Transitioning to Fall with Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash with Mushrooms, Tomatoes & Spinach

Spaghetti Squash with Mushrooms, Tomatoes & Spinach

As sad as I am to say goodbye to summer, I’m equally excited to welcome the flavors of fall, my all-time favorite food season. This is the time of year when summer produce still lingers at the farmer’s markets (tomatoes, bell peppers, etc.) while the bounty of fall is just ripening: hearty root vegetables, dark leafy greens and best of all winter squash.

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My favorite varieties of winter squash are the delicatas and buttercups which are small and sweet, but it’s during this transitional time of the year that I crave spaghetti squash. I find it to be the perfect crossover vegetable providing a canvas for combining summer and fall flavors.

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In this case I mixed cooked spaghetti squash with sauteed garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach, making for a hearty, delicious and super healthy meal. The entire dish takes less than 20 minutes to make and the microwave does half the work. And it’s a fantastic as a vegetarian entree or side dish to chicken or fish.

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Here’s the recipe:

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Butternut Squash & Caramelized Onion Risotto

Butternut Squash & Caramelized Onion Risotto

It feels like it’s 90 degrees in my apartment (thanks to building management who turned on the heat two weeks ago) and here I am standing in front of my oven set to 350F while stirring risotto in my small kitchen. Am I a glutton for good food or what? And to think I thought it was bad yesterday when I was simply roasting a chicken…

Anyways, back to the point of this post: this amazing butternut squash and caramelized onion risotto. It’s an easy recipe with the main requirements being patience and attention. Plus, I actually made two recipes out of the ingredients in the same time it would take to make one. The second dish, roasted butternut squash, will be perfect for lunch tomorrow.

The reason I made two dishes was because I used only half a smallish butternut squash (1 1/2 pounds) for the risotto. So, rather than wrapping the remaining squash and refrigerator for some random future use, I diced the entire thing and mixed half in a baking dish with a pinch of cinnamon, brown sugar and olive oil. I then roasted it in a 350F oven while cooking the risotto. Read more of this >>

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Stuffed Buttercup Squash

Stuffed Buttercup Squash

This. Dish. ROCKS! I don’t say that often, but this was one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time. A sweet, rich buttercup squash perfectly complimented by a savory and aromatic filling, oven-roasted until soft. It screams autumn, all warm and hardy but still (mostly) healthy and full of vegetables. This dish was inspired by a stuffed pumpkin recipe I read about on Dorie Greenspan’s blog. Her recipe is dairy-heavy and meant to serve a bunch of people, think Thanksgiving dinner, but I do plan on trying it sometime.

However, tonight was just for me – I needed one portion of something delicious, and that’s exactly what I got. The presentation was beautiful and you could easily double or even quadruple the recipe for company. I recommend serving it with simple roasted or baked chicken and sauteed greens. Read more of this >>

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