Sunday, January 24, 2010

What's for Dinner?: Stuffed Acorn Squash Boats

This recipe is from The Petite Appetite Cookbook. When the bug first started eating solids, I made all of her food. I can honestly say that she's never had baby food from a jar. Now that she's bigger and eats mainly what we eat, her diet is pretty good, but none of us eat as well as I'd like. We've talked a lot about going vegetarian around here, and I at least try to cook two or three meat-free dinners a week. I don't know if we'll ever totally make the switch (I don't know if I can!), but it is nice not dealing with raw meat, which is one of my least favorite things to do.

Also, as one of my 50 Projects
(really many, but I'm mostly counting it as one), I'd like to try at least one new recipe each week. I really do like to cook. I know my food will never look like the picture in the cookbook, but I'd like to have as big a recipe repertoire as possible. I'm also trying to expand our list of "What's for Dinner?" foods. I grew up with parents who enjoyed cooking, and we almost always ate at home. We had a pretty good international mix of meals, but at a certain point, my parents quit forcing me to eat things that I didn't like. Now I'm realizing that a lot of things that I didn't like as a kid are actually pretty good (squash, for example. Oh, and onions. I used to leave them out, but now I know that I do miss them from most recipes, at least when they're well cooked). So I'm really trying to step outside of my comfort zone with the recipes and ingredients I choose.

Here are my four acorn squash boats, already to be baked and then stuffed.

The rest of the veggies. The bug's not too sure about mushrooms yet, but she loves squash, so I was hoping she would approve of this. I also added garlic after I took the picture. It wasn't called for in the recipe, but I do love garlic and add it to just about everything (I just don't love the perma-garlic smell on the tips of my fingers these days).

I have to say, I really would like to improve my knife skills. I'm a very cautious chopper, which is good, because I still have all my fingers, but recipes with lots of chopped vegetables usually take me at least double the time they should, because I'm super slow.

Sautéing the veggies. Smells good!

Stuffed and sprinkled with mozzarella cheese (see? Tomato, zucchini, oregano, mushrooms and mozzarella, but no garlic?)

And four little stuffed squash boats. The recipe says it's four servings, but I only ate half of one and was quite full (I'm going to try freezing two. I think they'll be a good lazy night reheat meal).

The verdict: I will definitely be adding this recipe to the "What's for Dinner?" jar. The bug wasn't crazy about the veggie filling, but she ate the cheese and most of the squash, so I would stay it's still a success. And, as a definite plus, it's pretty much a meal within itself. Next time I'll try to figure out the best kind of bread to go with, but I don't think it's really even necessary.

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