A Squash Adventure

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese with Sage

Butternut squash is a type of winter squash that is grown on a vine. It has a sweet, nutty flavour and a deep orange flesh. Roasting brings out the best flavour! It is a good source of fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Added to a classic mac and cheese – you can’t go wrong!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced in ½ “ cubes
  • 8 oz. dried tube pasta noodles
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 clove finely grated garlic
  • 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 6-8 oz. grated cheese (fontina, cheddar, asiago) or a combination
  • 10 sage leaves

Directions:

  • Roast squash cubes in a 400 degree oven with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper (or boil for a few minutes until tender, but not soft)
  • Boil salted water for pasta.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt butter and sauté garlic and sage for a minute until fragrant. If desired, let butter brown a bit.
  • Add flour and whisk to cook flour.
  • Add milk and whisk until smooth. Lower heat to simmer and cook for about 10 minutes or until floury taste is gone. If sauce is too thick, add more milk, a little at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  • Cook pasta and drain.
  • (If sauce appears lumpy, strain through a sieve into a bowl or clean pot.)
  • Remove from heat and add cheese.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning.
  • Mix pasta with sauce and squash.
  • If you wish to serve as a casserole, make a mixture of Panko crumbs, melted butter and Parmesan cheese and sprinkle over top. Bake in 350 degree oven until crisp and bubbly.

 

Thai Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkins are not just for Halloween – they taste great too! A member of the squash family, pumpkins can be grown and harvested from gardens in Ontario or purchased, canned, as a puree for use in pies, soups, or casseroles. Their bright, orange-coloured flesh means they are high in beta-carotene and vitamin A. Try it in this soup today!

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 Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp. finely grated ginger
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken  broth
  • 1-2 tbsp. red Thai curry paste
  • 3 cups peeled, cubed pumpkin
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • salt to taste

Directions:

  • Heat coconut oil in a large saucepan. Sauté onions until translucent. Add garlic and ginger and curry paste.
  • Add pumpkin cubes and toss with spices. Add liquids and bring to a boil. Simmer gently until pumpkin is cooked through.
  • Puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor or blender. Taste and season to taste.
  • Garnish with cilantro leaves and thinly sliced green onion

Roasted Squash Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting     

Squash in a dessert? Yes! Roasting brings out the sweetness in squash, mixed with brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon, this winterized dessert is sure to please the whole family!

Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pureed roasted squash
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. allspice
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp. freshly ground ginger (or 1 tsp. dry)

Frosting ingredients:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
  • ¼ cup soft butter
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. finely grated orange zest (more, if you like)

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9”x13” pan and line with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl whisk together eggs, sugar, grated ginger and oil until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, soda, salt and dry spices
  • Stir dry ingredients alternately with squash puree, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. (3 additions of dry and 2 of squash)
  • Mix until all is combined and scrape mixture into pan. Even top and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Frosting:

  • Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Beat in sugar and continue beating until fluffy and sugar is dissolved.
  • Test for dissolved sugar by rubbing a bit between your fingers.
  • Add orange zest and spread over cooled cake.CSXAmkxWUAAq892