This post seems like a joke, but I’m being serious. 

I usually get bummed when summer ends, but then my morale gets boosted in remembering some of the awesome fall foods like apples – I’m a sucker for a big, juicy Honeycrisp fresh from the orchard – and SQUASH.  I’ll be honest, I LOVE squash.  They’re nutritious (rich in Vitamin C and A!), easy to cook, versatile, inexpensive, pretty, and make a great addition to not only fall meals, but Thanksgiving too.    

Here are my favorites ways to enjoy squash, including pumpkins:

  1. Fall Vegetable Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

This recipe was inspired by this blog but as I typically do, I changed things up a bit to suit my tastes.

-Swapped beets for sweet potato.  I love beets but just didn’t feel like dealing with the mess!

-Scrapped the celery root and instead added acorn squash because, yum!!!

-Used pure maple syrup in the dressing instead of the horseradish for better taste

-Eliminated the olives.  I love them, but just felt they didn’t go with the flavor profile

-Made this into a salad instead of a stack because it was easier 🙂

-One time I used quinoa instead of lentils just to change it up!

  1. Butternut Squash Tabbouleh

I came up with this recipe after reading this blog, but yet again, I switched things up!

-One time I used the butternut squash and another time used pumpkin.  Both are delish!

-Have used both quinoa and farro.  Yum to both!

-Used basil instead of parsley.  More flavorful, in my opinion!

-Topped with pomegranate seeds instead of dried cranberries to get a nice dose of antioxidants

-Tried it once with feta and once with goat cheese!

  1. Flavorful Roasted Squash

Squash is great because it can go sweet or savory depending on the seasonings you use….I usually slice mine, drizzle it with some olive oil, the seasonings below, and cook at 350 or 400 (sometimes higher if I want it crispier) until tender with a fork

-Make it sweet by adding some cinnamon and nutmeg

-Enjoy it savory by using fresh garlic, onions/shallot, salt, pepper

-Take a trip by using a blend of garam masala, curry, turmeric, allspice, or your favorite Middle Eastern/Indian/North African Spice

  1. Spaghetti Squash Noodles

This hack is an oldie but a goodie.  Spaghetti squash noodles are a fantastic healthy substitute for any noodle!  You can take it traditional by making a bolognese sauce, try a Pad Thai, or whatever your favorite noodle dish is.  So easy!

  1. Squash Cream Sauce

What is that?  Squash cream sauce???  Seems too good to be true, but it is that good!  Cut your squash into chunks, roast as previously noted, let cool, then blend in a food processor until creamy.  Add your favorite type of milk (coconut milk is a good one), season as needed, then use as a sauce.  

  1. Squash Soup

This is fairly similar to making the sauce variation, but most recipes call for some type of stock to help add flavor and thin it out a bit.  There are tons of recipes online, just search away!

  1. Squash Salad Topper

I love adding just simple roasted squash on top of my salads after it’s chopped.  It’s a nice addition if I don’t have any protein for the salad, has the soft and also crunch component, absorbs the dressing nicely, and is a great way to use leftovers.  It adds some nice color, too.

Couple more tips for ya!  I personally like to leave the skin on my squash.  It adds a nice bit of texture and is way easier than trying to remove it.  #lazychef right here, yep.  Additionally, if your squash is hard to cut, try carefully cutting it in half, removing the seeds and pith, then microwaving on a plate, cut side down, in a small pool of water for about 5 minutes.  It’ll be really hot once it’s done, but once it cools, it’ll be easier to cut.  

Enjoy!

Laissez les bons temps roulez et bonne santé,

Claire  

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