A blog in response

So hey folks, my sister has started a blog! A Blog About What documents the life of an awesome sister living in Edmonton, who has two freakin cute kids, a fabulous husband, a house, a job (currently on enviable mat-leave), an attitude (a good one!), and an interest in...well, a lot of things! So check it out if you have a minute. This post is in honour of Katho, and in response to her most recent post about pot roast. I hear ya on the warm, wintry foods, but I offer up a vegetarian alternative to the large hunk of beef*. BTW, how many references to your Irish heritage were made when you boiled beef, K? Very classic.

Our gorgeous fall meal tonight began with inspiration from the cutest squash you ever did see, the gem squash. Gem squash is a variety of summer squash, although around these parts it comes into season quite late for "summer". Last week at the Vancouver Farmer's Market - the Winter market, I should add - I found these little beauties, each about the size of an apple. I knew they would find their stuffing, and all I had to do was wait.
All week I've been meaning to make a batch of quinoa carrot muffins as made by Fresh 365. It calls for 1 cup of cooked quinoa, and today, although I didn't have all the ingredients for the muffins, I decided to make a batch of quinoa, save some for the muffins, and stuff the gem squash with the rest of it. Here's how it all went down.
  1.  I washed, halved, and seeded the squash. Gave them a light coating of olive oil and put them cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet, and roasted them at 375 for 25 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile I cooked 1 cup of rinsed quinoa in 1.5 cups of veggie broth (like you would cook rice) for 15 minutes, then fluffed it with a fork.
  3. Also meanwhile, I roasted walnut halves in the toaster oven at 300 for about 8 minutes (a light toasting).
  4. In a bowl I mixed the quinoa (minus one cup) with about 1/2 cup of light ricotta that was hanging around, 1 tsp fresh thyme, 1/4 tsp ground sage, a few grinds of pepper, and the walnuts. 
  5. I stuffed the squash halves with this mixture, topped them with a small sprinkling of cheddar (also hanging around), and returned them to the parchment lined sheet. At this point I also tossed a few cherry tomatoes with olive oil and put them on the same baking sheet.
  6. Baked all this at 350 for 25 minutes. Oozy gooey goodness! [Well, not really oozy. Tasty, but maybe more ooze would be nice. For this I would maybe mix in an egg to the quinoa ricotta mixture, or stir in grated cheese at the same step. Good, and lighter, without those changes, but really I would have appreciated some ooze.]
  7. While they baked, I sauteed green curly kale torn into bite-sized pieces in a little olive oil, and finished it with the lightest drizzle of balsamic vinegar when the kale was almost wilting.
The result is a delicious, nutritious and hearty meal of many veg and huge protein from the quinoa, walnuts, and ricotta. We washed it down with some tremendously delicious wine. Too delicious for a Sunday night, to be honest, but what the hell! A toast to autumn feasts!

*Every. Single. Time I tried to type beef in this post I managed instead to type beer. Freudian much?
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1 comment:

  1. Yum! Thanks for the shout out. I'm glad to see the wine carried through to your post ;-)