Can’t say that I have ever woke up with them bullfrogs on my mind, but I did wake up with butternut squash and Rory Gallagher the Irish blues legend on my mind today. And why did I wake up with these two completely different things on my mind? Bullfrog Blues was on my mind after a chat with my friend Bobby in Alaska who called me to hook me up with some Rory G songs on the internet. If you need a taste here is a link, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33Jaodra7AY&noredirect=1. This is a good morning maniac music type song to get you going.The butternut squash was on my mind due to a visit to the Home and Garden show in Timonium, Maryland yesterday where I sat through a 30 minute demo of Kitchen Craft cookware. I usually wouldn’t do such a thing however it was at a point where my wife and I had seen just about everything, and had some time to spare to see what this whole “cooking without water” thing was about. It was very interesting especially the presenter’s claim that you lose 70% of the vitamins and other good stuff when you cook vegies in water. The presenter made some good points on why to get rid of your aluminum cookware, and especially your teflon cookware. Not that I believed everything he said, but it’s probably a good thing to dump the aluminum, which I have been doing in stages for about 15 years anyway. But I digress. The reason I had butternut squash on my mind was because the presenter made a good point on why to include it in your diet often, and I had a lovely butternut hanging out on my kitchen counter just waiting for inspiration on what to do with it. So today is the day it gets prepared, but before I get into that here’s some good info on the nutritional benefits of butternut squash from www.wholeliving.com:
Per 1 cup cooked, approximately 205 grams
Fat: 0.2 g
Vitamin A: 1,144 mcg = 163 percent* of DRI**
Vitamin B6: 0.3 mg = 20 percent of DRI
Vitamin C: 31 mg = 41 percent of DRI
Folate: 39 mcg = 10 percent of DRI
Potassium: 582 mg = 12 percent of DRI
Percentages are for women 31 to 50 years old who are not pregnant ** DRI, Dietary Reference Intake, is based on National Academy of Sciences’ Dietary Reference Intakes, 1997 to 2004
You can probably see that it is full of good stuff for a body, but the best part is all the ways you can prepare it. I love butternut squash soup, or oven roasted butternut squash. It cooks up well with so many different types of herbs and spices from onion and garlic to cinnamon and ginger. You can cook it seasoned with Indian Curry, or your favorite steak seasoning. I will admit it is a challenge to peel a butternut squash, but most grocery stores sell it already cut into cubes for fast and easy preparation. For todays post I decided to do Butternut squash 3 ways using a 1 pound 2 ounce organic specimen. To make it a bit more interesting I’m going to make it in 3 ways that I have never seen or had before today so hang on, here we go.
#1 Curried Coconut Butternut Squash Soup
#2 Butternut Squash with Walnut Oil and Sage Tossed in Penne Pasta
#3 Butternut Squash and Celery Salad
I’m back at the laptop and done with the whirlwind Butternut project and quite pleased with the results. For the pasta and salad dish I oven roasted the squash all at once sparing me some time. While cutting up the squash I decided to try a new idea on roasting the seeds so I put the seeds from the squash in a small baking dish prepped with a quarter teaspoon of walnut oil and seasoned them with ground dried chipolte pepper powder and Lawrey”s Seasoning Salt. They came out great! The pasta dish was good, but would be better with the addition of mushrooms, or Italian sausage. I liked the way the salad turned out and will try it with dried tarragon next time to see if that’s a better herb.
The soup however was the best of the bunch. It came out thick and rich tasting with just the right amount of curry. For you my dear readers since I usually only post one recipe per post I’ll give you the soup recipe here today, and the rest will be re-tested for addition to my cookbook project. For you brave souls that try the Butternut Squash Soup please leave your comments. Bon Appetit until we meet/eat again.
Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut and Curry
1 tablespoon walnut oil, or canola oil
1/4 cup minced yellow onion
1/4 cup minced celery
1 cup sliced carrots
2 cups water
2 cups cubed butternut squash
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 can of coconut milk,(14 oz)
1 teaspoon Better Than Bullion Chicken Base, or 1 vegetable stock cube
salt and white pepper to taste, about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon each
Saute minced onions, and celery with oil in a 1 1/2 to 2 quart pot on medium low for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add carrots, squash, curry powder, turmeric, chicken base and water. Increase heat to medium high and cook covered until it starts simmering. Turn it down, stir, and continue to cook simmering until squash is cooked, about 12 to 15 minutes. Add coconut milk, salt and pepper then cook for about 3 more minutes. Turn off heat and blend with an immersion blender or table top blender until smooth. Serve with roasted squash seeds on top, or a small sprinkle of nutmeg.
* Low fat coconut milk can be used.