Sep 242012

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Roasted Garlic Pumpkin Sauce and Squash Blossoms

What do you do with squash blossoms?

This was the question I heard over and over from customers at the KyV Farm tent set up at the St Johns Farmers Market at Alpine Grove Park last Saturday.  There are many fried and stuffed recipes on the internet so here is a unique one that showcases the fresh blossoms with their sweet, nutty flavor.  They create a beautiful presentation and taste without adding lots of calories – only about five per cup.

The St Johns farmers market is a newly established one right on the St Johns river.  They had a good number of fresh vegetable vendors as well as a great mix of art work, jewelry, crafts and personal care products.  I would like to see some more prepared food vendors (vegetarian would be awesome!), possibly a food truck and some live music, but overall it was a GREAT market and you can find KyV Farm there every week featuring their organic produce.  Please head out there to support this new market – it is every Saturday, 10AM to 2PM, 2060 State Road 13, Switzerland, Florida.

The acorn squash, spaghetti squash, blossoms and garlic are all organically grown from KyV Farm. In fact, the spaghetti squash I had from the end of last season, waiting patiently on the counter for me to use it – so this started out as a spaghetti squash recipe but quickly morphed into a stuffed acorn squash since I bought two of those fresh at the market on Saturday.  There were so many delicious elements in this recipe that I had trouble fitting them all in the title; sweet roasted garlic, aromatic sage and thyme, fresh rosemary, caramel-y roasted onions, squash blossoms and that creamy pumpkin sauce.  This dish incorporates all of the welcoming tastes of fall and if you are like me living in Florida, it is a great way to celebrate the new season, even if we are only just starting to see some cooler weather.

I am SO excited about this recipe and if you try it, I know you will be too!

Lastly, I hope you will follow me on facebook if you don’t already.  It is such a great way to connect with the people that support and follow my blog.  Thank you to all of you!

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Roasted Garlic, Sage, Pumpkin Sauce and Fresh Squash Blossoms

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Roasted Garlic, Sage, Pumpkin Sauce and Fresh Squash Blossoms

Inspired by my friend Caras Cravings
Serves 6 – 1 cup spaghetti squash, 1/2 acorn squash, 1/4 cup sauce

Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

1 spaghetti squash**
3 acorn squashes
1 onion
2 small bulbs garlic or one large
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (or Parmesan cheese for non-vegan)
1/2 cup plain non dairy creamer – I used Silk Original (or regular creamer for non-vegan)
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
4 squash blossoms (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Cut squashes in half and scoop out seeds, chop onion, cut tops off garlic and wrap in foil; prepare pans with non-stick cooking spray.   Place squashes face down on pans, add onions and garlic around squashes.  Bake 60 minutes.

2. Add pumpkin puree, nutritional yeast, creamer, salt, sage and thyme to small sauce pan; heat over medium, low heat.  Stir in roasted onions and garlic and simmer mixture, about five minutes or until heated through.

3. Place 1/2 acorn squash on each of six plates, top with 1 cup spaghetti squash and 1/4 cup sauce mixture. Slice squash blossoms; sprinkle evenly over 6 plates, top with sprinkle of chopped fresh rosemary.

**There may be some left over depending on the size of the squash.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 209.8
Total Fat 2.4 g
Sat Fat 0.2 g
Polyunsat Fat 0.3 g
Monounsat Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 106.8 mg
Potassium 1,080.1 mg
Total Carb 46.7 g
Dietary Fiber 8.0 g
Sugars 12.2 g
Protein 6.2 g

Vitamin A 18.4 %
Vitamin B-12 44.3 %
Vitamin B-6 187.3 %
Vitamin C   52.6%
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.1 %
Calcium 12.0 %
Copper 12.8 %
Folate 33.3 %
Iron 14.1 %
Magnesium 24.0 %
Manganese 32.6 %
Niacin 107.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 17.9 %
Phosphorus 16.7 %
Riboflavin 192.1 %
Selenium 13.6 %
Thiamin 238.4 %
Zinc 11.5 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Nov 092011
I learned something really interesting today from my coworker, Sarah.  Her son, Jake, did a fabulous presentation on plastic.  Have you heard of the Great Garbage Patch? It is this huge garbage mound of plastic in the middle of the ocean that is “roughly the size of Texas, containing approximately 3.5 million tons of trash. Shoes, toys, bags, pacifiers, wrappers, toothbrushes, and bottles too numerous to count are only part of what can be found in this accidental dump floating midway between Hawaii and San Francisco.”

Um WHAT?  I followed the link to Plastic Pollution Coalition and found that “Plastic recycling is not a sustainable solution. Most of our plastic waste is landfilled, downcycled, incinerated or exported to other countries. Recycling of plastic is costly and does not stem the production of virgin plastic product.”

Great, so the fact that I reuse my plastic bag for my snack veggies all week and then recycle it doesn’t make any difference.  I am proud that I have switched to glass containers for my leftovers and to pack my lunches but I think about how much plastic is on everything and it makes my head spin.

Gum.  I buy the three pack of gum.  Not only does it come wrapped in plastic but then each pack is also wrapped in plastic.  WHY is that?  Because gum won’t stay as fresh? Riiight.

Bread.  The brown rice bread I buy my daughter is wrapped in plastic and then placed in a plastic bag. 

Water Bottles. Cases of water bottles are plastic and then wrapped in plastic.

Plastic bags at the grocery. Don’t you love when they put one toothbrush or pack of gum in it’s own bag?  I always refuse and tell them I don’t want to waste the bag.

Precut veggies at the grocery.  Come in plastic bags and then are placed in a plastic bag to leave the store.

The list goes on and on.

This makes me feel even better about my farm share.  A few months ago I got a spaghetti squash. NOT wrapped in plastic. And it sat on my counter for a few months until I came across a fabulous recipe at Biscuit Batches that I had to make immediately. I split the squash open and it was still perfect. No plastic involved, AND it involves pumpkin.  Two of my favorite squashes in one recipe makes me very happy.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Kale and Pumpkin Cream Sauce
Inspired by Biscuit Batches
Serves 6
Gluten and Dairy Free, Vegan


2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Spaghetti Squash, cut in half and seeds removed
1 bunch kale, washed, de-stemmed and chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp dried thyme
2 stems fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
¾ cup pureed pumpkin
1 cup plain non-dairy milk (I used coconut milk)
¼ cup nutritional yeast (optional; you can purchase this at health food stores)
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped walnuts


1. Preheat oven to 375F; place squash, cut side down on a small baking sheet or casserole dish.  Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Pour in about ¼ cup water and roast for an hour.  Let cool then scoop out the inside and place in a medium bowl.

2. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a pot; add half the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes; add kale, half the rosemary and half the salt and pepper, sauté until leaves become soft and pliable, about 7 minutes (or cook to desired doneness). Remove from pot and set aside in a separate dish.

3. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp oil in pot; add the remaining onion and sauté about 5 minutes, reduce heat and add garlic, remaining rosemary and thyme; sauté about 1 minutes, add pumpkin puree, milk, nutritional yeast and remaining salt and pepper.  Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Pour over spaghetti squash and toss to coat; top with walnuts.  Serve with sautéed kale.

Estimated Nutrition Info

6 Servings (serving size will vary with size of spaghetti squash and amount of kale)
Amount Per Serving

Calories 178.7
Total Fat 9.5 g
Saturated Fat 1.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.8 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 179.1 mg
Potassium 648.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 21.4 g
Dietary Fiber 6.8 g
Sugars 5.4 g
Protein 6.8 g

Vitamin A 453.5 %
Vitamin B-12 33.3 %
Vitamin B-6 138.3 %
Vitamin C 99.8 %
Vitamin D 4.2 %
Vitamin E 19.7 %
Calcium 17.0 %
Copper 19.8 %
Folate 24.3 %
Iron 13.4 %
Magnesium 14.9 %
Manganese 47.3 %
Niacin 78.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 8.6 %
Phosphorus 13.6 %
Riboflavin 149.7 %
Selenium 11.1 %
Thiamin 169.6 %
Zinc 10.5 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Apr 042011
This Monday’s Eat. Live. Be. for a Better 2011 is about creative ways to get in my five servings of veggies a day.1. I try new things. Just like it’s good to try different workouts to keep things fresh, it is great to find a new veggie I’ve never tried and get excited about finding a new recipe.  This is why joining the CSA has been so great.  I have gotten to try all sorts of things I never thought I would like/try.  Kohlrabi. Beets. Calabaza Squash. Daikon Radishes. Fun!
(Don’t know what a CSA is?  See my Farm Share tab to find out!)

2. Alter recipes to suit my taste.  A lot of times I will add more veggies than specified to recipes to bulk it up as well as add different types of veggies in.  Does it call for broccoli?  I throw in some cauliflower too.  Burger or sandwich? Fill it out with lots of fresh lettuce, juicy tomato and a nice slice of sweet onion.  Don’t like that?  Try roasted red peppers and grilled onions.

3. Instead of a starch at night sometimes I have two veggies.   When I go to bed I feel lighter and less bulky when I have a bit of lean meat and extra veggies.

4. Snack on veggies rather than processed granola bar or crackers.
Tool #1 is why I now have a love for spaghetti squash.  I tried something new….and loved it.  Now I use spaghetti squash in place of all spaghetti mainly because I, personally, am not a huge fan of spaghetti but I love spaghetti squash (I know, bite my tongue).  It is light and versatile and tasty.  I got the original recipe for this dish from my friend Joanne and she did a mix of both the squash and spaghetti so that is definitely a fabulous option!  As soon as I saw spaghetti squash, lemon and ricotta I knew I had to try it.  This is a really simple version that was quick and easy but has the same great flavors.

Lemon Herbed Spaghetti Squash with Ricotta
Serves 4 as a light dinner, adapted Eats Well with Others

1 small spaghetti squash, about 2 lb (yield of about 4-5 cups of spaghetti squash) 2 Tbsp canola oil or olive oil (or used an oil mister)
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 cup good quality part skim ricotta, (Vegans sub Cashew Sour Cream here.)
Zest and juice of half a lemon


 1. Preheat oven to 350. Slice the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Place cut sideup on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour or until squash is fork tender. Set aside and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Use a fork to remove the strands.

2. Season squash with Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Pour oil over evenly (or, if using mister, spray evenly, toss to coat and spray again.)
3. Zest about half the lemon over the squash, cut and squeeze half the juice.
4. Scoop into four plates and top each with 1/4 cup dollop of ricotta.
5. Sprinkle a bit more Italian seasoning for garnish.

Nutrition Facts

4 Servings
**5 WW Pts Plus
Amount Per Serving

Calories 190.1
Total Fat 12.0 g
Saturated Fat 4.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 6.4 g
Cholesterol 19.1 mg
Sodium 143.8 mg
Potassium 271.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.2 g
Dietary Fiber 2.2 g
Sugars 4.3 g
Protein 8.1 g
Calcium 20.3 %

Jan 092011
When I found out I was getting cilantro from my KYV Farm Share (CSA) I immediately pulled up My Recipes and typed in cilantro.  The first thing that popped up was this recipe and it had to be fate because the only thing I needed to buy was a bit of parmesan!

I decided to cook only one spaghetti squash and reserve half the pesto for another use which happened to be over grilled fish and scallops.  It added such cool freshness to the grilled seafood, and with a bit of tangy plain Greek yogurt it was perfection. 

Spaghetti Squash with Edamame-Cilantro Pesto
Slightly altered from Cooking Light
3 servings
(serving size: 1 1/2 cups squash, 1/2 cup edamame pesto, and 2 teaspoons cheese)
(1 1/2 cups pesto will be reserved for later use with this recipe)
***6 WW Pts Plus


 1 (2 1/2-pound) spaghetti squash
Cooking spray
1/8 tsp coarse sea salt, plus additional 1/4 tsp for pesto
Garlic powder, to taste
2 cups packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans), thawed
1/8 cup (1/2 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese


 1. Preheat oven to 350°.  Cut squash in half and discard seeds (or reserve to toast which is what I did!).  Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and place cut sides down.  Bake 1 hour.  Let cool and scrape inside of squash.  Season with 1/8 tsp sea salt and garlic powder, to taste.

2. Place cilantro through edamame plus 1/4 tsp sea salt in a food processor.  Pulse until combined well. 

3. Serve pesto over spaghetti squash and sprinkle with cheese.

Nutritional Information from website
Calories:233 (29% from fat)
Fat:7.6g (sat 1.3g,mono 2.8g,poly 2.4g)