zucchini, turkey & mushroom larb with cabbage cups.

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here’s my riff on one of the bon appétit recipes i made this summer that’s been in our regular dinner rotation! i had to document it here because it is worth learning & customizing to your own preferences. man, it is very refreshing, light and so so delicious.

the BA spicy mushroom larb recipe is made up of all mushrooms as the base of the larb. i’ve been adding ground turkey and zucchini to bulk it all up - and because my huz-b glares at me when i try to make meatless meals. he huuuuungryyy.

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follow the bon appétit recipe to learn how to brown mushrooms properly. i’ve been cooking mushrooms all stupid and wrong for years.

i can’t say enough good things about the bon appétit brand - safe to say i am fully obsessssT, and have been in love with the magazine itself for a long time. watching the whole brand evolve over the years has been soo interesting, and i feel like i am so “in it,” if that makes sense. like when you’re really familiar with what’s going on in a certain news story or show or celebrity - i’m right there with you, BA! i’m tracking tracking tracking on instagram, healthyish, basically, the podcast, the emails, all of it. if i could pick a “brand” that is killing it right now, i’d say bon appétit magazine.

discovering their youtube channel this year was a game changer. i LOVE it. all i wanna do is watch BA youtube vids, for real, all the time. i learn so much. i love everybody that works there. want to be their friend. want to work there. want to live there. i don’t even spill my guts about this to other humans (mostly), but that’s the point of having a blog, haha. JUST GO BLOG ABOUT IT, QUINNNNN.

remember when…my girl whitney and i got to tour the test kitchen at the world trade center a few years ago!?🤩

anyway, i’ve come out of my BA love potion stupor for a second to tell you that this larb recipe is simply fabulous!!!!!

so much flavor and texture, and feels so healthy. i love how gingery, zingy, spicy and minty it is, while being so savory & satiating with the turkey, zucchini and mushrooms. i’ve seen all kinds of larb recipes on the internets, but here’s the video that was my gateway to making it at home.

so glad i did! you know how you have a handful of go-to dishes that you make on a weekly basis? this has become one of those around here. especially because it takes kind of a while to go through a whole head of cabbage.

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it makes most sense to chop up and prep all your ingredients before beginning to cook anything in the pan.

once you start cooking the turkey or the mushrooms, you need all your other stuff ready to go so you don’t freak out. the zucchini cooking portion is time sensitive because you don’t want it to soften too much.

then at the very end, you fish sauce it up for extra umami saltiness, mint it up, and lime it up, add nuts or seeds of your liking, scoop it up and eat it up! i love all the crunch & flavor and the hot & cool factor. you want the mixture to be salted well since the cabbage or lettuce cups will be raw.

pete and i also like to add some plain greek yogurt on the base of the cabbage or lettuce cup before building your little bites. the greek yogurt really helps to tame the spiciness of the red chiles and all the shallot & garlic! all around, not a traditional asian larb in any way, but these flavor & texture combos just do it for me!

pleeease enjoy.

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Zucchini, Turkey & Mushroom Larb with Cabbage Cups

Serves 2-4

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground turkey - browned with olive oil, salt, pepper & red chile flakes

  • 4 small or 2 medium zucchini squash, chopped into 1/4” bits

  • 2 cups quartered crimini mushrooms, stems popped out

  • 2 TB. vegetable oil

  • 6 green onion stalks, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced

  • 1” knob fresh ginger, grated or finely minced

  • 1 - 2 tsp. kosher salt (to taste)

  • 1 large shallot, sliced into rings - rinsed well in a strainer to tame the bite

  • 1 red fresno chile or 1 jalapeño, seeds removed, sliced into rings

  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves, torn

  • 1 TB fish sauce

  • 1/4 head of green cabbage - cut so that there are several sturdy triangular “cups” (or sturdy lettuce leaves)

  • lime wedges, for serving

  • pepitas, or chopped peanuts, if desired

Instructions-

Chop and prep all ingredients prior to cooking the turkey or mushrooms. Have everything at the ready as it all comes together quickly once the turkey, mushrooms & zucchini are cooked. Keep the cut cabbage triangles chilling in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

Add 1 TB of extra virgin olive oil to a large, non-stick pan on medium heat. Add the raw ground turkey and cook to brown, turning and separating it into tiny bits with a wooden spoon or spatula as it cooks. Add a hefty pinch of kosher salt, some black pepper and red chile flakes. After about 5 minutes of browning, add an extra dash of olive oil and toss to keep the turkey from drying out. Let turkey drain on a plate with a paper towel.

Use the same pan to brown the mushrooms. Heat 2 TB vegetable oil in the pan on medium-high. Add the quartered mushrooms and toss to gently coat, then cook them, undisturbed, for 5 minutes until the bottoms and sides are browned. Toss the mushrooms and reduce heat if necessary. Let cook a few more minutes.

Add the chopped zucchini to the browned mushrooms. Add a hefty pinch of kosher salt and toss to combine. Let that mixture cook undisturbed for 3 minutes, then toss again. You want the end result of the zucchini to be tender, but not mushy.

Add the cooked ground turkey back into the pan with the mushrooms and zucchini around medium to reheat, also adding the green onion, ginger, and garlic. Incorporate everything and heat until fragrant - 2 minutes.

Remove the pan from heat, drizzle in the fish sauce and stir. Add the rinsed shallot, chile, and lots of fresh mint. Toss to combine. Salt to taste. Add pepitas or peanuts for texture. Serve with green cabbage cups, extra mint, lime wedges, and plain Greek yogurt, if desired.

Enjoy immediately!

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browned butter butternut, kale, crouton & bacon bake with garlic goat cheese sauce.

hellooooo, redundo alliteration recipe title of the year! there’s just no other way to put it.

i should spell crouton with a ‘K’. cuz that would be…kool. i had to mention the croutons in the title because THEY ARE NOT TO BE SKIPPED in this dish!

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ok yum. i invented this in my head because i had a butternut squash i needed to use. turns out to be a perfect thanksgiving-esque side dish, or a dinner of its own.

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for this, there’s a lot of cooking individual items, but they each get cooked in the same exact pan in a very methodical step-by-step process. so, read the recipe first, lol.

butternut squash is terrifying to cut - feel free to use pre-chopped cubes. however, i feel that you get more when you start from a whole squash. but please be careful!!

the one-third cup of butter in this recipe may seem like a lot, but it actually gets used in both tenderizing the butternut squash as well as toasting the sourdough bread croutons.

the remainder of the browned butter after cooking the squash gets ALL absorbed into the sourdough croutons and THAT. IS. WHAT. MAKES. THIS. SO. GOOD. after you salt them, of course. it was hard not to just stand there and eat all those browned buttery, toasty, salty sourdough bits right out of the pan.

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then, the kale & bacon share a cooking arena. in the same pan that the bread was just in! don’t dirty up a zillion pans, people. only one large pan is necessary.

cook the bacon. let the bacon drain on a paper towel. then cook the chopped kale in the bacon grease until just tender and super bright green. beautiful.

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other tasty add-ins!

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toss all the elements in a big bowl and transfer them to the baking dish where they’ll all mingle and get hot togetha. ow owww! add most of the crouton bits on the very top because you want those to get a touch crispier and be the star of the show.

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before baking and after baking…. the squash & croutons get a little more browned and tender. the kale softens and crisps at the edges. the bacon melds its flavors onto all of its neighbors.

scoop some on a plate or bowl to serve. drizzle with the garlicky goat cheese sauce, and yuhuuhuuummm. get every element stabbed onto your fork if you can. so much flavor and richness. the colors are gorg and make me wanna go crunchy leaf stompin.’ plus, it’s warm, cozy & satisfying.

pete & i ate this as dinner (with a sausage on the side, lolz), but this could be a really nice side dish for your holiday gatherings!

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this recipe is built on browned butter and you must go with it.

and remember…. don’t skimp on the sourdough.

texture town, babyyyyy!

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Browned Butter Butternut, Kale, Crouton & Bacon Bake with Garlic Goat Cheese Sauce

Serves 4-6

Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, browned in a large non-stick pan

  • 1/2 a large or 1 small butternut squash, seeds removed and cubed into bite-sized chunks

  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, sliced into 1” chunks

  • 1-2 cups jagged sourdough chunks, torn from a loaf or baguette - crust included

  • 2 cups of roughly chopped tuscan kale

  • 1 large shallot, sliced into rings - rinsed under hot water in strainer to tame the bite

  • 1/3 cup of chopped chives

  • 1/4 cup pepitas

  • kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup creamy goat cheese (chèvre), room temperature

  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced - rinsed with hot water in fine mesh strainer to tame the bite

  • 2 TB. apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar

  • 2 tsp. honey

  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

Instructions-

Wash and carefully cut the exterior skin off the butternut squash. Slice in half, remove & discard the seeds. Cut the squash into 1/2 inch bite-sized bits. Alternatively, use pre-cut butternut squash cubes from the store.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

On the stove top, brown the butter in a large non-stick pan on medium-high heat. Constantly whisk the butter in the pan until it foams and brown flecks appear, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and continue to whisk for about 30 more seconds to prevent burning.

Return pan to heat and add the cubed butternut squash. Toss frequently with a spatula, coating with browned butter. Add some generous pinches of kosher salt as you toss the squash until slightly tender and deep orange, 5-8 minutes. Keep in mind that you’re going to put the squash in the oven, so you don’t want it to become too tender or mushy in the pan.

Scoop the slightly tenderized squash into a large bowl, leaving the browned butter in the pan on medium heat. Throw the rugged torn chunks of sourdough into the hot browned butter. Toss frequently on medium-high heat until toasty and golden (still tender - not too crunchy), 3-5 minutes. The bread will soak up the remainder of the browned butter. Remove from heat and toss with a generous pinch of salt.

In the same pan, cook the chopped bacon til brown & cooked, but not too crispy, about 3-5 minutes. Drain on a paper towel.

Sauté the kale in the bacon grease until tender and bright, 2-3 minutes.

Place the cooked bacon and kale in the large bowl with the cooked squash. Add the chopped chives, rinsed shallot rings, and pepitas. Toss gently until all ingredients are dispersed. Lastly toss half of the toasted sourdough croutons into the mixture and combine.

Place the mixture in at least a 1 quart baking dish. Press the remaining half of sourdough croutons on top. Place the dish on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, until croutons & squash are a bit more browned and the kale is crisp.

While the squash dish is baking, make the garlic goat cheese sauce. In a small bowl, thoroughly stir the room temperature goat cheese, garlic clove, ACV or RWV, honey and black pepper until very very smooth. Plate the baked squash and drizzle the goat cheese sauce over individual servings.

Serve immediately! Reheat within 2 days at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes. Enjoy!

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