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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Stuffed Acorn Squash

It is that time of year that we all love (or at least I do) – squash season! Squash is by far the easiest vegetable to cook. It can be daunting but believe me, it couldn’t be easier. Especially acorn squash.  I usually like to pair spiced items like apples, cinnamon, wild rice, and ground beef with acorn squash and savory things like Parmesan cheese, sage, and spinach with butternut squash, but that’s just me. This dish was just using what we had on hand that sounded like a good combination. J just started a new job and took this for lunch during his 2nd week. He got so many, “what is that?!?” comments. Most of them where shocked that you could use squash as a bowl. Oh men, where is your creativity?

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Stuffed Acorn Squash
(Each squash makes 2 servings. Increase the ingredients as needed for more servings)

Ingredients

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice
  • 6 ounces ground beef (lean)
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp silvered almonds
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg (if you are feeling adventurous) to taste

Directions

  1. Prepare the acorn squash
    Oven Option: Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Slice the squash in half and scoop out the center contents. Place face-down on the foil-lined pan. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the flesh of the squash can be easily pierced with a fork.
    Microwave Option: With a sharp knife or fork, carefully poke all over the squash. You need to get deep enough that the holes go to the center/open portion of the squash. Place the poked squash in a microwave-safe glass dish. Place a tiny bit of water in the base of the dish and cover the dish with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 7-10 minutes. Let stand in the microwave for 3-5 minutes and then remove. Test doneness by trying to pierce the skin with a fork. Cut the squash in half.
  2. Prepare the filling while the squash cooks.
    Spray a large skillet with cooking spray. Add the onion and beef. Saute for 5 minutes. Add the chopped carrot, almonds and saute for 5 more minutes. Mix in the cooked rice. Season to taste.
  3. Fill each half with the prepared filling. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate if you aren’t eating it right away.
  4. To reheat, keep the squash wrapped in plastic wrap and microwave on high for 3 minutes.
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Posted by on November 19, 2013 in Nutrition

 

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Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans

This is a simple, delicious and colorful meal. The local Aldi had colored fingerling potatoes for $1/pound – what a deal! I added parsley I had dried from our CSA to make J’s favorite potatoes. I was listening to a segment on WPR about braising potatoes using a “reverse braising” method. Normally, when you braise meat, you sear each side and then add some water to the pan, cover, and simmer for an hour or so. This makes a deliciously tender meat. The chef on the radio show decided to venture down a similar path with potatoes. The problem with the normal braising method, you won’t get the crunchy finish you want with parsley potatoes, because the water would soften everything (including that deliciousness you seared on first). Read more below on the reverse braising method I used for these potatoes. We had some green beans in the freezer from our CSA and we severe them with steak from our grass fed cow.
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Braised Fingerling Potatoes with Sautéed Green Beans and Almonds

Ingredients

  • 2-3 pounds multicolored fingerling potatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
    (you could also just use red potatoes, but baking potatoes won’t work well)
  • water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound green beans
  • 1/4 cup silvered almonds
  • 1-2 tbsp Butter
  • Parsley (dry or fresh, amount to your personal liking)

Directions

  • Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and place all the potatoes cut-side down in the pan. Add 1″ of water. Cover the skillet and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the water is all absorbed and the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. If the water is absorbed but the potatoes are still tough, add more water.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in another skillet. Add the almonds and green beans and saute for 8-10 minutes. Set aside.
  • Once the water is absorbed in the potatoes, add the butter to the pan. and let the cut sides sear. Be careful not the burn them. Add parsley and remove from heat.
  • Serve fresh, as refrigeration will remove the crunch you worked so hard for!

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2013 in Nutrition

 

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