Category Archives: Squash

Beefy Soup

So many vegetables!

So many vegetables! I could just eat them raw.

I’ve been super lucky throughout my pregnancy. I’ve been very healthy through most of it. I’ve only had cravings for healthy food, mostly broccoli. I’ve been working on stocking up some pre made food for after I have my baby. I wanted to make something that would be great from before baby and recovery after baby. This soup is made with marrow bone broth and ox tail, along with a whole host of amazing vegetables. The extra iron and vitamins in the soup will really be beneficial for  any woman but especially the post labor woman in your life. After I made it I realized that I just and to have tomatoes! So I went back and added a few can of diced tomatoes, and some tomato paste. It really kicked up the heartiness of the soup. However, I don’t have any pictures of beefy soup 2.0 so just imagine how great it looks!

 

Beefy Soup

Bone Marrow Broth – go here for that recipe

7 ox tail pieces (give or take your own preferences)

1 medium onion diced

2 red bell peppers diced (about 2-2.5 cups for the next four ingredients)

1 small butternut squash diced

4-5 stalks of diced celery

4-5 carrots diced

a head of garlic chopped (yes a head, it’s recovery soup! garlic is good for that)

1.5 heads of kale ripped up.

1 tbsp black pepper

1 tsp hot peppers or cayenne (remember, recovery)

1 tsp parsley

1/2 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp smoky paprika

1/4 tsp majoram

1/4 tsp savory

(2-3 cans of diced tomatoes and 2 cans of tomato paste)

 

meat, meat, meat, yummy meat

Frist brown your meat in a very large stock pot. Everything will be going into this pot eventually so make sure it’s big. I like to brown the meat because it adds a lovely depth to the flavor. These ox tails had a thick side of fat, so I started with that side first to render some fat to cook them in. See? I’m smart. Brown all sides, and set aside.

this is where delicious starts

This is where the magic starts. The bottom of the pan will have all sorts of meat and fat stuck to it. By cooking the onions, the moisture will help loosen up that deliciousness, giving that depth I was talking about. Cook onions until they are starting to become translucent. Note they are not actually browning, that’s the good stuff stuck in the pan adhering now to the onions. Lucky onions.

so pretty

When your onions are soft, add the squash and the red peppers. Keep temperature at medium high and occasionally stir vegetables. Cook for about 4 minutes.

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Add in carrots and celery. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes.

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Add seasonings, meat, and broth. Look at all that dark rich goodness! Bring soup to a slow boil for about 15 minutes. Add in kale for last two minutes. You can also skip the boiling and cook on low for about an hour. When all the vegetables are soft and your meat is cooked through your soup is done. Now I said above that I decided this soup would be even better with tomatoes. I wish I thought of that first! Add about 2-3 cans of diced tomatoes and two cans of tomato paste when you add in your broth. It gives it a great rich color and really ups the flavor. But this soup was delicious just as it was, but even better with the tomatoes. I left the meat on the bones. It’s a preference thing. If you’d rather not have bones in your soup you can remove the meat after you boil it.

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beefy soup

This makes a ton of soup. I planned on that because I wanted to freeze a bunch for post baby meals. This is a great fall/winter soup that’s super hearty and would make a great gift for a friend in need of a bit of an immune boost.

 

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Coconut Acorn Squash

I asked on Facebook recently what people would like to see me cook. This was a request by The My. I hope you like it!

I’ve made acorn squash before. It’s a tasty hard squash that will start coming into season soon. It has beautiful orange flesh and the outside has ridges, green skin with spots of orange. I tried something I’ve never done before with this recipe and I’m very happy with the way it turned out.

Coconut Acorn Squash

1 acorn squash halved and seeded

1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut chips

salt and pepper to taste

(dash of cinnamon optional)

1tbsp of bacon fat (or whatever you have on hand)

I spread the bacon fat on the squash like butter. If you prefer use coconut oil or real butter go right on and do so.

Then I sprinkled salt, pepper, coconut, and cinnamon. T doesn’t like sweet things so I left the cinnamon off of his.

Wrap them up in tin foil and place on the grill over indirect heat.  They will take about 45 minutes to cook up. You can of course use your oven 350 is ideal, but it’s too hot right now, so I cooked them outside.

They will be easy to pierce with a fork or knife when they are done.

I eat it right out of the skin with some tasty protein like a pork ribeye.

While it’s not toxic, I don’t recommend eating the skin. It’s hard and doesn’t taste good.

 


Delicious and Easy

Sunday we had some friends over for dinner. Below is what I made. Tandoori chicken using this marinade. Roasted butternut squash in leftover bacon fat. “Creamed” spinach made with coconut milk.

I’ve mentioned this marinade before. It’s super easy and tasty. A few tablespoons in a zip top bag with your protein is all the prep you need to do. I let the chicken marinate most of the day then I grilled the chicken outside.

Notice the gloves here?

My skin has a very strange reaction to raw butternut squash when it’s unpeeled. I can eat it fine, I just can’t handle it while raw. I either get T to do the prep work or I wear gloves to avoid it. We made bacon for breakfast and had delicious bacon fat left over.

I scooped some of the fat out then tossed the squash in the remaining fat reusing the exact same pan. (This works for all kinds of vegetables. Try it on broccoli and carrots)

Why make your life harder and wash all those dishes? It roasted at 350 until golden brown. About 30 minutes.

This spinach has to be one of my all time favorite things I’ve ever come up with. It’s so good! Check here for the original recipe.

This was a totally paleo meal that had very little prep time and was very tasty. If you’re still struggling to make meals make sense; take this approach and roast different veggies and grill meat with different marinades. It really is that simple.


Homegrown

I have 4 zucchini/summer squash plants that are producing about 3-5 large squash every day. I have eaten a lot of zucchini and squash lately. I’m going to have to start freezing some to make space for more. I’m so happy for my produce abundance!

The plants were so large I actually had to prune them back a bit. Those were all stalks of leave where you see the tubes.

I’ve eaten it in hash for breakfast.I’ve eaten it in noodle shape for dinner.

I’ve eaten it grilled at least 4 nights a week.

My cucumbers are also quite happy and productive.

Mostly they are eaten in salad. I’m looking for some new interesting ways to eat them because they don’t freeze well. Do you have any ideas?

My tomatoes are just starting to ripen. I can’t wait for those. I also have some peppers popping up. Peppers take forever though so I’m not really crossing my fingers for anything soon there.

With Lola on the pest control my collard greens and cabbage are coming back. Tonight I’m having my first harvest of collard greens in a few weeks. The caterpillars took their toll on the leaves.

I also am very excited about these.

They are weeds!

I started letting them grow two years ago because I thought they were pretty and I realized they were berry plants. This year they have had their first berries. These are not ripe yet but I can’t wait until they are!

mmmm homegrown.

Are you tending a garden? How are your crops looking right now?


Brandied Short Ribs

This is a guest post by my mom. I can’t wait to try it. It sounds perfect for the upcoming winter seasons. It is also paleo-ish depending on your opinion of alcohol.

Brandied Short Rib Stew

6 lbs bone in short ribs cut in 2 inch pieces (or in the case here large beef roast cut in to 2 inch pieces)

~2 tsp sea salt

~ 1 tsp black pepper

3 tbsp olive oil

3 lbs winter squash (I bought mine pre-cut to save time)

2 medium onions diced

1/3 cups flour (or whatever you Paleo’s use to thicken *)

6 cloves garlic

3 tbsp cocoa powder or 1 square of Dutch bittersweet chocolate

5 cups beef broth

½ cup brandy (Chivas and one bottle Dark Brown Beer)

½ cup dried cranberries

2 tbsp finely minced ginger

1 tbsp orange zest

1 ½ cups fresh cranberries

Preheat oven to a toasty 500 degrees, dry ribs on paper towels and sprinkle with ½ salt and pepper.  In a large heavy oven safe pot heat 1tbsp of oil over medium heat.  In small batches, brown all the meat then transfer to a bowl. It took me four batches to get all the meat browned.

Cut the squash (or if your lazy like I am already cut) place on a baking sheet with remaining oil. Roast until caramelized. (YUMMY looking) This took me 30 minutes.

Add Onions and remaining salt to pot and cook over medium until soft. About 3 minutes. Add flour or whatever you guys that are paleo use to thicken*, (flour is best here **) and cook till golden brown about 5 more minutes while stirring.

Stir in garlic and cocoa. Cook for another minute. (This really smells good by now).  Stir in broth and brandy. (Or in my case Chivas and one bottle Dark Brown Beer)  Add dried cranberries, ginger and orange zest. Bring mixture to a boil.

Cover the pot and put in the oven at 300 degrees. Cook for 2.5 hours and enjoy the aroma!!!

Take it out of the oven and place it back on the stove. Stir in fresh cranberries and that lovely caramelized squash, cover and cook on stove for 30 more minutes.

Then serve and dig in.

 

*  arrowroot is a great thickener and a little bit goes a long way so start small and add up. Or you can always just remove the meat and veggies and boil down the liquid.

** You really wouldn’t need a thickener at all and it will still taste great.


Pesto Spaghetti Squash

I have an amazing basil plant on my porch. It continues to grow prolifically! I needed to get a good harvest off of it or risk losing it entirely. I decided to go with pesto. I love pesto. It tastes so great and it’s so very simple. This has cheese so it is more primal than paleo. You can leave the cheese out and be just as happy.

Pesto Sauce

2-3 cups of basil

5 cloves of roasted garlic

1/3 cup of olive oil

1 cup of pine nuts

1/2 cup of strong flavored shredded cheese such as Parmesan (I used some leftover Emanteliear)

Blend all ingredients in a blender. Cook a spaghetti squash until soft.

Scrape out insides into a big bowl.

Toss with pesto sauce.

I also made some quick chicken with Italian seasoning and olive oil to add to the pasta.

It was very tasty and very simple. With the chicken there was enough leftovers for two lunches too! Whether you are Paleo or trying to cut carbs this is a tasty meal to make for dinner.


Curry Stuffed Squash

I don’t think I need to mention again my love of squash. So I’ll just move on forward with the pictures and recipe.

Curry Stuffed Squash

1 acorn squash halved

1 large chicken breast cubed

1 carrot diced

1/4 cup of pine nuts

1/4 cup of dried apricots

2 tbsp madras curry powder (any Indian style curry would be fine here)

Cut the squash in half and scrape all the seeds out. In a large mixing bowl add all the remaining ingredients.

Stir until evenly distributed. Stuff mixture into the hallows of the squash.

Bake covered at 400 for 1 hour, uncover and bake for another 20 minutes. Always check temperature on chicken by using a meat thermometer and testing the center of the stuffing. If it’s not yet to 180 keep going.

I made this meal the night before and only had to pop it in the oven when I got home from work. This would also be a great meal to freeze and save for a busy week.