Virginia Willis New Cookbook Giveaway & Winter Greens and Butternut Squash Gratin Recipe

I was fortunate to meet Virginia Wills several years ago, and I had the pleasure and honor to co-speak with her last year at Food Blog South. Last fall, I attended an event in Atlanta where she previewed some of her recipes for her new book, “From Basic to Brilliant”. I couldn’t wait for it to be released. Virginia is a graduate of  L’Academie de Cuisine and Ecole de Cuisine LaVarenne and, previously, was the Kitchen Director for Martha Stewart Living. Virginia expands on her incredible style in this 150 recipe cookbook where she offers incredible preparation and presentation techniques (her writing is amazing too). This recipe for Winter Greens and Butternut Squash Gratin is just one of the many stellar recipes in this book. I served it to company this weekend on a cold evening, and I received rave reviews. Her amazingly beautiful photos were taken by Helene Dujardin of Tartlette. “From Basic to Brilliant” can be found at Amazon or any of your favorite online stores as well as bookstores nationwide.

For a chance to win a copy, leave me a comment telling me why you want a copy of this book. Winner will be drawn on Thursday, November 10th and must be a U.S resident. For more chances, leave as many comments as you like telling me that you did the following:

1. Follow Alison Lewis on Twitter

2. Like Ingredients, Inc on Facebook

3. Follow Virginia Willis on Twitter

4. Like Virginia Willis on Facebook

 

“Reprinted with permission from Basic to Brilliant, Y’all: 150 Refined Southern Recipes and Ways to Dress Them Up for Company by Virginia Willis, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.”

Photo credit: Helene Dujardin © 2011

Easy and Healthy Beef and Broccoli

My three kids love Asian flavors. This easy and healthy Beef and Broccoli recipe is a hit every time that I make it. It’s so quick to prepare using very simple-to-find ingredients. I love using skirt steak as it’s very tender after being simply marinated with honey, fresh ginger, reduced-sodium soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and red pepper flakes. Just marinate the steak for an hour or overnight, and dinner is on the table in less than 30 minutes. This dish is perfect for busy weeknights. I served with rice and some edamame beans, and everyone loved it (and was full).

Tabouli and Mixed Greens Salad

Okay, so Valentine’s Day is over, and I had a lot of fun featuring some great desserts. Now, it’s back to reality. I have had many requests lately for a wonderful, healthy salad recipe. I love this particular creation of Tabouli and Mixed Greens Salad. Feel free to add cooked or grilled chicken or shrimp to this dish if you wish. I love it “as is” for a hearty lunch salad or dinner salad – perfect served with a comforting soup. It’s so fresh and flavorful, and bulgur is so good for you. Bulgur is high in fiber, low in fat, and rich in B vitamins and iron. It can be boiled or soaked like in my recipe below. This salad is so tasty and pretty, and it will also give you a lot of energy. Just try it and see.

Simple Salmon with Fresh Herbs and Vegetables

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We love salmon at my house and eat it once a week so I am always trying to come up with new ways to prepare it. That way I can keep serving it, and the kids won’t get bored with eating it. People ask me all the time, how do I get my kids (7, 9 and 11) to eat fish? I really don’t have any special trick. I just cook it often, and they started eating it. I also shared with them how healthy it is, and that was an added bonus. In the past few years, I have developed probably over 100 salmon recipes, most of which were cooked on the grill. But, I also like salmon cooked in the oven. In developing this recipe, I have to be honest. I truly just looked in my refrigerator and pulled out what I had in the vegetable bin: fresh herbs, bell peppers and a can of diced tomatoes from the pantry. Everyone was very impressed! The presentation was outstanding, and the flavors were even better.  

Easy Salmon with Fresh Herbs and Vegetables

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

11/2 pounds wild salmon fillets, skinned

Cooking spray

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1/2 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

1/2 small onion, thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

3 tabespoons chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1 (141/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 400F.

2. Place salmon in an aluminum foil-lined 13- x 9-inch baking dish lightly greased with cooking spray. Sprinkle salmon with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Top with bell peppers and remaining ingredients.

3. Bake until the salmon is just cooked through, about 20 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.