What a title!
So last night, not sure how many of you were aware, there was a total lunar eclipse. If you saw it, I hope you enjoyed it as much as Brett and I did. It was bitterly cold here, around 10 degrees, but we toughed it out. I think the best part of all was how the shadow of the Earth made the Moon look. It was the first time I had ever been able to perceive the actual spherical shape that the Moon has. It normally looks like a one dimensional circle, and with the shadow, you could see the dimensions. Very cool, it was a bit of a humbling experience, seeing it like that, realizing how much it affects us (tides and such) and we affect it. I wish I could have gotten a picture, but it probably wouldn’t have been the same.
Anyways, dinner last night was really good. I had been eyeing a Vegetarian Times recipe for Barley, Shiitake, and Spinach Pilaf, and was trying to come up with a way to make a meal out of it. Well, I ended up switching around the mushrooms and stuffing the pilaf into a roasted acorn squash, I also served it with a side of Sweet Roasted Yams, a recipe I made up as I went along. A note though, this recipe is probably very time consuming if you try to make it all at once. I had Brett make the barley during the day while I was at work, and he started roasting the squash when I was on my way home. Having the ingredients prepped ahead of time made this a fairly quick dinner. Secondly, the ‘side’ of yams really is more like a dessert than a side, but that’s ok, right? You can find the original recipe that this meal was adapted from here.
Now, I must say, both Brett and I agreed that this picture doesn't really do the meal justice.
Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Barley, Mushroom, and Spinach Pilaf
1 cup pearled barley
3 cups vegetable broth or water
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 onion, diced
2 1/2 cups portobello mushrooms, sliced
small package of white button mushrooms, sliced
4 cups loosely packed fresh spinach
2 tbsp. shoyu (or other soy sauce)
2 tsp. Asian sesame oil
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 acorn squash, roasted
To roast the squash:
Preheat oven to 400.
Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds. Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake, cut side down for 40 minutes.
Add barley and broth or water to medium saucepan.
Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until tender, about 1 hour.
In large nonstick saucepan, heat a few tablespoons of water over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft.
Add garlic, portabella and white mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until soft. Add barley, stirring often, until barley is heated through. Add spinach in batches, covering pan with a lid to steam. Remove from heat. Season with shoyu, sesame oil and cayenne pepper.
Stuff in to a halved acorn squash.
This makes a lot of food. We had it served in the squash for dinner, and I brought the leftovers to work, with a couple of whole wheat tortillas for lunch.
Super Yummy Sweet Roasted Yams
1 large yam, peeled, washed, and diced
4 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp agave (optional)
1 tsp coconut oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Put coconut oil in a baking pan and place in the oven so the oil can melt.
Toss diced potatoes will the rest of the ingredients.
Bake, uncovered for 35-40 minutes until yams are soft, stirring a couple of times while baking.
All and all it was a very good dinner and a very good night.
‘Til next time!