I must admit to some ambivalence when it comes to butternut squash. Don't get me wrong. I love the taste. No matter how it's prepared - whether roasted, steamed, sauteed, or pureed - I have yet to meet up with a butternut squash dish that I don't enjoy. I love the color, the taste, and how good it is for me (more than four times daily value of Vitamin A in just one cup).

But preparing it is a Major Nuisance. The thick peel is so hard to work with, and you practically need a power saw to cut it in half.

I was thrilled to discover that my local Costco sells it ready prepped - all peeled and cubed and sitting happily in a container ready to be cooked and eaten. I normally avoid ready prepped foods. I just can't bring myself to pay double (or more) for a few minutes of work in the kitchen, especially because I enjoy prepping and cooking. But this is an exception. It's well worth an extra few dollars for the unpleasantness it saves me.

Today, armed with a package of prepped squash, beautifully peeled and cubed, I made this simple dish which was wonderful for lunch, paired with Greek yogurt. (I used Chobani yogurt today but I usually buy regular yogurt and drain it to create my own Greek style yogurt.)

Simple Butternut Squash 
This dish can be prepared in advance. Refrigerate it for up to three days and then heat it or bring it to room temperature before serving. Serve it with some yogurt or sour cream for a complete meal, or as a side dish next to chicken or fish. 

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, sliced in thin rings
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1/2 teaspoon salt
a dash of cinnamon
a dash of cardamom
a dash of black or Aleppo pepper
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces frozen cauliflower florets

Heat the oil in a medium pot. Saute the onion over medium heat for about 5 minutes till softening. Add the garlic and saute for another minute or two, stirring, till you can smell the garlic beginning to cook.

Add the butternut squash and stir.  Add the salt and spices and stir again. Pour in about 1/2 cup water just to cover the squash. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook covered for 15 minutes until the squash is almost done.

Add the cauliflower and cook for another 10 minutes or so, until the cauliflower is thoroughly heated through. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Butternut Squash