Tag Archives: squash

Oat groats with roasted acorn squash, kale & Parmesan: $1.32/serving

Another acorn squash ripened last week, and though it was tempting to roast it and freeze it for baby food or another winter-squash soufflé, I knew I had enough on hand to turn it into a light meal on its own. Any whole grains would work here—barley, farro, rye berries, etc.—but you may need to add a little more liquid, as oat groats are on the quicker end of the whole-grain cooking scale. Likewise, other greens (chard, spinach, et al.) can be substituted for the kale. I’m not a huge fan of acorn squash (yes, yes, I know I’m growing it; it came out of a “harvest variety” packet of squash seeds, so I kind of got blindsided), but this dish really brings out its sweetness, and roasting really improves the texture. In fact, I fully anticipated to be either studiously avoiding or resignedly picking at the squash chunks in my bowl, but they ended up being my favorite part.

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Winter-squash soufflé: 73 cents/serving

Starting our winter squash in the greenhouse this year has paid off—a good bit of it is already ready to harvest. So far we’ve gotten a medium-sized green turk’s turban, a small acorn squash, an enormous hubbard squash, and a small white gourd of indeterminate origin. Given that more are on the way, I felt no compunction in roasting what we had, puréeing it, and freezing it to use as baby food*. I did, however, reserve about a cup’s worth to use in a soufflé, the flavors of which turned out to be a delicious fall preview. In fact, it’s a great catch-all recipe for any winter squash you may have and not know what to do with; no need to worry about texture or flavor, so long as it’s vaguely squashlike.

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Butternut squash risotto with spinach & pine nuts: $2.28/serving

Not an easy week this is, with so many dinners over $2. However, some meals are worth surviving the rest of the day on bread and coffee for, and this is one of them. Butternut squash used to be a hard sell for me (texturally, it still kind of is) until I had it in a risotto at a restaurant not long ago, in which the sweet chunks of squash against a savory background made me a believer. That particular risotto, though, was so heavily loaded with butter and cheese that it took me nearly two days to find the strength to even walk the dog. To say I felt disgusting is to describe the Republican-candidate debates as mildly alarming. Good food needn’t always be an assault on your system; this version gets big flavors from stock, vegetables, and cooking technique, not fat.

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Pumpkin orzo with sage: $1.26/serving

I would love more than anything in the world to be able tell you I bought a whole pumpkin on sale for something ridiculous like 50 cents at Fred Meyer and roasted it myself to make this dish and more pumpkin to freeze for later. That’s what I should have done, and that’s what you should do.

But back on Sunday I had anticipated this being a much busier week than it ended up being, so I made room in the budget for a time-saving $1.29 can of Libby’s pumpkin purée. (To make matters worse, I can’t stand Libby’s because the picture of pie on the can always makes me nervous—are they sure this is just plain pumpkin and not pre-sweetened “pumpkin pie filling”?)

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