What about Squash

by Joanne on April 15, 2009

Not the sporty kind… although that triggered a thought for anyone who wants to know…”Squash is a racquet sport game played by two players (or four players for doubles) in a four-walled court with a small, hollow rubber ball. Squash is characterized as a “high-impact” exercise that can place strain on the joints, notably the knees.”   Ted will warn everyone, never to play this type of sport with Joanne. LOOK OUT!  I don’t know why, but if there is a place I shouldn’t aim… the ball goes there. That’s why Ted won’t play raquetball with me any more.  Enjoy oneself:9758

The point of this post:   SQUASH. The ones we eat of course.

This post will touch on the common varieties found in local stores around Utica. These are Spaghetti, Acorn, Butternut, Kabocha, Buttercup, and Yellow Squash.  The descriptions are copied in part from “WhatsCookingInAmerica.net” and “Wikipedia”.

Spaghetti:File:Spaghetti Squash Prepared 500.jpgsquash

A small, watermelon-shaped variety, ranges in size from 2 to 5 pounds or more. It has a golden-yellow, oval rind and a mild, nutlike flavor. When cooked, the flesh separates in strands that resemble spaghetti pasta. The yellowiest Spaghetti squash will be the ripest and best to eat.,,,To prepare spaghetti squash, cut the gourd in half lengthwise and remove the seeds, then bake or boil it until tender. Or, wrap it in plastic wrap and microwave on high for 10 to 12 minutes. Once cooked, use a fork to rake out the “spaghetti-like” stringy flesh, and serve. A GREAT substitute for the carb conscious wishing to avoid pasta.                                                                                                                                                Acorn: acorn this winter squash is shaped like an acorn. … it’s easy to slice into halves and fill with seasonings.. A small acorn squash weighs from 1 to 3 pounds, and has sweet, slightly fibrous flesh. Its distinct ribs run the length of its hard, blackish-green or golden-yellow skin. Available year round

photo of butternut squash

Butternut: Recipe Below

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Beige colored and shaped like a vase. Tastes somewhat similar to sweet potatoes. It has a bulbous end and pale, creamy skin, with deep-orange flesh and a sweet, nutty flavor. The oranger the color, the riper, drier, and sweeter the squash.  Available year-round

photo of Kabocha squash

KabochaKabocha is the generic Japanese word for squash, but refers most commonly to a squash of the buttercup type. It may be cooked whole or split lengthwise (removing seeds). It has a rich sweet flavor, and often dry and flaky when cooked. Use as you would buttercup squash.   Available year-round

photo of buttercup squash

Buttercup

Buttercup Squash have hard shells with turban-like shapes and are a popular variety of winter squash. This squash is much sweeter than other winter varieties. Buttercup Squash can be baked, mashed, pureed, steamed, simmered, or stuffed and can replace Sweet Potatoes in most recipes. Available year-round

Yellow Squash:  From wikipedia

Also known as Summer Squash and Straightneck Squash. Mildly sweet and watery flesh, and thin tender skins that for many recipes don’t need to be peeled ….is often used interchangeably with zucchini in which it is fried, microwaved, steamed, or baked. Choose those that are small and firm with tender skins free of blemishes or bruising. This squash is available all year long, but is at its peak from early through late summer.

All squash is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium, Fiber, and Manganese. Because of the abundance of phytonutrients* found in squash, they may help prevent cancerous changes in cells. *Phytonutrients are simply the organic components found in plants that promote good health.

What about a recipe?  The one offered tonight is for Butternut Squash. My favorite.

Butternut Squash Pattie Surprise: A pattie with a center of smooth and creamy mozzarella. You will love this recipe. Very easy, very tasty. Great as a main or as a side.

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  • 1 Medium Butternut Squash: Microwaved until soft, about 12 -15 min. depending on a. the squash size and, b. your microwave’s power.
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 whole eggs + 2 egg whites (or use 1 cup of EggBeaters)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg 
  • 6 slices of Mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 375 F.  Prepare a baking sheet with foil and non-stick spray.  Mash the squash and mix with the crumbs, eggs, parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Take a slice of mozzarella and form your squash mixture around it. Place on a  baking sheet and bake for 30 – 40 minutes. Allow to cool, about 10 minutes.

Hope your night is a happy one! We’re over the “hump”…Day.

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5 Comments

  • At 2009.04.15 21:39, s. Stockwell said:

    We love squash around here! looks like a tasty & easy recipe. I’ll pass it on. best from santa barbara. s

    • At 2009.04.16 08:22, Danielle said:

      Yum I’m so sad I just recently started eating squash it’s so delicious! I love spaghetti squash and will have to try your recipe!

      • At 2009.04.16 14:27, Nicole said:

        I love butternut squash, and your recipe looks good…I made one with gruyere cheese earlier this winter and it was good as well…One thing about this type of squash though, is that unless you can get it already cut up (Whole Foods), you have to watch carefully when you cut it as it is a bit dangerous if you are not very careful…

        • At 2009.04.16 14:37, applec said:

          Nicole: Thanks for your comment. What you said about the squash being difficult to cut is SO true. That’s why I soften it first by precooking to desired doneness in the microwave. If I want to cut into cubes, I only microwave it part way.

          • […] had our fish with mashed Kabosha Squash.  I simply added 1 tsp orange zest and 1/2 tsp lemon juice and lime juice. 1 TBS of Veggie Broth […]

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