Have you ever seen turban squash at your local farmer’s market or grocery store? I was pretty intrigued when I came across some earlier this fall, and decided in the spirit of the 57 Things Series, I’d bring home the unfamiliar and find a way to prepare it for dinner (#40 on the list!).
These guys are pretty tough to crack open–I actually had to enlist Chad to help me, and even he had to cut it from the side instead of cutting off the “top of the hat” as most recipes suggest. He said the trick is to start at the bottom with your knife and to wedge it back and forth a bit. When raw, the squash smelled a lot like pumpkin. Its seeds looked a bit like pumpkin seeds too, but rounder.
After scooping out the seeds and pulp, I baked the squash. In the meantime I sauteed some veggies to mix with couscous and seasoning. From there I added the tender turban squash and mixed well before baking it altogether inside the shell of the squash. The verdict? Delicious!! It was a little labor intensive, but I definitely want to make it again soon. See the recipe below, adapted from this recipe, and try it for yourself!
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Have you tried any new foods lately?
When I told you about the picnic loaf I made, I promised I’d tell you what I did with all the bread I pulled out from the center of the loaf. I know you’ve been waiting (okay, you probably totally forgot I even mentioned it), but this idea will have been worth the wait! At first, I considered making these meatballs, but then came along a chance to make this awesome, easy chickpea dish. This 5-Minute Chickpea Dinner is part of Bon Appetit’s Cooking without Recipes series, and I absolutely love it! I didn’t have peas on hand, so I just used red pepper lightly cooked in the same pan I was toasting my bread in. Sooooo good you guys.
I was super happy to use every part of the bread I made, and–keeping with the spirit of Mottainai Grandma— I proceeded to use each and every part of the watermelon we had on our picnic, too. The white rind was used for Watermelon Rind Pickles, any pink or red shavings were used to make watermelon flavored water, the green rind was put in our compost, and we ate the inside just as it was.
Using up the bread and the watermelon are two good examples of fulfilling number 48 on the 57 Things List: Never throw away edible food (my original post on the 57 Things Series is here!).
What are some of your favorite ways to use every last bit of something edible?
The first weekend I was home from the hospital after having Lillian, Chad brought home Indian take-out from a great restaurant nearby our apartment. I am not exaggerating when I say that it. was. AMAZING. Everything from the mildly spicy tandoori chicken to the carrot dressing on the salad. But most of all, the butter chicken curry! To say the least, a lunch set from that restaurant will definitely be something to pine for upon our return to Michigan. On the bright side, the unavailability of the meal in the near future inspired me to take a shot at number 5 on the 57 things list: Order take-out when necessary—then try to make your order from scratch, at home, the next week. I actually tried a couple recipes for butter chicken, but couldn’t quite get the full body the take-out curry had. After pulling from a few different recipes and adding some of my own ideas, however, I came up with a pretty darned good butter chicken that will do the trick. I think next time I might try adding sautéed shredded carrots to bring a little more thickness to the curry–what do you think?
Crockpot Butter Chicken Curry
1/2 c. coconut milk (or 1/2 of a standard-sized can)
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 can tomato sauce
1 1/2 Tbs tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp garam marsala
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp cumin
1 Tbs fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb boneless chicken thighs
1 Tbs honey
3 Tbs butter
1 red or yellow onion
1/2 tsp garam marsala
1/2 c. coconut milk (or remaining 1/2 of standard-sized can)
Add all marinade ingredients to a blender and purée until desired smoothness. Pour over chicken in a separate bowl and let sit for at least 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, sauté your onion in 1 Tbs of butter until transparent. Add the chicken and the marinade and cook until the chicken no longer looks pink on the edges. Add the remaining ingredients and pour into a crockpot to cook on high for 1 1/2 hours, or on low for 3 hours. Serve with rice and/or nan.
This post is part of the 57 Things Series. You can read the original post here.
Did you happen to come across this fun article back in January? It’s a list of 57 doable, mostly food-related goals. Before even coming across it, we had been doing many of the things listed, but I thought it would be fun to occasionally post about some of the items on the 57 things list as a series. For example, number 38: “Save your oldest, softest shirts for sleeping—not oil splatters. Invest in an apron.”
Now, I already have an apron–two, in fact. The first one I received as a going away gift when we moved back to Michigan from Japan a few years ago. It’s this Cath Kidston one below (I absolutely love it!).
My second apron is the black apron I earned for becoming a coffee master at Starbucks. I love any occasion to use either in the kitchen, but I especially can’t wait to use them once we’re back in the states and have an oven again!
Do you have an apron for your kitchen adventures? The Cath Kidston print on my apron is no longer available, but check out these prints!
PS when studying for my coffee masters I was inspired in the kitchen and in the craft room–check out these Chocolate Temptations or this Vintage Coffee Clock DIY to get started on just some of the coffee fun 🙂