Squash Recipes!

Many of you have emailed me wanting some recipes since I mentioned that squash is not JUST for holiday decorating; it is for eating as well. Butternut and acorn are 2 of my favorite. Even my husband, Dan is a fan and my son Benaiah especially enjoys

my butternut squash risotto. Because these vegetables are so versatile, there are so many ways to use them in everyday cooking. Let me share 2 of my favorite recipes that I make using these delicious gourds.  So, you know, these are easy to make and cooking them truly gets me in the holiday spirit! Your home, like mine, will smell of cinnamon and spice and everything nice! Also, when you remove them from the oven or stovetop they will look so pretty you may want to take a picture! So, let’s not spare anymore time…here are my top favorites!

Benaiah’s Vegan Butternut Squash Risotto
1 small butternut squash (Cook separately. Cut in half, remove seeds and peel away skin. Lastly, cut into cubes. Set aside to add at the end – details below.)
2-3 shallots finely chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups brown basmati rice
1 cup white wine
4 cups vegetable broth
½ cup shredded veggie cheese
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Unsweetened soy or rice milk (if needed at end)

Cook butternut squash in oven for 35-45 minutes at 350 degrees, or in microwave, piercing like a potato for 10-12 minutes. Do not cook until “mushy.” Leave the squash with a little texture still to it. Let cool down once cooked.  Cut in half, scoop out insides and cube the squash and set aside in bowl to mix into rice. (Once the rice has finished cooking.) Sauté shallots and garlic in olive oil in a pan on the stove. Next, add the brown basmati rice. Start to cook those ingredients, stirring frequently. Slowly add the white wine. Wait 3-5 minutes. Next, add the vegetable broth slowly; again, stirring regularly. Add remaining spices, except for the veggie cheese. Stir well, and cook for a few more minutes until the rice mixture is thoroughly heated. Cover with lid and let simmer on low heat until rice is cooked. Lastly, add the veggie cheese and stir in completely. Take the butternut squash you have already cooked and cubed, and fold into the rice. If you feel like it needs some added creaminess, use a couple tablespoons of  unsweetened soy or rice milk for added consistency.

Dan’s Loaded Acorn Squash
2 acorn squash, halved lengthwise and scoop out seeds
2 cups 100% whole wheat bread
1 can of organic lentil soup
1 cups vegetable broth or water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp agave nectar
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 medium onion finely chopped
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
½ cup celery finely chopped
2 tsps ginger
1 tsp cloves
2 tsps cinnamon
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350º F. Cook squash in microwave for 7-10 minutes, remove and let cool. Cut lengthwise and remove seeds. Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil. Next, add the celery, walnuts and lentil soup. While those ingredients are warming, cut bread into chunks and put in a mixing bowl. Pour the ingredients from the pan over the bread chunks in the bowl and mix together with the cranberries. I like to buy cranberries with no added sugar or sulfur. Lastly, add all remaining seasonings and agave nectar. Take the partially cooked acorn squash, with the seeds already removed, and spoon in mixture into the cavity.  I really like to make a nice mound of it on top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

P.S. I do not like to waste ANYTHING…so, rinse the seeds that you scooped out and do not throw them away.  Sprinkle sea salt and spray olive oil spray lightly on them and roast them in your oven at 425 degrees until they are slightly brown! Remove them from the oven and sprinkle a little cinnamon over them to give them a holiday flair! Enjoy!

Hopefully, you will find these dishes to be easy and delicious! They are healthy and tasty! I hope you eat them with renewed health!

Added to Nutrition, Weight Loss, Diet, The Dr. Oz Show on Mon 11/30/2009