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Garlic and Herb Butternut Squash

 Garlic and Herb Butternut Squash

Squash is one of my favorite remedies for surviving East Coast winters. Caramelized juices, from all varieties, are constantly dripping over the bottom rack of my oven. It’s just the warmth I need to make my little apartment cozier.

Butternut Squash

Here, you’ll find a recipe that features one of my favorites — butternut, both its seeds and its flesh.

It’s a garlicky dish the works as a side to plenty of hearty winter meals. I also love it slathered across slices of crusty toast.

No matter the execution, the seeds lend a nice crunch. Use the leftovers to top salads or simply snack on.

Garlic and Herb Butternut Squash

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Sesame Cucumber Edamame Salad

Asian Sesame Cucumber Salad

The unofficial start to summer has arrived, and all I want to be eating are refreshing treats like watermelon, lots and lots of watermelon, and cucumbers, too.

This sesame-seasoned dish gets even better with time. It’s part of what makes it an ideal picnic bring-along. Put an hour aside to let the flavors mingle. And then serve it as a compliment to other summery dishes, whether a cold soba noodle salad, or warm yet light grain bowl.

Note: If you don’t have sesame seeds available, crushed peanuts are a great substitute.

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Roasted Beet Hummus

Roasted Beet Hummus

For an instant boom of color, toss in a beet.

Add it to your pasta. Your tabbouleh. Or your hummus, as showcased here.

Just a few roasted cubes will do the trick.

Roasted Beet Hummus

I make hummus often. While it’s always a crowdpleaser, it can also feel unimaginative.

And yet, when it’s hot pink, it can easily outshine all other appetizers at a dinner party.

Cumin

Beets’ earthy flavor is quite powerful, so start with 1/4 cup. If you desire more color, you can add from there.

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Soba Noodles with Carrot-Cabbage Slaw and Peanut Sauce

Soba Noodles with Carrot-Cabbage Slaw and Peanut Sauce

I eat much peanut butter almost every morning. On oatmeal days, at least two tablespoons are swirled into my bowl, and sometimes more.

Unfortunately, this means that it’s a rare occasion that peanut butter gets incorporated into other meals. But those occasions are always cherished.

There are plenty of reasons to add peanut butter to lunch and dinner.

Peanut Sauce

One of my favorite savory forums for the ingredient is a gingery, garlicky peanut sauce. If you have a food processor, its assembly is almost as easy as spooning peanut butter onto a banana.

Soba Noodles with Carrot-Cabbage Slaw and Peanut Sauce

Once you make the sauce, you’ll find that the remainder of this recipe is even simpler. If you’re looking for more, add some steamed edamame or tofu sautéed in soy sauce.

Topping choices can also get creative. Scallions, chopped peanuts or cashews, extra cilantro, and a squeeze of lime are all favorites. And I do love a squeeze of Sriracha, too.

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Black Beans with Plantain and Coconut

Cuban Black Beans with Plantain and Coconut

When I buy a plantain, most often it gets thrown in the oven, baked until creamy, and drizzled with peanut butter and honey.

But I love pairing its sweetness with with savory elements, too.

Cilantro

Here, it compliments Cuban-inspired black beans, seasoned with cumin, a dash of spice, and some sautéed peppers and onions.

Lime and cilantro give a fresh finish, while toasted coconut flakes add some crunch.

Serve over brown rice or get creative with the grain of your choice.

Cuban Black Beans with Plantain and Coconut

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