Special Diet Information

Coumadin® (Warfarin)
This recipe is safe for Coumadin (warfarin) users.

This recipe is safe for those who are lactose intolerant.

This is NOT a low sodium recipe.

GERD / Acid Reflux
No specific GERD triggers.

Gluten Sensitivity
This recipe is safe for those who are sensitive to gluten.


"A vegetable garden in the beginning looks so promising and then after all little by little it grows nothing but vegetables, nothing, nothing but vegetables."
-Gertrude Stein, Writer,

The refrigerator light goes on...

I love the warmth that acorn squash brings. It is so comforting and comfortable and the harbinger of fall to me. Roasting brings out its sweetness and this is balanced by the spiciness of cumin. This is a quick and easy weeknight meal but the perfect dinner party dish as well.


There are so many different kinds of squash it's almost like having to take a high school biology test. I know them all because growing up I was one of those weird kids that actually liked squash.

The squash in this recipe is shaped like a big green acorn. As the squash ages the skin turns a mottled orange yellow color so choose those that are more green than yellow. It should be firm with no dark or gray spots and tapping it should result in a sound that is hollow not dull. This recipe is a variation of one that I had growing up my dad loved acorn squash cooked this way.

Yellow squash (what I called summer squash growing up) is one of my favorites. I love the soups made with it (see Spring Bisque) and the roasted parmesan squash but my favorite is simply sliced into rounds and steamed. Look for medium sized squash no more than about eight inches long. Larger ones are tougher and dry. The skin should be unblemished.

I love zucchini too. In fact, the vegetables I served on opening night in my restaurant were slices of yellow squash and zucchini steamed with a little bit of marjoram butter. I had one diner who came to the kitchen to ask how this was prepared. When I told him that the vegetables were simply steamed he wouldn't believe me and insisted that we had used white wine or some other secret ingredient. The rules for choosing zukes are the same as with yellow squash small to medium size and unblemished skin.

There are dozens of other types of squash (hopefully I can cover them in the next book) but one that I love is the pattypan or scallop squash. You may have seen these in the market. The yellow ones look like small flattened summer squash and the green ones like little zucchinis. They are great steamed and served as a side dish. Because they are small they are sweet and tender. Just a bit of herbed butter and you're good to go.




Chicken with Cumin Roasted Acorn Squash

Servings = 2 | Serving size =4 ounces chicken with acorn squash

Cooking Time = 60 Minutes

This recipe can be multiplied by 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

This recipe makes very good leftovers. Reheat gently.

1 acorn squash (cut in half and seeded)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
1/4 cup dried pumpkin seeds
1/6 tsp salt (pinch)
1 tsp pure maple syrup
spray oil
2 4 ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts

Preheat the oven to 325F. Place the squash halves in a large pan cut side down and place the pan in the preheated oven. Roast for about 40 minutes until tender. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

Leave the oven on and place a medium skillet inside.

Peel the skin away from the squash. Mash the roasted squash in a bowl with the olive oil, cumin, 1/4 tsp. salt and pepper.

While the squash is roasting place a sheet of wax paper on the kitchen counter.

Place the pumpkin seeds in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Watch the nuts closely and as they begin to brown reduce the heat to medium.

Add the pinch of salt. Cook for about one minute more until the pumpkin seeds are browned.

Add the maple syrup and let it bubble for about ten seconds shaking the pan vigorously to coat the pumpkin seeds well. Remove the pan from the heat and stir the pumpkin seeds. Turn them out of the pan onto the wax paper to cool. Separate them from each other just after placing on the wax paper so that they wont stick together.

Spray the pan lightly with oil and place the chicken breasts in the pan. Roast in the oven for about 8 minutes and turn. Roast for another 8 minutes until done.

Serve the roasted chicken on top of the pureed acorn squash and top with the candied pumpkin seeds.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size = 4 ounces chicken with acorn squash

Servings = 2


Amount Per Serving

Calories 332 Calories from Fat 101
  % Daily Value
Total Fat 12g 18%
    Saturated Fat 2g 11%
    Monounsaturated Fat 5g
    Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 65mg 22%
Sodium 519mg 22%
Total Carbohydrates 28g 9%
    Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
    Sugars 2g
Protein 32g
Vitamin A 18% Vitamin C 42%
Calcium 10% Iron 28%
Vitamin K 11 mcg Potassium 1184 mg
Magnesium 194 mg