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Meal Plan 11.1.12 (and the aftermath) November 1, 2012

Filed under: Interests,Meal Planning,Saving Money,Sharing and Caring — clappingonthedownbeat @ 1:48 PM

My neighbor made these really delicious cookies that I couldn’t get enough of.  I made them for my book club group, we finished Gold.  

 Here’s the recipe:  http://www.marthastewart.com/333097/chewy-coconut-chocolate-pinwheels

Last night we went Trick-Or-Treating.  The hubby bought a grim reaper costume and sat by the door scaring kids as they reached into the candy bucket.  I took out the Crazy (not mad) scientist, a zombie and a fire fighter.

 

They came home with bags FULL of candy.  Our dentist is participating in Operation Gratitude.  He is paying $1/lb for candy up to 5 pounds.  We are headed there tonight!  If you don’t know what to do with all your loot, check to see if any dentists in your area participate in donating candy to the troops.

Now that Halloween is over, it’s a great time to raid the sales- grab a costume or decorations for next year.  I stopped today and picked up some things at 50% off.  Also all those Thanksgiving food staples will be going on sale the next few weeks.  Stock up on your can goods like cream ‘o whatever soups, canned broth, canned veggies, baking supplies, ect.  Sometimes they get as low as a $.20 a can.

I have been on a winter squash binge.  Here are some great squash recipes to try this week.

Thai Squash Curry
This spicy meal is wonderful with any sturdy, meaty squash, such as kabocha or delicata.

Makes six servings

  • 1 tbs. coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup red curry paste
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 11/2 cups)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium kabocha or other firm-fleshed squash, cubed (about 4 cups or 1 pound)
  • 2 cups green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 to 2 jalapeños, sliced
  • 1 1/4-ounce can coconut milk
  • 8 ounces water
  • 2 tsp. fish sauce
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 6 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1/4 cup Thai basil leaves for serving

Heat the coconut oil in a heavy Dutch oven and add curry paste. Stir to flavor the oil, then add the onions and peppers and cook for two to three minutes, stirring to coat with the curry paste. Add squash and jalapeños, and cook for about five minutes while stirring. Add the coconut milk, water, fish sauce and kaffir lime leaves, and cover and simmer until squash is just tender, about five to seven minutes. Serve over brown rice and top with fresh Thai basil.

 

Grilled Winter Squash Tacos
Using grilled winter squash instead of meat brings a tasty twist to this taco. Serve with a zesty quinoa salad.

Makes four servings

  • 1 butternut squash, about 11/2 pounds, peeled, seeded and cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 4 thick slices red onion
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 6 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup shredded napa cabbage
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup crumbled  feta cheese

Heat a grill pan or grill. Toss the sliced squash and onion with the olive oil and spices, and cook until just tender. Serve in tortillas and add fresh toppings.

 

Baked Squash and Apples With Ginger and Pecans
A simple and elegant side dish that brings out the best and brightest in both main ingredients.

Makes six servings

1/4 cup unsalted butter, plus butter to grease the baking dish

  • 1 1/4 pounds squash, such as butternut, or  acorn, peeled and seeded and sliced into ¼-inch wedges (about 4 cups)
  • 2 medium baking apples, such as Granny Smith, cored and sliced into ¼-inch wedges
  • 2 tbs. minced fresh gingerroot
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice (optional)
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 2-quart baking dish and layer the squash and apple slices overlapping each other. Melt the 1/4 cup butter, add the ginger, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. If you would like to add a little cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, add a  1/2 teaspoon to the butter mixture. Pour the butter mixture over the squash and apples. Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake for about 15 minutes, then uncover and continue to bake for another 25 minutes or until squash is tender. Top with pecans.

Spaghetti Squash “Carbonara”
A pasta-free version of the popular pasta Carbonara. Try topping it with a poached egg for added protein.

Makes four to six servings

  • 2 pounds spaghetti squash (about 1 medium spaghetti squash)
  • 4 slices thick-sliced bacon, minced
  • 2 tbs. minced shallot
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cut spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and place cut side down in a large pot of simmering 1-inch deep water. Cover and steam over low heat for seven to 10 minutes. Remove squash carefully from the pot and scoop out the cooked squash strands with a large spoon. Use a fork to separate the strands.

Keep the squash warm in a bowl in the oven while you cook the bacon, shallots and garlic. Heat a heavy skillet and add the bacon, stirring to cook evenly. When the bacon is almost crisp, add the shallots and cook one to two minutes, then add the garlic. Toss the bacon mixture with the warm spaghetti squash and add the chopped parsley and half of the grated Parmesan, tossing together to mix evenly. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve and top each portion with the remaining Parmesan cheese and more freshly ground black pepper.

 

Stuffed Acorn Squash
For a warm and hearty autumn meal, serve this savory main dish with braised greens.

Makes four servings

  • 2 acorn squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
  • 1 tbs. olive oil or butter
  • 8 ounces ground pork or turkey sausage
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries, chopped slightly
  • 1/2 tsp. dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking pan and place the squash cut side down on the baking sheet and bake until squash is just tender, about 10 minutes. Prepare the stuffing while the squash is roasting. Heat oil or butter in a heavy skillet and cook the sausage, stirring to keep it in smaller crumbles. When sausage is cooked, add the onion and celery and cook until tender. Add the sausage mixture to cooked wild rice and mix with the cranberries and herbs; add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Remove the squash from the oven, and with a spatula turn over so the cut side is up. Fill the opening with the stuffing, dividing evenly. Cover the stuffed squash with aluminum foil and return to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, until the stuffing is heated through. Remove the foil and bake for another five minutes.

 

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