Squash It!

A Recipe for Every Seasonal Squash

fall squash

There is a lot to love about fall but one of my absolute favorite things is the comfort food that it brings. Fall is truly a season that everyone in food embraces. Restaurants roll out special fall menus, farmers’ markets bins overflow with in-season vegetables, and Trader Joe’s stocks a bounty of seasonal favorites.
When you think of Fall foods your mind probably jumps straight to pumpkin, the perennial favorite of the squash family. Roasted, carved, or seeded, these plump puppies are simply delicious.  Though these gourdes are great they are only one of the many seasonal squashes that can and should be enjoyed this time of year. There are over 60 others that can be savored!
All of the fall squashes offer amazing health benefits. They are low in fat and calories, high in fiber, and full of vitamins (A, B6 and  C) and minerals (potassium, manganese, and folate just to name a few). More than that they contain antioxidants that are linked to fighting off cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Butternut, acorn, and spaghetti are a few I recommend rotating into your diet to reap these amazing benefits.
Convinced to give them a try but left wondering what to do after you get them in your cart? Look no further! I’ve rounded up my personal favorite recipes for each type of squash. These are great for single girls in the kitchen because the ingredients are simple, the steps are easy, and the results are healthy and delicious… the best combo!  On top of all that I’ve found that these meals make enough food for a week, so they’re a great way to eat well without spending too much time in the kitchen.

Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes
It only feels right to start with our seasonal hero. I absolutely adore these for lazy weekend breakfasts. They have just a hint of sweetness and pair perfectly with a pumpkin spice latte.
healthy pumpkin pancakes

Photo courtesy of Betty Crocker

In a medium bowl, lightly whisk together 1 cup whole-wheat pancake mix1 cup cold water1/3 cup canned pumpkin,  3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie seasoning, and 1 packet of Stevia/Truvia . Mix until batter is combined but still lumpy. Spray a griddle with nonstick spray, and heat on medium. For each pancake, spoon 1/4 cup batter onto the griddle and cook for about 2 minutes or until bubbles appear. Then flip, cook for another 2 minutes, and transfer to a plate. Drizzle each with 2 teaspoons warm sugar-free maple syrup and pecans and …dig in! Makes 8 pancakes.



Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale Salad
Butternut squash is a great alternative for sweet potatoes. It carries a similar flavor but has half the calories. In addition to this salad I love to slice it up and bake it into fries.
roasted butternut squash and kale salad

Photo courtesy of www.tastespace.wordpress.com


Preheat oven to 400°. Peel, seed, and cut 1 butternut squash into 1-inch chunks. Toss with 2 tbs olive oil, 2 tbs brown sugar, and a pinch of salt and pepper; bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven; cool. Massage 1 bag of  kale with 2 tbs EVOO to soften the leaves.  Toss in roasted butternut squash chunks,  1/4 c slivered almonds, and 1/2 c pomegranate seeds . In a bowl, whisk together , 1 tsp white balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp sugar free maple syrup, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Pour over salad and toss to coat.



Spaghetti Squash
Have you been introduced to the magic that is the spaghetti squash? It can be prepared in endless ways and is a great low-carb sub for real noodles.
spaghetti squash

Photo courtesy of mykitchenadventures.com

Preheat oven to 400°.  Bake whole squash for 50 minutes. Remove from oven; cool. Scrape the squash into wonderful, stringy “noodles” with a sturdy fork and place in a serving bowl.  In 2tbs EVOO saute 1 c chopped green zucchini, 1 c chopped yellow squash, 1 c chopped red bell pepper, 1/2 yellow onion  diced, and 4 cloves minced garlic. When the vegetables are slightly softened but still firm add in 1/2 the spaghetti squash  with 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 1/4 c shaved Parmesan cheese1/4 c fresh basil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Dish into bowls and sprinkle with more cheese to serve.
**Tip 1: I usually prepare the squash the day before I want to make this dish**
**Tip 2: To make this a full meal I like to add in sliced chicken sausage**


Southwest Stuffed Acorn Squash
Scoop these squashes out to turn them into their own serving dishes. This meal is hot, hearty, and healthy!
acorn squash

Photo courtesy of www.myambitiouskitchen.com

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut 2 squash in half horizontally and scoop out seeds. Place  cut-side down on a baking sheet coatedwith non-stick spray. Bake for 45 minutes or until squash is very soft and tender and edges begin to brown a bit. Turn oven off and leave squash in the oven while preparing filling. Saute 1 tsp olive oil,  1 chopped red bell pepper, 1/2 chopped yellow onion, 1 clove garlic, and 1/2 seeded and diced jalapeno; cook until softened about 3 minutes. Add in 1 tsp cumin, 1 can black beans and 2 c frozen corn; stir well to combine and cook a couple more minutes. Remove from heat, stir in 1/2 c chopped cilantro and juice from 1 lime and a pinch of salt and pepper. Fill the squash halves with black bean and corn mixture. Top each with 1 tbs of feta. Dig in!



Hope you enjoy these seasonal treats! If you’ve got a favorite seasonal recipe share with us  leadingladies@toastmeetsjam.com.




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