Food

Butternut Squash with Cinnamon, Coconut and Honey

Recipe Box

Another recipe in my series of vegetarian recipes to take along in the RV

I came across a blog that promoted the use of honey and cinnamon as an aid to good health.  No more had I saved that article for future reference than I came upon this recipe.

I usually prefer acorn squash to butternut, but in this instance the acorn doesn’t hold up as well.  So, I guess I’m stuck with the original recipe.

Give it a try…. It’s Scrummy!

All you need:

  • 1 Large butternut squash
  • Cinnamon (sprinkled)
  • Nutmeg (sprinkled)
  • Spinach
  • Raw Organic Unsweetened Coconut
  • 1 Gala Apple
  • Raw Organic Honey to taste
  • 1 Tsp Chia Seeds (actually — I prefer sesame seeds)

Directions

Dice up butternut squash.
Preheat oven to 365 degrees.
Spread butternut squash out on baking sheet.
Sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon
Bake for 20 minutes.
Take butternut squash out and flip.
Sprinkle more cinnamon and nutmeg on top.
Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.
Let  butternut squash chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
Slice a small gala apple into thin slices.
Dip apple slices into honey
Coat the honey edges in raw unsweetened organic coconut.
Fill a bowl with spinach.
Top with one cup of butternut squash
Add apples and a sprinkle of Chia seeds
Drizzle one tbsp of honey over the top of the salad. If you don’t like honey, a raspberry vinaigrette or honey mustard would be a great salad dressing choice!

Butternut Squash with Coconut, Cinnamon and Honey

Butternut Squash with Coconut, Cinnamon and Honey

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Food

Beets, Orange, Pomegranite and Quinoa Salad

Recipe BoxNow that I have more time to cook I find myself craving flavors I grew up with – but healthier.  One of those favorite flavors is beet!  I’ve never quite understood why beets are as expensive as they are (considering the cost of vegetables in general) but that doesn’t matter when I bite into something delicious like this:

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 medium beets (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups red quinoa (the red variety is for color, but if you cannot find red, white is OK)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 medium oranges
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1 whole pomegranate, seeded

PREPARATION

  1. Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F.
  2. Trim the root end of the beets and remove any greens (reserving for another use); rinse and pat dry. Wrap individually in foil. Roast until tender, 1 to 1 1/4 hours, depending on size. (Alternatively, place beets in a microwave-safe dish, add 1/4 cup water, cover loosely and microwave on High until the beets are tender, about 10 minutes, depending on size.)
  3. Meanwhile, bring broth, water, quinoa and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Transfer the quinoa to a large serving bowl.
  4. Zest and juice 1 orange. Place the juice in a medium bowl. Working over another bowl, cut the remaining 2 oranges into segments (see Tips) and set aside. Measure the juice from the first orange—if it isn’t quite 1/3 cup, squeeze the juice from the membranes until you get 1/3 cup. Add the zest, vinegar (or lemon juice), salt and pepper to the juice; gradually whisk in oil in a thin stream until well combined. Stir in 1/4 cup parsley.
  5. When cool enough to handle, peel and dice the roasted beets. Add to the quinoa along with dates and gently combine. Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss to coat. Serve garnished with the reserved orange segments, pomegranate seeds and the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley.
beet quinoa salad

Beet & Quinoa Salad

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Food

Avocado and Olive Salad

Recipe BoxAnother lovely vegan recipe from a guy who loves salads.

I love avocados.  I love olives (the black ones anyway).  This is supposed to be a recipe for 4, but as an entree it’s doable for two.  Looking for new recipes for the two of us has me wondering about such things as herbs.  It so happens that the two of us aren’t all that keen on cilantro.  We will likely use parsley in place of the cilantro.

But the question comes to mind: is it possible for an RV’er in an RV that is only 32′ long to have some kind of herb garden?  It doesn’t pay to experiment while we are still in the school.  But I think that once we get mobile we’ll try a couple trial gardens — perhaps in coffee cans?  or some form of non-breakable pot.  It’s something to think about.  I doubt we’ll be able to grow enough to make a difference in our food budget but perhaps we can find a few items that we can grown enough of to make our diet uniquely “Peter & Peggy.”   I’ll keep you posted.

Ingredients

  • 1 Avocado, chopped
  • 5 cup Spring Mix Salad Greens
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Dried Rosemary
  • 1 tsp Dried Sage
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro
  • 1/2 Lemon, juice
  • 20 Kalamata Olives
  • 1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Process

  1. In a large salad bowl, place the mixed greens.
  2. Top greens with olives, avocado and cilantro.
  3. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil.
  4. Sprinkle with rosemary, sage, and salt.
  5. Toss to combine all ingredients, and serve.

    Avocado and Olive Salad

    Avocado and Olive Salad

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Old Diary

Scott Conant Can Eat My Shrimp and Blue Cheese!

Friday was supposed to be an intentionally easy day. We were hoping for smoother seas than on Thursday seeing as we planned a ferry ride to Dauphin Island. However, the sun arose and as we headed to the ferry terminal we passed a sign that said the ferry wasn’t operating.  We called to verify — making the drive adds 100 miles — but the sign was right — the ferry was out of service.

Bummer….

So, we drove around, using the added mileage as a good excuse to stop at Waffle House for breakfast.  Ya know — they aren’t fancy — for those who live in Milwaukee they’re a lot like a breakfast version of George Webbs. But they sell basic american breakfast items at a very reasonable price, they always seem to want your business, and they do a good, maybe even a great job, at what they do.  We walked out the door with our tummies more than full for $15.00 including a generous tip.  By contrast we had thought to stop at IHOP, but we walked in the door there and the phone was ringing, and kept ringing while a manager came from someplace in back to answer the phone after a good 40 seconds of ringing, and not even a smile to acknowledge we were there. While he was on the phone a very un-ambitious wait person came to the counter, stared at her seating chart, ignored us, and turned around an left.  We were silly enough to wait to be seated — but when we were we looked at their new and improved menu (since our last visit to an IHOP with Debbie and Delbert) and decided we weren’t going to eat there.

20130118123558011We made the long drive around Mobile Bay without much to look at or any reason to stop.  Dauphin Island was a much better idea from the Ferry than driving  — but we wanted to see it, and the Audubon Bird center so we kept after it and it was a nice enough visit. I’m not sure what makes Dauphin Island the Birdiest community, but hey — that’s advertising!

Audubon Bird Center

The center was underwhelming.  After the Audubon center in Naples with a huge visitors center, this was pretty plain.  No visitors center, a few interpretive display boards at the start of the boardwalk, several paths to take — but few bird songs to be heard and virtually no birds to be seen this brisk January morning.

The boat here is the one that WASN’T running today.  And I love the sign.  More of these should be used.  LOOK before crossing the intersection!

I guess I don’t get beach resorts

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Peg and I have never been ones to just lay around on the beach. We have done vacations where we went to resorts, but not very many of them, and we generally kept plenty busy in the area doing other things than beach bumming it.

I have no idea what I’d do here for longer than a few hours of days.  We don’t boat.  I could see that would be an attraction but it’s not something we do. We don’t fish — again I could see that as an attraction, but it’s not us.  I was curious to observe the beach houses here.  I didn’t see any solar installations, nor did I see anyone saving rainwater for home use.  In an area surrounded by saltwater I’m surprised that there isn’t awareness of the things that could be done to make themselves a little more secure and less dependent on the mainland. That’s just me though…. I admit to having control issues. 🙂

We stopped at the Mississippi Welcome Center on the way over to the Mississippi Sandhill Crane Wildlife Refuge.  At the Welcome Center they have some really beautiful wood carvings — in part celebrating the Mississippi Sandhill Cranes, but also other of the migratory species that pass through the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  

Mellow Mushroom Rules

Do you watch Chopped on the Food Channel?  If so, you know who Scott Conant is.  He’s the program judge and an chef specializing in italian food who makes a fuss anytime a chef mixes seafood with cheese.  At our house it’s almost a joke that comes up anytime we see/hear about a meal or recipe that contains both. Well, tonight we ate at the Mellow Mushroom.  Based on their name, I wasn’t sure what we were getting into, but they are a multi-state chain (yeah — I know, Me, eating at a chain restaurant).

Let me be clear:

  • they have great crust: yeasty, not too thick, crispy without being a cracker.
  • this is not about Chicago Style
  • this is not about New York Style
  • good pizza, fresh ingredients, variety, and decent accompaniments.

On the menu from my iPhone I saw a Blue Bayou Pizza.  Blue cheese, shrimp, andouille sausage, mozzarella, olive oil, garlic.  Simple. Elegant.  Absolutely smashing. I’d eat this any day, and almost everyday.  It’s that good.  So, when we arrived it had to be Blue Bayou Pizza and something else.  We added an Educated Spinach salad to our repertoire of good food for the evening (spinach, dried cherries, feta cheese, candied pecans, diced apples with a balsamic vinaigrette.  Also smashing.    I really like this ‘Za!

Time to walk off the Calories

After dinner we knew we’d eaten our full, so a nice little walk was in order.  And when you’re only blocks from the Gulf of Mexico why not walk along the coast?

 

And finally, I love Live Oaks — they are just so unique and when allowed to grow, so massive.  Here are two beauts!

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And that looks like the end of what I have for tonight.

We’ll make a trip to the Sandhill Crane refuge — but I don’t know how long we’ll stay.  they have a tram tour on Saturday, but it’s full.  We might be able to get on if there’s a cancellation (or not).  There are other choices for the day — or we might just cool our jets for the day and snoop around the local area.

Talk to you tomorrow.

rallytylt_sqrd_iphone_5_case_1Completely unrelated to the trip, I’ve been having good luck miscellaneos finding things I’ve been looking for.

When I got my iPhone I bought a protective cover from the Verizon people who sold me the phone.  It never fit quite right but I’ve been living with it. The problem is that the slot for the charger was so small that I had to take the bottom of the protective case off in order to charge the phone.  But I finally found one that fit precisely.  And I’m happy over simple things; it’s so nice to charge the phone without fighting with the plastic case.  I also replaced the belt holster because the old was was torn at the belt hook.  Don’t wanna lose my phone.  Just 2 days ago we returned a phone to another hotel guest who had misplaced theirs!!!!!!

teva-sandals-shoesAlso, I’ve been looking for replacement pair of sandals.  The ones I have now have lived a good life and are smooshed out.  We stopped at a mall today in Destin where I found Teva’s at a good price.  I’ve had Teva sandals before and when I bought my last pair I couldn’t find Teva’s in any of the stores I looked at.  So, the new ones I found today were like my feet coming back home.  Happy feet, happy feet.

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