Celebrate Cooking

Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal!  My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal is 24.9.

Natural Weight Loss

yellow squash

Celebrate Cooking

Having enough food to cook is worthy of celebration.

Throughout human story, one of our biggest challenges was simply having enough nutritious food in order to survive.

In today’s society of surplus calories, oversize Styrofoam takeout trays, and mega-bags of snack foods, we’ve lost sight of being thankful for an ample food supply.

In the past, children learned to cook from their parents or at school.

Now, with cooking no longer being taught in school, and few parents making the time to teach (or even cook themselves), we’re in our second generation of non-cooks.

Seven percent of Americans don’t cook at all, and 1 in 5 says they don’t enjoy it.

Recipe of the Day:  Yellow Squash Stuffed with Saffron Rye Berries

Active Preparation Time:  20 minutes

Total Preparation Time:  1 hour 15 minutes

Inventive ways to cook with plants make spending time in the kitchen fresh and fun.

An excellent technique is stuffing vegetables.

Veggies with tender, edible skins, like squash and bell peppers, are just begging to be stuffed with flavorful ingredients!

The extra thought and presentation of this dish makes it a feast for the eyes, as well as the body and soul.

Savory rye berries with a subtle scent of saffron form the crunchy, nutritious filling in these sunny squash halves.

This stuffed squash is elegant enough to serve at a special dinner yet simple enough to put on the menu any night of the week.

Pair it with a bean dish, like lentils with wild mushrooms and broccoli rabe.

Makes 4 servings (1/2 squash each)

1/4 cup uncooked rye berries

2 cups water

1 teaspoon reduced sodium vegetable broth base

10 saffron threads, crushed

2 medium (about 7″ long) yellow summer squash (see Notes)

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 small yellow onion, finely diced

1/2 medium green bell pepper, finely diced

1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms

1 medium garlic clove, minced

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, plus more for garnish, optional

1/4 cup finely chopped hazelnuts, plus more for garnish, optional

*Use as many organic ingredients as possible.

1.  Place the rye berries in a small pot with the water and broth base.  Cover with a lid and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the saffron, cover, and cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Replace water lost to evaporation as needed to prevent burning.  When finished, drain any leftover liquid and set the rye berries aside.

2.  Meanwhile, slice the squash horizontally in half and scoop out their interiors (see Notes), leaving about 1″ of flesh around the peel.  Place in a small baking dish, hollow side up.

3.  Preheat the oven to 350°F.

4.  Heat the olive oil in a small saute pan or skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the bell pepper, mushrooms, and garlic and saute for an additional 4 minutes.

5.  Add the black pepper, parsley, hazelnuts, and cooked rye berries to the vegetable mixture and mix well.

6.  Mound the rye berries-vegetable filling into the cavity of each summer squash (approximately 1/4 cup for each squash).  Add 1/2 inch of water to the bottom of the baking dish.

7.  Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

8.  Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until the filling is browned and the squash is tender.  If desired, garnish with additional parsley and chopped hazelnuts before serving.

Notes:  Try to select smooth, straight yellow squash for this recipe, so they’re easy to fill and lie flat in the baking dish.

Don’t discard the unused squash pulp; use it in another dish, like Shanghai stir-fry with forbidden rice.

Variations:  Substitute uncooked 1/4 cup quinoa (a gluten-free alternative) for the rye berries, and cook with 1 cup water for 20 minutes, according to directions in step 1.

Substitute medium zucchinis or large bell peppers for the yellow squash.

Per serving:  185 calories, 11 g total fat (1 g saturated), 303 mg sodium, 20 g total carbohydrates (6 g sugar), 6 g fiber, 7 g protein.

If you have any questions, send us an email!

Come join us on our natural weight loss journey!  We’d love to have you along!

Have an awesome day!

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Dick and Lenay

email: lenay@dickandlenay.com

from Plant-Powered For Life by Sharon Palmer, RDN

P.S. If your diet isn’t working for you, join us on our natural weight loss journey.

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