December 14, 2010

Squash and Parsnip Gratin

We celebrated our Christmas on Sunday night since we will be out of town for the holiday. Every year we celebrate our Christmas Eve and Christmas the weekend before our road trip. I was looking forward to cooking and preparing a sit down dinner for Mr. Sideline Chef, itty bitty, and I but the truth is... I was dead tired when the time came to putting in the effort to do so.

After accomplishing a few things around the house that morning we headed to the furniture store to pick up a new couch... I am beyond giddy over this one... but I wasn't even drained at this point. What did it for me was when Mr. Sideline Chef stated our next stop was to Walgreens to get flu shots. My hands went pale and my blood sugar dropped instanteously. I was physically ill. He could see the horror in my eyes and the sweat beading on my forehead. In a moment of understanding he told me I didn't have to get one. That still didn't make it better. The mere mention of needles made me sick to my stomach. Yes, I have a tattoo behind my ear of my son's birthdate and that was 1 minute of pain I would only put myself through if I was heavily sedated had another baby. Needing to get food into my system he suggested the "golden arches" (to keep our toddler from knowing we were headed and having a tantrum in the backseat). A sandwich each to hold us over and we were off to Walgreens.

It was a Mickey Mouse Christmas Celebration!
By the time we got home I saw the mound of dishes in the sink, the dishes needing to be emptied from the dishwasher, and looking at the clock reading 5:30 p.m. I really didn't want to cook. I even shed a few tears. I don't know where they came from... sheer exhaustion... or tears of joy I didn't have to get a shot. Who knows? As the few tears rolled I pushed on to create a dinner that was ate right before bed but oh so worth the 3 hours spent waiting for it to be done.
I made Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin (recipe tomorrow), Squash and Parsnip Gratin, and just heated up some Pillsbury Grands Biscuits since I ran out of sugar from making Peppermint Stick Cocoa on Saturday night. He was lucky that can of biscuits hadn't been used for breakfast biscuits or else the one item he had requested for dinner wouldn't have made it to the table.

Parsnips and I are in a love/hate relationship. Acorn squash being beautifully vibrant and orange stood out next to the white chunks of the parsnips making them easy to segregate. I wasn't into the parsnips tonight. I was into them the other night when I made Roasted Potatoes, Parsnips, and Carrots with Horseradish Sauce. Their licorice-y taste was turning me off tonight. The acorn squash on the other hand was fantastic and thankfully there was more of it than parsnips. and Cooking Light, November 1995
Makes 6 servings (Serving size = 1 cup)

Stars of the Show: (Standout performance from the acorn squash!)
  • 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley - I used dried parsley.
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 4 cups peeled, cubed, acorn squash (about 1 pound)
  • 2 cups peeled, cubed, butternut squash (about 1/2 pound) - When writing down the ingredients I left this out and didn't realize it. The side notes on the original recipe state that any combination of winter squash may be used to make up the 6 cups of squash.
  • 2 cups peeled parsnips - I will be leaving these out next time.
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • oregano sprigs for garnish
And Action:

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl and stir to mix. Add squashes and parsnips, and oil, tossing to coat. Spoon mixture in a 2-quart casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Cover and bake at 325° for 1 1/2 hours. Sprinkle with cheese and bake uncovered for an additional 15 minutes. Garnish with oregano if desired.

Nutritional Information:
Calories: 178 (24% from fat)
Fat: 4.8g (sat 1.5g,mono 2.4g,poly 0.4g)
Protein: 5.6g
Carbohydrate: 31.1g
Fiber: 3.6g
Cholesterol: 6mg
Iron: 1.8mg
Sodium: 323mg
Calcium: 189mg


Kimberly Peterson said...

Hello lovely!! I'm going out of town for Christmas too, now why didn't I think of celebrating Christmas at home early?? Hehehe just thought I'd pop and say hello before we go away, have a WONDERFUL Christmas and happy holidays and catch up with you again in the new year!! xo Kim

Pretend Chef said...

Kimberly - Thanks for thinking of me before your vacation! We too will be gone until the new year and won't be able to keep up with blogs until then. Have a wonderful Christmas as well and enjoy yourself!

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