Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Butternut squash & sausage hash

Last week, weather changed over night and it almost feels like winter some days. I know we only get to enjoy spring and fall for a very short period of time but it's really going too fast. Just like how babies grow so fast. *sniff*. 

So now, my mini started her solids. She is really growing too fast. Way too fast. Having a baby who needs to be introduced to new foods every couple of days is actually a good thing though. That means I have to plan. No more "throw whatever I have and make a meal literally 30 minutes before dinner HAS to be served". I was a better meal planner when my tot was just starting solids. Because I had to introduce different foods every 3-4 days, I had to shop accordingly. He would only eat about 2oz at a time, so I would have to use the same ingredients for our meal. Then as he started to eat with us and I sometimes got lazy. Actually let me rephrase it, I got busy and more spontaneous. Okay, that sounds much better. 

After my mini had rice cereal for the first few days, I wanted to let her taste some fall flavor. And we love butternut squash. Roasted, sautéed, wrapped in bacon, soup, you name it. Sure enough, my girl absolutely loved it! She finished the first serving of butternut squash with big smiles accompanied by some squeals. So proud of my big girl. 

And with leftover squash, we made yummy hash. I like to use chorizo instead of Italian sausage too. It gives a depth to the flavor. But my tot prefers Italian sausage as chorizo can be a little spicy for him. I made this for dinner at 4pm, thinking I'd heat it up and serve it at dinner time but I ended up snacking on the whole dinner portion and that was my dinner. And of course, I had to go ahead and grab a bottle of hard cider for this fall themed "snack time". I was so happy with the harmony of the flavors. Now this is my happy hour. 

I make this for one skillet dinner a lot but it's also great to serve it as a hearty snack or breakfast with some toasted baguette. Dip a slice of toasted baguette in the soft runny yolk and top it with some hash. Oh my gosh. Delicious!

Butternut squash & sausage hash

Ingredients :

1 lb butternut squash, peeled and cubed(1/2" cubes)
8 oz Italian sausage(3-4 links, out of casing)
2 cups baby spinach
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste 
eggs to top the dish - optional

Directions :

1. On a heated skillet, brown the sausage on medium high heat and crumble it while stirring occasionally.

2. When it starts to brown and render the fat, add cubed butternut squash and onion. Sauté for a few minutes and add salt, pepper, paprika and apple cider vinegar and cover. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 6-7 minutes. 

3. Check if squash is done to your liking and add spinach. Cook just until wilted and make small wells for the eggs to stay. Crack an egg in each well, sprinkle salt and pepper, cover and cook just until the eggs are set. Serve immediately.

*Or you can scoop the hash into an individual serving vessel, crack an egg each and broil until eggs are set. This way, you get a little more browned hash which I love. 

*You can make ahead the hash, warm up and finish with the eggs before serving. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Crispy tofu with peanut sauce

Long time no post! Really really long time. For the last couple of months, I have been running around everywhere like a headless chicken. My garage door would open and close about ten times everyday. Here's a little update about my life. My tot started a new school which he goes everyday, then after school activities. Now that mini's old enough to take baby classes, I'm also taking her to classes. There's not a single day that I can just stay at home. I really have a full respect for moms with multiple kids. They're truly super moms! With just two I feel like my head is spinning. 

 A lot has happened in the last couple of months but my tot's love for tofu hasn't changed. He loves it grilled, pan fried, stir fried, even blanched and dip it in sauce. I make same exact thing with chicken instead of tofu for Steve as he can't stand tofu. It is delicious! I personally prefer it with tofu because I love the crispy outside and soft inside texture but Steve loves it with chicken. This sauce is so yummy, I sometimes make a little extra and make the dish very saucy so I can pour it over the rice. Pictures were taken a while ago but now that I look at them again, they look suitable for the fall with nice orange hue from the carrots. It's a nice and healthy weeknight meal that comes back over and over again on our family's dinner table. 

Crispy tofu with peanut sauce


1 package tofu(12oz)
1 medium carrot, sliced into thin strips with a vegetable peeler
1-2 Tbsp oil 
peanut sauce 
1.5 Tbsp sesame oil
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
4 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce
2.5 Tbsp peanut butter 


1. Drain the tofu. Wrapped it with some paper towels and put something heavy on top to drain the water out. While preparing other ingredients.

2. Mix the sauce ingredients and set aside. Prepare the carrot with a vegetable peeler so you get carrot ribbons. Cut the tofu into small cubes.

3. Heat the oil in a pan and cook tofu, preferably cooking all sides for crispiness. 

4. When tofu's done, add carrot ribbons and saute them together for 2-3 minutes. Add sauce to it and stir. Cook for a few minutes until sauce is slightly thickened. Serve immediately. 
*sauce recipe by minimalist baker