Garlic Scape Pesto

What’s new lately?  It’s been a while.

We’re gearing up for the summer months, which means much travel and family time for me.  This year, we’re heading up to Bar Harbor for a week prior to my cousin’s wedding.  After that, a week in Wildwood, New Jersey, building sand castles and visiting family.  And finally, at the end of the summer, my sister is getting married!!

Also part of the summer months, enjoying all the great things from our garden!  This year, we planted sugar peas, which are ready to be picked, Romaine lettuce, sprinach, green beans, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, dill, basil, parsley, and my chives have returned from last year.  As you know, we’re a big veggie eating family, so to supplement, we’ve joined a CSA through Frost Arrow Farm.  I’ve always wanted to join a CSA, but this is the first year doing so.  We’re only in the second week, but I’ve had fun researching and creating meals based on what’s in the box.

garlic scapePhoto Credit:  agardenforthehouse.com

This week’s mysterious visitor was garlic scapes.  Garlic scapes are the part of the garlic plant that you see above the ground.  It’s long and twisty and green.   If you’ve never seen a garlic scape, think Medusa’s hair.  I had fun chasing my boys around the kitchen yelling, “the snakes got me!  Help!”  They just thought I was weird and walked away.  Oh, well.  I’ll be trying a few different recipes with my scapes, but my first use was Garlic Scape Pesto over tortellini.  I have to say, while my breath could kill an army, it turned out really good.  This is definitely not first date fare, but if you are at your local farmer’s market in the next few weeks, and happen to see some scapes, they’re worth trying.

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Garlic Scape Pesto

1 bunch of garlic scapes, cut in two inch pieces.

1 C of parmesan cheese, or more depending on taste

1 C of olive oil

1/2 C walnuts

1 TB lemon juice

black pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. 

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Cheese and Caramelized Onion Enchiladas

Ok, so my taste buds are like my taste in music.  Pathetic.  They are like the Chris Kirkpatrick of taste buds.  (100 points if you get that reference!!)

Apparently, though, my husband, who claims to have good taste in music has wimpy taste buds, too.  So, there’s that.  A plus on my side.

My poor two year old cried and cried, “It’s too spicy!”  Sorry, Sam.

The funny side to the story is, however, they were SO spicy, but we couldn’t stop eating them.  They were that good.  We were shoving milk and bread in to our mouths after every bite, trying desperately to quench the burn, but we kept eating.  Even getting seconds!!

The moral of the story is, I will be making these again…just maybe without the jalapenos.  

Cheese and Caramelized Onion Enchiladas

from Jack Bishop’s A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen–BUY THIS COOKBOOK!! SO GOOD!!

Quick Red Chile Sauce

1 Tb canola or corn oil

1 small onion

4 md garlic cloves, minced

1 lg chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced, with 1 Tb sauce

2 Tb chili powder

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 C canned tomato sauce

3/4 C water

1 tb fresh lime juice

salt

Heat the oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat, until shimmering.  Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 min.  Add the garlic, chipotle, adobo sauce, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and oregano and cook until very fragrant.  Add the tomato sauce and water and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer to blend the flavors, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the lime juice and adjust the seasonings, adding salt to taste.  The sauce can be cooled and refrigerated in an air tight container for a day or two.

Filling and Tortillas

1 Tb Canola or Corn oil

1 lb onions, halved and thinly sliced

1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

8 oz Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

2 oz drained pickled jalapenos, finely chopped (Omit if you are lame like me)

1/3 C chopped cilantro (fresh)

10 6-inch corn tortillas

Nonstick vegetable spray

Heat the oil in a medium skillet, over medium high heat until shimmering.  Add the onions, sugar, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to brown slightly, about 5 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring often, until the onions are browned deeply and very soft, about 15 minutes.  Scrape the onions into a medium bowl and cool to room temperature.  Add 1 1/2 C of cheese, the pickled jalapenos, and cilantro to the bowl with the onions and toss to combine.

Move the oven racks to the lower-middle and upper-middle positions and heat the oven to 300 degrees.  Spread half of the chile sauce evenly across the bottom of a 13-by-9 inch glass or ceramic baking dish.  Divide the tortillas among two large rimmed baking sheets and generously spray both sides of each tortilla with cooking spray.  Bake the tortillas for 3 minutes, or until pliable enough to roll easily.  Remove the baking sheets from the oven and increase the heat to 400 degrees.  

Doing one tortilla at a time, spoon about 1/4 C of filling across the center of the tortilla and then gently roll the tortilla tightly.  Put seam side down in the baking dish.  Repeat with remaining tortillas.  Spoon sauce remaining sauce over tortillas, making sure each tortilla is coated completely.  Then sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Cover with foil and bake until the enchiladas are hot, about 20 minutes.  


 

Pan-Fried Tofu and Watercress with Lemon Caper Sauce

Phew…long title.

Ok, let’s get ready folks.  It’s Monday, or maybe it’s Tuesday where you are.  Whatever the case may be Thanksgiving is right around the corner…ok, if you live in America…which not all of you do.  Ok, well anyway…I’m gearing up for Thanksgiving and you can come along, too.  

Let’s eat lots of buttery things, and stuffed things, and things smothered in gravy.  Then, for dessert, let’s have one of each.  Then, repeat.  The next day, eat a stuffing sandwich…mmmm.  

But, to do this, we must get ready.  We must prepare our minds, bodies, and souls.  This week, we eat Tofu.  Tofu and Oatmeal.  And, lots of spinach. 

But we’ll make it really tasty, so it will be ok.

Pan-Fried Tofu and Watercress with Lemon Caper Sauce

from Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson (Great Cookbook)

1 16 oz package extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices

Salt and pepper

2 Tb olive oil

1/4 C dry white wine

3 Tb fresh lemon juice

2 Tb capers, drained and chopped

1 large garlic clove, minced

2 bunches watercress, tough stems removed

1. Pat the tofu dry and season with salt and pepper to taste, set aside.

2. Heat 1 Tb olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the tofu and cook in batches until golden brown on both sides, 2-4 minutes per side.  Add the wine, lemon juice, and capers.  Simmer until the sauce is slightly reduced, about 2 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low and keep warm.

3. Heat the remaining 1 Tb oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the watercress and cook, stirring until just wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Transfer the watercress to a serving platter or 4 individual plates and arrange the tofu on top.  Drizzle the sauce over the tofu and serve hot.

Spinach Lasagna

If someone ever found me crouched in my closet with a fork, holding a 13×9 pan of something.  It would be this.  

Friends of ours just had the second most beautiful baby boy in the world, Owen.  (And he’s only second because I am biased and mine would be first) This is hardly fair because they already have the cutest little girl in the world, seriously.

 To give them a break, we made them this for dinner.  I am very jealous though because I want it all to myself.  Being the middle child, however, I’ve perfected the art of sharing, and will just have to make this again, some other time.  Like, tomorrow.

I wonder if the Duggar’s neighbor’s make them a meal every time they have a baby, or if they, like the rest of us, have gotten tired of their baby making.  Thoughts?

Spinach Lasagna from Cook’s Illustrated

Spinach
1 tablespoon table salt
20 ounces curly spinach (2 bags), stemmed and rinsed

Bechamel
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon unsalted butter for baking dish
5 large shallots , minced (about 1 cup)
4 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (generous 1 tablespoon)
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups whole milk
2 bay leaves
3/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup)

Cheeses and Pasta
8 ounces whole milk cottage cheese
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon table salt
12 no-boil lasagna noodles from 1 box
2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)
8 ounces Italian fontina cheese , shredded (about 2 cups)

1. For the spinach: Fill large bowl with ice water. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven or stockpot over high heat; add salt and spinach, stirring until spinach is just wilted, about 5 seconds. Using skimmer or fine-mesh strainer, transfer spinach to ice water and let stand until completely cool, about 1 minute, then drain spinach and transfer to clean kitchen towel. Wrap towel tightly around spinach to form ball and wring until dry. Chop spinach medium and set aside.

2. For the bechamel: Melt 5 tablespoons butter until foaming in medium saucepan over medium heat; add shallots and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 1/2 minutes. Do not brown. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat, whisk in bay leaves, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes, whisking occasionally. Whisk in Parmesan and discard bay leaves. Transfer sauce to bowl, press plastic wrap directly against surface, and set aside.

3. For the cheeses, pasta, and assembly: Blend cottage cheese, egg, and salt in food processor or blender until very smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to bowl and set aside. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Place noodles in 13- by 9-inch broilersafe baking dish and cover with hot tap water; let soak 5 minutes, agitating noodles occasionally to prevent sticking. Remove noodles from water and place in single layer on kitchen towel. Wipe baking dish dry and coat with remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Use rubber spatula to distribute 1/2 cup bechamel in bottom of baking dish; position 3 noodles on top of sauce. Stir spinach into remaining bechamel in bowl, mixing well to break up clumps of spinach (you should have about 4 cups spinach/bechamel mixture). Spread 1 cup spinach mixture evenly over noodles, sprinkle evenly with Parmesan, and top with 3 more noodles. Spread 1 cup spinach mixture evenly over noodles, sprinkle evenly with 1 cup fontina, and top with 3 more noodles. Spread 1 cup spinach mixture evenly over noodles, followed by cottage cheese mixture. Finish with 3 noodles, remaining cup spinach mixture, and remaining cup fontina. Lightly spray large sheet foil with nonstick cooking spray and cover lasagna. Bake until bubbling, about 20 minutes, then remove foil. Remove lasagna and adjust oven rack to uppermost position (about 6 inches from heating element) and heat broiler. Broil lasagna until cheese is spotty brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Cool 10 minutes, then cut into pieces and serve.

 

Mac and Cheese: Two Ways

So, let’s talk about Thanksgiving.  Why, when Halloween hasn’t even arrived?  Well, for two reasons:

1.  I live for Thanksgiving.

2.  If Target, Walmart, and the other major chains have bypassed it, and headed straight into Christmas, then it deserves a bit of respect and recognition.

Today’s subject:  Favorite Holiday Side Dish

Here it is, hands down:

Martha’s Perfect Mac and Cheese

So cheesy, so gooey, so true to its name.

When you’re eating turkey covered in gravy, with a side of mashed potatoes oozing with butter, why not add mac and cheese to the mix?

And what is the best part of mac and cheese?  The leftovers!

Is there anything more American than Fried Mac and Cheese?

Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by OXO.

Martha’s Perfect Mac and Cheese

Serves 12

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for casserole
6 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to l/2-inch pieces
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for water
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 1/2 cups (about 18 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar cheese
2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated Gruyère or 1 1/4 cups (about 5 ounces) grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 pound elbow macaroni

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place the bread in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour the melted butter into the bowl with the bread, and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside.

2. Warm the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Melt the remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When the butter bubbles, add the flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.

3. While whisking, slowly pour in the hot milk a little at a time to keep mixture smooth. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick, 8 to 12 minutes.

4. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar cheese, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyère (or 1 cup Pecorino Romano); set the cheese sauce aside.

5. Cover a large pot of salted water, and bring to a boil. Cook the macaroni until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir the macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.

6. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyère (or 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano), and the breadcrumbs over the top. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes (though we needed a bit more time to get it brown, but your oven may vary). Transfer the dish to a wire rack for 5 minutes; serve.

 

Alton Brown’s Next Day Mac and Cheese Toasts

 

  • Leftover baked macaroni and cheese, refrigerated for at least overnight
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 egg beaten with 2 ounces water
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Oil for deep frying, preheated to 375 degrees

 

Directions

 

Cut refrigerated macaroni and cheese into slices or bite size pieces.

Season the flour with salt, pepper and cayenne. Dredge each piece through the flour and gently tap off excess. Dip in the egg wash and then coat with the bread crumbs. Allow them to rest for 5 minutes so the crust can set. Very carefully drop into the oil and fry until golden brown. Remove to a baking sheet fitted with a rack and rest for 2 minutes before serving.

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Potato Pierogi with Rosemary Brown Butter

I love, love, love these pierogies!  They are beyond awesome.  I’ve made them a bunch of times, and they’ve been good every time.  They are a little time-consuming, as you have to make your own dough, but they are SO worth the effort.  The recipe also makes a ton of pierogies, and they freeze really well, so you can have them next week, the week after, AND the week after that!  Beautiful.  

If you have some time to kill, it should definitely be spent making these.

Ben (my husband) had eight of them.  I had to cut him off.  He claims at 30, he’s a growing boy, but I’m suspicious of that.

 In other news, I’m considering this as a Halloween costume for my two year old and husband.  What do you think? 

Sweet Potato Pierogies

Barely Adapted from Katherine Sacks

 

(makes about 3 dozen)

 

Pierogi Dough (adapted from Martha Stewart Living, April 2010)
1 egg
3 tablespoons sour cream

1 cup milk

1 cup water
3 cups all -purpose flour
2 cups cake flour
3/4 teaspoon salt

 

* Start with step one for the filling, then proceed with the dough. (1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a sheet tray with parchment or a silpat. Place the sweet potatoes and yam on the tray and roast for one hour, or until soft.

 

1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the egg lightly. Add in the sour cream and combine until smooth. Whisk into this mixture the milk and water. Add the flour, one cup at a time, transferring to a wooden spoon when batter starts to get thick. Combine the salt with the last cup of flour, and add it to the dough (this will make sure that the salt is evenly distributed to the dough).

 

2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface (the dough will be sticky). Knead gently, adding flour if needed, for five to 10 minutes. The dough will come together as you knead, so make sure not to add too much flour, as this will make the dough tough. Roll into a ball and cover with a clean, inverted bowl. Let sit for one hour.

 

3. While the dough is sitting, proceed with the filling, at step 2.

 

4. After one hour, line a baking sheet with a silpat or a clean towel, and generously dust with cornmeal. Divide the dough evenly into four pieces. Re-cover three pieces and place the fourth on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out into a 1/8-inch round.

 

5. Using a 3-inch cutter or glass, cut circles out of the dough very close together so as to not waste any dough. Place a small spoonful of filling near the top of each circle, and fold the dough over in half to cover the filling. Gently pick up the crescent and pinch the edges closed. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

 

6. While you are shaping the pierogi, bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to a boil. When water is boiling, place five to eight pierogi in the water. The dumplings will sink to the bottom, so stir gently to avoid sticking. When the pierogi rise to the top of the water, cook for two more minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a clean tray lined with a silpat or parchment.

 

7. After all pierogi are boiled, heat a medium-sized skillet over medium high heat. Place one tablespoon of butter in the pan and allow to melt and get hot. Cook the pieorgi in batches, frying lightly for one to two minutes, on each side. Add more butter when necessary. Serve with fried onions and drizzle with rosemary butter. *If you do not want to cook all pierogi at once, place extra on a lined sheet tray that is dusted with cornmeal. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and freeze. When you cook, boil pierogi straight from the freezer, do not thaw.

 

Sweet potato filling
2 sweet potatoes
1 large russet potato
3 tablespoons butter
4 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon salt

 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a sheet tray with parchment or a silpat. Place the sweet potatoes and yam on the tray and roast for one hour, or until soft.

 

2. When potatoes are cooked through, remove from the oven and take off skins. You should be able to just peel off the skins, but use a paring knife to help if necessary. Place the potatoes in a medium sized bowl. Using a potato masher or hand held blender, mash the potatoes until fairly smooth. Add the cream cheese, butter, salt and combine.

 

Rosemary butter

2 Shallots, sliced

3 Cloves Garlic, minced

1 Stick of Butter

2 Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary

 

Heat one stick of butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Skim the white foam that rises to the top of the melted butter off, discarding. This is the process for clarifying butter. When all foam (the milk fats) have been skimmed, add shallots, garlic, and one or two sprigs of rosemary. Cook over medium low heat until the solids at the bottom of the pot begin to brown slightly.

 

 

Meatless Monday: The Ultimate Veggie Burger

 

Before I jump into the recipe, I was pondering Meatless Monday.  Why is it important? Well, we all have families, loved ones, and people who we care for deeply.  They are the reason for Meatless Monday.  

The goal of Meatless Monday is to encourage healthy eating through vegetables and whole grains, so that we can take care of our bodies, and in turn, hopefully live longer and healthier for the ones we love.  I am encouraged by the fact that my two-year old loves Tofu and Edamame.  I count that as a major success!

I have two reasons for making Meatless Mondays a priority.  Here they are:

My babies!  Now, if they’d only stop growing up, that would be wonderful.

So, Meatless Monday…do it for yourself and  your family.  Your body will thank you.

I have tried to make many a veggie burger.  They are usually mushy and bland.  This one was neither.  The use of cashews and mushrooms gives it a meaty flavor without trying to replicate a real hamburger.  Give yourself about an hour for prep, but it is an hour you won’t regret.  Plus, you can freeze the ones you don’t use!  See notes at the end of recipe.

The Ultimate Veggie Burger

From Cook’s Illustrated

Ingredients:
3/4 cup dried brown lentils
3/4 cup bulgur
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 1/2 tsp table salt
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup leek or scallion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. cremini or white mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup unsalted cashews
1/3 cup mayonnaise (I used light sour cream)
2 cups panko

Instructions: 
Bring lentils to boil in 3 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Reduce to simmer and cook for about 25 minutes, until falling apart. Drain in a mesh strainer, dry and set aside. While lentils are cooking, boil 2 cups of water for bulgur, add bulgur and turn off heat. Let it cook until water is absorbed. Put bulgur aside. In a large pan, heat oil. Add onions, celery, garlic and leek or scallion, and cook for about 8 minutes. Set aside, then add mushrooms to the pan and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. In a food processor, process cashews until fine. Combine cashews, lentils, and bulgur with cooled vegetables and cashews. Add mayonnaise. Food process (pulse) in batches until mixture is cohesive but roughly textured. Stir in panko, and salt and pepper to taste. Form into 12 patties. Cook on the grill or in a pan, about 5 minutes per side. 

**These freeze really well.  You can make them completely, but don’t cook.  If you’re going to freeze, add 1/2 tsp of panko bread crumbs for each patty you are planning on freezing.

 

Meatless Monday: Orange Pan-Glazed Tempeh

This recipe was given to me by a great family friend, Mary Jane.  You should eat this for a few reasons.  

1.)  She has beautiful children, and you are what you eat…so…

2.)  This is a smart lady, and again…see above.

3.)  It is muy muy yummy.

4.) Tempeh costs under $3.00.  Chicken Breast can run you well over $6.  That’s double people!  I’m an Elementary School Teacher.  Give me a pat on the back, will ya?

The original recipe can be found here.

You will notice immediately that the pictures at 101 cookbooks are much better than mine, and you’ll then think…oh, that does look good.  Ok, I see what she was saying.  

 

I served mine with Kale and Brown Rice.  This is a super fast weeknight meal, so give it a try!  You’ll like it, I promise 🙂

Orange Pan-Glazed Tempeh

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (3-4 large juicy oranges)
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons tamari (or soy sauce)
1 1/2 tablespoons mirin
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 small garlic cloves, crushed
roughly 10 ounces of tempeh (or extra-firm tofu)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lime
a handful of cilantro (coriander) leaves

Put the orange juice in a small bowl. Squeeze the grated ginger over the bowl to extract the juices, then discard the pulp. Add the tamari, mirin, and maple syrup, ground coriander, and garlic. Mix together and set aside.

Cut the tempeh (or tofu) into thin-ish, bite-sized pieces, and if working with tofu, pat dry with a paper towel.

Put the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the tempeh and fry for 5 minutes, or until golden underneath. Turn and cook the other side for another 5 minutes, or until golden. Pour the orange juice mixture into the pan and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced to a lovely thick glaze. Turn the tempeh once more during this time and spoon the sauce over the tofu from time to time.

Serve the tempeh drizzled with any remaining sauce and a squeeze of lime, with the coriander scattered on top. Heidi note: As I mention in the head notes, I served this over some leftover wheat berries heated with a few handfuls of chopped kale.

Meatless Monday: Autumn Stuffed Acorn Squash

It’s funny how things happen.  I say that for two reasons.  First, I plan my menus for two weeks out, so that I go shopping on paydays and can just pick up little things on off weekends. So, I knew I’d be eating this two weeks prior.  Two weeks ago, it was 90 degrees.  Today, its rainy, 45 degrees, and I have our first fire of the season in my fireplace because I REFUSE to turn on the heat. So, an autumn meal should be in the works.

Second, I got one of those phone calls yesterday, that makes you stop and think.  My mom called me to let me know that my sister, and best friend, was in the hospital.  Her first news was that the doctor’s were doing tests, but that they didn’t know what was wrong with her.  Now, before everyone gets all worried, she was fine.  Just a bad stomach bug…I blame that pesky cantaloupe.  But, it did make me think, what would I do if she wasn’t around?  

People are in our lives for such a finite amount of time.  They can enter quickly, and leave just the same.  The call made me think about our daily phone calls, basement musicals, late night talks when all I wanted to do was go to bed, wedding planning, and so much more.  Its hard to imagine what life would be like without the most important people; the ones that make us who we are, that make us laugh and cry, happy and sad.  But, I guess that it is moments like that phone call, that make us come to that realization, for however fleeting it may be.  

I know that she will read this, so I just want to say, Callie, I love you 🙂  Your my best friend, and I am so happy to have you in my life.  Thanks for all of the times we’ve laughed together, danced together, sang together, and acted like morons in the name of having a good time.  I pray we have many more memories yet to come, and that they are equally as fabulous as those we’ve already shared.

You may be wondering what all this sisterly love has to do with Autumn Stuffed Squash.  Well, I’ll tell you, you lucky dog, you!  My sister has two favorite things.  At least, she did when she was 13.  She may have moved on to something else, but I’m stuck thinking that these are her favorites for eternity.  Her boyfriend will always love Oreos, even if he actually hates them.  I can’t imagine that he does, but I digress…

Her two favorite things are Squash and Goat Cheese.  And guess what!  This has them both!  WOAH!

I won’t bore you any longer with my rants and raves.  Here’s the recipe:

Autumn Stuffed Acorn Squash

Adapted from Kath Eats Real Food

Serves 2

1 Acorn Squash

1 C Wild Rice, prepared (if you don’t have Wild Rice, you should go get some.  Ok, fine, Brown Rice will work too)

1/2 C Chopped Walnuts

1/2 C Dried Cranberries

Pinch of Salt

Dash of Cinnamon

Pinch of Nutmeg

GOAT CHEESE, Yum! Crumbled, of course.

 

Preheat your oven to 375.

Slice your Squash in half, and scoop out the seeds.  

Put the acorn squash flat side down in 1/2 inch of water.  (This would be really good if you drizzled some olive oil on and sprinkled salt, put them flat side down, and roasted for 30-40 minutes, or until soft.  BUT in the name of cutting calories, and fat, we’ll do it this way.) Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until squash is soft.

Hidden Mickey!!

Mix your prepared rice, with the walnuts, cranberries, and spices.  When squash is done, fill the cups with the rice mixture, and top with crumbled goat cheese.

Enjoy!

Have a good Meatless Monday recipe? Please send me an email.  You can find my address at my contacts page!  Thanks!

 

Spinach and Potato Breakfast Hash

Sometimes I stare at this screen.  I have absolutely nothing to say.  Other times, I have to write and rewrite what I say because it absolutely makes no sense.  I jump from idea to idea with no coherent link between the ideas.  Have you noticed that?  This is one of those times that I have nothing to say.  

I’ve gotten back in the routine of doing my Insanity Workouts.  I’ve been running all summer, but with the rainy weather and now the threat of some snow ?!?  I’ve given up on the idea that I’ll ever see the sun again.  I love Insanity and I hate it.  I love when I’m finished.  I hate getting started.  Some days it takes everything in me to hit that play button.  Yesterday was one of those days, but I did it, and now I feel good.  

I woke up this morning STARVING.  Most likely because I went to bed right after working out, and didn’t eat much during the day.  My body was angry at me and screaming to be fed.  I had some Salted Caramel Brownies (recipe coming tomorrow) in my fridge.  My preference would have been to eat those, but I thought better of it, and made this Spinach and Potato Breakfast Hash from Joy the Baker.  It did the trick.  It was filling and not awful for me.  Plus, I had everything I needed in my fridge…always a good thing.  

 

For those of you that workout, what kind of recovery shake do you use?  I usually use an Herbalife Shake, which is great.  I hear they make a new shake called Rebuild Endurance, but haven’t tried it yet.  Anyone use that?

 

Spinach and Potato Breakfast Hash from Joy the Baker

1 green bell pepper, diced into medium chunks

1 medium yellow onion, diced into medium chunks

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 pounds potatoes (russet or new potatoes will also be great), cut into bite-size chunks

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

6 ounces sausage, cooked and sliced…I used vegetarian smoked style sausage, but any sausage would work.  Joy used Vegetarian chipotle.

1 heaping teaspoon fennel seeds

salt and pepper to taste

2 cups baby spinach leaves

2 to 4 eggs, fried to desired doneness

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.  Place diced potatoes on a lined baking sheet and drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Bake potatoes for 20-30 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through.  Poke the potato chunks with a fork, if they’re tender they’re done.

Cook your sausage, if raw. Set aside.

While potatoes are baking, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan, over medium heat.  Add the diced peppers and onions and cook until browned and broken down, about 6 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper as it cooks.  Add the minced garlic, and cook for 1 minute more.  Remove from pan and place in a bowl to the side.

When potatoes are done roasting, remove from the oven.

Return the pan you cooked the onions and peppers in to medium heat.  Add the sliced, cooked sausage  and potatoes.  Pan fry until the sausage and potatoes have crispy bits on them.  Add the fennel seeds.  Stir.   Add the onion and pepper mixture and fold to incorporate.  Remove from the flame and add spinach leaves.  Toss to incorporate and wilt the leaves.

Fry your eggs, and serve.

This has will last for up to 4 days in the fridge.

Joy recommends saving the leftovers and mixing with black beans and salsa.  Putting it all on tortillas, and serving with cheese.