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Twice Baked Butternut Squash


Ok.  New goal:  Put up a post every week on Tuesday evening.  I read somewhere that Wednesday morning is when the most people are on the internet.  I don’t know if it’s true, but it posting before Wednesday seems like a good goal.  Especially since I totally abandoned this blog for about two weeks.  I can’t really expect to gain loyal readers if I abandon them now can I?  For any potentially loyal readers, I apologize.  I won’t do it again.  I don’t even have a good excuse for why I didn’t post.  My family was in town for a week (we went to the Grand Canyon!) and then the other week the things I made were not very good.  I’m going to start making drafts before I post online so that even if I don’t have time that week, I can still post.  I think it’ll work well…I think.

In other news, it’s fall.  This means there are a flurry of pumpkin and butternut squash recipes.  I thought I’d try one to see how it went.  It turned out awesome.  Since butternut squash doesn’t have a low GI, this recipe is not the best for diabetics.  However, this recipe does have very few calories per serving.  You can check it out in the nutrition facts.  Now, on to the recipe!

Recipe:

(Makes 8 side dishes or 4 main courses)

1 medium to large butternut squash

2 tbsp olive oil

1 red onion

1 green pepper (optional)

2 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 cup lowfat cream cheese

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1 tbsp melted butter

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1.  The goal of this first part is to end up with butternut squash mash.  I’ll explain how I did it and then how I think it could be done.  First preheat the oven to 425°F.  Next, cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds and guts.  Place the squash cut side up on a baking tray and cover with aluminum foil.  Bake until the flesh is soft and you can easily insert a fork (about an hour depending on the size of the squash).  When the squash is done, remove from oven and let cool.  Once the squash is cool enough to handle, scrap out the flesh into a large bowl and mash it up.

I think that a better way to do this would be to peel the squash before placing it in the oven and then cutting it into 1″ cubes.  This would reduce the baking time and also allow you to immediately mash the squash when it comes out of the oven.  Also, I’m impatient and burnt myself because I didn’t let the squash cool enough.  However you want to do it, you want to end up with butternut squash mash.

2.  While the squash is in the oven or while it is cool, heat the olive oil in a skillet.  Once hot, add the chopped red onion, the chopped green pepper, the thyme, and the ginger.  Stir occasionally and cook until the onion and pepper begin to brown.  Add to the large bowl with the butternut squash mash.

3.  Add the cream cheese and the parmesan cheese to the bowl and mix all the ingredients together until uniform.  Spoon the mixture into oven safe dishes.  I made mine in 4-3.5 oz ramekins.  You could also put all of the mixture into one large baking dish (probably a 9×9 glass casserole dish) for a family style dish.  Add the bread crumbs and chopped pecans to the melted butter and mix.  Spoon the mixture over the top of the mixture in the dishes as evenly as you can.

4.  Place the dish(es) in the oven at 425°F for 25 minutes until the tops begin to brown.  Remove from oven.  Let cool and then enjoy and don’t hesitate when going for second helpings!

Nutrition Facts:

Also, here’s a picture with my kitty (Rhombus) in it.  It’s blurry, but I ♥ my kitty so I’m posting it anyway.

Introduction


Hello future readers of Holly’s Helpings!  I’m sure that there will be many of you just dying to know what I was like back in the beginning of the sensation that is now a world renowned food blog.

Just joking.

I hope that there are at least some future readers and that this turns out to be a decent food blog.  We’ll see what happens.

So, here’s a little about me.  I currently live in Arizona.  I live with my boyfriend, his kitty (Recker), and my kitty (Rhombus).  My kitty is the most adorable kitty ever.  Everyone says that.  I’m just the only one that’s not lying.  You can see for yourself:

Holly's adorable kitty

Cute, right?  Well, I’m going to go try to make this food blog look awesome now. Experimenting on days off is fun!  I hope you future readers of Holly’s Helpings enjoy this first post.  Thanks for reading!

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