Healthy Living Blog

Fall Harvest – Winter Squash

Note: Women’s Health & Fitness Event at All Meijer Stores!

Saturday, October 6, 2012, 11am-1pm


  • Free Healthy Living booklets with recipes and health information
  • See what’s new in exercise equipment and fitness apparel
  • Visit our demo stations for healthy samples and coupons
  • Talk to our Pharmacy staff to receive health information, including women’s health information from the American Cancer Society
  • Pick up Free Meijer Daytime/Nitetime cold & flu tablets at Meijer Pharmacy


Fall Harvest – Winter Squash:

The rich, buttery flavors of winter squash are hard to resist!  Deep orange squash such as acorn and butternut are loaded with nutrients such as Vitamin A and Fiber, and can be used in a variety of recipes.


  • Feel heavy for its size
  • Free of damage, wrinkles, blemishes, soft spots
  • Should have 1” of stem intact (to prevent drying)
  • Butternut squash:  Even, creamy orange skin, little or no green streaks
  • Acorn squash: Deep green skin with an “orange patch” (indicates ripeness), minimal blemishes.
  • Excellent for baking; butternut is also great for mashing
  • Roast cut side down, 400°F, 40-45 minutes.  Season with cinnamon, nutmeg,

and a touch of butter.



  • Cool dry pantry up to 2 months
  • Refrigerate cut squash up to 4 days
  • Freeze cooked squash removed from skin


Nutrition:  Winter squash is a nutrient dense super food.  Good source of fiber, potassium and several B vitamins. 


Health Benefits: Excellent source of carotenoid antioxidants.  Carotenoids have both protective and anti-inflammatory effects, helping reduce risk for chronic diseases including cancer and heart disease.


Spaghetti Squash:


Mild and sweet, this versatile squash is excellent on its own as a side dish or as a delicious addition the many main dish meals. Spaghetti squash is slightly crunchy and when cooked, the flesh pulls apart in thick noodle like strands; perfect with a touch of butter and parmesan cheese or topped with your favorite sauce.


Ginger Butternut Squash

Serves 4


2     tbsp. margarine

2     tbsp. Meijer 100% Pure Maple Syrup

1      tsp. McCormick ground ginger

1/8   tsp. McCormick ground cinnamon

1     (3 lb.) medium butternut squash, halved and seeded (NuVal® score 100)


Combine margarine, maple syrup, ginger and cinnamon in small bowl.  Arrange squash cut side down on baking dish.  Cook in microwave for 5 minutes on high.  Turn over; brush with spread mixture; cover with wax paper.  Cook for 5 minutes or until tender.

Serve with sirloin steak and steamed broccoli.

Per Serving (approximate): 240 calories, 4g fat, 1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 65mg sodium, 53g carbohydrate, 8g fiber, 4g protein

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Serves 4


1 (1 ½ lb.) butternut squash, peeled, diced

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. Meijer 100% Pure Maple Syrup

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

3 tbsp. dried cranberries

4 oz. spinach blend


Apple Cider Vinaigrette

2 cups fresh apple cider

½ t. cracked black pepper

¼ cup Meijer apple cider vinegar

¼ t. salt

Dash of ground clove

¼ t. cinnamon

¼ cup sugar

1 cup Meijer canola oil


Mix all ingredients together (except oil), until sugar is dissolved.  Whisk in oil.  Dressing can be refrigerated for up to one week.

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Place the butternut squash on a sheet pan.  Add olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper and toss.  Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender.  Add the cranberries to the pan for the last 5 minutes.  Place spinach blend in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash.  Drizzle vinaigrette over the salad to moisten and toss well.


Pumpkin Turkey Chili over Spaghetti Squash

Serves 8


1 cup chopped white onion (NuVal™ Score 93)

1 bell pepper, chopped (NuVal™ Score 96)

1 pkg (1.25lb) Jennie-O lean ground turkey (NuVal™ Score 46)

1 pkg (1.25 oz.) Meijer Chili Seasoning Mix

1 Tbsp. to 1 1/2 Tbsp. McCormick Southwest Seasoning spice blend (optional)

1 can (15 oz.) Pumpkin puree (NuVal™ Score 94)

1 1/2 cups Meijer reduced sodium chicken broth (NuVal™ Score 4)

1 can (15.25 oz.) reduced sodium black beans, undrained (NuVal™ Score 89)

1 can (15.25 oz.) Meijer corn (no salt added) (NuVal™ Score 91)

1 can (28 oz.) Meijer diced tomatoes (NuVal™ Score 44)



  1. Brown ground turkey, onion and bell pepper in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Cook until turkey is evenly browned.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low.
  3. Simmer 30 minutes.  Add more broth or water for thinner chili.
  4. Salt and Pepper to taste, if desired.  Serve over spaghetti squash.


Tip: Spoon single portion servings of chili into freezer safe containers.  Pull from the freezer and thaw for a quick lunch or fast dinner alternative to fast food on busy nights.


Nutrition Information (per serving):  347 Calories, 7g Fat, 2g Saturated Fat, 50mg Cholesterol, 410 mg Sodium, 44g Carbohydrate, 12g Fiber, 27g Protein.

Spaghetti Squash

Serves: 6


1-2 large spaghetti squash (about 2 ½ to 3 pounds)

Meijer nonstick cooking spray (for oven baking)

Salt and pepper to taste

Oven Bake Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Halve spaghetti squash lengthwise and remove seeds and membranes.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.  Place squash halves cut side down on baking sheet and bake 45 to 50 minutes, until tender.
  4. When cool enough to handle, use a fork and separate the spaghetti squash into strands.
  5. Serve topped with Pumpkin Chili.


Microwave Oven Directions:

  1. Halve spaghetti squash lengthwise and remove seeds and membranes.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  2. Place squash half cut side down in a microwave-safe baking dish with 1/3 cup water.  Microwave on high for 5 to 8 minutes, until tender.  Repeat with 2nd half.
  3. When cool enough to handle, use a fork and separate the spaghetti squash into strands.
  4. Serve topped with Pumpkin Chili