"Reclaiming Homemade in a Small Space"

Friday, January 27, 2012

I'm BAAAACK ....and with acorn squash to boot!

Most of you know that our laptop crashed and burned two weeks ago.  It happened right smack in the middle of a prime blogging project....the 20 lb. turkey and it's many uses.  The laptop was dead....really dead.  Wouldn't start....wouldn't do anything....My dear husband didn't give up and after two weeks, he finally got our laptop up and running!  I am so thankful....at first we thought we had lost ALL our data, including Christmas pictures.  As it turns out, I did lose a few original recipes, but fortunately I can remember most of those.  The above is an original, though it is heavily inspired from other sources. 

I am sure that many of you (like me) made resolutions NOT to overindulge (too much) in 2012.  We start cutting back on fat and calories and begin exercising.  Here is a recipe that is low in fat and calories, full of nutrients and (insert fanfare music here!) delicious!  Meet the acorn squash.
You should find them plentiful this time of year, they are a variety of winter squash.  One cup of baked acorn squash has 9 g of fiber, 18% of your vitamin A, 37% of vitamin C, 9% calcium, and 11% iron and as much potassium as a banana.  They also have a low glycemic index, which means you stay full longer.

The biggest challenge with the acorn squash is the shape.  The deep ridges make peeling before cooking nearly impossible.  Like most winter squashes, their flesh is hard and needs significant cooking before you can eat it.  The best way I know of to cook the acorn squash is to cut it in half and bake it.  After the flesh is nice and soft, I flavor with brown sugar, butter and pumpkin pie spice.

Spiced Acorn Squash:
(four servings)
1 acorn squash
2 T. butter
4 t. brown sugar
1 to 2 t. pumpkin pie spice
(1/2 t. cayenne pepper)
salt to taste

Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds.

Place, flesh side down in a rectangular baking dish.  Fill the dish with a half an inch of water.  Cover tightly with aluminum foil.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until the squash is easily punctured with a fork.  At this point, you have nearly a blank canvass to work with....you can put nearly any flavor profile on this.
I like to use the sweet of brown sugar and a hint of pumpkin pie spice to get my kids to eat it and love it. Crank up the oven to 450 at this point.  Now, I cut each half again so that I have 4 pieces of squash. Dump out the water that you roasted the squash in and place the fourths in the pan.  Rub 1/2 T. of butter on each fourth, leaving a nice pool of butter in the hollow in the center.

Sprinkle each quarter with 1 t. of brown sugar and 1/4 to 1/2 t. of pumpkin pie spice (depending on your taste) and a wee bit of salt.  If you are like many who like it hot, add some cayenne pepper to the mix.
Place back in the oven for 10 to 15 min or until the edges have firmed up and browned just a little bit.  Serve immediately. To eat this, just scoop out the buttery, creamy squash and leave the peel behind.  This is a perfect complement to roast chicken, turkey or pork.  It can also be the main course of a vegetarian meal. 

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