3 Simple squash dishes

Coconut-curry kabocha squash is the perfect meal on

Coconut-curry kabocha squash is the perfect meal on a cool autumn day. (Credit: Marge Perry)

Most squash has between 50 and 100 calories and 2 to 5 grams of fiber per cooked cup and is loaded with nutrients including potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E.

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COCONUT-CURRY KABOCHA

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 cup chopped onion

1 red pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 (3 1/2-pound) kabocha squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

3 cups coconut water

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons lite soy sauce

2 teaspoons red curry paste (or more, to taste)

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups cauliflower florets

1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 (15-ounce) can lite coconut milk, divided

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium high; add the ginger, onion and red pepper and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the squash, coconut water, lime juice, soy sauce, curry paste, sugar and salt; bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to simmer. Cover and simmer until squash is just fork tender, 18 to 20 minutes.

2. Uncover and add the cauliflower and chickpeas; cook until cauliflower is fork tender, about 12 minutes. Combine the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of the coconut milk; add the remaining coconut milk to the pan and cook 3 minutes; stir in cornstarch, bring to a boil and cook 1 minute. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 319 calories, 14 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 8.5 g protein, 44 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber, 751 mg sodium

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SPICE ROASTED ACORN SQUASH

2 small (4-inch) acorn squash, each cut lengthwise into 12 wedges

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne

1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Toss the wedges with the oil until evenly coated. Combine the cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne and salt and toss with the squash. Place in a single uncrowded layer on the baking sheet and roast, turning once, until fork tender and lightly golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 119 calories, 4 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 2 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 298 mg sodium

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ROAST BUTTERNUT SOUP

1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (5 to 6 cups)

1 medium red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

3 cups room temperature low-fat milk, divided

1 cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Toss squash and onion wedges with oil, salt and pepper, and place in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast until the squash is fork tender, about 30 minutes.

3. Transfer half the roast vegetables to a food processor or blender and puree with about half the milk; transfer to soup pot and place over medium heat. Repeat with the remaining vegetables and milk; stir in the broth and warm over medium heat 5 minutes, or until heated through. Adjust thickness of soup with more broth as desired. Serve topped with the pumpkin seeds. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 258 calories, 9 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 10 g protein, 38 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 405 mg sodium