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Oh my gourd! Healthy seasonal squash recipes

We have to admit the title above is slightly misleading. This article’s real title should be “55 Fall Cucurbita Recipes,” but that terminology just didn’t have the same ring to it. After extensive scientific research (and plenty of 9th grade-style diagrams), we learned that pumpkins, gourds, and squash are all members of the cucurbita genus. That’s fancy Latin-talk for “gourd.” The category encompasses the fleshy, large fruits with hard skins displayed in the supermarket produce section during the fall months. From pumpkins to butternut squash, these healthy, fiber-filled fruits are as versatile as they are hardy (theystay fresh on the counter for weeks and in the fridge for months). Get your chef’s knife and seed-scooping hands ready for these gourd-featuring dishes. 

Some of the 55 healthy seasonal squash recipes are below. Go to Greatist.com for all 55.

Acorn Squash

Small, round, and shaped like — wait for it — an acorn, the acorn squash is easily found in supermarkets. These little guys have sweet, slightly fibrous flesh and hard, blackish-green outer skins.

1. Spicy Honey-Roasted Squash Seeds

Don't throw out the seeds! Clean the seeds before roasting to crunchy deliciousness by tossing them into a big bowl of warm water. Use your hands to rub them around until the pulp separates to the bottom of the bowl and the clean seeds rise to the top. Season seeds with warm honey, paprika, cayenne, and a pinch of salt before popping them onto a baking sheet and into the oven.

2. Spiced Acorn Squash Cookies
Making cookies is the perfect fall indoor activity, so we had to include these fiber-filled, whole-wheat squash cookies. Peanut butter and applesauce balance out the spicycombo of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. There’s a hefty amount of brown sugar in the recipe, but feel free to cut it down by half.

3. Acorn Squash and Thyme Risotto
For comfort food with an equally comforting nutrition profile, this risotto covers all the bases. White wine, chicken broth, thyme, Parmesan cheese, and yellow onion give the rice and acorn squash some flavor. You can sub in brown rice, but parboil it first to achieve a softer, creamier consistency.

4. Acorn Squash, Pomegranate, and Farro Salad
This resourceful salad uses both the seeds and the flesh from an acorn squash. The base of the bowl is farro, an ancient strain of wheat, which has more fiber and fewer caloriesthan brown rice or quinoa. Jazz up the grain with cubed acorn squash, toasted seeds, and pomegranate seeds.

5. Adobo Acorn Squash, Crispy Quinoa, and Jalapeno Chimichurri
The herby sauce — made with cilantro, parsley, garlic, jalapenos, lime, and honey — will make a convert of all squash haters. Coat squash in yogurt and spices before placing the whole meal in the oven to seal in the flavor. To up the heat in the chimichurri, leave some seeds in the jalapeno before tossing ingredients in the food processor or blender.

6. Rutabaga and Acorn Squash Salad
Though fall months may conjure cravings for soups, stews, and casseroles, this salad is a perfect seasonal lunch option. It features roasted squash, roasted rutabaga, carrot, hazelnuts, and raisins. The creamy homemade dressing helps sneak in some protein withGreek yogurt and whey powder. For easy lunches all week long, roast the squash and rutabaga on the weekend.

7. Coconut-Crusted Acorn Squash
This sneaky appetizer looks like an onion ring, but it’s exponentially healthier. Instead of onions, they’re made of acorn squash pieces coated in shredded coconut. Rather than frying, these rings are baked in the oven with a touch of olive oil. We love the idea of dipping ‘em in a mix of BBQ sauce and sriracha.

Butternut Squash

9. Hearty Chicken Stew With Butternut Squash and Quinoa
This filling yet healthy soup incorporates shredded chicken, cubed butternut squash, and nutty quinoa. Diced tomatoes and kalamata olives add sweetness and tang.

11. Butternut Squash and Kale Quesadillas With Cumin-Lime Yogurt Sauce
These are certainly not your average quesadillas, but since they still feature cheese and a tortilla, they technically pass the test. The new-fangled ‘dillas include cubed butternut,kale, onion, mozzarella, and an easy homemade honey and lime yogurt sauce.

13. Butternut Squash Bruschetta with Goat Cheese, Bacon, and Cranberries
The perfect quick but sophisticated appetizer for any party, this bruschetta ditches tomatoes and basil for seasonal ingredients including butternut squash, dried cranberries, apple cider, goat cheese, and crunchy chopped bacon. To make the bruschetta a little healthier, choose a whole-wheat baguette instead of white bread.

15. Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Talk about comfort food. While regular macaroni and cheese recipes depend on heaps of cheese, many sticks of butter, and gallons of cream (slightly exaggerating here), this version relies on pureed butternut squash. The cheese sauce is still creamy and thick, but it’s significantly healthier. 

16. Roasted Butternut Squash Slider with Balsamic Caramelized Onions
Squash is the star in this meat-free sandwich. Homemade sriracha mayo and balsamic-glazed caramelized onions compliment the veggies perfectly. Rather than stacking your squash on a big ole bun, try whole-wheat bread or even a wrap for less messy eating.

Delicata Squash

17. Chipotle Black Bean Stuffed Delicata Squash 

Since the skin of the delicata squash is completely edible, it’s super quick to prepare (and eat every last bit of). This Mexican-flavored dish is filled with brown rice, salsa, black beans, corn, chipotle chilis, shredded cheese, and hot sauce.

20. Roasted Cinnamon-Ginger Delicata Squash
We’re going sweet and salty with this easy baked squash. Coat squash slices in olive oil and go to town seasoning ‘em with cinnamon, ginger, and a touch of granulated sugar.

21. Herbed Apple and Delicata Squash Salad
This salad is elegant yet simple and big on flavor yet low on guilt. Top a bed of arugula and romaine with apple chunks, orange segments, grilled onions, and squash slices. To finish it off, drizzle the homemade herby vinaigrette on top.

22. Chicken Pot-Au-Feu
Pot-Au-Feu is French for “pot on the fire,” and it’s definitely a good way to warm up from the inside out. The main star of this dish is cabbage, but apples, multicolored carrots, onions, sweet potato, and delicata squash are also important ingredients. One of the main elements of the Pot-Au-Feu is a solid piece of crusty bread to soak up any remaining stew — it’s the perfect way to put that stale whole-wheat loaf to use.  

For recipes with Kabocha squash, spaghetti squash, pumpkin and more, go to Greatist.com.

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  • Lawmakers in Congress on Sunday failed to reach a deal on plan to fund the federal government, meaning the work week will being with furloughs for hundreds of thousands of federal workers across the nation, but there was a hint of progress as a Senate vote on a temporary funding measure was delayed until noon on Monday, with Republican leaders offering a plan which would guarantee a Senate debate on immigration matters in February, in hopes that Democrats would then help to fund the government in the meantime. “Let’s step back from the brink,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor late on Sunday evening, as he urged Democrats to allow the government to re-open, and continue negotiations on a host of issues, including immigration. “The shutdown should stop today,” McConnell added. McConnell outlined a plan to fund operations of the government through February 8, and said that if by that date no agreement had been reached on how to deal with DACA and illegal immigrant “Dreamers” in the United States, then he would agree to bring the issue up on the Senate floor for debate and votes. That immediately won the support of two Republicans who have been trying to broker a deal on the issue. “The Senate should act like the Senate,” said Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who endorsed the idea of regular order on the Senate floor on immigration. “This is more than a reasonable proposal by the Majority Leader,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who spent much of the last three days shuttling between McConnell, Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer, and a host of Senators in both parties, in search of common ground. I'm very pleased to hear Majority Leader McConnell commit to the Senate that if we do not make a breakthrough on immigration by February 8th, the Senate will take the issue up under regular order. This is a more than reasonable proposal by the Majority Leader. — Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 22, 2018 “It would be my intention to resolve these issues as soon as possible, so we can move on to other issues important to our country,” McConnell added. But Senate Democrats were not ready to accept, as Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer objected to McConnell’s attempt to hold a vote Sunday night on the plan for a temporary budget that would last until February 8, which is just 18 days away. Still – Senate observers saw that as a positive, as neither McConnell nor Schumer engaged in any scorched earth exchanges, unlike earlier in the day. To some, that may mean a deal is in the works. Supporting notion that shifting 1a vote to Noon Monday indicates deal is attainable: McConnell/Schumer floor remarks were short and generally absent political grandstanding and attacks. Theoretically, a positive sign. — David M. Drucker (@DavidMDrucker) January 22, 2018 Originally, the Senate was to have voted at 1 am on Monday morning, but that vote was delayed until noon, as Republicans hope Democrats will re-think their opposition, and allow a funding measure to go through the Congress.
  • A 42-year-old man is dead following an auto-pedestrian collision Saturday night in Sand Springs. The fatality crash happened around 7:49 p.m. on Highway 97.  “Driver of the car that struck him, a 2002 Kia, along with witnesses reported that the pedestrian darted out in front of him going east through the intersection,” police said.   “The driver of the Kia was southbound in the inside lane and he had no time to react.” Police add 42-year-old Kevin Myers was pronounced dead at the scene.  No word on why he was trying to cross the road.  
  • There is good and bad news for your outdoor activities today. National Weather Service Meteorologist Ray Sundag says temperatures will be well above normal, but we could also get wet. “It will become party cloudy,” Sundag said.  “We will see a chance of showers and even thunderstorms as we move into the late afternoon hours.” The high will be right around 70 degrees.  For reference, the normal high for this time of year is near 47 degrees.   Temperatures will drop quite a bit Sunday night.  NWS is reporting mostly clear skies and a low close to 39 degrees.  
  • With no signs of any deal to restore funding for the federal government, lawmakers on Capitol Hill will be back for a rare Sunday session, with no real signs of an agreement to end the first government shutdown since 2013, as both parties continued to point the finger of blame at each other. The main stumbling block continues to be immigration, and what to do about hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrant Dreamers in the United States, who were protected under the Obama Administration’s DACA program, which was ended by the Trump Administration in October. Republicans made clear – there is no deadline on DACA until March – as they said those negotiations should simply continue while the government is funded and operating. “I hope Senator Schumer comes to his senses and ends this shutdown madness sooner rather than later,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan, taking aim at the Senate Democratic Leader. But for Democrats, they worry that the GOP will never deal on immigration and DACA, as their leaders have decided now is the time to press for action. During Saturday’s House and Senate sessions – where no obvious progress was made – Democrats continued to argue that Republicans were the problem, since the GOP is in charge of the House, Senate and White House. “Americans know Republicans own the Trump Shutdown,” said Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY). “Anyone claiming otherwise should double check who has control in Congress.” Instead of signs of compromise, Saturday was mainly filled with tough rhetoric from both parties. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said President Trump’s grade for his first year in office was a “big fat failure F.” With no evidence of any deal, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell set a procedural vote for just after 1 am on Monday morning, trying to force action on a plan to extend government funding until February 8, as he again blamed Democrats for the impasse. If Democrats hold together as they did late on Friday night, then that motion would not get the needed 60 votes to end debate, meaning the shutdown would hit government offices on Monday morning. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says “Congress has a lot of work to do” but it is being 'delayed by the Democrat’s filibuster' https://t.co/IU5LKpcVoB — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 20, 2018 Various federal agencies were still making their plans for Monday; one federal worker that I saw on Saturday evening said his office had been told to come in for four hours on Monday, and then they would likely be sent home if there was no funding plan approved by the Congress.
  • Hours after funding lapsed for the federal government at midnight, lawmakers in both parties returned for an unusual Saturday session of the House and Senate, as both parties quickly launched themselves into finger pointing over who is to blame for the first government shutdown since 2013, with few signs that a deal was near on the major spending and immigration issues that brought about the standoff. “Get it together,” House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi bluntly said to Republicans in a morning speech on the House floor, as she led a chorus from her party in blaming the President for the budgetary impasse. “The Trump travesty continues, as it has for the last twelve months,” said Pelosi’s top lieutenant, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD). But Republicans were having none of that. “We’re about nine hours into the Schumer shutdown,” said Rep. Greg LaMalfa (R-CA) as the House convened, “which is basically Senate Democrats holding the United States, 320 million people, hostage.” Greetings from the Capitol this Saturday morning, where we have evidence of the shutdown: Capitol tours are suspended. pic.twitter.com/rfPAlLLlIQ — Cristina Marcos (@cimarcos) January 20, 2018 “There is no excuse for this,” said Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-PA). “Democrats shut down the govt to protect illegals this week,” said Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA). Behind the scenes, lawmakers in both parties were still hoping to cut a deal that would have the government fully open by Monday – but there was little evidence of a possible breakthrough on the broader budget and immigration issues which led to this stalemate. Negotiations have centered on reaching a two year agreement on spending levels for the budget – as President Trump wants a sizable increase in the military’s budget – and on DACA, where Democrats were still hoping to get an agreement that would protect some 700,000 illegal immigrant “Dreamers” from being deported. As the clock ticked toward midnight on Friday night, there were a flurry of talks on the Senate floor between Senators of both parties – not really about the specifics of the budget or DACA – but mainly about the length of any temporary funding plan for the government, and plans to vote on that hot button immigration topic. “Since there were discussions here in earnest, in a bipartisan way, we ought to give those discussions a chance to bear fruit,” said Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL). “We should stay and work,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). “Senator McConnell chose to shut the government down,” referring to the GOP leader in the Senate. But the underlying issues remain fraught with political problems, especially on immigration, where many Republicans see no direct link between funding the government and a deal on DACA and illegal immigrant “Dreamers.” “This Schumer Shutdown is absolutely ridiculous,” said Sen. David Perdue (R-GA). “It is totally irresponsible for the Democrats to use government funding as a bargaining chip.” At the White House, there was no sign that the President was going to cave on Democratic demands on immigration, as officials accused Democrats of doing all they could to slow political momentum from a big GOP tax cut plan that was signed into law in December. One year into the Trump presidency, Democrats can't shut down the booming Trump economy so they shut down the government instead. This is the behavior of obstructionist losers, not legislators. Do your job Democrats: fund our military and reopen our government #SchumerShutdown — Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 20, 2018 Democrats said they thought they were close to a deal with the President on Friday over DACA and other immigration issues, but that Mr. Trump backed off, again emphasizing the uncertainty that surrounds talks with the White House on major legislative issues. Even if the Senate were to approve a bill which combined provisions on DACA and the Dreamers, along with other items on border security, most Republicans say that would have little chance in the House, where GOP lawmakers favor a much tougher approach. One obvious difference between this shutdown and the one in 2013, is seen right here in Washington, D.C., where outdoor memorials and the Smithsonian museums were still open. Those were shut down by the Obama Administration last time, in what Republicans said was an effort to punish the GOP for a shutdown battle. FYI for anyone visiting DC this weekend: The @smithsonian museums WILL be open Saturday and Sunday. I was told they are not sure if they'll have to close Monday, though. They were waiting for guidance. — Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela) January 20, 2018