side dish

A week of new foods: Day 1, Buttercup Squash

This is not my photo, I found it on Google :) 

This is not my photo, I found it on Google :) 

I have to admit, I usually stick to what I know and recognize at the store so I rarely just buy a new food for the hell of it. But this week is different. This week is all about just that: new foods. And here is the first contender; Buttercup Squash. Buttercup squash...not butternut squash. Yeah, I know. They look funny, and more decorative than edible. Which is probably why I was drawn to them. Ok, I lied. I actually was drawn to them for two reasons which had nothing to do with what they looked like. 

  1. They were on sale for $.99/lb
  2. The folks at the grocery store where I get my meats and produce from have all of these amazing charts and infographics all over the store (like Whole Foods, but WAY better because they're NOT Whole Foods...P.S. The store is called El Cerrito Natural Grocery Company) and they had one for the winter squash with a description of each one and the buttercup squash sounded the most intriguing. 

I'm glad I picked it too. I decided to oven roast it because I know that's how to get the most flavor and sweetness from it. So in the oven it went at 450F for 45 minutes...

photo 1.JPG

And then it sat in my fridge for 3 days because I did not know what the hell I was gonna do with it. 

Until I roasted a whole chicken and my whole life changed. I saw it in my mind first...like a hazy daydream. It was imitating mashed potatoes with melted butter. So that's exactly how I served it. Fluffed up and pretty with a tahini drizzle. 100x better than mashed potatoes with butter. No salt, no seasonings, nothing but pure buttery sweetness and a toasty garnish to break it up. It was PERFECT! 

photo 3.JPG

P.S. This experience prompted me to purchase and explore every other squash I could find at the market. And there were...A LOT. My newest squash recipe involves kabocha squash, check it out

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Cauliflower Rice

CAULIFLOWER RICE

Prep Time: 15 minutes          Cook Time: 5 minutes by stovetop, 20 minutes by oven           Yield: about 6 servings

 

This is my go-to for side dishes! It's fast, easy, and a great alternative to grains! I love it with stews, grilled meats, curries, and stuffed bell peppers! Use cauliflower rice in place of traditional rice in any dish!  You can cook it on the stove top or roast it in the oven. I prefer it oven roasted as you can get a crunchier texture with less risk of burning it; and who doesn't love the taste of roasted cauliflower?! Add herbs, saute it with veggies, mix it with a sauce, the possibilities are endless! 

WHAT YOU NEED

  • 1 raw head of cauliflower
  • 1 tbs coconut oil (optional for stovetop only)  
    • food processor or cheese grater

 

WHAT TO DO

  1. Chop the cauliflower into pieces small enough to fit through the your food processor's chute or small enough to fit comfortably in your hand. Process or grate those pieces completely.
  2.  If you are using the stovetop, add the oil to a pan over medium heat. If not, skip to Step 4. 
  3. Stovetop: When the oil is hot, add the grated cauliflower to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes stirring frequently. Cook it just as you would cook fried rice. 
  4. Oven: Spread the cauliflower "rice" out on a silicone mat lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 425F. Then, broil for an additional 5 minutes at the same temperature. 
  5. Store raw, riced cauliflower in the fridge up to 3 days in an airtight container. 

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