Curry Miso Bowls with Roasted Butternut

by Carlye Cunniff
( October 6th, 2015 )

Curry miso bowls with roasted butternut

One of my favorite cookbooks, Super Natural Everyday, by Heidi Swanson, has an amazing recipe for delicata squash roasted with a strong miso-curry paste, tossed with cilantro and tofu. These curry miso bowls with roasted butternut are inspired by Swanson’s dish, but the curry-miso becomes a sauce instead of a paste, making a lighter dressing for the bowl.  I added quinoa, kale and chickpeas – this is a perfect meal to bring for lunch all week. I also used a butternut squash – my sister brought me one fresh from the garden – but delicata would work just as well.

Curry miso bowls with kale and butternut squash


1/2 of a butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1/4 inch cubes

2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/4 inch cubes

1 can (or about 12 oz) of cooked chickpeas

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 Cup dry quinoa

1 Tablespoon white miso

1 Teaspoon red curry paste

Juice of 1 lemon

1 bunch kale, tough stems removed


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Toss cubed butternut and potatoes with most of the olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Lay on an even layer on a baking sheet.

Toss the remainder of the oil with the chick peas, add salt and pepper to taste. Lay the chick peas on an even layer on a separate baking sheet (the chickpeas cook faster than the veggies, so we want to take them out first).

When the oven is ready, roast the veggies for about 30 minutes, turning twice during the cooking process. The chick peas take 15-20 minutes, just keep an eye on them.

Cook the quinoa according to package directions. I use a rice cooker, so I can’t tell you how to actually make quinoa. Or rice for that matter.

While the rice and veggies are roasting, whisk the miso and curry paste together in a small bowl. Add the lemon juice, and salt and pepper if necessary.

Curry miso dressing

When everything is done cooking (veggies soft and slightly browned, quinoa fluffy and full of life, kale de-ribbed and crunchy) combine it all in a big bowl. Toss it with the curry miso sauce and enjoy.

Curry miso bowls with roasted butternut

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Pasta With Gin Cream Sauce

by Carlye Cunniff
( September 29th, 2015 )

Gin Cream Sauce

Yes, I know what you are thinking. Gin cream sauce? But, bear with me friends! Think vodka sauce. As in, Pasta Alla Vodka. You can get on board with that, right? I am totally on board for vodka sauce – I love the stuff. Perfect comfort food/date food/all-the-time food. I wanted to spice up the traditional Italian sauce a bit however, and try it with gin instead of vodka. Gin is a little earthier, more herby – I thought it might be a perfect addition. I think I was right!

This pasta with gin cream sauce doesn’t necessarily taste earthier, but it does have an additional zing that makes it special. It’s subtle, but it’s there. The recipe is for the sauce,  which I then baked with veggies, noodles and ricotta, but it would be lovely over pasta as well. It tastes even better the second day, so pop it in the fridge for an easy snack.

Gin Cream Sauce

Much of my inspiration for this post came from Alexandra’s Kitchen – she makes a version of Ina Garten’s vodka sauce that helped refine the method I’m using here. Check out Alexandra’s Kitchen for more.


1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small onion, chopped

1 Tablespoon oregano

1 Teaspoon red chili flakes

1 can crushed tomatoes (my favorite is San Marzano)

1/2 Cup vodka

1/2 Cup gin

1 17 oz package of penne noodles, or whatever you like

4 Tablespoons butter

1 zucchini, chopped

1 Cup mushrooms, chopped

1 bunch spinach, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

1 Cup cream

1/2 Cup Parmesan

1/2 Cup Ricotta


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In an oven safe pan (hello cast iron skillet!) heat the oil. Add onions, garlic, red pepper and oregano. Cook until fragrant and onions are translucent.

Carefully add in the tomatoes, simmer until heated through.

Add in the vodka and gin – cook for 5 -7 minutes, mixture will reduce slightly.

Put the whole thing in the oven and keep it cooking. The flavors will all co mingle and such. I didn’t have much time, so just left the pan in there for 30 minutes. You can cook it for up to 90 minutes, which would give you ideal flavors.

If you’re just interested in the sauce, not the baked version I made, skip on down to the part where I whip out the blender. Otherwise, read on!

Meanwhile, cook your pasta according to package directions.

In another skillet, melt half the butter and saute your veggies until slightly softened, salting to taste.

Once you’re satisfied with your tomato mixture, carefully remove it from the oven. I would suggest an apron if you have one. Crank up the heat on your oven a bit, to about 400 degrees.

Working in batches, use a blender to smooth out all the bumps in your vodka sauce.

Gin Cream Sauce

After it’s all blended, slowly add the cream to the sauce, stirring it in ever so gently.

Use the remainder of the butter to coat the inside of an oven safe dish (a dutch oven is my go-to for this). Layer noodles, veggies, sauce and cheeses however you like, cover and put the whole thing in the oven.

Baked Pasta with Gin Cream Sauce

Everything is already cooked at this point, so you’re really just heating it up. I actually turned the oven off, covered the thing, and left it for my boyfriend to find for dinner.

Baked Pasta with Gin Cream Sauce


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Stuffed Poblanos with Fresh Corn and Tomatoes

by Carlye Cunniff
( September 22nd, 2015 )


Stuffed Poblano Peppers

I’ve never made stuffed peppers before this dish, and I have to say, I think I’ll be making them again. These stuffed poblanos with fresh corn and tomatoes are simple to make – but look pretty fabulous. The roasted poblano adds tons of flavor to this dish – the combination of risotto, corn, fresh tomatoes and queso fresco make it just rich enough to spice up a long day at work without being too terrible for you.  There is likely nothing authentically ‘Mexican’ about this – but it’s more interesting than tacos when you have a hankering for Tex-Mex flavors.



The original inspiration for this recipe came from Deb Perelman of the Smitten Kitchen. She makes an awesome looking vegetarian Poblano pepper dish, stuffed with corn risotto and topped with delicious looking sour cream sauce. I changed my risotto slightly, added fresh tomatoes, mushrooms and ground meat to make the meal stick to the ribs a bit more.


I had a lot of things happening at the same time to make this all come together – the risotto takes the longest, so leave yourself at least a half an hour to get it perfectly fluffy. We had lots of leftover stuffing from this dinner feast – great the next day without a pepper to stuff it in, just as great over some wilted greens.


6-8 Poblano peppers

6 Cups vegetable stock

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 Cups Arborio rice

1/2 Cup light beer

1/2 Pound ground bison (ground beef works too, I just prefer the flavor of bison)

1 ear of fresh corn kernels

2 fresh tomatoes, chopped

1 Cup fresh mushrooms, chopped

1 Tablespoon cumin

1 Teaspoon paprika

1 Teaspoon chili powder

1/4 Cup crumbled queso fresco

3 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped


Heat up your broiler and lay the poblanos directly on your oven rack until the skins are blistered, turning about every 8 minutes.

Remove from heat and place in a covered bowl until you’re ready for them again.

While the poblanos are blistering, bring your broth to a simmer over low heat (it’s good to make risotto with warm broth so the rice doesn’t get shocked by cold water).

In a heavy-bottom skillet, cook the onion and garlic until fragrant and softened, about 6 minutes.

Add the rice to the skillet, allow it to get slightly toasted – stirring frequently for about 2 minutes.

Pour in the beer, be sure to scrape any rice from the bottom of the pan. Allow beer to sit for about a minute, until it mostly disappears.

Now the slow cooking process of risotto can begin – add warmed broth to the rice mixture about 1/2 Cup at a time, stirring frequently throughout the cooking process. After about 30 minutes (and multiple stock additions) your risotto should be creamy and flavorful.


While you are managing your risotto, you can finish up the rest of your stuffing.

You can also remember to preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Cook the ground bison over medium heat, using just a touch of olive oil so it doesn’t stick to the pan.

Stuffed Poblano Stuffing

Add the cumin, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste

Remove from heat and cover until we’re ready for it again.

In the same pan, with a teensy bit more oil added, cook the tomatoes, corn and mushrooms until they are slightly tender and fragrant.

In a large bowl, combine finished risotto, bison, and vegetable mixture. Add the cilantro and queso fresco, stir until combined.

Put a little slice in the Poblanos, enough so you can carefully remove the seeds. If you mess this up and accidentally cut the Poblanos in half, that’s ok too.

Sliced Poblano


With Poblanos on a baking dish, fill them with stuffing, crumbling an extra bit of cheese on top.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

Stuffed poblano peppers




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