squash

SQUASH IT!

LASDI©

LASDI©

Cooking is my love language to others. Food itself is one of my own love languages. I think this is so for most of us. This is the reason I wrote the book A Life of Flavor. It is a book about finding the joy in the dark times life brings us, with matching recipes for comfort. Everything we DO revolves around food, and for my family, we are usually talking about the next meal to come during the one we are sitting together for!

One of the things I really like to do for The Hubster is cook a Saturday morning breakfast. There are very rare times we have a free Saturday morning, so when we do, I like to express my love for him by making something awesome to commemorate the opportunity!

Also, because I want to keep him around for as long as possible, I try to make it as healthy as possible. I’m not ALWAYS able to do so - #RealLife - but do the very best I can. I am the low-carb girl of the family, so I also do my best to keep it that way for him, too. All of those things do not make for an easy-but-awesome breakfast.

Challenge. ACCEPTED.

Here we have a bacon (uncured with no nitrates or preservatives, of course!), egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich. The clencher? The “bread” is butternut squash panny-cakes!! And boy-oh-BOY were they delicious and perfectly bread-like!

I know it is really easy to take a couple of slices of bread out of the package or whatever bread of your choice for a morning sandwich; hear my cry!! This is SO EASY, and SO WORTH YOUR HEALTH.

PS It is PERFECT for September as we transition out of Summer and into the Autumn season!

So try it! Let me know how you like it!

BUTTERNUT SQUASH PANNY-CAKES

2 cups butternut squash

extra virgin olive oil

1 cup almond flour

4 eggs

sea salt, to taste

pepper, to taste

1/2 tsp baking soda

coconut oil

For my butternut squash, I bought pre-peeled and cubed at the grocery store. It’s just easier and faster. I tossed them with a little bit of evoo and placed them on a baking sheet. I broiled them for about ten minutes until they were cooked through, and then put them into a standing mixer bowl. If you don’t have a standing mixer, a hand mixer will do just fine! Place all other ingredients up to coconut oil into mixing bowl and mix unil blended into a loose batter consistency.

Heat heavy pan (I use my cast-iron griddle, flat side!) without oil for about two minutes. Add about a tablespoon of coconut oil before each panny-cake prior to cooking, and adjust heat with each one accordingly. Ladle or pour desired amount onto pan and cook over medium heat until browned. Just like a regular panny-cake, when you see the bubbles on the upside, flip it carefully and cook the other side until brown.

NOTES: This was to be bread for the breakfast sandwich; however, if you would like a sweeter panny-cake, add 1 teaspoon of sugar to the batter and add your favorite syrup after cooking and prior to eating! I just squashed the bacon, egg, and cheese right between two huge pieces and watched it disappear with a smile on The Hubster’s face!

PLAYING SQUASH

turkeytenderloinandsquash

All year long I wait in anticipation for October to get here.  For my family, it means our annual Fall Family Day, the start of the Renaissance Festival, and all things autumn eating!!  For October, and considering my obsessive compulsivité, I cook orange-colored things or autumn-inspired foods.  So this night I had a turkey tenderloin that I cooked up with clove, sea salt and pepper, served in its own juices, and I paired it with the butternut squash and dried cranberries I had in the fridge.  The squash was AH-MAHZ.  Like, the stuff dreams are made of.  So that's the recipe you have here.  Happy Autumn, Everyone!  Be blessed in abundance!

BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH DRIED CRANBERRIES

1 butternut squash, halved and seeded

extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

1 tbs sea salt

1 tbs pepper

1 tbs pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp cayenne

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup parsley, chopped finely

Sprinkle the two halves of the squash with evoo, place flesh-side-down on a prepared baking sheet, and roast at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Let cool for five minutes.  Scoop out the flesh from the inside of the squash into a pan sprinkled lightly with evoo.  Add seasonings and smash with a potato masher while it cooks on medium heat for about one minute and to desired consistency.  Remove from heat and gently fold cranberries in.  Sprinkle with parsley before serving.  This is SHEtox Week Three -friendly and low-carb!

Mellow Yellow

LASDI  ©

LASDI©

So there I was, staring at another piece of fish and wondering how in the WORLD I was going to put it on a plate with  a little variety.  I considered my obsessive compulsivité with colors and months and wondered if I could fit in that it was August and that means yellow.  I looked in the fridge for whatever veggies I might have to help out, and lo-and-behold!  I found yellow squash, yellow bell peppers, and lemons!  I made lemon-thyme cod, sauteed peppers and onions, and yellow squash moots-a-rell au gratin.  This was going to be fun AND delicious to cook AND eat!  This is totally Week Three-friendly for the Detox & Cleanse, low-carb for all you low-carbers, and delicious for all you EVERYONES!!  

YELLOW SQUASH MOOTS-A-RELL AU GRATIN

4 yellow squash, sliced about 1/2 inch thick

1 can rotel

1- 8 oz pkg mozzarella cheese

1 tbs sea salt

1 tbs white pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

Place one even layer of squash in a prepared 9x13 baking pan, sprinkle with half the can of rotel, mozzarella cheese, sea salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Place the rest of the squash in a layer over the first layer, then repeat with the other half of the rotel, seasonings, and cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly on top.

 

Squash It!

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

Like many of you, autumn is my most-absolute favorite time of year.  Part of our Annual Fall Family Day consists of vegetable picking as a family, and boy did I get a TON of squash!  So, for this particular dish, I cooked it up with some chicken thighs and the green-and-purple beans we picked wrapped in bacon (let's just say The Hubster was HAPPY!!)

CHICKEN THIGHS AND SQUASH

2 pkgs chicken thighs

extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

sea salt, to taste

pepper, to taste

3 cups squash, any kind, peeled and cubed

 1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

3 tbs dried rosemary

3 tbs dried sage

2 tsp ground nutmeg

2 tsp sea salt

2 tsp pepper

2 cups vegetable (or chicken works here, too) stock or broth

1/2 cup parsley, chopped fine

In a large, heavy oven-safe skillet (I use my cast-iron, of course!), pour enough evoo to cover the bottom and heat on medium.  Meanwhile, sprinkle both sides of the chicken thighs with sea salt and pepper to your taste.  Place thighs top-side-down first into the heated pan.  Let sear and brown well before turning, about four-to-five minutes and the same on the other side.  Remove from heat and let rest on a plate covered in paper towel.  Heat your oven to 350 degrees.  To the same pan and on the same medium heat, add your squash, onion, garlic, rosemary, sage, nutmeg, sea salt, and pepper and stir.  Let cook for about five minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add your vegetable stock and scrape the bottom of your pan for all those goodie-brown-bits with a wooden spoon.  Turn off the heat and return the thighs to the pan, nestling them in between the squash mixture.  Cover and place the entire pan in the oven and let it braise by continuing to cook it for another 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven, sprinkle with parsley, and cover and let rest for five minutes.  Lift the lid.  Smell the wonder of autumn.  Then, eat the MESS out of it!

NOTES  I served this over brown rice and with the side of bacon-wrapped green bean stacks, but if you want low-carb, simply omit the rice.  

 

Horn of Plenty

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

I was asked to cater a small luncheon and with autumn upon us, I was super-pumped when they chose the Horn of Plenty Menu!  It consists of a stuffed acorn or carnival squash and a simple salad, from-scratch Shiner Bock beer bread with honey-butter rounds, and delicious cake truffles.  It made the house smell so wonderful and made me feel autumn deep in my soul!  I want to pass that along to you, so I am giving you the stuffed squash recipe below.  Happy Autumn Eating!

STUFFED ACORN SQUASH

 2 acorn or carnival squash, halved, seeded, and scraped deep and wide so as to fill generously, but still leaving enough squash flesh to eat

1 pnd ground beef

1/2 pkg bacon, chopped fine

1 onion, diced finely

2 green apples, cored and chopped finely

2 tbs pumpkin pie spice

2 tbs brown sugar

1 tbs dried sage

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp pepper

2 cups Jasmine rice, cooked

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Place squash halves cut-side down on a rimmed dish. Add water to dish and bake at 350 degrees 30 minutes.  While squash is roasted, cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until almost crisp. Add onion and apple. Cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in ground beef., breaking up meat as it cooks, and let it get just-brown.   Add brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, sage, salt and pepper. Cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in Jasmine rice.  Drain water from baking dish and flip over squash. Spoon meat-and-rice mixture into squash halves generously, pressing down with hands to pack it in. Return to oven and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve with fried sage as a garnish.

NOTES:  Want low-carb?  Omit the rice.  Be careful frying your sage leaves - if they turn brown they will taste bitter.  I used all-organic ingredients for clean eating, but I'm not sure it made a difference in taste except for the ground beef.  No need to make any sides, as this houses all of your food groups.  Horn of Plenty, get it?