Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - what do I do with butternut squash??

02-05-2007, 09:08 PM
Hi all,
I have been trying to lose weight since right around the new year, so I am doing my best to buy and make healthy foods. In doing so, I've been wanting to try some new things, so when I saw fresh butternut squash at Trader Joe's (already cubed up and packaged!), I bought some. It wasn't until I got home that I realized I have no idea how to prepare it.

Just thought I'd come here first for some healthy ideas before I do a recipe search online. Please let me know if you have preparation tips or a recipe idea!

Thanks a bunch :)

02-05-2007, 09:16 PM
while I do this with a whole butternut squash, I'm sure it'll worked with the cubed up versions too....

what I do is basically chop it in half, put in a shallow glass dish with just a little bit of water (cut side down) and microwave it for about 8 minutes... it becomes mash potato like consistency & I scoop it out and stir it with a little brown sugar or maple syrup to taste... really simple & yummy!

If you wanna try this with your cut up ones... I'd say do it with a loosely covered tupperware.

02-05-2007, 09:20 PM
I slice it up into very thin little strips and season it with pepper, curry powder, and a little salt, and bake in the oven at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Squash fries! They are delicious and a totally good alternative to french fries.

02-05-2007, 09:31 PM
I make a butternut squash and leek soup recipe from cooking light:

1 whole garlic head
4 teaspoons olive oil
6 cups thinly sliced leek (about 4 large)
4 cups (3/4-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 medium)
2 cups water
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°.
Remove white papery skin from garlic head (do not peel or separate the cloves). Wrap head in foil. Bake at 350° for 1 hour; cool 10 minutes. Separate cloves; squeeze to extract garlic pulp. Discard skins.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add leek; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in garlic, squash, 2 cups water, broth, salt, and black pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until squash is tender. Place half of squash mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over the opening in the blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour pureed soup into a bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining squash mixture.

Wine note: The creamy texture of the pureed soup matches well with a plump but crisp Chardonnay like J.J. Vincent Bourgogne Blanc ($15). It's suitably rich, round, and fruity, with gently buttery flavors and good acidity to balance the natural sweetness of the squash. -Jeffery Lindenmuth

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)

CALORIES 167(19% from fat); FAT 3.5g (sat 0.5g,mono 2.2g,poly 0.6g); PROTEIN 4.1g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 144mg; SODIUM 351mg; FIBER 5.3g; IRON 3.3mg; CARBOHYDRATE 33.5g

02-05-2007, 10:04 PM
Thank you... and keep them coming if they're are more! Now I'm really excited to try it tomorrow for dinner. I actually have all the ingredients for Mandalinn's soup, except the leeks. Mandalinn, do you think it would still be tasty without leeks? Maybe substitute celery? Also, by 'head' of garlic, you do mean the entire thingy? Not just a clove? I never knew what the whole thing of garlic was called, but I hope I'm assuming correctly here!

Thanks again for all the recipes... they all look very tasty and healthy. It will be a nice change of pace too.

02-05-2007, 10:05 PM
Dang. Excuse my typo... "they're" instead of "there." I hate it when I do that!!

02-05-2007, 11:08 PM
I absolutely love butternut squash just roasted. I put the cut up chunks of squash on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray and roast at 450 degrees til soft, with dark brown edges, turning occasionally. Sometimes I'll sweeten it slightly or add something. Other times the squash is perfect plain. Also good with a little sage & poultry seasoning for a savory taste.

02-06-2007, 12:00 AM
If you don't have leek, you'll want some onion in there to get the onion-y flavor. Caramelize up an onion and you'll get a leek-ish flavor.

Yes, a whole bunch of garlic is called a head. Don't worry, it isn't too garlicky once the garlic gets roasted.

02-06-2007, 10:47 AM
I prefer baking it until it's nice and mushy and then I give it a few squirts of butter spray and sprinkle it with brown sugar. I also make butternut squash soup.

02-06-2007, 11:00 AM
I put the cubes in a roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil, and toss with salt and pepper. Then I season it with whatever I'm in the mood for: cinnamon if I want sweet; cumin with garlic or onion powder if I want savory. Roast at 425 degrees until tender.

02-06-2007, 11:14 AM
Go to Cooking Light's website and search recipes--there are over 100 that use butternut squash! But personally I've made this and it got rave reviews:

Butternut Squash Risotto

2 cups water, divided
2 (14 1/4-ounce) cans low-salt beef broth
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
3 cups (3/4-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 pound)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or other short-grain rice
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

Bring 1 1/2 cups water and broth to a simmer in a large saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion; cook 8 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently. Add 1/2 cup water, squash, salt, and pepper; cook 10 minutes or until squash is tender and water has almost evaporated. Add rice; stir until combined. Stir in 1/2 cup broth mixture; cook until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add the remaining broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 30 minutes total). Stir in cheese, butter, and parsley. Serve immediately.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 2/3 cup)

02-06-2007, 06:06 PM
Wow - I'm amazed at all of these recipes. Will try the soup (with onion as subsitute for leeks) and then I'll have to buy more squash and work my way through the suggestions. Yum. Thanks to all!!