I'm super excited to share with you the new adventure I took on this week: cooking! Yes, that's right friends. I, Brittany Forgione, have attempted to spend more than ten minutes in my kitchen, and I have a confession to make: I kind of love every second of it.
I'd like to take this time to first thank my new friends at Hello Fresh. Hello Fresh is a one-of-kind edible experience we all should take part in. Each week, their chefs create mouthwatering recipes that are healthy, unique, and easy to prepare and deliver everything straight to your door.
For someone like me with almost no meal ideas and little time to shop, I thought this would give my cooking skills a boost and cater well to a girl on the go. And go figure, I sprained my ankle this past Sunday, so I've had a little more time to get to know my kitchen and really focus on my dinner habits as of late. Generally, I throw one protein, one green, and one healthy carb onto a plate…which sounds healthy, but it lacks taste and creativity most of the time. Oh, and it’s BORING. Well, I think I just changed my ways.
So Monday morning, I get the special delivery of Hello Fresh products to my doorstep. Though packaged in insulated boxes with ice, the products needed to be refrigerated immediately. I had chosen to do the veggie meals this week, mainly because I do not eat red meat, or fish, nor do I care to eat meat most days. Vegetarian dishes tend to be my favorite. Besides, who doesn't love to eat from the earth!? Carnivores, listen up!
The delivery included three full bags - each with the ingredients and produce to make a full meal for two people. The three meals were:
-Stuffed Summer Squash Boats
-Mediterranean Butter Bean Salad
-Crispy Citrus Tofu
Monday night, it was all about the squash, and I was stoked. I enlisted the help of my husband, Jay, figuring he also would love the process and enjoy the edible payoff in the end. Plus, he is much more brave with a knife than I am. We each slipped on our aprons (he had the one with frills, obviously) and we spread out our ingredients and read through the easy instructions. It was clear from the start that not only were we excited to try something new, but we were embarking on this cooking thing together. This would be our new favorite way to spend a date night.
STUFFED SUMMER SQUASH BOATS
-Baby portobello mushrooms
Cooking Time: 45min.
The entire process was super simple, which was a relief. 45-minutes after much chopping, mincing, boiling, and broiling, we had finished our lovely meal and it was time to enjoy it. It didn’t look exactly like it does in the pics, but as important as presentation is, the taste is what matters! And I’m happy to say folks, it was DELICIOUS and nutritious. Looking back, I could easily make that again - I just need to set aside the time at night to do so. (Good thing I won't have to food shop).
So obviously I want to share with you the recipe (and our fun pics!) so you can try this at home!
Also, be sure to check out Hello Fresh’s website as their menu is always changing, so your bound to find dishes that intrigue and inspire you to live the fresh life.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Halve the squashes lengthwise, then scoop out the seedy area with a spoon. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Place in the oven, cut side down, and roast for 20-25 minutes, until soft and golden brown on the bottom.
- While the squashes roast, bring 1 cup water and the stock concentrate to a boil in a small pot. Add the quinoa, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, finely chop the mushroom caps and stems. Mince the shallot and garlic. Halve, seed, and finely dice the tomatoes. Strip the 4leaves off the thyme sprig and finely chop.
- Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook, tossing, 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, mushrooms, tomato, and thyme to the pan. Cook another 5-6 minutes, until very soft and cooked down. Add the garlic and cook 30 5seconds, until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the cooked quinoa to the pan and toss to combine. Season 6with salt and pepper.
- When done, remove the squashes from the oven and stuff with as much quinoa mixture as will fit. Heat the broiler to high or oven to 500 degrees. Sprinkle squash boats with Parmesan cheese and return to the oven until cheese is golden brown and melted, about 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, chop the basil. Plate the remaining quinoa mixture. Serve the squash boats on top of the remaining quinoa and sprinkle with basil. Enjoy!
Nutrition per person Calories: 543 cal | Carbs: 48 g | Fat: 32 g | Protein: 24 g | Fiber: 8 g
I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. I think this food delivery system may become a habit. My husband keeps asking me what we're making next so I know I've got a partner in this. Soon, I'll post the second meal we made - Mediterranean Butter Bean Salad! But for now, let this SERVE (hehe) as an example of non-cooks who can become cooks if you give them the proper tools.
Let the adventure continue...