July 4, 2011

Baked Butternut Squash Sticks


Who says July 4th fare can't be healthy? A loaded veggie burger on a multigrain deli flat, butternut squash french "fries," and loads of fresh watermelon with blueberries and strawberries on the side, makes a great Independence Day meal without blowing your arteries out. That's how we do it!
Now I know you may be thinking, "Butternut squash fries?! Why, God, why???" But there is no need to consult your maker on this one. These baked "fries" are delicious, and abundantly nutritious. Plus, they're easy to make - and it's really fun to dig into a weird looking squash. For added chuckles, let your guests' kids spoon all the seeds out for you, and then chuck the gooey innards at their slightly-hammered parents. That's 4th of July in nutshell right there. Ahhh, sweet Americana... 

1 large butternut squash
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch of chili powder
Dash of cayenne (optional)
Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Use a vegetable peeler to carefully peel the rind from the squash. Keep peeling until all the little green lines have disappeared.
  • Cut the squash in half lengthwise and use a metal spoon to scoop out the seeds and all that other goopy stuff.
  • Now, cut the neck off of the squash and cut large wedges, as equal in size as possible.
  • You can do the same with the "bowls" of the squash or you can save those for another recipe. Stuffed butternut squash, anyone?
  • Toss your wedges and spices into a large bowl that has a tight-fitting lid. 
  • Secure the lid and shake the wedges around until they are all well-coated.
  • Place in a single layer on a large, lightly-oiled baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10 minutes. Flip the fries over, and bake another 10-15 minutes, until outside is crisp and inside is soft.
  • Makes 4 servings.
  • Enjoy!

No comments: