Week of Oct. 12: Squash and More Squash

with Elizabeth Cancade, Culinary Nutrition Guide & Veggie Lover of Living Simply Kitchen

Loads of resources here! Try the BLT Spaghetti Squash recipe below and download the recipe package & prep guide for our Fall Freezer Meal Challenge.

I posed the question on Instagram @livingsimplykitchenwhat veggies do you need inspiration for this week? Here’s a summary of the responses: Squash, squash, squash. And squash. (and pumpkin by association). 

YES! Ok, first – I get it.. the post Thanksgiving squash & pumpkin onslaught is happening in the Prairies and we’re here for the long haul. We’re going to need to be creative, people. Second – yay! – there are many ways to use the varieties of squash in fun and interesting ways as part of a colourful, diverse diet.

Different squashes have varying qualities that make them better suited to certain cooking applications. Teri knows her squash varieties and has had a lot of feedback from the Veggie Lovers Club, so she’s a great person to ask specifics.  I’ll keep this post to generalities because I find squash to be very adaptable in cooking. You may also substitute squash anywhere you need pumpkin or sweet potato.

BASIC ROASTING OF SQUASH AND SPAGHETTI SQUASH

There are MANY ways to cook or roast squash pieces. You likely have a favourite. This is one very simple way to cook your squash.

Preheat your oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Carefully cut your squash or pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds.  Place the squash cut side down on the baking sheet and bake for 35-45 minutes (depending on the size) until the flesh seems soft when you push down on the skin. 

We’re hosting a Fall Freezer Meal Challenge and it includes at least two recipes that use pumpkin or squash! Link to the Free Guide below
SQUASH SOUP

Check out the Brown Sugar Produce Recipes for a Classic Squash Soup and Curried Squash Soup with red curry and coconut milk. These recipes are excellent and flexible for using up what you have around.

USING ROASTED SQUASH

Roasted squash is wonderful as it is with salt and pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil along classic entrees like roasted chicken, fish and veggies. But, it’s also

  • A great salad topping
  • Filling for tacos & burritos
  • Cubed, roasted squash is great with eggs in a breakfast hash
  • As part of mashed potatoes or mashed root vegetables (sweet potato, carrot, potato, squash – and cauliflower is a great addition here, too!).
USING ANY COOKED SQUASH
  • Freeze the cooked flesh of any squash (but spaghetti) in 1 cup portions to use for baking, soups, stews, and even a smoothie! Don’t fear – think of a sweet and spicy pumpkin spice smoothie.
  • Incorporate cooked, pureed squash into hummus, tomato sauce, enchilada sauce and lasagnas.
SPAGHETTI SQUASH

Spaghetti squash is fun and different, in that it naturally releases its flesh in noodle-like strands after baking, making it a neutral yet flavourful veggie base for many dishes. Here are some simple meal ideas that incorporate it as a substitute in favourite dishes.

  • Ginger Beef or Mushrooms on Spaghetti Squash Noodles
  • Alfredo Spaghetti Squash: Use cooked spaghetti squash instead of or as some of your pasta
  • Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowls
  • BLT Spaghetti Squash Bowls (Recipe Below)

WEEKNIGHT DINNER: BLT Spaghetti Squash

This easy dinner will help use up your fall tomatoes, too! Make it plant-based by substituting the bacon with kidney beans (use an oil of choice to saute the onion).

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