Butternut squash, with its creamy texture, is the perfect comfort food. Like butta, some might say. Plus, because it has both sweet and savory notes and is extremely versatile; not to mention it is loaded with nutrients. Nutrition breakdown: half a cup of butternut squash is only 50 calories and provides a whopping 260% your daily need for vitamin A, plus 40% your daily need for vitamin C (vitamins A and C boost immunity, can decrease inflammation and contribute to healthier skin, eyes and an overall healthier body). You’ll even get a little iron and calcium in that 1/2 cup serving, though you’ll probably want to eat more than half a cup!
My one issue with butternut squash, however, is that can take 45-60 minutes to cook. Thus, I had a butternut squash sitting on my counter for several weeks before I got around to making it. Did I mention I made it in 30 minutes? The key is to cut it up small. With a VERY sharp knife. Butternut squash doesn’t play around…you have to put major – at least for me – muscle into cutting that baby up. That expression, “no pain, no gain,” can absolutely be used here. Completely worth the minor hassle to get a deliciously cooked butternut squash, though. Check out how I used it several ways!
Arugula, White Bean and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
- 2 cups arugula
- 1/2 cup roasted butternut squash*
- 1/2 cup white beans
- 2 Tbsp roasted sunflower seeds
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp cracked pepper
Directions: Toss all ingredients together. Yep- it’s that simple!
*To roast butternut squash, peel it and cut it into 1.5″ cubes. Drizzle with olive oil or use cooking spray and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Note: the smaller the pieces you cut, the faster it will cook.
Butternut Squash and Tempeh-Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms
- 1/2 cup roasted butternut squash, mashed
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
- 3 oz tempeh (uncooked), finely chopped
- 4 portabella mushrooms
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp salt (smoked salt, if you have it, works really well)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp rosemary
- 1 oz cheese (parmesan would be ideal, but I didn’t have any, so I used light cheddar instead)
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove stems from washed/dried portabellas. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Mix all remaining ingredients (excluding cheese) together and stuff into the prepared mushrooms. Top with shredded or thinly sliced cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until mushrooms are thoroughly cooked and cheese is browned and bubbly (and thus, delicious).