Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2 for 2...

Well, so far, I'm very happy with my Cooking Light subscription -- Eric and Rachel rock! :) It was a rather fortunate coincidence that my first issue showed up when it did. During our last big grocery trip, I bought a butternut squash on impulse. I've never bought one before, and I had no idea what I would do with it, but squash is in season right now so I figured why not. The squash, however, sat idle on my counter for over a week without being called into play... it just watched from the sidelines as other vegetables took their places on my plate, no doubt wondering when the Kitchen Coach would finally recognize its usefulness to the team.

And then my Cooking Light showed up, just as I was planning to make a roast chicken for one of our weekend dinners. And as I thumbed through the issue, lo and behold, what did I see? A recipe for roast chicken with potatoes AND -- butternut squash!

So I clapped my hands together to rile up the team, gave the butternut squash a hearty pat on the, uh, butternut... and huddled everyone up to discuss strategy. I decided if I was going to use some of the squash for the chicken recipe, I should probably just bake the rest of it, too, and store the leftovers in the fridge. So while my chicken was roasting, surrounded by purple potatoes and cubes of squash (yes, the potatoes were purple... I believe I've discussed this before, although I am unable to find the specific post at the moment. So you'll all just have to take my word for it -- yes, you can buy purple potatoes at the grocery store :)), the rest of the squash was baking along with it.

The chicken turned out great, and the potatoes and butternut squash were awesome. Success! But now the leftover butternut squash gazed at me from its baking sheet, obviously wondering if it would ever be as useful as its counterpart. I sliced it up and arranged it in a plastic container, then put it in the fridge to await Monday night's dinner. Enter my Cooking Light magazine, which I thumbed through again until I noticed a recipe for vegetarian chili. Since I like chili, but DON'T like meat in my chili, I thought it might be a good recipe to try. I scanned the ingredients to see if I had everything on hand, and was happily surprised to see, about six or seven lines down -- good ol' butternut squash! I don't think I've EVER seen a chili recipe that included butternut squash, and yet here it was, during the one week when I just HAPPENED to have plenty of butternut squash in my house!

I had to tweak the recipe a bit, since I didn't have everything (technically it was supposed to be a "three-bean chili" but I only had two kinds of beans... and the recipe called for vegetable broth, but I made do without it and just added about a quarter cup of water to thin it out), but the end result was AWESOME! Seriously, it was probably the best chili I've ever made. I topped it with a little dollop of sour cream and a little bit of shredded cheese (just a tad, so as not to negate the whole "Cooking LIGHT" philosophy), so it was all melty and spicy and butternut squashy and delicious. This recipe is SO going in my rotation...

I still have some of that butternut squash in the fridge -- there is a LOT of squash in a squash. But perhaps I can figure out something to do with it tonight... I wouldn't want it to feel useless and lonely on the bench...

2 comments:

G said...

I like the football analogy you used for this post.

Amazing what you can do with one particular vegetable.

Lisa said...

Thanks, G! Yeah, I'll have to put butternut squash on my grocery list from now on... I never used to be much of a squash person, but it seems like my tastes have been changing the last few years! :)