I was born in the fall and it continues to be to my favorite time of the year. I love the color and the smell and the cool. The colors of fall are not more present than in the abundance of squash. Every fall color is present in the squash varieties. Not only are they beautiful they are also flavorful. Today we'll look what you can prepare with squash.
NUTTY ACORN SQUASH TOAST
Try "toast" in a new way.
1 acorn squash
1 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
2 tsp unsweetened almond butter
2 slices of bacon (sugar free, compliant)
1/4 cup cashews
1/2 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin spice would be great too!
1/2 tsp salt
Pre-heat oven to 400F.
Slice acorn squash vertically into 1/2 inch thick rounds.
Remove the seeds.
Rub with olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes.
Set out to cool.
In the meantime, heat a dry skillet on medium-high heat.
Add in the raw cashews and toss with seasoning while you toast them.
Once they begin to brown remove from the heat.
Clean out the skillet, put back on the burner.
Chop up bacon and add to the hot skillet.
Cook until crispy, stir often.
Remove from skillet and place on paper towel to drain fat.
Spread a thin layer of almond butter on your squash rounds.
Place cashews on them evenly.
Sprinkle salt over all of them.
Add the crispy bacon to the rounds.
Finally mince the chives and add them too.
I like to cut the round into quarters and eat it with my hands, but you can also use utensils… but why?
STUFFED ACORN SQUASH
You've got to love a dish that comes with its own bowl.
2 acorn squash
2 tsp olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper
1 lb. ground turkey or chicken
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chill powder
1 leek cut in half lengthwise and then into small pieces
2 cloves garlic
1 onion finely diced
1/2 cup chicken broth
4 handfuls spinach
2 tbsp finely chopped walnuts*
1 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Preheat the oven 350F.
Cut the acorn squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds from inside. Drizzle the 1 tsp olive oil inside each of the acorn squash halves and rub it around to evenly coat. Sprinkle the insides with salt and pepper and place them in a baking dish, flesh side down. Bake for 22-25 minutes until its tender in the center.
While the acorn squash is baking, heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add the ground turkey, paprika, thyme, cumin and chili powder to the pot and cook for approximately 5 minutes until golden and cooked through. Using a wooden spoon break the ground turkey into small pieces while it cooks so that its crumbly in texture. Remove the cooked turkey from the pot and set aside.
In the same pot add the chopped leeks, garlic and onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the leeks and onion soften.
Add the chicken stock and ground turkey to the pot and then stir in the spinach. Once the liquid has reduced and the spinach has wilted, spoon the mixture into each of the acorn squash halves.
Broil the stuffed squash in the oven for 3 to 4 minutes until the top of the stuffing is golden in color. In a small bowl mix together the chopped walnuts and parsley and then sprinkle the mixture on top of each of the stuffed squash before serving.
SPICED LENTIL DELICATA SOUP
Try this soup the next time there is a chill in the air.
2 medium whole beets, scrubbed and ends trimmed
1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
1⁄4 tsp ground black pepper
sprinkle of crushed red pepper
pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
1 15 oz. can of full-fat coconut milk
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 tsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp vegan sugar
1⁄2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp curry powder
1 delicata squash, washed and diced
11⁄2 tsp olive oil
1 cup dry red lentils
5 cup vegetable broth
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground turmeric
1⁄2 tsp kosher salt
Preheat oven to 400 F. Wrap the whole, scrubbed beets loosely in tinfoil. Place on a baking sheet. Toss the diced squash in olive oil and scatter on the same baking sheet. Roast at 400 F for about 30 minutes. Stir the squash at 15 minutes. After 30 minutes, transfer the squash to bowl for later and turn over the beets. Allow the beets to cook for an additional 15-30 minutes, until fork tender. Remove when done and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, bring the lentils and vegetable broth to a boil, stirring occasionally. Make sure to watch it or it could boil over. Reduce to low and simmer for about 15 minutes. Then, remove from heat.
In a medium frying pan, heat the coconut oil over low. Add the onion and garlic and sauté a few minutes. Next, add in the turmeric through and including the nutmeg, stirring well and scraping up the bits on the bottom of the pan. Sauté for about 8 minutes, until the onion begins to brown.
Once lentils are done, add the coconut milk through and including the salt to the lentils and broth. Also, add the squash and the onion mixture. When the beets are cooled, dice and add to the soup. Stir well to combine.
Serve hot, garnished with broccoli sprouts like me (if you wish!)
BUTTERNUT SQUASH MUFFINS
The squash makes these muffins moist. You'll never believe there's squash in the recipe.
15 ounces butternut squash puree
1 ripe banana
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
3/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
In a small bowl, combine the tapioca flour, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon
In a separate mixing bowl, combine the butternut squash puree, banana, maple syrup, and eggs. Mix until combined
Next, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, beating on low using an electric mixer – just until combined. Do not over-mix
Spray a mini muffin tin with oil and scoop one heaping tablespoon of the muffin mixture into each mold. The molds should be roughly 3/4 full
Place the mini muffin tin into the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes
Let the muffins cool for 5 minutes in the tin then gently remove and cool on a wire rack
BUFFALO CHICKEN CASSEROLE SPAGHETTI SQUASH
Try this whole new way to have buffalo chicken.
1 whole Spaghetti Squash, 3.25 lbs
1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 pound Chicken Breast
1/2 cup Hot Sauce
6 tablespoons Paleo-friendly Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Green Onion, sliced plus additional for topping
1 Egg White
Preheat your oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with tinfoil. Additionally, grease a casserole dish with a little bite of olive oil.
Cut the squash in half and scrape out the seeds. Rub the inside with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake, cut-side down, until fork tender, about 30-40 minutes. Set aside to cool.
While the squash cools, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, cook the chicken breast until no longer pink inside, about 15-20 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
Scrape the strands out of the cooled spaghetti squash and spread them out in one even layer on a piece of paper towel. Use another layer of paper towel to press out as much moisture as you can. Then, repeat with another paper towel.*
Once this is done, you should have about 3 lightly packed cups of spaghetti squash. Place into a large bowl.
Shred the chicken breasts (you should end up with about 3 packed cups of shredded chicken or and add it into the bowl with the squash.
Add all the remaining ingredients and stir until well combined.
Transfer into the prepared casserole dish, pressing out flat. Bake at 400 degrees, uncovered, until the edges are golden brown, and the top feels set, about 30 minutes.
Turn the oven to high broil and broil for 5 minutes. Then, let stand for 5 minutes to cool.
Garnish with extra onions and DEVOUR!
* Don’t skip the pressing out – this ensures your casserole won’t be soggy!
APPLE CRANBERRY STUFFED ACORN SQUASH
Acorn squash is sweet on its own. Adding apples and cranberries gives you a special treat.
3 acorn squash, halved and seeded
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Apple Cranberry Sauce:
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
pinch of salt
orange zest, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400°.
On a prepared sheet pan, place 6 halves of acorn squash. Cut off the bottom of the "bowl" if needed so the squash will sit flat.
Use a brush to coat the acorn squash bowls with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt.
Place the pan in the preheated oven and roast the squash for 30-40 minutes or until tender.
While squash is roasting, in a large saucepan combine all remaining ingredients for the apple cranberry sauce except for the orange zest.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn heat off and allow to cool until sauce thickens.
Remove squash from oven. Fill each acorn squash bowl with apple cranberry sauce, dividing evenly.
Garnish with orange zest and serve!
Find a farmer's market or any grocery store and stock up on squash. Grab some for your next meal and more for decoration. Enjoy the color, the taste and the season.
Here's to your health! Happy cooking!