If Reece picks out a produce item that he wants from the store, I’ll buy it for him. I think it’s good for him to be involved in picking out healthy food for our family and I figure he’s more likely to try foods that he’s chosen himself (although this has not always proven true).
During a recent trip to Trader Joe’s, he was riding along in the large part of the cart–just the right height for picking things off the produce bins himself. We ended up with a variety of different squash and some brussel sprouts (which I actually pointed out because I thought he might think they were fun on the stick).
I love squash, but I don’t make it often enough to know different ways to prepare it offhand. Even so, I figured I would look up recipes later or just wing it and hope something good came out of it. As it turns out, that plan worked pretty well for us.
First up, delicata squash.
I had never heard of it before, but this was the first one he picked and it was pretty. I had bought some diced pancetta (try to find a nitrate-free one) for the brussel sprouts, so I decided to still cook all that up as planned, toss in some cannelini beans for extra protein and stuff the squash with that mixture. The result was really quite delicious and I’ll definitely making this again. Reece didn’t care for the squash, but he did eat the brussel sprout mix (picking out the pancetta to eat first, of course). Emme had no complaints either, but she pretty much eats everything I put on her tray.
Next up was acorn squash.
I really just needed a veggie side the night I made this, so I simply roasted it with olive oil, salt and pepper and called it good. No fuss and still tasty.
When Reece had picked the spaghetti squash, I wasn’t too excited about it because I can’t really get on board with it being a substitute for pasta.
I’ve made it before and wasn’t a huge fan of the squash/tomato sauce combo. I love pasta and am not looking to substitute anything for it. I also love squash and it seems odd to bury its delicate flavor in pasta sauce. Nonetheless, I decided to give it another try. I threw together my own sauce with some chicken sausage, which actually came out pretty good. My poor husband got an unpleasant surprise when he came home late that night and expected to bite into some pasta when he saw it and instead bit into the squash. He still said it was good, but it was not the taste he was looking forward to. I think if I make spaghetti squash again, I’ll have to look for another way to prepare it. Maybe just sautéed with other veggies. It was a nice and easy veggie to give to Emme, though, with the spaghetti-like strands already a good size for her.
Lastly, was the pumpkin itself.
Reece had picked a cute little sugar pumpkin and I hadn’t been certain at the time if I would make something sweet or savory with it. It came down to a night when all we had for dinner in the fridge was a package of spinach and cheese ravioli, and the only veggie left was the pumpkin. I also had another package of diced pancetta, so decided to go with a savory pumpkin sauce to top the ravioli with. I started off roasting the pumpkin and then sautéing it with onions and pancetta, adding some of the pasta water to make it more sauce-like. This was a big hit with everyone (except for Reece, who stuck with just the ravioli and pancetta after trying a bit of the pumpkin) and I’ll definitely making this again too.
So this leads to a few more recipes for you! Click on the links below for the details of each one. Hope you enjoy them–please let me know if you give them a try!