Aimée Suen is the creator of Small Eats, a blog dedicated to healthy eating and nutrition. Often mistaken for a vegetarian, Aimée is driven to share a balanced, less meat-driven way of eating. When she’s not in the kitchen, she’s studying to become a Nutritional Therapist Practitioner, practicing yoga, or reading. You can find Aimée on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
My grocery shopping used to consist of buying lots of boxes. Boxes of snacks, breakfast cereals, frozen meals, or meals that simply required boiling and a flavor packet. Carrying my groceries from the car to my apartment was usually light and easy, unless I bought a few canned goods or some milk. During those years of grocery shopping, the heavy lifting that I did was on my body. Though the food was pretty light in my bag, the weight that it put on my body was starting to get heavy.
When enough became enough, I decided to invest in myself and get that weight off of my body. I first started looking at what I was eating. As I started to read the ingredients on the box, I got confused. What was all of this stuff I couldn’t pronounce? Why was the sodium level so high? Why did the foods I was eating have mostly fat and carbs, with no vitamins, fiber, or minerals?
I started buying fewer boxes and more real food that has weight, like squashes, greens, carrots, beets. I also added exercise and started paying attention to my physical hunger. Eventually, the weight I carried on my body shifted to the real foods in my shopping bags I bought each week. And I don’t mind it all. In fact, I love it.
Delicata squash, grains, and beans all have some good weight to them and will be equally as filling. Delicata squash is a great fall squash that has an edible skin. With the exception of the seeds, very little of this squash goes to waste. It’s long and narrow shape is also a perfect vehicle for stuffing.
This filling has Swiss chard, onions, garlic, Bob’s Red Mill Small Red Beans, and Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Medley. The Small Red Beans taste similar to pinto beans and the Whole Grain Medley is a smattering of hearty whole grain goodness. It combines hard red wheat, long grain brown rice, oats, rye, triticale, barley, kamut, buckwheat, sesame seeds into a great sampler of grains. I think it’s a great way to get introduced to lots of whole grains.
Though this recipe is vegan and vegetarian, the combination of the beans, whole grains, and squash will leave you full and satisfied, even if you’re usually a meat eater. If you want something extra, consider making a full-fat yogurt dressing with some cumin and paprika and drizzling that over the squashes.
After completing this October Unprocessed challenge, I hope you feel inspired to kick the most processed foods, especially the ones that don’t pass the kitchen test, to the curb for good.
- 2-3 delicata squash (over 5” in length), rinsed and patted dry
- ½ bunch swiss chard, ribs removed and diced, leave cut into bite-sized strips
- ½ cup uncooked Bob’s Red Mill Small Red Beans
- ½ cup uncooked Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Medley
- ½ small onion, diced
- 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1-2 tsp paprika
- 1-2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp olive oil
- juice from one lemon or lime
- salt, to taste
- Presoak your beans overnight in a bowl with enough water to cover the red beans. When the beans are ready, drain and rinse the beans. In a pot, combine 2 cups water, beans, and a pinch of salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 90 minutes. Check the beans periodically and add more water if the beans are no longer covered by water.
- In a pan, combine 1½ cups of water, ½ cup of Whole Grain Medley, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer on medium low heat for an 60 minutes. When done, transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Preheat oven to 400.
- In the sauté pan, bring 1 teaspoon of olive oil to medium high heat. once hot, add the onions, garlic, and swiss chard ribs. Cook until soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add swiss chard leaves, stir, and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the mixing bowl.
- Once the beans are done, drain them and add them to the mixing bowl. Stir to combine and add parsley, spices and lemon or lime juice. Adjust seasonings as needed.
- On a cutting board, cut a little bit of the top and bottom off the delicate squash. Place on the cutting board vertically and slice down the length of the squash, creating two halves. Scoop out seeds with a spoon and discard. Repeat with all squash and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
- Spoon filling into squash boats until full, then bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the squash is soft and cooked through.
If you have a pressure cooker, you can also pressure cook the beans. Combine a teaspoon of vegetable oil, the soaked beans, and 3 ounces of water in the cooker, then cook on high for 5 minutes. Once time is up, use a natural release.
Disclosure: As a contributor to October Unprocessed, I was given free Bob’s Red Mill product to help create this delicious recipe. All opinions are my own.