By Jami Scott
What a great time of year, when the weather starts getting cooler and the leaves are changing color. And, we all start craving some warmer, heartier foods like squash.
There are many varieties in the store to choose from — don’t be afraid to experiment and buy one you’ve never cooked before. Squash can be eaten in savory or sweet dishes, roasted, steamed, sautéed and mashed. Here are a few recipes to get you started:
Acorn Squash: Small, dark green and milder than most varieties. To cook, stuff with whole grains and vegetables for one or two people.
Delicata Squash: Small, cylindrical and green with tan stripes. Use in baking as it’s quite sweet.
Butternut Squash: Large, smooth, peanut-shaped squash with tan skin. Excellent source of vitamins A and C. This is a great one for baking or mashing.
Spaghetti Squash: Semi-soft and yellow. Bake first, then use a fork to remove the flesh in strands like spaghetti.
Kabocha Squash: Pale green with a creamy, moist texture. Sweet and tasty mashed with unsweetened almond milk and cinnamon.
Spicy Spaghetti Squash with Black Beans
Ingredients to serve four:
1 medium spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup chopped red onion
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
½ cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup cooked black beans
½ cup sweet corn, frozen or fresh
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Preheat the oven to 375F. Arrange squash in a large baking dish, cut-sides down. Pour ½ cup water into the dish and bake until just tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Rake with a fork to remove flesh in strands, leaving the shell intact for stuffing.
For the filling, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, jalapeno and bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes or until soft. Add beans, corn and chilli powder; cook, stirring frequently, 1 minute longer. Add cooked squash, cilantro, lime juice and salt, cook 1 minute until heated through.
Fill squash halves with filling, mounding mixture in the center.
Jami Scott is a holistic nutritionist and healthy eating associate coordinator for Whole Foods Market, Pacific Northwest.