Butternut Squash Soup

yellow soup in a pumpkin shaped bowl
Butternut Squash Soup

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
3/4 c. onions, chopped
5 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 tsp dried onion flakes
1 apples, peeled, cored and diced
1, 14 oz. can chicken broth
1/2 c. water
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp Sriracha sauce
1 T olive oil

In a large, high-sided pot, saute onions in 1 T olive oil until translucent. Add diced squash, onion flakes, diced apple, then chicken or vegetable broth and water. Cover and cook over medium heat about 30 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Turn off heat, add 1/2 cup cold water to bring temperature down slightly. Puree soup directly in the pot with a mixing wand (or you can do this with a blender). It’s then ready to serve. About 90 calories per cup.

American Goulash

macaroni, hamburger and tomato casserole
American Goulash

AMERICAN GOULASH

1 pound ground beef
1 medium yellow or white onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 – 15 ounce canned tomato sauce
1 14.5 ounce canned diced tomatoes
1.5 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 cup water
2 tablespoons Mrs. Dash’s Original Seasoning
1 dried bay leaf
1 beef bouillon cube
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
seasoning salt to taste
Pinch of sugar
1.5 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked

In a large pan, cook the meat over medium heat, breaking up hamburger as it cooks into small pieces. Cook until meat is cooked through and no longer pink. Stir in onions and garlic. Cook and stir until onions are translucent.

While hamburger is cooking, half-cook the macaroni, rinse with cold water, drain.

Add to meat mixture: water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, bouillon cube and, seasonings. Bring mixture to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 20 minutes, stirring now and then.

Stir in the cooked pasta, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust water & seasonings if needed. Remove from heat, discard bay leaf. Garnish with chopped, cooked green pepper (opt.)

Butternut Squash and Swiss Cheese Casserole

a squash and melted cheese casserole
Butternut Squash and Swiss Cheese Casserole

BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND SWISS CHEESE CASSEROLE

8 oz. fresh mushrooms or mushroom stems
2 onions, coarsely chopped (¼ cup)
1 ½ tsp. butter
1 Tbs. finely chopped parsley
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 clove garlic, minced
¾ cup shredded Swiss cheese
⅛ tsp. nutmeg
1 (2.5 lb.) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into ⅛-inch slices

Directions:
Finely chop mushrooms and onions and transfer to bowl together.
Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped mushrooms and onions, and season with salt if desired. Cook 10 minutes, or until the onions are lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in parsley and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 9-inch deep-dish pie pan or gratin dish with cooking spray.

Bring milk, flour, and garlic to a simmer in saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly. Cook 2 minutes, or until sauce is thick enough to coat back of spoon, whisking frequently. Whisk in 1/2 cup cheese and nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
Spread one-third squash in prepared pan. Top with 1/3 cup cheese sauce and half of mushroom mixture. Repeat layers, ending with cheese sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake 45 minutes, or until squash is tender and top is browned. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Homemade Yogurt in the Oven

HOMEMADE YOGURT made in your oven

yogurt on a spoon held over saucepan
Homemade Yogurt made in your oven

INGREDIENTS:
1 quart (4 cups) whole milk
2 tablespoons yogurt starter* (yogurt from a previous batch that has live bacteria culture).

You can start your first batch by simply using plain yogurt (not flavored or vanilla and not sweetened) from the grocery. After your first batch, save back a little starter each time to make your next.

DIRECTIONS:
Bring the milk to just under a boil on the stovetop on medium heat, making sure not to burn it on the bottom. Use a stainless steel or corning ware dish (any pot that you can use on the stove and in the oven). It’s best to stir it while it is heating up. If you have a thermometer, milk should reach 180 F. You can take the skin off the top, but it isn’t necessary. Simmer the milk at this temperature for about 5 minutes.

Cool the milk so that it is lukewarm to touch. It should read around 110 F. (about like a baby’s bottle). Add the 2 tablespoons of yogurt starter to the milk. Blend it in with a spoon or a whisk.

Cover the dish and place in the oven with the light on. The light will keep your oven around 100 degrees F., which is just right for setting yogurt. It should set after 4 or 5 hours. If you like a tangier tasting yogurt, you can leave it up to 12 hours. Place finished yogurt in the refrigerator to cool.