I love cleaning out the kitchen and producing something yummy. Like this:
What I had:
What I did:
I was inspired by a recipe in Oriental Basics for pumpkin and spinach with fresh tomatoes and dates and harissa, but had no fresh tomatoes or dates or harissa. Or pumpkin. I made do.
Butternut Squash with Dried Fruit
1/2 T olive oil
1 medium clove garlic, minced
~1/3 c. onion, chopped
1/2 a medium butternut squash, cut in 3/4 inch chunks
1/4 c boiling water
2 T dried fruit (I used the remains of some Craisins and golden raisins)
frozen spinach (I had about 1/4 of a 10 oz bag left?)
2 t. tomato paste
1 t. paprika
1/2 t cinnamon
1/8 t. nutmeg
splash apple cider vinegar
Heat oil in a large skillet on on medium heat. Add onions and garlic, cooking until softened. Add butternut, cooking until browned.
Meanwhile, pour boiling water over fruit to rehydrate them.
When the butternut is a bit browned, add the spinach (I didn’t bother thawing it). Then add the dried fruit and water, tomato paste, and spices. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until squash is fork tender but still holds its texture.
Add salt and pepper to taste, and a splash of the vinegar.
This is one of those nourishing, simple (and vegetarian!) meals that I love to eat during Lent. I was a good steward of my ingredients (using what had to be finished)!
Still in love with my bowl from Taiwan.
So then looking ahead for dinner I got to thinkin’ about my shrimp bisque from last night, and realized I needed an accompaniment, and what could be more perfect with wonderful creamy comforting soup than a wonderful carby comforting slice of bread?!
Actually, even more perfect would be HOMEMADE bread, the new droolworthy recipe for Brown Soda Bread in this month’s Cooking Light (I’d post the link but it doesn’t seem to be on the website yet!).
This beauty, in addition to being mostly whole wheat and vair wholesome, also made my whole house smell like BUTTER. A miracle, since it DOESN’T ACTUALLY CONTAIN ANY! Buttermilk is seriously one of my favorite ingredients. It’s amazing.
My gorgey loaf:
I decided that I couldn’t wait til dinner and had some for my afternoon snacksie, along with Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter.
I know everyone else on earth has already done the “I finally got Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter! It’s the greatest thing ever!” post, but… well, it is. Wowza.
Meanwhile, this BREAD:
I’m in love, and it’s serious, and this guy loves me back. It is soooooooo rich and dense and hearty and yet not dry AT ALL. Tender and crumbly and heavenly.
I had it just straight up with my bisque I made yesterday
I decided the bisque needed a bit more hot sauce on top, because really what isn’t improved by a bit more hot sauce on top?
I feel happy and nourished, and think I will now, as I’ve been meaning to since we lost dear Patrick, watch Dirty Dancing on my Netflix Watch Instantly.
What foods make you feel nourished and comforted?