Fall is here! Woooooo! It’s time for fall vegetables, apples (and apple sauce!), pears (and pear sauce!), and all those wonderful harvest foods. Oh my goodness, I cannot wait to make pumpkin muffins and apple crisp. I. cannot. wait.
This week, I started off the fall vegetable medley extravaganza with sweet potatoes and yellow squash. Sweet potatoes are infinitely better than any other potatoes. Yep. I said it. Infinitely better. Sweet potatoes have more flavor, contain many more nutrients and vitamins, and… just read this site on the Reader’s Digest. I promise sweet potatoes are way better all around.
Yellow squash is also a fall favorite of mine. Alright, I admit, I eat yellow squash year-round and as often as I think of it. And, oh my goodness you guys, squash is extremely healthy. Queue exciting music. Read this page from The World’s Healthiest Foods. Who knew that there was so much awesome goodness in yellow squash?
Now, neither of these vegetables will agree with your stomach raw. Read on to find out how sweet potatoes and squash can flirt with your taste buds, tame your stomach, and energize your entire body.
Fall Flavors for Friends
- 1 sweet potato
- 2 yellow squash
- olive oil
- honey mustard
- seasoning (I put a garlic rub on the chicken)
The first thing to cook is always the portion that takes the longest. In this case, I prepared the chicken first. Now, don’t cringe, but I bought individually frozen chicken breasts. They say you can prepare them frozen and stick them in the oven without thawing first. I did that. I covered them in oil and the garlic rub and stuck them in the oven, following the directions on the bag. Three solidly frozen chicken breasts cooked for 50 minutes on 375 degrees Fahrenheit. I’ll probably make it a point to thaw my chicken next time, as these came out a little tough.
While the oven is preheating or your chicken is already baking, chop up your sweet potatoes into long sticks resembling french fries. Put a high-sided pan on the stove with a liberal amount of olive oil. These babies are going to fry in oil. Cook on medium heat and uncovered. They should not be steamed.
I fried my sweet potato fries until they crisped right up and nearly burned. It takes a little while, nearly a half hour. At first, your sweet potato sticks are going to be hard, because they’re uncooked. They soften up as they cook, so once they’re soft, be careful! If you stir them too much, they’ll all break and become a large lump of fried starch. You don’t want that, so try not to move them too much. You’ll have to flip them occasionally, but try not to do that too often. The third stage is when they actually harden up again. If they’ve cooked evenly, they should end up crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Mmmmm. Everyone likes homemade sweet potato fries. If you don’t, I’m not sure we can be friends anymore… and I’m only sorta joking.
Cooking the yellow squash is a completely different process. The squash needs to be steamed a little before the attempted browning. Since it’s a light, water-filled vegetable, I cut it up in rings and plopped it right in a medium sized pot with about an inch of water and turned the burner on medium heat. This technique is perfect for steaming squash. The rings are big enough that they don’t boil on the bottom and they don’t burn, either.
Once your squash starts getting limp, drain the water from your pot and replace it with a little bit of olive oil. Sizzle those bad boys up until they’ve browned a little. I added some honey mustard at this point, but feel free to leave that out or replace it with your favorite sauce. The honey mustard helps the squash brown a little more and it adds an accent to the squash flavor. Yum!
Oh hey, you’re finished. That was easy, wasn’t it? A little chicken in the oven, a little vegetable on the stove and your dinner is ready. Cool beans.