Monday, September 6, 2010

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

So, as we are waiting for some income to start flowing in from various sources for the upcoming year, we are living on a bit of a shoestring for a couple of weeks.
BUT! It is good for us. We tend to make bad habits of going out to eat ("Why, hello Extreme Pita just a block away! Yes, please."), but with a tight budget this month, there's no room for eating out on a whim.

So, we went to the farmer's market and stocked up on yummy veggies and I made a meal plan (which I try to do even in the best of times). Some highlights were a pot of fresh herbs to grow (parsley, thyme, rosemary and oregano), and multi-coloured tomatoes (which we made into salsa yesterday) Today I made a fantastic and very delicious meal that I totally invented, so I thought I'd share it.
I don't know how often I'll post recipes on here (a la The Mama), but I may post a few that I'm particularly proud of.

Summer Squash, stuffed with Split Peas 

I picked up some small round yellow summer squashes at the farmer's market, I'm still not sure what kind they are, but they're pretty similar to a yellow zucchini.

3 Summer Squashes
1/4 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup split peas (I used yellow, but I don't think green would make a difference)
2 tsp chicken bouillon
Bay Leaf
dash of oregano
sprigs of rosemary and thyme
2 Tbsp Sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp crumbs (bread or cracker)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cut the squashes in half scoop out the seeds  and discard and then scoop out the majority of the flesh and set aside, leaving barely a quarter-inch thick walls.  Lob off the bottom bit of each half so it sits flat.

Boil the peas in about 2 cups of water, add boullion and all other spices. Cook until the peas are fairly mushy and have absorbed most of the water. You may need to add more water if the peas get dry while boiling them.
Meanwhile, boil the flesh of the squash in some salted water until soft.

When everything is cooked, mix together rice, peas, squash flesh, sunflower seeds and some more salt and pepper - maybe a bit more spices as well. Scoop the filling into the squash shells and sprinkle on the crumbs.
Cooking in our (tiny) kitchen
(this is also a view of our tiny kitchen)
Bake at 350 for about 10-15 min, changing the oven to broil for a couple minutes at the end so the crumbs get toasted.

Serve and enjoy!
Eating Stuffed Squash

G loved it, she kept saying "Yummy!" and ended up eating two of the littlest ones (an entire squash!). She has gotten pickier lately, so it was great to have her love something so much that she ate every morsel.

Stuffed Squash and Beet Greens
I also cooked up some beet greens and made a peanut sauce to go on them. I don't think I've eaten the greens on beets before, but they were similar to chard, but maybe a bit more bitter. The peanut sauce really helped with the bitterness. We got a HUGE bunch of beets at the farmer's market for only $2. The greens were this meal, and I think the beets themselves might last at least two more meals. Pretty sweet deal!

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