“There’s nothing wrong with procrastination. Or is there? I’ll leave it to you to decide, but only if you have time.”
Meatless and Yet OH-SO Substantial
I’m pretty good at some stuff, mediocre at probably more stuff, truly fantastically awful at a handful of things and quite excellent at maybe a thimbleful of things. And if I’m being honest some of things I excel at are kinda useless. Take for example whistling. I can whistle any single tune I’ve ever heard, and probably has ever been recorded, or maybe even conceived of. Honestly, ask anyone who knows me. It’s a super annoying and utterly useless talent at which I excel, and yes I whistle ALMOST CONSTANTLY!
Another thing at which I excel is procrastination. Oh yes, I’m Olympic level. And like most high functioning procrastinators, I make excuses. Oh yeah! There’s ALWAYS a good reason I’m putting off this task or that… honestly even the ones I rather enjoy I’m quite content to simply shift to slightly further down on my to-do list.
Now, by contrast, I’ve recently completed a project here on Be Still & Eat. It was technical and boring and tedious and SUPER DUPER time-consuming. It’s all part of a larger project to which I’ve referred a few times, which must remain sort of under wraps for the time being until… yup, UNTIL I FINISH a bunch of other projects. I’ve got a list, and yes I’ve checked it twice. In fact, the whole checking-of-the-list thing is one of the ways I procrastinate on actually getting the work done. This is a complex and layered problem people. DEEPLY!
This all sounds quite random I recognize but it IS for a purpose.
1, it is to inform you that “The Project” is progressing and I sincerely hope to be able to share it with you all sooner rather than later, like maybe sometime early in the new year, and,
2, to tell you that this very recipe was an act of defiant procrastination.
I had some rather crucial deadlines looming and how did I handle it? Why I wandered over to the nearest green grocer and picked out a few squash and started concocting this lovely little fall time treat. Literally nothing about this recipe, the conception of it, the creation of it, and the shooting of it had a SINGLE THING TO DO WITH the actual important work I should have been working on. Nope, not a thing. I may or may not have even had a change of heart on the type of squash to use and went BACK to the green grocer to get different squash.
The cool thing about this deliciously healthy vegetarian recipe is that it doesn’t actually have to be strictly veg if you don’t want it to! You could add pancetta or even just every day old bacon in the beginning when you’re sweating your onions. For that matter, you could even add some ground beef if you wanted to. I chose to make it meat-free and honestly it is super delicious and really rather filling as is! Try it and see for yourself.
Menu Suggestion: Although this is EASILY a stand-alone dish, if you’re choosing it as a side dish I think it would be perfect with a roast bird of some sort, whether it’s your Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey or maybe some delectable Roast Syrian Chicken.
Wine Pairing: Wine expert extraordinaire Greg is galivanting around Europe for the next little bit. I hope we’ll be treated to another re-creation of his culinary adventures when he returns. In the meantime I asked my particularly useful husband John for his wine pairing suggestion this week and I think you’ll quite enjoy his direction!
We were lucky enough to enjoy a private tour of Chateau des Charmes in Niagara-on-the-Lake this past weekend and we were super impressed with the selection we sampled (might have come home with some too!) I’ll share more on that soon.
“I think the Pinot Noir or Gamay Noir from Chateau des Charmes would work very well with this. If you’re looking for a white I’d stick with something like their Chardonnay.”
Completely agree and always like to support local talent.
Enjoy & Namaste!
- 3 whole acorn squash (also called pepper squash) although any squash will work but may require you alter the time spent in cooking
- 1 cup uncooked rice (I pretty much always use brown as I find it infinitely more flavourful)
- 2 cups broth (veg or chicken)
- 1 bunch spinach, washed, dried and
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 15-20 medium mushrooms, brushed clean of obvious dirt and rough chopped
- 1½ cups lentils (I prefer tinned for their convenience)
- 2-3 TBSP red wine vinegar
- fresh thyme
- S&P to taste
- *Lebneh (yogurt cheese), fresh thyme and or pumpkin seeds to garnish
- Preheat oven to 375°
- Halve and hollow squash, place cut side down on baking sheet and bake until fork tender, about 45 mins
- Combine rice and broth in saucepan with
tight fittinglid until all the liquid is absorbed. DO NOT STIR during cooking time. Trust me on this one! Once cooked toss gently with spinach and cover which will cause the spinach to wilt. Set aside
- Sweat onions in a little olive oil until they start to become translucent, add mushrooms and cook out until they've released their liquid.
- Add onions, mushrooms & lentils to rice & spinach. Add a splash of red wine vinegar to
brightthe flavoursand finallyseason with fresh thyme and S&P to taste.
- Mound stuffing into squash halves and garnish with
lebneh, fresh thyme and pumpkin seeds.
lebnehcan be found in many larger grocery stores, it is VERY easy to make. Line a sieve with a clean tea towel (or even paper towel in a pinch!) Dump in a container of plain yogurt.Allow to drainfor 12 or more hours. That's it!