Squashy Spaghetti with Carrot-Top Pesto, Roasted Herbed Chicken, Chewy Carrot Ginger Cookies, and Basil Lemonade

Posted by on Dec 16, 2016 in Valentine's Day, pink lemonade, cranberries, recipes | 0 comments


This Saturday, December 17th, is the last cooking class of our December series at Asphalt Green Battery Park CitySign your 5 to 9 year old up to join Chef Gisselle to make a special holiday meal.

Our chefs-in-training will cook and enjoy autumn root vegetable gratin with herbs and cheese, homemade herb bread and butter, sweet potato blondies, and fizzy rosemary seltzer.

In the meantime, here’s the hit recipe Chef Gisselle and her chefs-in-training cooked last week, squashy spaghettilemon herb chicken with carrot top pesto, and chewy carrot ginger cookies! 


Serves 8 hungry chefs: Cook time: 2 hours.


  • 1 bunch carrot tops (1 C lightly packed carrot leaves)
  • ½ C olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ c fresh basil
  • ¼ t salt
  • 4 T pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ C parmesan
  • 1 T honey (opt)


  • 1 small spaghetti squash
  • 3 T olive oil
  • ½ T basil
  • ½ T parsley
  • ½ T thyme
  • ½ T rosemary
  • ½ t salt


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup basil
  • 4 lemons


  • •2 cups flour
  • •½ tsp baking soda
  • •½ tsp salt
  • •2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • •½ tsp ground ginger
  • •1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • •¾ cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • •1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • •½ cup sugar
  • •1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • •1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk
  • •1 pack of crystallized ginger cubes
  • •1½ cups finely grated carrots (about 2 medium-large carrots)
  • •1½ cups white chocolate chips
  • •½ cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • •½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)


  • 8 chicken thighs with skin
  • 1 bunch oregano
  • 1 bunch parsley




  • Prep the Squash
    • Preheat oven to 375F & 425F
    • Cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop seeds, and place facing up in baking dish with ½ in water.  Start baking immediately to allow time to cool
      • Check on squash in 20 min. If squash is still very hard, break down squash into smaller pieces and boil in pot of water.
      • Remove leafy tops from carrots, break down carrots
      • Prep chicken thighs by loosening the skin. Pat dry and allow to come to room temperature.
  • Make the Cookies!
    • Reduce oven heat to 325 F degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
    • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.
    • In a small pan over medium heat, melt the butter, stirring occasionally. Cook the butter until it turns slightly golden brown. It will have a nutty aroma. Be careful not to burn it.
    • Pour the browned butter into the the bowl of your stand mixer.
    • Add the sugars to the butter and beat until combined. Scrape the bowl and beat again.
    • One at a time, mix in the eggs and beat well after each. Mix in the vanilla. Scrape the bowl and let rest for 2 minutes. Mix again until smooth.
    • Add the carrots and mix until combined.
    • In two parts, add the dry ingredients and mix together on medium speed until almost all the flour has been incorporated.
    • Fold in the coconut and pieces of ginger.
    • Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.
    • Drop ¼ cup size balls of dough onto the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Press a few extra pieces of ginger on the top of the dough.
    • Bake for 16-18 minutes or until the edges are golden.
    • Allow to cool on the pan for 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Herbed Chicken
    • Tug a pinch of herbs underneath the skin of the chicken. Season with salt and pepper.  
    • Cook for 30- 35 minutes at 425F.
  • Basil Simple Syrup
    • Mix 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a small sauce pan. Cook till sugar dissolves, add basil leaves and allow to steep.
  • Carrot Top Pesto
    • Toast pepitas for five minutes in oven or on stove top
    • Chop fresh basil and grate parmesan cheese
    • Measure out and combine pesto ingredients: carrot leaves, fresh basil, garlic and salt in mixing bowl. Pulse in  food processor until well mixed
    • Add in toasted pumpkin seeds and parmesan and pulse until well combined
  • Squash Spaghetti and Sauteed carrot garnish
    • Slice carrots into thin rounds.
    • Sautee in olive oil until golden brown.  Flipping to prevent burning.
    • Scrape the squash into spaghetti like pieces or distribute individual pieces
    • Collect squash in mixing bowl and combine with dried herbs/olive oil.
    • Combine pesto with squash
    • Serve with side of sauteed carrots and Sprinkle with parmesan cheese
  • Make Lemonade
    • Squeeze lemons into cup. Add water and add 1 tablespoon of basil simple syrup.
    • Add basil syrup, chill

Serve and enjoy!


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Moroccan Couscous and Mashed Acorn Squash

Posted by on Dec 12, 2016 in Valentine's Day, pink lemonade, cranberries, recipes | 0 comments

This week our cooking classes are making Moroccan-style couscous and mashed acorn squash. This recipe celebrates the blending of sweet and savory, with couscous that includes veggies, chickpeas, and cumin alongside raisins and acorn squash that highlights the buttery sweetness of squash with olive oil and cinnamon, balanced with a sprinkle of salt.

Moroccan Couscous and Mashed Acorn Squash



  • 1 small yellow onion

  • 1.5 c dry couscous

  • 4 carrots

  • 3 stalks celery

  • 1 c chopped mushrooms

  • 1 can chickpeas

  • ½ c raisins

  • 2 T cumin

  • 1 t salt

  • 3 c hot water


  • 2 acorn squash

  • 2 t cinnamon

  • 2 T olive oil

  • salt to taste


1. Bring 3 cups water to a boil

2. Cut squash pieces into large chunks. Boil or Steam for 10 minutes and remove squash. Keep hot water.

3. Chop carrots and celery into small pieces.

4. Dice mushrooms.

5. Heat skillet over medium heat and add onions. Then add carrots and celery. Then add mushrooms last.

6. Measure out chickpeas and raisins. Add to the pan with the cumin and salt.

7. Add couscous and remaining hot water from pot to skillet and cover until all water is absorbed. Mix.

8. Put squash in large bowl, add cinnamon, olive oil and salt. Mash.

9. Serve and enjoy!

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Gingerbread Faces and Winter Tree Salad

Posted by on Dec 5, 2016 in Valentine's Day, pink lemonade, cranberries, recipes | 0 comments



Gingerbread Faces and Kale Winter Tree Salad

This week our cooking classes are making homemade gingerbread and kale winter tree salad. The gingerbread is seasoned with gingernutmeg, and cinnamon and lightly sweetened with molasses, and our chefs-in-training will use dried fruit to create the faces.

The kale salad balances sweet and savory using kale, lemon juice, honey, pomegranate seeds, and apples. Take a peek at the Butter Beans blog for more creative kale recipes including sesame kale salad, lemony kale salad, and alligator pear kale salad!

Want more seasonal cooking practice? Butter Beans is delighted to announce a special holiday cooking series at Asphalt Green, celebrating healthy, seasonal cooking as a key component of an active lifestyle! Read on below for more information or register on our website today!

What do the holidays mean? What are we celebrating?
What does community mean? Who makes up your community?
What was your favorite recipe this fall, and why?
What are you most excited to cook with your family over the holidays?

Share your answers at @butter_beans on twitter and @butterbeanskitchen on instagram!



½ C All Purpose flour + extra for hands
¾ c Whole Wheat flour
½ t ground ginger
½ t ground cinnamon
¼ t ground nutmeg
pinch salt
¼ t baking powder
¼ c butter, softened
¼ c packed brown sugar
1 ½ T molasses
1 small egg
½ c raisins or craisins

1 bunch kale
2 pomegranates, pull seeds
2 apples
Grated Parmesan Cheese
4 T lemon juice
⅔ c olive oil
Honey to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350
2. In one bowl, combine the AP flour, WW flour, salt and baking powder. Stir together. (Dry ingredients)
3. In separate bowl, cream together soft butter, sugar and molasses. Once combined, add egg and whisk. (Wet ingredients)
4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients.
5. Mix with hands and form big dough ball.
6. Break off small balls of dough and roll with pins.
7. Decorate faces with raisins.
8. Bake 8-10 minutes
9. While the cookies are baking, prepare the salad.
10. Tear kale leaves from stem and rip into thin pieces and massage.
11. Chop apples.
12. Combine lemon juice, olive oil and honey. Whisk or shake.
13. Place mound of kale on plate and garnish with pomegranate seeds for lights, apples for ornaments and cheese for snow. Dress with dressing.
14. Serve and enjoy!


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