Today it’s all about squash as we roll out our next video from Chef Richard Bradford, creator of the recipes in The Whole30 and owner of Whole30 Approved Pre-Made Paleo. (Missed our other #AskChefRichard videos/Q&As/recipes? Check them out here!)

Today, Chef Richard will be demonstrating roasting techniques for butternut squash, as outlined on page 167 of The Whole30. And as a bonus, Chef Richard is also answering your squash FAQs and sharing a delicious Whole30-compliant acorn squash recipe. (See below for how to submit your Whole30-related food, cooking, or grocery shopping question to Chef Richard!)

Roasted Butternut Squash, from The Whole30

All About Squash, with Chef Richard

The Internet has so many methods and recipes for cooking spaghetti squash. It can be confusing! What is a fail-safe, low-maintenance way to prepare it?

One fail-safe approach is to split the spaghetti squash in half with a knife, remove the seeds with a spoon, drizzle some cooking fat over the flesh, and season with salt and pepper. Roast the spaghetti squash flesh-side down on a baking sheet in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes or until the flesh is soft and cooked through.

My spaghetti squash is always so watery. Help! 

Drain cooked spaghetti squash strands in a mesh strainer, much like you would do with traditional pasta noodles. You can also add cooked spaghetti squash strands to a hot frying pan for a few minutes, tossing them over the heat to steam out the water.

Is there a trick to selecting a flavorful and fresh squash?

The squash should be heavy for its size. Avoid bruises! The stem should be dry or woody.

How long will a squash stay fresh on my counter?

Squash have a long shelf life. They can last between 1-3 months on your counter top.  They will soften when they are beginning to spoil.

Butternut squash is so hard to peel and cut. I’m afraid I’m going to injure myself.  Any tips?

Try holding the squash by the narrow end and peel the bulb.  Once the bulb is peeled, cut it off, set it aside and work on carefully peeling the narrow end.

How long will cubed, roasted squash keep in my refrigerator? 

You can expect to get about 5-7 days of freshness out of prepped squash.  Just be sure to check it for quality every day or so, and try to use it up as quickly as possible.

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Recipe: Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ingredients

  • 2 acorn squashes
  • 3 tablespoons cooking fat, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 strips of Whole30-compliant bacon (optional)
  • 1/4 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 head cauliflower, pulsed in a food processor to a rice-like consistency
  • 1 pound ground meat (beef, lamb, bison)
  • 1/2 cup chopped arugula

Instructions

PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees. With a chef knife, slice squash vertically through core and remove seeds with a spoon.  Using a pastry brush, brush 1 tablespoon of cooking fat on inside of squash.  Season evenly with salt and pepper, and roast flesh side down in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a paring knife. It should slide into the squash with no resistance.  Remove from the oven.

COOK bacon on a separate baking sheet, for 20 minutes. (This ingredient is optional.)

MELT remaining cooking fat in a saute pan over medium heat.  Saute onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and cauliflower for 3 minutes.  Add ground meat to the pan. Using a spatula or spoon, break up the meat as it browns.  Cook for 8-10 minutes or until meat is thoroughly cooked.  Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.

REMOVE bacon from oven, chop and add to the saute pan, along with the arugula. Cook for 2 minutes until arugula is wilted, then remove from heat. Spoon mixture evenly into warm acorn squash.   Serve immediately.

Chef’s note: This is a perfect item to prep in advance, and refrigerate.  Feel free to experiment with your favorite ground meat.

#AskChefRichard

Have a food or cooking question for Chef Richard? Find him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and use the hashtag #AskChefRichard. Don’t want to roast tomatoes but still want Chef Richard’s tasty cooking? Visit Pre-Made Paleo to have his Whole30 compliant meals shipped straight to your door.


Chef_Richard_3_largeChef Richard Bradford began his culinary career in Atlanta restaurants before studying at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Upon graduation in 2004, he returned to Atlanta to launch RSB Catering. After seven successful years, he sold the catering business and formed RSB Foods to develop Pre-Made Paleo, a nationally-distributed line of gourmet prepared meals following the Whole30 program. He is now based in Dallas, TX.