Everything about starting a food blog excites me; the food, the pictures, the community, the inspiration of others. The thing that terrifies me is the writing….and the food, the pictures, the opinions of others. Maybe it’s more accurate to say that everything about starting a food blog excites and terrifies me. I see so many extraordinary food blogs and photography online with witty writing and easily question whether or not I can really do this – but when I wake up at 5:30 without an alarm, hungry and thinking about the blog, I know this is something I desperately want to make a go at.
Back to the waking up at 5:30, hungry and thinking about food – is this normal? I find myself daydreaming about food ideas for sometimes the better part of the day. What flavors will complement others, will it make for a pretty presentation, is it using ingredients I haven’t used before, what will the nutrition value be, will the colors pop…and on and on. If you read anything in the “about me” section, you know that my first passion in life is Interior Design and I work at a successful Interior Design Company in Green Hills (Nashville), R. Higgins Interiors. Sometime I think making a recipe is not all that different from pulling paint colors, fabric selections, determining what will be the punch in the room and what elements will play “second fiddle”. It’s a bit amazing how similar the approach is and how enjoyable the process can be.
I’m rambling, I know. Like I said, the writing terrifies me. But hang in there, they say practice makes perfect right? So I figure I can only improve from here!
On to this sweet patty pan stuffed with all my favorites!
I picked up this little patty pan from a local farmers market that sets up a few streets over from my work in the 12 South area. At the time I had no idea what I wanted to do with this vibrant scalloped squash, but when trying to think of another way to use up one of my left over Sweet Potato Veggie patties without using the traditional bun, the idea of Stuffed Sweet Potato Patty Pan Squash arose.
The veggie burgers are sweet with a bit of a kick from the cayenne, so I paired them with sweet onions and bell peppers. Onions and bell peppers are pretty much my go to fillers, somehow they seem to compliment whatever they’re paired with making them a no brainer for this dish. The kale was the perfect addition with its charred bitter flavor to the sweet and savory flavors.
Below is where I mixed in my left-over sweet potato burger with the cooked onions and peppers. If don’t have any left over veggie burgers, you could easily achieve the same flavor and texture by using a half cup black beans and the flesh of a small or medium baked sweet potato with a little salt, pepper, and cayenne.
Then with my new-found love for feta cheese, it seemed the perfect way to top it off – that and the fresh herbs!
BENEFITS OF PATTY PAN SQUASH:
- Pattypan squash is a heart-healthy vegetable, packed with vitamins and minerals such as potassium and magnesium that offer cardio-protective effects.
- Pattypan squash is low in calories, sodium, cholesterol and fat and can help to lower blood pressure. It has many disease-fighting elements and its fiber content helps reduce the risk of colon cancer and reduce dietary cholesterol
BENEFITS OF KALE:
- Kale is a nutritional powerhouse, one cup of chopped kale contains 33 calories and 9% of the daily value of calcium, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C, and a whopping 684% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
- Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of kale helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.
I’m afraid I didn’t figure up the nutrition info on this one, but overall I’d say it makes for a pretty healthy meal!
Veggie Stuffed Patty Pan Squash
- 2 patty pan squash
- 2 leftover Sweet Potato Veggie Burger OR ½ cup black beans & 1 medium sweet potato – see notes
- ½ cup onion chopped
- ½ cup bell pepper chopped
- 1 ½ cups kale chopped
- 2 tbsp feta cheese
- fresh herbs basil, chives, cilantro
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake patty pan squash for 20 minutes.
- Mean while, add chopped onions and bell peppers to pan and saute until onions are soft and transparent, add in kale and cook until tender. Take leftover veggie patties and cut into small squares, add to onions and peppers and cook until heated through.
- Remove squash from oven and cut top off. Scoop out soft insides, chop and add to other cooked vegetables. Add mixed “stuffing” to hollow squashes and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Once Stuffed Squash have cooked, remove from oven and add fresh herbs and feta cheese – serve!
Nutrition info gathered from WebMD and LIVESTRONG.