Tag Archives: butternut squash

Grilled Rib Eye Steak, Butternut Squash Risotto and Grilled Veggies

Walmart Should Be Ashamed

I needed some paper products for the Lacrosse party tonight and decided to go to Walmart since I was in the area.  I walked into the store and not even 1 foot from the front door was a display for Dolly brand deserts for $2 a box.  They were these nasty powder and chocolate donuts and a disgusting pink sparkle, crème-filled twinkie thing.  I kid you not, the ingredient list was 20 lines long and I could barely read a word of it.  Why is this not against the law?  I bet some street drugs are healthier for you than these deserts.  I could not find one natural yogurt in an entire wall of yogurts.  There were plenty of low-fat, low-sugar, low-carb processed products – God knows what’s actually in them.  Can’t we just eat REAL FOOD?

I continued to walk around the store in amazement – not one person looked healthy, and I am not talking about weight.  I actually do not believe that weight alone is the sign of health.  I know lots of people that are overweight that eat healthy and look healthy.  But I also know several skinny girls that eat only “low-fat/low-carb”– now they are scary.  I want to yell out, “give that girl a cheeseburger please!”.  Don’t people realize (no matter what your size) that all this obsession with healthy eating is killing us?

Grilled Rib-Eye Steak

  • Brush a little EV olive oil, salt, pepper and Herbs de Provence on each side of the steak.
  • Grill on High for 3-5 mins. Flip and turn heat to Medium to cook through for another 5 minutes (to taste).

Butternut Squash Risotto  (This does take at least a half-hour so I like to make this one on Sunday)

  • Cut-up butternut squash into small cubes and lay on baking sheet.  Toss with salt/pepper and a little EV oil (with hands) and bake on 400 for approx. 20 minutes.  Set aside.
  • Heat up olive oil and cook 3-5 shallots until soft (not brown – about 5 mins.).
  • Add a splash of white wine and 1 cup of Arborio rice – stir for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add salt/pepper, a little rosemary and 1 cup of Vegetable broth to rice.
  • Add an additional 4 cups of broth (one cup at a time) and stir until the liquid is absorbed each time (5 cups total).
  • Secret ingredient:  add a tablespoon of cream cheese and of course the butternut squash and stir.
  • Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve.

Grilled Veggies  (Serve these by themselves or throw them on your salad)

  • Cut up a broccoli head and a red bell pepper.
  • Toss on some tin foil with EV olive oil, salt pepper and 3 cloves of garlic.
  • Seal tin foil and grill with steak (about 10 minutes).

Salad w/ Balsamic Vinaigrette:  LOVE my new Salad Spinner (thanks Aunt Nina)- it keeps the lettuce SO crisp!

  • Wash and thoroughly dry lettuce.
  • Salad Dressing:  Pour ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar, 1 Tsp of mustard, salt/pepper in a jar (w/lid).   Add about 3/4 cup of EV olive oil and shake hard.
  • You can put the veggies on the salad and toss it all together with the dressing if you like.

Desert:  Mia made this up.

  • Toss strawberries with a little Sugar in the Raw (even a dash of balsamic vinegar is great).
  • Scoop them into an ice-cream cup and top with whipped cream or fluff.

How Can the Kids Help?

  • Drizzle the oil and spices on both sides of the steak (you flip it over).
  • Sprinkle the salt/pepper on the butternut squash and toss with EVOO with your hands!
  • Measure the wine, rice and chicken broth and help stir the risotto
  • Measure salad dressing ingredients and use immersion blender to mix.  Teach safety about unplugging appliances immediately after use.

Did You Know?

  • Butternut squash is technically a fruit because it has seeds – it’s a member of the gourd family but is much healthier than zucchini.
  • Butternut squash is high in fiber, potassium, B6 and beta-carotene – all good for preventing heart disease, breast cancer, and it’s good for your immune system.  Plus just one cup provides you with ½ of your Vitamin C for the day!
  • The smaller the squash, the more flavorful it will be.

Chicken Roll-ups, Roasted Butternut Squash/Brussels Sprouts, Israeli Cous Cous

Perfect Food

When I lived in Germany 10 years ago, they didn’t have any shopping bags to carry your food out of the grocery store.  EVERYONE brought their own.  They also separated their recycles into at least 6 categories which had to be carried and dropped in the neighborhood bins (clear glass, green glass, brown glass, plastic, newspaper, and aluminum).  The Germans made fun of America’s apples, they told me that our apples were waxed and shined to look “pretty” and that it made our apples look fake (they thought we were fake too).  How preposterous, I thought!  So many years later, I often think about my German experience.  I wonder why Americans feel the need to cut ugly carrots down into 2 inch segments and repackage them into much prettier “baby carrots”.  I wonder why did our grandparents feel the need to cover their furniture in plastic (and never take it off)?  Why does everything have to look so perfect?  Everybody knows that even if it looks perfect on the outside, things are never what they seem.  So look out next time you bite into your juicy, waxed, perfect-looking apple – you just might find a worm.

Chicken Roll-ups:  This is one of our favorite chicken dinners.  You can make this is in any quantity and prepare ahead of time (just bake when ready).

  • Stir a little olive oil and salt into about 1 cup of Italian bread crumbs in a bowl (should   be   crumbly but not wet).
  • Cut (pounded) chicken cutlets in half on an angle.  Spread breadcrumb mixture on chicken, roll it up and fasten with a toothpick.  Space chicken out onto baking dish.
  • Mix broth and pour on top of  chicken:   1 cup of chicken broth, 1/2 cup of dry white wine, 1/4 cup of lemon juice.  Sauce should cover about 1/2 inch from bottom of dish.  This will thicken after cooking.
  • Bake at 475 for 15 minutes.  Baste chicken and sprinkle a little more breadcrumb mixture on top and bake for another 5 minutes.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussel Sprouts:

  • Wash Brussel Sprouts, cut off the end and cut them in half.  Cut butternut squash into cubes (you can also buy them cleaned/cut).
  • Toss veggies in a baking dish with EV olive oil, rosemary, salt/pepper.
  • Roast on 400 for approximately 45 mins.

Israeli Cous Cous

  • Cook 1/2 onion in a drop of olive oil until soft.
  • Add 1 cup of Israeli cous cous and mushrooms (any kind) and stir for a few minutes – add some parsley for color and salt/pepper.
  • Add 2 cups of water (and/or chicken broth) and cook for 10 minutes.

Beet Salad:

  • Boil some red beets and cut them into cubes.
  • Add grape tomatoes and mozzarella balls (both cut in half) to beets and toss with a drop of olive oil, salt/pepper and rice vinegar.

How Can the Kids Help?

  • Pour the EVOO into the breadcrumbs used in the chicken dish.
  • Find and push the toothpicks into the chicken.  Count the number of chicken pieces in the dish and the number of toothpicks you will need.
  • Help measure and pour the sauce over the chicken.
  • Sprinkle spices on veggies and help toss in the baking dish.
  • Try using a “chopper” to chop onions for the Cous Cous.
  • “Did You Eat Your 5 a Day?”http://foodservices.brevard.k12.fl.us/Wellness-Pdf/5AdayStudentActivities.pdf

Did You Know?

  • You can bake and mash butternut squash and add a little butter, brown sugar and/or maple syrup- YUM!
  • Butternut squash is one of the best-keeping vegetables – you can store it for 3 months in your kitchen!
  • The tradition of lighting candles inside a carved pumpkin at Halloween is originally from Ireland where lit vegetables were hung in the window to ward off Jack O’ Lantern, a wayward soul condemned by the devil to walk the earth for all eternity.