Showing posts with label acorn squash. Show all posts
Showing posts with label acorn squash. Show all posts

Monday, January 5, 2015

Winter Squash & Banana Muffins {Monday Muffins}

Working title Asante Sana Squash Banana Muffins*, these soaked oat, wheat and flax muffins have roasted winter squash with banana and maple syrup for sweetening. Like other banana-containing baked goods these are terrific the next day and make a great breakfast or afternoon snack.

I'm not a control freak in the kitchen. I usually welcome all the help I can get [and I'm still enjoying the fruits err vegetables of my niece's and nephew's labors over the holidays when I had them chop up what turned out to be 5 recipes worth of mirepoix aka onion, celery, and carrot. Oopsie. Well, Faster Kirsten miscalculated but appreciates the effort nonetheless. Tak, Albert & Astrid.] Sometimes, though, the help is not entirely helpful. 
Unless your kitchen is populated by creatures who haven't figured out how to open the fridge door or who haven't mastered lifting the lids off containers, you've probably experienced a 'helpful' and hungry kitchen assistant 'cleaning up' the leftovers that were actually planned overs. Perhaps you intended the various parts of the meal NOT to end up all in the same container [because, you know, the light sucked at dinner and you wanted to photograph your leftover lunch for the blog].

The addition of flax into my standard soaked oatmeal muffin recipe came because of a helpful kitchen mate. My spouse dumped a bunch of ground flax seed into the container of rolled oats, thinking it would boost the nutrition of his morning bowl of oatmeal. He was not quite satisfied with the results, so I offered to take the rest of the container off his hands despite knowing I couldn't use any of the results for the blog [he didn't measure the amount of oats remaining in the container nor the amount of flax he dumped in with them]. After making muffins, waffles and more muffins I decided the combination is pretty useful, so once I'd emptied the container I played around with the amount of flax seed and came up with this version.

I've made these muffins three times now, and even shared them with the terrific physical therapists working with my son. It's been a while since I've posted a Monday Muffin recipe [like, last year, man], so I figured I'd kick off 2015 with these. Since I'm using maple syrup and a banana for sweetening, if you've made any resolutions regarding granulated sugar these would still fit in with your goals. If, like me & Meghan you've still got a pile of winter squash in your basement . . . well, here's an idea of what to do with it that the family--and the physical therapists--approve.

For other ideas using Winter Squash, please see my Winter Squash Recipes Collection, part of my Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Acorn Squash, Beef, and Bulgur Casserole

A hearty casserole of ground beef and acorn squash, mixed with bulgur wheat and seasoned with Greek spices. A terrific base for a Bowl.
Happy Halloween! I've been reflecting on how Halloween has changed for me over the years. Single and pre-kids if I was home I'd have a bag or two of candy to hand out to the kids who stopped by. When I had young kids I was all about getting nutritious finger foods into them while they were bouncing around ready to head out for loot. We'd have a pre-trick-or-treating neighborhood party with a secondary goal of preventing too much candy ingestion. As if, my older self says. Now I've got teenagers. One will be trick or treating in a medieval dress from the thrift shop with a floor length cloak she sewed herself. The other will be playing in the marching band at the last game of the season, wearing a costume he made that makes no sense to his folks [Night Vale Community Radio Intern?]. I sense I'm on the cusp of yet another change, as always happens in Life.
Because I answered a question on G+,  I received a free box of FreakyFruits from Melissa's Produce. I have not seen such nice packing since we lived in Japan. So far I've made Buddha's Hand Feta Yogurt Dip, Rambutan Hairy Eyeballs, Mustard Greens Kheema with finger limes, and (not shown) Passion Fruit & Banana Muffins. I'm not under an obligation to share what I've been doing with the fruits, but hey--I started a blog to share what I do with produce.

I've been seeing a lot of bowls lately. My friends share photos of them on FB and Karen from Soup Addict tantalizes me with her amazing bowl creations. Let me be clear--this is a casserole, not a bowl. However, this casserole lends itself to getting your bowl off to a great start. It combines a grain with a  vegetable and a protein (the ever-present ground beef from the cow in the freezer--link to my 106 recipes using ground beef). I like to eat it piled with more vegetables (suggestions below) and a healthy scoop of Acorn Squash Tahini Dip with Greek Seasoning stirred in. After all, like my spouse has taught our son to say, "it's all going to the same place".

I realize that this is the 3rd recipe featuring acorn squash that I've shared in the past 2 weeks. I could have held an Acorn Squash Week.  Instead, I'll just mention that photos and links to all of my recipes for using acorn squash can be found on my Acorn Squash Recipe Collection.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Greek-Seasoned Acorn Squash and Tahini Dip

A Greek spice blend combined with roasted acorn squash and sesame tahini paste for an awesome vegetable appetizer (link to my Pinterest board of Awesome Veggie Apps and Snacks). Great with vegetables or crackers.

Local. Buy Local. Eat Local. We've all heard these slogans. Most of us attempt to increase the percentage of local businesses we support and increase the amount of local food we eat. Choosing to shop at a local business hurts . . . well, perhaps Amazon? . . . but keeps your money in your local economy.
Am I saying I shop and eat exclusively locally? Heck no. I live in Ohio and have this thing for bananas and avocados, after all. But the more I look around the more I find local businesses worth supporting.

The Greek seasoning I used in this dip is from a local business, Spice Paradise (link to the FB page). The owner creates her own spice blends as well as selling spices, cookies, soups, and other prepared foods. I've enjoyed several of her soups at fundraisers and this gal knows her spices. She even made a custom bagel spice blend for me, a 'nearly everything' blend for my Everything Bagel Focaccia [my spouse does not eat poppy seeds].

Look around your area--see if there's a local business you can support.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tropical Curried Acorn Squash Soup

A warming winter squash soup spiced with curry, sweetened with banana, and luscious with coconut milk. This soup could be vegetarian depending on your stock choice.

On a quest to add vegetables to as many recipes as I can--to utilize the produce from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share before it spoils--I end up cooking most every day. That often means that we have a variety of leftovers available. Sometimes, making a simple dish like this soup is a great way to dress up a dinner of leftovers.

If you've read this blog before [thank you!] you may have . . . um, not exactly heard but how 'bout heard inside your head . . . me talk about how I put up carrot peels, celery leaves, onion skins etc into Soup Packs (link to my Frugal Eco Farm Fresh Feasting post). I've shared recipes for how I make Chicken Stock, Beef Stock, and Vegetable Stock. I've also shared how I put up pumpkin puree. Hey, guess what? Putting up acorn squash is no different!

When I have the oven on--and I am thinking on all cylinders--I will roast an extra squash and save the puree for another use. If I've got a jar of stock, a container of roasted squash puree, and a ripe banana in the freezer this soup almost makes itself. I just need to chop and sauté an onion [but I'm teaching my son to master onion chopping, so I didn't even do that step].

I know it may seem strange to use banana in a savory recipe, even though I've done it before in my Ham and Banana Pizza. I've also combined squash and banana in muffins--which will appear sometime this Fall on a coming Muffin Monday--but this is not as sweet of a soup as those muffins.  This is a savory soup with a hint of sweetness and a nice amount of spice. With an immersion blender this comes together quickly and makes a nice, warm, first course for a cold weather meal.

For other recipes using acorn squash, please check out my Acorn Squash Recipe Collection. For other recipes using ripe bananas, please check out my Banana Recipe Collection.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Savory Squash Pie for April Fool's Day

A savory pie with Buttercup and Acorn squash, Manchego and cottage cheeses

Savory Squash Pie for April Fool's Day | Farm Fresh Feasts

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I never set out to make an April Fool's dish.

Actually, like the wolf in The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (Amazon affiliate link), all I wanted to do was borrow a cup of sugar to make my dear old granny's birthday cake be lazy while making a quiche. I mean, I pretty much threw everything in the Vitamix instead of chopping it all nice and pretty. The resulting mixture didn't strike me as faux sweet potato or pumpkin pie material until I checked it while it was baking. [And it wasn't done, so I hopped in the car to drive my son to sled hockey practice--we ate sandwiches in the car instead--and mulled over the strange appearance of my quiche.]  By the time we arrived at the rink I'd conceived the April Fool's idea hook.  Yes, the folks at hockey are used to my rambling and just smile and nod.

I just had to decide if it tasted good enough for the blog, so between my family, the folks at work, and my visiting parents this has been thoroughly taste tested.  Thumbs up.  Here ya'are.

Savory Squash Pie for April Fool's Day | Farm Fresh Feasts

This is a rich slice of savory squash pie, so we ate ours in small slices. With a salad it would make a lovely meal (though no, I don't have any cute April Fool's salad ideas.  That's what Pinterest is for!).

Savory Squash Pie for April Fool's Day | Farm Fresh Feasts
Acorn squash surrounded by Buttercup squash--new in our CSA farm share last year

Note:  to roast a winter squash, cut it in half pole to pole, scoop out (and compost) the seeds and strings, and place it cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet.  Add a ½ cup of water, and roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-60 minutes until the flesh is tender when you squeeze or poke it. Scoop out the flesh, compost the skins, and you're good to go.  You can even freeze this roasted flesh if you want--it's good in muffins or waffles.

I've revamped my Visual Recipe Index! For more ideas using winter squash, please see my Acorn Squash Recipes Collection, my Buttercup/Butternut Squash Recipes Collection, and my Winter Squash Recipes Collection. These are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, the garden, the neighbor's garden, and great deals on ugly produce at the grocery store.

I'm sharing more recipes on my Pinterest boards, follow me there. If you like a good peek behind the scenes like I do, follow me on Instagram. Need a good read? I'm sharing articles of interest on my Facebook page, follow me there. Want to know How to Use This Blog?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Roasted Winter Squash Tacos

Strips of winter squash, roasted with peppers and onions, for a seasonal, vegetarian twist on the classic Taco Night
Roasted Winter Squash Tacos | Farm Fresh Feasts

I wish I could be more precise about the kind of winter squash I used for these tacos.  It looked like a cross between a pie pumpkin and an acorn squash, so I am positive both of these types of squash will work.  Ditto butternut or delicata squash, as they'd roast up the same way (and you wouldn't need to peel the delicata). I just got a buttercup squash in the farm share but haven't taken time to play with it yet, so the jury is still out on that one.  If you have a spaghetti squash, I recommend you try Julie's Spaghetti Squash and Black Bean Tacos, as that recipe inspired me to look at the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve with an eye to making a vegetarian/vegan and bean free taco night dinner.

This is a Play With Your Benriner meal.  After laboriously halving, deseeding (more fun in next year's compost!), and peeling the squash, I thinly sliced it with my Benriner (link to Alanna's tutorial, or use a mandoline, or a sharp knife).  I gave the ends to the worms in the worm bin in my son's closet, as the composting guinea pig is not a fan.  Nor do pigs like the onion I thinly sliced next.  However, guinea pigs do like peppers and cilantro, so this meal wasn't an entire waste in a composting pig's eye as those were used in abundance.  Putting your seasonal abundance to work, that's what I'm all about.

I chose to roast the squash slices because I wanted a fajita strip shape (since I was using a bag of fajita size tortillas) and it was fun to layer the jalapeño, onion, sage and peppers on top of the squash to finish the whole thing under the broiler.  Only one pan to clean up, which I appreciate!

Roasted Winter Squash Tacos | Farm Fresh Feasts
Roasted Winter Squash Tacos | Farm Fresh Feasts

NOTE:  I created this recipe to be gluten free through my choice of ingredients. Check labels to confirm that your products are also gluten free. Good sources for determining that your products are gluten free can be found here:

Roasted Winter Squash Tacos

3 small winter squash, peeled, gutted, and sliced ~ 1/8 inch thick (about 7 to 8 cups loosely packed)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cumin (depending on how spicy you like things)
1/2 to 1teaspoon ground coriander (ditto)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (as above)

1 onion, peeled (skins to the soup pack!)
1 Tablespoon finely chopped jalapeño
1 teaspoon fresh sage leaves, sliced into ribbons
2 cups sliced bell pepper, colors of your choice
Arizona Dreaming or other taco seasoning, a few shakes worth (probably 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon)

1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves
shredded Mexican blend cheese
sour cream
salsa verde

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss squash slices with seasonings, then spread out on a piece of parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet.  Roast for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until soft and tender.  Add onion, jalapeño, sage and pepper strips on top of squash.  Shake a bit of seasoning (Arizona dreaming, or a taco seasoning) on top of the onion and peppers.  Turn on broiler, and broil for 5 to 8 minutes, about 4 inches from the heat, until the vegetables get some color.  Gently combine all vegetables in bowl to distribute the seasonings evenly.

One of the things I like about Taco Night is how everyone can customize their meal.  I liked to spread the tortilla with guacamole, then layer the roasted vegetables, cilantro, cheese and sour cream.  My spouse preferred to add salsa verde on his roasted vegetables for more spicy flavor.  The kids had some squash with their cheese and sour cream.  How would you top your taco?

Roasted Winter Squash Tacos | Farm Fresh Feasts

This post is shared on the Clever Chicks Blog HopTasty TuesdaysWhat's Cookin' Wednesday, the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up, From the Farm Blog Hop

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Roasted Acorn and Butternut Squash with Corn and Smoked Sausage

A savory late summer or early fall supper of roasted cubes of simply seasoned winter squash, topped with corn and optional bits of smoked sausage.

Roasted Acorn and Butternut Squash with Corn and Smoked Sausage

My friend Heather, of garlic oil on a pizza fame, knows her way around good food.  No, she doesn't cook it much--her spouse does--but she sure has great ideas for what goes well together.  She was raving about her leftovers for lunch and the combination sounded so good I had to try it.  Heather's lunch was loosely patterned after Ina Garten's Caramelized Butternut Squash, but her spouse added canned corn to pump up the veggies.  Heather combined another leftover and cheese on top for her leftover remix.
I'm a gardener who has helped teach elementary school aged kids about gardening, so when I hear "squash and corn" I immediately think of a Three Sisters garden.  Native Americans would companion plant squash, beans, and corn together--known as the Three Sisters.  The Three Sisters helped each other:  the corn would provide the scaffolding for the beans to climb and the squash would spread around the base, shading the soil, holding in the moisture, and preventing weeds.  When it works, it's a thing of beauty.
I had both acorn and butternut squash, as well as some corn I'd put up [boil briefly aka blanch, cut off the cob, spread on a tray to freeze, and store in a bag], so I figured 2 out of 3 I'll call it Two Sisters.  I wanted to add bit more protein, however, so I chopped up a piece of smoked sausage.  Now it's more like Two Sisters--and a Brother?  I've been busy canning lately (you can see the results on my FB page) so an easy filling recipe like this is wonderful for cool nights.  And Heather's right--the leftovers are terrific!
I've revamped my Visual Recipe Index! For more ideas on what to do with your butternut squash, click here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Acorn Squash, Chick Pea and Chicken Faux-roccan Stew

Do you get new posts from this blog via email?**

I subscribe to a variety of food blogs and recipe aggregation sites which flood my inbox multiple times a day with ideas.

As if I wasn't constantly thinking about food anyway.  Even in the shower!

This stew was inspired by one such email, from either DailyRecipe or Better Homes & Gardens I think.  The photo in my inbox looked good enough for me to click on the link and investigate further.  I pulled the seasoning combo (cumin, cinnamon, chili powder) but turned to the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve in a cold corner of my breakfast nook for the bulk of the stew.  I'm also trying to use less meat overall--meat as a condiment not as the Main Event--so I added a can of chick peas to stretch the protein even further.  That worked well, and I've used that technique in other dishes.

The seasoning combo (cinnamon, chili powder, and cumin) is billed as Moroccan.  I've eaten tasty food prepared by a Moroccan friend, but I cannot say I've really studied Moroccan food, so in good conscience I cannot call this a Moroccan stew.  Instead, I'll call it Faux-roccan.  Sorry about the cute name.  Regardless of the name, however, I found it a tasty change of pace from my standard winter stew.  Try it!

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Acorn Squash, Beet, and Sweet Potato Chili: One Beginning, Two Endings (Bean-Free Chili for Vegans or with Beef for Carnivores)
Could be vegan chili on the left, chili for carnivores on the right.
One of the pots of chili you see here was what I set out to make.  The other one was the surprise mid-way through.

You see, it all started when I had a bite of my spouse's chili at Tom+Chee in Newport, KY.  It was smooth, meaty, and topped with a bit of blue cheese.  Yum!  I love that restaurant.

I like my Green Tomato Garlic Chili, and I like all the chunky and bean-y chili I have had.  In fact, I don't think I've met a chili I didn't like.  But I wanted to try my hand at making a smooth, meaty chili.

No chunks (the kids tolerate smooth better than chunky anyway) and no beans (thanks to New Year's day and a vat of Ham and Bean soup I'd had beans 8 out of 9 days of 2013 and frankly I needed a break).  What does that leave?  The Strategic Winter Squash Reserve, of course.

I started by roasting a small 1 pound acorn squash and a small sweet potato.  I was making a small batch, because after the giant vat of soup I really didn't want gallons of chili leftovers.  Then I set those aside and browned a pound of ground beef in my 3 quart saucepan.  I knew I wanted a smooth chili, but I didn't want to attack my beef with the immersion blender, so at this point I drained and set the beef aside.

If I were cooking for vegans as well as carnivores, I would wash the saucepan at this point.
I was just cooking for the family, so I added onions and some of my freezer stash carrots/celery/parsley to the pan (using the remnants of grease instead of oil) and sautéed.  I was thinking about how, when making Indian food, you sauté the spices until they are fragrant before adding the simmering liquids, so I decided to add the spices next.  Annemarie of RealFoodRealDeals made a squash chili and her recipe appeared in my inbox just as I was debating for which spices to use, so I went with her spicing suggestions.  I remembered my cousin Cindy (the cousin Cindy I've friended on FB but never met) telling me she adds beets to her tomato sauce so when I was grabbing a pack of slow-roasted tomatoes from the freezer I picked up a bag of shredded beets, too.  I tossed those in to simmer with the veggies, then I added some stock.  If I were cooking for vegans, I'd use vegetable stock or Penzey's vegetable soup base.  I used chicken stock instead, added a bay leaf, and it simmered away happily for an hour.  Since (did I mention) I wanted a smooth chili, I removed the bay leaf, grabbed my immersion blender and smoothed it all up.

Then I tasted the chili.  Dang, it's pretty good right now!

If you are serving vegans, move some of the chili to a slow cooker or saucepan over low heat to simmer quietly until serving time.  Because it was just us, I added back in most of the beef and simmered the whole lot on low another hour.  Then another hour because my spouse worked late.
The result was a smooth, thick, tomato-ey meaty chili.