2 delicious recipes with Squash, Beautiful Squash!

Don’t just leave gourds for pumpkin pie or cornucopia decorations for Thanksgiving. They are extremely versatile and can easily be used in your mid-week go-to repertoire for easy, filling, seasonal, affordable meals to feed a family. Make the most of squash while it is seasonally available! Indeed, they do require some prior prep, but this can easily be tackled a few nights in advance of when you intend to consume them. Consider using Sunday to par-roast and prepare the ingredients, so mid-week all you need to do is a quick final blast in the over and PRESTO, dinner is on the table in less than 20 minutes. With both recipes, you can modify by removing cheese/dairy and using meat or meatless sausage options depending on your taste, preference and dietary requirements.

Stuffed Delicata Squash

Delicata squash has a texture somewhere between sweet potato and butternut, it’s extremely buttery, smooth yet firm texture lends itself extremely well for stuffing as it will still hold its firm yet fork tender texture. The size varies but roughly it is about the size of one medium hand. Factor one full squash per adult and half squash for kiddos.

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Serves 4

4 Delicata Squash, cut in half length-wise

1 small red onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large carrot, minced

1 large celery stick, minced

1 cup mushrooms, chopped

1 teaspoon each: dried oregano, parsley, basil

2-3 cups low or no sodium chicken or vegetable stock

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

Salt and pepper to taste

¾ cup feta cheese crumbled

Six pack of vegetarian sausage meat of your preference, removed from ‘skin’ and roughly chopped*

*you can use ground meat if you wish

What to prepare in advance:

Cut and roast the squash, flat side down on a parchment lined baking sheet in advance for approximately 30 minutes (or until just fork tender) in pre-heated oven at 325* F. Once squash has baked and cooled, remove stringy flesh and seeds (reserve seeds, sprinkle with sea salt and bake them for a tasty snack).

When squash is roasting, in a pan with a glug to EVOO, sauté carrots, onions, celery, until starting to turn a light golden brown, add garlic and mushrooms and sauté on medium low for additional 5 minutes. Add cut up sausage meat of your choice, sauté for additional 5-8 minutes until the sausage is lightly caramelized and cooked through, stir in dried herbs. Deglaze pan with 2-3 cups low or no sodium stock, turn heat down and let simmer for about 10 minutes on low heat until sauce thickens slightly and stock is cooked through. NB. The pre-roasted squash and filling will easily last a few days in air tight containers in the refrigerator.

What to prepare the night of:

Pre-heat oven to 325* F

Place squash skin side down on parchment lined sheet in baking tray and stuff generously with stuffing mixture. Sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Bake for approximately 15 minutes until the sauce is bubbling, cheese melted and squash hot. Serve with fresh green salad. *Unlike several squash cousins, Delicata Squash skin is very soft and edible once baked.

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash & Greens Bake

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Spaghetti Squash does not taste at all like spaghetti and has a somewhat bland and neutral taste by itself, but don’t be discouraged, it works perfectly with robust flavors to go along with it. In that respect it is like spaghetti, somewhat boring by itself, but completely transformed when paired with the right ingredients! I love using this dish as a perfect opportunity to get my family to eat their greens, no bribery required.

1 large Spaghetti Squash

3 cups steamed and roughly chopped broccoli or broccoli rabe

1 cup kale, collards or mustard greens roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium onion, minced

2 cups low or no sodium vegetable stock

½ cup low fat cream cheese or low fat sour cream

¼ cup grated pecorino or parmigiana cheese

¾ cup grated cheddar cheese

What to prepare in advance:

As above, slice the squash in half, length wise, bake in advance in pre-heated over at 325*F. This squash has a watery texture and thicker skin, so bake skin side down, flat cut side up in a casserole dish, otherwise liquid may leak and scold the oven when you are pre-baking it. Once baked and cooled, remove squash from skin and discard skin. Place baked squash back into a 2-3inch thick casserole dish. The thread like texture is reasoning for the name.

When the squash is roasting, prepare the ‘spaghetti’ sauce topping. Sauté onions until golden, add steamed broccoli, kale and garlic and sauté additional few minutes until greens wilted but still vibrant in color. Add stock, simmer for about 5 minutes on medium heat, add cream cheese and stir until combined with stock vegetable mixture. Remove from heat. Place mixture on top of squash in casserole dish. Cool and cover tightly if reserving for a later night.

What to prepare the night of:

Pre-heat oven to 325* F

Sprinkle casserole with grated cheese. Bake in the over until bubbling, golden and hot. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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