When I woke up this evening, I didn’t feel like making dinner/breakfast. I went to sleep late after spending all morning seasoning and vacuum sealing meats to sous vide for the coming week so the last thing I wanted to do was to cook something else.
But, then again, I didn’t feel like eating leftovers because that’s all I eat in the middle of the night. Sigh. It’d be nice not to care about what I eat. So after all the bitching and complaining, I prepared some delicata squash stuffed with spiced grassfed ground beef and tomatoes and served them with some sauteed swiss chard:
And it only took around 30 minutes. Here’s how I tackled this meal:
Delicata Squash Stuffed with Spiced Meat and Tomatoes (serves 2) and a side of Sauteed Chard
- 1 large delicata squash (or two small ones)
- 1 large onion
- 1 lb ground meat (I used grassfed beef)
- 4 small Roma tomatoes
- 4-5 garlic cloves
- 2-3 tsps of The Food Lovers’ Primal Palate Homemade Taco Seasoning (this blog is awesome, btw!)
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 C shredded Cheddar cheese (I know it’s not Paleo but I like dairy)
- 1 bunch of chard, stems removed
First things first, I preheated the toaster oven to broil. Then, I washed the delicata squash (since I like eating the skin), trimmed off the ends, and cut it in half lengthwise. After scooping out the seeds and slime in the middle, I cut the squash in half crosswise (yielding 4 pieces). I drizzled the cut-side of the squash with extra virgin olive oil and seasoned to taste with salt and pepper. Then, I put the squash in one layer, cut-side down, in a Pyrex baking dish tightly covered in plastic wrap. I nuked the squash on high for ~5 minutes, re-arranged the squash (the middle ones don’t cook as quickly as the ones on the sides in my microwave), re-applied plastic wrap, and nuked for 4-5 more minutes until the squash was fully cooked.
While the squash was cooking in the microwave, I finely chopped the onion in my Cuisinart, squeezed 3 garlic cloves through my garlic press, and diced my tomatoes. I threw together the taco seasoning (switched out smoked paprika for regular, and coriander for cumin) and then fired up a large cast iron skillet on the stove at medium-high.
I glugged some olive oil in the pan and sauteed the onions until translucent. Then, I added the minced garlic and moved that around for about 30 seconds and then plopped in my ground beef. Once the beef was no longer pink, I added 2-3 tsp of the taco seasoning and chopped tomatoes. I seasoned the meat with salt and pepper to taste and let the meat simmer until the tomatoes broke down a little.
While the meat simmered, I washed some chard and squeezed a couple cloves of garlic through the garlic press. I took the squash out of the microwave but noticed that they had been flattened by the vacuum created in the tightly sealed dish. No biggie. I don’t friggin’ care how something looks as long it tastes good. Just be careful when you remove the plastic wrap because the steam can really scorch you. Yes, I know plastic wrap might be harmful when microwaved but sometimes I like to live dangerously. If you don’t want to microwave the squash — you can bake it in the oven for ~40 minutes.
I lined a small baking sheet with foil and put the cooked squash cut-side up on it. Then, I scooped some of the seasoned meat and piled it on the squash. You may have leftover meat which, to me, is always a bonus. I topped the stuffed squash with some pre-shredded cheddar cheese and popped the tray into my pre-heated toaster oven for ~5 minutes (until the cheese melts and browns). While I waited for the squash to broil, I sauteed the chard and garlic in some extra virgin olive oil and seasoned to taste with some salt and pepper.
Yum-o. Ick. I swear I will never use a Rachel Ray-ism again. I would much rather type out E-X-T-R-A V-I-R-G-I-N O-L-I-V-E O-I-L instead of using the initials E-V-O-O. Even if my fingers were chopped off and I was typing with my nose.