Thursday, 24 November 2011

rice stuffed squash and crispy cavolo nero

happy thanksgiving everyone! i know i'm not actually American, but i appreciate any opportunity for giving thanks and spending time with family... and to eat pumpkin pie too, of course.

today i want to share a simple recipe for a very delicious dish, that's made with scrummy allotment vegetables and pantry staples...

stuffed squash with brown rice, mushroom, red onion and crispy kale

the crispy cavolo nero kale with it is one of my favorite things to pick up from the market - nutritious, but mostly just really delicious!

 mushroom and brown rice stuffed squash with crispy kale

1 small round squash
1 red onion
a couple of handfuls of mushrooms
1 cup cooked brown rice
a little vegetable bouillon
cracked black pepper
fresh parsley
1 ball of mozzarella
4-5 large cavolo nero kale leaves
1 Tbsp butter or coconut oil

1. cut your squash in half, take out the seeds and place face down in a baking tray filled with a little water. bake in the oven until tender - or for about 35-45 minutes.
2. fry your red onion and mushrooms in a frying pan until soft.
3. add the cooked brown rice into the pan, and add in a little water and a sprinkle of vegetable bouillon, black pepper and fresh parsley. simmer until the water has been absorbed.
4. place the mixture in the cooked squash halves.
5. slice up you mozzarella ball, and place on top. place in a hot oven, and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
6. tear the cavolo nero into the frying pan with the butter or coconut oil. fry until the oil has disappeared, and it becomes crispy - whilst the squash is cooking.
7. enjoy! serve with a little dill yogurt dip or homemade ketchup.

cook's notes: this recipe would taste good with most any grain, vegetable combination - the balance is important so that the textures are right. try quinoa and broccoli, buckwheat and red pepper, or chickpea, cauliflower and aubergine.

and now for the latest from the big budget challenge...

well, this week we've not done too badly...
  • there's currently £7.74 in the account. hmmm. this is a reflection on the reduced budget, and the fact that whenever i go shopping with my mum, i somehow seem to buy loads more for no apparent reason. does anyone else find this?
  • we spent £8.46 in Waitrose, and £27.84 in Lidl. we purchased a few staples, but lots of fresh produce too - perhaps more than was required however. i added up all the 'extra' things that mum put in the basket, and they totalled £4.16. BUT, then i added up all the extra things i added in the basket so i didn't appear stingy, and that totalled £4.82!!

  • i got some frozen beans and peas for the freezer, because it's a good quick dinner for someone else to make, and we all adore them.
  • we haven't eaten any dahl for over a week, or any socca either. there's something a bit weird about having too many veggies in the fridge - i feel i need to eat them all as quick as possible, so they don't 'lose nutrients' or something, and then when there aren't any left i feel like i'm depriving myself.
  • my brother jonny and i have been mushroom foraging - more pictures and info on that to come soon (there's a sneak preview on my facebook!)... but suffice to say we are both still alive, and neither of us have suffered with 'gastric upset' due to poisonous fungi.
  • last Saturday i picked up some money that i had earnt from a secondhand clothes store - £22.50 in total for one coat that i never wore. i have spent some of it already, but there's still a little bit of spending money left for the next week! handy for Christmas present buying :)
  • i have a new job working for my church office - i am so enjoying it, and it's helping me earn a little extra cash as well as spend time with awesome people helping to organise events, and learn a few new skills.
  • i'm loving eating up the chili chutney that i made for the bonfire banquet - it goes very nicely with loads of things. and also we've been eating carrots, potatoes, squash and red onion from the allotment, even though we haven't gone up there in a while because it's so cold.

currently reading: the tuscan year by elizabeth romer - i'm only on the first few pages, but i'm so excited to learn more about real tuscan living.


  1. I love the sound of that crispy kale, must give that a try! Glad the budgeting is still going well, I know what you mean about having a fridge full of produce, I always worry that I'm going to end up wasting food if it goes off so I probably eat it quicker than I need too!

  2. The squash looks beautiful :)
    Sounds like you and your brother are far more clued up than my mum when it comes to mushroom foraging. A few years back, she made me a wild mushroom sandwich to eat on the train back to Uni. I spent the whole journey in the train toilet throwing up. I seriously thought I was going to die! My mum's got such a wicked sense of humour that she couldn't stop laughing when I told her! I would love to go mushroom foraging myself but I'd have to take an expert with me, definitely not my mum!

  3. I bought a random tiny squash this week so might have to have a go at this, it looks great! Mine was one of those weird "creep into my basket" things too....
    Brilliant result on the jacket and the mushrooms; there are so many shrooms around at the moment, I've got to remember to borrow my dad's book and get on collecting them!

  4. You're amazing. Your budget challenge is impressive.


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