The Lean Green Bean

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Taste of Thanksgiving

Today I got my order of fresh, local fruits and vegetables delivered to my doorstep from Local Yokel. This is such a cool company and I get so excited about my order every week! This week, my mother-in-law and I split a "quick pick." It's a random assortment of vegetables and a few fruits that are most popular that week. Among other things, today we got a giant butternut squash. Since I cut it in half to share it, I figured I should make something with it tonight. The first thing butternut squash brings to mind is a Thanksgiving family recipe that we have had every Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember. It's a mix of fresh cranberries, apples, and squash and it is de-li-cious! However, the recipe we use at Thanksgiving has lots of butter and sugar. Since I was making an abbreviated version, I down-sized all the ingredients, mainly the butter and sugar and made it healthier!

To begin, cut your squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place in a baking dish with an inch or so of water, cut side up, and drizzle a little olive oil on the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until the squash is fork tender. Be careful not too cook it too long or it will get mushy and gross. You want it to still be slightly firm.

While the squash is cooking, put about a cup of fresh or frozen cranberries (mine have probably been in the freezer since last Thanksgiving)  in a small saucepan. Peel and chop an apple and add to the pan as well. Juice half a lemon into pan to keep the apple from turning brown, add 1-2 Tablespoons of sugar to help combat the tart cranberries and stir to combine!

Cook over low heat until the cranberries start to burst open- 20 minutes or so.

Set this mixture aside. Once the squash has cooled slightly, slice off the skin:

Dice the squash and return it to the baking dish. Add the cranberry-apple mixture and stir to combine. Melt 1 Tbsp of butter and pour over the mixture.

Return to the oven for 10 minutes to heat through and enjoy as a side dish!



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