Squash & Pork Stir-Fry

I’m sure you’ve rushed around the grocery store thinking you’ve purchased the necessary ingredients to throw together a “quick” weeknight meal. Right? I thought that was the case for me… When  I started to prepare this dish, I realized that I had ground pork instead of pork sausage and butternut instead of kabocha squash. I’m blaming holiday stress and distraction. (Well, truth be told, the squash was a conscious substitution- no fabulous kabocha to be found.) :/

This recipe was adapted from Bon Appetit, contributed by Chris Morocco. I doubled the recipe, used ground pork instead of pork sausage (oops!), seasoned accordingly, butternut instead of kabocha squash, and cashews instead of peanuts. I also omitted the sugar. I roasted the squash instead of steaming and sautéing it. We let the dish stand alone, but it would also be wonderful accompanied by rice. Delicious!

Yield: 4 Servings

  • 1 medium butternut or kabocha squash, cut into 1-inch pieces, approximately 4 cups
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound (80 percent lean) ground pork
  • 1 tsp coarse salt, plus more for squash
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more for squash
  • dash or two of red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 serrano chiles, seeded and sliced
  • 1 T finely grated peeled ginger root
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 1 large lime)
  • 4 tsp fish sauce
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • salted, roasted peanuts or cashews and chopped cilantro, for serving, as desired
  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees, preferably on convection roast.
  2. Toss squash with 1 T olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Place squash on a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet and roast in the oven until tender, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  3. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet. Add pork, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano, thyme, and paprika; cook, breaking into large pieces and stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add garlic, shallot, chiles, and ginger and cook, stirring often, just until softened, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add roasted squash, lime juice, fish sauce, and scallions; toss to combine.
  6. Serve stir-fry topped with nuts and cilantro, as desired.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Three Years Ago:

Four Years Ago:

If you like this you may also like:

Thai Pork Tenderloin Salad with Napa Cabbage

I received the most beautiful Napa cabbage in my CSA share this week. The leaves are so tender, and yet crunchy, they are absolutely perfect for a salad. This dish caught my eye because it was so colorful, bright with flavor, healthy, and a little bit “out of the box” for me.

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I am bringing it to share at Fiesta Friday #88, co-hosted by Julie @ Hostess at Heart and Liz @ Spades, Spatulas, & Spoons. Happy October!

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


For the Marinade & Dressing:

  • 1 ½ to 2 pounds boneless pork tenderloin (usually 2 tenderloins)
  • ⅔ cup minced shallots (about 4 shallots)
  • ⅔ cup chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 5 tablespoons light brown sugar, separated
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced in a garlic press
  • 5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 5 tablespoons peanut or grapeseed oil
  • Juice and zest of 4 limes
  • 3-inch piece peeled ginger root, grated
  • 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt, more to taste
  • 1 to 2 Thai bird, serrano or jalapeño chile peppers, seeded and minced


For the Salad:

  • 8 cups Napa or regular cabbage, thinly sliced (about 1/2 of a large head)
  • 5 whole scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 small Kirby or Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ cups cilantro leaves
  • 1 ½ cups mint leaves (I omitted the mint)
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1 ¼ cups roasted cashews or peanuts, toasted and chopped
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut chips or large flakes, toasted, optional

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine shallot, cilantro, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, garlic, soy sauce, peanut or grapeseed oil, lime zest and juice, grated ginger, fish sauce, salt and chile. Pulse to mince the shallots, cilantro, garlic, and chiles- as well as to combine the mixture.
  2. Remove three-quarters of the mixture; reserve to use as the dressing. Add the remaining 3 T sugar and purée until a smooth, loose paste forms. This is the marinade.
  3. Pat the pork dry with a paper towel. Place tenderloin in a large bowl and spread the paste all over pork. Marinate at room temperature for 2 hours, or cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours; turn the tenderloin occasionally. (I marinated the meat for 12 hours in the refrigerator.)
  4. Light the grill or heat the broiler and arrange a rack at least 4 inches from the heat. (Mine was about 6 inches away.) Grill or broil pork, turning occasionally, until well browned and meat reaches an internal temperature of 135 degrees, 4 to 10 minutes per side depending upon the heat of your broiler or grill. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t overcook. Let meat rest while you prepare the salad. (Or, cook the pork 1 or 2 hours ahead and serve it at room temperature.)
  5. In a large bowl, combine the salad ingredients, reserving the herbs, cashews and coconut. (I omitted the coconut.)
  6. Whisk the dressing and use just enough to dress the salad, tossing to combine. Let sit for a few minutes for the flavors to meld, then right before serving, add herbs and toss again.
  7. To serve, slice the pork. Arrange salad on a platter or serving plates and top with sliced pork. Scatter cashews and coconut on top, drizzle with a little more of the remaining dressing, to taste, if desired.

Two Years Ago:

Three Years Ago:

Spicy, Garlicky Cashew Chicken

IMG_9401

This is one of my absolute favorite grilled chicken dishes. The chicken is so flavorful, moist, and has an amazing sauce to accompany it for serving. (We also spread the tasty sauce on our fresh corn!) We have served it to friends on multiple occasions- this time I doubled the recipe for 25 chicken thighs!! Everyone enjoyed it. 🙂 This recipe was adapted from In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite: 150 Recipes & Stories About the Food You Love by Melissa Clark.

Yield: Serves 4

  • 1 cup roasted salted cashew nuts
  • 6 -8 T chopped fresh cilantro, with some stems
  • 1/4 cup safflower of olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 2 tsp light brown sugar
  • Juice of 1 lime, plus lime wedges or slices for garnish
  • 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded or not, to taste
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  1. In a food processor, combine the nuts, 4 T chopped cilantro, oil, garlic, soy sauce, sugar, lime juice, jalapeño, and 2 T water. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  2. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. Smear on enough cashew mixture to coat the pieces thoroughly, but don’t make it too thick or the sauce will fall off into your grill. Set aside any remaining mixture for serving.
  3. Let marinate at room temperature while you heat the grill- or refrigerate for up to 12 hours before cooking. (I try to marinate for 8 to 12 hours.)
  4. Preheat the grill. Grill the chicken, turning frequently, until it is crisp and golden on the outside and done on the inside.
  5. Sprinkle the chicken with the remaining 2-4 T cilantro and serve with lime wedges and the remaining cashew mixture.

One Year Ago:

Perfect Coleslaw

IMG_3866

I can’t believe that I bought cabbage! I got so much cabbage in my CSA box last year that I started making all sorts of new things outside of the “coleslaw box”. 🙂 But, my husband wanted coleslaw to go with his Father’s Day pulled pork sandwiches…. This is the perfect recipe. We love it. It is adapted from my gold standard vegetarian cookbook- the Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen. Quick to make with a food processor too.

  • 4 cups shredded cabbage (about 1/2 of a head)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 2 medium-sized tart apples, such as Granny Smith, grated
  • 2 T cider vinegar
  • 2 T honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup minced red onion
  • 1/2 cup fat-free greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup cashews, optional
  • handful of raisins, optional

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Serve chilled.

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