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More on Cushaw Squash

More on Cushaw Squash

Yes, it has been a while since I last posted.  And honestly, the last thing anyone probably wants to hear more about is Cushaw Squash.

My middle daughter, who has gone back and been working her way slowly through GAPS is not eating anything green and leafy.   And she does not like mushrooms….so that leaves me with some challenges, particularly for breakfast.  We are working on her losing and maintaining her weight, while we are trying to get her immune system built up…i.e. guts working properly.

I have gone to rigorously implementing the 20/80 rule.  Twenty percent protein, eighty percent veggie or fruit.  Fruits are for snacks.  So that leaves me always looking for ways to add veggies to everything I make.

I was quite pleased the other day when this daughter commented on breakfast., “This is the best”, “It’s better than Bob Evans!”  Now, when one of your kids say something like that to you, it makes you take notice.

In the previous post, I talked about how I cut up and peel these big squash and then store them in the fridge for later use.  I toss them into soups, breads, etc.

Lately, I have been cooking them sliced up with onions in some butter and olive oil.  I cook them until they have browned a bit and sprinkle them with garlic powder, salt and paprika. When they are done, I add eggs to the top and cover the skillet until the eggs are done.

I have also made “French Toast” eggs with Cushaw’s as well.   I take the squash and grate it. Then I fry the squash (this time without onions)  in butter and coconut oil until it is browned a bit.  When done, I liberally sprinkle on cinnamon.  In a bowl of beaten eggs, I add vanilla, salt, and a spoonful of honey.  I beat the whole mess up until the eggs are a bit fluffy and pour it over the fried squash, stirring in the eggs a bit to mix them in.  I cover with a lid and steam until almost done, then I flip the eggs and squash (cutting it into manageable sections) browning the other side.  Top with a scoop of plain yogurt-or if you are prone to like your sweets, add some honey.    FAST and easy French Toast the GAPS way!!

I hope you never give up trying to find easy and affordable ways to make GAPS meals.

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Posted by on February 9, 2014 in Squash

 

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What to do with Cushaw Squash

I had a dear friend bestow upon me several Cushaw Squash.  These are huge things usually used for fall decorations and can often be found free along with pumpkins that people want to get rid of after Halloween.   (It is easy to find free pumpkins and squash this time of year.  My hubby once found a 30lb pumpkin tossed along a running path.  He brought it home and we cut it up and we canned several quarts of pumpkin, along with roasting the seeds…We have a motto in our home, never pass up free food!)

Cushaw squash is very mild in flavor and somewhat like a spaghetti squash in taste.   And they can be massive in size, which means that is a LOT of squash to contend with; but is it really?

These types of mild flavored squash (and there are several) have all kinds of uses.  My daughter was selling zucchini breads last summer at the farmers market.  The Cushaw is a very good replacement for zucchini.  It comes out a bit drier but that might not be a problem because this bread will make a peanut butter and honey sandwich that won’t fall apart in the making.  It makes a nice solid slice-able bread.

Squash Bread

3/4 cup grated squash

8 eggs

1/2 c melted butter

2 tbsp honey

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 coconut flour

Mix it all up in a bowl, pour into a bread pan lined with greased parchment paper, bake at 350 for about an hour until a knife comes out clean.

What else can one do with a Cushaw?

For starters, this is what I do with any of these “large” squash whether it be a Cushaw or a Blue Hubbard.  I cut them open, rake out the seeds and then I peel them.   After I peel them I put the peeled slices in a zipper bag and store it in the refrigerator for use throughout the week.  A few minutes of prep time gives me a week’s worth of at hand food to cook with.  Because these squash are so mild in flavor they take on the flavors that you add to them thus giving you an affordable way to stretch your food budget.

As I am cooking throughout the week I incorporate these squash into my meals.  Here are some ideas:

Fry bacon, then cook the squash in the grease along with some onions. Then crumble up the bacon, top with your favorite cheese

Use it like rice-cook ground beef, onions, and the squash then put in your favorite Mexican seasonings, or add your favorite Indian seasonings and top it yogurt cheese.  Or to make it  Italian in flavor add basil and tomatoes.  This concept is limitless and by peeling the squash in advance you have a ready made and fast meal at your finger tips.

Chop them up and fry them along with mushrooms and peppers.

Add them to leftover chicken and smother with tomatoes.

Cook by themselves in butter and coconut oil, smash them up and add some yogurt and Parmesan cheese, a light pinch of nutmeg, and salt.  Yum, this one is akin to risotto and is a delight!

As the weather is cooling off in this region, it is time for more soups.  This squash is being tossed into all kinds of soups.  It blends up well with other veggies and it also adds a nice texture to chunky soups.

Squash is one of the main food groups for GAPS/SCD because it is high in fiber and very good at fleshing out a meal. It is easy on the tummy and very affordable.   So do not neglect this squash because it seems overwhelming in size.

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2013 in Bread, Squash

 

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Butternut Casserole

 

 

I have some extra squash that needed to be used.  I am not a huge casserole fan, but for some reason I decided to try to make a butternut casserole.   I wanted a fusion of flavors.   So this is what I did…

I sauteed an onion in a blend of sesame and coconut oil.  I then added in one butternut squash cut up into small chunks.   I allowed this to cook a bit, enough to soften the squash.

In a small skillet I toasted 1/3 cup of pumpkin seeds in some sesame oil.

While this was going on at the stove, I combined a cup of yogurt and 2 eggs with 2 tsps of curry powder, 1/2 tsp of salt, and added in some hot pepper flakes.  I sat this aside.

Then I sliced up 10 prune.  Grated some Parmesan cheese, and measured out 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut.

After oiling a casserole dish, I combined all of the ingredients and put it in the oven for 45 minutes.

I served this up with some fresh salmon fillets and navy beans.

The casserole could stand alone if it had more cheese or ground meat added to it.  Instead of pumpkin seeds, nuts could be used.

Overall, we thought this was very good and something we will make again.

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2013 in Squash

 

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The Lowly Meatloaf

Meatloaf is very economical, easy to make, can be made up in advance and frozen then reheated, and is VERY GAPS/SCD approved.  AND the combinations for making one are as endless as the stuff you like and keep in your kitchen.  The history of the meatloaf goes back into ancient history but it probably rose to stardom during the 1940’s during the war years.  Food rations existed and budgets were still being kept due to the hard depressions years that came before the war.  Women needed to make every penny count and nothing was wasted or overlooked.  Let’s face it GAPS/SCD can be a budgeting nightmare at times for those families that are doing this as a whole.  My primary focus with this blog was to encourage others to look around their kitchens and to be creative with what you have on hand, with what you can afford, and to do the best you can with what you have.

I believe the meatloaf is one such idea.  The diversity is incredible whether you start with a cheap package of frozen turkey, or use an $10 pound of buffalo meat.  Your starter is ground meat (poultry, pork, or beef), your fillers are what you have on hand and you must use at least one egg per pound.

The meatloaf I made today probably cost me a total of $1.50 to make. I used a package of ground turkey I bought on sale for $1, I added in one egg, a shredded carrot, and some leftover spinach.  Oh yes, and onion is essential.  I will top it with a layer of Swiss cheese and offer some cucumber ketchup I made with honey.

I could have used coconut or almond flour as a filler but since I am serving some coconut flour bread with it I did not want the added roughage (the nut flours do not totally agree with everyone in my family.)  Also, meatloaf is a place where we can pack in more veggies. You can put just about any type of veggie into a meatloaf.  Squash would work but we are not limited to eating squash all the time. If you do not grow your own or if you do not have a cheap outlet for them, they can begin to add up quickly in cost.

These diets are all about maximum nutrition and we need to be packing as much variety as possible into what we are making.  As an exercise in planning a pound of ground meat can be mixed with smushed peas, ground up green beans, grated carrots, radishes or rutabaga, cooked and drained frozen spinach or kale (or chopped up fresh), shredded cabbage (this is becoming my rice replacement), cooked and drained eggplant, chopped tomatoes, green peppers, lots of onions, and of course squash of any variety (winter or summer).  You could also add fruits.  It is just a matter of finding combinations that you like and have on hand.  If you are consuming nut flours with no problems, adding in a spoonful or two of these will make the meatloaf even bigger and denser for added volume for more mouths.

So whether you are feeding a large family or just one, the meatloaf is versatile with a lot of benefits like being made up in advance, easy, and filling.  So the next time you face a “something different moment” or want to plan for freezer meals, remember the lowly meatloaf.

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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Beef, Green Beans, Helpful Tips, Spinach, Squash

 

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A New Squash Casserole

Or at least for us it was a new squash casserole.  For years I have made a squash lasagna and I will write that one up eventually but last night I was thinking about ways to make a simpler meal.  I had asked my daughter to cook supper and she is still in the learning stage…so I wanted to make it easy for her to do.

These are the instructions that I gave her:

Shred the squash in the food processor and put it in the colander to drain…squeeze it out after it sits for a few minutes.  Dump it into a bowl and add a couple of eggs, and a enough coconut flour to thicken it just a bit.

While the squash are draining season the tomato sauce to taste Italian.  (Basil, oregano, garlic, and fennel-but not too much or daddy will tell us he does not like it.)

Put the squash in a greased baking dish. (350)  Put on a layer of cheese and then the tomato sauce.  When it is done in about 30 minutes put on another layer of cheese.

Oh yes, do not forget the salt and pepper where it is needed.

It came out delightfully good for a first try.  We all thought hamburger or bacon would have been good in it and it would have been included except…search as we might, we could not find any without a trip to town which was not going to happen.   But even without the added meat this was a really tasty and fulfilling supper.

 

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2012 in Squash

 

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Canning Squash

 

Yesterday I put up 14 quarts of zucchini squash.  Since squash is one of those perfect GAPS/SCD foods and they are abundant this time of year.  If you do not grow your own, see if you can find a friend that has extras, or go visit a Farmer’s Market, by the end of the season they can be almost hard to give them away.   But I have a mindset to never let food go to waste if I can help it.  So I put up as much food as I can and often accept peoples leftovers for the purpose of keeping my pantries stocked and my freezers full.

Up front I have to say that the powers that dictate what we are and are not supposed to do tell us that Squash is something that we are not supposed to can.  I am a rebellious maverick in the kitchen…refusing for modernity to tell me that I cannot do something that my grandmother could have done.  I have to wonder some times how our grandmothers managed to raise all of those kids.

Over the years I have done squash in several ways. I did consider just doing them plain so they could be made into soups…but in the past I have found that doing them in tomatoes seems to produce the best long term taste.

The process is simple.  You wash your squash, cut them into chunks, and pack them into jars.  I add a little less than a tsp of salt to each jar and a good sprig of fresh basil.  (if you do not have fresh herbs, you can add your favorite Italian dry herbs..or skip this all together.)   Some years I add garlic but simply did not feel like messing with the garlic yesterday and decided it could be added later on when I reheat the squash for consumption.

In a large pan, I added some tomato sauce, three small cans of paste and some water.  (I have done this many ways…and if the tomatoes in the garden would have been a week further along I would have just used fresh tomatoes.   I got the tomatoes boiling and added a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar for every jar that I planned to process.

You must keep the tomato juice boiling, ladle this hot fluid over the squash, run a knife down the sides of the jar releasing air…wipe the jar tops and put on the lids. If you are inexperienced  at canning…please do more research on the canning process to better understand how it all works.

Use a pressure canner and process at 10 lbs of pressure for 40 minutes.

Later on when I reheat these I will add them to a sauted onion and some garlic.  Or I will add them to some soup.

Here is a link to another sites that gives you a different idea for putting up squash.  This one has you hot pack the squash.

http://pennypantry.com/canning/canning-squash-zucchini-and-tomatoes/

and here is another that gives a bit more precision to the process for those of you that like “exacts”.

http://www.food.com/recipe/Zucchini-in-Tomato-Sauce-Canning-134151

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2012 in Cooking Helps, Squash

 

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Roast Beef with Butternut Gravy

It is pretty much agreed that gravy goes well over pot roast.  So today, I took the time to plan the meal with gravy.  Since the GAPS/SCD diets do not allow flour or cornstarch one has to take another approach to making gravy.   This then means that gravy cannot be an afterthought but something we have to plan.

There are all kinds of suggestions for making gravy using blended veggies.  And really any veggie will work.   I had extra butternut squash cut up and ready to use in my refrigerator so I tossed that in with my roast, carrots, and mushrooms before baking my in the oven.

After the roast was done, I took the butternut squash out of the roasting pan and smashed them up with a fork.  I added about a cup of broth and a package of plain gelatine. (Blending it all together well.)   In a skillet, I placed three or four tablespoons of coconut oil and fried two onions until tender.  Once done, I stirred in the smashed up squash, added salt , pepper, and garlic to taste.   For a smoother gravy (or for people who do not like the texture) the onion could have been blended as well.

I cut up the roast and placed it in a serving dish, then added the other veggies from the roasting pan.  I poured this wonderful gravy over the top.

Because winter squash do not have a lot of flavor they make a great binding agent for gravy.   I have used zucchini’s before and found that they changed the flavor a little more than I liked.  I have also made gravy with coconut flour.  It tastes fine but I really don’t like the gritty texture.

So the next time you want something with gravy, take the few extra minutes to make one with a blended vegetable.

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2012 in Beef, Cooking Helps, Gravy, Helpful Tips, Squash

 

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