By Nancy Smorch
Being in Florida, I’m having a hard time finding fresh organic fruits and vegetables nearby. You would think that in a state with such great weather, I’d be able to find plenty of options, but, no.
I’m starting to wonder what’s behind this? I know Florida is known for exporting a lot of produce, but what about the local food supply? I think it’s time for a movement down here!
Fortunately, just last week, I was referred to Fernando’s Organic Produce in Summerfield, but that’s still at least a 30 minute drive for me. Orlando is just over an hour, so when we get desperate, we’ll make a trip to the “big city” and stop at Whole Foods, or choose from the many restaurant options in that area, but it would be nice to have something close by!
Needless to say, I’m having a bit of a challenge adjusting to the food scene here in Central Florida. But, I have to admit, I’m having no problem adjusting to the nicer weather! It looks like I’m going to have to grow my own food here - that should be fun. Looks like that will be my holiday project.
In the meantime, I was able to pick up some organic butternut squash at Whole Foods while we were there last week. So, when I was struggling to find ideas for dinner, I thought I would use the squash. Below is what I came up with. Pretty simple, but it's quick, and it worked perfectly on a night when my mind was elsewhere - preparing for the next few days of the holidays (and planning my new garden!). Luckily, even back up north butternut squash is still pretty easy to find, so everyone can enjoy this hearty fall dish!
Here’s what I did:
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
16 oz. gluten free pasta (I used penne pasta)
5 Tbsp. organic pasture butter
1/2 tsp. sage
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Mix the cubed butternut squash with about 3 Tbsp. olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
Add the sage and mix well.
Spoon into a glass baking dish and cook for 45 minutes, or until tender.
Cook pasta according to package, and drain well.
Combine the pasta and butter, and sauté until the pasta is just a slightly browned and crisp.
Add the cooked butternut squash to the pasta, mix together, and serve!
As simple as this sounds, it’s really great. It was a big hit. You know what would have made it even better? Bacon! Unfortunately we are out of bacon until I can go to the farm tomorrow, but if you have some, it would make a great addition!