Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce
What’s the worse Secret Santa present you’ve ever received? Mine was a small green notebook with a face of a frog.
Yes, I know I sound a bit ungrateful, but seriously no thought had gone into that gift.
It was definitely an afterthought; an ‘OMG it’s secret Santa day at work, and I’m already running late.’ Then the frog notebook was frantically wrapped while they were scoffing down their corn flakes.
I’m not saying I haven’t ever recycled gifts. When the kids were smaller, I had a whole bottom drawer full of them ready for all those class birthday parties.
But here’s the thing, now I’d be lost without that little green frog book. Let me explain.
Oh before I explain, heads up there are some Amazon links that I may earn a small commission on at no extra cost to you.
Dinner Time Blues
I enjoy cooking most of the time, but when you have to come up with a tasty, quick meal that pleases everyone, every night it can become a bit tedious. So we run the ‘Green Book’ system.
It’s not complicated – when I cook something new I ask, “Does this make it into the green book?”
If it gets the thumbs up, in it goes.- I write the name of the recipe, the cookbook and the page number.
So on those occasions when I’m stuck for dinner ideas I just flick through the green frog notebook.
A favourite of mine from the green book is Mixed Meat Pilaf from on page 198. It’s great for using up leftover meat, and I have to be honest I don’t ever add the pomegranate seeds.
Which leads me to this week’s recipe. It’s a new recipe for my green book and was adapted from Save with Jamie.
I’m always trying to sneak in as many veggies into my dinner recipes as I can. When the kids were little and had packed lunches, I could dictate their 5 a day regime.
Now they’re teenagers who knows what they choose for lunch at the college canteen. They could be having pizza and chips 5 days a week for all I know.
That’s why I love this pasta sauce, it’s virtually all veg, and then I chuck in frozen peas for an extra veggie boost.
Butternut squash has calcium and magnesium for healthy bones and teeth along with potassium needed for healthy nerve function and for the regulation of blood pressure.
It’s also packed full of antioxidant carotene, which is great for your eye health.
If you head over to my Nutrilicious Ladies Facebook page, you’ll see I’m a big fan of Jamie Oliver and often share his recipes there.
In this book, he gives a fab tip of whole-roasting a butternut squash ahead of time so you can have it in the fridge ready for easy meals.
So as I was roasting a chicken the other night, I popped in a butternut squash for the next night’s meal.
This was a revelation for me ’cause though I loved butternut squash I never bought them as I hated peeling and cutting them. I’m no chef, so my knives aren’t as sharp as they should be.
You maybe be saying, “Oh yeah I do that already.” But I didn’t, and now I have another go-to recipe in my green book.
Get the recipe from Save with Jamie on p46. He also offers 3 other butternut squash recipes and if you count calories, they’re all worked out for you.
Do you mess around with recipes or follow them to the last pinch of salt?
I alter recipes most of the time, mainly ’cause the kids don’t like an ingredient. Or often I like to write out a shopping list and then leave it on the side at home, so I end up shopping from memory.
This time I forgot the fresh thyme so I used dried and skipped the blue cheese as I knew it would never have made it into the green book otherwise. My version comes in around 390kcals.
I have no culinary training, but I like testing out and writing about cookbook recipes, checking just how practical they are for a busy mum trying to feed her family tasty, nutritious food.
Here’re some of the cookbooks that made it into the little green book.
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Lucy G x