate pan on the stovetop, but this may not be necessary; it simply depends on your preference.

Recipe Cred: The Kitchn

Tri-Color Slaw with Lime Dressing

Serves 8 at least

1/2 head green cabbage, cored
1/2 head red cabbage, cored
1 pound carrots, peeled and shredded
1 large bunch cilantro, leaves roughly chopped
3 limes, juiced (about 1/3 cup)
2/3 cup neutral oil, such as peanut or safflower
1 to 2 teaspoon sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Shred the cabbage finely in using a chef’s knife, a mandoline, or a food processor’s shredding blad. In a very large bowl, toss together the shredded cabbage with the shredded carrots and chopped cilantro.

Whisk the lime juice and oil together in a bowl or measuring cup, and whisk in the sugar. Toss with the slaw, and season generously with salt and pepper (it may need more than you think it will at first, and this salad definitely needs its salt!).

Best served within a day or two, cold from the fridge, but you can refrigerate it for up to 3 days or until it loses its crispness.

Recipe Cred: The Kitchn

Roasted Corn Chowder with Lime

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 to 1 teaspoon curry or chili powder or paste, mild or hot, to taste
4-5 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
1 medium sweet onion, diced
3 ears of corn, roasted, kernels removed
1 large sweet potato, peeled, diced
1 14-oz can Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles
1 cup seeded, chopped fresh heirloom tomatoes- I used yellow and pink
4 oz. chopped roasted green chiles
1 quart light vegetable broth
1 14-oz can coconut milk
2 rounded cups* cubed organic tofu or cooked chicken pieces
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
A quick drizzle of organic raw agave, to taste

To serve:
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
Fresh lime juice from 2 juicy limes

Instructions:
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat and stir in the cumin and curry or chili powder; cook for one minute to infuse the oil with spice.

Add the chopped garlic and onion. Stir and cook for five minutes. Add the roasted corn, sweet potato, canned fire roasted tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, green chiles; stir for a minute. Add in the broth.

Cover and bring to a high simmer. Lower the heat and simmer gently, until the sweet potatoes are tender, about twenty minutes or so.

Add the coconut milk and tofu (or cooked chicken). Stir and season with sea salt and ground pepper; and add a drizzle of organic raw agave to taste. Heat through gently- please don’t boil it.

Just before serving, add the chopped cilantro and fresh lime juice. Stir. Taste test. Adjust seasoning. The lime juice brightens the taste and accents the spice. Agave cools the hotness.

Garnish with a lime wedge and pass out the spoons. Slurp. Smile.

Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Flank Steak

Ingredients

2 lb flank steak

1/4 c soy sauce

1/3 cup olive oil

4 tbsp brown sugar

5 garlic cloves, minced

freshly ground pepper

Preparation

Place all ingredients in a bowl except the flank steak and whisk together. Pour over the flank steak and then let the steak marinate in the fridge for an hour or more. Pour the steak and marinade in a crockpot and let cook on low for 8 hours. Enjoy!

Recipe Cred: The Mrs. with the Dishes

 

Slow Cooker Pork Chops

How To Cook Pork Chops in the Slow Cooker

Makes 3 to 6 chops

What You Need

Ingredients
3 to 6 bone-in pork chops (3/4- to 1-inch thick, around 1/2 pound each) — preferably blade, shoulder, or sirloin chops; rib chops are second best

For the brine, optional:
1/2 cup kosher salt
8 cups water
Aromatics like bay leaf, whole peppercorns, and other spices

For the slow-cooker dish:
Chopped vegetables and fruits, enough to form a layer on the bottom of the slow cooker — like apples, Asian pears, onions, carrots, celery, fennel, potatoes, sauerkraut
1/4 cup cooking liquid, like broth, cider, hard cider, white wine, or water

Equipment
Shallow dish, if brining
Paper towels
Skillet, if searing your chops
Cooking utensils
6-quart or larger slow cooker

Instructions

  1. Brine your pork chops, optional: Brining seasons the meat throughout and provides some insurance against overcooking. Stir together the salt and the water until the salt dissolves. (You can also warm the water in the microwave to make this easier, but wait for the water to cool before continuing.) Place the chops in a shallow dish and pour the brine over them. The chops should be submerged; if not, make additional brine solution. Cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  2. Season with salt and pepper: If you brined your pork chops, rinse them under running water, then pat them dry with paper towels. If you didn’t, just remove from their package and pat dry. Either way, season both sides with salt and pepper.
  3. Sear your chops, optional: Searing adds good flavor to the overall dish, but if you’re in a rush, you can skip this step. If you do sear the meat, you can also quickly sauté the onions or other vegetables going into the dish and then deglaze the pan with the cooking liquid. Add an extra splash of the cooking liquid to the pot to compensate for the liquid that evaporated during deglazing.
  4. Add a layer of vegetables to the slow cooker: Scatter the vegetables or fruits you’ve chosen over the bottom of the slow cooker. They should form a single layer.
  5. Layer the chops on top: It’s OK to overlap the chops slightly, but don’t stack them on top of each other.
  6. Pour the cooking liquid over top: Pour the cooking liquid, or the liquid left from deglazing your pan, over the chops. If you sautéed any vegetables, tuck some of them below the chops and scatter the rest on top.
  7. Cook for 2 to 6 hours on LOW: At around 2 hours, your pork chops will be cooked through (145°F) and have a texture similar to chicken breast — tender, but firm. Between 3 to 6 hours, the chops will have a texture closer to pulled pork; it will be easy to cut with a fork and will pull easily from the bone. (The first time you make slow cooker pork chops, check the chops every so often to see how they’re cooking; after this first batch, you’ll know exactly how much cooking time to plan for going forward to make your ideal pork chops.)
  8. Serve with the vegetables and cooking liquid: Serve straight from the slow cooker or transfer everything to a serving dish. Spoon the cooking liquid over top of everything.

Recipe Notes

  • Leftovers: These are not my favorite chops to reheat and serve the next day; I find that they’re just a bit too dry and tough at that point. If you do end up with leftovers, I recommend pulling them into shreds and using them in burritos, tacos, soups, and the like.

Recipe Cred: Emma Christensen at the Kitchn

Slow-Cooker Lamb Roast With Spinach and Chickpeas

INGREDIENTS

cloves garlic, crushed

tablespoons olive oil

tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed

Kosher salt and black pepper

2 1/2-pound boneless lamb shoulder roast

15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed

bunch spinach, stemmed and roughly chopped

plain yogurt, for serving

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine the garlic, oil, rosemary, cumin, and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture all over the lamb and place in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker along with 1/4 cup water. Cook, covered, until the lamb is tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.
  2. Let the lamb rest for 20 minutes before slicing against the grain. Stir the chickpeas and spinach into the juices in the slow cooker until the spinach is wilted.
  3. Serve the lamb over the chickpeas, spinach, and juices, with a spoonful of yogurt on top.

Simple Tahini Free Hummus

Ingredients

1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons almond butter or tahini
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 clove fresh garlic, finely chopped (optional)
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
Dash cayenne pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons water (if needed)

Directions
Stick it all in the food processor!! That’s it!

Recipe Cred: The Amazing Jessy O’Leary