Back at it.

I’ve been gone for a while but I am making it a priority to blog more.  Whether it’s about food, geek stuff or just whatever my little heart desires.  But, I’ll give a life update before I start my actual blog post.  I finally found a job.  It’s at a call centre doing technical support.  I started in February and I love it so far.  I’ve even been chosen to mentor and provide floor support to new classes when they first come out on the call floor.

I also haven’t been feeling the greatest for about a month or so.  After I started my job, I got a terrible cold that needed antibiotics to help kill it.  A few days after I started taking my antibiotics, my body started to ache.  I felt like I was vibrating and I was exhausted.  My foot cramps got worse and I have a horrible time sleeping.

Last week, I went back to the doctor.  They did a bunch of blood work and it turns out my electrolytes are completely out of whack.  That explains my symptoms and why I’ve been feeling horrible.  So, I’m starting to eat better while eating smaller servings throughout the day.  I’m starting to drink more water, even though I don’t like to.  I’m trying to regulate my sleep, (which doesn’t help when I’m working evenings for the next 3 months) as best as I can.  I’m on my way to feeling better!

So, there’s a little update from me.  What I’m really blogging about is what I made today: Butternut Squash and Spinach Stuffin Muffins.

Here’s what you need:

½ butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes (about 2-3 cups)
Prepared cornbread (I bought muffins), cut into ½ inch cubes (about 3-4 cups)
Multigrain bread, cut into ½ inch cubes (about 3-4 cups)
½ small onion, chopped
2 cups chopped spinach
1 ½ cups chicken or vegetable broth (I used vegetable broth)
2 large eggs
½ cup dried cranberries
4 fresh sage leaves
3 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
For vegetarian version: 2 cups roughly chopped portobello mushrooms (This was my option)
For non-vegetarian version: 3 lean turkey italian sausages
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325F.  Spread cubed bread on a baking sheet and toast for about 5-10 minutes until just beginning to toast. Pour toasted bread cubes in a large bowl and set aside.  I had to do both my breads separately, as I have a teeny apartment-sized oven.

Increase oven to 425F.  Spread butternut squash cubes (and portobello mushrooms if making the vegetarian version) on a baking sheet.  Again, I had to do mine separately.  Drizzle with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.  Roast for 15 minutes until the veggies are beginning to brown.  Add to the bowl with the bread cubes.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet.  Add the chopped onion and cook for 5-7 minutes until soft.  Add the sage and thyme, spinach, and salt and pepper and saute for another 2 minutes until kale begins to soften.  I added the squash to this mixture so it could get a bit more browned up.  Pour the veggie mixture into the bowl with the bread cubes.

If making the turkey sausage version, remove sausage from casings and brown in the saute pan, breaking up into small pieces, until cooked through. Add sausage to the bread/veggie mixture.  Add dried cranberries to the bread mixture.  Taste mixture and add additional salt/pepper as needed.

In a small bowl, whisk eggs with broth and pour over your stuffing mixture.  Toss to combine everything, adding additional broth if it seems too dry.  If able, let the mixture sit in the fridge for a few hours or even over night.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375F.  Spray a muffin tray with oil and fill each with a heaping spoonful of the stuffing mixture.  Press each down into the tin so it holds together, then add a little more to the top so it has a nice rounded “non perfect” looking top.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until muffins hold together and are browning on the top.

UPDATE – Mine were a fail.  They were way too wet after baking (and I left them in for 30 minutes).  They didn’t really hold together at all.  I think there was too much bread as well.  I’m going to attempt these again one day, with a bit of tweaking.  On the upside, they tasted great.  I’ll still take them for lunches.  I’ll just eat them with a fork.


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