Monday, November 26, 2012


This week for The Food Matters Project we are using Roasted Butternut Chowder with Apples and Bacon as our inspiration. The recipe was chosen by Jen of Prariesummers. I chose my favorite recipe for Thai Curry Butternut Squash Soup.

This soup is super quick. You roast the squash first which gives the soup a tasty layer of flavor, then you add coconut milk for a silky, creamy texture, vegetable broth, then spice it up with Red Curry Paste. A quick zap in the blender and you are good to go. Perfect for these chilly winter nights.

For all the other Food Project Members takes on this recipe click here. You can find the original recipe on Jen's site here.


1 butternut squash (about 2-3 lbs.)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

2 cups coconut milk
2 cups vegetable stock
2 TBSP. Thai Red Curry Paste
1 TBSP. canola or vegetable oil

Cilantro for garnish

Pre-heat the oven to 375~

Cut the butternut squash in half through the stem and remove the seeds and membrane. Drizzle cut edges and cavity with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast on a sheet pan until very soft, about 1 hour.

Let stand until cool enough to handle. Scoop the flesh from the shell into a large pot or Dutch oven.

In a small pan heat 1 TBSP. canola oil and add the curry paste. Stir until fragrant. Add the warm paste to the squash. Add the coconut milk and the vegetable stock and heat over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring constantly.

Let soup cool a bit and then blend until smooth and creamy. If using a blender, work in batches. If using an immersion blender, blend directly in the pot.

Taste and season with salt in necessary.

Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Monday, November 12, 2012


This weeks Food Matters Project recipe was chosen by Aura of Dinner With Aura.  Aura chose Mark Bittman's recipe for Sweet Potato and Corn Fritters with Thai Dipping Sauce. Mark's recipe sounds fantastic and you can find it here but I was thinking along the line of football snacks. I had leftover chicken and quinoa in the fridge so Buffalo Chicken and Quinoa Fritters sounded perfect.

Cooked quinoa is combined with cooked chicken, finely diced onion, and a mixture of cheddar cheese and blue cheese. Add your favorite hot sauce, an egg, and some crunchy panko crumbs and you are ready to fry. The fritters are lightly fried until golden and crispy. Serve with carrot and celery sticks and blue cheese dressing for the ideal game day snack, appetizer or light lunch. This recipe is so adaptable. Leave out the chicken and just make cheesy quinoa fritters. Don't like blue cheese? Substitute any cheese inside. Bottom line, quinoa makes the best fritters!

For the other members creative takes on this recipe visit our website here. 

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Fritters

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup water
1 cup chicken, cooked and shredded
1/4 cup hot sauce or to taste
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
1/2 cup cheddar, shredded
1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1 egg
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste
oil for frying

Simmer the quinoa in the water until the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes and let cool enough to handle.
Mix the cooked quinoa with the chicken, hot sauce, onion, cheddar cheese, blue cheese, egg, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, adding more breadcrumbs if required to allow it to hold its shape.
Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.
Spoon the mixture into the pan and form patties of any size that you desire and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 2-4 minutes per side, and set aside on paper towels to drain.

Recipe from Closet

Monday, November 5, 2012


This weeks host of the The Food Matters Project was Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla. Camilla chose Mark Bittman's recipe for Wheat Berries with Braised Beef and Parsnips. That recipe inspired me to make a lovely Lamb Stew with Wheat Berries in Red Wine Sauce. This stew had layers of flavor. It was my first time cooking with wheat berries and I loved the texture they added to the stew. I served it with a dollop of garlic yogurt. The garlic was a bit strong (I loved it) but I think a dollop of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream would be good too.
For our other members take on this recipe click here.


Wheat berries:
2 cups water
1 cup wheat berries

Garlic Yogurt:
1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
fine sea salt


1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes
1 cup dry red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/4 lb. lamb cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 lb. carrots, cut 1/4 inch thick (about 3 cups)
3/4 cups dark raisins
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

To prepare wheat berries, bring the water and the wheat berries to a boil in a medium pan. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the wheat berries are tender with a slight chew, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside to steam for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid (about 1/2 cup)

Meanwhile, prepare the garlic yogurt. Beat the yogurt in a small bowl with a fork until smooth. Stir in the garlic and season with sea salt. Chill covered until ready to serve.
To make the stew, place the tomatoes with their juices, wine, vinegar and paprika in a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon or your hands, gently crush the tomatoes and combine the mixture.

Pat the lamb dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or pan over medium heat until shimmering. Working in 2 or 3 batches, cook the lamb until browned on all sides, adding a bit more oil if the pan goes dry, about 5 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb to a plate. Decrease the heat to medium; add the onion, garlic, cinnamon, bay leaf and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until the onion softens, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds, stirring. Add the tomato mixture (it may splatter), the meat with its accumulated juices, the carrots, and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, scraping the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes.

Add the raisins, the wheat berries, and if needed, enough of the reserved cooking liquid to just cover the vegetables (the tips of the carrots will show). Return to a boil. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook until the lamb is fork-tender, about 40 minutes. Add more cooking liquid or water to thin, if you like.

To finish, season with the brown sugar and pepper, as well as a dash more balsamic vinegar. Taste and adjust the seasoning, and serve with the garlic yogurt.

Recipe from