Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Thanksgiving has passed for us Canadians. American Thanksgiving is coming up very soon. I have been viewing an interview with the president of Butterball who was stating that this year in particular, turkeys would be much larger birds as a result of a shortage of workers to process turkeys during COVID, which resulted in turkeys growing much larger before they were sent to the processors. Small turkeys between 10 and 12 pounds will be extremely hard to find this year! And it definitely is squash season.

If you are not into a traditional Thanksgiving with turkey and all of the trimmings OR if you are not a large family but just a couple, then this could be perfect as a smaller dinner. You could make it vegan using no protein at all!

Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 medium acorn squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for brushing onto the squash
  • 1 yellow onion, small dice
  • 1 red bell pepper, small dice
  • 2 stalks celery, small dice
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or half a teaspoon dried
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb mild or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 cups torn curly kale
  • ¾ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 °F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Slice a small piece off the top and bottom of the squash so it can sit upright, then slice the acorn squash in half width-wise (not through the stem). This will result in a pretty scalloped edge. Scrape out the seeds.

3. Place the squash halves on the baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Turn upside down (seed side down) and roast for 25 minutes or until the squash is fork tender.

4. Meanwhile, make the filling. Over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery and sauté until onion is softened and turning translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Stir in the chopped fresh thyme, then add the minced garlic and sausage. Continue to sauté for another 8 minutes, or until the sausage is fully cooked.

6. Place the torn kale on top of the sausage mixture and cover the skillet to steam for 1-2 minutes. Stir and re-cover to continue steaming the kale, if necessary. Once the kale is wilted, stir in half the parmesan cheese and remove the pan from heat.

7. Once the squash is done roasting, remove them from the oven and turn the heat up to broil. Flip the squash bowl side up and divide the filling evenly among them (pile it high, they’ll be overfull), then sprinkle on the remaining the parmesan cheese.

8. Broil for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melted, making sure not to over-brown the squash.

Serve immediately and store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Eat within4 days.

Nutrition

Spaghetti with Beef and Chorizo

By now you know me well enough that I shop at Costco, which means I always buy bulk. Chorizo (Argentinian sausage) is raw when purchased. It must be cooked! Leftover sausages can be easily frozen, which was the case here. Finding that I had all of the ingredients, this recipe went together quickly. Enjoy!

Spaghetti with Beef and Chorizo

Spaghetti with Chorizo and Beef

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons neutral cooking oil
  • 2 cups white onion, diced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 chorizo sausage, diced
  • 2 cups white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup red or green bell peppers
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 jar passata (tomato puree)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic crema (reduced balsamic vinegar)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 200 grams fresh spaghetti noodles
  • fresh basil leaves, to serve

Method:

Add oil to a large pot on medium heat. Cook onions for 5-7 minutes, until they begin to become translucent. Add salt, garlic and chorizo, and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and bell peppers. Season with dried basil, oregano, parsley and chili flakes.

In a separate pan on medium heat, cook the ground beef. Once cooked through, add to the pot with everything else. Add passata, balsamic crema, water, and combine well. Cover with lid and lower heat to medium-low, and let simmer for 30-40 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add fresh spaghetti noodles, and cook for 2 minutes before draining, reserving a little of the pasta water. Add sauce to the pot, combine well, and serve with fresh basil.

Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers

Normally, when I do sausage and peppers, it is in the oven. Since I had time this week I found a slow cooker/crockpot recipe on Pinterest for this method. Come to find out, I liked it much better without having to use the oven. The texture of the sausage was so very different and the peppers were great. Served this with a little side of steamed broccoli. Perfect dish!

FYI…the sausages I prefer are Obertal Argentinian Chorizos, but that is your choice.

Crockpot Sausage and Peppers

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg Italian sausages (5) My preference is Obertal Argentinian Chorizo
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup chunky marinara sauce I substituted a small jar of PACE Medium Salsa
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2-3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

Instructions

1. Heat a skillet on medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan.

2. Sear the Italian sausages 2-3 mins on each side until starting to brown. You aren’t trying to cook them all the way through, you’re just browning the outside a bit which always increases the flavor while slow cooking.

3. Lay the seared Italian sausages in the bottom of a slow cooker/crockpot.

4. Add the uncooked sliced onions and peppers on top of the sausages.

5. Sprinkle the garlic salt, black pepper, and Italian seasoning over the top.

6. Spread the marinara sauce or PACE salsa over the onion and pepper mixture.

7. Cook the crock pot sausage and peppers recipe on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7 hours until the peppers are soft and the Italian sausage is cook through. FYI…mine was done at 4 hours on low!

8. The crockpot Italian sausage and peppers are seriously SO delicious as is, but to take it up a notch, take the sausage and peppers out of the slow cooker and spread into a broiler-safe pan and follow the cheese steps in the optional section.

Optional – Add Cheese

1. Sprinkle 1/2 – 3/4 cups of your favorite shredded white cheese, like mozzarella, Monterey Jack, an Italian blend, or Colby Jack would all be great choices.

2. Broil the Italian sausage and peppers mix for 1-2 minutes 4″ from the heat source until the cheese is melted.

Shrimp and Sausage Skillet

Quick and easy dinner using only a skillet, cutting board and a knife! And it looks spectacular too!

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Shrimp & Sausage Skillet

  • 1/4 cup avocado oil divided
  • 1-pound shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 tsp Cajun Seasoning or Old Bay seasoning
  • 12 ounces sausage cut into 1/2-inch slices (I used Argentinian chorizo)
  • 1 jalapeno minced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 lb green beans cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium red pepper cut into 2-inch slices
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Heat 2 tbsp of the avocado oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once shimmering, add the shrimp in a single layer. Cook about 2 minutes, and then flip the shrimp over and sprinkle with the seasoning. Cook another minute or two, until no longer pink, then transfer to a plate.
  1. Add the remaining oil to the pan. Once shimmering, add the sausage and sauté until starting to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the jalapeño and garlic and sauté until fragrant, 30 seconds.
  2. Add the vegetables and continue to sauté until just tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the shrimp back to the pan and warm through before serving.

Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya

There was sausage. There was shrimp. There were Costco Ancient Grains. What can I make? Jambalaya!! What is that you say…

Jambalaya  is a Louisiana origin dish of Spanish and French (especially Provençal cuisine) influence, consisting mainly of meat and vegetables mixed with rice. Traditionally, the meat always includes sausage of some sort, often a smoked sausage such as andouille, along with some other meat or seafood, frequently pork, chicken, crawfish, or shrimp. The vegetables are usually a soffritto-like mixture known as the “holy trinity” in Creole and Cajun cooking, consisting of onion, celery, and green bell pepper, though other vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, chilis, and garlic are also used. After browning and sauteing the meat and vegetables, rice, seasonings, and broth are added and the entire dish is cooked together until the rice is done.

Jambalaya is similar to (but distinct from) other rice-and-meat dishes known in Louisiana cuisine. Gumbo uses similar sausages, meats, seafood, vegetables and seasonings. However, gumbo includes filé powder and okra, which are not common in jambalaya. Gumbo is also usually served over white rice, which is prepared separate from the rest of the dish, unlike jambalaya, where the rice is prepared with the other ingredients. Étouffée is a stew which always includes shellfish such as shrimp or crayfish, but does not have the sausage common to jambalaya and gumbo. Also, like gumbo, étouffée is usually served over separately prepared rice.

Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya (for TWO people, half the recipe!)

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces sausage, sliced into 1/4″ slices (Costco Kielbasa works just fine)
  • 2 cups of peeled, deveined shrimp
  • 4 cups of chicken broth or stock
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup of instant rice/ Ancient Grains
  • 2- 14 oz. cans of petite diced tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp of paprika
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt to taste
  • freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions

In a large stock pot on medium heat, add olive oil, onions, peppers, garlic and the bay leaf. Cook for 5 minutes covered.

Add tomatoes, sausage, chicken broth or stock and remaining seasonings and cook on medium heat for 25 minutes.

Add instant rice (here I used Costco’s Ancient Grains) and shrimp. Stir and cook for 5 minutes or until rice is tender and shrimp turns orange. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.

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Sausage Hash

One of the things I miss a lot is corned beef hash, especially Shopsys in Toronto! Recently I found myself with a couple of sausages left over from my Sausage and Roasted Pepper Bake. You are probably tired of my referencing Pinterest, but really it is an awesome site. The following recipe was straight forward and turned out great for our Sunday breakfast.

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Best of all is that it is a one dish meal!!! Hope you will try it…

Sausage Hash

Ingredients

  • 1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed (pork works well too)
  • 3 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced (I used two cans of diced potatoes)
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup of Monterrey jack cheese, shredded
  • 4 or 6 large eggs
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a large heavy covered (or oven-proof) skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Add the sausage to the pan, using a wooden spoon to break it up. Sauté until brown – around 5 – 7 minutes. Remove the sausage to a plate lined with paper towel.
  2. Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet and add the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and saute until brown – about 10 minutes or so.
  3. Add the onion, bell peppers, minced jalapeno, and the smoked paprika. Saute and cook until soft – about 5 – 7 minutes.
  4. To the potato mixture, add the cooked sausage and the cheese and season to taste. Mix well.
  5. Crack the eggs onto the hash mixture. Cover with a lid and cook until the eggs are set – about 8 – 10 minutes. In the alternative, if you wanted to cook them in the oven, place the skillet under the broiler for about 5 minutes, until the eggs are done to your liking.

 

Slow Cooker Creamy Tortellini Soup

Costco strikes again! I bought the double package of tortellini when I really only needed one for a previous recipe. What to do? Find a recipe on Pinterest to use the one that was left. Eureka! Pinterest! Not only did it look yummy, it was…

 

Slow Cooker Creamy Tortellini Soup

Author: Karina – Cafe Delites    Serves: 10

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Ingredients

  • 500 grams | 1 pound ground Italian sausage (or ground chicken, turkey or beef), browned*
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoon beef bouillon powder (or chicken)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups beef broth (or chicken or vegetable broth — I use low sodium)
  • ¼ cup cornstarch mixed and dissolved in ¼ cup water
  • 3x 340 gram | 12-ounce cans full fat evaporated milk or half and half
  • 1x 340 gram | 12 ounce packet three cheese tortellini (I used one of Costco’s, remember)
  • 5 cups fresh baby spinach (whatever amount works for you)
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Place the browned sausage, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, Italian seasoning, beef bouillon powder, salt, and broth in a 6-quart / liter slow cooker bowl. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7 hours.
  2. Uncover and skim any fat that is sitting on the top of the soup with a spoon; discard. Stir in the cornstarch mixture with the evaporated milk (or half and half or cream). Add the tortellini and mix well. Cover again and cook on HIGH heat setting for a further 45 minutes until the soup has thickened, and the tortellini is soft and cooked through.
  3. Add in the spinach, pressing the leaves down to completely submerse into the liquid. Cover again for a further 5-10 minutes until the leaves have wilted.
  4. Pour in milk in ⅓ cup increments, as needed, to reach your desired thickness and consistency (I needed 1 cup); taste test and season with extra salt ONLY if needed, and pepper to suit your tastes.
  5. Serve with crusty warmed bread

Slow Cooker/Crock Pot Eggplant with Chorizo (Sausage)

Sunday at noon we usually head off to the symphony. Before we go I like to get a head start on dinner! Et voila…slow cooker….. This recipe was served by our friend, Kitti, and with or without the chorizo it was great. Serve with your preference of rice or maybe with quinoa. I think it wold also make an awesome spaghetti sauce!

SLOW COOKER EGGPLANT WITH CHORIZO AND TOMATOES

  • 2 large onions chopped
  • 1 eggplant sliced
  • 3  carrots  chopped
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 can of tomato sauce6 to 8 cut up Roma tomatoes
  • lots of garlic
  • 1 chopped red pepper
  • browned chorizo or sausage pieces (omit if you want a vegan dish)
  • fresh baby arugula ( a handful)

Brown the chorizo in olive oil . Remove and place on a paper towel.

Add onion, garlic, and eggplant to frypan. Cook, stirring often (about 5 minutes).

Stir in the tomatoes, sauce and paste. Cook 5 minutes more.

Add seasonings: cumin- salt-pepper- OPTIONAL cayenne pepper.

Place all ingredients into the slow cooker, stirring well. Top with a handful of the arugula.

Cover and cook on high for two hours or less.

 Just before serving add more arugula to the individual dishes.

Slow Cooker Jambalaya (With or without shrimp)

Just found this recipe and it was very good….if you are not a shrimp lover, just omit it!

Slow Cooker Jambalaya (photo taken from http://www.dinnermequickly.com/chicken-sausage-jambalaya.html

Revised from a recipe by Robin Miller

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 pound andouille sausage, diced ( or whatever sausage you like, depending on hotness)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun or Creole seasoning (I used Montreal Steak Spice…one teaspoon)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 pound frozen peeled and cooked shrimp, thawed
  • 2 cups cooked rice

Directions

In a slow cooker, combine chicken, sausage, tomatoes, onion, red pepper, celery, and chicken broth. Stir in oregano, Cajun seasoning, bay leaves, and thyme. (If you want it hot, add a little hot sauce)

Cover, and cook on LOW for 7 hours or on HIGH for 3 hours. Stir in the thawed shrimp, cover and cook until the shrimp is heated through, about 5 minutes. Discard bay leaves and spoon mixture over cooked rice.