Saturday, October 17, 2009

Operation Produce Reduction

Ahhhh, the joys of having a functioning memory card! I think I have my photo problem solved, thank goodness.

Chris and I slept in today and went for a late morning run (pain free, yay!) followed by brunch at First Watch. I had their veggie skillet.

And we shared a blueberry pancake.

Then we were on the go-go-go all day running last minute errands to prepare for our trip to Europe! Dare I say the air was a tad crisp today? It was a GLORIOUS change of pace from our usual stifling heat and humidity. It was nice to be able to wear a light jacket and catch a chill now and then. As the sun was setting, we made our final stop at Target.

On our way out we made a pit stop at Starbucks. I treated myself to a tall decaf espresso truffle. Mmmmm. It felt decadent to be able to "warm up" with a hot coffee.

Once home I launched Operation Produce Reduction. Chris wanted to get take-out for dinner but I insisted on cooking because I knew we had a bunch of produce that needed to be eaten ASAP. Our dinner included....

- Squash
- Barley
- Onion
- Bell pepper
- Asparagus
- Green beans
- Spinach
- Pear
- Cranberries

I had a small squash on hand that I split into two, cleaned, and roasted at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes until fork tender. I roasted it face down in a pan filled with about 1/4 inch of water.

On the stove I cooked plain pearl barley according to the package directions and in a separate pan I sauteed onion, red bell pepper and asparagus in extra virgin olive oil. When the barley was tender and the veggies tender crisp, I mixed about 1.5 cups of the barley into the veggie mix and seasoned it with some balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. I spooned the mix into the roasted squash, topped it with some shredded parmesan cheese and popped it under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese was melted.

We each got a stuffed squash half, some steamed green beans, and a side salad of spinach, pear and cranberries simply dressed with aged balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper. I had a glass of Kim Crawford sauvignon blanc to accompany my meal.

I think Chris's favorite part of the meal was the salad. We're both big fans of sweet and savory salads. If I wasn't so lazy I would have toasted up some almonds to sprinkle on top. Feta cheese would have been a nice addition, too.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!