Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Tale of Two Squashes

Every other week I get a huge bag of organic fruits and vegetables delivered from Brewers Organics.  It's a convenient way to get quality produce without having to go to the grocery store, where I would inevitably buy things like chips 'n dip, and it's a way of forcing myself to eat more fruits and veggies because I hate to see things go to waste.  But, what to do with a butternut squash and a spaghetti squash?

I actually have a couple of recipes using spaghetti squash and sometimes just like to eat it with pasta sauce so the real challenge was the butternut.  A while back I had pinned a recipe for Parmesan Butternut Squash Gratin from Betty Crocker so I decided to give that a try.  Wow was it ever good.  Even if you don't think you like butternut squash I would still say to try it out and see if this recipe changes your mind.

Don't be intimidated by the mighty butternut squash.

All you have to do is cut off the end:

And then peel with a veggie peeler:

Next, cut in half, scoop out any seeds and then slice into about half-inch slices:

Arrange the slices in a 9x13 dish that you've sprayed with cooking spray:
Next, make the super yummy sauce to go on top.  Melt half a stick of butter and add to it two cloves of chopped garlic.  Let cook of low heat for a few minutes to infuse the garlic into the butter.

And for even more yummy, mix 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs with 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese and then add one tablespoon of the melted butter to it.

Brush the melted butter onto the squash and then sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over it.
Finally, pop the dish into a 375 degree oven and start enjoying the wonderful smell.  After about 35 minutes crank the temperature up to 425 and let bake another 5-10 minutes.  This will allow the breadcrumbs to brown and get nice and crunchy.  The recipe calls for finishing it off with chopped parsley but I'm not all that fancy.  Mine doesn't look as nice as the one on the website, but it sure tasted great.

Next up, the spaghetti squash.  This one was a little ugly looking.  I decided to make a Tex-Mex Spaghetti Squash Boat.

 I've always found it easiest and quickest to cook them in the microwave.  I just prick it all over with a fork, set it on a few paper towels on a plate and cook it for about 10-20  minutes depending on how big the squash is.  This one I nuked for 15 minutes.

When it comes out it will be hot so be careful slicing it in half because hot steam, hot steam, hot steam.
Just like with the butternut squash, you'll want to scoop out all of the seeds.  Then, using a fork, gently scrape the squash out of the shell.
Mix the squash with a cup of shredded Mexican shredded cheese, 1/3 cup of chopped red pepper and 2 slicked green onions.  I was out of green onions so I used regular onion.
Load it all back into one side of the empty squash shell and bake in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes.
Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of bacon bits, let bake about three more minutes and you're done!

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