Squashing old ideas!
The feeling of fall is in the air in the northeast. This is the season that brings us colorful starchy vegetables like winter squashes. Some people think there are too many choices and they are too complicated to cook so they avoid them. In fact, there are numerous delicious varieties that are easy to add to your vegetable repertoire. They are a great source of complex carbohydrates and fiber, vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A and C, B Vitamins and potassium and copper just to name a few. Some of my favorites varieties are: butternut squash-great roasted, mashed, or pureed as a soup, delicata squash –easy to slice, add a drizzle of olive oil and cinnamon and it bakes very quickly, spaghetti squash-nutritious substitute for grain based pasta- cook, scoop out the flesh and then add your favorite sauce. and acorn squash-cut in half- add olive oil and garam masala and bake or you can stuff it with leftover veggies and shredded meat. Start experimenting to find your favorites!
Simply Easy Tip:
Frozen butternut squash works well for a quick option. Heat 2 TBS of olive oil with 1 tsp thyme and ½ tsp rosemary, add frozen squash and stir fry for 1 min, reduce heat, cover and cook for 5 min. Remove lid and stir fry for another 2-3 mins-add salt and pepper to taste.
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Simply Delicious: Stuffed Delicata Squash with Chicken Sausage/Mushroom Stuffing
3 small delicata squash (about 16 ounces each), halved and seeded
olive oil spray
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
14 oz sweet Italian chicken sausage
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
4 oz chopped fresh shitake mushrooms
1 sprig fresh thyme
6 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese or vegan cheese-optional
chopped parsley, for garnish
Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray cut sides of squash with oil and sprinkle with salt. Place face down on large baking sheet. Bake until tender and browned on edges, about 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, in large sauté pan cook sausage on medium heat, breaking up meat into small pieces as it cooks until sausage is cooked through and is browned. Add oil, onion and celery; cook until celery is soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and thyme to pan, more salt and pepper if needed and cook, stirring 5 minutes, then cook covered for 2 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft and cooked through. Divide (1/2 cup) between squash, top with parmesan cheese (optional) and bake 10 minutes.