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October 2, 2013

With autumn comes winter squash and apples

Each autumn brings us football games, colorful leaves, Halloween and my favorite — all the seasonal items in the produce department. The burst of colors from the large assortment of winter squash and apples is sure to remind us that autumn is here.

Winter squash is available in many varieties including acorn, butternut, Hubbard, buttercup and spaghetti squash. Choose squash that are heavy for their size, have blemish-free skin and a hard rind. The recipe below includes spaghetti squash for a simple dinner dish.

Apples have a delicious flavor this time of year. Apples are an economical healthy snack with a number of health benefits. Fresh, crisp apples provide fiber and vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps with healing and the absorption of iron. Try pairing an apple with your favorite nut butter for a filling, flavorful snack.

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Serves: 6

Source: Hy-Vee Test Kitchen

All you need:

1 spaghetti squash, halved, seeded

1 large yellow onion, diced

1 medium green bell pepper, seeded, chopped

1 medium red bell pepper, seeded, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp Hy-Vee Select olive oil

2 (14.5 oz each) cans Hy-Vee Italian-style diced tomatoes

2 tsp Hy-Vee Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

1 c. Hy-Vee shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 c. Hy-Vee shredded Parmesan cheese

Hy-Vee salt and Hy-Vee pepper, to taste

All you do:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Place spaghetti squash cut-sides down on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a sharp knife can be inserted with only a little resistance. Remove squash from oven and cool enough to be easily handled.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, sauté onion, bell peppers and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

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