Hello, Mr. Oscoey here. If you don’t love garlic, you should probably just move on to the next post. If you love garlic as much as my family does, or you have a vampire problem, read on. I don’t remember when I first ran across […]
We have been trying to eat both healthier and cheaper in our house and besides beans one of the ways I have been trying to do that is to add more squash into our diet. I love squash. I am really excited about our zucchini and spaghetti squash plants. The rest of my family is more than a little apprehensive. The little kids are hit and miss when it comes to squash and my oldest daughter is strongly positioned in the squash is disgusting camp. My husband is not a huge fan but he will eat it…sometimes. Costco has organic butternut squash for a reasonable price that has been cured so it will store well in our pantry. I highly recommend buying and storing a couple of butternut and spaghetti squash in your pantry as part of an emergency kit/last minute dinner idea. As long as they have no blemishes they should be good for months in a cool dry place. We usually have at least one type on hand and when we are stuck in a vegetable rut or having a lean grocery week I pull out the squash. Usually one squash is good for a few meals since they are pretty large but it depends on how excited the family is about eating it that particular week.
This week I had a craving for my vegetarian butternut squash burritos. They are super easy to make and can be adapted to make rice bowls so they are gluten free. Sometimes I add a garlic sauce or some of my husband’s white barbecue sauce but if you are trying to eat healthier they should be eaten without the sauce. We always have rice and tortillas on hand so this recipe doesn’t require and extra trip to the grocery store for us if we have avocados on hand.
First thing to do is slice your squash in half and scoop out the seeds. I usually put the rice in the rice cooker at this point as well. You can make as much as you need but I usually make 3 cups of rice since we eat it with other things as leftovers.
Next your squash needs to be peeled. They can get slippery so be careful how you hold it while you peel.
While I was assembling everything the kids played with Play-doh. Luckily they didn’t make too much of a mess!
After peeling dice the squash and put it in a steamer. We have an old Revere Ware one that we inherited from my mother-in-law that is the true workhorse of our kitchen. You can find similar ones here.
Tonight I also made some roasted sweet potatoes in case the kids wouldn’t eat their squash. Good thing I did because the kids were apparently craving them and ate most of the three large potatoes I baked on their own.
After the squash and rice were cooked I set up our assembly station. I sliced avocados to order and it was an excellent meal. My son actually ate some avocados and my daughter ate a ton of squash so overall it was a success! We had oranges for dessert which is another way to keep the meal healthy. The kids had a post-dinner snack of most of the sweet potatoes which was hilarious because our son used them to get the dachshund to chase him around the house. He found it hilarious and she got a few pieces so it worked out for her as well.
Our avocados were not as ripe as they promised to be but they still tasted delicious with the squash and rice. I am hoping next year to grow our own butternut squash but for now, the ones I find at Costco are by far the most delicious. They have a smooth texture and a not too sweet taste that I love. For some reason this combination of rice, avocados and butternut squash is really appealing to me. The three ingredients really balance each other out and it makes a quick and easy meal that the whole family enjoys!
How are you incorporating squash into your meals?
Easy Vegetarian Squash Burritos
- 1/2 Butternut Squash
- 3 Cups Cooked Rice
- Large Flour Tortillas
- 2 Ripe Avocados
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Step 1 Cut your butternut squash in half and remove the seeds. The extra half can be stored in the fridge covered in plastic wrap for a few days or you can do the next step and put it in the freezer for later use.
- Step 2 Using a vegetable peeler carefully peel the skin off of the squash.
- Step 3 Once peeled dice the squash into bite size pieces and put in a steamer pot.
- Step 4 Cook for 20 min or until tender.
- Step 5 Slice your avocados just prior to serving.
- Step 6 Assemble your burritos! Start with a tortilla and add rice, avocados, squash, salt and pepper to taste. If you have some creamy sauce around you can add that as well but it will not be as healthy. You can also skip the tortilla and make a rice bowl if you want to cut out the wheat to make it gluten free.
My husband has wanted a fire pit ever since I can remember and once we moved into our house we knew we would get one. Last year we never got around to it but a few days ago we decided to take the plunge. We ordered it from Amazon when they were having a lightening deal on it so it was a decent price. It called a Solo Stove and is supposed to cut way down on the amount of smoke it releases. The fire pit can also be used on a deck without damaging it which is nice since our deck takes up most of the flat area in our yard. Just to be safe we put our heat shield from the grill underneath it and aside from the gigantic spider that went running there was no damage to our deck.
The little kids loved playing with it while they were waiting for dinner. They kept stacking the wood and moving it all about which was hilarious. Our son loves anything mechanical so he spent a lot of time trying to figure out the wood holder and how the fire pit was put together. Our three year old “pealed” the wood for us and rearranged it so that it was just so. It was great fun and luckily they understood (mostly) when we lit it on fire that it was hot and they were not to go near it. We still had a grown up watching them at all times once it was lit since you can’t ever be careful enough with little kids and fire.
The wood we used was from extra large branches that fell during the first major wind storm we had in our new house about a month after we moved in. We cut the larger branches up and stacked them and they worked pretty well for our fire pit. Most of my neighbors sent their branches to the yard waste bin but I was in the back yard super excited about all the free wood we got. My husband probably thought I was slightly nuts being out there pregnant and insisting he cut the branches into manageable pieces instead of throwing it into the bin but my mind was on how we could use it later. The branches were a good size and burned for just the right amount of time we needed so it worked well plus we didn’t have to spend a bunch of money buying fire wood. If you have a place to burn it is a good idea to keep some wood around for emergencies. We lost power for a couple of days our first winter and it would have been really nice to have some seasoned wood to burn in our fireplace to keep the house semi-warm. Luckily my mother-in-law had power so we were able to hang out there once the house got too cold.
My husband lit it with some fat wood and we were ready to go. We shut the slider to keep the kids off the deck, ate dinner and then the fire was perfect for S’mores. Our kids love S’mores (and we do too). There is something magical about them. My childhood is filled with memories of being promised S’mores after a long day of working in the woods but somehow they rarely materialized. My husband and I are all about creating family memories and having a great time with the kids and I could never imagine promising something like that and then never following through.
I found these jumbo marshmallows at Target and some dark chocolate that is dairy-free for our daughter. Our son was given a chocolate free S’more so that he would definitely sleep tonight. Ha ha, I wonder how long that will work before he realizes he is the only one without chocolate. The jumbo marshmallows worked ok but they really were too big for our fire since it burned pretty hot while we were making them.
Somewhere in our house are some long skewers we bought many, many years ago to roast hot dogs in our fireplace at the townhouse during a power outage but they got lost in the move. Hopefully we can find them when we get some more cleaning in the garage done. We still have quite a few boxes that we are slowly sorting and unpacking. I would highly recommend not moving in a crazy disjointed manner while one of you is pregnant since it becomes impossible to pack properly for a three week close on the house you are selling with items being stored at 4 different locations while you live at your mother-in-law’s house during the closing of the house you are purchasing. Whew. It was enough stress to make me never want to move again.
There is some debate about the proper way to cook a S’more marshmallow but I fall firmly in the light it on fire camp. I love a little char on my marshmallows with a gooey center. Delicious!
The fire died down in about 2 hours from when we lit it. We did not add any wood to it and it ended up being the perfect amount of time for us. We got a chance to hang out on the deck as a family for a bit while the kids ate their S’mores and by the time they were ready for bath it had mostly died out.
We had a great time tonight and we are looking forward to a full summer of S’mores and chilling around the fire pit. Now off to buy hot dogs for tomorrow night!
We recently had to switch to a dairy-free lifestyle in an effort to see if our younger kids have a sensitivity that is causing them some serious sinus problems. I was having a hard time finding granola bars for our kids that were dairy free, […]
For Christmas I bought this Takoyaki candy from Japan for my teenager. Takoyaki is one of her favorite foods and she found it online and wanted to try it. It was ok and I wish I had gotten pictures of it but she had fun making it with the three year old and we had a good laugh out of it. The oldest is heading off to college next year and to make her last year memorable I have been randomly ordering funny things off of Amazon to see how she reacts. A couple of months ago I found this Japanese Candy “In A Toilet” Drink Toy on Amazon after scouring the site for the perfect gag gift. I ordered it hoping it would come before Easter and it happened to come last week on a particularly difficult day so I had her open it right away to cheer her up.
We put it together on the kids’ art table which has been heavily used so please ignore the paint and or sticker mess in any of the pictures. The three year old wanted to help so she was in charge of stickers and taste testing. We did not look up where to place the stickers since the three year old was impatient and put them all over the toilet piece. The girls had fun putting it together.
Despite the instructions being in Japanese there were excellent pictures and it was very easy to put together.
I love the details put into this candy, they even included a little piece of bathroom floor for the toilet to rest on.
Once the toilet was put together you pour the powder into the toilet, add water to the back of the toilet and enjoy! The mixture forms bubbles in the bowl of the toilet which you drink out of with a straw.
I tried the red flavor (strawberry) and it tasted like sour strawberries, similar to the filling in Zots, remember those? Our three year old absolutely loved doing this activity with us and drank most of both flavors on her own. My teenager and I got a good laugh out of it and now I am searching for the next thing to try.
Maybe I will get the Kracie Popin Cookin 9 Item Bundle with Sushi, Hamburger, Bento, Takoyaki, Cake Shop and More and dole them out slowly when we need a good laugh. Seriously, I highly recommend them for a fun family activity. Trying to figure out how to put the kits together builds teamwork skills, allows little ones to practice fine motor skills and gets your kids to try something new and exciting to eat.