Monday, June 14, 2010

Saturday Night Dinner – (Emptying the refrigerator vegetable bin)

When you are hungry and hate to cook, check the vegetable bin of the refrigerator.  Most likely there is usually enough food to feed a family of 4. My bad habit is buying vegetables and fruit and forgetting that I have them.

When I had to go to work every day, I packed lunch for the next day each night. There were no leftovers in the refrigerator. Now that I have time to cook, I tend to cook more often. One thing that I have learned is to cook smaller meals.

I decided to empty the vegetable bin and make a meal. Below are the dishes and recipes.

The menu
Brown Sugar Baked Sweet Potatoes and Butternut Squash
Cinnamon baked carrots
Roasted green and yellow squash
Roasted Egg Plant
Roasted red peppers
Sautéed Baby Spinach
Corn muffin

Sautéed Baby Spinach link to Original recipe
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp thinly sliced garlic
1/4 c raisins
1 lb baby spinach, washed and drained
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp honey or agave nectar
1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add garlic and cook until beginning to turn golden, about a minute. Add raisins and spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted. Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with honey or agave nectar just before serving
Servings: 4

Brown Sugar Baked Sweet Potatoes and Butternut Squash
Printable copy
Brief Description:
A mellow and sweet blend of winter squash and sweet potatoes - sugar replaced with Splenda brown sugar blend
Servings : about 4
Prep time : 15 minutes
Cook time : about an hour
Total time : about 1 hour 30 minutes
3 1/2 cups sweet potatoes, cubed
4 cups butternut squash, cubed
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup Splenda brown Sugar Blend for Baking
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 375°F
2. Toss sweet potatoes and squash with oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread onto a large baking pan. bake for 25 minutes. Mix the Sweetener, cinnamon and nutmeg together. Sprinkle over the squash and potatoes
3. Bake until browned and tender, 35 to 40 minutes more.
----->If you prefer a soft dish, remove from oven before browning

Cinnamon baked carrots
3 1/2 cups carrots cut into chunks
2 tbsp agave nectar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp sugar free orange marmalade
2 tbsp Land O Lakes Buttery Spread
1 tbsp Splenda brown sugar blend for baking
Combine the agave, cinnamon, marmalade and spread in a medium pot on low heat. Stir until blended.

Add in carrots and stir to coat the carrots.

Pour into a baking dish, using a spatula to scrape all of the sauce into the baking dish. Sprinkle with Splenda Brown Sugar Blend for Baking

Bake at 350 degrees F until tender. Stir and serve.
About 4 servings

Baked egg plant, squash and peppers
             ( baked on a large baking sheet at 350 degrees F.0
Eggplant - 1 medium eggplant, sliced into thick slices
Peppers - 1 large red pepper cut into 1 inch strips
Squash - 1 yellow and 2 green squash, cut into about 1 inch chunks
Place squash into a bag with 1 tsp Cajun type spices and 1 tbsp olive oil. Shake to combine. Pour onto oil sprayed or Release aluminum foil covered large baking sheet.
Place the egg plant single layer on the same baking sheet. Spray the top of the eggplant with olive oil.
Place peppers on the same baking sheet. Spray a little olive oil on the peppers.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the eggplant is tender or browned.

Corn Muffin - printable copy
Brief Description:
A really good gluten free corn muffin.
Servings : 6
Prep time : 5 minutes
Cook time : 30 minutes
Total time : 40 minutes
1/2 cup stone ground yellow corn meal
1/2 cup fine corn flour(Masa)
2 tbsp ground flaxseeds or flaxseed meal
1/4 cup fine non-fat dry milk
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
2 Tbsp oil
1 1/3 cup water

1. Mix all ingredients thoroughly with a wire whisk or hand mixer. If batter is too thick, add
water 1 tablespoon at a time. If too loose, add another tablespoon of Masa.
2. Spray a 6 cup muffin pan generously with an oil spray
3. Divide batter among the 6 cups
4. Bake at 350 F oven until browned around the edges (about 30 minutes)


  1. This sounds really good! I can't wait to try it! I have a couple of questions: Have you ever tried this recipe in a cast iron cornbread pan? What were your results?

    Lee, your hard work is amazing! I can't wait to try out all of your recipes.

    on the Farmlet

  2. My iron ware used to sit and collect dust. Now, I use them a lot. This time, it was easier to just put everything in the oven.