butternut squash pizza

Last winter I was eating so much butternut squash and pumpkin I swear I was a tad orange – it was brilliant.  I am so glad that the grocery stores have squash piling up in the bins now – no more scrounging at the bottom to pick a good one ;).  This particular squash, however, did not come from the grocery store.  We grew it in our very own garden!  It was actually picked a few weeks ago but today was finally the day to roast it and make something delicious.

Butternut squash on pizza might sound strange at first, but let’s be honest, butternut squash is delicious on almost anything.  The first time I had it on pizza was at Fire & Stone in Covent Garden in London before seeing The Lion King.  I had ‘The Melbourne‘ with mozzarella, tomato sauce, brie, sweet roasted butternut squash and balsamic red onions, topped with toasted pumpkin seeds.  Such unique pizza toppings but it could not have been more delicious.  Of course when we have a new box of Nature’s Hilights brown rice pizza crusts in the freezer and a butternut squash on the counter, I was reminded of that pizza I had over a year and a half ago – only with far less gourmet toppings, and both gluten free and vegan.

Butternut Squash Pizza

  • 1 butternut squash
  • nature’s hilights brown rice pizza crust
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • daiya mozzarella style shreds
  • basil
1. Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, and cube into pieces.
2. Roast in a 400′ oven for 40 minutes, or until squash is cooked through.
3. Prep the pizza crust according to directions.  Pre-bake if necessary.
4. Top the crust with oil, roasted butternut squash, daiya and basil.
5. Bake for 10 minutes until the daiya is melted.

Serve with the leftover roasted butternut squash ;).

these are a few of my favorite things

Guest Post by Kinley Weaver, Sister

And no, I promise I won’t break out into song and start singing songs from the Sound of Music (hear raindrops on roses and wiskers on kittens…), but I am pretty sure my mom has a nice Beta tape with me singing that in church when I was about 4, so seek her out if you really want to hear it :D.

But anyways, as you read this, Kels and I will be partaking in one of my favorite things, refueling after a long run!  But I am here today to offer a guest post on another of my favorite items in the world… hummus!

I have no recollection of when my love for hummus started, but I think it is safe to say we have been tight for the last 10+ years ;).  If any resturant we go to has hummus, it’s a pretty safe bet that I WILL be ordering that hummus as either an appetizer or just not even pretending and scarfing it down for my main meal.  But despite my love for homemade hummus/restaurant made hummus, I have never really found a packaged store-bought hummus that satisfies my criteria for good hummus!  Maybe it has something to do with the overprocessessyness of it and how long it sits on the shelves??  Who knows, but since I currently cannot live without hummus at least once per week, I have had to create a recipe of my own that I can whip up and chow down on, so here it is!

Don’t worry, I don’t eat THAT much hummus in a week, I used this to make enough (and then some) hummus for the Sissy’s grad party a few weeks back.

Ingredients

  • 1 16 oz can organic garbanzo beans (read the label and make sure they are not putting anything weird in the can as you are going to need the gravy), peeled or 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans (from dried), peeled
  • 1/4 cup reserved liquid from the garbanzo bean can or if using homemade, reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid
  • Juice of 1/2 of a lemon or 1-2T lemon juice
  • 1/4-3/4 tsp cumin (the more cumin, the more bite this will have. I like it somewhere in the heavy 1/2 tsp range)
  • 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder (can go for more or less, you can also use fresh garlic but I really HATE the smell and taste of raw garlic so I much prefer the powder)
  • 1-2 Tbsp Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Additional salt to taste

Plus, if you are feeling fancy, any mix in ideas you want to try i.e. olives, carmelized onions, sun dried tomatos, pesto, other spices/herbs, etc (I am currently a big fan of adding 1/2 Tbsp honey and 1/2 tsp curry powder – skip the cumin in this one)

Now on to the annoying part,

Step 1: Peeling the banzos!

This may seem super tedious and rather annoying and if you are not as commited to hummus as I am, an optional step that CAN be skipped, but I am not going to do that because the end result is sooooo much better when you do this!  Drain and rinse your beans and set yourself up with the empty can and a bowl.  Take each bean and remove the little outer skin that surrounds the meat by gently pinching/rolling the bean between your fingers.  You will probably even see a few loose “skins” in your bowl if you have rinsed your beans thoroughly.  Place your “skins” in the empty can and your “meat” in the bowl.  Once this very annoying but very crucial (to me) step is completed, you are on to…

Step 2: Make the hummus base!  Add the peeled beans, reserved liquid, lemon juice, cumin and garlic powder to your food processessor.  Blend for a good minute, scrapping the sides down 2-3 times. You will know you are ready for step 3 when you no longer see any chunks in your hummus.

Step 3: Emulsify!  I suppose if you were really not into having a little healthy fat in your diet, you could stop right here and eat away, but I really love the extra creamyness and flavor adding a little oil brings.  (Plus, I prefer to skip the tahini in my base recipe to reduce the extra fat as I find it does not add enough flavor/texture for me to shell out $6+ for a container of it! – so this recipe is already a bit healthier than most).  Be ready to turn your processor on and leave it on for this step.  I normally measure out my oil in a little dish and have it ready to pour.  Then, turn on the machine and slowly drizzle your oil down the feed chute of your food processor until you can tell the hummus has emulsified and has creamed and whipped up.  I normally let this go about another minute or so.  If will be visibly fluffy if you have done this correctly :D.

Step 4: Try really hard not to eat this all in one sitting, your family members will thank you!  Also, note to self, keep mints in your drawer at work so all your co-workers are not forced to smell your stanky garlic breath EVERY day at work!

As for dippers, my current favorites are tortilla chips, carrots, green peppers, spoons, broccoli and cucumbers. I also am quite found of hummus sandwiches, especially hummus, broccoli and tempeh sandwiches.  (Please don’t judge until you try!  But I am currently experimenting with a wheat free diet for awhile so this will have to be cleared off the menu plan for the time being 😦 ).  Hummus also makes a delicious salad dressing or topper for pretty much any meal!  So I hope now you don’t think me completely insane for ranting on and on about a bean dip, but once you try this, you probably will want to as well!

And did I forget to mention that my post-race refueling is hopefully including PUMPKIN HUMMUS??? Excited!!!