Tag Archives: meatless

Twice Baked Butternut Squash with Quinoa + Pecans

23 Jun

I’m having so much fun trying meatless dishes once a week!!  This week, I made something that tastes a little out of place for the hot months of summer.  Butternut squash was calling my name at the store and I had to answer the calling. 🙂  File this one away for fall – it would make an awesome holiday side dish or a tasty option for meat-free guests.


Twice Baked Butternut Squash w/ Quinoa & Pecans (original recipe by Inquiring Chef)

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1/3 c. uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 t. chicken stock (or veg stock if meat-free)
  • 1/3 c. pecan halves, chopped roughly
  • 2 t. olive oil
  •  1 small shallot, finely minced
  • 1/2 c. panko
  •  3 T. melted butter
  • 2 T. + 2 T. Parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste

The first step is go roast the squash.  To do this, you cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds (just like seeding a pumpkin!).  Place the squash skin-side down on a baking sheet, then sprinkle the squash’s flesh with salt and pepper.  Add about 1/4 inch of water to the pan.  Cover it tightly with tin foil and bake it for 50 minutes at 450*F. butternut-squash

Meanwhile, bring your stock of choice to a boil and then add the quinoa.  Cover, then reduce heat to a simmer and allow quinoa to cook about 15 minutes.  Then, remove it from the heat until the remaining liquid is absorbed. Also,  heat 1 t. of olive oil in a small pan and saute the shallot until browned.  Set aside.  Finally, toast the pecan pieces in a dry pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Mine didn’t take quite that long – when they are nice and fragrant, they are ready!  Set those aside as well. toasted-pecans

Once the squash is finished (Stab it with a fork.  If it’s tender, it’s done.  If not, put it back in until it’s done.), spoon out the butternut squash and reduce the oven to 400*F.  It will be a pureed texture.  Mix it with the quinoa, pecans, shallots, 2 T. of Parmesan cheese, some salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl.


mixture before squash!

Spoon the mixture back into the squash skin – which is now just a boat for your delicious filling!

Combine the panko, 2 T. Parmesan, and melted butter, then sprinkle on top of the quinoa mixture.  Put the squash back into the oven at 400*F for about 30 minutes or until the bread crumbs are nicely browned.  Simple as that!

Cheddar Quinoa Cakes

2 Sep

Last night, I ventured into the dark space that has become my kitchen.  With our schedule being so hectic lately, it hasn’t seen much use.  But last night, the reclamation began.

I started by dusting off this bag of quinoa in my pantry:


And ended with these amazing little cakes:


Cheddar Quinoa Cakes with Pesto (Pin-spired by SpoonForkBacon)

  • 2 c. cooked quinoa
  • 2/3 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 T. corn flour
  • 1 T. pesto
  • 1/2 T. EVOO
  • salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.  Heat up oil of your choice (I used canola oil because it’s what I had on hand) in a pan for about 5 minutes.  Then, form the mixture into patties and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes each side.  I flipped mine when they turned a nice golden brown color, but the timing will change depending on the oil you are using.  Since I had to cook these in 2 batches, I placed the finished ones on a cooking sheet lined with paper towels in a 200F oven.  They stayed warm and I was able to absorb the excess oil.  Super easy!

I garnished with a mix of pesto, olive oil, and a dab of mayo.

Broccoli & Potato Casserole

21 Feb

Disclaimer:  The following recipe is not one of those “I ate clean last night & felt so awesomely skinny this morning!” recipes.  This is one of those “My stomach and taste buds felt like angels were dancing the Nutcracker Suite all around and then lifted me up to heaven with their dainty little wings” recipes.  You decide what kind of dinner you’re having.


3-5 potatoes

3 cups broccoli, chopped

1 cup cheddar cheese

3/4 can condensed broccoli cheese soup

Salt & Pepper

This dinner was inspired by the fact that a week ago I purchased a large bag of broccoli at CostCo.  Since then, it has been sitting in my crisper drawer silently mocking me.  Since I’m not a huge fan of wasting food, I knew it was time to teach that broccoli a lesson.

First, I preheated the oven to 350°F.  Then, I brought a big pot of water to a boil and then cooked the broccoli just until it became fork tender (there’s nothing I hate more than overcooked vegetables).


While the water was coming to a boil, I skinned and diced some potatoes.  I happened to use these PA-grown potatoes by Blue Denim:


Ignore the exposed drywall in the background.  We are in the middle of the sanding & mudding process.

Then, I just added the potatoes to the same water the broccoli had been cooking in.  Again, I only let them get to the point of being fork tender and then I scooped them out of the water and into my 10-inch skillet.  I fried them lightly in just a little bit of olive oil, so that they would be a little bit brown and crispy:


Since I had to fight the urge to constantly fuss over the potatoes and just leave them the heck alone so that they could crisp, I fussed over the broccoli.

I added a handful of shredded cheddar cheese (save some for the topping), and about 3/4 of a can of broccoli cheese soup, salt, pepper, and granulated garlic powder:


Then, I mixed everything together and made the pieces of broccoli smaller because big chunks of broccoli annoy me.  When the potatoes were done, I added those in (and because they weren’t overcooked AND they had been crisped, they didn’t just turn into mush).  Then, I put everything into a greased casserole dish.


Since everything is all ready cooked, I basically only had this casserole in for 20 minutes while I cooked our steaks.  Long enough for everything to heat through, the inside cheese to melt, and the topping to crisp up.  Oh, yeah – the topping!  Before I put mine in, I added the rest of my cheese.  Since I was feeling extra naughty and happened to have less than 1/4 c. of Stovetop stuffing in my pantry, I added a little dusting of stuffing.  I was so friggin’ excited to eat this, I forgot to snap a picture before we dug in!  What’s pictured here is actually what we had left over, since I made this as a side dish.  The next day, I added some grilled chicken to it and we ate it for lunch & dinner.


Cue the dancing angels.

Laundromat Lunch

18 Dec

This week, my business achieved a huge milestone!  (Damn you, Facebook, for making that sound so cheesy.)  We moved into our new location.  It took many many weeks of constant toil, but we did it.  We now have room to run our business and plenty of room to grow.  I feel like the luckiest girl in the world right now!

Saturday marked our official grand opening, which we celebrated with a party at the new facility.


That means Monday was our first official day of “normal” work.  It was both exhilarating and anticlimactic.  It’s so hectic right now between the puppies and launching this expansion that I have barely cooked a substantial meal in weeks.  Call me crazy, but the thing I’m most excited about right now is having a schedule.  Knowing when and where I need to be helps me get back into the habit of cooking all three meals instead of depending on “grabbing a quick bite.”

Today, for lunch I made broccoli bites from Stacy’s Snacks


What You Will Need:

16 oz. broccoli florets (fresh or frozen will work), with the liquid squeezed out
1 c. bread crumbs (I use Panko)
3 eggs
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese








Lucky for me, I live just around the block from where I work.  Since we are currently whelping puppies, we have to check in every hour.  Unless it is unbearably cold or wet outside, I try to walk home on these breaks.

I’m learning to love my little walk, even when it looks like this outside:


So, this is the first of what I’m sure will be a long series of laundromat lunches.


I had plenty left over and we reheated them for dinner.

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