BUTTERNUT SQUASH BASICS
I prepare butternut squash in two ways. The easiest is to prick it in a few places and microwave it for about five minutes until it is soft enough to cut (if you have better knives than I do, you can probably skip this step). Then I cut it in half, add some butter or oil and a bit of brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup. I put it on a baking sheet and roast at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until it’s soft and mushy. The other way takes much longer to prepare: Peel it, cut into cubes, and roast or boil until soft.
Onces it’s cooked, winter squash can be used in many recipes. Our members sent a slew of them last year, which I’m reposting
DOM’S SQUASH SOUP IN COCONUT MILK
(a Filipino dish)
2-3 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes.
1 small piece ginger, chopped finely
3-4 cups chicken broth Just enough chicken broth to cover the squash pieces (since I use the whole squash, this volume can vary).
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 small onion, chopped finely
1 boneless chicken breast, boiled and shredded
1/4 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
–In a pot, mix half of the squash pieces, ginger and enough chicken broth to cover the squash.
–Bring to a boil, then simmer with the lid on, over low to medium heat until squash is tender for about 10-15 minutes.
–Mash the squash with a ladle or fork. This will be the “mashed” portion of the soup that also makes the soup thicker.
–Add the rest of the squash pieces, add more chicken broth if necessary and simmer for 5-10 min, until soft. This will be the chunky squash pieces.
–While the squash is softening, heat vegetable oil in another pan. Add garlic and fry until lightly browned.
–Add onions and stir fry until fragrant and soft.
–Add shrimp and stir fry until just cooked.
–Add chicken and stir fry until well-combined.
–Mix the stir-fried components into the pot of softened squash.
–Add coconut milk and simmer for 5 min. Just add enough coconut milk to make the soup creamy and not dilute the soup. Usually, I use the whole can.
–Add fish sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
Recipe modified from: http://blog.junbelen.com/2013/12/11/how-to-make-ginataang-kalabasa-at-sitaw-butternut-squash-and-yard-long-beans-in-coconut
DREAMY ROASTED BUTTER SQUASH AND CARROT SOUP
FROM ANJALI: My husband and kids claimed this to be the best soup they have ever had! So thought I would share
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 lb carrots, cut into 1/2 inch circles
2 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tbs olive oil
1 large onion, cut into small dice
3 stalks celery cut into small pieces
3 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 inch piece ginger cut into coins
5-7 sprigs thyme
2 tbs olive oil
Roasted sunflower seeds
- Preheat oven to 400f.
- Mix squash, carrots and potatoes with 2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste
- Roast in oven for 30-40 mins until soft and starting to brown
- Meanwhile heat another 2 tablespoons oil in a medium sized saucepan
- Sauté onion for a few mins.
- Then add celery and sauté for a few more mins
- Add stock, ginger and thyme and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 mins.
- Add veggies to onion/celery/stock mixture when roasted
- Remove thyme sprigs.
- Purée in blender and add water as necessary.
- Add roasted sunflower seeds as a garnish
ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND RED ONION WITH TAHINI AND ZA’ATAR
Adapted from Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
Michelle writes, “While the vegetables undergo their transformation, you make a lemon-and-garlic spiked tahini sauce and cook some pine nuts in olive oil and salt until they get golden-brown. And then you layer everything together and serve it in one show-stopping stunner of a dish. The colors alone make you do a double-take. And then when you finally taste it, you’re done for.
If you think you might show more restraint, just talk to my husband who accidentally ate three quarters of it and forgot to ask if I wanted more. For the record, I would’ve done the same thing – it’s just that he got to it first.
I don’t normally insist on certain cookbooks beings a must-own in your library, but I really think you can’t go wrong with this book. The recipes are fantastic and straightforward, and while you might have to get a few “exotic” ingredients like tahini, za’atar, or date syrup, it’s well worth the investment. These ingredients will enable you to flavor your food differently, expand your palate, and make you a better cook. If you don’t have a Middle Eastern shop near you (I am, at the moment, very lucky in that department), there’s always Kalustyan’s which has all three of the above ingredients, and then some.
1 medium butternut squash (about 624 grams; 22 ounces) peeled and cut into 1×2 1/2 inch pieces
1 large red onion, cut into eighths
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt, divided plus additional to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons tahini paste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, pounded into a paste
3 tablespoons (30 grams; about 1.2 ounces) pine nuts
1 tablespoon za’atar
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Flaky sea salt
- Heat the oven to 475 degrees F with the rack positioned in the middle.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the squash and onion and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, and a few twists of the pepper grinder. Toss until the ingredients are combined. Spread the vegetables on a shallow baking sheet, leaving them enough “breathing” room and roast in the oven 25 to 35 minutes, or until the vegetables have taken on some color and are cooked through. You’ll want to see a little bit of charring, though not too much. Keep an eye out on the onion; you may need to pick it out earlier. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- While the vegetables are roasting, make the sauce. Place the tahini I a small bowl along with 2 tablespoons of water, lemon juice, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt. Whisk until the sauce is the consistency of honey. You might need to add more water or tahini, depending.
- Pour the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil into a small skillet and place over medium-low heat. Add the pine nuts along with 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt, and cook, stirring often until the nuts are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove fro the heat and transfer both: the nuts and the oil to a small bowl (otherwise the nuts will continue to cook).
- To serve, spread the vegetables out on a large plate or a serving platter, and drizzle over the tahini. Sprinkle the pine nuts and their oil on top, followed by za’atar and the parsley. Add a few flakes of the flaky sea salt and serve.
Serves 2 to 4.
Michelle’s BUTTERNUT SQUASH MAC AND CHEESE
This is just pure old-fashioned comfort food. You are able to enjoy the warm creaminess you look for, with all the goodness of wholesome foods.
Equipment: Food processor
16 oz. elbow pasta; or use your favorite shape or a brown rice gluten-free otion.
Butternut squash cream:
2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash, broiled until tender
½ cup cashews, soaked for one hour
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon sea salt
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
¼ cup filtered water
Walnut bread crumbs
¼ cup walnuts
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon sea salt
Pulse bread crumb ingredients until finely ground and set aside. Boil pasta; drain, rinse, toss with small amount of olive oil to prevent sticking and then set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Drain and rinse cashews and transfer to a food processor with remaining cream ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add to pasta, mix well and transfer to a lightly oiled 8×8 baking dish. Top with walnut bread crumbs and bake for 25 minutes.
BLACK BEAN AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH BURRITOS
The best burritos I’ve ever made. Also, the only burritos I’ve ever made. But quite possibly the best I’ve tasted! These burritos have a kick of heat to them (that you can control yourself) and a light sweetness thanks to the butternut squash. The filling is so good I found myself eating it on its own. Use it to sprinkle on salads or as a dip for crackers in addition to making burritos. You could also try using sweet potato or pumpkin as a way to change up the butternut filling.
4 burritos or 3.5 cups of filling Prep Time
25 Minutes Cook time
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, cubed, & roasted
1/2 cup uncooked short grain brown rice (yields: 1.5 cups cooked)
1-2 tsp olive oil
1 cup chopped sweet onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
2 tsp ground cumin, or to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
One 15-oz can black beans (about 1.5-2 cups cooked), drained and rinsed
3/4 cup Daiya cheese
4 tortilla wraps (large or x-large)
vegan sour cream
Preheat oven to 425°F and line a large glass dish with tinfoil. Drizzle olive oil on squash and give a shake of salt and pepper. Coat with hands. Roast chopped butternut squash for 45 mins. or until tender.
Cook brown rice (for directions, see here)
In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add oil, onion, and minced garlic. Sautee for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Now add in salt and seasonings and stir well.
Add chopped red pepper, black beans, and cooked rice and sauté for another 10 mins. on low.
When butternut squash is tender remove from oven and cool slightly. Add 1.5 cups of the cooked butternut squash to the skillet and stir well. You can mash the squash with a fork if some pieces are too large. Add Daiya cheese and heat another couple minutes.
Add bean filling to tortilla along with desired toppings. Wrap and serve. Leftover filling can be reheated the next day for lunch in a wrap or as a salad topper.
ANDREA’S CINNAMON AND NUTMEG SPICED SQUASH SOUP
As the season’s shift and the weather cools, it’s a wise idea to incorporate more warming and nourishing foods into your diet.
Winter squash is definitely one of those prized ingredients that I love during the fall and winter months. It is not only warming, sweet and delicious, it contains quite a few carotenoids that support good health: alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin.
According to studies, dietary carotenoids provide health benefits by decreasing the risk of disease, particularly certain cancers and eye disease. “The carotenoids that have been most studied in this regard are beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. In part, the beneficial effects of carotenoids are thought to be due to their role as antioxidants. Beta-Carotene may have added benefits due its ability to be converted to vitamin A. Furthermore, lutein and zeaxanthin may be protective in eye disease because they absorb damaging blue light that enters the eye.”
But, besides the scientific mumbo jumbo, squash has a sweet flavor that helps support the stomach/spleen/pancreas. This is the system in the body that thrives on the naturally sweet flavor of good starches and carbohydrates.
I’ve also included some savory and warming spices into this recipe. Both cinnamon and nutmeg bring heat into the digestive system, helping you digest your food better.
Try it yourself and see how you feel. I bet on a cold blustery day, your body will thank you for this delicious meal.
2-3 tbsp. grass-fed butter
1 onion, peeled and diced
4-5 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed (1 large butternut squash)
1 & 1/2 tsp. Real sea salt
2-3 inches, ginger peeled and chopped
1 tsp. organic ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 cups duck stock, water, veggie stock or milk
In a soup pot on medium high heat, saute onion and squash in butter for 3-4 minutes. Add sea salt, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon. Add stock and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes. Put all ingredients into a food processor or blender and puree. Add soup back to the pot and season with more salt if needed. Enjoy!
JENNIFER’S ORZO WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH, SPINACH, AND BLUE CHEESE
By Erin Alderson The Kitchn
Jennifer writes, “It may not be “winter” squash but we made this using our goodies this week. A great side and feta can be used in lieu of blue cheese if anyone prefers!
2 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash (1/4-inch cubes)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup regular or whole-wheat orzo
2 cups shredded spinach
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles
Preheat oven to 425?F. Toss butternut squash with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Spread into a single layer on a sheet tray. Bake until squash is tender and starting to brown, 35 to 40 minutes. (Squash can be roasted up to 5 days ahead and kept refrigerated. Rewarm before serving.)
Place the spinach in a large bowl and set aside. In a small skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil until just warm. Stir in garlic, remove from heat, and allow to sit until ready to use.
Place the orzo in a pot and cover with at least 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until tender but not mushy, 8 to 9 minutes. Drain and immediately pour the hot orzo on top of the spinach. Let sit for a few minutes to slightly wilt spinach.
Add butternut squash to the pasta, along with the blue cheese and garlic olive oil. Toss until well-combined and serve warm.
Make-ahead:Roast the squash whenever you have a spare moment and keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days. Warm it in the microwave, a low oven, or in the skillet with the garlic before tossing with the pasta.
Storage:Leftovers will keep for up to 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.