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Posts Tagged ‘Squash’

Fruit From The Land + The Sea

Hi people!  I hope everyone had a great weekend.  We ended up with beautiful weather here, which made for a plethora of outdoor activities.  I was in absolute heaven and will continue to be, as the weather is suppose to hold through the week.  Talk about Spring fever.

This is looking to be a really busy week for me, so posts are going to be speedy.  That being said, I’ll jump right in …

 

Cornmeal Crusted Shrimp with Butternut Barley Risotto

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Ingredients/Preparation:

Risotto (the LAND part) –

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 scallion, white part, finely chopped (slice + reserve green part for later)
  • 3/4 cup pearl barley
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • S+P, to taste
  • Extra water, if needed for the barley

**Note** I roasted a squash earlier in the day for the next two ingredients.

  • 3/4 cup pureed butternut squash
  • 3/4 cup cubed butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms  

With a small amount of EVOO in a large saucepan, saute onions and scallions until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes.  Add barley and wine to pan; simmer until wine is almost absorbed.  Add chicken broth, thyme, S+P; cover and simmer for 35 – 40 minutes.  Add extra water, if needed, to the barley while cooking.  Once barley is tender, add butternut puree, cubed butternut and mushrooms; stir well.  Cover and keep warm until shrimp is ready.

 Shrimp (the SEA part) –

  • 1/2 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (I also had a handful of frozen/thawed scallops that I used as well.)
  • 1 tsp. EVOO
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 T. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. thyme
  • Pinch of black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Rinse shrimp and pat dry with a paper towel.  Place shrimp in a large bowl with EVOO and mix well.  In a plastic or paper bag, combine the cornmeal, Parmesan and spices.  Shake to mix well.  Add the shrimp, about 5-6 at a time, and shake until well coated.  Place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with PAM.  Once all shrimp have been coated, spray with PAM and place in oven.  Cook for 15 minutes, undisturbed.

To serve, spoon barley onto plate and top with shrimp.  Garnish with reserved sliced scallion and shredded Parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!

 

That’s all, folks!  I hope you have a wonderful Monday.  Ta-ta for now …

 

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Oh, just this …

 

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This was such a fabulously satisfying lunch that is most definitely deserved its own post.  See, I still had some leftover pot pie from Monday’s dinner and I also had a squash that was begging to be baked.  So, what’s a gal to do but combine them?!  I certainly don’t want to waste good food.

I highly recommend this combination if you ever have leftover pot pie.  Heck, I even say go out and buy a frozen pot pie (a healthy one, of course) and scoop out the filling and plop it in a baked acorn squash.  The flavors are completely dynamite together.  Ka-pow!

My cornbread crust had become a weapon at this point, so even though it was heated in the mic, it still wasn’t edible.  Unless I wanted to choke myself.  Not happenin’.

Oh, you will also notice the dried cranberries in the mix.  Another great add, if I do say so myself.  It brought the perfect bit of chewy tartness to the dish.

Backing up a few hours, breakfast was the normie norm with fresh blueberries

 

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It was exciting to find these babies on sale at TJ’s.  A sure fire sign that Spring is right around the corner.  Fresh fruit come to mama!

Ok, cutie pies, I’m off to finish up my afternoon.  See ya for dinner.  It’s Craving Ellie in My Belly night and I’m this week’s host …

 

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There once was a gal, her name was Jen, and unlike any other Christmas past, she fell so behind on all the usual holiday activities … shopping for gifts, baking cookies, wrapping presents, mailing Christmas cards and so on.  This was very unlike her, since she was always so well-prepared and organized.  Quite the multi-tasker, she was.

With only a week remaining until the big day, Jen was near her nervous breakdown point and she decided something had to give.  She knew that she would be labeled a “scrooge” if she gave up any of the items on her seasonal to-do list, so she had to think a little harder.  Hmm?  What could make life easier for her??

The light bulb went off and the tale of two soups was created … 

(I’m done with the 3rd person now – it’s gets a little creepy after a while.  Ha!)

 

Turkey, Lentil and Barley Soup

 

Wednesday's Dinner

Wednesday's Dinner

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 turnip, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 zucchini, sliced and quartered
  • 1/2 cup dry lentils
  • 1/4 cup pearled barley
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • S+P, oregano and cayenne, to taste

Preparation:

In a large soup pot, brown onions and turkey in a small amount of oil.  Add remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, until all vegetables are tender and barley is cooked.  Enjoy … and tomorrow, enjoy some more!

 

CEiMB’s Curried Butternut Squash Soup

 

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This week’s CEiMB was hosted by Mare, over at Meet Me in the Kitchen.  As you know, I love squash of any kind, so I was really looking forward to this recipe. 

We are actually planning to enjoy this soup tomorrow for a dinner party we are hosting for Devin’s parents.  I went ahead and prepped it today for two reasons – 1) to save precious time tomorrow and 2) so I could post it today, Thursday, the official CEiMB posting day.  I just tasted a little spoonful and it was great.  I am really looking forward to having it tomorrow.

The recipe can be found at the link above.  I made just a few changes, which included using only 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, ~1 cup chopped onion and 1 tbsp. of curry powder.  Other than that, I stayed the same as written.

I’ve been so busy that it’s definitely a soup-eating kinda week.  Soup for lunch.  Soup for dinner.  Good thing I have granola already made … otherwise, it might be soup for breakfast too.  When life grabs you by the horns, eat soup.  When your head starts spinning like Linda Blair’s in the Exorcist, eat soup.  It will make any day seem a little brighter.  And if you are lucky, the head spinning will stop shortly after.

From your comments, it seems that it’s a good 50/50 mix of you that are traveling vs. staying home for the holidays.  As I mentioned, we are staying in town.  Our plans just changed today, per our request, and we are now having the family over to our house on Christmas day.  I know, I know … I just told you how busy I am, so you’re thinking I’ve really lost it.  When it comes to entertaining though, nothing can stop me.  I just love it.  That’s when I feel at my best.  Surrounded by good food, drink and family/friends.  How could I ever resist?!  So excited!!  I’m planning to prepare a brunch, so a lot of things can be made ahead of time and I won’t be running around like a crazed woman on Christmas morn.

Speaking of running around, I gotta jet … dinner calls, whether it’s leftovers or not, it still calls.

I hope everyone is doing well!  I miss you all.  I promise to catch up on all my reading as soon as I can.  XO

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To View Or Not To View

STOP!!  I must warn you … if you like The View talk show, skip over this part and go right to the food! 🙂

To be frank, I don’t care for the bunch of cackling hens – I have no ill feelings against any of them as individuals, but as a group, they just drive me right up the wall when they are all screaming and yelling at the same time. 

When I’m not looking, they tend to sneak onto the TV and it only takes mere seconds for their voices to be embedded in my brain for hours.   There is always so much talking going on ALL AT ONCE, that I can’t even hear myself think.  Needless, to say, this happened to me this morning … it was a mad dash to get the TV turned OFF!!

If you’ve never seen this show, here’s a little taste of what you’re not missing –

Now, I didn’t pick this video for the topic – just found one that was relatively shorter in length.  You don’t need much to see what I mean … how THEY even know what they are talking about after a while is beyond me?! 

Ok, lovelies, I’m off my horse and on to food!

I decided on another bowl of warm cold cereal mush for breakfast – yup, that’s my official name for it now.  As you know, I wasn’t extremely thrilled with it yesterday, but I think it kinda grew on me … and the best part – it left me full for hours!!

 

Pre-micro:

Granola with flax, wheat berries, 1/2 chopped banana and pomegranate seeds
Granola with flax, wheat berries, 1/2 banana and pomegranate seeds

 

Post-micro:

With the addition of pumpkin butter and vanilla soy
With the addition of pumpkin butter and vanilla soy

 

After this shot, I started mashing and mixing until I was pleased with the bowl of mush before me.  It worked well again today to keep me satisfied for an extra long time!  Think I found the golden ticket!

Since yesterday was a run day, I worked on strength training today – 45 minutes and I was strong like bull.

After cleaning my messy self up, I was super speedy to get my morning business wrapped up, so I could get on to better things like this …

 

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Crunchy BBQ Baked Tofu is my favorite way to enjoy tofu – plus it’s super easy to whip together …

Press tofu between paper towels for at least 20 minutes (I left mine this way overnight.)  Slather BBQ sauce over the tofu and dip each piece into Panko bread crumbs.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes.  I bake my tofu for a really long time – you may want to adjust this to your tastes.

To make the sammie, I used two slices of TJ’S WW Tuscan Pane, baby spinach, butternut squash spears and two slices of tofu

On the side, I had a chopped spinach/broc slaw salad with carrots, pom seeds and the last spoon of cottage cheese, plus 1/2 Honeycrisp apple (so delish!!)

Beautiful people, I’m off to mess around this crazy town … see what I can stir up around here!!  See ya!

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I Hear YOU!

Hi all!  It has been the gloomiest day here in the Carolinas … at one point it looked like the clouds were going to open up and all hell was going to break loose.  Nope, no breaking loose.  Just rain.  And more gloom.  Poo.

 

To brighten the day, here’s a little cartoon health inspiration –

 

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I didn’t mention this yesterday, but something was definitely wrong with the acorn squash I baked.  It was super dry all the way through and just didn’t have much taste to it.  I was pretty disappointed … especially since that’s all I was counting on to fill me up for lunch!

Well, I had the other half wrapped up and sitting pretty in the fridge.  I knew I should eat it today for lunch so it wouldn’t go to waste.  While I was trying to think of ways to avoid it, the idea hit me … what’s better on a cold, rainy day than a warm, comforting bowl of soup?!

Pumpkin Squash Soup

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This brought joy to the sad excuse for a squash, PLUS, I was able to clear out some more items hiding out in the fridge.

  • 1/2 acorn squash (I threw the raisins that I cooked with the squash in the pot too!)
  • ~1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • Frozen corn and peas, for extra veggie goodness
  • Plain Chobani with cinnamon sprinkled on top

In a soup pot, I combined the broth, pumpkin and squash flesh and allowed to simmer while I showered/dressed.  When I was almost ready to eat, I added the corn and peas and allowed to simmer for 5 additional minutes.  Easy as a prom date.

 

I also noshed on a tasty spinach salad

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Alrighty, folks, I gotta go … see ya!

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Check It Out –>

Well, as you can see, I have some pretty exciting news!!  I’m pleased to announce that I have joined Foodbuzz as a Featured Publisher!  Woo hoo!  I’m super excited to be a part of this awesome network of foodies that share my passion for all things food.

Let me tell you about my day …

The massage was … well … the jury is still out.  I’m REALLY sore now, which he said would happen since he really worked out all the tension around my shoulders, especially the left side.  He spent over an hour just on these two areas!  He was great – first time I had gone to see him.  My friend, Amy, goes to see him regularly and always raves over the great work he does.  Actually, she treated me to this massage!  She gave me a gift certificate to see him after my triathlon … see what I mean about putting this type of thing off!  That was over a month ago!!  Anyways, thanks Amy!  You’re the best, girl!

Before I left, I ate a light lunch since I didn’t want to go on empty and I didn’t think it was the best situation to eat as normal … you never know what could happen (if you know what I mean!  Ha!)

 

Acorn squash baked with cinnamon, nutmeg and raisins

Acorn squash baked with cinnamon, nutmeg and raisins

100 Calorie Kettle Popcorn - you should have seen me shovel!  Yum!

100 Calorie Kettle Popcorn - you should have seen me shovel! Yum!

I grabbed these guys to take along and inhaled them the second I got back in the car!  I was starving!

This Z-Bar was good, but Chocolate Chip is still my fav.

This Z-Bar was good, but Chocolate Chip is still my fav.

Yes, there’s more food –

Granola with Vanilla Soy

Granola with Vanilla Soy

It took me awhile to make my way back to the house since I stopped off at the drugstore and by then I was hungry again.  Yep, this is what happens when I don’t eat a normal lunch … it’s so hard to find that satisfaction!

For dinner tonight, I did some work on my goal of clearing out stuff that has been hanging around for way too long –

 

Italian Calzone with Peppers, Onions and Mushrooms

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Ingredients:

  • Reduced Fat Crescent Roll (from Pillsbury … in the can!  Eek!)
  • 2 Meatless Italian Sausages (from Boca)
  • Green, yellow and red bell pepper
  • Sliced onion and mushrooms
  • Jarred spaghetti sauce
  • FF ricotta cheese

So easy to make – preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Roll out the dough and pinch together the perforations.  Saute the onions, peppers, mushrooms and sliced sausages.  Add spaghetti sauce and ricotta cheese; stir well and spoon onto the center of dough.  Fold each side in to the center and pinch to seal.  Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Husbands love this meal … I just don’t remind mine that he is actually NOT eating real meat.  He doesn’t ask either.  Ha! 

 

Also, a lovely salad

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Alright, fancy people, I’m off to dreamland … night!

 

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Halloween Happenings

Happy Halloween!  Happy Birthday, Dad!

I am really enjoying my time in Oklahoma!  It’s been so nice to sit back and relax, all while spending time with two of my favorite people … my parents! 🙂

 

We did a lot of running around this morning … nothing too exciting, just putzing.  It was what Dad wanted to do though, so that was just fine with me.

I will quickly catch you up on all of our great eats …

Last night I made a fantastic Veggie Pizza

The toppings included diced tomatoes/tomato sauce base, onion, green pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, cheddar and Parmesan cheeses … it wasn’t completely veggie since I also added Canadian bacon slices.  I LOVE PIZZA!  Could eat it all the time!

We also had a spinach and veggie salad on the side –

 

My mom and I ended the evening with a great soak in their hot tub, star-gazing.  They live just outside of the town of Edmond – just far enough out to enjoy the rural pleasures (i.e. dark, clear skies), but still close enough to all the conveniences of city life.  To them, it’s perfect!  To me, well, it’s nice and peaceful, but I can’t imagine living without high-speed internet!  Ha!  How life can differ?!

Our eats for the day were all very fall-themed.  We started out with Pumpkin Oats for breakfast –

Topped with Grape Nuts for a little crunch and raisins.

That held us over for most of the day, so we decided on a spinach salad for lunch –

Topped with shredded chicken, broccoli, carrots, celery, chopped apple, raisins and sunflower seeds.  Mmm good!  I LOVE SALAD!  (We ate lunch out by the pool … ahh!  Did I mention that it was 80 degrees here today?!!)

To celebrate the holiday and a birthday, I made Stuffed Acorn Squash for dinner –

I will post the recipe one day next week when I get back home.  For now, here is everything that went inside:

  • Chopped onion, celery, green pepper and mushrooms
  • Quinoa
  • Shredded chicken
  • Mashed squash
  • Chopped walnuts
  • Sprinkle of Parmesan cheese

It was quite tasty and VERY filling!  I forgot about the quinoa cooking, so it was a little overdone and lost it’s trademark crunch that I love, but it was still very good … and healthy!  Gotta love that! 🙂

 

Now, don’t laugh at this next picture!  I had roughly one hour to put this beauty together while my dad was out running errands this afternoon –

Don’t you love the walnut letters?!  The flavor of the cake was pumpkin spice with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.  I used one box of reduced sugar vanilla cake mix, one can of pumpkin, one egg white, 2 tbsp. water, plus 1 tsp. each of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.  No oil at all and super moist!

I hope everyone is having fun at Halloween parties tonight!  I can’t wait to catch up on everyone’s posts and pictures.  See ya!

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