squashes are just beginning to
show up on the grocer's shelves and they are good for eating as well as
for decorating! Winter squash comes in shapes round and
elongated, scalloped and pear-shaped with flesh that ranges from
golden-yellow to brilliant orange. Most winter squashes are vine-type
plants whose fruits are harvested when fully mature. They take longer
to mature than summer squash (3 months or more) and are best harvested
once the cool weather of fall sets in. They can be stored for months in
a cool basement or pantry-hence the name "winter" squash.
type of squash has a very distinct flavor and look. Most
can be easily prepared by cutting them in half, removing the seeds,
placing cut side down in a shallow baking pan and baking at 350 degrees
until fork-tender (approximately 45 minutes). They can also
microwaved or quickly prepared in a pressure cooker. My
is a Sweet Dumpling Squash and we often simply cook it and mash with
just a little Earth Balance and brown sugar. It has a
sweet taste and there are never any leftovers in our house.
Butternut squashes are also a fairly sweet squash with a smooth, hard
skin. The best thing about butternut squashes, besides their
sweet taste, is how easy they are to peel. For YEARS I
any recipes which called for a peeled and diced butternut squash - and
if you have ever tried to peel a winter squash with a paring knife, you
know what I mean. Then, I discovered a Y-shaped
the only way to QUICKLY tackle the job. Now we make all kinds
butternut squash soups and dishes. Spaghetti squash is
variety of winter squash which is very easy to find year round in the
grocers - thanks to those low-carb dieters who need a good substitute
for pasta. When cooked, spaghetti squash flesh pulls apart
with a fork and resembles strings of pasta. It has a very
taste and can be served topped with olive oil and garlic, Earth
Balance, or your favorite pasta sauce. Spaghetti squash is a
easy way to "sneak in" an extra vegetable during dinner.
for a butternut squash recipe.
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favorite ways to eat Brussels Sprouts is in this Caramelized Brussels
Sprouts recipe. I love the sweetness of the glaze,
with the cabbage taste of the Brussels sprouts. Click here
for the recipe.
Brussels Sprouts - another Winter Vegetable!
few days ago was the first day in over 132 days when the
temperature actually dropped below 70 degrees! WOW!
the Eternal Summer will actually end - at least for us. It's
finally ended in other parts of the country also- I can tell because
the beginnings of the winter crop vegetables are showing up in the
produce section and farmer's markets. It's the time of year
we begin making the switch from a plethora of fresh fruits to a
plethora of fresh greens. Now is when I begin looking for and
finding Brussels sprouts, collards, kale, turnip greens and a wide
variety of assorted greens. When the first frosts begin to
you in the morning, the greens are just beginning to take on their best
taste. I would be hard pressed to name a favorite - it's just
dependant on how they look and smell when I encounter them.
it was Brussels sprouts - that delicious, totally misunderstood and
underappreciated cruciferous bulb.
people don't like them because they've never eaten a properly prepared
sprout. We like fresh ones the best because we can cut them
half and remove the bitter v-shaped core. (Think of a very
cabbage.) You can't remove that from the frozen
There's just something far better about sautéed sprouts with
garlic or sun-dried tomatoes than the whole, boiled, often-soggy,
frozen variety. Brussels sprouts are one of the VERY few
vegetables which I would only serve if fresh - not frozen. We
love to sauté Brussels sprouts with a little olive oil,
and salt. Sometimes we add diced sun-dried tomatoes or dried
cranberries or even diced sweet potatoes for a little different
flavor. The possibilities are endless when you let your
imagination run wild.