“Hey Mom! I love eating my squash baby!”

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Squash baby and his/her family

I posted a picture a few weeks ago of my butternut squash collection and threw a hat and eyes on one of them.  My daughter decided to befriend said squash and it quickly became her baby.  This squash was loved on and cared for and adored by Vivi until one day after she placed the squash on a shelf to watch her dance, he/she (gender changed a lot) took a tragic fall and a slight crack appeared.  I explained to Vivi that we had to put him/her out of his/her misery quickly or let it slowly rot.  She agreed to let me turn it into a delicious dish, but told me very solemnly that she would not be eating it because butternut squash is “very yucky and I don’t not like it” sam I am.

My love , however, for butternut squash is a bit ridiculous.  It can do no wrong in my mind and is one of my favorite squash to create recipes with.  Lentil soup…paleo bread…ravioli…cookies…curry apple soup…it makes everything better.  When I run into someone who hates butternut squash, my reaction is usually “Challenge accepted!” and subsequently want to run into my kitchen and make dishes until they change their mind about squash. And so I informed Vivi that she would be making her squash baby dish herself and would be required to try at least 1 bite.  As with a lot of dishes, I let Vivi actively participate in determining which spices and how much to put in.  My goal is to do for her what my parents did for me which is teach me from a young age how to adjust spices as you go.  After a very serious first taste and a little extra ginger Vivi proudly told me that she “actually do like SQUASH! It is so yummy in my tummy, I’m going to eat it all gone!”.  Success.

A very serious first bite
A very serious first bite

 

 

 

All smiles for the squash!
All smiles for the squash!

At the store today Vivi found a new Squash Baby and proudly carried it all through the store telling everyone that we ate its brother so we have to buy a new one. I couldn’t help but let her bring him/her home.

Squash baby 2.0
Squash baby 2.0

Butternut Squash with ginger and buttered pecans.

You can't go wrong with butternut squash, ginger and pecans. This recipe is incredibly easy. Contains so few ingredients that it is one of those dishes that you could throw together without an extra trip to the store. My suggestion to clients is to always have a supply of almonds, pecans, walnuts, peanuts, etc on hand as they not only are great to snack on, but also are used in so many recipes and can take an "eh" dish and make it fantastic. In this case, it's the pecans.

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash roasted. I just throw the squash in whole and bake it at 375 or 400 until you can easily slide a fork into it or the skin begins to crack. The more done the better!
  • ground ginger
  • nutmeg
  • butter
  • pecans
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 or 2 eggs
  • cinnamon

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Peel squash and remove the seeds. I eat the pulp and the seeds of all my squash. The pulp I usually add to the rest of the squash and the seeds I toast and salt. Most people do not like the pulp, I eat it because I know it contains a lot of great nutrients. I did not however add it to this dish and instead saved it for later. Add the squash to a food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Add in nutmeg and ginger (about a 1:2 ratio of nutmeg to ginger) I probably added 1 teaspoon of nutmeg and 2-3 teaspoons of ginger. Salt and lightly pepper the mixture. Keep blended and tasting until you like the flavor. I only added 'pinches' at a time of the spices. You can always add more, it's just really hard to remove blended ginger powder from the squash, so start on the conservative side.
  • Perhaps it needs more salt? Or is it ginger....
  • My little squash hater loves it! Once it is perfect then add in the egg(s). I only had 1 egg left, so I used 1, but I think 2 eggs would be equally good if not better. Blend the eggs into the squash.
  • Chop up about 1/2 cup of pecans and set aside. Throw another 1/2 cup or more in a pie tin and toast for a few minutes in the oven. Then add at least 2T of butter and some cinnamon (just a little) and put back into the oven until butter is melted over the pecans.
  • Spread squash evenly in a baking dish of your choosing and sprinkle with the chopped pecans. Sprinkle very lightly with cinnamon.
  • Add the whole pecans with butter and cinnamon.
  • Bake for 30 minutes and enjoy!
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