January 4-Ingredient Challenge

by zydecopaws on January 24, 2011

Another month, another 4-Ingredient Challenge. This month the four foods required for the dish were ground beef, quinoa, winter squash, and pears. After much consideration, I finally decided to go with delicata squash stuffed with a quinoa and beef meatloaf served with pear sauce.

A half-cup of quinoa was cooked per the package instructions, then mixed with about a pound of ground beef, a bunch of chopped green onions, 2 slices of finely shredded sour dough bread, one egg, a half-teaspoon of salt, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, and some finely chopped fresh rosemary and thyme. The squash was divided in half lengthwise, the seeds scooped out, and the cavities filled with a generous helping of the meat mixture.

Then it was off to the grill (indirect at 375°F for just under an hour where they were sprinkled with a light dusting of Simply Marvelous Cherry Rub. They were joined by a meatball made from the remaining meat mixture.


The meatball was finished a bit earlier than the rest of the meal and was excellent in its own right. There is a very good chance that the remaining ground beef in the refrigerator will get turned into a meatloaf (or more meatballs) in the very near future using this recipe.


The squash cooked up nicely with the mini-meatloafs in them. A simple pear sauce (fresh pears peeled, chopped, and dusted with a bit of cinnamon) had been simmering away on the stove most of the afternoon, and made a nice compliment to the stuffed squash.


This was a very good meal and was thoroughly enjoyed by the family in spite of all their initial suspicion of the menu. We’ll probably do this again, but use a thicker squash (like acorn) and cook the squash for 20-30 minutes first so that the meat retains more moisture while the squash is softer.

And don’t forget to check out my fellow bloggers entries in this months challenge. We all have a lot of fun doing this, and you never know what the others will come up with using the same ingredient list.

About the “On Our Grills” 4 Ingredient Challenge Bloggers

The BBQ Grail
The BBQ Grail website was created in 2007, initially to document the author’s quest to find the perfect backyard BBQ experience. Since that time The BBQ Grail has become one of the more popular BBQ blogs on the internet and is listed on Alltop.com as one of the top BBQ blogs.

Grill Adventures by Broadcast Marc
Grill Adventures by broadcastmarc was started in March of 2010. According to the author, he started the BBQ thing when he was 30, before that they ate a lot outside and had fun, but when kids came into their life they started serious cooking. Most of it is really healthy. The grill has a special place in his heart because they love to do things outside. Everything he makes is an adventure, and sometimes they use the books. They try to grill as much as they can year round.

Nibble Me This
Nibble Me This is Chris Grove’s blog about his misadventures in live fire cooking. ”I have no culinary training….I’m just entertaining myself with fire and food”.

Grill Grrrl- Adventures of a Girl on the Grill
Robyn Medlin is the “grill girl” behind grillgrrrl.com. Her focus is on healthy, simple and creative recipes on the grill. She encourages women to learn to grill as it a great way to create healthy, flavorful dishes without all the fuss and clean up in the kitchen. This “grill girl” holds quarterly “Women’s Grilling Clinics” as a way to encourage women to not be intimated by the grill. As a McCormick’s flavor correspondent for their “This Week in Grilling Campaign”, Robyn shares fun, tropical video recipes documenting her grilling adventures from her backyard in Sunny, Hollywood, Florida.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Marc January 24, 2011 at 8:22 am

Wow looks great…nice job!!


Bob-landarc January 24, 2011 at 8:53 am

That looks great Paul. I was wondering how the quinoa would work as a mix in.


zydecopaws January 24, 2011 at 9:01 am

I was pleasantly surprised with the results. I’m not overly fond of plain quinoa and even less so of how it smells while cooking, but none of that translated into the final dish. The rosemary and thyme were fresh and took care of that.

The meatloaf (and the meatball) were surprisingly dense, much more so than with other fillers. I’ve got some ground beef left and intend to make either a more traditional meatloaf or meatballs using similar ingredients tonight.


Robyn Medlin January 24, 2011 at 10:15 am

Very creative cooking the meat in the squash! I like it!


Tom January 24, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Great looking combo you came up with!


Chris January 24, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Very creative! I like how you went in a different direction for your squash selection. And pear sauce was an inspirational choice.


zydecopaws January 24, 2011 at 6:41 pm

The pear sauce was good, and very easy to make. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m considering making a bigger batch in the crockpot at some point in the future.

I just won’t call it BBQ…


GYSC January 24, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Another work of art! I love it.


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