Kabocha Purée with Ginger

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I found this in the November Issue of Bon Appétit, of course I made a few changes. I swapped half and half for cream and greatly reduced the amount, I used a bit more ginger and extra spoonful of brown sugar. It turned out wonderful!

–2 1/2-pound kabocha squash, halved, seeded
salt and pepper
1 TBSP brown sugar
1/4 c half and half

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil. Season inside of squash with salt and pepper. Place squash, cut side down, on prepared sheet. Roast until tender, 1-1 1/4 hours. Let cool slightly.

Pulse ginger in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to prepared strainer. Scoop squash flesh into a food processor. Add sugar. With machine running, gradually add half and half and purée until smooth, adding more cream by tablespoonfuls if too thick. Season with salt, pepper, and more ginger juice, if desired. Gently warm in a saucepan, stirring constantly, until heated through.

Apple Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Maple Frosting

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This recipe is adapted from a recipe I found on Chow, I love the idea, but wanted something a bit healthier. I substituted white flour for oat flour, butter for applesauce, reduced the sugar and used brown instead of white. These are topped with a cream cheese maple frosting, and I just use a thin layer of frosting. The results are a tasty treat with very little fat and virtually no guilt.

INGREDIENTS
2 1/2 c oat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp fine salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 c apple sauce
1 c brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 c low-fat buttermilk
3 c shredded Gala

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 c powdered sugar
1 TBSP maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla

Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Line 2 (12-well) muffin tin.

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a medium bowl and whisk to aerate and break up any lumps; set aside.

Place applesauce in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, Add the sugar and vanilla and beat. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until well combined, about 1 minute. Set the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the buttermilk, and mix until combined, about 15 seconds. Add the reserved flour mixture and mix until just combined, about 15 seconds.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the shredded apples and any accumulated liquid until just combined, about 1 minute.

Fill the muffin wells about three-quarters full (about 1/4 cup per well). Place the muffin pans side by side on the rack and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean, rotating the pans front to back and side to side halfway through the baking time, about 20 to 25 minutes total. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and let cool completely on wire racks before frosting.

Beat cream cheese, sugar, maple syrup and vanilla until well combined. Chill in fridge for about an hour. Frost cupcakes.

Makes 24 cupcakes
3 WW PP per cupcake

Ricotta, Tomato & Basil Pasta

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This is a great dish to whip up on one of those days when you don’t feel like cooking. This is adapted from a recipe I found in David Rocco’s Made In Italy cookbook.

Ingredients:
8 oz pasta
1/2 c ricotta cheese
2 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
8 oz tomatoes, quartered
20 basil leaves, torn into small pieces

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, cook pasta till just before al dente.

In a 12 inch skillet, heat oil, add garlic and tomatoes, salt and cook until tomatoes are soft and garlic is slightly browned, remove garlic. Add ricotta and 1/2 c of the of the pasta water to the tomatoes, stir to combine. Add pasta to the pan and 1/4 c pasta water, toss together and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in basil.

2 servings
7 WW PP