Recipe: Winter Pasta Salad

The perfect recipe to make post-Thanksgiving -- or any time this winter!

couscous pasta salad with thanksgiving leftovers

pasta salad with thanksgiving leftovers

With Lucy recovering and needing extra care, we’ve been homebound, doing less cooking and ordering a lot of take out. I had already been brainstorming a recipe idea I could share with y’all which would use up post-Thanksgiving leftovers (or to make to go along with your leftovers next week). So after three days of delivered deli sandwiches, I ran out to the store late Tuesday to grab ingredients and whip something up to satisfy both needs. The result was this wonderful couscous pasta salad! For us right now, having a big bowl of this around means we can have a healthy meal on hand without having to stress too much; for you, I’m happy to report that this is an awesome dish that you can shop for specifically, or create using what you have on hand following Turkey Day next week. Pasta salad with Thanksgiving leftovers? Yes, I promise, you’ll like it!

For this recipe, I used a mix of roasted butternut squash, onions, garlic, and fennel — all things many of us will have around after Thanksgiving anyway. The pasta salad has a little twist too: I shredded Brussels sprouts (the same way you might shred cabbage), and sauteed them, creating a new texture for the salad but packing an extra nutritive punch. Toasted walnuts, a citrus scallion vinaigrette, and Israeli couscous are all tossed together with the cooked veggies for a colorful, tasty final dish. One thing I wanted to add to this was dried cranberries, but my grocery store was out of them; however, if you can find them, I highly recommend adding some in for extra color and a sweet-tart flavor!

If you’re making Brussels sprouts or roasted squash for Thanksgiving, you can always use up any leftovers right in the pasta salad and do away with sautéing and roasting these ingredients, respectively. If you end up making this recipe with fresh ingredients, it’d be a great accompaniment to leftover turkey, or you could even try cubing or shredding the turkey and throwing it in. I like that this salad features autumnal flavors, but won’t taste exactly like Thanksgiving dinner — which, as much as I love, I’m usually sick of after eating 3 times in a row. Here’s how you make it:  Read the full post +

In this post:

Images: by Victoria McGinley

This month's quote: "Trust the timing of your life."

Recipe: Butternut Squash Soup with Sausage, White Beans, and Kale

It's like a warm, fuzzy blanket...in a bowl.

recipe - butternut squash soup with sausage, white beans, and kale

soup recipe - butternut squash with sausage, white beans, and kale

It’s been a little gloomy the last few days in New York, and as the temperatures dropped (and the rain descended), nothing sounded better than a big bowl of soup. I’ve been loving all the pumpkins that are gracing doorways and bodegas around these parts, so I was inspired to make a pumpkin soup — but made a little decadent with sausage and cream. Of course, you know what they say about the best laid plans. When I got to the store, they didn’t have any pumpkin puree, so I used butternut squash instead. However, if you can find non-sweetened pumpkin puree, which was what I was after, it would be awesome in this soup as well!

So yeah, this soup. A little bit of a splurge (again, sausage. cream.), but plenty of healthy things going on too: lots of leafy green kale, white beans, and of course, that vibrant, nutritious squash. This soup LOOKS like fall in a bowl — bright orange, flecked with bits of darker orange carrots and the deep green kale. And, an extra bonus: it’s a quick, easy weeknight meal! Here’s how you make it:  Read the full post +

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Recipe: Baked Chicken Nuggets

Make a double batch. You won't regret it.

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

This past weekend, I decided to stay in with Joe and avoid the NYFW madness (and the maddening humidity) and watch our alma mater play a little football. A big game deserves delicious, tailgate inspired snacks, and I had an idea to make some oven fried chicken using a few chicken thighs we had on hand. Then, I realized something dippable — and in nugget form — would be infinitely less complicated to make, and a lot more fun to eat!

When is the last time you had chicken nuggets? I’ll admit, I can be a bit of a snob about these types of things (read: probably wouldn’t order from a fast food chain), so it’s been a while for me. I didn’t want to go through the process of deep frying, so I looked around a bit for recipe inspiration. Enter this technique from (who else?) Martha Stewart: you toast the crunchy panko breadcrumbs before you adhere them to the chicken, which ensures a super crisp crust. And, these babies bake in mere minutes. You can serve ‘em up with a basic bowl of ketchup, or get fancy and make your own dipping sauces. We were in the mood for spicy, Asian inspired flavors, so I whipped up a sweet and spicy honey chili sauce, with lots of garlic and cilantro. It was delish!

If you’re planning on hosting any game day parties, or just want a quick snack for you or any little ones, give this one a try. Super simple to make, and so much lighter than the deep fried fast food version! Here’s what you do:  Read the full post +

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Images by Victoria McGinley, and via my Instagram