Oct 272011

Last week in my food science class it was meat week.  We learned how to grill, braise, and pan sear meat. But I barely even remember the meat, because the sides we made were by far the best part about it.  Between the 5 groups, we made tabbouleh, potato and zucchini latkes, mashed butternut squash with hazelnuts, mushroom barley pilaf, and roasted beets and carrots, and baked apples with pecan-maple filling among others.    Not a bad spread.

My favorites of the night were probably the tabbouleh (something i’ve always wanted to make but never gotten around to) and the barley mushroom pilaf.  The butternut squash mash was definitely tasty and healthy, but I prefer roasted butternut squash in chunks, and it made my sad to have to mash up the beautifully roasted gems.  There was also a celery root puree and a curry cauliflower mash that weren’t my favorite.  You also can’t go wrong with stuffed apples–a relatively healthy and simple dessert with major wow factor.  Enjoy a few of these recipes…and expect remake of the mushroom barley soon with a tush cook twist :)

Butternut Squash Mash with toasted hazelnuts


  • 2 medium butternut squashes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cute toasted coarsely chopped hazelnuts
  • salt and black pepper to taste
Directions:  Toss squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast for about 30 minutes (or until tender) at 425 degrees.  Remove from baking sheet and mash with butter, stir in toasted hazelnuts and sprinkle a few on top. 

Traditional Tabbouleh

  • 1-1/2 cups cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coarse bulgur wheat
  • 2 cups finely chopped parsley
  • 1 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1 cup dived ripe plum tomato
  • 1/2 cup diced seedless cucumber
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped mint
  • Vinaigrette: 3 tbsp olive oil, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 tablessons fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Directions:  Bring water to biol in small saucepan.  Stir in bulgar, remove from heat, cover, and let sit one hour.  Drain and press out excess moisture and place in serving bowl.  Combine the parsley, scallions, tomato, cucumber, and mint with the bulgur.  Whisk together the vinaigrette and toss with the salad. 

Potato and Zucchini Latkes 
(not the healthiest of these three but TASTY!)


  • 1 large egg
  • 3 large waxy potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 2 medium zucchini, coarsely grated
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, as needed
Directions:  Place grated veggies in a clean dishtowel, twist tightly to squeeze out as much water as possible.  Crack egg in a bowl and beat lightly.  Add vegetables, flour, salt and pepper and stir to combine.  Fill a large skillet with 1/4 inch of oil and heat over high heat.  Place heaping tablespoons of the mixture in the oil and flatten slightly.  Cook for 3 minutes, turn, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Remove with a slotted spatula and place on paper towel lined sheet to drain.  Serve immediately.

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