Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Squash and Lentil Stew

So, I saw this in the October Family Circle and showed it to hubby.  "Umm, no" was his answer.  So I saved it to make one night when he wasn't home but I ended up making it tonight when he WAS home.  Out of 10, he scored it an 8.5 and the two younger kids scored it a 9.  For hubby to rate it a 9, it has to be almost perfect.  A 10 is only for the absolute best recipes so an 8.5 is pretty good!  I think next time I make it, I'll add some kielbasa because I just think it would taste yummy but you can change out the chicken broth for vegetable broth and make it totally vegan!!  It's nice that it's versatile!!

Squash and Lentil Stew

3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery, trimmed and diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium butternut sqush (about 2 3/4 lbs), peeled, seeded and diced (5 1/2 cups)
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 can (14.5 oz) light and fat free chicken broth or low sodium vegetable broth
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes in juice
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups small brown or French green lentils, picked through
3/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup cilantro leaves, chopped

1.  Heat oil in large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add carrots, celery and onion and cook 5 minutes.  Add squash and season with chili powder and ground cumin.  Cook 1 minute.

2.  Stir in broth, tomatoes, water and lentils.  Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Uncover and stir in salt.  Simmer, uncovered an additional 10 minutes.  Stir in cilantro and serve.

Makes 6 servings
Per serving:  361 cals., 8 g. fat (1 g. sat fat), 17 g. protein, 62 g. carbs, 20 g. fiber, 795 sodium, 0 mg. cholesterol

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Holiday Morning French Toast

This is our standard Christmas morning breakfast.  I make it the night before and it is the first thing we do before we open presents - putting it in the oven.  By the time we're done with gifts, it's finished and we can have a great breakfast together.  It's WONDERFUL!!

Holiday Morning French Toast

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3-4 tart apples such as granny smith, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1 loaf Italian bread, cut into 1" slices
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. cinnamon
cinnamon sugar mixture

1.  Combine brown sugar, butter and the 1 tsp. cinnamon in a greased 13x9" baking dish.  Add apples and cranberries, toss to coat well.  Spread apple mixture evenly over bottom of baking dish.  Arrange slices of bread over the top of the apples.

2.  Mix eggs, milk, vanilla and the 2 tsp. cinnamon until well blended.  Pour mixture over bread, soaking bread completely.  Cover with a piece of foil that is sprayed with non-stick spray.  Refrigerate for 4-24 hours.

3.  Bake, covered with aluminum foil, in a preheated 375 degree F oven for 40 minutes.  Uncover and sprinkle the top with the cinnamon sugar mixture then bake for an additional 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes.  Serve warm.  For an eye-catching presentation, loosen edges of baking dish and invert onto a large serving platter.

**If you are going to bring this to a potluck, cut the bread into cubes since it's easier to serve.