Cooking With The Undomestic Housewife

SImple but good recipes with a hint of fun facts and nutrition info.

Getting Back on track in so many ways! May 24, 2012

Filed under: food,health,less fat,lifestyle,Uncategorized — Kristi bri @ 8:26 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Image

It’s 9am and I’ve been at work for 2 hours already. On my way to refill my cup of water I pass a line of people by the printer. I peeked to see what the commotion was: Yet another box of donuts. Just yesterday we had birthday cake and today we’re scheduled to have birthday ice cream bars for lunch.

This line is long enough to make me realize I have never seen a line up for donuts in an office before. You would think my co-workers are afraid that someone has played a nasty trick on them and 2 of the 3 boxes are, in fact, empty; first 12 get 1.

As I pass the line to the kitchen (and the fridge, where I’ll grab my yogurt), I decide to forego the donut and have the ice cream later; it will be much more satisfying. But, alas, one of the ladies asks if I’m “going to have one?”, “You look like you need it. I’m worried about you girl.” She exclaims.

I’m tired of all the comments I get regarding my (normal on the BMI index) weight, so in my head I reply:  ‘and you look like you don’t, I’m worried about you!’. Keep in mind, I have worked with these people for 2 months and have spoken to them maybe a couple handful of times.

As I throw my yogurt lid in the trash, I notice the 13 gallon bin is already half full of fast food bags from breakfasts eaten. All I can do is sigh.

Just last week I was asked if I was anorexic. This didn’t shock me as much as when she said “you know, just wanted to ask before rumors start.” Rumors? About me and my eating habits? I am 5’6 and 115 lbs. I am a size 4. Over 60% of my office are generally the same height and over 170lbs, so keeping in mind where the comments are coming from, I think to myself: ‘in comparison to you, I probably do look anorexic’, but instead I reply ‘no, I eat all the time! Constantly throughout the day I am munching.’ The difference between us though is that I am munching on fruit, veggies, nuts etc. while you much on chips, donuts and soda while your digesting your Whataburger breakfast and anticipate your mcdonald’s lunch.

I am not trying to bad mouth my co-workers, most of them are extremely nice people, and this is not what this blog is going to be about, but on a side note, it’s hurtful to me, being skinny, when you comment on how you “just want to feed me  a hamburger, or milkshake” (which I’m still waiting for btw–pineapple please), or calling me anorexic. I am happy with my body and I’m finally at a place where I can eat healthy and be satisfied. But what if I were to be like “oh, Jeff are you sure you should be in line for the donuts this morning? You’re looking a little bloaty. Or: Suzy, I don’t mean to be rude, but have you been to the Dr. lately to have your thyroid checked? Looks like you might not be burning as much weight as you should.” I think the rumors would fly about me then!

I don’t feel it’s anyone’s job to judge my weight or eating habits when I cook an awesome dinner almost every night and when asked what I have for lunch, –leftovers from dinner– you say “oh, well it must be nice to have so much time.” Really? To make dinner? I understand people these days are on a tight time restriction, but does that time restriction start when you’re grocery shopping and instead of reaching for the healthier option bread or crackers etc., time restriction sets in and you have to grab the cookies and chips instead?

I don’t have a problem with over weight people either. I know their struggle, I grew up with people in my family plagued by regret and insecurity due to weight. What I do have an issue with is people who ask me how I stay so skinny, or ask for my ‘advice’ on weight loss and then go to KFC for lunch (this has happened), or with people who constantly talk about the weight they need to lose and do the same thing. I am not here to preach how to lose weight either, but as someone who lost 25 lbs and has maintained my weight and healthy life for 3 years now, I think I have some room to share my knowledge and things that I am constantly learning—and I appreciate when people can share with me what they know too!

I read a blog this morning that was ‘freshly pressed’ and the comments that followed are what inspired me to write this. My goal is to get back on track with this blog, which was initially to post recipes that are easy, yet not time consuming; delicious, yet not filled with fat or sugar or corn syrups etc. I have strayed away from my original goal of this blog.

I am not here to judge your life, but offer a helping hand if I can. I would like to break this up into a few posts on things like sugar and it’s affects, sodium, fast food, etc. that way I can help to educate people on just what they’re putting in their bodies and how cutting them out, or altering them can help.

I am no health nut, I may have a fast metabolism, I may not. I love ice cream and chocolate and candy just as much as the next person and I eat something everyday that satisfies my cravings. But everything in moderation is the key! I believe we are grown people; we’re not 5, where you had to eat your salad before you had your pizza, or you had to eat your veggies before you had dessert. I know what I’m about to say is going to have some people outraged, but why not sometimes, and the key word being sometimes, skip the 800 calorie dinner and go straight for the 800 calorie dessert. Or, instead of fooling yourself with a salad when you KNOW you’re going to have a piece of pizza, just have the pizza minus the salad topped with the 200 calorie ranch dressing and 150 calorie bacon bits! You are not going to drop dead of diabetes (hopefully) on the spot. FYI: I’m not saying replace dinner with dessert everynight, so don’t go shouting “kristi says eat dessert only!” use your heads people.

I also believe that you are not going to starve to death if you need to skip the donut and wait an hour until your lunch. If that was the case, people fasting all over the world (Whether it be for religion or forced, ie. holocust) would have dropped dead the first day. I understand some people have bigger issues like hypoglycemia– my mom suffers from it. But if you have it, you know and should prepare. bring a pre-proportioned baggy of almonds for such a case.
I say ‘pre-portioned’ because I know even I will eat the whole entire bag if it’s just there at my desk, so I plan.
Just this morning I saw a girl go through an entire bag of chex-mix before the donuts arrived. This was also after her breakfast. She does this every day. Not only is that probably over 2000 calories/bag, it’s +1500g of sodium: over 1/2 the recommended daily intake(2000). Later when asked “aren’t you on meds?”, she replied “just heart pills.” My heart wept for this poor girl who is killing herself with sodium alone. Heart disease is the number 1 killer in the US right now and can you guess what may be a major factor in heart health? Sodium.

I plan everything I eat and try and wait until I’m hungry to eat the next thing on my list. I don’t eat just because it’s noon and I have to. People back in the way-back times (technical term) ate strictly for energy. I sit at a desk all day– what do I need energy for? Nothing, but I still get hungry and that’s a welcome discomfort: If you’re hungry, you’re doing something right, you’re not overeating! You’re eating for necessity. You want a donut? Fine, have one, but slip that granola bar out of your lunch and save it for tomorrow!

I know I have probably touched some hot spots here, but I feel like today in America, people are so pre-occupied, they don’t have time to cook or eat healthy, but healthy choices are there and I don’t know many people who don’t have a TV near their kitchen. If you’re ‘too busy’ chasing after kids to do anything and you complain of not being able to sit down—you should be proud! Being active—even if it’s just cleaning your house—burns calories! So next time your shows are on and you want nothing but to sit on the couch and veg, try doing some lunges in front of Biggest Loser, or Jersey Shore, or prep dinner during commercials!  You want a piece of cake and know you’ll probably have 2? Make them tiny pieces that will add up to 1 normal size. or even better: add up to 1/2 a normal size; you’ll feel more satisfied!

Like I said, everything in moderation and that’s the key to success in happiness—and that goes for everything—not just food!

Fun fact: microwavable meals were invented by bacteriologist– NOT chefs or cooks, but by people who could probably figure out the best way for something thats made mostly from chemicals to taste like real food. ie. ‘generic’ low fat yogurt– read the ingredients; there’s one in particular that has 0 milk in it, just milk protein concentrate! But yet, it has calcium, probably injected.

 

Free the fat! Pistachio mousse aka. ‘The Satisfier’! April 26, 2012

Filed under: dessert,easy,health,less fat,lifestyle,recipe,treats,undomestic — Kristi bri @ 7:01 pm
Tags: , , , ,
Fat Free Pistachio Pudding

Fat Free Pistachio Pudding

My father in Law loves Pistachio ice cream. I personally, thought that it was one of those ice cream flavors like chocolate-dipped, salted ruffle chip; or like the Harry Potter Jelly beans: good enough to buy and share with 4 people to have a laugh, but not good enough to keep a Costco-sized container in your home. And the small nuts; it’s like they ground them just fine enough so that you can see specks of crunch, but not big enough to actually get your teeth around.  And the flavor: Pistachio? Really? Is that supposed to be the ‘gluten-free’ of Hazelnut/almond pudding?
With this logic, I figured the fad of Pistachio pudding would fade as well. But to be honest: I never buy pudding, so it didn’t much matter to me. Nor did I really think about how it’s probably been out since before i was born. I did, though, at one point have an inkling to buy some chocolate pudding once to make pudding shots– YES, I said Pudding shots; not Jello shots. They are amazing and I won’t get in to the musings of my weekends at this moment (but seriously…we’ll save that for another adult post).

I then saw that a pregnant friend of mine was satisfying some of her cravings with this rogue pudding, but what caught my eye was not that someone was actually eating it willingly (never-mind the pregnancy part), but  the words: “Sugar and fat free”.
***Ding, ding, ding***, I’m pretty sure that sound went off in my head, along with “perfect low-fat after dinner sweet-satisfier!” in Bob Barker’s Host’s fancy voice. And it’s a heck of a lot better than the ice cream I was consuming at 200+ calories. I needed to try it; maybe it wasn’t so bad after all.
When I made it like this (below), I fell in love instantly. Now it’s like the unsuspecting cool-kid; I’m like “what? Pistachio? Psshhht, we go way back!”.

Any of JELL-O’s Sugar-free, Fat-Free puddings have only 100 calories per…wait for it….drum-roll…BOX. That means if you follow the instructions to a T: fat-free milk and all, you can eat the entire box and only gain 100 calories and 0 grams of fat!
Unfortunately, this recipe is not followed to a T, but there’s not much more to worry about .

There’s also other flavors in this magical fatless dessert, such as: Chocolate, Vanilla, White chocolate, and Creamcheese (these are the only ones I remember for sure).
My favorite part is where you use less milk than required (as on the box)– about 1/2 in fact, maybe a little more. The consistency will be much thicker and more gelatinous ( I hate that word ‘gelatinous’ it reminds me of when chicken fat solidifies…).

Having quick company, or just lazy? Layer any of these flavors with some ground up graham crackers, or vanilla wafers and some fruit and you have yourself an awesome low-fat dessert for even the pickiest bunch.
I made the White chocolate flavor with the recipe below and added it to a graham-cracker pie crust I acquired from the dollar store with some sliced strawberries sprinkled about. My husband ate the whole thing! And it only cost about $2.00 to boot!

Wanna add just a few more calories? Mix  a little real cream cheese with the cream cheese pudding (using the 1/2 milk recipe), add to a graham cracker crust and you have probably just cut the calories from 1400 cal cheese cake  to 200 or less cal cheesecake!

Tangent-to-tangent and back to the beginning; here is the recipe for the Pistachio (or any other flavor) Pudding/Mousse:

Need:

  • Small mixing bowl (or large soup bowl)
  • Hand/stand mixer or whisk (depending how much you feel like cleaning)– a fork will work too.
Ingredients: Serves about 6 depending how you serve it (ie. with fruit/cookie crumbs or not.
  • Your choice of pudding flavor (I recommend the Pistachio).
  • 3/4-1 cup of Milk– Obviously Fat-free has less fat than the rest. But as per the box: “Pudding will not set with soy milk.” I don’t know about coconut or almond.
  • 3/4-1 cup Cool whip (again: obviously low-fat has less fat)
To do:
  1. Put the cold milk into the bowl you want to use,
  2. Sprinkle the contents of the pouch over the milk while mixing. If you’re using a fork to try and whisk this, only add small, evenly spread sprinkles at a time. It thickens very quickly, so, unless you have the wrist of a porn star, just dumping and stirring will create more clumps. **I apologize if you are a pudding eater and make pudding regularily: you will already know all this. I am still just an ignorant  ‘grasshoppa” when it comes to this.
  3. Once you’re done stirring, but it’s not completely set, scoop a huge dollop of Cool-Whip into the bowl and mix (keep in mind: too much Cool-Whip will take away from the flavor.
  4. Stick it in the fridge to let it set, or put into the serving dishes with accouterments or pie crust then let set.
When you’re ready to eat (at least 5 minutes later), either eat out of the pre-prepared dishes, or scoop out of the mass-produced bowl– or just eat straight out of the bowl.
But don’t forget to sprinkle with love and enjoy!~
 

When The Pineapple Became A Veggie. April 3, 2012

Filed under: chicken,cooking,easy,food,Fooooood!,health,lifestyle,recipe — Kristi bri @ 7:46 pm
Tags: , , ,

Pineapple, chicken and wild rice.

First off, let me apologize for the quality of this photo; yes it was taken in a tupperware, on it’s journey to becoming leftovers. I did not think to take a photo, because honestly, I didn’t think it would be all that great. But it was great, cheap and just so darn easy to make.  You do however, need a crockpot… and chicken…and a can of Pineapple…and a handful of wild rice… and something to do because you won’t have to spend your time making this; see the magical crackpot   –although it could be considered a ‘crack’pot as it’s so wonderful you just want to use it all the time. Maybe I will start calling it that!

Anyways, the magical CROCKpot does ALL the work! Even my husband can do this (especially when you forget and only remember on your way to work at 6:15am) and he did in fact do 96.8% of the work.

I don’t have any cute little discovery story for this one, I simply looked in my fridge and thought “chicken…again…hmmm..oh, I have a can of diced pineapple, which I cleverly picked up from the dollar store; making this meal cheap as chips, as the English would say! Then I remembered that I have the Crackpot.

But in this recipe, you have the perfect combination of protein and healthy carb. The pineapple is also filling and healthy (if you choose the right can– not the one filled with sugar, preservatives and possibly corn syrup.), read your labels.

OK, lets get down to it: It’s best to start this process in the morning, or noon.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken breast (2-4), or, if you’re like me and accidentally pick up chicken tenders, that’s fine too.
  • 1 Can of diced (or sliced will work too) Pineapple, including the JUICE– if you have fresh, that’s just as good– Ah*snob*em.
  • About 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of rice (I used wild, but whatever you want is fine)
  • Cayenne pepper and S&P

Things you will need: 

  • A Crockpot aka. crackpot (or slowcooker)
  • A spoon
  • A can opener (if you can’t just tear the top off of your pineapple can)
  • a book, or drink, a job, or just some free time.

Directions:

  1. Put everything in the crackpot. I would add the rice 1/2 through or at least 2-3 hours before eating, but I don’t think it will hurt to have it in there for the 8-10 hours.
  2. Put the lid on.
  3. Plug in and Turn the crackpot on to LOW (if your starting it at 8am’ish; HIgh, if you’re starting it later, like noon, or want it for lunch)– now that I think of it, maybe not a good idea to start drinking at 8am–…or is it?  🙂
  4. At dinner time turn it of and scoop out your serving

When it’s finished, everything is perfectly sweet and savory and the pineapple no longer resembles a fruit–TRAITOR!! And goes perfectly with everything, all in the same bite.

Sprinkle with love and ENJOY!

XO

Kristi

**If you’re a reader of this blog, I apologize for the delay in my posts, I’m a horrible blogger. But Alas, I have been photographing more of my cooking and have 2-3 more recipes to come!!

 

Super Bread! Chia, Cranbery-tangerine, Almond loaf. November 6, 2011

Filed under: baking,bread,dessert,easy,food,health,lifestyle,recipe — Kristi bri @ 11:42 am
Tags: , , , , ,
S

Chia cranberry loaf

It’s funny how I learn about some of the most amazing health things while Trying to learn about things I don’t do. For example, while reading–listening to  Born To Run  on audiobook (I don’t run & also don’t really feel like I was born to do it–although after ‘reading’ this, I want to!!), I was surprised to hear about a little superfood that I always thought belonged on the back of a terracotta animal: The Chia seed!

Same size as a poppy seed

Apparently this little seed has more of a history than being a novelty item in millions of homes across North America; it goes all the way back to the Aztecs, when it was considered a staple to their diet. The mexicans still ingest this today– mostly in a drink called Chia Fresca.

Approximately 1 oz of chia seeds (which are about the size of poppy seeds) contains more Omega-3 and fiber than flax (just 25g = 6.9 g of fiber)–and doesn’t have to be ground down in order for the body to absorb it; they contain more antioxidants than blueberries; it is said to reduce the symptoms (fatigue, irritability etc.) of thyroid medication; they have more calcium than milk; contain magnesium, iron etc. etc.

This great for runners (hence the mention in the book) because it slows the process of breaking down carbs and turning them into sugar. Plus it is said to increase saliva production and when immersed in water, juice or anything moist, they grow to become 9x their size with a gelatinous exterior (refraining from ‘That’s what she said’ joke– Oops 🙂 . This means it will help to make you feel fuller– a great addition to a smoothy, yogurt, oatmeal, etc. In this case I added them to a loaf and they resemble nothing more than a poppy seed so I don’t think anyone would know the difference.

seed to plant

I bought some of the seeds in bulk at Sprouts for very cheap ($7.99 a lb  or aprox.1 1/2 cups= $1.20). I assume you can get them at any whole-foods-type market or online. And just for kicks, I planted some and they grew like weeds in a couple of days. You can also use the actual plant in a salad, sandwich, or give to your bunny.

This recipe I got out of a southern-living cookbook, however I have modified it so much I don’t think Southern-living would even recognize it. I did this because I didn’t have any milk, but I had sour cream, so I had to make do. This would also make a great muffin, so instead of using a bread/loaf pan, use muffin pans (obviously) and just modify the baking time to less than an hour– I’m not sure to what, so you’d just have to keep an eye on it. Anything marked with a * was added in place of 1 1/2 cups of milk. (i would have used less milk also because of the tangerine juice)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of flour (i used a little bit of buckwheat flour because I had some & didn’t want to use all white flour)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar (if you have honey, you can use this too.)
  • 4 Tsp of Baking Powder
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • The zest of 1 Tangerine (or orange)
  • 2 tbsp of Butter* (this is better used at room temperature– or just melted all together)– I wouldn’t have used this if I had              bothered to see the vegetable oil a few ingredients down
  • 1/3 Cup of Sour Cream*
  • 1 Cup of Water*
  • 1/2 Cup of vegetable oil
  • The juice of 1 Tangerine (or orange, but if you use a tangerine, take the seeds out first because there is, like, 400 seeds in 1 tangerine)
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Egg (lightly beaten)
  • handful of dried cranberries
  • handful of sliced almonds (and some for the top of the loaf)
  • about 1/3 Cup of Chia seeds (and some for the top of the loaf), you can add more if you want.

You will need:     

  • greased loaf-pan (I found this spray, which has changed my life; it’s normal greasing spray but has flour in it. The bread/cake                                    falls out of the pan faster than the Kardashian wedding)
  • A large mixing bowl (or mixer and attachment for mixing…)
  • Spatula
  • Fork and bowl for beating the egg
  • Measuring items
  • An oven

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix the DRY ingredients together in your mixing bowl (zest included) but NOT including Cranberries, Almonds or Chia.
  3. Add the WET ingredients and stir in together until all things are touching & wet– sounds like a Brittany Spear video…
  4. Mix in the Cranberries, Almonds & Chia. <- I’m sure your loaf won’t spontaneously combust if you add these at the same time                               as the dry ingredients, but for once I was following directions.
  5. Pour the mix into the bread/loaf pan, using the spatula to get the rest out (incase you are 4 and have been using your fingers to                                       get cake remanence out of bowls before…)
  6. Sprinkle the top with some more almonds and chia seeds.
  7. Bake for about an hour (no cheating time here–it really does take that long) &/ until your toothpick comes out clean (you might need a BIG toothpick, this loaf rises alot)
  8. Let cool awhile before trying to get it out of the pan; it’s very moist inside and crumbly on the outside…
  9. You can eat it however you feel, but I would recommend slicing.

Sprinkle with Love and Enjoy

Kristi

 

Chocolate Dipped, Peanut-Butter-filled Pretzel squares…Fewf, what a mouthful!…Literally July 18, 2011

Filed under: baking,dessert,easy,food,health,lifestyle,treats — Kristi bri @ 5:30 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

When I first discovered peanut butter pretzels, it was a fateful encounter at Sprouts. We were picking up some meat for a bar-b-que, but I was starving NOW. Sitting at the check-out was a pre-packaged bag of these little puppies. I thought “pretzels, that’s a good-for-you (kinda) snack; peanut butter? I love peanut butter!!!–SOLD to the hungry girl at the check-out. I made it juuust long enough to pay for them, but not long enough to get us out of the store.

After that bag was finished (2 hours later), that was the sad and unfortunate end of the love affair— until we met again at a Kroger in Dallas a year later. Not only were they in a massive container, but at $5.00 they were cheap and only 140 calories & 7 grams of fat (for a serving of 10). How could I say “no” to saving my money AND my waist-line! Little did I know these little gems were going to become a staple in my household. Even my husband who doesn’t like peanut butter will go through about four handfuls of these in 1 sitting.

One day while munching on some, I noticed a similarity to the pretzel M&M’s (which I’ve only had once… so I don’t know how I came to this conclusion) and wondered how I could recreate the flavor fully. EUREKA: Chocolate dipped! And they would be a perfect addition to a gift for a friend’s birthday a few days later. I set out to get chocolate.

Ps. Hershey’s bars from the dollar store work well and are a lot cheaper than normal grocery store.

The only concern/problem I had was whether or not the chocolate would stay firm once it cooled (and wasn’t in the refrigerator)–if someone knows the trick to this, please comment.

Ingredients: Serves as many as you want–1 Hershey’s bar will easily cover over 30 pretzel nuggets.

  • Peanut Butter filled pretzels.
  • Chocolate- helps if it’s at room temperature. (About a 1/2 cup of chips, 1 Hershey’s bar, baking chocolate, white chocolate etc. etc.)

What you need:

  • A pot of boiling water (pots usually don’t come WITH boiling water, so you might need to make that happen…just sayin’)
  • A bowl that is big enough it can rest on top of the pot without touching the water. (see below) I don’t know what this technique is called but it’s used by Chocolatiers when tempering chocolate so it doesn’t burn etc. (?)
  • A spoon (normal size–like you’d eat cereal with).
  • Either some sort of baking sheet with wax paper on it, or I didn’t have wax paper, so I covered a cutting board in saran-wrap. (this is to put the finished product on to cool and it helps if you can fit it in the fridge.

What to do:

  1. Boil the water (As afore mentioned),
  2. Place the bowl on the pot at an angle (so the chocolate is contained in the corner)
  3. Keep moving the chocolate around so it melts evenly
  4. Once melted, you can attempt to “dip” the pretzel nugget in the chocolate, but I found it easier to use the spoon and use a spreading action to get it on there.
  5. Place the “dipped” nugget on your cooling surface.
  6. Repeat until all desired pretzels are covered–or you run out of chocolate.
  7. Place in fridge until chocolate is hardened.

Notice the pot in the bowl.

If you’re feeling ambitious and maybe this is  a nice party favor or something, try dipping the corner of them in the opposite colored chocolate and/or rolling them in a topping like Graham crackers, sprinkles, peppermint candy (for Christmas) etc.

Sprinkle with love and ENJOY!

 

Acorn Squash Seeds Are The New Pumpkin Seeds! February 28, 2011

Filed under: cooking,easy,food,health,lifestyle,recipe,salad,treats — Kristi bri @ 10:52 am
Tags: , , , ,

 

I never thought much of cooking seeds other than the Pumpkin variety– that is until I decided to try Acorn Squash seeds. And let me tell you: these little suckers are more tasty than your average pumpkin seed. I don’t know if it’s because they’re slightly more plump; therefore having more to chew; or if it was the mixture of seasoning I put on them. Either way, they were delicious and I wished I had more.

Squash seeds are great addition to a salad, to take with you to a ball game or even just to munch on when you’re feeling a little peckish. They are relatively high in calories and fat, but contain a decent amount of proteins, vitamins A & K and even harbor magnesium and potassium. They are good for someone who works out alot since they have some carbs and are low in sugar. The one thing you’ll want to remember is that 1 cup of these have over 700 calories (which I’m finding very hard to believe; but no info to the contrary) BEFORE you add seasonings but, it doesn’t take many of the seeds to be satisfied and I highly doubt you would eat a whole cup of these in one sitting.

When you start the seed-making process, you have to be able to commit to the idea of letting them soak for at least 1/2 a day; I usually eat acorn squash for dinner, so I let the seeds soak overnight.  I don’t know how necessary this it, but it sure helps to separate them from the stringy insides of the squash.

Ingredients: 2 squash yeilds almost 1 cup of seeds

  • The seeds out of an acorn squash
  • Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1+Tbsp of some kind of seasoning. I used a creole, but taco or guacamole seasonings  are GREAT options!
  • Tsp Cayenne pepper

You will need:

  • A bowl of water (to soak the seeds) seasoned with a little salt and a few splashes of worcestershire.
  • A lightly greased cookie sheet–which you can line with aluminum (before greasing) if you choose. As slippery as the little suckers may be at first, they stick pretty well to pan after being cooked.
  • Another bowl or ziplock bag to mix them with the seasonings

Directions:

  1. After you scoop out the insides of the squash, separate the seeds from the ‘innards’ as well as you can, placing the seeds in the bowl of salt water and the innards in the garbage.
  2. After they have soaked for a few hours, Turn the oven on to bake at about 250-300 degrees and start preparing your baking sheet. It will need to be greased a little because I don’t coat the seeds in oil–they don’t need it– so when they’re cooked, they stick.
  3. Drain the seeds and separate the remaining innards from the seeds.
  4. Pat the seeds dry and place in the bowl/bag you’ll be using for seasoning.
  5. Once all the seeds are finished being prepped and are in the bowl, add enough worcestershire to coat the seeds.
  6. Add the ‘dry’ seasoning of your choice to coat.
  7. Spread the seeds out on the baking sheet (right) and place in the oven.Spreading the seeds
  8. It will take about 30-45 min (at least) for the seeds to be done and they will turn a golden brown. Be careful to keep an eye on them; they burn easily, but you do want them to be thoroughly baked so the insides are dry. Otherwise they will become a little chewy after being stored.
  9. Let them cool for a few minutes and store in a container of your choice–if you dont eat them all first.

Sprinkle with love and Enjoy!

Kristi

 

Acorn Squash: The Ninja Veggie January 22, 2011

Filed under: cooking,easy,food,health,recipe,Soup — Kristi bri @ 6:36 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

 

 

Acorn Squash Quarters

If you don’t know what an Acorn squash looks like; just imagine what the offspring of a pumpkin and Acorn would be, except green with streaks of orange.  Not a lot of people cook these, or use them–or know what they are; they can be intimidating in the grocery store. I happen to think they’re one of the best winter vegetables and so durable. They last for a few days in the refrigerator (After being baked) and they make an excellent soup if you have any left over (see below).

Acorn squash is fat free and full of fiber, calcium and potassium. They have virtually no cholesterol and barely any (natural) sodium. They have anti-oxidants and are a good choice for an anti-inflammatory option. There is not a lot of sugar in the Acorn Squash, which makes it kind of bland without toppings such as salt and pepper etc. Also, the seeds inside the squash can be scooped out and made like pumpkin seeds for a snack. The skin is full of nutrients, but not a lot of people eat it.  If you’re on a no-starch diet, or no carb diet, be warned that these are abundant in squash.

I made this side-dish with a turkey Meatloaf (recipe coming). The left-overs were also used– cold– in a  salad.  You can cut them any way you want, but I quartered mine. Some people will half the squash and stuff them. You can also sprinkle them with flavors other than what I used. Curry flavors and other strong spices would be a good option.

Ingredients:Serves 4-6+, Time: aprox 40 min

  • 2 Acorn squash
  • Aprox. 2 Tsp Olive oil (for brushing over the squash)
  • S&P
  • Aprox 1 Tsp Nutmeg (for sprinkling over the squash)
  • 1 Tsp Garlic Salt (optional)

You will need:

  • A Big Strong knife (it’s hard to cut through when it’s uncooked)
  • A baking sheet (lined with aluminum foil to make clean-up easier)
  • *If you want to bake the seeds after, you’ll need a spoon to scoop and a bowl of water to let them soak in overnight (recipe coming)*

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300-350
  2. Microwave the squash/es for about 40 sec to 1 min to soften the squash making it easier to cut.
  3. Cut them in half lengthways and scoop out the insides *put innards into your bowl of water– if baking the seeds*
  4. Brush/rub with olive oil
  5. Turn them face down on the baking sheet and put them in the oven– this will help them steam themselves.
  6. After about 15-20 min, check them and see if they’re soft enough to slice one more time (making it quartered).
  7. Flip them on their  back and sprinkle with the S&P, Garlic salt and/ nutmeg (or your choice of flavor)
  8. Bake another 20 min. At this point, you can broil them if you like, it will crisp them up–but keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. You can tell they’re done when you can easily pierce them with a fork and the fork will slide out easily too.
  9. Serve warm and with the skin. You can eat the skin, but I normally peel the skin off .

If you want them  made into a soup follow the same steps, or use your left-overs. Remove the skin, bring to a boil with some chicken/beef stock and blend until smooth. You can add any other vegetables to this if you like.

Don’t forget to sprinkle with love.

Enjoy

 

Recipes to come: Baked Acorn Squash seeds & Turkey Meatloaf (packed full of veggies)

Turkey meatloaf

Turkey meatloaf

Roasted Acorn Squash seeds