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Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Stuffed Zucchini

 With Christmas sneaking closer, it got me thinking about stuffing. Christmas stocking stuffing, turkey stuffing, and stuffing your face with delicious treats.  However, one thing that I didn't think that could happen was stuffing my own leg into a cast.  But here I am, leg propped up, cast on, and ready for the Christmas season (as you can see!). 

This weekend my husband and I decided to go for a little hike. Nothing crazy, no multi-day backcountry deal, just into the woods, check out some potential places to explore in the spring, and then come home after a boil up with some maple smoked salmon we had packed.  It was a few degrees, sunny, and the trail was rocky and twisty that led to some stunning views. 

Half way back, it began to snow. We had our hiking boots on, and extra clothes packed just in case. No problem.  We had just eaten our lunch and were ready to head back to the parking lot and excited of  when we would return in the spring. Then it happened. My foot slipped on a large angled rock covered in snow, my body when flying, I saw and felt my ankle crack at an unnatural angle, and then heard myself scream as I landed in a heap.

It happened.
I broke my ankle or leg in the woods.
It's snowing.
Something is broken.

My husband runs toward me making sure that I didn't hit my head or hurt anything else. We slowly prop me up to see if I can bare any weight.  I quickly crumble. He fashions two large sticks into crutches to see if I can hop. 

Hop. Wince. Hop. Bones moving. Hop. I can't do this.

We must sacrifice a pack. I throw all of the cooking gear, garbage into my day pack and it's thrown into a tree. We then make sure we have the important things like extra clothes and a cell phone. A search and rescue was not what we wanted - especially with the sky only having a couple more hours of daylight and the astronomical costs of rescue plus the risk of us getting too cold while waiting. We weren't lost - we just needed to get out. 

I'm wearing his pack, bracing my leg, and am slowly lifted up on his back to begin the 2 hour  piggyback rescue until we reach the parking lot.  There were a lot of tears, words of motivation, and breaks to catch our breath.

But we made it. Onto the ER we go. After much welcomed morphine to kill the pain and X-rays, it is clear that I have broken my left fibula right above the left ankle. Thankfully, it's broken clean enough that it looks like surgery will not have to be an option, and I can get a cast.

Here I am casted. Trying to get in the Christmas spirit. And utilizing my crutches in the kitchen slowly getting from one place to the next.  I will have the cast on for at least six weeks - but this will NOT stop me from getting my Christmas cookie exchange and recipes ready - I have had time to look through too many recipes to give up now! Thank you for following along and for my friends who are giving much love and support! 

So, I have one foot stuffed into a cast or "stocking" for Christmas... here's some early supper goodies for you - stuffed zucchini :) Enjoy!

Stuffed Zucchini
Taken from America’s Test Kitchen: Light & Healthy 2010.

Makes 4. They’re great as a side dish or as a meal itself.

4 zucchini (buy ones that are between 6-8 inches long)
1 shallot, minced (about 3 TBSP)
1 tsp olive oil
2/3 cup couscous
¾ cup low sodium chicken broth
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about ¼ cup)
¼ cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped coarse
2 TBSP chopped fresh basil (preferred but you can use dried spice)

Preheat oven 475 degrees.

Slice off and discard the top third of each zucchini lengthwise and arrange the
bottoms, cut side down, in a microwave safe dish. Microwave on high until the
cut side of the zucchini is slightly translucent and easily pierced – 4-8 minutes.

Combine the shallot, oil, and ¼ tsp salt in a small saucepan.  Cover and cook
over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4-6 minutes. 
Increase the heat to medium, add the couscous, and cook stirring frequently,
until lightly browned and aromatic, about 4 minutes.

Stir in the broth and bring to a brief simmer. Remove the saucepan from the
heat, stir in ½ cup of the feta, olives, and basil, cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
Fluff the couscous with a fork and season with pepper to taste.

Divide the couscous mixture evenly among the zucchini. Sprinkle with the
remaining 1/3 cup feta and bake until the cheese is slightly browned, about 10
minutes. Serve!! f you have leftover "stuffing" it's awesome to eat as is - don't
throw it out. 


  1. You're a trooper for sure! Shows what teamwork can do! How on earth did you manage to get a stocking cast?

  2. Lisa,

    It was definitely a team effort! :)

    As for the cast, it's fiberglass - the inside "sock" was white, then they put a main base of red, and the final layer is a stripe of green - not really for structure but more for cosmetics ;) They dip the coloured bandage-like material in water and eventually they harden into the layers of a cast!

    I have to get it rechecked in a couple weeks - so if there it's re-casted I may have to keep changing Christmas colours! :)

    Allison :)


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