Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Kabocha Kale Pasta + The Concept of Squish

Today's prompt: a dish made with seasonal produce. We shop mainly seasonally these days, getting a weekly organic veg box delivery and topping up at the farmers market, with online shops for tins and dry goods. It works for me, as I don't like to plan meals in advance. I'd rather throw together a grain, a protein (usually, not always), and some seasonal veg - whatever needs to be used up first. So this dish is very typical weeknight fare for us, which brings me to the concept of 'squish'. A friend of mine was talking about her mother, who from all accounts sounds an amazing lady, and how she used to make 'squish' for dinner. What the hell is squish, you ask? It's anything, thrown together in a loose sort-of way; in their house I think it was quite saucy like a savoury pie filling. So they would have, say, chicken squish with mashed potatoes. If I broaden the concept slightly, to include what amounts to hash, I realised that all I eat is vegetable squish! It's like paint by numbers. Take, say, 3 seasonal ingredients, cook them together simply and serve with a starch. Or, let's say you made a root veggie squish in white sauce, then maybe you'd serve with greens or seitan instead. You can prepare the same thing over and over, but never eat the same meal twice. For a busy mom (so, you know, all of us), it's a healthy, no-brainer option that allows my kid to try new seasonal food all the time, in the context of a familiar meal (say, pasta). Like so:

Roasted Kabocha Squash (my FAVOURITE. On the off-chance you don't know how to roast kabocha squash, I just cook mine in chunks in the oven with a little olive oil for about half an hour, at 200C. Leftovers are obviously great for this sort of thing.)
Chestnut Mushrooms
Chopped Curly Kale
Half a red onion
1 clove garlic
Your favourite pasta

Pretty squash. The skins are edible, by the way. 

I roasted the squash ahead of time (while my daughter was enjoying her VERY FIRST DAY at nursery. Sob.), then sautéed the onion, garlic, mushrooms and kale together in a little olive oil and lemon juice, adding the squash in at the last minute just to warm up again. So that's my 'squish', combine with pasta = awesome meal. This is how I want to cook on weeknights; I want it to be easy, tasty, healthy, fast, and not make too many dirty dishes in the process. Is that too much to ask? Squish! 

I think the squash is a hit! Between the two of us, we were lucky to have some left for the pasta. 

No comments:

Post a Comment