Burrata with Balsamic & Honey Glazed Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Seeds

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When it comes to entertaining friends or family, my preference goes into making simple dishes so that I can also enjoy their company, instead of being fully occupied in the kitchen. This is a super easy appetizer that you can make in advance and just garnish before serving. I sliced the butternut into very small cubes and then glazed it in a pan with balsamic vinegar and honey. It goes so well with the creamy burrata and the slight tartness of the pomegranate seeds. This is a perfect use for burrata this fall/winter.

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This recipe is for one burrata, but you can always double or triple it if you are feeding a large crowd.

Ingredients:

For the glazed butternut squash:

2 cups of finely cubed butternut squash

1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil

Pinch of salt

Pinch of cayenne

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

1 ½ teaspoons of honey

Extras:

1/4 cup of pomegranate seeds

1 baguette, sliced and toasted with olive oil

Chili flakes

Garden cress

A drizzle of olive oil

 

To make the glazed butternut squash, place the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the diced butternut squash, salt and cayenne. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring from time to time. Then add the balsamic vinegar and cook for an extra 3 minutes until it has reduced, don’t forget to stir. Finally add the honey and cook for an extra 2 minutes. Taste it and adjust the salt and cayenne to your liking. Transfer it to a bowl and allow it to cool down a bit.

In the meanwhile, toast the bread with some olive oil.

To serve, place about ¾ of the butternut squash on a plate. Place the burrata on top. Add the remaining butternut squash on top of the burrata. Finish with a sprinkle of chili flakes, garden cress and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with the toasted bread. Enjoy!

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Butternut Squash Tacos with Apple Chutney, Kale and Tzatziki

Another veggie taco but will fall flavors. For the apple chutney, I added a bit less sugar than you would normally do because I wanted it to still have some tang. I also added chili flakes for some heat and kept the cooking time short because I wanted the apples to still hold their shape. I massaged the kale in a simple dressing of olive oil, vinegar and salt. The fritters are super simple but crunchy on the outside because of the corn meal. And the tzatziki sauce just makes it all come together and adds some freshness to the dish. Make sure to get all the toppings in one bite.

This recipe makes 12 small tacos.

Ingredients:

For the tzatziki sauce:

1 cucumber, shredded (except for the core and seeds) and squeezed

1 ½ cups of Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons of chopped fresh mint

2 tablespoons of chopped fresh dill

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of ½ a lemon

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Salt

Pepper

For the butternut squash fritters:

2 cups of shredded butternut squash, squeezed

½ cup of yellow cornmeal

½ cup of all-purpose flour

1 egg

1 egg yolk

A good pinch of salt

A good pinch of onion powder

Cayenne to taste

For the apple chutney:

4 small apples, peeled, cored and chopped into small cubes

Juice of 3 oranges

Zest of 1 orange

1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar

1 white onion, finely chopped into cubes

1/3 cup of brown sugar

1/2 a tablespoon of chili flakes (or to taste)

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons of honey

For the Kale salad:

6 cups of shredded kale

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of white vinegar

Salt

Extras:

12 small tortillas

1 cup of pomegranate seeds

Vegetable oil for frying the fritters

 

Start by making the apple chutney, you can also do it a few days in advance and keep it in the fridge covered. Just place all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook it for about 17 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated but the apples still hold their shape. Stir from time to time so the bottom doesn’t burn. Transfer it to a bowl to cool down.

To make the tzatziki sauce, make sure to squeeze the cucumber as much as you can, otherwise the sauce will become too watery. Mix the squeezed shredded cucumber with the Greek yogurt, mint, dill, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix well and add salt and pepper to taste. Keep it in the fridge covered until ready to serve.

To make the butternut squash fritters, mix the shredded squash with the rest of the ingredients.

Pour about 1/4 of a cup of vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. To make the fritters, pour about 1 tablespoon of the batter into the hot pan. Do it in batches. Cook until golden on both sides. This will only take a few minutes. Place the fritters on the plate lined with parchment paper.

To make the kale salad, place the shredded kale in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, vinegar and salt. Massage it with your hands so that it gets evenly coated in the dressing.

Warm up the tortillas in a pan. Serve each taco with some kale salad, apple chutney, a couple of fritters, tzatziki sauce and some pomegranate seeds. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and my Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Brie & Butternut Squash Chocolate Cake

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I’ve been teasing you guys with this cake on Instagram for over a week now. I made it for the watch giveaway and for a small tea party that I hosted for some blogger friends. I know that the initial thought of brie, squash and chocolate might sound a bit weird, but it works. Think of it as a kind of cheesecake. I keep it in the fridge because of the cheese, but I prefer to eat it at room temperature. So you can just take it out 20-30 minutes before serving if you have time. I prefer it this way because you can taste the spices a bit better. It’s a very simple but rich fall cake.

This recipe is for a 19cm cake mold.

Ingredients:

For the chocolate part:

120grs of dark chocolate, chopped

57grs of butter

½ cup of sugar

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon of cacao powder

Pinch of salt

1 ½ teaspoons of ginger powder

1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

½ teaspoon of cardamom powder

For the brie & butternut squash part:

100grs of brie, weighted without the rind

1/3 cup of butternut squash puree

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup (if you can’t find it, use honey instead)

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon of powdered sugar

½ teaspoon of ginger powder

½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder

 

For the butternut squash puree, just chop 1 small butternut squash and place it on a microwave safe bowl. Cover it tight with plastic film and microwave it for about 7-10 minutes, till it becomes soft.  Let it cool down. You can do this the day before and just keep it in the fridge.

Line the bottom of your cake mold with parchment paper. Grease and flour the edges of the mold.

Melt the butter with the chocolate in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring in between until it has completely melted. Then allow it to cool down for a few minutes.

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

While the chocolate-butter mixture is cooling down, start making the brie-butternut squash part. Place the brie in a bowl and microwave it for about 1 minute until it becomes very soft and melts a bit. Then add the butternut squash puree and blend it until smooth. Then add the ginger syrup, flour, powdered sugar, ginger and cinnamon powder. Blend it again. Finally add the egg yolk and blend until everything is well combined. Set it aside.

Then continue making the chocolate part. Place eggs and egg yolk in a large bowl, add the sugar and whisk until well combined. Then slowly whisk in the cooled down chocolate-butter mixture. Then add the vanilla, flour, cocoa powder, salt, ginger powder, cinnamon powder and cardamom powder. Whisk until everything is well combined.

Reserve about 1/3 of a cup of the butternut and chocolate mixture, to make the top swirl.

Pour the butternut mixture into the bowl of the chocolate mixture. With a spatula fold the mixture in. Then carefully pour it into the prepared cake mold.

Use a spoon to drizzle the reserved chocolate mixture over the top. Then drizzle the remaining butternut squash part. Using the back of a spoon of knife, swirl it around a bit.

Bake it for 25 minutes. Then set it aside to cool down in the mold.

Once the cake has cooled down, carefully remove it from the mold. Because of the cheese, store it in the fridge. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and my Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Butternut Squash & Spelt Yeasted Waffles

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Fall has arrived and as much as I prefer summer, I got to embrace all the good things it brings. And of course butternut squash is one of those things. These waffles are crispy and have a tangy taste because of the yeast. They freeze well, so you can make them in advance and reheat them in an oven at 180C/350F for about 8-10 minutes. They will become super crispy afterwards. So they are perfect if you are hosting a brunch.

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This recipe makes about 10 small waffles. You can always double the batch.

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cup of spelt flour

1 cup of lukewarm milk

3.5grs of dried yeast

1 egg

2 tablespoons of melted butter

1/3 of a cup of butternut squash puree (you can also use pumpkin)

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon of sugar beet syrup (you can also use maple syrup or honey)

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

¾ teaspoon of cinnamon powder

¼ teaspoon of cardamom powder

1 tablespoon of sugar

 

Place the lukewarm milk, yeast, sugar beet syrup and sugar in a large bowl. Let it stand for 5 minutes to activate the yeast.

Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until everything is well combined. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

Preheat your waffle iron. Brush it with a bit of vegetable oil or spray it with non-sticking cooking spray.

Pour some of the waffle batter into the preheated waffle iron and cook till golden-brown.

You can serve them with honey, maple syrup or jam. I also topped them with fresh figs and edible flowers.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and my Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Black Kale, Butternut Squash & Cheddar Strata with Homemade Tomato Jam

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Not too long ago, I had a bread pudding for dessert at a restaurant. It had been ages since the last time I had one. Back at home I got that craving again, but for a savory version. So I made this one with black kale and butternut squash. It’s great  for brunch or dinner.

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This recipe is for a 23cm skillet.

Ingredients:

For the tomato jam:

1 kilo of ripe tomatoes

1 ¼ sugar

Juice of 1 lime

1 teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons of ginger syrup

Chili flakes to taste (optional)

For the strata:

1 small butternut squash (peeled, seeded and finely chopped)

3 tablespoons of olive oil

5 cups of chopped black kale, without the hard stems

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of onion powder

Pinch salt

Pepper

150gr of grated cheddar

5 cups of chopped baguette

For the milk mixture:

4 eggs

2 cups of milk

Pinch of salt

Pinch of nutmeg

Pinch of pepper

 

Start by making the tomato jam; boil some water in a large saucepan. Score a shallow x into the bottom of each tomato. Then carefully drop them into the boiling water and let them sit there for about 25 seconds. Then drained them. Carefully peel them and roughly chop them.

Place the tomatoes in a medium saucepan with the remaining ingredients for the jam. Let them cook over medium heat for about 35 minutes, stirring from time to time to prevent the bottom from burning. Taste for salt. Then transfer it to a bowl and allow it to cool down.

To make the strata, place the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the butternut squash and cook it for about 5 minutes, while stirring. Then add the kale, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes until the kale starts to wilt. Then turn off the heat.

Grease with vegetable oil a 23cm cast iron skillet or a small oven dish.

In a medium bowl; whisk the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

To assemble the strata, spread half of the bread over the bottom of the skillet. Then add half of the butternut squash/kale mixture, and then half of the grated cheese. Add the remaining bread, follow it with the squash/kale mixture.  Press with your fingers or a spatula to make it compact. Then pour in the milk mixture. Finish it by adding the remaining grated cheddar. Let it stand in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Bake the strata for 40 minutes. Serve warm with the tomato jam and enjoy!

Tip: you’ll have some tomato jam leftover, I used it to make some grilled cheese sandwiches.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

Kale, Gorgonzola, Butternut squash, Apple & Strawberry Salad with Date Vinaigrette

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A simple warm salad for these colder months. I love the sweetness that the dates give to the dressing, to add some more flavor I added a shot of port. It’s important to really massage the kale with the vinaigrette to make it softer and for the dressing to really get through.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the salad:        

200grs of shredded kale

1 granny smith apple, thinly sliced

1 small butternut squash, chopped into small cubes

200grs of gorgonzola, crumbled

6 large strawberries, cut into small cubes

3 tablespoons of olive oil, to cook the butternut squash

Salt

Pepper

For the date vinaigrette:

1 small white onion, chopped very fine

5 tablespoons of olive oil

8 small dates, chopped very fine

1 shot of port

1/3 cup of red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon of honey

Salt

Pepper

 

To make the vinaigrette, place the olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions, dates, salt and pepper. Lower the heat to low and cook for about 6 minutes, while stirring. Then add the shot of port and cook for about 2 minutes, to let the alcohol evaporate. Turn off the heat and transfer it to a jar with a lid. Add the vinegar and honey. Close the jar and shake it to emulsify the vinaigrette. Taste for salt and pepper.

Pour 3 tablespoons of olive oil into a large pan over medium heat. Once it is hot, add the chopped butternut squash, salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes, stirring from time to time until it is cooked through. Set it aside.

Place the shredded kale in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and massage the kale with your hands. This will allow the dressing to really get in.

Divide the kale among 3 plates. Then add the butternut squash, strawberries, gorgonzola and apple. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Butternut Squash, Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup with Sumac & Za’atar Roasted Cashew Crumbs and Shaved Asparagus (Vegan)

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A very easy and comforting soup with added crunch from the raw asparagus and cashew crumbs. Perfect for this cold weather.

On another note, I recently made a tutorial for the blue background that you see in these pictures. You can check it out by clicking here.

 

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This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the soup:

1 medium butternut squash, just chopped into pieces

4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into pieces

2 medium sweet potatoes

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 white onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 litter of vegetable stock

½ teaspoon of celery salt

Pinch of paprika powder

Salt to taste

For the cashew crumbs:

1 cup of salted cashews, finely chopped into crumbs

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Pinch of paprika powder

1 tablespoon of sumac

1 teaspoon of Za’atar

Pinch of salt (optional)

For the asparagus:

8 asparagus

Salt

Pepper

 

Chop the butternut squash (leave the skin and seeds on, they will come off easier after being roasted) and carrot into chunks. Place the butternut squash, carrots and whole sweet potatoes in an oven tray lined with parchment paper. Drizzle some olive oil over the squash and carrot. Sprinkle with some salt and then roast them in the oven at 180C/350F until tender. This will take about ½ hour for the squash and carrots, and 1 hour for the sweet potato. So just check from time to time.

Once the vegetables are roasted, scoop out the seeds from the butternut squash and discard them. Then scoop out the flesh and set it aside. Peel the sweet potato.

In a medium saucepan, add the olive oil over medium heat. Then add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Then add the butternut squah, carrots and sweet potatoes. Add the stock, celery salt and paprika powder. Let it simmer for 5 minutes and then blend it until smooth using an immersion blender. Taste it, and then add salt to taste.

To make the cashew crumbs, mix the chopped cashews with the spices and olive oil. Roast them for 15 minutes at 180C/350F. Stir the crumbs half way through.  Set it aside to cool.

When you are ready to serve, reheat the soup and start preparing the asparagus. Grab a potato peeler and start to shave the asparagus. Don’t worry if some break. Then season them with salt and pepper.

Serve the soup with the seasoned shaved asparagus and some of the cashew crumbs. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

Quinoa, Butternut Squash & Gorgonzola Burgers

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A super simple recipe for meatless Monday.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the patties:

2 cups of cooked quinoa

1 butternut squash

3 eggs

1 cup of panko

½ teaspoon of salt

¼ teaspoon of onion powder

¼ teaspoon of garlic powder

¼ cup of chopped chives

150gr of gorgonzola, crumbled

Extra:

Olive oil for pan-frying

Optional:

Fried sage leaves

Extra Gorgonzola for serving

 

Peel and shred the butternut squash. Then squeeze it to get rid of some of the moisture. In a bowl, mix the butternut squash with the remaining ingredients for the patties.

Heat up about ¼ of a cup of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.

Place about 3 tablespoons of the quinoa mixture in the hot pan to form each patty. Fry them until golden on both sides.

I like to serve them with extra Gorgonzola and a few fried sage leaves.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni with Butternut Squash Béchamel

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It’s been too long since I’ve made cannelloni. I was at an Italian store the other day getting squid ink pasta for another recipe and when I saw boxes of cannelloni, I just had to get one. I stuffed them with ricotta and spinach, and made a butternut squash béchamel sauce to cover them. I could eat pasta everyday!

This recipe serves 4.

For the filling:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

300gr of fresh spinach

Pinch of onion powder

Salt

Pepper

500grs of ricotta

Pinch of lemon pepper

Pinch of cayenne

For the béchamel:

3 tablespoons of butter

Pinch of garlic powder

3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

5 cups of milk

1 medium butternut squash

40grs of grated Parmesan

Extras:

16 cannelloni

40grs of grated Parmesan for sprinkling on top

Fresh sage leaves (optional)

Vegetable oil to fry the sage leaves(optional)

 

For the butternut squash, slice the butternut squash into chunks. Take out the seeds and place the chunks on a plate. Cover the plate with plastic wrap and microwave for 9 minutes. Once the squash is cooked, be careful when you remove the plastic wrap so that the steam coming out doesn’t burn you. Spoon out the flesh of the squash and place it on a medium bowl. Set it aside.

Place the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the spinach, onion powder, salt and pepper. Cook until the spinach has wilted. Then place the spinach on a sieve with a bowl underneath and press to get rid of most of the liquid. Set it aside.

To make the béchamel, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add a pinch of garlic powder and the flour. Stir for 2 minutes. Then add the milk and stir until it thickens, about 6 minutes. Add the cooked butternut squash and Parmesan. Blend it until smooth using an immersion blender. Taste for salt.

To finish making the filling, mix the wilted spinach with the ricotta in a bowl. Add the lemon pepper, cayenne, pepper and salt. Mix well.

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Place the ricotta filling in a piping bag and fill each cannelloni with it.

Grease with some olive oil a medium oven dish and add about 3 ladles of the béchamel. Spread the cannelloni over the sauce. Cover them with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle some extra grated Parmesan all over. Bake it for 40 minutes until golden.

If you want, you can fry some sage leaves in a small pan with vegetable oil, then place them on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the extra oil. Then use them to decorate the dish.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Twice Baked Butternut Squash with Harissa Butter, Feta & Pomegranate

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This is a very easy to make side dish for the holidays. The harissa butter adds a bit of heat that goes well with the sweetness of the butternut squash.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

1 medium butternut squash, sliced in half

1 tablespoon of butter

1 teaspoon of harissa or more to taste

2 tablespoons of Parmesan

2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs

Salt

Extras:

½ cup of pomegranate seeds

100grs of crumbled feta

Micro arugula for decoration

Handful of arugula

Olive oil

White vinegar

Salt

Pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 200C/390F.

Place the butternut squash in a roasting tray lined with parchment paper. Add ½ cup of water and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake until very tender. Mine took about 1 hour but the time will depend on the size of your squash.

Once the butternut squash is tender, spoon out all of the flesh into a bowl but leave some attached to the edges of one half so that it holds its shape for the second bake.

Turn up the heat to 230C/440F.

Melt the butter in a pan with the harissa. Place the butternut squash flesh, harissa butter, Parmesan, breadcrumbs and salt in the food processor and pulse until smooth.

Stuff the reserved butternut half with the butternut puree. Place it on a oven tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes.

To serve, mix the arugula with a splash of olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Place the butternut squash in the middle of a large plate. Place the arugula salad all around the squash. Top it with the crumbled feta, pomegranate and micro arugula. Serve right away.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.