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, Recipe

Black bean red quinoa burger

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February in Minnesota and we have no snow on the ground. I repeat, no snow. It’s a miracle I haven’t witnessed in four years of living here, and yet senior year here I am enjoying a relatively warm, snow free winter. Thanks mother nature. We owe ya one.

Sophomore year was a particularly bad winter and yet my roommate and I discovered the wonders of all-you-can-heat, aka “tuition is paying for unlimited heating, so who’s to stop me from cranking this up full blast?” No one could enter our room without sweating. We had it hot in there 24/7. We wore t-shirts and shorts and used my blender to make smoothies and milkshakes. It prevented us from going completely insane once we stepped outside. “I feel like I’m being oppressed,” I moaned pitifully when I opened the door to the bitter cold.

In short, summer food in winter is excellent. These red quinoa black bean burgers are excellently excellent. They are more like winter-summer burgers, with lots of protein and hearty quinoa. These aren’t your average soggy veggie burger, the kind that make meat-eaters look upon vegetarians with pity in their eyes. They’re hearty, smoky and crisp. They hold their own and don’t fall apart. Topped with red onions, guacamole, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes, I would highly recommend this burger recipe.

Black Bean Red Quinoa Burgers

Inspired by Everyday Road to Healthy

This recipe makes about 16 because I cook dinner for a lot of people, so adjust accordingly for smaller numbers. It should halve well.

1.5 cups red quinoa
Olive oil
Sea salt
2 large onions
4 cloves garlic
12 oz jar assorted roasted peppers
Burger seasoning packet
3 cans black beans
2-3 tablespoons Soy sauce/Tamari
1.5 tsp Paprika
2 tsp Red pepper flakes
1/2 cup whole wheat flour

Prepare quinoa like one would rice: bring one part quinoa and two parts water to a boil (so three cups water,) add a teaspoon of olive oil and a dash of salt. Reduce heat and let simmer until all water is absorbed. Set aside.

Chop up onions and dice garlic: add both to a saucepan with a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add jar of peppers and seasoning pack. Rinse and drain beans, add them to the saucepan. Stir until combined and add soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and paprika. Cook until liquid is reduced and let cool.

Preheat oven to 375.

Add 2/3 of the quinoa to the saucepan mixture. Using a blender, food processor, or emulsion blender, blend the mixture in small quantities, until it resembles a paste or thick soup. Stir in remaining quinoa as well as whole wheat flour until well combined.

Grease a cookie sheet and use a 1/2 measuring cup to scoop out burger mixture onto sheet. Shape in a circle and pat down flat– burgers should be around 1″ thick. For juicier burgers, make thicker– be aware these are harder to flip.

Bake for 20 minutes in the oven. Flip once and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove with spatula and serve with your favorite fixings.

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