3 Ways to Enjoy Squash

Hi Everyone,

Happy Sunday to you all.  With a bit of wind n’ willow in the air the season’s brisk temperatures are calling me to the kitchen for some warmth.

If the season of fall is upon you and the onset of Halloween you will notice decorations for celebration many of which include varieties of squash and pumpkins.  They are everywhere.  Besides being fun and jolly to see perked up along scarecrows on lawns or plopped on the front porch with their warming hues of orange, reds and yellow my mind’s eye draws me to ask what delicious ways would I prepare a great feast of these gourds?

So in the spirit of such, I though to share 3 ways to enjoy squash along with other staples of a good warm meal for the season:

Hearty Green and Squash: Each year at this time the appeal of squashes paired with hearty greens meet my taste buds with pleasure.  The hearty greens I like to indulge in for this season are the collard greens and kale. When choosing the kale I like to forgo the lacinato which seems to warrant the warmer temperatures as its leaves are delicate and its flavor light.  I choose the deep purple varieties and the rich greens with squiggle rough edges that are available in large quantities at farmers markets and the grocery.  Their flavors are hearty and full of bit.

For the collard greens, I look for ones with dark green and firm stems.  Any of these dark greens can be easily prepared with a little onion and leek in a pan with your choosing of herbs and spices.  Sometimes I like to go bare bone and just quick boil the greens adding some oil and salt to taste.

Paired with squash these hearty greens make a great side dish.  For the squash- boiled in a little bit of water or cut up into cubes they can be sautéed with oil and salt and served with any of these greens.

Adzuki Bean and Squash: Adzuki beans sweetness carries with them a great flavor of nuttiness to complement the season.  Easy to find these days you can get them in your local food store in the bulk section or packaged.  You can recognize them for their distinguishing rich dark purplish red tones and hues however there are white, back and gray varieties as well.   Adzuki beans are wonderfully hearty and easily prepared.  They are one of the few varieties of beans that don’t need to be soaked.  Easily prepared with a 1/2 inch of nori to a pot and boiled.  The water or broth that is created from the bean when it first boils is also a great tonic for cleaning the liver.

Paired with squash these beans can be a complete meal.  Add squash to them at the last stage of their boiling.  If preparing adzuki beans in a pressure cooker add midway to their being done.  Wait for pressure cooker to cool, remove lid, add squash pieces in cubes and then resume cooking.

Short Grain Rice and Squash: I like squash alongside my staple of the fall and winter; short grain brown rice.  Short grain rice prepared by pressure cooker or stove top is a hearty base for strengthening your intestines and adding to the protein you choose for a well-balanced meal.  The short grain varies are easily distinguishable as rounded and smaller grains than their long or medium varieties. Sometimes also found as sweet grain brown rice, this rice will cook up similarly but with a sweeter flavoring often used for desserts like a rice pudding.

Paired with squash short grain brown rice the colors and flavors are nicely balanced.  You can add the same way as you would prepare your adzuki beans in a pressure cooker or boiled along side. A nice flavoring to add to the squash when preparing it with the short grain rice is to drizzle flaxseed oil mixed with a bit of umeboshi paste.  This will add a tangy nutty flavor to the squash and be delicious with the hearty rice.

So try your squash in these combinations and see if you don’t just find yourself feeling as I do; as equally happy for the sight of them as decorations of the season as you are for having them to enjoy in your belly for their warmth and nourishment.

In health,


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