Ingredients: Non stick cooking spray 1 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pices 2 apples, chopped (peeled if desired) 1/3 C raisins 1/3 C orange juice 1 T maple syrup 1/2 t cinnamon 2 T butter Instructions: lightly coat a 3 1/2 to 4 quart slow cooker with a cooking spray. Place squash, apples, and raisins in the prepared cooker. In a small bowl stir together the orange juice, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Drizzle over squash mixture in cooker. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 4 hrs. Dot with butter before serving.
Butternut Squash Soup
Ingredients: 4 lbs. whole butternut squash (about 2 medium), halved lengthwise and seeds removed 2 T unsalted butter (1/4 stick) 1 medium apple 1/2 medium yellow onion 8 fresh sage leaves 2 1/2 C low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth 2 1/2 C water 1 1/2 t salt (more if needed) 1/4 t freshly ground black pepper (more if needed) 1/3 C heavy cream 1/2 C toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish (optional) Instructions: Heat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place squash pieces cut-side up on the baking sheet. Melt 1 T of butter and brush all over. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 50 min or until tender. Meanwhile, peel, core, and cut the apple and onion into medium dice. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in large saucepan and add apple, onion, sage, salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat until softened than remove from heat. Once the squash is ready, scoop it out into the saucepan with the apple and onion, discard the skins. Add broth, water, and salt and pepper. stir to combine and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce bringing to a simmer. Stir occasionally breaking up any large pieces of squash (about 15 min.) Remove from heat and stir in cream. Using a blender, puree the soup in batches until smooth. garnish with pumpkin seeds.
Acorn Squash Stuffed with Wild Rice, Pears, Cranberries, & Walnuts
Ingredients: 3 acorn squash salt & pepper ground nutmeg 4 T (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (room temp.) 3/4 C wild rice 1 1/2 C low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth 1/4 t salt 2 T olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped 1 large clove garlic, minced 1 large rib celery, finely chopped 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped 2 firm pears, peeled, halved lengthwise, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch dices 2 t minced fresh sage 2 t minced fresh thyme leaves 1/3 C minced fresh parsley 1/3 C chopped walnuts 1/3 C sweetened dried cranberries Instructions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut each squash in half crosswise. Scoop out and discard the seeds and strings. If necessary, trim the top and bottom so that the squash will sit level, and place on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side up. Sprinkle each half with a little salt, pepper, and nutmeg, to taste. Using 3 tablespoons of the butter, dot each half with some butter. Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake the squash just until moist and tender, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the rice, chicken broth, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, partially cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender, about 40 minutes. When the rice is done most of the water should be evaporated. In a 10-inch sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Swirl to coat the pan and sauté the onion, garlic, celery, and carrot until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the pears and sauté 2 minutes longer. Cover the pan, adjust the heat to medium-low, and cook the vegetables until crisp-tender, 3 minutes longer. Add the sage, thyme, and parsley and sauté 1 more minute. Remove from the heat.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked rice, sautéed vegetables, pears, walnuts, and dried cranberries. Taste and add salt and pepper, if desired. Mound the rice mixture into the squash halves, dividing it evenly. Cut the remaining tablespoon of butter into small pieces. Dot each stuffed squash with butter. Cover with foil. Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.