Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Honeynut and Robin’s Koginut Squash Power Plate Stew with Razzmatazz Grapes

I wrote about Robin's Kogniut squash yesterday; having Kabocha as a parent serves it well and it results in a nice, creamy texture and flavor. Maybe even more, I love Honeynut squash. It looks similar with a beige outside thin skin, but its flesh is a little deeper. It has a uniquely sweet and again smooth flavor/consistency. I am demonstrating this weekend I think a Kabocha squash dhal, and today thought I'd make a dhal with yellow split peas and both these squashes. I included greens (spinach) ntroductory comments go here. Here is what I did.

  • Medium honeynut squash
  • Medium Robin's Koginut squash
  • 2 cups yellow (green is fine, alternately) split peas
  • 3 times as much water as split peas - i.e., 6 cups
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped spinach (or kale or finely chopped chard)
  • 3/4 cup quinoa or millet or buckwheat, or, as I did, a combination
  • 3 medium carrots cut into 3/8" thick rounds (about 2 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely (1/8" or so)/roughly chopped
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/8 t garam masala
  • 1/4 t whole cumin seed
  • 1/8 t mustard seed
  • 1t lemon juice
  • small-medium onion chopped into 3/8" cubes (about 3/4 cup)
  1. Cook the squashes for 12m in the Instant Pot or other pressure cooker. They should be done in 8-9 minutes but, unlike yesterday's dish, I wanted soft squash.
  2. When the squashes are ready, release pressure and carefully remove each squash. Cut each in half, scoop out and compost the seeds, and scoop out the flesh; each of the two squashes will yield about a cup.
  3. Return to the pressure cooker the split peas, water, spinach, grains, carrots, garlic, spices, and squash flesh.
  4. Split peas generally cook under pressure in a ratio of 1:3 to water and 8-10m (45m stovetop); I cooked for 10m to get a thicker dhal.
  5. When done, slowly release pressure, mix in the lemon juice and onion, stir, and serve. I included the tasty Razzmatazz grapes that I discussed yesterday for their nutrition, beautiful color, and to make the meal a Power Plate one that includes all of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes.

The dish was good and filling, though I preferred yesterday's squash dish. I like thick dhals; this turned out so thick that I call it a stew. I love how the grains complemented the dish in texture. The grape was a delicious addition and added a welcome moist burst of sweetness, which went quite well with the squash. My wife added a bit of hot sauce at the table to her serving.

I usually prepare food for about 4 or so; my family has 3 members but my wife enjoys my meals as lunch leftovers as well, and I like sharing with my neighbors. Today's meal made about 8 cups, which would have been enough for at least 6-8 people.

Ideas for the future

We all enjoyed the meal but I so love honeynut squash that I would like to try something like this again with just that variety of squash, and with a higher concentration of squash. Perhaps I could try, for serving 4, the same amount of squash but half of the split peas, water, greens, grains, garlic, and onion, keeping the carrot, spices, and lemon juice the same. Squash blossoms would go great with this, as well. I do like thick dhals but this could use a little more water so, instead, perhaps the water could be dropped from 6 to 4 cups. I should do more cooking with grains combined with squash.

I regret running a bit late in food preparation. I wish that I had a few more minutes to work on the presentation. The grapes certainly help, but I really would like more of a "pop" to the plate, perhaps with some deep red tomatoes, which we are out of.

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