banana squash stew

This recipe is one of the few that bears the date on which it was first prepared. It was November 29, 2001, exactly one week after Thanksgiving that year. As I recall, we had a large contingent of the family here that Thanksgiving, and, despite sending everyone home with “care packages,” we still retained a sizeable amount of leftovers.

My annotation on the note read, “What to do with leftover ham, turkey, and that banana squash you made into a turkey centerpiece.”

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup butternut squash, peeled, ½” cubes
  • 1 7” carrot, in ½” dice
  • ½ cup leftover ham, in ½” dice
  • ½ cup leftover turkey, in ½” dice
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup nonfat cream
  • 1 tsp chicken bouillon powder
  • ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 oz mild Mexican Velveeta® cheese
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp potato starch

Sweat the onions in the olive oil. Add squash, carrot, ham, turkey, water, bouillon powder, pepper. Simmer until squash is al dente. Add cream and cheese and continue heating until the cheese melts and is incorporated well into the mixture. Add the potato starch to the wine in a small bowl, whisk until smooth, and add to the stew pot. Heat until the pot thickens, and the raw potato taste is gone.

Serves 2-3 people.

beans & greens

This is a one-pot meal for a cold wintery day when family and friends have gathered, there a lot of mouths to feed, and you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. After all, family times are for visiting and playing with the grandkids. A pot of beans may not sound like the ideal fare for a crowd, but this one has everything in it needed for a well balanced, healthy meal: both meat and vegetable protein and vitamins and antioxidants from greens. It’s low in cholesterol and fat. You don’t even need a salad—it’s already included. Besides, it tastes awfully good!

The following recipe was put together on New Year’s Day, 1998 while watching all the bowl games interspersed with short visits to reruns of the Pasadena Rose Parade. I thought I would have a lot left over for lunches the next week back on the job. I didn’t.

  • 2 cups libbity* beans, washed
  • 6 cups water to soak
  • 6 cups water to cook in
  • 2 tsps heaping low-sodium chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 tsp <salt>, about
  • 1 cup salt pork, cubed (omit in the low-fat version)
  • 1 cup shredded, precooked pork neck meat
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 3 leaves bay laurel
  • 1 cup stems of collard greens, diced
  • 6* cloves garlic
  • ¼ tsp whole thyme, dried
  • ¼ tsp whole savory, dried
  • 1 bunch collard greens, stems removed, chiffonade

Prepare the beans as described in the Guidelines chapter. Assemble all ingredients not marked with asterisk (*) in a pan, kettle, Crock Pot, and cook until beans are soft but not mushy. Add those marked (*) 30 minutes before serving.

Serves 8.