Thursday, October 16, 2014

Butternut Squash & Kale Pasta Sauce

I am still in the fall cooking mood over here at 360FamilyNutrition!  Why not move on from pumpkin to butternut squash?!

Last night for dinner I created this Butternut Squash and Kale Pasta Sauce recipe and paired it with Baked Pizza Taquitos from The Baker Mama.  Certainly a strange combination of food, but both were food dishes I was craving. We had never tried the Pizza Taquitos - and they certainly didn't disappoint!  It was an easy recipe your family will be sure to love!  Perfect finger food for the kiddos or to pack in lunch boxes. I can't wait to have leftovers for lunch.

Last fall I made a dish using the butternut squash as a pasta sauce and wasn't thrilled with the outcome.  While I love sweet foods, I am not a fan of overly sweet for my main meal.  Butternut squash can certainly be overly sweet if the correct spices and other ingredients are not added.  To tame the sweetness of the sauce I decided to add a small amount of plain Greek yogurt (and to add some creaminess), low sodium vegetable broth, and kale.  They all did the trick!  The outcome was a delicious and only slightly sweetened light pasta sauce.

Did I mention the nutrition benefits of using butternut squash and kale as a pasta sauce?  Butternut squash, part of the winter squash family, is loaded with vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber.  It is nearly fat- and sodium-free.  Kale is known as a nutrition powerhouse, offering significant amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, omega 3 fatty acids, calcium and much more.  Butternut squash sauce is a lower calorie and more nutrition packed pasta sauce option compared to tradition tomato and cream based sauces.

After dinner Mr. S and I headed to Target to try and find something for me to wear to a presentation I am giving at a national nutrition conference, FNCE, this weekend.  Trying to find something relatively "professional" looking at 38 weeks pregnant is not an easy task.  I had purchased a dress months ago (at the time it was way too big), but when I tried it on the other day I was mortified by they way it fit my growing baby belly.  Wish me luck on my presentation!  Hoping baby Smith decides to hold off a few more days (but not too many days).

Your family's dietitian,
Kristen Smith

Butternut Squash & and Kale Pasta Sauce
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
Ingredients (~6 servings)
  • 1 lb butternut squash, peeled and diced (I used the pre-packaged from Trader Joes)
  • 1 tbsp light butter (ie. Smart Balance Light)
  • 10 oz uncooked pasta
  • 1/4 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 - 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2-4 tablespoons onion, chopped
  • 4 cups kale leaves, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • optional: parmesan cheese, sausage or chicken
1. Fill a small saucepan with 4-6 cups of water and bring to boil. Add squash and a pinch of salt. Reduce to simmer and cook until squash is tender (usually about 10 minutes). Once squash is tender drain water.
2. While butternut squash is cooking melt buttery spread in a separate skillet and saute onions for about 3-5 minutes or until slightly browned. Once squash is ready add to skillet. Add Greek yogurt. Using a hand immersion blender (or manual masher) puree squash to a baby food consistency. Add sage, salt, pepper. Whisk in vegetable broth to desired thickness.
3. In a third saucepan (or pan from squash) fill with 6 cups water (may add a bit of vegetable broth) and bring to boil. Add pasta and kale and cook per pasta instructions. Once cooked drain and add to butternut squash sauce.
4. If desired add a protein source such as cooked sausage or shredded chicken.
5. Top with parmesan cheese.
Serving size: 1/6 recipe • Servings: ~6 • Calories: 247.2 kcal • Protein: 9.2 g • Carbs: 51.5 g • Fat: 2.1 g • Fiber: 6.6 g • Sugar: 2.6 g • Sodium: 65.3 mg
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