I have a confession to make. Last year when I craved pumpkin I went up to the Kula farm/pumpkin patch around November and bought two huge pumpkins for about $10. I cut them, peeled them, boiled them and then pureed them. We made pumpkin curry, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cheesecake, the whole nine yards. And whatever was left over was frozen for future use.
This year, however, I’ve started to crave pumpkin before Halloween. Yes, Uncle Herb was selling home-grown pumpkins at the Farmer’s Market this past weekend, but I didn’t want to go through the tedious process (in my defense, I’m much busier this year than I was last year). So I went to the store for this:
Except not that size. As it turns out, a 28 oz. can of pumpkin puree on Maui will run you about $3.50 (ahh, the cost of paradise). But the price of a huge can – I’m talking the economy, six times the amount of the normal can, size – was about $8.00. In the end, I took a lesson from Grandma and got the ginormous can. Sometimes the cost of convenience outweighs the cost of time and effort.
But here’s my huge confession: The reason I was so excited for pumpkin was because all the food blogs I’m reading right now (from mainland writers) contain delicious-looking photos of pumpkin oats, pumpkin smoothies, etc. The progression into fall weather has begun and these gorgeous photos of warm oats are often paired with photos of multi-colored leaves on the lawn.
Reality check Miss Haley: you live in paradise. Although there has been a definite weather pattern shift, the temperature hasn’t decreased at all yet. And if you’re waiting for leaves to start changing colors and fall, you’re in the wrong place. In the end, I still love pumpkin and will be using the puree for delicious recipes, but I learned a little lesson about living locally this past weekend. While I enjoy reading about people on the mainland gearing up for cold weather and stocking up on pumpkins, it’s not my reality. There are heaps of other fresh veggies and fruits in season for those of us in Hawai’i right now (like avocado, bananas and other types of squash)!
Which leads me to my recipes for today :). One of the things I did buy at the market this weekend was butternut squash – yum! I got two of them and decided to roast them both and then figure out how we wanted to eat them. My realization: this stuff is good in just about anything. I tossed together what I had: for protein and aminos – black beans and quinoa, for added iron – chard, and for color and flavor – veggies!
Black Bean & Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad
- 1 medium sized butternut squash (~3 c when chopped)
- 1 1/2 c black beans
- 1 c dry quinoa
- 1 small onion
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Veggies to your liking (I used ~2 c chopped swiss chard, 1/2 yellow bell pepper, 1/2 zucchini, 2 carrots and 2 stalks celery)
- spices to your liking (I used Volcano Spice Tropical Blend with Terragon and a little cinnamon)
Cut butternut squash and bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes or until brown.
Cook quinoa as directed.
Heat olive oil in large pan over medium heat.
Add onion, celery and carrot until onion is translucent then add other veggies (adding chard last, as it will just wilt in at the end).
Chop the squash into approx. 1 inch pieces (I left the skin on… it’s delicious!).
Mix together all the ingredients and add the spices!
Since we had so much butternut squash leftover, we also made dessert for the night!
Cinnamon and Maple Baked Butternut Squash
- 2 pieces baked butternut squash (as baked in first recipe)
- 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
Pour syrup onto squash and sprinkle spices over.
Bake at 450 degrees or until the syrup forms a little crust.
Holy moly, squash heaven! 🙂