This is a great dish on its own, with some naan or other flatbread, or as a side to accompany meat, fish or even with a salad. I was going to call it Caribbean squash because of the vibrant colors but I didn’t have any Jamaican Curry Powder – I know, who runs out of Jamaican Curry Powder – shameful. The star of the show is the butternut squash – before you groan, see my notes below – colorful peppers, jalapenos, curry powder and onion – not necessarily in order of quantity.

I know! Butternut squash is one of those things you look at, walk by and think “maybe next time”. But the farmers and processors have made it so easy to use butternut squash in your recipes. Not only is it available whole, but now it also comes peeled and cut into chunks (in the refrigerated section of the produce aisles), and also cubed and frozen – so, no reason not to make this dish. I used the PC frozen cubed version today. If you want to use the fresh – even better, but we have come a long way in how we keep fresh foods frozen and their nutritional benefits, so you decide!

Be adventurous and make this meal. If you have left overs, you can always put it into a tart pan, cover with a piece of puff pastry, bake it – and enjoy it with a nice glass of chardonnay. As always – enjoy!

  • ½ package PC frozen cubed butternut squash (about 2 cups or 375g)
  • 1 small red pepper, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (you just know I used habaneros :)) – diced
  • 1 tbsp. Dion Curry Powder, Madras Hot Curry Powder or Jamaican Curry Powder
  • Extra virgin Olive Oil, salt and pepper

In a medium sized pot or pan, add the oil
When hot, add the onion and sauté for 2 – 4 minutes
Add the red pepper and jalapeno or habanero – sauté for about 2 minutes
Add the curry powder, quickly stir and almost immediately add ½ cup of the water – stir to cook – 2 minutes – reduce the heat to a gentle simmer – this is an important step because if you add the dry curry powder to the onion mixture without additional liquid it will burn and taste bitter – but do cook it by stirring quickly – 10 seconds and then add the water
Add the butternut squash and stir – you will probably need the remaining water plus a little bit more – stir, you should see the water bubbles just above the surface of the squash
Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and cook for 10 – 15 minutes until squash is fork tender – stir the squash periodically to ensure it hasn’t dried out and that there is sufficient moisture in the pan to continue the cooking process
Taste – season with salt and pepper – taste again – more heat, spice, moisture? – adjust accordingly
Garnish with some chopped cilantro and serve

Substitutions and Alterations:

  • Add a can of lentils or any type of bean to this dish when you add the squash – use the liquid from the can instead of water – no really, it’s okay to use the liquid in applications like this
  • After you have added the squash to the pan, move the squash away from one end so you have a surface large enough to cook a piece of fish – seasoned with salt and pepper – cover and cook for 10 minutes depending on the thickness – check by inserting the tip of a sharp knife into the thickest portion – it should flake
  • Leftovers – put into a buttered ramekin or au gratin dish (basically anything that is oven proof), cover with a piece of puff pastry, paint the surface with a little egg wash or cream, and bake at 400f for 15 – 17 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden
  • Serve with rice (add a bit of chicken stock to the squash to provide some gravy), meat, fish or a salad
  • Pick up a rotisserie chicken – watch the sodium content, no point cooking healthy if what you are eating with is loaded with unhealthy items – from a nearby store, serve it along with the squash – significantly tastier and better for you than the sides that come with the chicken! I’ll tell you how to use the remaining chicken in another blog. For now, unless you have a use for it, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, mark what it is and the date, and freeze
  • Add 2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock to a pot and bring to a boil. Add the leftover squash and stir – mashing as you stir to thicken the soup. Boil for 2 – 3 minutes, taste for seasoning and enjoy