Archive | September, 2011

Butternut Squash Home Fries

27 Sep

Inaugural post! Keeping the Peas has been simmering for a long time, ever since my male companion and I joined culinary forces and realized that cooking for divergent palates is a challenge. We have hardly any money, time or (most importantly) counter space, but we’re devoted to eating mindfully and striking good vegetarian-omnivorian compromises.

But let’s get to what’s really important here: SQUASH!

Photo courtesy of St. Martin's Press. (Though in the future, I'll be posting my own alluring food photos.)

Sassy Squash Facts:

1. Like its gourd brethren (melons, cucumbers and pumpkin), it’s a fruit. Remember that for your Trivial Pursuit tournament.

2. Eating a mere cup of butternut goodness gives you half your daily dose of vitamin C.

3. In a health benefit beatdown, it would kill / maim the wimpy summer squash: butternut is packed with beta-carotene (vitamin A), vitamin B1, folic acid, fiber and potassium.

Recipe: Butternut Squash Home Fries, courtesy of Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien 

  • 2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash (1-inch cubes)
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fat-free broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice *I just used dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Sauté onion with olive oil in a pan over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes, until translucent. *I sauteed my onions 3 minutes longer, because I hate overpowering onion bite.

Add bell pepper and cook for 1 minute.

Add squash and stir. Raise heat to medium and add all spices. Mix well.

Cook for about 7 minutes, until squash starts to soften.

Raise heat to high and add broth. Bring to a boil. After 30 seconds of boiling, reduce heat to low.

Simmer until broth evaporates (which was like, four minutes for me), stirring often.

Cover pan and continue to cook for 3 minutes, or until squash is tender.

He Said, She Said:

I’m such a sucker for any food that can transcend the breakfast food / dinner food divide. This was great!  We’ll definitely be making it again in the ominous coming winter months – if I can figure out how to peel squash without making it look like orange Playdough roadkill. Outside of the peeling (kitchen MacGuyvering that I have yet to master), this is quick, painless and hearty. Though I was concerned the squash would be either too hard or too mushy, this technique with the chicken broth worked like a charm and the texture was Goldilocks-style just right.

“These taste just like real home fries,” proclaimed the boyfriend. I say they taste like a slightly sweeter, warmed-by-cinnamon, pull-on-your-flannel and settle-in-for-fall version of home fries.

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