As the skies turned gray in Columbus, my interest in cooking for this diet began to wane. What began with gusto has a middle filled with dreams about cheese. And bread. And bread covered with cheese. And a cup of coffee, I would totally settle for decaf. And a glass of wine. Oh wine. How am I to celebrate the end of a quarter without you?
But alas, we found out today that we are going to stick with this diet for another month. You read that right. MONTH. After 6 weeks, we will reevaluate the progress and decide our next steps.
The good news is that I will have a week to look harder for more recipes and can work to integrate more variety into our diets. The other good news is that we can have yeast. Tomorrow I plan to attempt a gluten-free bread. Keep watching, I will update!
Breakfast was muffins from Day 11 and bananas. Lunch was leftovers for both of us. Dinner was more interesting. Tonight I made stuffed acorn squash. This is simple and is a recipe that is better made in advance. That’s a helpful way to have dinner on the table during finals week. Here’s what I did:
Almond and Apricot Stuffed Squash
First, I halved two acorn squashes and removed the seeds. You can easily roast the seeds if desired while roasting the squash. I roasted face-down on a cookie sheet with a little olive oil at 400 for 15-20 minutes (or, in my case you can pop them in the oven and take the dogs for a mile walk and check them when you get home). Also, chop the top off a head of garlic so the cloves are exposed. Place clove-side down on the cookie sheet and roast with the squash until golden. When I returned from the walk, I removed the squash and garlic and set aside to cool. In a pan, I sauteed one onion in olive oil until translucent. Next, I added a dusting of dried sage (1/2t or so), allspice (1/2t or so), and a dash of cinnamon and cumin. When the herbs were fragrant, I added a handful of dried apricots that I had chopped into 1/2″ or less pieces, a generous splash of lemon juice (white wine would always be my first choice here), and all the roasted garlic. I cooked until the lemon juice was absorbed. I added a handful of chopped almonds, salt and pepper, and a pot of cooked brown rice. When the rice is warmed through remove from heat and stuff into the prepared squash halves. Refrigerate for up to one day or until you are ready for dinner.
This meal is filling and warming and always reminds me of an autumn day. I often throw other veggies in with the rice mixture; mushrooms, greens, and leftover bits of squash from other meals are good choices. I often use other dried fruits, golden raisins are especially pretty. A variety of nuts may also be desirable. I have served these to dinner guests and have always received positive feedback. A crisp salad on the side finishes this as a meal that will warm your tummy. I usually have extra rice which makes a good lunch the next day. And hopefully this will help if you are feeling a little sick of eating rice.