some winter warming food!

As you may know, I’m engaged, have been for almost a year and a half.  I’ve loved every minute of being engaged. LOVED it.  My fiance is my best friend.  He’s someone whom I trust with my whole person, he’s the person I turn to when I need to advice or guidance, he’s who I laugh with the most and he’s the person who makes me a work to be a better person.  We just went wedding venue shopping and I can’t wait to plan this celebration with my best friend, to make the most amazing dinner party where someone I know will be wearing white (ivory, are we kidding? white? no, thanks) and our friends will be dressed up and having a blast.  I can’t wait to share.

On my food note, I’ve been cooking a lot.  We’ve got a lot of veggies from our CSA.  Tonight I wanted to use my butternut squash.  I was just going to roast it but while watching the debates I went over to Smitten Kitchen (if you go right now, that Mosaic apple tart looks freaking amazing) and found a tasty looking dish. (My belly is so warm right now, it’s so satisfying!)  As I am want to do, I used what I had, made some exceptions didn’t use some things.  Below is what I used and here is the link to the original!

Butternut Squash & Chickpea Moroccan Stew, of sorts
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 pound butternut squash, cubed
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
6 long beans, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 can drained chickpeas
1/2 28oz can crushed tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 small to medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon cumin (ish)
1 teaspoon paprika
just shy of 1 tablespoon of cinnamon (original calls for a cinnamon stick…)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups water (could be veggie or chicken stock0
juice and zest of 1 lemon
salt & pepper to taste

1. Heat a 6-8 qt pot with a lid with olive oil and butter until they are shiny, add the onion, garlic, cinnamon, red pepper, cumin, salt and better.  Let cook until onions are translucent.
2. Add the squash, carrots and long beans.  Add more salt and pepper and the paprika, cook until a little tender.
3. Stir in tomatoes, chickpeas, water and maybe after you taste it add some salt and pepper to taste (taste ! taste ! taste!)
4. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and cover for about 10/15 minutes until tender.  Add the zest and lemon juice, simmer some more.
5. Serve over cous cous, trader joe’s harvest blend, barley, pasta, brown rice…whatever.  Put a dollop of plain yogurt with some slivered almonds and enjoy.

This was so filling for a girl who typically wants seconds, I didn’t need more than a bowl.  Add whatever veggies you want, just remember to add the ones that take the longest in the beginning and so on.  Serve with chicken or beef or lamb maybe…It’ll all be good.

I have an audition tomorrow for a theater company out here in LA…wish me luck!