A meal with more than one vegetable side dish? You can grow that, and cook that…daily! I try to serve at least three vegetables with every evening meal but I also want to be able to prepare a meal in about an hour. Needless to say, this has me always on the search for fast and delicious ways to cook veggies. Here is one example of such a dish.
1 butternut squash
Your favorite Barbeque sauce (I love Mad Dog Original)
Set the oven to 350 degrees before you start preparing the squash.
Peel the squash, remove the seeds and slice it into pieces that are about 3/4 of an inch thick.
Place the slices of squash on a cookie sheet lined with baking parchment paper.
Bake the squash for about 30 minutes until it’s soft. I prepared this first and then while it was baking went on to make a cauliflower risotto. (Recipe for that next Wednesday.)
In addition to cooking 3 or more veggies for dinner each night I try to also prepare enough so that we can take them to work for lunch the next day. Surprisingly, this squash was really good cold!
Tips for growing butternut squash:
1. These plants grow large and take up a lot of space so plan accordingly! If you grow garlic planting your winter squash next to the garlic bed works well because the garlic is harvested in mid-summer so the squash can move into that space as it gets larger.
2. One common problem with growing winter squash is powdery mildew. If you have been plagued by mildew in the past, start spraying your plants with an organic fungicide early in the season before the plant shows signs of the problem. I use either Actinovate or Green Cure.
3. Mulching around the young plants not only keeps the moisture levels more evenly moist in the soil, but discourages weeds and keeps developing squash from sitting on the dirt. When the squash can grow on top of something that provides some air circulation, such as hay or pine needles, it’s less likely to rot if the weather is damp.