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Did you know that December is Tomato and Winter Squash Month?
What better way to celebrate than with a few new recipes? Now's the perfect time to make a warm, comforting dish to get you through the freezing temperatures.
Here are four meals that incorporate tomato or winter squash:
1. Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup
There's nothing like a bowl of fresh tomato soup on a cold winter's day. Try this recipe from Food Network:
Using a large pot, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the carrots and onions, cooking until tender - this should take about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute, and then add the tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, basil, chicken stock, salt and pepper. Stir well, and then bring to a boil.
Turn down the heat and let simmer, uncovered, until the tomatoes are tender - this should take anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes.
Gradually add the cream to the mixture and stir until well-combined. Blend the soup, in batches, using a food processor. Pour through a sieve and discard leftover pulp, and then transfer the soup back to the pot. Heat for about 10 minutes, pour into serving bowls and garnish with basil leaves and croutons.
2. Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard Tart with Olive Oil Crust
Check out this unique take on quiche by Cooking Light magazine.
For the crust:
For the tart:
First, heat your oven to 400 degrees and coat a pie plate and a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
Next, prepare your crust. Combine the flour, 1 1/2 tablespoons nuts, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and baking powder in a food processor.
In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup oil and 3 tablespoons water, then gradually add it to the food processor to make the pie dough. Continue to combine until mixture is crumbly.
Transfer dough to the prepared pie plate and press evenly into the bottom and sides of the dish. Place in the oven and bake until lightly browned - this should take about 23 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the squash and 1 teaspoon olive oil, tossing to coat. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and cook for 45 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
Using a large, non-stick skillet, heat remaining olive oil over medium setting. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 5 to 7 minutes. Add Swiss chard, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, cooking until chard wilts - this should take about 3 minutes.
Transfer the chard mixture to a large bowl and add the eggs and 2 ounces of cheese. Add the squash and remaining nuts, and then toss the mixture to coat.
Pour filling into the crust and sprinkle the top with cheese. Place in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove and let cool before serving. Enjoy!
3. Baked Parmesan Tomatoes
Sandwich these tomatoes by Eating Well magazine between your favorite bread to create a delicious meal.
First, heat your oven to 450 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
Then, place your tomatoes cut-side down on the prepared sheet. Top with a generous amount of Parmesan, followed by oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with oil. Place in the oven and bake until the tomatoes are slightly tender - this should take about 15 minutes.
Remove, let cool for about 5 minutes and serve in a sandwich or as a side dish.
4. Sausage and Rice-Stuffed Acorn Squash
Stuffed squash makes for a healthy, filling and delicious meal. Try this recipe from Cooking Light magazine:
Heat your oven to 425 degrees and prepare a large roasting pan and baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
Place the whole squashes in the roasting pan and bake until just tender - this should take about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, let stand for 15 minutes and then cut in half. Remove seeds and discard.
Heat your broiler to the highest setting.
Using a large skillet, cook the Italian sausage on medium-high heat. Continue to saute until browned and crumbled - this should take 5 to 7 minutes. Place sausage on a plate covered with paper towels to soak up the grease. Let the pan cool, and then wipe away excess drippings.
Return pan to medium-high heat and add oil and onion, sauteing for about 4 minutes. Add celery and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Gradually mix in the sausage, rice, cranberry, chives, pepper and Parmesan.
Divide mixture among the squash halves and then top with Swiss cheese. Place on prepared baking sheet and broil until cheese is melted.