The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

October 2, 2013

With autumn comes winter squash and apples

Beth Freehill
The Clinton Herald

---- — 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.

3. Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees. Separate squash into strands using a fork. Discard skin. Stir together squash and tomato mixture.

4. In a small bowl, stir together cheeses. Pour half of the squash mixture into the bottom of a greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top with 1/2 the cheese mixture. Repeat layers.

5. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and slightly browned. Let cool 10-15 minutes before serving.

Baked Stuffed Apple

Serves: 1

Source: Hy-Vee Corporate Dietitians

All you need:

1 Cortland apple, washed and cored

1 tsp softened Hy-Vee butter

1 tbsp Hy-Vee brown sugar

pinch cinnamon

1 tbsp Hy-Vee quick-cooking oats

All you do:

1. Wash and core apple. Set apple in a small microwave-safe bowl.

2. In a separate small bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and oats. Spoon mixture down into center of the cored apple.

3. Microwave on HIGH for about 2 to 4 minutes or until tender. Let sit a couple of minutes before eating.

Visit for more apple and winter squash recipes.

Beth Freehill is a registered dietitian with Clinton’s Hy-Vee Store. For more information, call her at 243-6162. This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.