Hi Everyone! My gosh, long time no see over here. Though it’s been a long time since my last post, I think of coming here often to catch everyone up on things. Life looks a lot different these days. I’ve got two young girls now, a three-year-old and an eight-month-old. I’ve published my sixth and seventh cookbooks — The Ultimate Air Fryer Oven Cookbook: Easy Recipes That Satisfy (Fall ’21), and just last month, The Instant Kitchen Cookbook: Fast and Easy Meals Using Your Instant Pot and Air Fryer.
I have to say, The Instant Kitchen Cookbook is my favorite of all the books I’ve written. It has more photos than any of my other books (thanks to the incredibly talented photographer Dana Gallagher and stylist Cyd McDowell), so you get to see what nearly every recipe looks like before you make it! Of the 100 recipes in the book, 80 were photographed.
And beyond just looking beautiful, the book contains a fantastic mix of dishes that just WORK for a busy family. The chapters are organized around how I cook for my family, starting with Breakfast and ending with Sweet Treats. In between are chapters for lunches, snacks, soups, stews and chilis, one and done dinners, main dishes, breads, grains, and pastas, and vegetable sides. It’s everything you need to be able to get wholesome, family-friendly, and nutritious food on the table quickly!
Speaking of quickly, that’s thanks to the fact that all of these recipes are made in either an air fryer or an Instant Pot. Air fryers are much faster than ovens (they preheat in just a couple minutes and cook many foods in about half the time), and Instant Pots are way more hands off than a soup pot or pressure cooker on the stove. So you’ve got a mix of fast and simple, which is really all I want when I’m scrambling to cook with a baby and a toddler under foot!
While my family is not vegetarian, we are vegetable lovers, and I wanted to create a cookbook that reflected my own love of plant-based foods, too. As such, most of the recipes in this book can easily be made vegetarian or vegan with an ingredient substitution or two, or they’re already vegetarian to begin with. A balance of hearty, healthy, and delicious is what you’ll find here.
I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes from the Vegetable Dishes chapter today: Delicata Squash and Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts. I make this one on weeknights often, but it’s also so delicious and beautiful that you could easily serve it for a holiday dinner. It’s definitely going to be on the table for our family on Thanksgiving, since we’re just having dinner for four this year. We’ll be visiting with family for Christmas and Hanukkah, but Turkey Day is going to be a small affair, and an air fryer recipe is just what I want for a side dish that gets the squash and the green veggie on the table all in one bowl.
Maple syrup, sage, and walnuts make these veggies taste extra autumnal and just plain cozy. Since the walnuts don’t take long to toast, they’re added to the air fryer a few minutes before the cooking time is through. That gives them just enough time to become browned and aromatic, so good with the sweet squash and crisped brussies.
Delicata Squash and Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts
- 1 delicata squash halved, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rings
- 1 pound brussels sprouts halved if large
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 sprigs sage leaves chopped if large
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup raw walnut halves and pieces
- Preheat the air fryer at 350ºF and set the cooking time for 20 minutes. If using a toaster oven-style air fryer, line the cooking pan with parchment paper.
- Add the squash and Brussels sprouts to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil and maple syrup, then sprinkle in the sage, salt, and pepper. Toss until the vegetables are evenly coated.
- Transfer the vegetables to the lined cooking pan, or, if using a basket-style air fryer, to the air frying basket. Roast the vegetables in the preheated air fryer.
- When there are 5 minutes left in the baking time, sprinkle the walnuts on top of the vegetables. Return to the air fryer for the rest of the cooking time.
- When the cooking program ends, transfer the vegetables to a serving dish and serve right away.