Tag Archives: blue cheese

Stubb’s ‘Triple B’ Pasta Salad

Stubb’s ‘Triple B’ Pasta Salad

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If you’re tired of the same old go-to sides for your summer parties and cookouts, then let me suggest trying something new to kick them up a bit. Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q has an array of tasty sauces, marinades, and rubs that are perfect for injecting new flavors into not only grilled meats, but also your sides and vegetables for holiday cookouts.

For this recipe, I took the classic party dish of pasta salad and gave it a sweet and smoky twist by making a barbecue ranch dressing with Stubb’s Sweet Heat Bar-B-Q Sauce (in place of a mayonnaise-only or vinaigrette). The smoky and slightly spicy chipotle peppers nicely complement the sweet brown sugar and molasses in the sauce. To further enhance the barbecue flavors, I added in tangy blue cheese crumbles and smoky peppered bacon. And of course, to add some healthfulness to the dish, I threw in veggies like broccoli, squash, corn and fresh tomatoes.

To make this recipe an even more appealing option to add to your table, it’s incredibly easy to throw together – simply cut up your veggies and make the dressing while the pasta cooks. Then mix it together and let it chill in the refrigerator for a few hours to overnight. This gives you plenty of time to work on other dishes and entertaining your guests.

If you’re going for a lighter, lower-calorie side, use Greek yogurt and/or light sour cream to make the dressing. Stubb’s products are great to use on your healthy fare because they don’t contain the fat, calories, or artificial flavors, ingredients or sweeteners you’ll see in many other similar products.

This summer, get creative with your food and look for Stubb’s to aid in creating some crowd-pleasing sides (and barbecue, of course).

Stubbs Pasta Salad 1 sm
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Purée genius: Kabocha squash and apple soup

Purée genius: Kabocha squash and apple soup

The onset of fall brings an array of gorgeous items to our local farmers’ markets and produce aisles, and that bounty includes squash. The orange, yellow and green-hued vegetable makes for great eats during the autumn and winter months and can be prepared in a variety of ways. Baked, braised, sauteed, steamed — you name the cooking technique and it can be applied to these members of the genus Cucurbita.

Squash is also a great addition to a healthy diet, as it’s a good source of fiber, vitamins A, B and C, iron and beta carotene, and is low in calories. It also makes an excellent lower-carb replacement for starches on your dinner plate.

The most common squashes used in cooking during this time of year are butternut and pumpkin. But c’mon folks, get a little more creative here — there are so many other types of squash to try!

That’s why I went with the kabocha (aka “Japanese pumpkin”) for the following soup recipe. The kabocha squash looks like a small green version of the common pumpkin. It’s a pain in the ass to peel, but definitely worth the effort as its meat is a bit sweeter than that of a pumpkin or butternut squash.

The kabocha squash pairs well with the flavor of apples (another fab fall fruit) so I decided to add some Gala apples, hard apple cider and Calvados (apple brandy) to the mix — because everything tastes better with booze.

Typically, you’ll see cinnamon used in this type of soup, but the often overlooked coriander and nutmeg make excellent flavor enhancers, balancing out the sweet notes with touches of savory ones.

As for garnish, I quickly caramelized some chopped Gala apples with brown sugar and cinnamon in a pan and sprinkled them on top. And forget drizzling cream or creme fraiche to finish it off (which is so overdone); sprinkle some crumbled blue cheese, like Maytag, on top. It pairs well with all of the warm flavors in this soup and lends it a tangy kick.

Get creative and experiment with different squashes in your cooking this season. From buttercup to delicata, from “Cinderella” to “Lunch Lady” varieties, there’s a world of flavors waiting for you in your produce aisle.
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