Winter Squash, White Bean, and Spinach Sauté

a bowl of winter squash, white bean and spinach saute

Winter Squash, White Bean, and Spinach Sauté is a simple fall dish with loads of versatility. You can serve it as an entrée or as a side dish. Keep it vegetarian or add browned sausage to the mix. This is a warm and hearty dish that is colorful, full of flavor, and best of all, it’s easy to make.

Winter squash, white beans, and spincah saute in a skillet

I was home visiting my family recently, and of course many conversations (and activities) were focused on food – just the way I like it! My cousin told me about a dish my Uncle Tom makes – one made with winter squash and white beans.

a pretty green winter squash

When I was able to visit with my uncle, I asked him about this dish. He quickly darted to his garage and brought me one of the large winter squash he had grown and was now storing from the cold temperatures outside.

These squash weren’t like any I’d seen before: green, large, and bell-shaped. He told me about his recipe, and when I told him I’d love to try it, he went straight back to his garage and returned with a small one for me to take home (you know – the perfect size to tuck into an already-stuffed suitcase!).

A bowl of winter squash, white bean, and spinach saute

I changed my uncle’s recipe a bit, and made it two different ways. I kept the first version vegetarian, and to the second, I added browned, spicy Italian sausage. Both were super tasty, and highlighted the versatility of this simple recipe.

The funny thing about my uncle’s squash: we don’t know the name of it. He got the seeds for this particular squash from a relative. We do know it’s a winter squash, and we know it makes a great meal!

Winter Squash, White Bean, and Spinach Sauté
Serves 4

Quinoa Succotash with Spiced Tahini Dressing (vegan and gluten-free)

Quinoa succotash with spiced tahini dressingChatting with my sister the other day about what we’d been eating lately, she told me about a quinoa succotash dish that she had from a local food truck.

Sounds like something that would be fun to put together (and also, I couldn’t stop thinking of Sylvester the Cat saying, “suffering succotash”). I threw together quinoa succotash with spiced tahini dressing without much fuss, and was delighted with the results. If you’re looking for a vegan or gluten-free side dish or salad, give this a try.

Succotash with quinoa and a spiced tahini dressing

I had some quinoa waiting to be put to use, thanks to Bob’s Red Mill. I’m a fan of its products (great quality and big variety) and have used so many of them, so I was thrilled to have received a sample of its Organic Tri-color Quinoa.

If you didn’t know, quinoa is native to South America, and though it’s referred to as an ancient grain, it’s actually a seed. Another nice thing about quinoa is that it’s gluten free and makes a great stand in for grains in so many different recipes.

It’s also high in protein and is a complex carbohydrate (it takes longer to digest than simple carbs, and therefore, helps keep you feeling full longer), so it’s good for you, too.

I loved this tri-color quinoa made up of red, white, and black quinoa. To me, it’s sturdier than the white quinoa, and it’s already rinsed (one less thing to fuss with). Paired with a bunch of veggies and an addictive tahini dressing and you’ve got a flavorful, colorful salad or side dish to serve.

Succotash with quinoa and a spiced, creamy tahini dressing

I liked serving the quinoa succotash with spiced tahini dressing at room temperature (the dressing helped to keep the dish moist), but you could serve it chilled, too. Keep a bit of the extra dressing on hand to drizzle over the top if you prefer to serve it cold.

Disclaimer: The opinions in this post are my own, and I was not paid or obligated to write this review of Bob’s Red Mill Tri-color Quinoa. I was, however, provided with a sample of the product from Bob’s Red Mill.

Recipe for Quinoa Succotash with Spiced Tahini Dressing
Serves 4-6

Zucchini Boats Stuffed with Black Lentils & Mushrooms

This recipe for Zucchini Boats Stuffed with Black Lentils & Mushrooms is perfect to put together a flavorful side dish or light meal. I almost missed the boat on these (ha ha!), but it’s still officially summer, and there is still a whole bunch of zucchini out there waiting to be used.

Stuffed Zucchini

I’ve eaten a lot of zucchini this summer. Mostly grilled, but not always. I love it and add it to pretty much anything and everything I cook, while there is so much of it available. I’m not sure why I haven’t tried this recipe earlier in the season, but better late than never! Zucchini Boats Stuffed with Black Lentils & Mushrooms is a new favorite that I’ll try to make again before the sun sets on summer.

Zucchini boats

Zucchini Boats Stuffed with Black Lentils & Mushrooms is a versatile recipe, and you could add so many different things to the mix. I used black lentils because I like how sturdy they are, and I meant to include toasted pine nuts, but forgot them. Glad summer is around for a little while longer so I can make these again…and again!

Recipe for Zucchini Boats Stuffed with Black Lentils & Mushrooms
Serves 4

Italian Potato Salad with Swiss Chard

Enjoy a healthier, more colorful potato salad by swapping the mayonnaise for vinegar and oil, and adding tasty, vibrant vegetables like Swiss chard. Perfect for the summer season!

Just in time

You might think this post is a few days late – just missing the Memorial Day weekend gatherings, but it’s only the beginning of the summer season. You’ll have all sorts of opportunities to make Italian potato salad with Swiss chard in the months ahead!

Always Italian

Growing up, no matter what holiday my Italian family was celebrating, there was always an Italian dish (or two – maybe even three or four) served. For example, we still always have a Thanksgiving lasagna! No holiday or gathering is complete without some type of pasta, soup or delightful Italian dessert.

Change it up a little

Potato salad is pretty much expected at any summer gathering, but my mom always made this version with an Italian spin. The oil and vinegar dressing makes a nice change from many of the standard potato salads, usually slathered in mayonnaise.

Add different vegetables or herbs to suit your tastes. I think green beans would be a nice addition, or maybe add lemon zest and use green onions instead of regular onions. You could also use spinach in place of Swiss chard – the list of options is long.

No matter what you’re celebrating this summer, whether a Sunday cookout or a holiday weekend party with a crowd, this is a great salad to serve.

Gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian

Recipe for Italian Potato Salad with Swiss Chard:

Serves 6