Monday, April 4, 2011

Inspiration from a Clean Fridge

I cleaned the fridge today.  No, I mean I really cleaned the fridge. 

Yes, I tossed all of the expired foods along with the extraneous unidentifiable crap, but then I did the same in the freezer too.  It’s amazing what you can find in the back of your fridge and freezer.  My daughter actually discovered two things she had forgotten about, acting like she was just reunited with some long lost friends.

I went even further with my cleaning project taking out the shelves and racks in the fridge and freezer.  I then moved on to the outside and yes, the top!  You know--that place where you put things you can’t find a place for anywhere else?  Especially if you are height-challenged like me and can’t really see up there anyway.

Afterward, I felt so proud of my work that I gave a tour to anyone in the vicinity.  You can imagine the looks I received after the second and third tour.

Later, I had to make an unexpected trip to the store so while I was there, I also decided to pick up something relatively easy for dinner.  We don’t eat a lot of convenience foods in our house.  We cook—actually, I cook—but that’s okay because as long as I am feeling inspired I don’t mind. 

With the clean fridge I was able to easily identify what I wanted to work with today—Kabocha Squash and frozen veggies.  I mean finally, the freezer wasn’t just a UFM anymore--Unidentified Frozen Mass. 

Kabocha Squash is a prize in our house.  It’s a small squash about the size of a cantaloupe.  There is no need to peel it either.  It has a sweet flavor with a texture like potatoes, not watery like many other squashes.  Like most orange vegetables, Kabocha weighs in with a high percentage of Vitamin A.

I decided on something we haven’t had in many months—stew beef.  We eat a lot of chicken, and seafood, but once in a while we do eat a little beef.  Besides, it just seemed like a perfect combination of flavors for a small stew--a comforting dish on a not-so-warm spring day.  

This probably not the average family’s Saturday easy or quick meal, but it was relatively easy, quick, good and good for you.

Kabocha Squash Saturday Stew


Stew Beef sliced into small pieces
½ Kabocha Squash (use your judgment on how much you want to add)
ByBee Foods Organic Petite Whole Green Beans (or any veggie of your choice)
(*Remember that success in creating inspired foods means pairing items that seem like a good match)
Green Bell Pepper (chopped)
Onion (chopped)
Organic No-Salt Seasoning (I buy this at Costco and I love it.  Trader Joe’s also makes it.)


  • Sauté Onion and Peppers in olive or any vegetable oil until the onion is translucent
  • Remove from pan
  • Sauté meat until pink color is gone
  • Add onion and peppers and mix together
  • Season well
  • Add Squash mixing well
  • *Add water slowly, just short of fully covering--pour on the side taking care not to drench mixture.  You want the seasonings to stay put.
  • Put Green beans on top
  • Bring it to a boil
  • Cover and turn heat down to simmer
  • Once squash gets soft, mix everything together
  • Continue to simmer until beef is tender.

*If you like your stew soupy, you can add more water as it cooks down.

I had planned to add some cornstarch to thicken, but the squash did that job beautifully.


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