Wednesday, February 17, 2010

comforting and nourishing

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?


Food Makes Fun Fuel said...

Oatmeal in the morning makes me feel good, as does steamed veggies at meal. And at night, I think a pure piece of chocolate is a must

Genesis said...

anything that's a carb make me very happy :) bread is my number food group!

Jess said...

Oh my goodness, that bread looks fantastic!! Loveeee your nourishing foods.
<3 jess

NOELLE said...

This looks delicious! Thanks for commenting on my blog! I love your name and I hope you keep visiting my blog. Noelle

ryanmm said...

oatmeal is my ultimate comfort food. I don't even want to know how many jars I go through each year. I love it so much. No is awesome and keeps you full

OH MY that bread looks way way too good!!! YUM look at you cooking up a storm!

Molls said...

oops that ryanmm comment was from

Healthy. Happy. Well. said...

Loving the bowl from Taiwan, I have a mug that looks very similar. The random leftover squash recipe is genius, what a creative recipe!
Oatmeal definitely is my fav comfort food!

Astra Libris said...

Oooh, I'm very excited about the brown soda bread recipe! I am definitely planning on finding this recipe in my copy of Cooking Light immediately! (love Cooking Light... :-) Thank you for the awesome scoop about the recipe!

Hooray for cleaning out the kitchen! :-) Your recipe is so creative, nourishing, and YUM!!

Veggies 'n' Cake said...

A nice stew or chili has a way of making me feel comforted. I think it has to do with the warmth and simpleness of the dish.

Anonymous said...

That bread looks so good! Italian food is my go to comfort food there is just something about pasta and tomato sauce that comforts me!

*Naomi* said...

i LOVE irish soda bread so this sounds fantastic! meals that bring me confort is turkey chili with corn bread! i LOVE cornbread :)

fittingbackin said...

Yummy mix! I love when you eat something and fee fueled and fabulous, instead of tired or stuffed. Quinoa always makes me feel good, and so does sushi!

Jamie said...

Yum this bread looks great:) And I'm all for using leftovers in creative ways!

Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg said...

Mmmm...that bread looks so good! And I LURVE TJ pumpkin butter!