It’s November and do you know what that means… It’s time for a winter squash recipe! Winter squashes are delicious, versatile and easy to make. Whether it’s acorn, spaghetti, butternut, pumpkin, kabocha or buttercup squash, a good recipe will highlight the tasty flavors of each one. Squash is a staple in my kitchen during the fall and winter months because when stored in a cool, dry place, these nutrient-dense vegetables can last for months.
Winter squashes are packed with anti-oxidants and vitamins, including Beta-Carotene, fiber, iron, riboflavin (B2), omega 3 fatty acids (anti-inflammatory), vitamin C, potassium and manganese. Tip: make sure to add some healthy fat (i.e. olive oil) into your recipe, therefore the fat-soluble nutrients (vitamin A, D, E, K) can be made available for your body to absorb.
Winter squash is easy to make, that is, once the proper cutting and preparing techniques are learned. For those who have never cut and prepared squash, here are a few pointers. If additional assistance is needed, go to YouTube and search “How to Cut Squash.”
Okay, ready to cut the squash? First, make sure the chef's knife is sharpened. Nothing is worse than a dull knife. Once the knife is sharpened, cut off the stem or top of the squash. This creates a flat surface to work with, which is very important when cutting squash properly, or really any vegetable. Then simply cut the squash in half. Tip: when cutting butternut squash, cut in to quarters then peel. This is much easier than trying to peel whole or even in halves because it can be pretty slippery. Don’t forget to scoop out and discard the pulp. That’s all you really need to know about how to prep and cut a squash. Now, the fun part, a new recipe!
Vegetables can be intimidating to cook, especially when you’re not sure how to prepare them. So this week I am challenging you to cook with a new vegetable! Here is one of my favorite recipes.
Quinoa, Black Bean Stuffed Acorn Squash
Total Time: 50 minutes (30 minutes cook time, 20 minutes prep time)
2 Acorn Squash
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small zucchini, diced (~1 cup)
1 cup mushrooms, diced
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 serving (1 half of squash)
9 grams protein
10 grams fiber
I am a registered dietitian, licensed nutritionist, foodie, fitness enthusiast, traveler and runner, living in the city of brotherly love. I have a passion for cooking and sharing delicious, healthful food. I enjoy working with clients to help them achieve their health and nutrition goals.