This is a hard time of year for a plant-based diet in Wisconsin. We are so close to the season of amazing fresh produce all the time, full of life, color, spice and variety! I can almost taste the fresh asparagus spears, fun cool-weather greens like lemon-y sorrel, spicy arugula and kale, and sweet snap peas that arrive in the spring and herald a produce-rich summer and fall… But we are not quite there yet. “Local produce” is still limited to whatever we have been able to save from the previous season. The hearty fruits and vegetables of the fall and winter- rutabagas, parsnips, squash, beets, etc.- can hold out during many of the colder months. For this recipe, I used overwintered Buttercup squash … it was a bit drier than it would have been when it was harvested in the fall, but still good and sitting in the root cellar brought out even more sweetness over the winter. If squash is stored in cool cellars it will often last the whole winter, but it is important to check it over if you do this before eating to make sure it is still of good quality after those several months. Finding varieties of produce that overwinter well used to be commonplace before we were able to ship produce in from all over the country, and I still prefer to overwinter my own produce when possible! Some varieties of apples can even be stored for months at low temperatures, for example.
- 1 buttercup squash, enough olive oil to coat squash,
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, 2 c water
- Sauce: 1/4 c barbeque sauce (any), chipotle powder or chipotle hot sauce to taste, 1 tbsp olive oil, apple cider vinegar 1 tsp, fresh ground black peppercorns to taste. Add water to get to desired consistency.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare Butternut squash by slicing in half with a large, sharp knife (be careful now!), then removing seeds and strings with a spoon.
- Coat Butternut squash halves in olive oil and place on a jelly roll pan, inside-up. Cook for 30 min. Then flip and cook inside-down for 30 min.
- While the squash is cooking, get the quinoa simmering and make the sauce: Boil 2 C water, add quinoa, set it to simmer, let it cook for about 20 minutes or until grains look puffy and done.
- Making the sauce- combine all ingredients listed under “sauce.”
- Combine all ingredients. You can add other veggies that you might have on hand, if desired, like some greens to jazz up the color, if desired.
- Serves 3-4.