This is one of my favorite recipes & I am proud to say I created it myself. Considering there is nothing new under the sun, I’m sure it’s not truly original, & I did take inspiration from various sources, but in any case I’ve perfected my version of it just from my own experimentation. I make it almost every week now since both my husband & I really like it. Quite often my coworkers have told me it smells delicious when I bring it to work for my lunch, so today I decided I would share it on here.
I’m starting to enjoy cooking a lot more, but it still isn’t exactly something I do just for fun. However, this recipe meets all three of my fundamental requirements for something I take time to cook: it’s quick/easy, healthy, & reheats well so it can be used for multiple servings over the course of a week.
- 1 butternut squash
- Several tablespoons of olive (or other cooking) oil
- 1 TBS Vietnamese sweet lemon curry (will be pictured later)
- Could substitute regular yellow curry if needed
- 1 TBS cumin
- 1/2 a 13.5 oz can of light coconut milk
Start out by cutting the ends off of the butternut squash
Next, hold the squash vertically & cut it down the center so that you end up with 2 halves like this:This is the point at which you can see how closely butternut squash are related to pumpkins. The seeds are almost identical. The next step is to scrape out the seeds & the stringy flesh around the seeds. This works best with a grapefruit spoon, but if you don’t have one, a regular spoon will do the trick; it’s just a bit more work.I usually buy a large butternut squash, so what I’ll do at this point is place one of the halves into a Ziplock bag & save it in the fridge until next week. I’ve found that if I try to cook the whole thing at once we can’t eat it all in one week; plus it’s harder to cook the whole thing at one time. If you have a larger family, you might want to use the whole squash, but I’d still recommend actually cooking each half separately.
Now it’s time to peel the squash. I highly recommend using an actual vegetable peeler because these things are a real menace to peel without one. You may notice some green striations in the flesh of the squash; these are totally normal.Next, slice up the squash into sections like this:Now it’s time to get the oil heated up. I never measure, but I just use enough olive oil to thoroughly coat my iron skillet, & I turn the burner onto medium. Also I’ve found dishes taste better if I allow the spices to simmer in the oil as it warms up (I don’t measure, just a quick sprinkle of each spice).
The spices pictured below are the ones I use for this recipe (& for many other dishes). The Vietnamese curry comes from Savory Spice Shop in Lafayette Village off of Falls of Neuse Rd in North Raleigh (see http://www.savoryspiceshop.com/ where you can purchase spices online if you aren’t in the Triangle area of NC). You can certainly use a regular yellow curry, but I’ve found this sweet lemon curry pairs extremely well with the cumin. The cumin I use comes from Sam’s Club, but you should be able to find it at just about any grocery store. While the oil is heating up, use this time to further cut the squash into bite-size pieces like this:By time you finish this, the oil should be hot. Now place the bite-size pieces into the hot oil & cover with more of the curry & cumin. I never measure, but I’m guessing about 1 TBS of each is sufficient.
After about 10 minutes or when the squash are starting to soften up a bit, it’s time to add 1/2 a 13.5 oz can of light coconut milk. Make sure you shake the can well before opening it.
Pour about half the coconut milk over the squash & allow to cook for about another 10 minutes. You can pour the other half of the can into a tupperware & save it in the fridge for later use (it will keep for over a week at least).You will know the squash is done when it is visibly softened & can easily be cut/mashed with a fork. This usually takes about 15-20 minutes total, ideally half of the time before adding the coconut milk & half after.The key to keeping the squash moist is NOT draining the oil/milk after cooking. Make sure to save all of it because it helps keep the dish both moist & flavorful as you reheat it for days to come. Yes, the olive oil & coconut milk add a few extra calories, but they also contain very healthy fats that are important in a nutritious diet.
Again, I love this recipe because it’s quick/easy, healthy, & reheats easily. And of course most importantly it’s DELICIOUS! Let me know if you decide to try it & how it turns out for you.