Smash and Squash

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

My friends say I easily get obsessed with something -- watercolor (a failed attempt), board games (still an avid fan), and currently, essential oils. Sometime not too long ago, I was obsessed with looking up zero waste lifestyles and documenting my attempts on this blog. While my obsession with it may have died down, I haven't stopped turning that excitement into something sustainable.

The last couple of times I went to the supermarket, I remembered to bring a few baunans for my meat, fish, and rice. I felt a little geeky bringing out my own Tupperware at the supermarket. If you're planning on doing this, don't be embarrassed if people give you funny looks for bringing your own food container. If the guys at the supermarket insist on putting your food in a plastic bag, don't give in! Insist back that the food should be in your baunan and that you don't want the plastic! There are weighing scales anyway to ensure that you pay for the meat's (or whatever you plan on buying that's not yet in a box/its own container) weight, exclusive of the weight of your container. The last time I bought food, I forced the guy to stuff the chicken I bought into a tiny container (see photo above!). I appreciated his effort in putting adhesives around the baunan to make sure it wouldn't open.

If you're looking for a small way to start going zero waste, bringing your baunan to the supermarket is a good step! Send me pics (@foolest on Instagram).

For those who were asking on Instagram, the chicken was for the omnivore version of @pinchofyum's 5-ingredient, 30-minute pumpkin alfredo. My 3-hour version can be found below.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of squash puree
2 1/2 cups of cooking cream
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 whole garlic
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1 piece of chicken breast, cubed
500g penne noodles, uncooked
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
(Makes 6-7 servings)

For puree:
1. Chop up squash into big chunks. Peel garlic.
2. Boil squash, chicken, and garlic until the squash is soft. Use medium heat.
3. Remove chicken from broth after a few minutes to keep it from getting overcooked (I didn't time it, sorry!)
4. Transfer squash and garlic bits to a separate bowl or food processor.
5. Puree squash and garlic bits until you have enough for 1 1/2 cups. (I transferred the squash and garlic by the handful)
6. Cut chicken breast into cubes.

For main dish:
1. Cook pasta of choice according to package directions.
2. Heat up EVOO over medium heat. Sautee minced garlic until it's slightly brown.
3. Add squash puree and cooking cream. Simmer until slightly thickened.
4. Add cheese and mix.
5. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Strain the pasta and mix noodles into sauce.

Viola! There you have 3 hours of work. This took a while since I didn't have pumpkin puree on hand. I had to make my own squash version. I also added lots of garlic since I'm trying to finish up our garlic stock at home. My mom made squash soup with the remaining squash pulp and cream.

Title credits to @books.are.dead.

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