Super Food for Super Bowl.

Desserts / February 2, 2015

When I was 19, I was the Homecoming Queen at the University I attended. Yes, I know. I did the whole ‘world peace,’ thing, and got really good at waving in parades. I’m not afraid to say pageants paid for a lot of my schooling even factoring in the cost of having my shoes dyed to match every evening gown, bathing suit and interview ensemble.

But I digress.

During the halftime at the Homecoming football game, I had to walk across the field and wave. Staging myself at the 50 yard line, about 2 minutes prior to the half-time show, I was very close to the action. Unless you have played football, you have no idea what it sounds like when 250 pounds of men, running at top speed and covered in gridiron pads, collide. It literally sounds like a car wreck. Yes, that loud…

Last night watching Super Bowl, I ached for everyone of them thinking about how much each one of them will be keeping a doctor on their payroll for life. Makes me happier than ever to we wearing an apron as opposed to a protective cup.

But I digress!!!

To celebrate the occasion, I created a couple of dishes that were healthy and satisfying, even if football isn’t. To honor the apple producing state of Washington Seattle Seahawks, I made mini-apple cinnamon ginger pies. And for the Patriots, I created a stuffed butternut squash with spinach, ham, and some New England cheddar cheese. T’was a stretch I admit, but at least they were Super yummy…and that was the “goal!”


Spinach Ham Stuffed Butternut Squash with Chipotle Honey Cream Sauce

A side dish that is full of all your favorite flavors! 


Ingredients:

2 small butternut squash, washed, halved, seeds scooped out, placed on an oiled baking dish
1, 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, and moisture squeezed out
6 ounces honey ham, diced
1/3 C celery finely diced
1/4 C white onion finely diced
4-5 ounces hard English cheddar cheese grated
2 ounces heavy cream – for stuffing
3 T mayonnaise
¼ t dried dill weed
Salt and pepper
1/3 C chipotle mayo
1/3 C creamy Caesar dressing
1/3 – 1/2 C heavy cream for sauce
3 T honey
Salt and pepper
3 T olive oil


Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil the bottom of a small roasting pan. Brush the squash with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in pan. Cook squash, uncovered for about 45-48 minutes.
  • While cooking, thaw the spinach by putting in a saucepan with about ½ C water, on medium low. When unthawed but NOT BOILING, strain and press out all the water.
  • Add the diced ham, grated cheese, cream noted above for stuffing, mayo, salt and pepper, dill weed, onion, and celery and stir.
  • In a small sauté pan, add the cream for sauce, Caesar dressing, chipotle mayo, and honey. Set aside until ready to heat and serve.
  • When the squash has cooked for 45 minutes, pull the squash out of the oven, keeping the pan on the rack, and stuff each round opening with a mound of the spinach, ham, cheese mixture. Push back in the oven for about 20 minutes or until you can see that the onions are transparent, the ham curled from being cooked, and of course a fork pushed into the deep part of the squash yields a cooked, soft center. Remove from oven.
  • Now, heat the sauce, plate each squash wedge, and ladle the sauce over the top to serve.

Cinnamon Ginger Mini Apple Pies

First, you will need some cupcake sized pie crusts. I just use the muffin tin and put my pie crust molded inside, cook, remove and cool and freeze for when I need a quick, fancy dessert.

Serves 4 – Double as needed.


Ingredients:

4 medium crisp apples, peeled and diced small (I used Fuji)
2-3 T white sugar as desired
1 t cinnamon
½ t ginger powder
2 t vanilla extract
Dash of kosher salt
1/3 cup water
4 T butter
Bottled caramel sauce
Whipped cream


Direction:

  • In a medium saucepan, cook all above ingredients on medium, stirring often, until apples are soft. About 10-15 minutes. Ladle the apples evenly into 4 of the small pre-cooked pie crusts. Drizzle with caramel syrup. Personally, I like a little apple pie with my caramel, but the ratios are up to you! Yum!
  • Serve with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.


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