Make Thyme for Acorn Squash Stuffed with Quinoa & Mushrooms

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


It's October!  How did that happen?!  I could swear just yesterday I was on the beach eating watermelon.  Time flies when you are having fun, or when you are busy, in my case.  Not that I'm not having fun but recently I find I must organize my BIG "TO DO" list into smaller, more manageable lists so I don't get overwhelmed.  In this week's post I'd like to share some tips that will allow you to manage your time better plus a delicious recipe for stuffed acorn squash that will basically cook itself.  Yes, you have to make a few preparations but this recipe will impress YOU and your dinner guests into thinking it took hours when in reality it takes about 30 minutes.  



Time Management
Have you ever wished for a few more hours in the day? Why is it that some people seem to get everything done effortlessly and others feel that time constantly eludes them? The secret to managing your time well isn’t working more hours. It is about prioritizing the important things and learning to use the time you have more efficiently and effectively. The secret is working smarter, not harder. 
Some of us, by nature, organize and get tasks out of the way before we relax, while others of us play first and work later. It is important to first recognize which type you are and whether your style is allowing you to have the life you really want. Maybe you are super-organized at work, but burned out because you don’t know how to make time for yourself. Maybe you are naturally a less organized person who knows how to relax, but you are dissatisfied because you aren’t fulfilling your goals and dreams. 
Rather than labeling yourself or beating yourself up, realize that time management is an area of your life that you can strengthen. Like a new muscle, it takes practice and repetition to make it stronger. To help you get started, here are some steps to streamline your days at work and at home. Try the first one or two that jump out at you: 
  •  Allocate time for planning and organizing. 
  • Create to-do lists that are realistic, not intimidating. Use only one to-do list. 
  • Under-schedule your time: Leave time for the unexpected and for interruptions. When you estimate how long something will take, add on a third of that time. 
  • Schedule your time in a way that reduces interruptions that lower your productivity. 
  • Practice the art of intelligent neglect: Eliminate trivial tasks. Prioritize what is most important and do that first. 
  • Consider your biological prime time: At what time of day do you work best? Plan to do your most important work at that time. 
  • If you say yes to everything that comes your way, learn to say no. 
  • Ask for help and delegate. 
  • In the evening make your to-do list for the next day, so it will be out of your brain and on a piece of paper. Leave work with a clear head and a clean desk. 
  • Acknowledge yourself daily for all that you have accomplished. 
Also take a look at the two biggest hindrances to using time effectively: procrastinating and lacking purpose. We usually procrastinate when a task seems too daunting, too large or too complex, or when we feel we won’t be able to handle it. When you get that “deer in the headlights” feeling, try “chunking”: break the large task into smaller, manageable action steps and start with the first one. We also often drag our heels or use our time inefficiently because we are bored, unengaged and uninspired. The most effective people will tell you that they love what they do and are aligned with a greater purpose. When it comes to managing your time, you may need to ask the larger questions, “Am I doing what I love to do? Am I doing something meaningful to me?” 
As you strengthen your new time management muscle, keep your focus on getting organized so that you can live the life you came here for. Instead of being a chore, good time management can be your ticket to more fun, greater satisfaction and a vibrant, exciting life.                                      ©Integrative Nutrition                                                                                                                                         
Acorn Squash Stuffed with Quinoa & Mushrooms
Soaking Dried Mushrooms
STUFFED ACORN SQUASH                  serves 2 - 4
Ingredients:
2 whole acorn squash
2/3 cup quinoa
1 oz dried mix mushrooms or 1/2 lb fresh
1 1/4cup hot water
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp fresh thyme + sprigs for garnish
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Directions:
1.  Bring 1 1/4 cup of water to a boil.  Pour hot water over dried mushrooms and let sit for 30 minutes.  (You can do this step in the am or while you are at work.)
2.  Drain the mushrooms and chop into smaller pieces. BE SURE to save the soaking water to cook the quinoa in!
3.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
4.  Wash outsides of acorn squash, carefully cut in half, brush with olive oil, lightly sprinkle with salt & pepper
5.  Place in hot oven and roast for 25 - 35 minutes, or until you can easily pierce skin with a fork
6.  While squash is in the oven, bring the 1 1/4 cup of mushroom soaking water to a boil
7.  Add quinoa, chopped mushrooms, shallots, curry powder, salt, garlic powder and cook until fluffy, about 20 minutes
8.  Add fresh thyme to the quinoa stuffing mixture once it is finished cooking.
9.  Plate roasted acorn squash face up and add quinoa mushroom stuffing.
10. Garnish with pumpkin seeds and thyme sprigs.
Perfection in no time at all!
cut squash in half & place upside down on sheet to roast
Forward to a Friend 
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1 comment:

  1. OMG this recipe looks really good! I also appreciate the time management tips. I especially like the last tip :) We never really give ourselves enough credit for what we accomplish.

    ReplyDelete

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