Winter Squash Recipes-Healthy


Squash Stew

Peeling the squash is quite tricky, but I have found that a carrot peeler is the most useful tool for this job. Serve with pita bread

Ingredients:
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 large white onion, diced
* 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
* 2 tablespoons chili powder
* 4 cloves crushed garlic
* 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted
* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* 4 large tomatoes – peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
* 1 medium acorn squash, peeled and diced
* 1 cup pinto beans, cooked or canned
* 1 cup water
* salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat olive oil and saute the onion for a few minutes. Add the cinnamon and chili powder and continue to saute for another 2 minutes. Mix in the garlic and cumin seeds, saute for 2 minutes more before adding lemon juice and the tomatoes. Mix thoroughly so the stew doesn’t get too chunky.
2.  Stir the squash, pinto beans and water into the stew. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let the stew simmer for 1 hour, or until squash is tender. Stirring occasionally throughout the cooking hour, and add more water if necessary. The finished stew should have a nice, thick stewy texture.
3.  Heat a large skillet over a medium-high heat. Place one piece of pita bread at a time into the skillet. When one side of the pita bread gets hot, flip the bread over and heat the other side; approximately 1 minute of cooking per side. Serve the stew with the heated pita bread.

Pumpkin and Butternut Creamed Soup

I serve this soup in mini halved roasted pumpkins. A blend of squash, cream, spices and sprinkled Asiago cheese is sure to warm your heart and soul.

Ingredients:
*6 cups cubed butternut squash
*6 cups cubed butternut squash
*2 tablespoons butter
*3 carrots, chopped
*1 large onion, chopped
*1 cup chopped celery
*1 cup heavy cream
*1 cup sour cream
*8 cups chicken broth
*1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
*1 teaspoon ground black pepper
*salt to taste
*6 small sugar pumpkins, halved and seeded
*1 cup grated Asiago cheese, divided

Directions:
1.  Place the butternut squash cubes in a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain off water, and set the squash aside.
2.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
3.  Melt the butter in a large skillet, then cook the carrots, onion, and celery until tender, about 10 minutes. Place the vegetables, cooked butternut squash, cream, and sour cream into a blender. Cover, and puree until smooth, working in batches if necessary. Transfer the blended vegetables to a soup pot; stir in the chicken broth, nutmeg, black pepper, and salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat, then simmer gently for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4.  While the soup is simmering, place the pumpkin halves, cut sides up, on the prepared baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven until the pumpkin flesh is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Start the broiler, and place the pumpkin halves under the broiler about 6 inches from the heat source to brown the cut side of the pumpkins, if desired. Place a pumpkin bowl into a decorate soup plate; serve soup in the pumpkin bowls, and sprinkle each serving with Asiago cheese.

Acorn Squash Soup

The attractive rich yellow, thick and creamy soup is especially enjoyable during the cool nights of Indian summer.

Ingredients:
* 1 small onion
* 1/4 cup chopped celery
* 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
* 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
* 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
* dash cayenne pepper
* 2 cups chicken broth
* 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
* 3 cups mashed cooked acorn squash
* salt and pepper to taste
* 5 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

Directions:
1.  In a large saucepan, saute the onion and celery in butter. Stir in flour, bouillon, dill, curry and cayenne until blended. Gradually add broth and milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add the squash, salt and pepper; heat through.
2.  In a blender, process the soup in batches until smooth. Pour into bowls; garnish with bacon.

Spaghetti Squash

The flesh of spaghetti squash comes out in long strands, very much resembling the noodles for which it is named. In this recipe, the ‘noodles’ are tossed with vegetables and feta cheese. You can substitute different vegetables, but be sure to use ones that have contrasting colors.

Ingredients:
* 1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 onion, chopped
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
* 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
* 3 tablespoons sliced black olives
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
2. Place spaghetti squash cut sides down on the prepared baking sheet, and bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a sharp knife can be inserted with only a little resistance. Remove squash from oven, and set aside to cool enough to be easily handled.
3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion in oil until tender. Add garlic, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, and cook only until tomatoes are warm.
4. Use a large spoon to scoop the stringy pulp from the squash, and place in a medium bowl. Toss with the sauteed vegetables, feta cheese, olives, and basil. Serve warm.

Seasonings and Foods to use with Winter squash: butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, chicken, couscous, garlic, honey, lamb, maple syrup, olive oil, onion, rosemary, sage, thyme

Preparation: Wash thoroughly under cool running water before cutting. Carefully cut in half and remove the seeds.

Bake: Place squash halves cut-side down in a pan with some water and bake at 400°F for approximately 30 minutes until soft and tender.

Steam: Carefully peel squash and cut into chunks. Place in a steamer basket in a pan of boiling water and cover. Steam squash for approximately 15-20 minutes or until tender.

Baked: This vegetable is a flavorful side dish when baked with butter and brown sugar or maple syrup. Another option, for a less sweet dish, is to bake it with olive oil and herbs.

Stuffed Squash: The halves can be stuffed with other vegetables or meat or a combination of both vegetables and meat and then baked until tender and cooked through.

Pasta Dish: Substitute baked spaghetti squash for regular pasta. After cooking, simply take a fork and pull the squash away from the shell. It will come out in strands similar to pasta. Toss with a little olive oil, your favorite pasta sauce and fresh grated cheese.



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Kali S Winters