Advertisements

lentil & white bean stuffed delicata squash 

oh my goodness… I don’t think I could fully express just how much I love fall!  

Everything is just so beautiful.  We started our day at our local farmers’ market yesterday 

Just look at that color! 


I scored a great deal on tomatoes

So that means it’s canning time!

I love the process of canning.. because it is a process. It also brings back nostalgic memories of my amazing Grandparents. Gosh, I miss them😓. 

I spent yesterday prepping the tomatoes, and started canning this am. 
My first jar broke when I put it in my canning pot 😂. I sputtered many not-so nice words. ( who meee?)

I tend to be very careful about following the proper procedures when I’m canning so I was really very upset when this happened. After doing a little research I actually think that I might put a little bit too much liquid in the jar before I sealed it either that or I filled it to tightly so I am currently waiting for my water to boil again so that I can try this again.
In the meantime while I’m waiting for the water to boil I figure this is a great time for me to share a recipe. Wayback in the beginning when this blog was brand-new one of the reasons that I started it was because we had joined CSA and there I had been introduced to a most amazing squash call Delicata.

I actually love all winter squash however the thing I love about Delicata is that the skins are edible making prep work next to nothing. 

This, my friends, is a delicata squash.  It is in season right now. You can find it at your local farmers’ market as well as most grocery stores. 

Lentil & White bean stuffed delicata Squash 

1 delicata squash

1/4 cup dried brown lentils

2 garlic cloves, peeled 

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup low sodium canned white beans, rinsed and drained 

1 tomato, chopped

About 1/4 cup parsley, chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tsbp olive oil

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese




Preheat oven to 325 degeees

Wash the squash, half the squash and remove seeds. ( I’m finding that a grapefruit spoon with serrated edges makes easy work of this) 

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast upside down on a baking sheet in the oven for 20-25 min depending on size. ( mine took about 22 minutes) 

It is done when a knife can be easily inserted into outer skin.


Using tongs, carefully flip squash over 

While squash is cooking, prepare filling.

Cook lentils according to package directions, adding the whole garlic cloves so that they soften.( I’m enjoying sprouted lentils, because they are easily digestible and cook quickly.. if you can’t find them dried brown lentils work just fine)

Once lentils are cooked, remove garlic clove and mash together with the white beans. Add back to pan and stir in tomatoes and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and squeeze the juice from the lemon into mixture. 

Divide mixture between both halves and fill 


Sprinkle the cheese on top,drizzle with the olive oil and return to oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese melts

This makes a perfect make-ahead dish, take-away lunch or side dish for dinner! Enjoy!

Click here for another delicata recipe from a few years back
Keeeping Florida and all in the path of hurricane matthew in my thoughts.  Including my son and Daughter-in-law and 2 of my grandpups, and many friends in the area.  Please be safe! 

Advertisements

buying and storing bulk foods

Good morning 😉

Since moving to Colorado, I’ve found that I have much more access to buying foods in bulk ( beans, nuts, dried fruit,rices, spices) <—  made a little rhyme for ya 😉

 

Not that I didn’t back in Plymouth ( most health food stores have bulk bins and for the most part, they are far more affordable than buying pre- packaged.

So you grab your plastic bag, scoop your ingredients , place a tag with the PLU of ingredient in the bag and write it on the tag

( I know you know how to do this…  but I have something cool to share that I just figured out yesterday .. grab a cup of tea and stay tuned)

 

bulk itemshere is Saturday’s haul

Yellow peas

White beans

Pistachios ( they were on sale)

Himalayan sea salt

Brown Lentils

Peanuts ( SOOO much cheaper than buying a jar! )

Golden raisins ( used in the kale salad that I made to go with this and that I’m making this

Slivered almonds

 

I have a huge infatuation with ball jars. It’s the inner 1950’s housewife in me.  I also love to reuse interesting jars from pre-packaged food.

I have actually purchased items in the past based on the fact that I loved the packaging and would re use the jar for years to come

 

strawberry-basil vinegarsee the jar that I used to store  Strawberry-basil home- made vinegar … that was a salad dressing bottle  ( I make my own most of the time ) but I seriously loved the jar and knew It would become part of my collection!

 

here’s my new Tip..  I usually try to empty the bags of goods the same way that I scooped it in, through the big wide opening.

Which is WAY bigger the the mouth of the ball jar, and most of the time ends with lentils and chick peas rolling all over the kitchen floor.

Until… I thought of this bulk itemsusing kitchen shears, cut a small triangle int the bottom of the bag. Place the hole into the mouth of your storage jar and it acts like a funnel and will filter down into your jar with no runaways!

 

The only thing that it didn’t work on were the raisins. They were tactile enough that they stuck to the inside of the bag. For those I just cut the bag down the center and using clean hands, scooped them into the jars.

ball jars storage

I’m really lucky to have an open shelving area in my kitchen; But this is not necessary. In my old house I had a bookshelf that I re- purposed to be my grains & beans shelf.beans and grains

 

so no recipe today, just a little tip that I figured out this weekend and i wanted to share.

 

speaking of sharing… allow me to share this amazing Colorado sunset with you!

 

colorado sunsetnamaste, friends 🙂

stuffed peppers with raisins and pine nuts

good afternoon, friends!  I apologize for those whose email I blew up this morning by re-posting links from my weebly site.

 

I tried very hard to import all of the posts over to here with no success 😦  Someday I will hire someone to do it for me ( I really want everything in one place, for many reasons) and the issues that I was previously having with wordpress seem to have been resolved.

 

on the bright side, I  set up and instagram account 🙂

 

I know… blah, blah, blah. we want FOOD!

 

Kewl..  here’s what i have for you today…. you all know about my infatuation with Hatch peppers that I wrote about earlier this week.  It turns out that it’s kind of a regional thing.  My friends from facebook knew all about them. Apparently they are a big deal, and I just happened to stumble across them!

more on regional foods soon…. today I give you my stuffed pepper recipe

Growing up my mom made stuffed peppers alot. yum!  My recipe is a bit different than hers, because I basically cook everything first, then just heat before serving.

 

3-6 peppers

1 pound lean ground pork

1 can of tomatoes

1/4 cup of tomato sauce

1 large onion

2 garlic cloves

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup raisins ( I used golden)

1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and ground cumin

About a cup of chicken broth

1-2 cups of cooked rice, or other grain

1/2 cup cheese of your choice

 

 

I also use it as a way to clean out the fridge!

IMG_0503

Start by sauteeing about a pound of ground pork ( I used extra- lean) . Season with salt and pepper. Remove pork form pan and set aside.

 

 

Add a drizzle of oil oil and add 1 onion, chopped  over medium heat.  When onions are translucent, add 2 garlic cloves, smashed. Stir and add a can of tomatoes ( I used Fire- roasted, use what you like.  )

IMG_0504The add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, a teaspoon of  ground cumin, a dash ( or more if you like) of chipotle seasoning.

IMG_0505

Mix the pork back in and add about a cup of chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer while flavors develop.

 

Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat. shake continuously. ( Nuts can burn in a nano-second.. trust me on this)

 

toss with Raisins

 

Here is where cleaning out the fridge comes in handy.  I had some leftover lentils ( which I LOVE) and some leftover rice. So I made 2 different peppers.

IMG_0508

 

half the batch   with lentils

 

 

IMG_0507

and half the batch  with rice

Toss in some cheese ( I used ricotta salata, use what you have 🙂

 

IMG_0509

 

 

set aside

 

Next, rinse and halve your peppers ( use rubber glove if they are hot) and scoop out membranes & seeds

IMG_0506

 

place in a baking dish with a little bit  of reserved tomato sauce

 

and start filling dem peppers!

 

IMG_0510

 

top with a little bit of cheese ( and sauce if you have any left) and bake at 350 until peppers are warm and cheese is melted.

 

IMG_0512serve with sauce on the side.

 

now I know these look kinda messy.. but that’s because I was trying to fill tiny peppers.  If you use a bigger pepper, say a red bell, or green bell, it will  be much neater.

 

Regardless of how it looks, it’s tasted great.

 

Don’t let the idea of the raisins & cinnamon deter you from making this recipe. The flavor combo is amazing.

 

have fun in the kitchen!

 

Have I made you hungry yet ??

 

oxox

lentil love

I expressed a few weeks back about how much I truly enjoy LENTILS.
The bonus is that they are so GOOD for you! .. back in my previous life of being a cosmetologist, I had a client who was in her mid to late 50’s and looked AMAZING. Simply Amazing. I asked her how she did it… she told me that she ate a lot of lentils.. I know this sounds silly, but I swear to you , this is true.

I don’t think that I had really eaten lentils except for maybe in soup? They are readily available in just about every grocery store, there are many different kinds, they are quick and easy to make and if you live near a Trader Joe’s ( field trip there for me tomorrow… suggestion on what I should get??) you can buy already cooked lentil in the refrigerator section at Tj’s.

could it be easier? I think not.

My sweet, daughter in law, Amanda ( and future nurse:) *congratulations on Nursing School acceptance!* Started changing her diet earlier this year and has discovered a whole bunch of new foods in the process ( and also lost over 30 pounds in the process!) One of the companies that she discovered was Laurel Hill.

I bought a bag and….. I’m hooked. ( I found these at Whole foods) And as silly as this little recipe is, I feel the need to share this with you because I eat it 3-4 times a week. True love, I tell ya… true love ❤

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:3]

* side note…after an embaressing weight gain I am going to be re joining weight watchers… as soon as I do I will figure out the point plus info for this recipe and come back and edit it for those who are interested*

I have been using coconut oil for about a year now. This is some good stuff. Coconut oils had gotten a bad rap for many years, but researchers are finding that it has amazing health benefits

It can be a little pricey ( around 10 buck a jar) but it lasts a long time and I swear.. it’s worth every penny… I use it to cook my eggs & fry my tofu. If i had a must -have 20 item list in my kitchen, this would be on there 🙂

If you are new to lentils, I urge you to try them 🙂

don’t they look purty on my beans and grains shelf?

xooxox

~shel

a lentil story..

this is a true story.  and it happened today.

I had to help a friend this morning, so I was out and about running errands; unfortunatley, my purse was not… it was at home on the counter…

classic michelle.

soo I headed home to get my purse.. debated just waiting until tomorrow to go to the store.. but I had lentils on the brain.

(doesn’t everyone?)  I-needed-to-eat-lentils-ASAP

back to the store I went….. straight to the isle with the lentils.. and headed home ( actually I made a detour, but you get the idea 😉

I set into the kitchen sans recipe.. just an idea. Lentils, spinach, goat cheese. The rest I just pieced together and I loved it!  I’m so glad that I decided to take pictures of it so that I could share it with all of you!

And here is the funny thing.. I took the last bite of my lunch and read a message from a different friend  looking for a recipe for dried lentils.

here ya go!!

Lentil-veggie bowl

1/4 cup dried lentils ( I used brown.. you could use green  but I wouldn’t recommend red for this… they might get too mushy)

1/2 -1 cup water

1 tablespoon oil of coice ( I am having a fling with coconut oil right now… I can’t  get enough of it )

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 zucchini, chopped

2 handfuls baby spinach, rough chopped

a few cherry tomatoes ( the last from the barefoot garden ;( )

Goat cheese ( omit if veganizing your diet)

Sea salt & pepper

Chopped parsley ( if desired)

In a small saucepan. place lentils & cover with 1 cup of water. (unsalted)  Bring to a boil then reduce heat , stirring occasionally until lentils  get just past the al dente stage.. usually 15-20 minutes. If the water evaporates and lentils still aren’t done, add water in 1/4 amounts until they are done. Set aside.

Heat a saute pan , add the oil & let come to a shimmer; add the zucchini and onions. season with salt and pepper. once they start to brown add the spinach and stir… ( you want the spinach to wilt here, not burn)

add maters and lentils; season with salt and pepper

 Place in serving bowl and dot with goat cheese. ( I used about 1/8 of a cup)

this is half of what it made. It was soo tasty.. and healthy!  Did you know that lentils are a veggie? yuppers!

confession… I went back for the second half…. and even cold… it was still good! Bonus…. lunch on the go 🙂

I love it when friends are in sync with each other !

Still working on the give away…. hopefully it will be ready by tonight!

ciao bellas…. eat yer veggies!!

%d bloggers like this: