Many people have sent me variations on these “fries” so I decided it was time to share this simple starch dish with you. John calls this recipe the “I could eat these all day long squash fries”.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
1 butternut squash
Peel the squash and remove the seeds. Cut into french fry shapes. Place on a non-stick baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt, if desired. Bake for 20 minutes, then flip over and bake for an additional 20 minutes. They will get lightly brown and crispy, but still be a bit soft in the center. Delicious!
Baked potatoes are a simple yet versatile meal. They can be eaten plain or with a wide variety of toppings. Potatoes may be microwaved if you are in a big rush, but the flavor and texture of the potato won’t be nearly as delicious as those baked in an oven. Our favorite potatoes for baking are the large brown-skinned russet variety.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
Scrub the potatoes well and prick them all over with a fork.
Bake potatoes directly on the oven rack, for one hour. They will be fluffy and delicious.
I don’t recommend baking them in aluminum foil. It makes potatoes pasty, instead of dry and fluffy. If you like potatoes this way, make sure you wrap them in parchment paper before using the foil.
Make extra potatoes for leftovers. Store unwrapped in the refrigerator. Eat them cold or reheat in the microwave.
Hints: Sweet potatoes are also delicious when baked. They should be baked at a lower temperature, about 350 degrees, for 45-50 minutes. Prick them all over with a fork and place on a baking tray in the oven. (Or place on the oven rack and put a baking tray on the shelf underneath to catch the drips.) Eat plain, either warm or cold, or try them topped with baked beans. Open your favorite can of healthy fat-free baked beans, heat, and spoon over the top of the sweet potato.
CREAMY CORN SOUP
This is a simple, yet delicious soup that anyone can easily make.
Preparation Time: 1 minute
1 16 ounce package frozen corn
Place the corn in a saucepan with 1/3 cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook about 5 minutes, until corn is tender. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Pour into a food processor and process until smooth. Gradually add the broth while processing and continue until soup is quite smooth. Return to saucepan, heat through and serve.
This makes a great substitute for guacamole (I know it sounds a bit strange!). Try it with baked chips for dipping, or use on burritos or tacos.
Time: 20 minutes
1 ½ cups
Peel broccoli stems, chop into pieces, and steam until tender, about 10 minutes. Place in a food processor and blend broccoli stems with lemon juice, cumin and garlic powder until completely smooth. Place in a bowl, add remaining ingredients and mix well. Chill before serving.
During the summer months I always serve several different versions of gazpacho, the classic cold tomato soup. This one requires a lot of chopped vegetables, so it takes a bit longer to prepare. (See hint below.) It will keep for several days in the refrigerator and makes a great meal on those days when it is too hot to cook.
4 cups tomato
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and chill for several hours before serving.
Hint: The ingredients may be prepared by using a food processor. This is a great time saver. This may also be prepared by pureeing half of the ingredients and leaving the remaining ingredients finely chopped.
Note: To peel tomatoes, use one of the new serrated peelers, or dip briefly in boiling water until the skins loosen, then just slip the skins off.
Time: 20 minutes
Place garlic, ginger, red pepper, carrots and broccoli in a wok or large pan with the 1/2 cup water and 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce. Cook and stir for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and green onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare the soba noodles according to package directions. Drain. Toss with the remaining soy sauce. Set aside.
Mix cornstarch with water. Add to vegetable mixture, cook and stir until thickened. Pour over soba noodles and mix well. Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate and serve cold.
VARIATION: Add baby corn, snow peas, or both when you add the mushrooms and green onions.