Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Something OTHER than Turkey

I had a great run this morning! It was 47' when I woke up at 5:30, a good 13 degrees warmer than when I ran Sunday. Crazy weather! Right from the start I felt good. My legs were loose, my foot didn't hurt, I was going at a pretty good pace. There was a little wind, but not much at all, and quite a few other runners along the promenade. I only did a little over 4 miles since that's all I had time for, but they were four good miles!

Okay, on to the real topic for today's post. Sunday afternoon I was perusing the internet trying to find a recipe for dinner. I had four requirements: it had to be something I haven't tried before, something that would use some ingredients that I had on hand for Thanksgiving (but didn't involve turkey), didn't require me to buy many ingredients and was comforting but not heavy. We also picked up three squash at the farmers market Saturday, so I was hoping to use at least one.

After a few stops, I found this recipe for a stew on Oh She Glows that sounded fairly easy to make and delicious. I changed a few things up just because it was what I had available, but it was a home run!

Squash and Chickpea Moroccan Stew
stew ingredients:
1/2 butternut squash, peeled and medium diced
2 medium red potatoes, medium diced
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 - 14oz can diced tomatoes (low sodium if you can find it)
1/2 yellow onion, diced small
3-4 cloves garlic, diced small
2 cups low sodium, vegetable broth
1tbs olive oil
1/2tsp cinnamon
fresh ground pepper

quinoa (I cooked 1 cup)

1. Add olive oil to 4 quart pot (I used a 3qt pot and it was just big enough), bring to a simmer. Add onion, garlic and cinnamon, stir occasionally until onion is tender.
2. Add squash, potatoes and pepper, stir to coat with onion/garlic/cinnamon mixture, cover and cook until slightly tender, about 15 minutes.
3. Add broth, tomatoes (with juices), and chickpeas, stir and bring to a boil then reduce heat. Cover and let simmer (stirring occasionally) until potatoes and squash is soft, another 10-15 minutes.
4. To serve, top cooked quinoa with stew and add a dollop of hummus.

There was quite a lot in one batch, enough for at least four people, and is great for a cold winter night! It did take me more time to prepare than I had anticipated, but it was worth the time. Also, I baked the other half of the butternut squash while I was cooking dinner, then scooped out the inside and we both took some of that to work to have with lunch. Double duty! We had leftovers last night and it was still delicious! Woody and I agreed that this should be made again.

After we finished eating dinner and cleaned up, it was time to start dessert. I've wanted to try my hand at making a fruit crisp and again, I had a few things on hand from Thanksgiving that I don't usually but needed for this recipe. The original recipe is for several servings so I did my best to scale it down just for the two of us.

Apple and Pear Harvest Crisp
1 pear and apple, sliced
1tbs  brown sugar
3/4tsp cinnamon
1/2tsp nutmeg
3/8c water (a little less is probably better)

for the crisp:
1/2c oats
1/4c whole wheat flour
3/8c brown sugar
1/2tsp cinnamon
1tsp ground flax seed
dash of salt
3.5tbs whipped butter, melted (I used 3tbs and I think a little more would have been better)

1. Preheat oven to 375'
2. Slice fruit and place in a greased dish
3. Sprinkle sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and water over fruit, stir in dish to coat slices
4. In another bowl, combine dry ingredients then add melted butter and mix until crumbly texture.
5. Spread topping evenly over fruit and baked, uncovered for 30-40 minutes until topping is brown.
6. Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes before serving.

optional ideas: Being the chocolate lover that I am, I added Ghirardelli 60% cocao baking chips on half the crisp just after taking it out of the oven so they melted before serving. Of course, fruit crisps are always good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, too!

Overall, this turned out pretty well. I do think I used too much water because it was pretty juicy in the bottom of the dish even after sitting for a few minutes. Also, the top wasn't as crumbly as we would have liked, and a little more whipped butter would have helped that. The chocolate was great but I think ice cream would have clinched it! Even with only one apple and one pear, the serving sizes were still a little big when it all came together. I'm definitely going to give this another try with the minor adjustments.

I have to say, I was pretty proud of my culinary exploits Sunday and I think Woody's stomach would agree!

Cinnamon, which studies have shown can have a regulatory effect on blood sugar, was a key seasoning in both of these recipes. I had never thought to put cinnamon with onion and garlic, but it is a delicious combination. Have you found any great spice/food combinations that sound like they wouldn't work too well together?
today's workout -
4 mile run


Karen said...

Yum! Both dishes sound great! Good job on the 4 mile run! :0) Glad your foot wasn't giving you any problems!

Copychic said...

Yum, I think I might have to make the Moroccan Stew this weekend....it looks delish!

Katie @ Health for the Whole Self said...

We must be on the same wavelength...I just made a very similar stew and will be posting the recipe later this week. :)

The Hungry Runner Girl said...

Yay for cinnamon!! Both of those recipes look absolutely amazing. You are a gourmet chef in my book. Thanks for the sweet comment earlier:)

Amanda said...

The stew looks good! I need to try some new recipes.

April said...

Oh man, these look great! I'm going to try the crisp recipe this week with cornmeal in place of the WWFlour. You are such a chef!