Last night I dug out an "old" cookbook that I have ignored for quite a while: The Whole Food Markets Cookbook. I was surprised to find a lot of great and intriguing ideas for lunch, which is the main meal that I struggle with (only because I refuse to struggle with breakfast, yet).
Here is a recipe that I tried today, and it wasn't a whole lot of work (other than skinning the butternut squash with a vegetable peeler...which wasn't bad). The red pepper flakes gave it a depth of flavor, but not too much actual heat...my six year old even liked it. I ended up being able to cut a few things up, throw it in the oven, put a pot of water on the stove, and then forget about it for a while, which is exactly what I wanted. The squash itself would make a great dinner side, too, without the pasta.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Penne Pasta
1 medium butternut squash
1 1/2 cups diced onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 TBSP. olive oil
1 TBSP. lemon juice
2 tsp. salt
1 pound penne
1/2 cup minced parsley (actually, I forgot the parsley)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Peel the butternut squash (a veg. peeler works best). Using a heavy knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds, and discard them. Dice the squash into 1-inch cubes (you should have about 4 cups). Place the squash cubes in a large mixing bowl, and add the onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil, lemon juice, and the salt. Toss the ingredients well. (RPW: I did all of this in the roasting pan, why dirty another bowl??)
Place the mixture in a large roasting pan, and roast for about 45 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. The squash should be firm-tender, not mushy.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil Add the pasta and cook for 10-12 minutes, until it is al dente. Drain the pasta and place it in a large serving bowl, mix in the cooked squash mixture, parsley, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. (RPW: or do as I did, in my dishwashing-despising way, put some of the pasta into each bowl, and spoon the butternut squash over it, and let everyone put on their own cheese!)
--the notes suggest topping it with some toasted pumpkin seeds, "the crunchy texture pairs well with the sweet squash." We didn't have any, so the kids tried sunflower seeds, and Maggie gave her thumbs up to that as well. I put a little coconut oil on mine, and that was really good, too, without changing the flavor. It fed four of us comfortably.
So this cookbook is going to get a lot of work this week, while we continue to grow in this, and also enjoy our last month of the farmers market for six months.