I prep butternut sqaush by poking a clean one with holes, then baking for 1/2 hour or so at 400°F.
Once cooked, the squash is easily cut, gutted and chopped for use. A great Saturday afternoon project. The cubed squash can then just get tossed into whatever you are cooking: soup, chili, pasta sauce, casseroles, even cold salads or pies.
I am a fan of my crockpot especially this time of the year, but this can be done on the stove (and well monitored to avoid burning).
5 large sweet apples (I have used Macintosh, Gala, Fuji, Pink Lady and as a last resort, Red or Yellow Delicious)
1 Granny Smith apple (a tart counternote I require and hope you will like)
Peel, core and roughly chop all apples and place in pot.
Add approximately 1/2 C. Orange juice (doesn't matter if it is bottled or fresh squeezed)
1 T. Ground Cinnamon (use less or none if you are not a fan or plan to use as baby food)
Add juice and cinnamon to pot, stir to coat apple pieces. Cook 4 hours on low with lid on crockpot. Or, bring to low simmer on stove, stirring occasionally until done, approx. 30 minutes.
When pieces yield readily to potato masher, mash to a uniform, even consistency. Didn't keep your potato masher during your decluttering? A quart or pint size mason jar or wine bottle will work just as well (pressing the bottom into the mixture and stirring to make sure all pieces get mashed). Even a large slotted spoon mashing the pieces against side of pan will work, too.
If it appears dry while cooking, just stir in a small amount of water (a scant 1/4 C. should suffice).
Sterilize your quart mason jar and fill while mixture is hot. Let cool after putting lid on, and if it has 1.5" of headspace from top of jar, you can freeze it with lid on tight.
But, better to eat it: on top of bread or toast; or, layer dollops alternating with granola and your plain version of yogourt (I like a coconut mylk based non-dairy version); or, bake it with a crumble of oats, butter (non dairy margarine) and brown sugar; or, even use as baby food (and eliminating the cinnamon, in that case). Storing opened jar in fridge, it should last about 2 weeks, assuming you can resist this Fall treat that long. Low fat, low sugar, no HFCS, it's a good for you treat as well.
Warm or cold, to me, nothing says "Autumn" better than Apple Sauce!
Recently, I published three recipes. Although they are Clean Eating recipes, they could also fall in the category Zero Waste. For the recipes, I buy all fruits and vegetables on the market and the rest in bulk shops.
Bittman's Minestrone from "How to Cook: The Basics." I skipped the oil and kept it whole plant vegan. I made it with a loaf of the NYT recipe for no-knead bread.
I also just made a whole food plant based lasagna, even my meatist friends love it. No dairy, animals, oil, fat, cheese, salt, or soy. I make a big batch and give slices to my friends to take home and there is plenty more to freeze for lunches.
1. Cut squash into 2 pieces (neck and bowl) and place in microwavable dish. Microwave at high for 15 mins.
2. In soup pot dry saute chopped 1/2 onion, scrapping brown bits as you go. No need for nonstick just keep pieces moving.
3. Add to pot 1 C. chopped celery, continue to stir.
4. Deglaze pot with splash of white wine vinegar and about 1/2 C. water.
5. Add to pot 2 chopped carrots.
6. Add to pot 3 T. "Better Than Bouillon - Vegetarian, No Chicken Base" diluted in 4 C. boiling hot water
7. Turn temp down to medium low simmer.
8. Remove squash from oven, remove skin and core seeds and fibers. Coarsely chop and add to pot.
9. Add to pot 2 C. boiled red potatoes (I have been on a potato kick and have cooked potatoes sitting in fridge waiting for reincarnation as potato salad, hash browns or soup).
10. Continue to stir and simmer until carrots are tender.
11. Add to pot 1 1/2 tsp. Jamaican Jerk Seasoning and a drizzle of 1 tsp. Olive Oil
12. By now potatoes should be up to temp, carrots tender, and seasonings/bouillon well diluted.
13. This is when I pulled out the blender and blended on "smoothie" setting the contents of the pot in two batches.
14. If using blender, be careful to not fill past half way mark and to have lid a jar with a bar rag on top to protect yourself. Make sure to add more liquid than solids to make blending easy, too.
NOTE: The food processor may have done well, too. Leaving it chunky would be fine as well. Adding a splash of coconut cream after blending would be a good idea, too. It is a bit more soup than stew so if wanting to serve over rice I would reduce water to 2 1/2 C.
I like how a high fiber dish like this soup, when blended is like a hot savory smoothie. I immediately put 1/2 of the batch in a canning jar to save for later and ate the remaining for lunch and dinner. Very yummy and simple to prepare. One pot, one ladle, cutting board/knife and blender was all the clean up needed, too!