I went on a roll this week, as much as allowed by my foot pain, to learn how to cook my various squashes I had around. The lineup included: the spaghetti squash which had been on my counter at least five weeks and was making me feel more guilty by the millisecond, my acorn squash from Whole Foods, and a baby butternut.
Now I know what all the fuss is about spaghetti squash! I loved this one. I followed simple directions from Oh She Glows to cut in half, clean out, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake face down (skin up) in the oven. So simple and no peeling at all needed-I appreciated this part. You can find the full details by following the link. I really admire how she gives such good step-by-step (and perfect) directions on her blog. This sqaghetti squash was truly delicious eaten right away after easily “shredding” the inner squash with two forks. We also enjoyed it as an entree with marinara sauce, which was good, but I preferred it alone, just after cooking.
Then I got really bold a few days later and cooked 2 squashes at the same time–this time following Veganomicon general guidelines. This was the “keep the skin on” method. I followed the basic squash guidelines-cut off the top and bottom, cut in half (be careful and go slowly-this got a little “hairy”), scoop out the “stuff” with spoon or metal ice cream scoop, then brush lightly with a preferred oil–my preference/ it was not mentioned in the cookbook–and cook face down. My butternut squash and acorn squashes were rather small. I think I made the mistake of thinking I should cut the cooking time down from 45-60 minutes at 400 F to 35 minutes. I thought they were done when I could pierce the skin easily with a fork. However peeling the skin off was another story…
The butternut squash was tough to deal with after it cooled a little. The skin did not peel off easily at all, which is what I had expected. Some parts were super mushy and some were still a little undercooked. It was a small ~1 pounder, so I did not have much to deal with. I pureed it, and because no one in my house likes butternut squash this way, it was all mine with a bit of melted Earth Balance spread mixed in and salt.
The acorn squash did not peel either! Agh! I ended up cutting it into big chunks and then “scoring” and cutting out pieces from each chunk. Honestly, I was not thrilled with its flavor. That is how this dish came along…
Quinoa, plus Light Life Italian Sausage sauteed in a pan, and chunks of acorn squash. Salt and pepper and I’m embarassed to admit–a drizzle of melted Earth Balance spread (vegan ”butter” spread). A quick dinner to top off an afternoon of cooking. Next time I try an acorn squash I will look into seasonings and sauces to give it a fair try.
I think that concludes the squash part of my autumn, at least on the blog. It was fun to overcome a fear that they are too complicated or won’t taste good. Well, I guess that was mostly true for me. My conclusions: I especially loved the butternut squash from my last blog entry (skinned and cut into pieces) and the awesome spaghetti squash. Let me know if you try any and how they turn out!
My next adventure is to participate on the VegCookbookClub blog next month. The book has not been decided upon, but I’m going to get it and cook along. Gotta push myself and keep on learning. Join in if you want. Reading the past cookbooks they have cooked from is a nice way to see if you want one or even want to get it from the library. Not that I would ever do that…(ha!)
Have a great week… and are you learning anything new in the cooking world?