I made it! This is the last day of November! Technically, I didn’t post a blog every day, but I did post thirty blogs in thirty days, so I’m satisfied with that. I’m not going to promise to keep this momentum going into December, as I will be focusing on:
- reading the chapters on Confirmatory Factor Analysis that I should have read already
- writing what was described in the syllabus as a “mini” NIH grant proposal but is bigger than any other paper I’ve written so far in grad school
- celebrating my 30th birthday
- baking at least four different types of cookies for Christmas
I will certainly write some blogs about the cookies, and don’t worry – I won’t write about Confirmatory Factor Analysis.
In the mean time, check out what I cooked last night. This was totally thrown together, but it was an incredibly satisfying vegetarian meal with lots of delicate flavors. With only a little butter, shallot, and tiny squeeze of lemon juice, the main ingredients really shone through. My only regret is not using the entire bunch of chard. Since I’m still warming up to chard, I was worried it was going to be too much, but Nick and I both wished there were more greens.
I was inspired by this recipe for Gnocchi with Mushroom and Butternut Squash which I fully intend to make at some point when I can actually devote an entire Sunday to cooking. But for now, I used it as a guideline for cooking the butternut squash and mushrooms. Important- if you happen to look at that recipe before following this, do not follow their suggestion of draining the squash and mushrooms on a paper towel after sauteing. For the gnocchi recipe where they’re making a butter sauce to go with it, that’s fine, but if you do that here, the towel will absorb all the butter and juiciness.
Butternut Squash, Mushrooms, and Rainbow Chard with Brown Rice
Cook short-grain brown rice according to package instructions.
I used about a third of one butternut squash. I would estimate this yielded about 1 1/2 to 2 cups. It was the perfect amount for two people.
Separate the neck of the squash from the bulb; store the bulb for later use (or for a rainy day). Slice away the peel deeply enough so that the orange flesh is exposed. Dice squash into 1/2-inch cubes.
Clean and trim stems from 1 1/2 to 2 cups of crimini mushrooms and slice thinly.
Mince one large shallot. Chop up about one tablespoon of fresh thyme.
Wash one large bunch of Swiss chard. Remove stems, and thinly slice leaves crosswise, about 1/2-inch thick.
In a large skillet, heat about 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add 1/2 tablespoon of butter. Add butternut squash and season with salt and pepper. Stirring often, brown squash on all sides, about 4-6 minutes. Remove squash from skillet.
Add a little more olive oil, and saute mushrooms. After a minute, add another 1/2 tablespoon of butter, thyme, shallots; season with salt and pepper. Cook mushrooms another 3-4 minutes, until thoroughly cooked. Remove from skillet and add to plate with squash.
Once more, add a little olive oil and butter to the skillet. Over medium heat, stir the chard, about 6-8 minutes. When close to being cooked, lightly squeeze lemon juice (less than half a lemon’s-worth) over the chard. Season with salt.
Add mushrooms and squash back to the skillet and stir over low heat for a minute or two, just to make sure everything is thoroughly heated.
Serve over brown rice.