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Minnow Hamilton
October 20, 2010
Minnow Hamilton
Why we love squash
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It’s not tough to figure out what my inspiration was for this months Squash It edition of EatSavvy. Everywhere you look this month, you’ll find one of these oddly shaped vegetables. But despite their abundance, I think squash is a bit undervalued.

My own childhood memories of squash aren’t great. It was usually just squashed (literally) with a topping of maple syrup (anything to make it taste better), but now there are some fun and fabulous ways to serve it up and we’ve got some for you in this month’s EatSavvy.

Squash adds a nice creamy texture to a traditional mac ‘n’ cheese recipe but I particularly like it as a spaghetti alternative. Let’s not forget the most popular squash soup.

It’s all delicious and healthy. And honestly, I’m so happy to know there are other ways to serve and enjoy it these days. 

Comments | Tagged under recipes, eatsavvy, squash
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Winter Squash
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Squash season is officially here and I couldn’t be more pleased. From soups and salads to main courses and desserts, this versatile gourd is practically an essential ingredient for fall. High in fibre and low in fat, plus rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, vitamin A and vitamin C, winter squash is the perfect way to add a burst of colour to the family table in the coming months.

There are more than twenty different kinds of squash, some more popular than others. Here is a brief guide to the more familiar types you might like to cook with:

Acorn: Usually 1–2 pounds in size and shaped like an acorn. It doesn’t hold its shape well so it’s usually best baked or steamed. It’s light on flavour but adds a hint of sweetness to any dish.

Butternut: Averaging between 2–5 pounds, this bell shaped squash is sweet and nutty and can be steamed, sautéed, baked or braised. It also makes an excellent replacement for pumpkin in baked goods and desserts.

Delicata: This small, cucumber shaped squash is pale yellow with green stripes. The skin is soft so it doesn’t need to be peeled and the flavour is similar to sweet corn, with a texture not unlike summer squash. It slices easily and is best when steamed or baked. It holds its shape well and is great for stuffing.

Spaghetti: This yellow squash is names for the spaghetti-like strands that separate from the skin when cooked. It doesn’t have much flavour on it’s own but is an excellent vehicle for assorted pasta sauces.

Storing
When you purchase squash is should be firm to the touch and the skin shouldn’t have any give to it. Designed for storage, most squash can be kept in a cool place for up to six months. Delicata and spaghetti squashes are an exception, and they should be eaten within three weeks.

Three Ways to Savour the Flavour of Squash
Here are three delicious ways to serve squash to your family this fall:

Spaghetti Squash with Chunky Tomato Sauce
Squash and Apple Soup
Squash and Pancetta Baked Pasta

Comments | Tagged under meals, fall, vegetables, squash
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30 Minute Winter Meals: Pasta with Sausage, Leeks, Peas and Butternut Squash Sauce
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Eating nutritiously this month has been wonderful for the whole family, but especially me. I previously mentioned that I gained a whopping 11 pounds at my last OBGYN doctor’s appointment, and this month I’m down 8 pounds, which surely means my efforts paid off. We’ve been eating well, but not extravagantly, and almost all of out meals have been tasty, easy on the wallet, and made good use of the things that are hanging out in the fridge looking for a facelift in the form of dinner.

In fact, the types of meals we’ve been enjoying are perfect for December. Since it’s the month when everything gets chaotic, something simple like making dinner can become challenging when there are so many other things competing for your time.
Here’s something I’ve been making for dinner lately that will hopefully help when you’re in a pinch for a meal. It’s quick cooking, nutritious, and easy to make. In fact, there is no real recipe here, just a set of instructions to guide you along to getting a good dinner on the table. Let’s get started:

Grab a box of whole-grain pasta from the pantry, and some turkey sausages, a leek, frozen peas, and the long neck of a small butternut squash. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta as per the package directions. While it’s cooking, peel and cube the squash and boil it in a small pot, cooking only until it can be pierced with a fork. Drain the pasta and set aside. Using the pot you cooked the pasta in, drizzle some olive oil into the middle, remove the sausages from their casings and cook in the warmed oil until crumbled and crispy. Add the leek (which has been thinly sliced) to the pan and cook until golden and soft. Add the peas and cook for another minute or so. Drain the squash and transfer to a food processor.

To the squash add a good glug of milk, salt and pepper to taste, and a handful of grated Parmesan cheese. Blend smooth to create a sauce. Place the pasta in the pot with the sausages and veggies and pour the squash sauce over top, tossing everything together. Serve this mac and cheese-esque dish to the family for dinner, pack up the leftovers for lunches, and congratulate yourself on getting a simple, seasonal dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes (plus your next day’s lunch, too).

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