Tag Archives: butternut squash

warm butternut squash salad with lemon tahini dressing

It’s clear I have a small obsession with butternut squash. But how can you not? It’s just so delicious and versatile. And this recipe is the best one yet! I promise. I’ve made it at least four times this winter. That’s how good it is. When the weather is cold and it’s nice to comfort myself with the warm, sweet, buttery taste of squash, chickpeas, and tahini.

warm-butternut-squash-salad-2

 

I discovered this recipe from my friend Jamie. She got it from Smitten Kitchen and there are tons of adaptions in between. My variation includes roasting the onions, garlic and chickpeas instead of eating them cold and raw. I did want to show you how I make it a one-pot (sort of) dish. The hardest part is peeling and dicing the squash. After that, it’s easy street.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Start with peeling and dicing your squash into bite-sized cubes. Remove all seeds and innards.

Warm Butternut Squash Salad

Then dice an onion into medium pieces.

Dice Onion

Place the squash and the onion in an aluminium-lined baking dish or baking sheet. You’ll want the walls of the baking dish later, when you stir everything together.

Top  with some salt and pepper and coat the squash and onion with oil. I used coconut, which is pictured below in its non-liquid state. You can use olive oil though. I had to wait until my coconut oil melted before I could stir it in.

Warm Butternut Squash Salad

Roast your butternut squash for 25 – 35 minutes. 25 minutes should work fine for a small squash, but if you had a larger squash and a more crowded baking sheet, you’ll want to keep it in the oven for a bit longer.

In the meantime, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, and water in a large mixing cup.

Here’s a tip. Don’t have tahini? I’ve used store-bought hummus and it turned out great. Other variations of this recipe suggest using peanut butter or almond butter.

Lemon Tahini Dressing

Dice up a clove of garlic and rinse the canned chickpeas. Wait until you have about five minutes left on your roast and stir in the chickpeas and garlic. Place the mixture back in the oven for an additional five minutes. This warms up the chickpeas and cuts the intensity of the garlic.

Add Chickpeas

When the butternut squash is soft and tender, pull it out of the oven. Pour on the lemon tahini dressing (or you can leave it on the side).

Add Lemon Tahini Dressing

And mix it together.

Mix

Plate and enjoy! This keeps wonderfully in the refrigerator. I make a big pot of it on Sunday and eat it for the week.

Warm Butternut Squash Salad

warm butternut squash salad with lemon tahini dressing
 
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Author:
Recipe type: dinner
Cuisine: vegan/vegetarian
Yields: 4
Ingredients
Squash Salad
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced into cubes
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut or olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 15 oz. can chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 clove of garlic
Lemon Tahini Dressing
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. tahini (or store-bought hummus)
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
Instructions
Prepare the Warm Salad
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Peel and dice a small butternut squash. Discard all seeds and guts.
  3. Chop a medium yellow onion.
  4. Place the onion and butternut squash in a roasting pan.
  5. Sprinkle in salt and pepper, to taste
  6. Cover all the pieces with 2 Tbsp. of oil.
  7. Place the pan in the oven and roast for 25 minutes. Allow more cooking time if you have a larger squash.
Add Chickpeas
  1. Rinse and drain your can of chickpeas.
  2. Mince the garlic clove.
  3. Wait until there is five minutes left on the roast and stir in the chickpeas and garlic.
Prepare the Lemon Tahini Dressing
  1. While you're waiting on the roast, whisk together the lemon juice, tahini, water, and olive oil until it's completely mixed together.
Assembly
  1. Top the squash salad with the lemon tahini dressing while it is still warm. Mix together with a wooden spoon until all pieces are nicely covered. Serve hot.

 

butternut squash soup + food blogging thoughts

Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Brooklyn had its first snow last week! The snow was brief, but beautiful. Since I grew up in Florida, this was my first “first snow.” I may have been a bit too enthusiastic about it (I’m sorry everyone who got my crazy emoji text messages). It’s officially cold and people are preparing for the holidays. There are so many beautiful Christmas trees in Manhattan. And I’m filled with love and excitement for this time of year.

That is, until I realized my heat hasn’t turned on today. So the novelty is wearing off. And this is only the beginning. I have another five months of cold weather. So, I did what any person preparing for a long winter would do. I went out and bought tons of scarves and booties. Then I made this soup.

It’s no secret that I love butternut squash. It is the superior squash. And while I may have a minority opinion on this, I still believe pumpkins are best left for carving. Not eating. So, when I saw a recipe for butternut squash soup, I went for it, lamenting that I don’t have an immersion blender. Ladling soup into a food processor is just such a mess.

butternut-squash-soup-2

 

This soup is creamy, sweet, and full of spice. It’s perfect for a cold day. Top it with raisins and pecans to add some crunch.

butternut squash soup
 
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This butternut squash soup uses creamy coconut milk, roasted red pepper and apples to give it a sweet and savory, creamy taste.
Author:
Recipe type: soup
Yields: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 red pepper, roasted
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 13.5 oz can light coconut milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large butternut squash, cubed and diced
  • 1 apple, cored and diced
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • ½ tbsp tumeric
  • ½ tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinammon
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
Instructions
Roasted Red Pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the red pepper in half and remove the seeds
  3. Rub the pepper with olive oil.
  4. Place the pepper face down on a baking sheet covered with aluminum
  5. Cook on each side for about 10 minutes, or until the skin starts to turn brown.
Butternut Squash Soup
  1. Heat the coconut milk and water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer.
  2. Add the yellow onion and cook for 10 minutes, or until the onion is soft.
  3. Add add the chopped butternut squash,apple, curry, turmeric, cumin, salt, garlic, and cinnamon to the mix.
  4. Let it simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the butternut squash and apple are soft.
  5. Mix in the the peanut butter and let it cook for another five minutes.
  6. Ladle the mix into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Or alternately, use an immersion blender.

 

Truthy Stuff:

I made this soup two weeks ago but was very reluctant to put it on my blog. I don’t talk much about my efforts to be a better writer or a better photographer on AWFT, but feelings of “not good enough” are certainly a major reason why I don’t blog more. And while I’ve absolutely come a long, long way in my photography, (I can’t believe I’m even showing you those), I still feel like it’s not good enough. If the food tastes great, but the photos are ugly, who’s going to want to cook it?

I always feel uninspired when I photograph anything in bowls. I just don’t know how to make it come alive. Sure, I could buy a bunch of interesting, colorful bowls, but I struggle to maintain some type of minimalist lifestyle, which doesn’t exactly jive with food props. You may notice that all of my bowls and plates are white. I like to eat off of white plates, exclusively. So, it never really makes sense to buy anything else. But, growing my food photography craft is important to me. And I wonder how much is it suffering because I practically refuse to buy cute props. Does anyone else have this problem?

Anyway, now that I’ve realized this, I’m going to try not to let it hold me back, or keep me from posting. My goal for this blog has never been to feel inferior because of financial logistics or lack of consumer goods. Indeed, when I first started blogging, I would never have known what to do with a food prop.

And I have gotten better. Loads better. Not only has my photography improved leaps and bounds, but my recipe writing, blog writing, and even social media engagement are also more developed . And that makes me happy. After all, I do this because it’s fun. I enjoy it. I enjoy the challenge of cooking, of styling food, and the challenge of  improving.

I enjoy connecting with people, with other bloggers. Most importantly, I like learning from other bloggers and being able to share recipes and my life with you. So, thank you for your continued support and visits to my blog. You make it all worthwhile.

butternut squash muffins

 

My day before Thanksgiving carb fest has already started. Ok, so it really started on Saturday, but who’s keeping track?

butternut-squash-muffins-2

Remember when I made the butternut squash mac & cheese? Well, it only used half a butternut squash. I knew I wanted to use the rest of the puree on a muffin.

butternut squash muffins
 
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These muffins are made with pureed butternut squash, which makes them moist and delicious.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Yields: 6 large muffins
Ingredients
  • ½ small butternut squash (or 1 cup pureed butternut squash)
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ cup (one stick) butter, softened
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut the squash in half, keeping the other half for another time.
  3. Scoop out the seeds and pulp.
  4. Add a teaspoon of butter to the inside.
  5. Place in roasting dish, flat-side up.
  6. Roast for 45 minutes, or until soft and easily punctured with a fork.
Pureeing the Squash
  1. Once the squash is done roasting,cut it into manageable chunks.
  2. Place the chunks in a food processor and process until smooth.
Muffin Assembly
  1. Turn the oven down to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.
  3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.
  4. With a low speed, mix in the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time, blending thoroughly.
  5. Add the butternut squash puree.
  6. Alternate adding the dry ingredients with the milk, until all ingredients are smoothly incorporated.
  7. Fill a muffin pan ⅔rds the way full.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes.*
Notes
*Note: I used an extra-large sized muffin tin. If you're using a regular sized muffin tin, you may need to adjust the baking time to less time.

 

Giant muffins are the best muffins. Slather with butter and indulge.

butternut squash muffins

This post is linked up here and here.

butternut squash mac and cheese

butternut squash mac and cheese

You have to make this for Thanksgiving. Or, you know, for dinner. Ryan and I ate two bowls each last night for dinner. Because we’re adults. and that’s totally an acceptable dinner, right?

Don’t be afraid to mix up an old favorite with some vegetables. The flavor of the squash is delicate and adds a nice level of creaminess to the dish.

butternut-squash-mac-and-cheese

Can a food be too good to be true? We also used unsweetened vanilla almond milk, which gave this a touch of sweetness to cut the sharp cheddar taste. You can use any type of milk you like, though.

butternut squash mac and cheese
 
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Creamy mac and cheese with a subtle hint of butternut squash. Perfect for Thanksgiving.
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Yields: 6
Ingredients
  • ½ small butternut squash
  • 3 Tablespoons of butter plus 1 teaspoon
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (you can use any kind)
  • 1 lb. rotini pasta or macaroni
  • 3 cups aged white cheddar, shredded
Instructions
Roasting the Squash
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut the squash in half, keeping the other half for another time.
  3. Scoop out the seeds and pulp.
  4. Add a teaspoon of butter to the inside
  5. Place in roasting dish, flat-side up
  6. Roast for 45 minutes, or until soft and easily punctured with a fork
Pureeing the Squash
  1. Once the squash is done roasting,cut it into manageable chunks
  2. Place the chunks in a food processor and process until smooth
Prepare the macaroni
  1. Boil water in a stove top pot
  2. Add 1 lb. of rotini or pasta
  3. Boil until soft, or about 7-8 minutes.
Prepare the cheese mixture
  1. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat in a small pot on the stove top, whisking often
  2. Wait until the butter begins to brown
  3. Slowly whisk in the flour
  4. Whisk until you get a thicker mixture
  5. Whisk in your butternut squash puree until combined
  6. Whisk in the milk
  7. Whisk most of your shredded cheese (about 2½ cups), save some to top off the casserole
  8. Whisk until the mixture is thick and well combined
Assembly
  1. Turn the stove down to 375 degrees
  2. Drain the water from the pasta and place in a large casserole dish
  3. Stir in the cheese mixture, coating well
  4. Top the dish off with the leftover shredded cheese
  5. Bake for 20 minutes.

Also, if you don’t puree your squash until smooth, it will leave some nice chunks of butternut squash that you can bite into. You can see them in the photo below.

This post is linked up here, here and here.