Monday, January 26, 2009

Yummy Winter Squash Quick Meal

We are steadily working through our produce larder from our garden harvests this summer. We love going to the shelf or our freezer for our food and are LOVING the reduced food bill. It's really quite amazing. Besides coffee/wine/beer, a few dairy products and grains we purchase little at the grocery. If we would switch over to drinking chicory coffee like our friend (the mastermind behind our chicken coop tales), we would even further reduce our food bill.

Last night for dinner I made a quick and simple dish with the last of our sweet dumpling squash. You can use any sort of winter squash for this recipe, but a sweet squash such as sweet dumpling or butternut makes it that much better.

Step 1 - Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Gather your squash.

Step 2 - Cut squash in half width wise. Lay them with their insides face down in a large pan. Fill the pan with water till the water depth measures about 1". (Leave the seeds inside.) Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Step 3 - While your squash is cooking toast some nuts or seeds to eat with the squash later. We used purchased pepitas or pumpkin seeds. Put your nuts or seeds in a thin layer on a tray and toast in your 350 degree F oven for about 10 minutes or until slightly browned.

Step 4 - Once your squash can be easily (very easily!) pierced with a knife, remove the squash from the oven and turn them over to cool a bit before you touch them. HOT!

Step 5 - Scoop out the seeds and binding fibers. Put these in a colander in your sink.

Step 6 - Now scoop out the soft baked squash and put the squash in serving bowls. Stir your squash well in the bowl so it is fairly uniform in texture.

Step 7 - Get out your favorite dressing or oil (we LOVE Annie's Goddess Dressing)...

Step 8 - Pour some dressing or oil (or leave it plain - sweet dumpling is that good!) on top of your squash, add some toasted seeds/nuts & enjoy!

Step 9 - After you finish your meal, go back to your seeds waiting in the colander and clean off the squash fibers by running some water and rubbing them with your fingers until they are fairly clean. Put them in a sealed container in the fridge and tune back in to our blog in a day or two to find out what to do with them!

Step 10 - Don't forget to add your squash skins to your compost! We keep a handy dish by our sink and take the compost to the pile outdoors about once a day. Easy once you get used to the process.

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