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Cornbread Stuffed Squash

Posted Sep 19 2010 4:23pm

Before I get down to the nitty gritty as to what I’ve been up to all weekend, I’ve got some serious thanking to do!! Everyone’s comments on the last post have been making my life everytime I read one. I would say they made my day, but they did so much more than that!! So, really…thank you. Each and every one of you. I can’t say I’m expecting much to come out of the challenge, but it sounds like fun at least, doesn’t it?! Sometimes it requires a “challenge” to get your gears turnin’!

So anyways…this weekend? Yikes, has it been busy!! I don’t even know where to start, so I’ll just start posting some photos and see where I go! I haven’t been a very good blogger and taking very good pictures – and in reality, haven’t been a very good eater, either. I’ve found myself “grazing” through lunch all weekend, but we’ll get to that.

I think I’ve discovered the no-fail overnight oats combination. Well, topping combination. It’s all about keeping it simple! That and…including figs, peanut butter, and walnuts ;) Mashing a banana in with the base to sit overnight has also become a daily occurrence. This was so good I had it two days in a row! I had a Senior Portrait to shoot yesterday morning and wanted to sleep in a little later so decided overnight oats were the way to be ;)

Have no fear, though! Waffles came back this morning. With buckwheat flour! And “apple pie” on top. Note: I finally finished the awful banana peanut butter! hurrah for me. I think I ate it faster than ever just because I wanted it gone!! I knew if I dug into the “good” peanut butter, the banana peanut butter would just keep getting pushed to the wayside.

There was an apple fest this weekend that I couldn’t make it to, but my mom dropped by. We now have three huge bags of apples (for only $3, no less) waiting for use. I heard rumor of apple pie (and my mom even asked me to pick her up some Crisco when I went to the store last night. It almost pained me, but I did) though I’ll keep enjoying baked apples, I am sure!

I knew I was going to be getting home later than usual yesterday, so I packed a 9 Bar sent to me from Nicky. Naturally, it did not disappoint! Though, just like last time – left me full for the majority of the afternoon!

The detail in this photo almost creeps me out! I can never get such a sharp focus when I use my d40 – but I had the 50mm on my d90 while I was on the run and so just used that ;)

I needed groceries…and had the hankering to go to the Co-Op. Usually I limit my time there since it’s two things: a. expensive and b. tempting. A dangerous combination!! I tend to just want everything, so have been going when I’m on break from work…meaning, I don’t have time to drool ;) I decided today would be okay, though – might as well reward myself for shooting so many senior portraits this summer!!

Sure, one could argue that money would be better spent on updating my severely out-dated wardrobe…but I had things in mind, and already sort of did that.

I won’t admit that by updating, I mean I splurged on some winter riding clothes and nothing that had to do with “normal” clothes. Oh, snap – I just did.

It was just my day, too. This coconut oil was on sale for $6.99!! I think usually it’s about double that, and I have been absolutely dying to try coconut oil. It’s in so many recipes, and I’ve always felt like it’s one of those oils that simply can’t be replaced by another.

I think I’m right, too – I made sweet potato “cookies” today and can’t imagine them without the coco-nutty essence that the oil gave them. And the aroma! Oh my word I just wanted to dive right in. Maybe I will be using it as a hair/skin solution?!

I got sort of creative with a Moosewood’s recipe I saw for Butternut Cookies, and crafted these sweet potato cookies. I guess to be truthful, they’re more like…cake bites? Or something like that…than cookies. They are definitely delicious and I am thinking about posting the recipe, but part of me wants to give them another try to get them a tad more cookie-like before I do so.

If you want a taste-bud teaser, though – they’re sweet potato based but combined with (among other things) whole wheat flour, coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut, dried cranberries, and dark chocolate chips. And vegan. Just ’cause. I’m thinking next time = add some oats.

Aha…sorry for this wretched photograph. I had decided to take some shots of a factory building to compile an HDR photograph, so my camera was set on bracket…I completely forgot to take it off, though – so every shot I took afterwords, was either a normally exposed shot, and then underexposed, and then overexposed. This one…was very verry underexposed. I tried brightening it in photoshop but you can still tell :P

Anyway – I am a Kefir n00b, believe it or not!! I finally decided to give it a try, and picked some up at the co-op. I was tempted by some of the fruity flavors, but then realized I’d probably be using it for peanut butter sauces and just opted for plain! I haven’t used it yet, as I’m finishing some OV pourable yogurt first, but am eagerly anticipating it. And a little frightened.

Speaking of peanut butter…my last splurge was on some more crazy peanut butter. I know, I know – I’ve already determined that Price Chopper brand is a-okay by me…but I just had to make sure that Vermont could produce some good peanut butter! Call me daring, but I tried the exact same brand of the stuff I last detested…but let me say, Mad River MoJo = winner! It’s perfectly nutty, seedy, and made in Vermonty ;)

Last night consisted primarily of killing time in Rite Aid, Price Chopper, and McDonalds parking lots. Eh?! Yeah, a real spitfire I am, huh?

Okay, backtrack to my yummy dinner first – a wrap with grilled tempeh, hummus, mozzarella cheese, feta cheese, and tomato sauce with a side of roasted butternut squash and an ear of corn fresh from our very own garden ;)

Anyways. I wanted to take some time-lapse photos at night of like…people driving through the drive-through, people milling about Price Chopper, etc. I realize this could probably pass as illegal, but I wasn’t intending to capture people’s phases! And either way…my idea didn’t quite play-out. I haven’t gone through them yet, but to make a long story short, I left way too early and got tired of waiting for dusk to come.

That said, that means I spent a lot of time milling about Rite Aid and did my grocery shopping very leisurely. It was sort of nice. You know how, usually, even if you’re not in a big hurry – you sort of are? Well, it was a bit different to want to be held up. I think I humored the cashier at Rite Aid by being so eager to save $2 if I signed up for a Rite Aid card.

And my cashier at P-Chop was precious…as usual, I had a boatload of veggies and I think she was new, so I had to keep telling her what it was.

“Yes, that’s kale.”

“Yep, that’s a rutabega.”

Uh, yeah…I bought a rutabega. Now what in the hay do I do with it?!

Similarly, I was really excited to introduce kale back into my life. And find that P-Chop has (almost) all of the new Larabar flavors!! (I almost did a happy dance right in the aisle) Oddly, they didn’t have carrot cake. I’m Lucky Rebekah ‘s got me covered ;)

It’s sort of weird that I get so excited about these things when I know perfectly well I can make them myself and save money.

OH and by the way. Libby’s has got you all wrapped around their little finger. I was happy to see that they had small cans back in stock, but of course now Price Chopper isn’t stocking their store-brand pumpkin anymore. Which is much cheaper. Sad face. So now I’m wondering if it’s just that Libby’s doesn’t produce in the off season even though P-Chop has theirs year-round? Is pumpkin pretty well readily available to everyone else now, too?

Sweet potato fries, coated with a mix of peanut butter, flax seed, and sweet-n-spicy bbq rub. With cranberry jelly for dipping.

Today was a bit of a bum day I didn’t go to see Teddie (as is becoming routine on a Sunday) because I wanted to play with “the girls” and also had to finish going through the senior portraits and do school-work.

Of course, I managed to fit baking cookies in there, along with baking a pretty fine dinner ;)

Ironically, the class I signed up for so I’d have enough credits and not necessarily because I want to be a major in it is the one that’s the most complicated and tedious. I thought Animal Behavior would be really interesting and I’d have a good time learning about it, but so far it’s a ton of work. I don’t think it’s just because it’s online, either – I think it’s mainly the teacher! I’m hoping it gets interesting, though. All my others (including Intro to Business!) are really fun/interesting, though.

And all the talk about chocolate milk in my nutrition class gave me the craving! Especially because I wound up with more unsweetened vanilla almond breeze (I had a free coupon that I needed to use before I would be able to get to the store that sells the original kind). Just some almond breeze, hershey’s unsweetened cocoa, and a drizzle of honey. Warmed for a bit. Love hot/warm cocoa ;)

And, finally, dinner. A cornbread-stuffed acorn squash! As I was looking for an apple pie recipe for my mom, I found this. (Because, you know…squash has a lot to do with apple pie?) I’d like to think I took it to the next level, though…the original was mainly just stuffing a squash with some cornbread. Mine is…stuffing a squash with some cornbread, veg, chickpeas, and hella good seasonings ;)

Cornbread-Stuffed Acorn Squash

adapted from The Healthy Cook

pardon the rough measurements!

  • 1 acorn squash (or any squash, I’m sure – I bet butternut would be lovely, though I’m still a squash n00b)
  • drizzle olive oil
  • 3 large leaves kale
  • handful of spinach
  • 1 T. cranberry jam
  • 1 T. maple mustard
  • 1 T. balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon
  • 1/2 c. chickpeas
  • 1/2 c. frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2-3 pieces of cornbread (I made some a week or two ago and froze what I didn’t eat within a day or two – remember ?! I recommend that recipe, or whatever you’ve got. or, heck -this is worth making some!!)
  • 2 T. dried cranberries
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • chopped walnuts

Bake the acorn squash: cut in half, deseed, and then place face-down in a baking dish. Fill so there’s water about an inch up the sides, and place in a 375* oven for about 40 minutes, or until tender.

Prepare the filling: while heating the olive oil in a medium sized pan, combine the vinegar, jam, and mustard. Thin a bit with a splash of water. Add the kale and spinach to the pan, season with cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper, and pour over the dressing you just combined. Allowe it to cook down a bit, and then stir in the chick peas, cranberries and mixed veg. Shut off the heat and let sit.

When the squash is done cooking, spoon out some of the inside and add to the veg mix. You’ll want to leave about 1/2″ around the outside, though. Mix in to the veggies, and then crumble in a large piece of cornbread.

Place the acorn squash shells back in the baking dish (dumping the water out first, of course) and sprinkle with salt (or not, if you’re not like me and don’t feel the need to salt everything) and then spoon in the veg/cornbread mixture.

Crumble more cornbread over the top…

…and then bake for about ten minutes in the 375* oven. Top with some shredded mozz cheese and wlanuts, bake until melted, and then plate!

At first I felt like it needed something more…a sauce, a side, I don’t know. Something. It just seemed sorta lonesome. Feeble, even.

But I mean, it’s got everything you need! Protein, fiber, carb…perfection. It really didn’t need anything! And holy moly, is it filling. I’m glad I didn’t listen to that little voice in my head, because I was stuffed after this!

If I had much more cranberry jam and any maple mustard left, I probably would have made a little sauce by combining that and the mustard and some balsamic. Not because it was dry…but because it would have looked prettier. And it’d have been good.

Does anyone else feel like they need to add more even while knowing something probably just enough?

And what should I do with my rutabega?

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