Living in a small town in Northern Colorado, I have access to some wonderful local produce. The small local grocery store in my town often loads up with plenty of gorgeous, delicious treats in fall- they have bins and bins of huge, delicious squash from farms within 20 miles from my house. AND they are really inexpensive (30-40 cents per pound)! My only problem? My husband doesn’t really like squash. He generally turns up his nose at “sweet foods” and is firmly in the savory camp (save ice cream and pie). So I have to get pretty creative when incorporating these nutritious, inexpensive treats into our menu.
Spaghetti squash is one of my favorite squashes- I prepare it just like noodles with lots and lots of garlic and olive oil. I decided to try and see if doing this with acorn squash would be just as tasty- and I was really pleasantly surprised with the outcome! This mash is REALLY easy, and is a great, healthy alternative to heavy mashed potatoes.
First, halve your squash, and place onto a baking sheet face-down with about 1″ of water. Bake for about 1 hour, until soft. Remove from oven, and let the squash cool so you can touch it comfortably.
Peel the squash meat away from the outside of the squash, and cut into rough chunks. Sautee squash with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and 4-5 cloves of minced garlic (I sautee the garlic in the olive oil until lightly roasted first). If you don’t have fresh garlic on hand, you can always use garlic powder, though fresh definitely tastes the best.
Cook for about 5 minutes- you just want the garlic flavor to sink in and fully develop. Transfer to a bowl, and use a fork or potato masher to gently mash squash. Plate with a roast, meatloaf, hearty stew- any fall dish you’d like a healthy side for!