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Something From Nothing ~ Week 18

Before I show you what I made from "nothing" this week, I'd like to address a problem some of you may have with a less-than-healthy-eating partner. Although I usually will partake, in some form, wherever he is eating, sometimes what Dear Husband is having just will not do it for me. Case in point: we frequently travel to Dear Husbands' home town. Although we always have fun, and are treated like royalty, the food choices are sometimes not for me. Dear Husband usually proceeds straight to yonder hot dog joint, for a dog with chili and onions....and while that is sometimes alright with me....this time, I saw it coming, and I was prepared.

I remember back in Alaska, when I was practicing at least partial vegan and vegetarianism, that I went to lovely Genas' site which discussed making a meal-sized salad. I was intrigued! By the first time I made a salad with the smooth but filling squash, combined with the crunch of vegetables and seeds...I was SOLD! I am very good at listening to my body (even yes, when it is screaming YOU NEED CHOCOLATE.....NOW!), and I must have needed some beta carotene or other element, because I could not get to the store and buy an acorn squash fast enough! Here was the plan.....bake the squash the morning of our trip, make the meal-sized salad, and take along to resist the fast-food-death dogs that always leave me feeling A: a little sick, and B: horribly guilty. So....first I coated the squash with oil, poked a few holes in it, and baked it for 45 minutes at 375...

Then, I wrapped one half (for later squash cravings), and got the other half ready...

Then, I got it together with some choice salad ingredients...

Clockwise from bottom, carrot, celery, scallion, cucumber, pumpkin seeds, green leaf lettuce, red bell pepper, iceberg lettuce, and the baked and cooled half of an acorn squash.

I got my little "fit and fresh" (I certainly hope I am both...tee-hee) container and layered the iceberg and green leaf lettuce into the bottom...

Then, added and tossed shredded carrot, chopped cuke, sliced bell pepper, celery and scallion into it...

Already looking munch-tacular! I cubed the squash, and layered on top of the salad...

Then, put the dressing and the pumpkin seeds into the two little containers that come with the "fit and fresh" system.

These containers fit right into the main box, for easy transport and chilling...

All ready to put into the cooler....and it is not even ten in the morning, yet!

The verdict? A great, healthy and (thanks to the squash), filling picnic lunch for me, whilst Dear Husband happily munched on his lunch.

In case you are wondering about the whole "squash with salad" thing - let me persuade you to try it. Just once, I promise! I was actually borderline grossed out by the thought of such a thing, when I first saw the recipe - but something about it just made me have to try it. Let me be the first to tell you, that once you get hooked on the silky texture of a squash.....with some salty, crunchy pumpkin seeds, crunchy vegetables, and your dressing of choice.....there will be no going back! I'm addicted to it, now...(the real reason the other half of the squash went into the fridge.....so I could hoard it for next time)! On to this weeks' Something From Nothing. THIS...is what I had to use up, or risk tossing into the trash....and at $2.99 a pound - that's sort of waaaaaay against anything I believe to be right in this world....

I know....beautiful, right? However, they were going South....and fast! What to do? Well, when it comes to using up anything in the produce realm, I turn to my old friend...

And when I say old....I'm not kidding - yes, that IS tape attempting (and failing) to hold the cover on!Oh well, it's what is inside that is most important...namely "Pepper Slaw". I tried to find a link to the actual recipe...but could not. This does not have many ingredients...so just follow along...

From left to right...cabbage, the bell peppers (use any kind you have), garlic, celery seed, pepper & salt, olive oil, brown mustard and pickled jalapeno. Not shown: vegetable oil, and red wine vinegar. First, slice your peppers as thinly as possible...think coleslaw here...

This salad is as pretty as it is tasty and crunchy! Then, slice about one half of a small cabbage into thin shreds and add to the bowl. Add in the celery seed and pickled jalapeno, or hot peppers...to taste..

then...get the dressing together...

In the salad cruet to the left, I mixed one pressed clove of garlic (next time, I will only use a half a clove), 5 Tablespoons olive oil, 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil, a teaspoon of brown mustard, two Tablespoons of red wine vinegar, and some salt and pepper. Shake well to emulsify...

Toss the slaw in it, and place in the fridge for a few hours to blend. I also went into the fridge to taste-test, um.....stir the slaw every now and again. The results?

Colorful, crunch-tastic...and a great side dish for our supper that night! All from those three bell peppers that were about to turn to water....and a few pantry/fridge ingredients. Yes, next time I will only use a half a clove of garlic, as I want the slaw ingredients to take priority in the flavor profile...but, yes, a winner that I will make again!

What is your go-to recipe for bell peppers?

Eat well, my friends...and in a few days we'll spy on those Kitchen Angels, and more importantly....see about the CORN REPORT!

Love and kindness to all,

Pixie

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