Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Meet My Hubby

I think we all know that I am a winter squash enthusiast, to say the least. I love the way they look, the way they taste, and trying new types. Until yesterday, I'd never tried a hubbard squash. My mom had recommended it to me, since its pretty similar to butternut (which is my favorite) and just looks pretty darn cool. It was finally time to try one, but I didn't want to buy an entire squash. Pat doesn't like squash, so I knew it'd be just me eating it, and that would be a serious challenge. Check out the size of these things!

Picture of a typical hubbard squash:

These things are huge! Look at how they compare to other winter squash:


So instead I bought just a piece of a hubbard squash at the grocery store. Check out my hubby!!

Isn't he cute? This is about one pound of hubbard squash, and in my dish I used about half of that, but cooked it all for future use. I decided to make a fall inspired roasted vegetable pasta dish.

First I cooked the squash (face down in a large pan with about 1 inch of water in pan) at 375 for 40 minutes. When there was 10 minutes left, I added another dish to the oven with cranberries, minced garlic, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

After the squash had been in for 40 minutes and the cranberries had been in for 10, I removed both pans. I cut the squash in half, then cut off pieces to add to the cranberries. Here are the remains:

In addition to adding squash, I also added broccoli to the pan, and splashed some more balsamic vinegar on top.

I put the dish back in the oven to roast for 12 minutes. While it roasted, I cooked some whole wheat spaghetti. After 12 minutes my kitchen was smelling great and the vegetables looked really good.

I tossed my pasta with the roasted vegetables and added some freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top. 

Not only was this beautiful, it was also delicious! I was so excited after taking the first bite, and told Pat that this is one of the best dishes I've ever made! That wasn't enough to convince him to try it, which just means that I get the leftovers (this recipe serves 2)!

While my vegetables were roasting, I had beets as an appetizer. After they finished boiling, I cut them up, added some crumbled goat cheese, drizzled some honey, and grated some pepper over them.

This was a delicious combination! The sweetness of the honey went very nicely with the ground pepper and creamy cheese.

Roasted Vegetable Pasta Dish - Recipe

  • 1/2 pound hubbard squash
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 gloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Cooking Spray
  • Parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut open hubbard squash and remove seeds. Place squash face down in oven safe pan and add about 1 inch of water to pan. Bake for 40 minutes.
  2. Spray another oven pan with cooking spray, then add cranberries, minced garlic, olive oil and about1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar. Toss ingredients to evenly distribute oil and vinegar. When there is only 10 minutes left on the squash, put the cranberries in the oven.
  3. Once the squash has cooked for 40 minutes and the cranberries have cooked for 10, remove both pans from the oven. Cut pieces of squash off of the hard shell and add to the cranberries. Add the broccoli to the pan and more balsamic vinegar, and toss all ingredients together. Cook for another 12 minutes.
  4. Prepare pasta while vegetables finish roasting. Toss pasta with vegetables, then grate some Parmesan cheese on top. Serves two.

Benefits of Cranberries:
Its cranberry season (they peak from October to December) so a perfect time to learn about all of the good stuff in these little guys. First of all, fresh cranberries have more significant health benefits than dried cranberries, and 1/2 cup of fresh cranberries has just 30 calories, while 1/3 cup of dried cranberries has 130 calories. Cranberries are loaded with antioxidants and are a good source of fiber and vitamin A. They also promote gastrointestinal health and prevent kidney stones, and can help lower your bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise your good cholesterol (HDL). And you ladies out there probably already know that cranberries help prevent UTIs!

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