Before Thanksgiving, I bought some pul qua
squash, also known as opo
squash, calabash, or bottle gourd. I'd never cooked it before, and wanted to see what it was like. I also bought a fennel bulb.
This week, while wandering through the vegetable section at Kroger, I remembered that the squash was still in my refrigerator's vegetable drawer! Out of sight, out of mind.
Today I belatedly remembered it again, so I've finally sauteed it. It's juicy and has a mild flavor, sort of like cooked cucumbers or chayote.
Note to self: Next time, cut out and discard the center spongy part of the squash. It has a rather unpleasant texture after being cooked.
While browsing recipes, I found a photo of caramelized fennel. It turns out that you can caramelize fennel, just like caramelizing onions! So I did that with my fennel. Yummy. That's how I should always prepare it from now on.
I used coconut oil for the caramelizing and sauteing - the first time I've cooked with coconut oil. It went well. Scooping the solid "oil" out of the jar with 2 spoons wasn't as awkward as I thought it might be.marahmarie
had linked to an article about how it is bad to fry food in vegetable oils
, due to aldehyde toxins that form in the oils at high temperatures. Here is another article about the same study
. Both seem to me to be rather lacking in details.
But that, along with other things I've read about the omega 6 to omega 3 ratio in vegetable oils, and how too much omega 6 causes inflammation, made me decide to try cooking and baking with coconut oil.
This last year, I've been mainly using sunflower, safflower, and olive oil. The sunflower and safflower oils are organic, expeller-pressed and naturally refined (terms explained here
I'm still not convinced that naturally refined vegetable oils like those are necessarily bad, especially at the medium temperatures that I saute at.
For dessert, I'm going to bake lazy cake cookies
- a chocolate chip bar cookie made with cake mix. I'll use the Neat Egg
substitute again, as it works so well in baked goods, and I'll use melted coconut oil instead of the butter.Pistachio Pudding Cookies
: another good-looking recipe, which I may trying making a vegan version of.