Butternut squash is a staple of winter cooking. Its firm shell allows it to store well, and it’s easily adaptable in a variety of dishes including soups, chili and stand-alone sides.
The way these recipes are prepared is designed to preserve the nutrients of each ingredient — by leaving skins on organic carrots, ginger and turmeric — and to promote good health. Sharp is among a small number of health systems that are creating new meals based on the results of laboratory tests measuring how food influences DNA, as part of the Community Health Improvement Partners Nutrition in Healthcare Leadership Team.
Butternut Squash Puree
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yields 6 (1/2-cup) servings
6 cups fragrant stock (see recipe below)
3 pounds butternut squash
8 ounces carrots
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh turmeric, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cut squash in half lengthwise. Remove and coarsely chop pulp. Set aside with seeds for fragrant stock.*
Peel squash and cut in 1/4-inch cubes; place in a tight single layer in a large pan. Pour in enough stock to cover squash, cover with a lid and simmer on low heat until tender. Remove from heat and let cool. Save stock from poaching squash for quinoa, black lentil and kale recipe.
Once cooled, remove squash pieces from the pan and place in blender. Add 1/4 cup of stock to the blender to puree, adding more as needed. Pour squash puree in a bowl and set aside.
Coarsely chop carrots, ginger and turmeric. Place into blender and process to a fine puree. Stir carrot puree into squash puree.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour and 25 minutes
Yields 6 (1-cup) servings
1 pint of butternut squash pulp, coarsely chopped, and seeds (see above directions)
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
1/2 cup yellow onions, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup tomatoes, diced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon fennel seed
1/4 teaspoon cardamom seed
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
Half of one cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
6 1/2 cups water
1 ounce fresh ginger, sliced 1/8-inch thick with skin on
1 ounce fresh turmeric (available at specialty markets), sliced 1/8-inch thick with skin on
1 whole bay leaf
1 clove garlic
In a large pot, heat the coconut oil on medium-high heat. Saute the yellow onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes and minced garlic until translucent.
Add water and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce to very low heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove pot from heat and cover. Allow to cool until no steam escapes while covered.