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Butternut Squash Challenge

Here's one for all you wonderful chefs out there/. I have searched through 100's of recipes but have yet to find a way to disguise Butternut Squash to get DH to try it. I call him "Mikey" cuz he hates everything! Remember the commercial?
Thanks for your help!

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  1. I am confused. If it's disguised what is the sense of him trying it? Do you plan on going "surprise! You just ate something you said you hated!" and hope he will eat it on its own going forward?

    3 Replies
    1. re: foodieX2

      No, but then I could get him eating healthier and helping me get rid of some of the stuff I can't eat all by myself. Next summer and fall I want to buy more vegetables and store for the winter.
      But if he won't eat them on his own, or if I can't disguise some of it, there's not much sense in buying it stuff because I can't possibly eat everything myself. Besides that, it is fun when I get to pull one over on him!! LOL

      1. re: kydds4kids

        Buy in smaller quantities, for your own eating enjoyment and lower household stress.

        1. re: MidwesternerTT

          Cut it in carrot shapes, rounded oblongs that taper. Add it to a beef stew the way you would carrots.

    2. My brother made a butternut squash gratin at Thanksgiving with so much goat cheese that I don't think anyone had any idea there were any vegetables in it at all. He sliced it on a mandoline, paper thin, and layered it with leeks, a little cream and a ton of goat cheese, then topped with a combo of panko and chopped nuts. I would have preferred a lot less cheese (and I am a goat cheese lover - this was just unbalanced), but the idea remains good - topping things with cream and cheese makes them delicious!

      2 Replies
      1. re: biondanonima

        Never tried goat cheese before but the recipes I've looked at (thanks to you!) sound delicious

        1. re: kydds4kids

          If he'll eat other vegetables as part of a gratin, try throwing some thinly sliced squash in there with them and he'll probably never know it's not sweet potato.

      2. I also don't quite understand hiding it- but here are a few ideas:
        Use butternut squash instead of pumpkin in pumpkin bread

        Or use in a creamy pasta sauce like this one- either on pasta or even further hidden in a lasagna:
        http://www.marthastewart.com/341439/b...

        This soup is delicious, the flavor is more carrot than squash:
        http://www.dailybitesblog.com/2012/11...

        It can also be swapped for pumpkin in any recipe.

        12 Replies
        1. re: Ttrockwood

          Thank you so much. I haven't eaten butternut squash for over 18 years...because of DH not willing to try it. If I use it in pumpkin in recipes do you think he will notice a difference in flavor?

          1. re: kydds4kids

            There's been speculation on here before that canned pumpkin is actually sometimes canned butternut, because it's a more consistent crop. I have no idea if that's true. But yes, absolutely you can use them interchangeably in many recipes.

            1. re: julesrules

              Thanks. This has been very helpful!

              1. re: julesrules

                Is there canned butternut? If so, that might be a way to start.

                1. re: c oliver

                  Canned pumpkin is often butternut.

                  1. re: magiesmom

                    That's what made me think of it. I wonder if he likes pumpkin.

                    1. re: c oliver

                      yes, pumpkin pie, period. He likes mashed sweet pot a little bit, but won't even try sweet pot pie! Believe it or not he has a younger brother who is even WORSE.

                      I was a very picky eater growing up.....but then I grew up! And began trying stuff I never tried before. I even found out the now I like chicken breast--which I never, ever ate in all my life!

                      1. re: magiesmom

                        I wonder if I told him that "Canned pumpkin is often butternut." if he'd quit eating Pumpkin Pie! Interesting!

                  2. re: kydds4kids

                    There is noooo way he would ever be able to tell! I've actually made pumpkin bread with nearly 2xs the pumpkin and half the oil with great results. Just bake or steam the butternut really well and puree

                    1. re: Ttrockwood

                      Oh, I forgot about pumpkin rolls. I bet that would work, too!

                    2. re: kydds4kids

                      Cook it for yourself, make something else for DH.

                  3. for those of you confused by my wanting it disguised, DH won't even try it if he knows it is squash. If I can disguise it as something else he might eat it without knowing it.....and like it.

                    I made something time ago that had spaghetti squash in it and he liked it. Being newly married and dumb I told him about the squash and he wouldn't eat any more of it!

                    So "No" I won't tell him what it is if I can get him to try it.

                    22 Replies
                    1. re: kydds4kids

                      I am still confused. You just want to trick him into eating for.....what? Is his diet so lacking in nutrients that he needs to be tricked into eating squash? Or is all veggies that he won't eat?

                      There are some cook books out there about sneaking in veggies. They are aimed at toddlers but you might get some good recipes/ideas. I think it was Sienfeld's wife wrote one recently.

                      1. re: foodieX2

                        Your reply is greatly appreciated. Thank you for being KIND and understanding. Due to his bad heart, I am trying to get him to make healthier choices. If he were willing to at least TRY it I wouldn't have to try to disguise it.I have to do that with lots of veggies and healthier foods. But, thanks for trying to be helpful instead of some who want to be judgmental.

                        1. re: foodieX2

                          "There are some cook books out there about sneaking in veggies. They are aimed at toddlers ...."--sometimes I think men ARE children--only bigger! LOL

                            1. re: kydds4kids

                              There is one aimed at Husbands! I bought it but then decided that my husband doesn't operate we'll on the "sneaky" approach because it isn't a mental block with him.

                              You can make lots of Italian food. I made lasagne with a squash sauce. If it were squash and tomato he probably wouldn't notice. Risotto is very forgiving of puréed food. Stuffed shells I have used spinach with the ricotta and squash as the sauce.

                                  1. re: melpy

                                    THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH! I just ordered 3 Sneaky Chef Cookbooks from Ebay. You just gave me my CHRISTmas present!

                            2. re: foodieX2

                              I don't know why this is an issue. Getting someone over a closed mind is fine with me.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                It's not an issue. I just didn't understand why eating butternut squash or any squash is so vital that you have to sneak it. I have a closed mind on shellfish. I don't want my husband sneaking me mussels!

                                If the guy eats no veggies and, as we have since learned, has a heart disease, that's different. I can understand wanting to take exteme measures when you are living with an adult who won't take care of themselves, even when their health is in jeopardy . I am assuming the guy is also a father based on the OPs name. I can see why she's desperate to get him to eat right.

                                1. re: foodieX2

                                  foodieX2-no, we have no children. The name is because we used to do a lot of work with kids. I'm desperate to get him to eat right because I love him more than Peanut Butter and I almost lost him a couple of years ago. I know that the Lord has blessed me beyond measure and I tend to take care of the gifts that I cherish the best I can. Plus, I'll say it again. It's fun to pull one over on him!! What can I say?

                                2. re: c oliver

                                  I don't understand why I have to explain why I want ideas. It doesn't really matter why. If you have ideas, great. If not, thanks anyway.

                                  I thank you, c oliver and the others who have given constructive, helpful answers and support.

                                  1. re: kydds4kids

                                    I used to be in the same boat, kydds4kids: Mr P didn't grow up eating vegetables, and he refused most dishes that had recognizable vegetables in them. So, I also started by disguising new stuff, then telling him later what he had "loved" without knowing the ingredients. So, no judgment here!

                                    BTW, butternut squash, pureed, can sometimes be found in the frozen vegetables at the grocery store--saved me a lot of time, initially, before he'd eat cubed squash. And, butternut, layered in enchiladas, is delicious.

                                    1. re: pine time

                                      I gotta look for the frozen. It would be so much easier.

                                      1. re: c oliver

                                        The frozen puree is only at 1 chain store around here, so I stock up when I see it. There are only 2 of us, and the small packages of frozen puree are fine.

                                      2. re: pine time

                                        Pine time,
                                        Last night I felt like I was being attacked for a while there. I probably won't be asking too many more questions since I now know I need to explain why I'm asking. But it was kind of you and some of the others to let me know that I'm not alone here.

                                        Tonight, I'm making Ham and cabbage. I added carrots and some cubed Butternut Squash hoping he'll think it's sweet potatoes. Wish me luck.

                                        Even If he eats it without complaining I won't tell him what it is cuz then he wouldn't eat it anymore! What a turkey!

                                3. re: kydds4kids

                                  I have diced it up and incorporated it into chili. My husband didn't notice it once it cooked together, although I wasn't specifically trying to hide it.

                                  1. re: BeeZee

                                    This is the kind of suggestions I'm looking for. Thank you very much

                                    1. re: kydds4kids

                                      My husband doesn't care for squash either, but is willing to consume it pureed in soup, as long there are more powerful spices and seasonings. I have also been successful with a pureed butternut squash that is pureed with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, roasted ground cumin and cayenne (plus s + p). It went over well.

                                      I can make very spicy red Thai curry with coconut milk that contains assorted vegetables (among them cubed butternut squash). I think the key for him is that the preparations can't be sweet in any way. If I take it really savory and even spicy, he's warm to it, though he'll never love gourds in any form. He isn't even really a fan of zucchini.

                                      1. re: 1sweetpea

                                        You are very fortunate. At least he is willing to try stuff. My sweetheart is pretty bullheaded so it's just better that he doesn't know. You know the saying, What you don't know won't hurt you!"

                                        1. re: kydds4kids

                                          When we first married, Mr P swore he'd never eat a cooked carrot. He liked my homemade bean soup, so I began tossing in raw carrots, and when cooked, would fish them out & puree 'em with some of the soup. He never asked why the soup was orangeish, but over the years, he's decided cooked carrots aren't so bad, after all.

                                          Baby steps!

                                4. Tend your own trough. Your husband is an adult, and can decide on his own what he will or will not put in his mouth. Make butternut squash for yourself, make plain rice or potato for him.