Stuffed Acorn Squash

Stuffed Acorn Squash

This stuffed acorn squash was mainly a way to use up the cooked quinoa I had in the fridge.  My colleague, Margo, showed me a recipe for stuffed squash where the stuffing was mostly nuts, a beaten egg, and cheese and I wanted to give it the Yang* treatment.

Acorn squash was cut in half, rubbed with olive oil, and sprinkled with salt.  The two halves were put cut-side-up on a baking tray and baked at 400F for 30 minutes.

While that was baking, I made the stuffing.

Stuffing Ingredients:

  • half an onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1/8 cup roasted pistachio, roughly chopped
  • 1/8 cup dried currants
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 1/16 cup roasted pepitas
  • 1/2 teaspoon tomato paste
Instructions:
Fry the onions in some tablespoons of olive oil. When the onions are soft, stir in tomato paste. Add a little salt. Then garlic. Then currants. Then kale. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding broth if anything burns or gets too dry.  We also found a few strips of tempeh bacon in the fridge, so I tore those to pieces and threw them in the stuffing too. Throw in the quinoa toward the end and stir. Then the pistachio and pepitas. Salt and pepper to taste.
When the timer goes off on the squash, fill it with the stuffing, then bake for another 20 minutes.

* This treatment involves looking at a picture of something but not actually heeding the recipe and making liberal changes.

Ten Minute Lunch: Pasta With Anchovies and Arugula

Lunch: pasta with anchovies

Ingredients:

  • dried long pasta (I like thin spaghetti for this)
  • 2oz. tin of anchovies in oil
  • crushed aleppo pepper (or crushed red pepper)
  • garlic
  • arugula
  • salt and pepper

Heat water  (with a generous couple of pinches of salt added to it) to boil pasta and put pasta in once water comes to a boil.  In the mean time, in a frying pan, heat olive oil, roughly chopped garlic, anchovies, aleppo pepper, and cracked black pepper over super low heat.  The anchovies should end up disintegrating into the oil. Make sure the heat is low enough not to brown the garlic.

When the pasta still has some bite left, take it out with a pair of tongs, turn the heat up to high on the frying pan, and throw the pasta in there. It’s ok if you haven’t completely shaken out all the water from the pasta. You want it to be still somewhat wet. Stir and toss pasta in the frying pan, throw in half a cup of pasta cooking water and scrape up any stuck bits on the bottom, turn the heat down to super low again. When the water has turned the anchovies and oil into a thin sauce, stir in the arugula. Turn the heat off, stir some more till the arugula is wilted, add more cracked black pepper, and serve.  By this time, I find that the pasta water and anchovy and oil have made a pretty tasty, savory, sauce to coat the pasta.

I thought I was pretty smart about incorporating arugula into this pasta, but then while I was writing this post, I found that Mark Bittman has a recipe for this too!

Stuffed Yukon Gold Potato Skins

Okay, maybe potatoes aren’t really the best vegetable to eat, but man, oh man, do I love potatoes.  One way we’ve been enjoying potatoes is in a warm lentil and potato salad, which you’ve probably seen pictures of in previous posts. Will made them for dinner last week with braised endives. Makes for a pretty balanced, meal, no?

Lentil and Potato Salad with Braised Endive

Tonight, I made a trashy meal: potato skins. We watched Worst Chefs Ever yesterday and they had to make potato skins for a St. Patrick’s Day party, which gave me the idea.  Mine weren’t deep fried, so I can at least pretend they’re somewhat healthy.  And I upped the kale to potato ratio because I wanted more kale than potato in the stuffing. They tasted good with a glass of beer.

Potato Skins Stuffed with Kale and Mashed Potatoesyukon gold potatoes stuffed with kale, mashed potatoes, and tempeh bacon

Stuffed Potato Skins

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium to large potatoes (I used yukon golds because I like the taste)
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 bunch green onion
  • 3 slices of tempeh bacon
  • margarine
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Wash the potatoes and slice them in half.
  3. Brush olive oil over the potato and place them on a baking sheet or roasting pan and into the oven for 30-45mins.
  4. Wash, de-stem, and roughly chop the kale.
  5. Pan-fry the tempeh bacon slices till crispy, then chop up roughly into bacon-bits.
  6. Slice the whites off the green onion and mince
  7. Sautee the green onion in a few tsp of olive oil until fragrant, then throw in the kale. Sautee for 10 minutes or until the kale is cooked to your liking. Put in a few Tbs water if it gets dry.
  8. When kale is done cooking, chop up the greens of the onion and combine with the kale.
  9. When the potato skins are a little wrinkled and the middle is scoopable, take them out of the oven.
  10. With a spoon, scoop out most of the middle of the potato, making sure not to break the skin.
  11. Combine the scooped out potato with 1Tbs margarine and mash together with the kale and tempeh. Salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Scoop the potato and kale mixture back into the potato skins.
  13. Brush the top of each scoop with olive oil.
  14. Pop back into the oven for 10 minutes or until the top is crispy.
  15. (optional) Top off with some more green onion for garnish.