This Squash & Wheat Berry Salad captures all the different flavors of sweet, savory, tart, and nutty. Batch cook for the week for a satisfying meal or side dish.
One of my meal prep strategies is batch cooking at least one whole grain for the week. Then that whole grain is incorporated throughout the week in various ways.
I’ve been utilizing my Instant Pot to quickly batch cook grains for my weekly meal prep. Wheat berries can take up to an hour to cook and require you to keep a constant eye on them. Throw them into the Instant Pot and voila – done in half the time!
I’ve had a little extra time on my hands this week being completely snowed in the past two days. With an already prepped batch of wheat berries in my fridge, I utilized the ingredients in my kitchen to create this dish.
I feel like many of my recipes are like I am a contestant on Chopped. The items that are in my kitchen are my “mystery basket”. I must say it is a much easier mystery basket than what the contestants end up with. Chopped viewers voted, mashed potatoes candies were voted the weirdest basket ingredient on the show. What even are those?!
Squash season is not over yet! I love using delicata squash because of its more tender flesh and skin, making this variety easier to work with. No need to even peel the skin!
Cook wheat berries according to package directions (or try my Instant Pot Wheat Berries recipe for a simple method). Let cool once cooked.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Dice delicate squash. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until squash is tender and caramelized, stirring occasionally.
In a mason jar, combine remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, orange zest, orange juice, and maple syrup. Secure the mason jar lid and vigorously shake. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
In a large bowl, combine wheat berries, squash, kale, dried tart cherries, and sliced almond. Dress with salad dressing. Toss to combine.
Cozy up to a bowl of this creamy Butternut & Acorn Squash Soup. Ever wonder how food bloggers come up with their recipes? I pretty much think or talk about food all day. At work, I’m educating clients about nutrition through food or teaching cooking classes. Then, for the blog, my recipe creations are inspired by conversations I have, discussions in cooking classes or demonstrations, or simply from a particular ingredient. Travel definitely plays a big role in recipe development too. I love dining out when I travel, experiencing the local fare. I like to try an recreate recipes I’ve tried with my own little twist.
This recipe was a little different. The next day to work after FNCE, I was dragging. There was no food in my refrigerator and I went into work empty-handed for lunch. The beauty of working at Living Plate, there is a test kitchen right in the office. I opened the fridge and utilized what was in there and in the pantry. This recipe creation was purely driven by hunger and fatigue. We all loved the soup so much, I ended up making it again in a cooking class, during a community event cooking demonstration and even added it to the meal plans. Ever wonder what kind of squash to use for different recipes? I break it down here! Next time before you start dialing for takeout, really take a look what is in your kitchen. You never know – you might whip up something delicious!
1 apple, peeled and diced (preferably a sweet variety like Honeycrisp, gala, pink lady)
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. To easily cut the squashes, pierce butternut squash and acorn squash with a paring knife. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes to soften, so it will be easier to chop. Let cool until able to handle. Peel and dice squash into cubes.
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, and carrots. Saute for about 3 minutes, until onions start to become translucent.
Add the garam masala and nutmeg and coat the vegetables.
Stir in the chickpea miso, cashews, butternut squash, acorn squash, and apple. Stir to combine. Add the vegetable broth and water, covering the vegetables. (Use more water, if needed).
Simmer soup for 30 minutes, until squash is tender. Season with salt and pepper.
In batches, add soup to a blender. Blend until smooth. If soup is too thick, add more water.
Serve warm. (Optional: sprinkle pepitas on top to garnish)
Take advantage of peak squash season. Try this Italian Stuffed Delicata Squash recipe for a simple dinner solution.
Delicata squash is available in the fall and early winter months. I don’t think delicata squash gets the attention it deserves this time of year. It’s less intimidating than a giant butternut and spaghetti squash, plus it’s easier to work with.
Cutting through a raw delicata squash is a lot easier, as it has a softer skin and flesh. They are much smaller than other squash varieties and have a perfect center for stuffing. Delicata squash is also delicious simply sliced and roasted. This squash is also great when just cooking for 1 or 2. It’s a perfect size!
Not sure what kind of squash to use for recipes?
Learn the best cooking methods for the different varieties of squash:
Good for: Roasting. Peeling is difficult, so cut it in half or slice (the skin is edible). Butternut
Great for: Roasting and soups. Delicata
Great for: Roasting and stuffing. Hubbard
Great for: Pie filling, purees, and mashes. Kabocha
Great for: Soups. Pumpkin
Great for: Pies, quick breads, pancakes, risottos. Roast or steam, puree, then add to a recipe. Spaghetti
Great for: Roasting. Scrape out the strands and dress with butter or pasta sauce.
If you’re an Italian girl like me, you can make this stuffing in your sleep. You can’t go wrong with this flavor combination. What is unique about this stuffing, is it using the “blend trend“.
The blend is a cooking technique that uses finely chopped mushrooms so that they’re the consistency of ground meat, combining the two and using them together to complete classic recipes is a simple way to make meals delicious and nutritious.
The delicata squash has a sweet note, that adds a unique taste to this savory filling.