The rain has finally stop. For the last couple of days, it drizzled hard at night and overnight. I am not complaining. I tend to sleep better with the rain. It’s the cold air that makes bedtime cozier. Also, it takes good care of my plants.
Guess what? When it rains, I stay in and cook. What’s best to cook? Of course, a soup and warm salad. And play with ingredients that I haven’t cook with before…like acorn squash and beets. Thanks to the internet, I managed an acorn squash.
The soup – like a chowder base but light and so full of flavor, I promise you can’t get enough of it. You could eat this all week long, if there will be any left. If you wish, it would be great in a bread bowl too.
The salad – love the original sweetness of the beets (never really liked beets until now) and squash are finger licking. Just put a little of the vinaigrette dressing on them when you eat to avoid overpowering the sweetness. The swiss chard is amazingly delicious with a coat of the vinaigrette dressing.
I am so full ::burp::
Roasted Acorn Squash and Beet Salad
1 acorn squash (2 1/2 – 3 lbs),
4 small beets, trimmed, peeled and sliced
1 bunch red swiss chard, cleaned and chopped
3/4 cup red onion vinaigrette
1/4 cup squash seeds, toasted (or sunflower seeds)
Preheat oven to 425F.
Brush squash beets with oil. Arrange pieces in a baking pan. Roast for 10 minutes.
Halve squash and remove seeds with an ice cream scoop. Cut squash into 1-inch pieces (half moon shape). Add the squash to the baking pan with beets (that roasted for 10 minutes already). Roast together for 15 minutes, or until tender. Slightly cool squash and beets. Set aside.
Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat with some oil. Toss in the stem of swiss chard. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, or under tender. Add the leaves and stir for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, toss the swiss chard with the red onion vinaigrette. Arrange beets and squash on top. Sprinkle with some squash seeds and vinaigrette. Serve immediately.
For the Red Onion Vinaigrette
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/4 sesame oil
2 tbsp honey
dash of salt
Combine all ingredients together. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
Potato Chicken Chowder adapted from myrecipes.com
1 cup uncooked small flake egg noodle
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups cubed peeled potato
3 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 oz light processed cheese, cubed (smoked bacon cheese)
2 cups shredded roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 breasts)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh cilantro (optional)
1/4 cup chopped green onion (optional)
1/4 sunflower seeds (optional)
Cook egg noodle according to package directions, omitting salt and oil.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat with a couple drizzle of olive oil. Add onion and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes.
Add chicken broth and potato. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until potato is tender.
Meanwhile, combine milk and flour, stirring well with a whisk.
Add the milk mixture to potato mixture after potato is tender. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat. Add cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in noodle, chicken, pepper, and salt. Garnish with sunflower seeds, cilantro and green onion, if desired. Serve with bread, if desired.
Note: To roast the chicken, clean and pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides in a baking pan. Roast for 15 – 20 minutes. Take out and add some fresh thyme leaves to the juice. Roast for another 5 minutes, or until tender.