Butternut Squash Hash with Pulled Pork and Heirloom Tomato Salad

Late summer is here, and my garden is full of amazingly good things that I can’t wait to eat!  This summer has been a rainy one, and this means that my plants have a lot to offer.

Most notably, our three butternut squash plants are going craaaazy.  We have several squashes ready to eat every few days, and we have been experimenting with new ways to prepare them.  We don’t want to limit ourselves to squash soup!

I made pulled pork in the crock pot on Friday evening, and we had a good amount of leftovers.  So, for last night’s dinner, we hit the garden to supplement our meat.

First was an amazing simple tomato salad – we simply cut up several tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkled diced, fresh basil on top.

The showstopper was the butternut squash hash with pulled pork, however.

Heirloom Tomatoes with Butternut Squash Hash and Pulled Pork

Butternut Squash Hash

  • butternut squash
  • butter
  • salt and pepper

Peel the butternut squash and clean out the “guts”.  Then, coarsely grate the orange middle into shreds.  Salt the squash, then squeeze out the excess moisture using a nut milk bag (a cheesecloth would work too).  Then, saute the squash shreds in butter in a cast iron skillet until browned.  Salt and pepper to taste, then scoop out onto plates.

To serve, we formed the squash hash into small, flat circles and spooned pulled pork on top, then topped with a dollop of sour cream.  It was heaven.

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Real Food Corn Cakes

It is corn season!  Our farmer’s market had the most beautiful, delicious corn for sale, and I bought a LOT.  I love using corn in my cooking, and one of my favorite breakfasts are these simple corn cakes.  

   

Real Food Corn Cakes with Blueberry Syrup

  • 1 C organic corn meal
  • 2 T raw honey
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 C organic milk
  • 1 egg
  • I ear of corn, shucked, with kernels removed
  • 2 C blueberries
  • Maple syrup

In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients but the last two.  Heat a skillet (I like cast iron) over medium low heat and melt some coconut oil to prevent sticking,  then place tablespoon sized dollops if the mix in to cook.  Flatten with the back of a spoon.  Flip when the underside is golden brown, then remove from heat when both sides are browned.

To make the syrup, put blueberries in a small pot over low heat.  Add maple syrup (I just drizzle some in but I bet it is about 2 T), stir occasionally.  Warm until the berries begin to soften and burst.  Serve on top of the corn cakes!  

These are fresh and delicious! 

Minimalist Toys

I am taking my house back, everybody.  I mean it.

My kids are eight and six.  We have had roughly fourteen birthdays and fourteen Christmases.  We have a lot of toys, and they are getting out of control.  I really want to insert a photo of my children’s bedrooms here but I am ashamed and so I just want you to mentally picture a LEGO tornado with a whole lot of action figures and dollhouse stuff mixed in.

Now make it ten times worse.

This is not a healthy way for us to live.  I feel anxious all the time that things aren’t tidier, and my kids cannot find an everloving THING, and the only way to make it better is to have less.  I started this morning when they left for school.

Step One:  The stuffed animals.

My daughter LOVES the stuffies.  Since everyone in our family knows she loves the stuffies, she gets a lot of them.  She has so many we could cover her bed and probably still have leftovers.  She cannot play with them all, and has about ten solid favorites.  This morning, I removed all the stuffies that I could not remember her playing with in the recent past.  I put them in a bin and placed that in our guest room.  If she remembers a stuffed animal and comes looking for it, I will rescue it.  My bet is that she won’t notice most of them are gone, and a month from now, I can send them to new homes with a clear conscience.  I am doing the same in my son’s room later today, but he has far less to remove.  I will use the same “remove and wait” technique for him.

Dear readers, how do you keep the toys and STUFFIES!!!! under control?  I am going to move on to Step Two: action figures next.  Any ideas and recommendations are helpful!

Sports (and Life) Hydration

I know I’m supposed to drink water.  I have great intentions to drink water.  I carry around a water bottle most of the time, but when I really think about it at the end of the day . . . I don’t drink enough water.

I KNOW.  There are so many great articles about the benefits of enough water and how your body is mostly water.  I know about the comparison to plants and how they wilt without enough water.  I know all these things.

I also know that I am more likely to drink my water if it is flavored by something.  Sometimes I cut up watermelon and throw cubes in, sometimes I make iced tea, sometimes I use lemons.  I love coconut water, but it is pretty pricey.  So, I was super excited when I found this recipe for a natural homemade electrolyte drink.  I like that this will help replenish me after a workout, and honestly, I’m more likely to drink it if it tastes like something.

Homemade Electroyte Drink (reposted from Wellness Mama)

Ingredients
  • 1 quart of liquid
  • ⅛-1/4 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt
  • ¼ to ½ tsp crushed Calcium magnesium tablets or powder (must research where to find)
  • ¼ cup or more of juice
  • 1-2 TBSP sweetener (I plan to use honey or organic sugar)
Instructions
  1. Warm your base liquid (water, coconut water or tea)
  2. Add sea salt and calcium magnesium
  3. Add juice and mix or shake well
  4. Cool and store in fridge until ready to use