I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, September 15, 2017

Something for the Weekend ~ Baked Summer Squash with Quinoa and Pine Nuts

Hi everyone! Tonight let's cook up a lovely casserole for weekend meals on the go. It's no secret I love veggies, and all kinds of squash. I'm particularly fond of bright yellow summer squash, though winter squashes like acorn and butternut, also faves, work well in this make do recipe, too. I use them later in the Fall; for now the market is filled with stacks of yellow and green summer squash varieties.

Years ago, when I was first married and my now-ex husband was busily trying to make me over into his image of a suitable companion, he insisted I go to a professional nutritionist, to redirect my [in his opinion] very poor eating habits. Now I am sure there are fine nutrition practitioners, just as there are no doubt competent and pleasant dentists and physicians---so maybe it's just me? Somehow I always get the ones with the bad attitudes.  This woman was the queen of passive aggressive: she'd ask me what I ate for a snack, for example:

Me: carrot sticks.
Nutri: Oh no! Too much sugar!
Me: Celery sticks.
Nut: Oh no , just water! And OMG, sodium!
Me, retreating : Ok, Ok ! my fave is raw cauliflower.
Nut: Nooo. No! No nutritional value!
and on and on.

I'm sure if I said I subsisted solely on kale and roasted beets she'd have taken issue with that choice too.
[I finally walked out on her ,lol.]
Anyway, the point is: my recipes are tasty and comforting and of unguaranteed nutritional perfection. You decide. Enjoy your kale smoothies.

Yellow Squash boats with Quinoa, 
brown Basmati rice, pine nuts and ground beef

Preheat your oven to 350*.
Estimate one medium sized squash per person. Wash well, trim ends and cut in halves or thirds, crosswise. To make the little boats I slice off the top third of the squash and reserve those pieces for another day. 

Scoop out the centers with a sharp knife or a spoon. Save the innards, chopped, set aside for now.

Precook multicolored quinoa according to package directions but use one third LESS liquid, do not cook too soft or mushy; same with brown Basmati rice [optional, I had it leftover].

Brown ground beef or turkey with a diced sweet onion and minced garlic to taste, maybe 2 t. Diced bacon optional here, adds a lot of flavor. Drain the fat from the meat.

Add the cooked grains, the chopped squash innards to the meat, mix well. 

You'll need a little liquid--cider, wine, whatever is in your fridge. I had peach juice! Cider is my preference. About 3/4 - 1 Cup. Add 1/3 C. Parmesan cheese. Plus parsley, basil and spices of your choice. I used paprika, smoked cinnamon, cumin, fennel seeds, and caraway seeds. You want the mixture fragrant and a little exotic. Salt, black pepper, lemon pepper.

Spoon the mixture into the squash boats, piling the extra on top. 

Cover and bake 350* 35-45 minutes. If you used a Pyrex pan, you ll see it bubbling. Remove the foil and top with a light sprinkle of parm, pine nuts, and paprika so it looks pretty. Bake 10 more minutes. You can use less pine nuts, I was using up an opened bag.

Delicious, hearty and makes great leftovers. 

You can omit the meat for a meatless version. You can omit the pine nuts to lower calorie count. Here is a real  recipe, in case you like things more formal: Recipe

I also had these oddly tough Pink Lady apples. No one could eat them raw, they were very cement-like. 

So I baked them with trail mix stuffing [pistachios, almonds, dried cherries, oats,raisins, but whatever you have is fine], a bit of honey, a bit of butter, lots of cinnamon. Oooh they smelled so good! 

Served warm, half an apple is plenty per person. Topped with my new fave plain yogurt, Siggi's plain, unsweetened. here Delish.

Mo watches me cook, every move, every taste. 

Sometimes it's unnerving!


Update on Lori's Mystery sewalong:

 Here are my Step One 24 [oh okay, 27, just in case] 4 patches in low volume, drab colors.

I snuck in a red, a black, a cheddar, some spools and Lady Liberty!

I also used some of my antique fabrics from my collection of small pieces. Just because they're old doesn't mean they're not ugly. 

I am hoping they'll lend authenticity.


And look what is showing up on Weather Bug! Hurricane Jose! We're in the cone! 

When I went to the village to get gas, the station was almost sold out already. Only one pump still had gas! We may be stubborn New Yorkers but , man, we learn our hurricane lessons young. THE MOST IMPORTANT hurricane supply is gas! The pumps don't work without power, and then you can't flee the storm.  

I also ordered a large bag of Mo's food and his treats, and wee wee pads, from Chewy.com. Free one day delivery. Just in case. Probably a false alarm...let's hope!
Weekend book[s]: JD Robb's newest in her Eve Dallas In Death series. Secrets in Death Very good, in a movie series kind of way.  For once I didn't ''get'' the perp by chapter two. And Roark wasn't smarmy this time, Eve less real life challenged. So that was a plus. Good series.

Have a great weekend!



gone to the beach....