Winter Squash Meals

Spaghetti squash:

Spaghetti squash is a great pasta alternative! Nutritionally, it has a lot fewer calories (42/cup compared to 210/cup)and carbs (10/cup compared to 42/cup) and more vitamin A and potassium. It’s surprisingly easy to make!

Preheat oven to 425. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out seeds. Drizzle with olive oil. Place face side down on aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Bake 30- 40 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, scrape spaghetti squash away from the skin using a fork. Now it’s ready to use in a variety of dishes!

Italian Turkey and Spinach Style:

Top spaghetti squash with cooked lean ground turkey, sautéed spinach, shredded Italian cheese and Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes (a little heat!) and pine nuts (a little crunch).

Stir Fry Style:

Top spaghetti squash with stir fried veggies in teriyaki sauce and a fried egg.

Butternut squash:

Cubed butternut squash is a great addition to many dishes! Usually grocery stores have it already cubed fresh in the produce section or even frozen so you can find them year round. Below is a very satisfying well balanced dish.

I tossed together cooked quinoa, roasted butternut squash cubes, sautéed spinach leaves and shredded baked chicken breast. I added flavor with extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes. The sweetness of the apple cider vinegar paired well the the butternut squash and the crushed red pepper flakes added a nice kick!

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Pumpkin:

Canned pumpkin isn’t only used for desserts, but is great in savory recipes as well. A great example of this would be my Fall Harvest Turkey Chili recipe below.

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I made this Fall Harvest Turkey Chili twice last month and can’t get enough! It’s the perfect comfort food for a cool day, is loaded with nutrient rich fall veggies and has amazing flavor from the smoked paprika and chipotle sauce. It’s very different from a typical chili, but I hope you’ll give it a try.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 1 green bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 2-3 kale stalks (remove center stalks and finely chop the leaves)
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 cans chicken broth
  • 1 can mixed beans (black, kidney, pinto – rinsed and drained)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes

Seasoning Mix:

  • 1 Tbsp cummin
  • 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp  chili powder
  • 1/3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp Chipotle Sauce

Directions:

  1. Combine all seasoning mix ingredients (except Chipotle Sauce) in a small bowl and set aside
  2. Prepare the butternut squash: Cut in half  length wise and remove seeds with a spoon. Place face down on either a baking sheet or plate (for microwaving) and add water to just coat the bottom of plate or sheet. Bake or microwave butternut squash until tender (times vary based on the size of the squash), let cool, take off the skin and cut into cubes, set aside.
  3. Brown the ground turkey in a large soup pot, strain excess fat and set aside.
  4. Add olive oil to large soup pot and saute onion and bell peppers until soft (~3 min.).
  5. Add in 1 cup canned pumpkin, 1 can of diced tomatoes, finely chopped kale leaves, 2 cans of chicken broth and heat to a boil.
  6. Add in the cooked ground turkey, beans and 2 cups of the cubed butternut squash.
  7. Add in the seasoning mix and chipotle sauce, simmer on low until mixed well and heated through.
  8. Serve with corn bread muffins
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