Butternut Squash: (For those of you, like me, who do not know their squash names)
I was really anxious to cook my first Butternut squash based on all the tempting squash recipes I’ve seen in the blog world lately. I needed to conquer a new veggie anyways; it had been a little while. I’ve always had a soft spot for squash. I ate it as a child (remember packaged blocks of frozen squash in the frozen section?…) and occasionally as an adult from frozen as well.
I followed the general instructions from the blog I told you about last week, Oh She Glows. Because I just happen to be on crutches, I decided to modify my adventure to simple cooking of the squash without the additions that make hers look amazing. My primary goal was to get this thing cut up without losing my balance with a knife in my hand! I ended up peeling the uncooked squash as the recipe suggested and found out my peeler was not up to the task…so I peeled it by hand with a knife. I think I’ll try the cook first, peel later method next time. I was amazed and excited when I cut the squash in half and saw all the solid squash in there and just a small circle of “guts” in the bottom part. Like so many other fruits and veggies (e.g. mangoes, pumpkins) I expected a small return for all the work, but my butternut squash yielded a full 9X13 baking dish’s worth of cubed squash.
I cut it into 1″ pieces, placed in my Pyrex dish, and combined with 2 tbsp olive oil–way more than the recipe stated, but I messed up and though that was what I had read…sigh…I always seem to have one slip-up per meal…I sprinkled it with salt and pepper and baked covered with aluminum foil pierced for venting at 400 for 45 minutes. I will probably cook about 35-40 minutes next time…it was super soft, as you can see in the picture. At this point, I added my secret “spice”, also known as Trader Joe’s maple sugar, and stirred it in. This sugar has a slight maple flavor and is much less “adulterated” than other forms of sugar. I started to feel guilty about adding sugar to a vegetable dish and therefore stopped…sadly…I’d guess I stirred in about about two tablespoons. Only enough to taste the maple flavor very slightly.
Preparing this squash was very easy (except for the peeling) and tasted wonnnderfuuulll…I think I can probably add a little more of the maple sugar too, if I want that maple flavor. Just stop feeling guilty, right?!
I ate this for four days, alone or in this crazy concoction one night…a vegan wrap with whole wheat tortilla, squash, spinach, Romaine lettuce, Daiya cheddar shreds, and my red lentils from earlier in the week (with Mexican seasoning). I know it sounds insane, but it worked. And I may even make it again someday. We will just hope it will not be on crutches. Hopping around the kitchen is exhausting!
Have you ever cooked a butternut squash? What did you make with it? I think next time I would like to try a butternut squash soup. Happy cooking!