I’m not always cooking muffins and cookies, this week I experimented with butternut squash.
First I wanted to cook the squash and eat it plain to understand how it tastes without too much doctoring, and then I could play with it. A butternut squash is gigantic, and could easily last a few meals for one person. It can also be made sweet or savory, similar to pumpkin, which makes it an excellent ingredient for many different recipes.
Plain Butternut Squash:
- 1 butternut squash
Take your squash and cut it in half length-wise. This is the hardest part of working with any kind of squash. I used a long serrated knife. I actually stopped cooking squash a few years ago because it was so hard to cut. But now I have muscles and better knife skills, so I can handle it. (just kidding, but it is hard to cut. Don’t hurt yourself.)
Once the squash is cut, spoon out the seeds and strings. You can save the seeds if you want to toast them for a salad or any other dish.
In a shallow oven-safe dish, fill one inch of water, and lay the squash open side down in the water. Bake on 400* for 35-40 minutes. It should be very soft and fork tender, but you won’t know it until you take it out and pierce it.
Once it has cooled, the ideas are endless! Next time, I would like to fill the bowl part with rice on quinoa and cranberries and feta.
For this time, I ate about half of one half of the squash with a little margarine and cinnamon and refrigerated the rest. I don’t eat the skin of a squash, but there’s nothing wrong with it if you want to.
Butternut Squash Soup:
This is a cold soup, and you could also drink it as a smoothie! Or think of it as a Smoothie in a Bowl (SIAB as seen on other blogs).
Ingredients (makes 3.5 cups of soup)
- 1 C cooked butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 3/4 C milk
- 1/2 banana
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- lots of ice (3/4 C?)
- drizzle honey
- 1/2 packet Truvia sweetener
In a blender, combine squash, milk, banana, vanilla, and nutmeg. Blend until smooth. Add ice, honey, and sweetener and blend again. Season more to taste. Can also add ginger (I didn’t have any).
If you like squash, this is delicious. The squash flavor is very evident, you can tame it more by adding more banana. The color was beautiful, and you can see specs of cinnamon and nutmeg too. Very refreshing to eat cold, or you could heat it up. The soup looks fancy, especially if you garnish it with an herb. Very fast and easy, especially if the squash is already cooked.
Squash isn’t the only thing cooking this week. I also made a Minestrone Soup for a lighter dinner.
- 4 C chicken stock or broth
- 15 oz tomato sauce
- 1/2 C water (or fill the tomato sauce can with water)
- 2 C whole wheat pasta (I measured 2 C uncooked pasta and it multiplied in size. You could tame this down or add more broth if you want less noodles)
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 6 carrots, diced
- 6 celery stalks, diced
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- 1 small can corn
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
Sautee the onion in a little olive oil until almost translucent. Add garlic and stir to make sure it doesn’t burn. Add celery and carrots and let cook until carrots are tender. Add zucchini and corn.
In separate pot, boil pasta as instructions on box say (ours was 10 minutes at a boil).
In soup pot, add broth and tomato sauce and stir together.
Once pasta has cooked, drain it and add to the soup pot.
Let soup simmer together for 30 minutes before eating, but it can also simmer on very low heat or no heat and covered for a few hours too.
Served with a side salad of arugula, avocado, orange slices, and parmesan cheese with olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper dressing.