We've been in a little disarray here at Poppy and the Bees. First of all we had my parents staying, which was lovely but meant that although I've been cooking loads, I haven't had much time for both writing and photography, so I have a bit of a backlog of great food that I've made, Some Ok photos. And no copy to speak of.
And then Poppy kitten had an accident.
After a harrowing 24 hours of her being missing & hunting high and low for her around the neightbourhood she turned up back through the catflap, looking very scared and obviously in pain. According to the vet, she had a bit of a run in with a car and broke her back leg.
Here she is doing her best prisoner impression... (Note the chewed cardboard. The cardboard was placed there to stop her from catching the metal pins she has placed in her legs on the bars. She chews bits off & spits it out when she particularly wants to show her frustration at cage life)
The upshot of that is that she's on cage rest for 6 weeks. We've got through 2 of them... 4 - or maybe even more- to go depending on her recovery time. She's allowed out for a little while in the evenings in our front room, where she commandeers my lap, insisting on pats, cuddles and smooshes. Fair enough, she's in pain, bored and feeling poorly. But, this means that writing time is constrained, it's hard to write with a smooshy cat on your lap.
So, I've been turning to easy, pop in the oven or stir fried quick food to maximise time with her, and give myself a little writing time.
Baked Pumpkin or other squashes are perfect as the basis for this kind of cooking and my current favourite is Kabocha Squash ( also known as Japanese Pumpkin) as it has a richly flavoured flesh that roasts really well, and pairs well with creamy butter beans & garlicy sauteed greens. You can use any kind of squash really - butternut would work well too , I just happen to have just discovered how tasty Kabocha is!
The hardest bit is chopping the squash, fortunately though, you don't need to peel it, just roast the squash with it on- Kabocha and Butternut Squashes have edible skin. And it's pretty tasty too!
- Half a squash ((medium sized) Cut into slices)
- Small handful of hazelnuts (, toasted)
- 1 tin butterbeans (, rinsed and drained)
- 2 cloves garlic (, chopped finely)
- 4 -5 sprigs fresh thyme
- Mild chilli powder
- half teaspoon of marigold stock powder
- splash of white wine ((optional))
- bunch of spinach or other greens ((I used beetroot tops from the garden), rinsed and chopped roughly)
- 1 small chilli (, chopped and deseeded)
- Juice half a lemon
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
- Put the squash slices on an oven tray, slick with a little olive oil, sprinkle over the thyme leaves & mild chilli powder & add a little salt & peppper.
- Bake on medium heat (gas mark 7/ 220C) for 20 mins, turning half way. You want the squash to be soft & a little coloured, so leave in a little longer if need be.
- Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, sautee the garlic & chilli with a little olive oil, then add the butterbeans & stir to coat with oil.
- Add in the greens, white wine (if using), lemon juice and stock powder.
- Stir until the greens are wilted.
- Taste and add a little salt & pepper if needed.
- Serve with hazelnuts sprinkled over and a little extra lemon juice to squeeze.