On Saturday, I stood in the detergent aisle at the Walmart, already confounded by too many choices only to be blasted by a perky Jingle Bell Rock from the sound system. As if the detergent decision wasn't enough, to hear, you know, Christmas music in September, I could have melted into an anything-but-red-and-green puddle right then and there.
But an early Thanksgiving? Bring it on! American Thanksgiving is early this year, which actually makes the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas almost manageable. But the Canadians are even more sensible with an October Thanksgiving, this year a week early too, on October 8. Most years, I cook a turkey for Canadian Thanksgiving, a sort of prelude to the big family gathering in November: not so this year, I fear.
But this is an easy, oh-so-tasty side dish for Thanksgiving, especially since it's cooked in a slow cooker because we all know how quickly the oven gets overloaded cooking that big meal.
This is my contribution to the group of "healthy bloggers" who week-by-week are making their way through Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients. We've finished the healthiest vegetables, that would be artichokes, asparagus, avocados, and beets, bell peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, kale, mushrooms, spinach, sweet potatoes, swiss chard (Swiss Chard Skillet Supper with Tomatoes, Corn, Fresh Dill & Feta), tomatoes (Broccoli & Tomato Thai Curry) and winter squash. Actually, I missed winter squash last week so this week combine winter squash with apricots, the first of the "healthiest fruits". The remaining fruits are berries, citrus, kiwi, papayas and pears. Check out what these other bloggers have cooked up for this week with apricots:
Alyce - More Time at the Table
Ansh - Spice Roots
Casey - My Sweet and Savory
Jeannette - Jeanette's Healthy Living
Martha - Simple-Nourished-Living
Minnie - The Lady 8 Home
Mireya - My Healthy Eating Habits
RECIPE for SLOW COOKER BUTTERNUT SQUASH RECIPE with GINGER & DRIED FRUIT
Time to table: 2 hours
If made with one pound of squash, serves 4 in normal-size A Veggie Venture servings (where a pound of most vegetables = 4 servings) but would be enough for 8 in a large, multi-course meal such as Thanksgiving)
If made with two pounds of squash, serves 8 or 16
4 tablespoons (60g) frozen orange juice concentrate
4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 - 1 teaspoon ground ginger (see ALANNA's TIPS)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 butternut squash, trimmed and cubed to yield either 16 ounces or 32 ounces of cubes (see TIPS), How to Cut, Peel & Cube a Butternut Squash and Keep All Ten Fingers)
4 dried apricots, cut into slivers
2 tablespoons dried cranberries, chopped
1 tablespoon currants
COOKING LIQUID In a small slow cooker, combine all the ingredients. Heat on high while prepping the butternut squash.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH Stir in the squash and dried fruit, stirring to coat with the liquid.
COOK Cook on high for about 90 minutes (if using 16 ounces of squash) or 3 hours (if using 32 ounces of squash), stirring occasionally to coat the squash cubes with liquid.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
ABOUT THE SLOW COOKER I make this dish in my favorite small slow cooker, one suited for cooking for one or two that holds five cups comfortably and six cups filled to the brim.
SQUASH A 26-ounce whole butternut squash yielded 16 ounces of pretty little cubes. The sauce could easily handle about twice this much but I would double the cooking time.
ABOUT THE SAUCE IN THE PHOTO When my 16-ounces of squash was fully cooked after 90 minutes, the sauce was so good, I thought I'd serve it on the side. But after shooting the photograph, I put the squash cubes and sauce back into the slow cooker and kept it on low for several hours. The squash absorbed all that liquid!
GINGER I used 1 teaspoon ginger for the 16 ounces of squash. This was "quite" gingery, I loved it but it might not be to everyone's taste and it might be too strong to pair with other strongly flavored foods.
SORRY So sorry for all the confusion around 16 ounces and 32 ounces. If only I'd taken a photo without the sauce on the side, I could have avoided the whole question. Thanks for your patience!
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Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Pizza Quick Tomato Sauce Tomato & Rice Salad Zucchini Pumpkin Bread Swiss Chard Gratin Broccoli Parmesan Casserole Four Seasons of My Favorite Herb Green Beans with Mayo-Soy Sauce Farmgirl's Swiss Chard Tuna Salad Grilled Cheese BLT Homemade Onion Dip Julia Child's Lentil Salad Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Vinaigrette (< this week's dramatic favorite!) Raw Butternut Squash Salad
MORE FAVORITE WINTER SQUASH RECIPES
~ My Favorite Winter Squash Recipes ~
~ How to Cut, Peel & Cube a Butternut Squash and Keep All Ten Fingers ~
~ How to Roast a Whole Butternut Squash ~
~ Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash Tagine ~
~ Savory Bread Pudding with Butternut Squash, Chard & Cheddar ~
~ Steamed Butternut Squash ~
~ Roasted Butternut Squash with Maple Glaze ~
~ more winter squash recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple ~
~ Chicken & Wild Rice Soup ~
~ Acorn Squash with Quinoa & Cherries ~
~ more winter squash ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
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