• butternut squash
  • carrots
  • cabbage
  • sesame seeds and oil
  • sliced almonds
  • turkey keilbasa
  • rice
  • quinoa
  • onion
  • garlic

Sometimes I get all caught up in “blogging” that I forget my own focus. I redesign food leftovers. I let nothing go to waste. In the process I sometimes create new recipes…but I’m afraid that sharing recipes is not my main objective here. What I’d really love to impart on you, my reader, is a way of life. A thought process. An influence. Many of my fans will tell me that they are looking forward to my inspiring ideas and ways. And then I might just post a nice story about a nice meal. What you really need to do is follow my stories, plural. One food may appear in my kitchen and it’s other half reappears in another dish later on. So I am going to try to share more honestly for awhile, without concern for fancy recipes worthy of re-doing. I must also say that I cook seasonally for the Pacific Northwest, in Seattle, WA. I cook what is affordable and growing now, or available close to here (thanks Mexico, Arizona and California). So you may not be able to follow me all the time…but consider your ways when hearing of my ways please.

Butternut squash. Have you tried one? I was chatting on my facebook page about it near Halloween time and one of my fans said she only ever decorates with them, never eats them. Well if that’s you, give one a try. They are very similar to pumpkin or delicata, with less seeds, more “meat” and a great price! I’ve shared several good recipes for creamy butternut soup, baked squash with carrots and I’ve eaten it roasted, from the oven. Butternuts are large squashes. It’s difficult to eat a whole one for dinner with my small family of three people.

So here’s  a story of my squash week. On Monday I washed and peeled a large butternut squash. I cut off both ends and sliced it in half lengthwise. I let my son scoop out the tiny seed pouch (picture slippery seeds flinging across the counter and onto the chair he was standing on), which went into the compost bin under the kitchen sink. I chopped one half into large cubes . I put them into a shallow baking dish with a drizzle of olive oil, a shake of salt, and a lid. Baked for 30 minutes at 400. Actually the temperature changed a little bit here and there, as I also baked some fish and heated some green peas. The squash tolerates several temps and can cook a long time, so no big deal there. Okay, that was a good meal.

I put the rest of the uncooked squash into some plastic saran wrap and into the fridge.

Thursday. Dinner. What am I going to make? What else do I have? Hmm…some carrots, oh yeah, half a cabbage! Okay, that cabbage was from the borscht I made last week. Stir fry came to my mind.

A stir fry is a good thing to keep in your arsenal of last minute fast meals with little bits of this and that. An array of vegetables  behave quite well in a stir fry. I wasn’t sure about butternut squash, but I gave it a go! I used my medium sized favorite pan. (I have 6 favorite pans. I have only 6 pans actually. They all serve a purpose for me. I’m a minimalist). Dropped some olive in and heated things up. While I was cutting the vegetables, my 2 year old son picked apart the cabbage. stir-fry-1

I used up half a butternut squash, half a cabbage, the last fourth of an onion and then I added two carrots, several garlic cloves minced, a few tablespoons of sesame seeds, and a 1/2 cup of sliced almonds. In the grain department I used up a bag of teeny tiny quinoa that a neighbor gave to me. There wasn’t enough for all of us, so I included a cup of white rice as well, mixed with the quinoa. I made that all in the rice cooker. For the sauce I added soy sauce, sesame oil, and water. The vegetables released so many great juices, it was enough. For protein I had a turkey keilbasa link and chopped it up and added it to the stir fry towards the end of cook time. We added mustard to our meal, when we ate it. Not much, but it tasted good with the meat and actually tasted pretty good on everything else. Dinner was rather orange that night!

stir-fry-2

What is your favorite thing to do with leftover vegetables? Soup? Stir Fry? Casserole? Salad?

What inspires your meals and keeps you organized? For me it is often one ingredient that catches my attention, like the butternut squash…and the rest of the meal is built around that. As much as I enjoy using stuff up and making room in my cupboards, I love shopping for great deals and stocking up on sale items for later.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to bookmark my new website address!