Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to enter into (or further into) the world of squash.
My husband, who claims he is not a picky eater, does not like squash. Therefore, because I rather enjoy serving meals that get good reviews, I rarely use it. However. Squash has some good stuff going for it:
- in season at the Farmer’s Market as the market dies down for the winter
- last a long time in storage
- although not an official super food, as a close relative to the sweet potato and the pumpkin, they’re awfully close (i.e., really good for you)
Because of the whole husband’s palate thing, I don’t have a ton of wisdom to impart, as I’m tackling this one with you (there are currently no less than 6 squash…squashes?…yellow/orange winter vegetables in my basement!). I’ll offer what I’ve done with squash before, however.
How I Use Squash
- Squash fries – you can more or less follow the directions for my
baked oven fries(recipe no longer available), but with butternut squash (peel it first), or get wild and roll them in maple syrup and coconut before baking.
- Roasted Winter Vegetables
- Spaghetti Squash – this unique variety serves up just like spaghetti!
More on that(Link no longer available)…and a great recipe for spaghetti squash lasagna
- Squash soup – here’s a simple framework recipe with chicken broth, seasonings, and maybe some cream. If you do like squash, this is a perfect fall opener for dinner.
- Acorn squash with bacon, maple syrup, and balsamic vinaigrette. I think this was originally a Kraft Food & Family recipe, and it’s delicious. I found it for you here. I use my homemade balsamic vinaigrette (a variation of the Italian at this link), of course.
- Savory Greek Sausage-stuffed Squash – the only way I bother with acorn squash now that I’ve tried it!
- Pasta with Fall Squash and Leeks: Squash is pureed in the sauce here, so if texture is your issue with squash, you might still enjoy this dish. My husband didn’t, so I serve it when his parents visit. 🙂
- Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese – this one went over better than the pasta above; even hubby loved it! I noted that I should use the least sweet squash possible, for his tastes.
- Hide-a-squash. No, this is not a backyard game (although that has potential). The number one way I use squash is in anything, by the cube. I bake a butternut squash, puree it in a blender, and make “ice cubes” out of it, just like I used to do for baby food (and like Emily told you on Friday). I toss a few cubes into spaghetti sauce, casseroles, soups, and meatloaf. I get to boost our orange winter veggie intake, and I don’t get complaints from the peanut gallery.
- Bake with squash. I pretty much treat all orange veggies the same – roast, puree, and use in recipes like:
A Quick Note
Make sure you’re not confusing winter squash, which are hard on the outside and orange or yellow (usually) on the inside, with summer squash, which are yellow or green (zucchini) and reminiscent of a cucumber. It’s not that summer squash aren’t nutritious, but they don’t have the beta carotene and other goodies of orange vegetables.
I’m Going to Try
- Adding buttercup squash puree to some cookies. I have a favorite recipe for pumpkin cookies, and my basil man at the Farmer’s Market (who is about to become my squash man) tells me that butterCUP is so sweet, you can cut a bunch of sugar when you use it in cookies. He says to just add some to any recipe. When we’re back with grains, I will be trying chocolate chip! (Have you seen 10 Questions to Ask Your Farmer?)
- I’m also using buttercup squash for pumpkin pies this fall so I can decrease the sugar.
- Might try some in the grain-free chocolate banana muffins I made this weekend. I was thinking pumpkin (or squash!) in place of the banana would be excellent. I should post this recipe, because I changed it so much that it wouldn’t be good to link to the original, which ended up concave.
- Donielle’s BLT Grain-free Pasta
- Roasted Butternut Squash with Caramelized Onions, Gorgonzola, and Crispy Fried Sage
- Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna (this will not go over well with my husband, though – anyone up for a dinner party for women?)
- Butternut Squash Carbonara
I had fewer squash recipes bookmarked than I thought.
Anyone have some favorite squash recipes or techniques to share?
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Photo by Tony Austin.