Home Cooking: The Joy of Preparing Meals at Home
In today's fast-paced world, it's easy to succumb to the convenience of takeout or pre-packaged meals. However, there's something special about cooking a meal from scratch at home. Not only is it often healthier, but it's also more satisfying and fulfilling. When that is a meal that is easy on the clean up, that's a bonus! The recipe I am bringing to you today is all of the above.
Preparing a meal at home allows you to control the ingredients, portion sizes, and cooking methods. You can choose high-quality, fresh ingredients and experiment with different flavors and cuisines. Plus, cooking at home is often more cost-effective than eating out or ordering in. That has never been more true than in today's restaurant market.
One dish that I love to prepare and is perfect for the home cook is a stuffed Kabocha Squash. In this recipe we are going to stuff it with Grass Fed Ground Beef & Lentils. This dish is not only delicious, but it's also packed with nutrients. The beef fat bakes into the squash and gives it an amazing flavor, while the lentils add texture and flavor while also providing essential nutrients.
I serve this family style with a basic gravy and braised greens, this dish is sure to be a hit with your family and friends.
Let's get into it!
Preheat the Oven to 350 degrees.
Grass Fed Beef Stuffed Kabocha Sqaush
475g Ground Beef (1Lb)
190g Red Lentils
125g Leek, Small Dice
125g Onion, Small Dice
3g Fennel Seed, Ground
1.5g Coriander, Ground
1g Black Pepper, Ground
You will need to hollow out the Kabocha Squash. First cut any bit of stem off the bottom, just enough to make a flat bottom, don't cut the bottom of the squash completely off. Now it's time to get the kids involved... We've all carved a pumpkin before. The idea here is the same. Cut the stem off in a cap, like you would if you were carving a pumpkin, so that it can be placed back on the squash. Remove all the guts and the seeds and make a hollow zone that you can fill with the stuffing.
In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, start by browning off your ground beef.
Then add the lentils, leeks, onions and garlic and sautée until just soft.
Add the spices and continue to sauté for about 30 seconds, allowing the spices to bloom.
Stuff the squash with the cooked beef and lentil mixture and then return the stem cap and place it in the oven at 350 degrees for about an hour. To check and see if it is done, take the tip of a paring knife and insert it into the exterior of the squash. If it's soft, it's done!
When it's done, it should look something like the picture below and your kitchen should smell amazing. I love Kabocha Squash because it is meaty and sweet and the skin is thin and edible as well. You can see how caramelized it got at the top. (sort of, sorry about the picture quality)
Pictured below was from a couple weeks back and we added Kale and Cauliflower from the garden instead of the lentils. Get creative and use this idea as a jumping off point.
I have served this with a few different sauces. A thin gravy was the best, by far. Pour it straight over the top of each serving and enjoy!
But beyond this specific recipe, the joy of home cooking is in the process of preparing and sharing a meal. It's a chance to slow down and be mindful of what you're putting in your body. Cooking can be a creative outlet, allowing you to experiment with different ingredients, techniques, and flavors. It can also serve as a time capsule of the memories with those whom you share meals.
Home cooking doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can create a healthy and delicious meal that your whole family will love. Whether it's trying out new recipes or recreating your favorite dishes, the possibilities are endless and I am here to help!
Home cooking is more than just preparing meals. It's about nourishing your body, exploring new flavors, and creating memories with loved ones. So why not take the time to cook a meal at home today? Your body and your taste buds will thank you!