Saturday, January 5, 2013

Road Trip & Butternut Squash Boats! GF, V, BED!

Happy Monday, Happy Tummies!
WE’RE HOME!! After a long drive, we’re finally back to Cincinnati! Safe and Sound. Thirteen hours, four states, two vegetarian magazines, one crossword puzzle book, and zero completed puzzles! Haha
Roxy was so excited to see me, she jumped on my neck! haha
It was a great trip. Eating on the road can be tricky when you’re on a special diet. Here’s what I did.
Before we left, I stocked up on 3 bags of organic “ready to eat” veggies: carrots, sugar snap peas, and green beans. I packed those in one of those “old school” insulated lunch boxes with an ice pack:) Reppin’ the 90′s!
I also packed a big baggie of BED legal (read – no peanut oil!) nuts! Almonds, Cashews, and Macadamias:)
Finally, in my opinion, the best option for dinner on the road, is…..WHOLE FOODS! It sounds kinda crazy, but this is the best place to get gluten-free, vegan, and BED friendly food! Their hot bar and salad bar is AMAZING. I know, I’m “preaching to the choir” on this one, but their food choices are clearly labeled for allergens, and offer a WIDE variety. On my Blackberry, I searched the cities that were on our route, and checked which ones had a WF! We stopped in Milwaukee and I got a big salad with quinoa, walnuts, and a side of EVOO-roasted red skinned potatoes. PERFECT!
And it was great too, because my parents could get what they wanted too! It was so funny — my dad was blown away with their options! On the way out he got a quesadilla and a prepared salad, and on the way back, he had a big salad topped with a brat and grilled onions & mushrooms:) In fact, he proclaimed, “we should go here for dinner sometime in Cincinnati!” Score!
Since I didn’t cook tonight, I though I’d share one of my favorite recipes from “way back when!” My Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash Boats! They’re Gluten Free and Vegan, with a BED adaptation!
A slow roasted butternut squash, stuffed with a Pear Quinoa Pilaf. Wow. So healthy, and so addicting.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 Butternut Squash, halved and roasted
1 cup quinoa cooked in 2 cups veg stock
2 pears, diced (BED use 2 cups diced roasted carrots)
1/2 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup raisins (BED omit)
2 big handfuls of spinach, chopped
2 tsp dijon mustard (BED use my homemade mustard — see end of post)
juice of 1 BIG lemon…you may need to use 1 1/2 or 2 small ones
3 green onions, sliced
2 drops agave (BED use 2 drops alcohol-free pure liquid stevia)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp EVOO
a little water to stretch the sauce
So here what you do.  First, roast your butternut squash.  After you cut it in half, rub the flesh with 1 tsp EVOO mixed with 2 drops agave (or stevia). Then place it flesh side up on a baking sheet, and roast it in a 400 degree oven for about an hour — until fork tender. Nice and slow.
Next: once you’re about 30 minutes into the roasting process, put your quinoa on the stove and cook it according to the package directions using veg stock.  While the quinoa is cooking, mix the dressing ingredients and set aside. After the quinoa has absorbed all the liquid, but before you fluff it with a fork, take it off the heat, add your spinach and “lid it” for about 3 minutes so it wilts. Then, add your dressing and fluff/stir it in with a fork. Next, add your pears, almonds and raisins and fluff/stir the those in as well.  Finally, cover it for just a couple minutes to allow the raisins to plump. Add salt to taste. (I added about a tsp)
Once the butternut squash is finished roasting, fill the cavity with your quinoa goodness. If you just can’t get enough of the quinoa, you can cover the entire thing with it, like I did!
This meal was SO yummy. We already know that quinoa is a protein-packed-superfood, but it is also SO versatile, and tasty! The flavor of this dish was wonderful. There was an inherent sweetness from the butternut squash, the pears, and the raisins, with a spicy depth from the cinnamon and allspice. BUT! It was not at all overbearing because of the slight undertone of tang from the dijon mustard and lemon juice! So enjoyable.  The other great thing was the mix of textures! The pears were crunchy, the raisins were chewy, the butternut squash was creamy, the almonds gave a hard crunch, and the quinoa kind of *pops* in your mouth! It was like a party in your mouth!
Give this recipe a try. Not only is its presentation stunning, but it is a flavor fiesta! :D
**For my Body Ecology Diet Tummies:
Sub the pears with roasted carrots! Roast chopped carrots spritzed with olive oil in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes, until they are becoming golden. Omit the raisins, and make the dressing with this:
Homemade Mustard!
Now you may be wondering why I tackled such an odd condiment. Well, on the Body Ecology Diet, the only vinegar you’re allowed to have is Raw Apple Cider Vinegar. (All others create a favorable environment for yeast). As a result, all prepared condiments are off limits because they’re made with red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, etc., or contain SUGAR. Soooo, I made my own mustard!
And it is REALLY good. My mom said if I sold this in a gourmet store, it would go for about 8 bucks. Haha
Here’s what you need:
1/2 cup mustard seeds
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
2 drops pure stevia extract
1 tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp allspice
3/4 tps tumeric
In an airtight container (like a mason jar), soak the mustard seeds in the vinegar and water for 2 days. Then, add your stevia, salt, and spices, and blend until you get your desired consistency. I used a Magic Bullet, and blended for about 15 seconds – it gets thicker the more you blend.
It definitely packs a spicy punch! But it is SO fantastic! And I love the whole “grain” texture! I like eating it with millet crackers, with veggies, and stirred into my zesty spinach! You can also make a salad dressing out of it by thinning it with a little olive oil, stevia, and water!
Stocking up at the grocery store tomorrow, and back to life as usual!
See ya then!

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