Food, Recipe

Butternut Squash Hash

Does the pumpkin frenzy happen like this every year? Is it just me? Maybe it’s because this is the first fall I’ve been reading upwards of 10 food blogs a day. Maybe it’s always like this and I haven’t tuned in. Then again, Starbucks is running out of it’s pumpkin drinks all over the US!¬†Customers are getting all kinds of emotional:

“My world almost ended this morning when the local Starbucks told me they were out of Pumpkin Spice Latte,” tweeted Jason Sizemore, 38 years old, of Lexington, Ky.¬†

The desperation is such that some have turned to a new instant version of the latte. But stores are running out of the powdered stuff too, and prices are shooting up on the secondary market.

Pumpkin latte black market, anyone?! Those who are incensed at the lack of Starbucks pumpkin might want to visit Trader Joe’s as I went there yesterday and found an entire pumpkin shrine – pumpkin coffee, tea, bars, Greek yogurt, waffle mix, muffins, bread, etc.

This isn’t a pumpkin recipe. Sorry? But butternut squash isn’t exactly a let-down. This hash – first off, it’s simple, and second, it’s good for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. When even your sweet tooth starts hurting from all the pumpkin syrups and pumpkin cream cheese bars and pumpkin cakes, or maybe when you just can’t find any pumpkin drinks and are super! angry! about it, give this spicy butternut squash hash a try.

Pro tip: When shopping for butternut squash, remember to look for ones with long necks. Squash with giant bulbs at the end might be tempting, but that part is filled with seeds, and does not yield much meat. It’s alllll about the neck, people.

Spicy Butternut Squash Hash

Edited: this recipe serves 3-4 (with a grain) and is easily doubled

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1 1/2 butternut squash

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cayenne

1 can chickpeas or butter beans

1 can black beans

CHEESE – I’d recommend parmesan flakes.¬†

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Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with Pam or another oil spray.

Cut the butternut squash into bite-size chunks, making sure to remove the skin. Small chunks are essential for shorter baking times and a creamy hash feel.

Toss the butternut squash with spices and olive oil, plus pepper and sea salt to taste. Spread evenly onto the baking pan and roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven, pour the chickpeas over the squash. Return to oven and cook for 10 more minutes, or until the squash is falling apart. Pieces should be browned.

Remove squash and chickpeas from oven and transfer to a large bowl. Immediately add the black beans and stir with a wooden spoon. The squash should fall apart, but there should still be chunks – it should not look like mashed potatoes. Top with cheese and serve with a crunchy grain – brown rice works well. Or, for breakfast, top the hash with a fried egg. Mmmm.

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Food, Musing

the first meal of the day

What do you like to eat for breakfast? Do you like to eat breakfast?

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. It’s probably because it can go both ways–sweet or savory. I love eating at the beginning of the day when everything is fresh, the morning is bright, there’s a paper to read and tea to drink.

Lately I’ve been excited to wake up every morning to my giant bowl of oatmeal, with generous amounts of berries and apples, spices, a pinch of sea salt, and almond milk. One of my friends swears by toast, jelly, and eggs-over-easy.

I think what I love most about breakfast is its simplicity. The best breakfasts are breakfasts in bed, breakfasts made by someone else, fresh breakfasts, hearty breakfasts. Diners with a familiar mix of eggs, hash browns, and bacon. Pancakes the size of your head smothered in fake syrup. Everything hits the spot. And there you are, thinking of the day to come, treating yourself to a little optimism and sunlight. This isn’t fancy. This isn’t a four-hour French meal. There’s nothing holding you back from sitting there in your underwear. It’s breakfast. The most important meal of the day–if only because it’s the most unassuming meal of the day.

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