Green Beans and Butternut Squash

Green Beans and Butternut Squash
Serves Variable

This is a wonderful cool weather meal. It is very well-suited to pork dishes, but hearty fish (salmon), lamb or venison would be equally good.

On my podcast, Make Your Someday Today, many guests talk about need to make adaptations to changing conditions. When you make a side dish like that, you have automatic flexibility. You can prepare whichever meat you have in your freezer or is on sale at your local market. And this dish simply looks good!

Fresh green beans
Medium butternut squash
1 tablespoon olive oil

I didn’t weigh the ingredients, so I don’t know how much to tell you to use. I used about 4 cups of beans and 2 cups of squash and got 4 large portions from it.

  1. Put a large pot of water on the stove, and turn to high
  2. Peel the squash. 
  3. Cut into approximately 1/2 inch (10mm) slices. Then cut them into cubes.
  4. Trim the ends off the beans, and wash under cold water.
  5. Heat a large non-stick pan over med-high heat. Spray with cooking spray.
  6. Place squash in pan. Let them saute a bit until the first side begins to brown, then start to toss every minute or so to evenly brown them.
  7. When the water comes to a boil, place all the beans in. Prepare a colander in the sink.
  8. After one minute, pour the pot of beans into colander. (You just “blanched” those beans.)
  9. Let them drip dry for a minute, then add them to the large skillet. Continue to toss until the beans are heated through. 
  10. When done, the squash will retain its shape, but be easy to piece with a fork, and the beans will be hot, yet still have crispness. (If you want the beans softer, keep them in the water for an additional 2-3 minutes.) 
Nutritional data:
Calories:           96
Fat:               3.8mg
Sat fat:             0.6g
Chol:                0mg
Sodium:         9.4mg
Carbs:             15.8g
Fiber:                4.4g
Protein:             2.7g

This is excellent with grilled pork chops, by the way!

My podcast, Make Your Someday Today is a twice-weekly show, where we talk to successful people in all walks of life and around the world on Monday, and then on Thursday, I take a specific message from the previous guest and give my “Trevitorial”, where I help you apply that message to your life. The entire purpose of the show is to help all of us overcome our challenges and fears and become the person we want to be, the person we deserve to be. I hope you give it a listen! 

Venison Burgers

Venison Burger
Serves 4 (four ounce patty, raw)

4 buns, lightly buttered
1 pound ground venison (or bison, or very lean beef)
1 tablespoon bacon grease (or coconut oil) plus more to oil the grill.
1 egg white
Salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder, crushed mustard seed
Your preferred toppings

  1. Preheat your grill on high for five minutes
  2. While the grill is preheating, prepare your meat. (Here is the secret:)
  3. Spread the raw meat on a plate. Season as desired. 
  4. Drizzle the oil over the meat.
  5. Gently fold the meat together, and form a well. Add the egg white to the well.
  6. Again, gently fold the meat together, just until the egg white is incorporated. 
  7. Divide into your portions, and form into a ball.
  8. When the grill is hot, brush to remove residue and with a paper towel and tongs, carefully wipe oil on the grill. 
  9. Just before you place the meat on the grill, gently press them flat (but thick) between your hands. 
  10. Press into the center of the burger, not all the way through, but enough to make an indentation in the meat. Lay on grill. Let them grill, undisturbed until the edges of the meat are getting cooked.
  11. Carefully flip.
  12. Continue for 1-4 more minutes (depending on how well-done you prefer.) The indentation you made should have filled in by now. Making that indentation prevent the meat from return to a more rounded shape.
  13. In the last minute, lay the buns on grill. Watch carefully, they will go from untoasted to burnt quickly.
  14. Top and serve immediately.
Nutritional data for the patty alone (too much variability in different buns and toppings):
Calories:     193
Fat:            9.6g
Sat fat        4.6g
Chol:     89.5mg
Sodium: 93.3mg
Carb             0g
Fiber:            0g
Protein:    24.4g
The added oil in step 4 will help keep the burger moist. You can use different oils for different flavor. Bacon grease is excellent. You could use butter or lard if you wanted. 
If you use a lower grade of beef (anything less than 90% lean), you won’t need to add the oils. So why don’t I just buy the inexpensive meat? My brother-in-law gives me the venison, so I use what I have, and adapt as needed.
Never press on a burger while it is cooking, whether on a grill or in a pan. That simply pushes the juices out and you will have a dry burger.
I’m not going to list all possible toppings, but let me say that Jimmy Buffet has it close. Cheese, onion, pickle and mustard is all it takes! (“With a cold draught beer” of course!)