Tuesday, May 17, 2011


There are those in this world who deem the consumption of animal flesh as evil. Some follow a Yoga philosophy of "do no harm" and others are repulsed by the very thought. When I was seven years old, someone asked me what my favorite food was. Among the barrage of hamburgers and pizza, I alone responded with spinach soufflĂ©, artichokes, and asparagus. I enjoy many vegetables, and have found that among the crazy diets of the world, if you eat a majority (70%+) of vegetables (not just potatoes, corn and carrots, but green things) at each meal and compliment them with whole grains, fruit, lean meat, and dairy, you can {gasp} lose weight without turning your back on a necessary food group. 

One of my family lines comes from "the south" in the United States. If you visit a restaurant in the south, you will commonly see an item like this: Bread and 4 vegetables. I am always interested to see what the vegetable options are. The list varies, but often includes selections like collard greens, corn on the cob, fried okra, potato wedges, baked beans, onion rings, and green beans cooked with bacon. As a teenager I finally discovered that my mother added sugar to our vegetables. It was a southern thing, and perhaps this is why southern children eat their vegetables, even at fast food restaurants. 

While I continue to eat a wide variety of vegetables (minus the sugar), I can never divorce myself from a patiently nurtured lean beef brisket or a perfect piece of salmon. As much as I respect vegetarianism, I still love my meat. That being said, when I am dining with a vegan or vegetarian, I always ask if they are comfortable with me eating meat in front of them.

Now that my carnivorous nature is out in the open, I came up with a lovely creation today. On my counter sat a butternut squash, about the size of a large Russian doll. I make butternut squash in a variety of ways that will make C eat it like candy, with a light dusting of cinnamon and brown sugar, for example (bet you can't guess where I got that idea...). 

Tonight I pulled out my Valentines Day J.A. Henckel chopping knife. Oh, but if you are able, these are the most glorious blades. Everything I ever hated chopping or cutting is now a dream. SNAP! and I had two perfect halves of a butternut. I quickly scooped them out while a package of lean ground beef thawed in the microwave, and did you know that oats make the most perfect grain addition for a meat filling? Truly. Diced onion atop the oats, followed by two string cheese sticks quartered lengthwise and chopped finely, salt, pepper,  chopped garlic, ground beef, and my secret ingredient, a splash of aged balsamic and mix with your hands. It's the only way to properly distribute all of the ingredients in my book. 

I stuffed the base of the butternut halves with the meat mixture, wrapped in foil (to keep the meat moist) and baked at 450* until the squash was tender. Absolutely heavenly. I am always the faithful wife who waits until my husband arrives home and greets him with a nicely cooked meal (even if after a long day of work that consists of leftovers or open face sandwiches). C is always the husband who tells me not to wait, to eat if I am hungry, and today I did just that. I enjoyed every single bite! When C arrived home just in time to keep me from eating his half, he agreed that this was a winner.

On a more picturesque note, let me leave you with this: http://whose-its.blogspot.com/2010/04/intimate-details-of-my-love-affair.html

1 comment:

  1. Hubs and I recently made the switch to a Vegan(ish) diet. (Vegan plus seafood? It's hard to explain and people don't really get it sometimes but hey.) We made the decision for dietary reasons not for the love of animals, even though we do love animals.

    As for the squash. Holy gourd of goodness! Half a squash and fill with desired contents and you are guaranteed a delicious meal! My favorite combo is acorn squash, vegan cornbread, cranberries, leeks, celery, and maple syrup (the real kind not the hfcs kind). Yum Yum Yum! A year ago and I would be trying out your recipe too!


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