Vegetarian Entrees

 

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Polenta with Fried Sage 

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Description:
Roasting caramelizes the sugars and brings out the sweetness of the tender chunks of butternut squash that punctuate this golden yellow polenta casserole. It is finished off with the herbal overtones of butter-browned sage. We like this squash because it's easier to peel and cut compared with some squash. Marked by a tan exterior, the interior is a bright, rich orange. The butternut's flesh is less "stringy" than many squash making it perfect for purees and efficient cubes.

¦Butternut squash contains many vital poly-phenolic anti-oxidants and vitamins. Similar to other cucurbitaceae members, it is very low in calories; provides just 45 cal per 100 g. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; but is rich source of dietary fiber and phyto-nutrients. Squash is one of the common vegetable that is often recommended by dieticians in the cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.

¦It has more vitamin A than that in pumpkin. At 10630 IU per 100 g, it is perhaps the single vegetable source in the cucurbitaceae family with highest levels of vitamin-A, providing about 354% of RDA. Vitamin A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for vision. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin A helps body protect against lung and oral cavity cancers.

¦Furthermore, butternut squash has plentiful of natural poly-phenolic flavonoid compounds like a and ß-carotenes, cryptoxanthin-ß, and lutein. These compounds convert to vitamin A inside the body and deliver same protective functions of vitamin A on the body.

¦It is rich in B-complex group of vitamins like folates, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid.

¦It has similar mineral profile as pumpkin, containing adequate levels of minerals like iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.



Ingredients:
1 pound piece butternut squash or sugar pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup polenta
1-1/2 cups cold water
2 cups homemade or canned low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
12 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1/3 cup (1-1/2 ounces) freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese


Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, toss the squash with 2 tablespoons of the oil and spread on the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Stir and turn the squash, and continue baking until tender when pierced with a knife, 15 to 20 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, soak the polenta in the cold water for 10 minutes. In a large saucepan, bring the broth to a boil over high heat. Stir in the polenta and any remaining water, the salt, pepper, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Return to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir the squash into the polenta and cook until heated through. Spoon into a hot bowl for serving.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and cook until it sizzles and browns lightly, then add the sage and sauté until crisp. Scatter over the polenta. Sprinkle with the cheese and serve at once.


Servings: 6


Notes: Butternut squash seeds are good source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids that are good for heart health. In addition, they are very good in protein, minerals, and numerous health benefiting vitamins. The seeds are excellent source of health promoting amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan converts to health benefiting GABA neuro-chemical in the brain.


Category: Vegetarian Entrees


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