Choosing is as hard as a butternut squash!

by Jenn (eating bender) on October 6, 2008


I’m stretching it to the max with that title, wouldn’t you say? 😉 It’s true, though! More entries = more fun = more hard (hehe, bad grammar) to choose!

Let me just start by saying we’re all winners here, gang. Ok, STOP GROANING!! I know that phrase dates back to the good ol’ days of youth sports teams, but it’s true. Bobby and I both agree that all of the entries have stellar ingredients, stellar flair and stellar final results. That said, the reps over at Quaker have just one set of samples for me to send out. So it’s necessary to narrow it down.

Have I made you wait long enough?

Here again are the entries:

Rose – On a Lobster Placemat – Butternut Squash Fries

Meghann – The Inner Workings of a College Graduate – Butternut Squash Strata

Chandra – Chandra’s Shenanigans – Butternut Squash Ravioli

Jessica – Apples and Butter – Butternut Squash Gnocchi

Christie – What I Ate Yesterday – Savory Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Butternut Squash

Olga – Healthing It – Spiced Butternut Squash Muffins

Jen – Running with Food – Roasted Butternut Squash and Tomato Pizza with Figs, Goat Cheese & Toasted Walnuts, Butternut Squash and Navy Bean Soup, and Barley Risotto with Butternut Squash, Ham, Sage and Toasted Walnuts

Jess – See Jess Run – Stuffed Acorn Squash (substitution based on pantry contents!)

Mi – Whole Foods for Whole Me – Butternut Squash Apple Butter

Lauren – athlEAT – Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

Maggie – Say Yes to Salad – Butternut Squash “Pad Thai”

Erin – Care to Eat – Butternut Pancakes

Caroline – The Broccoli Hut – Butternut Squash Oatmeal and Yogurt

Melissa – Trying to Heal – Butternut Squash Hash

Christie – Sportsnutritionliving – Butternut Squash Veggie Stir Fry in Tomato Sauce

Krista – Krista’s Kravings – Butternut Squash & Turnip Bake

Brittany – Eating Bird Food – Butternut Squash Pesto Pizza

Shannon – Tri to Cook – Butternut Squash Puree and Butternut Snack Bites

Kat – Blog Reader (hey!) – Stuffed Butternut Squash With Barley and Smoked Turkey


Ok folks, the winner of this week’s Blogger Secret Ingredient is…

Olga of Healthing It!!

After putting it to a vote based on a points system between Bobby, myself and my roommate – yes, we were just THAT indecisive, Olga received the highest total point combination and will be receiving free samples from Quaker! Congratulations, Olga!


I can’t stress enough how much I enjoyed this contest! I literally have all of the recipes bookmarked in a special folder called “Butternut Squash” and have every intention of using all of them at some point during the winter squash season :mrgreen: So a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who participated this week! It made me very happy to hear that you all enjoyed my ingredient choice!

And thanks to Meghann, I remembered that I need to post the recipes of the bloggers and readers who didn’t have them specifically listed anywhere. Here they are!

ChandraChandra’s ShenanigansButternut Squash Ravioli


  • 10 wonton wrappers
  • 1/8 c Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/3 c frozen (defrosted) butternut squash (or fresh would work, I just had frozen)
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • Butter/margarine, nutmeg, cinnamon to taste



Mix all ingredients (except wontons!) in a bowl until well combined.  Fill each wonton wrapper with approx. 1/2 Tbsp of mix, dampen wonton edges, fold & seal.  Boil pastas for a few minutes until they float.  Top with whatever sauce you’d like!  (I used butter spray and parmesan cheese.)


Kat – Blog Reader – Stuffed Butternut Squash With Barley and Smoked Turkey


  • 2 butternut squash (about 1 ½ lb, each), halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ½ lb smoked turkey, diced
  • ¼ cup minced yellow onion
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • ¾ cup quick-cooking barley
  • ½ cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 4 tbsp crumbled feta cheese



Preheat oven to 350 F. Boil squash halves in rapidly boiling water for 15 minutes.  Drain and, when cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh from each half. Chop the scooped flesh into small dice and set aside. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add turkey, onion, and squash, and sauté 3 minutes.  Add sage and black pepper and stir to coat.  Add broth and bring to a boil.  Add barley and return to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 10 minutes, or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed.  Stir in cranberries. Spoon barley mixture into casserole dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Top with feta cheese.  Bake 30 minutes, until cheese is golden.  Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 stuffed squash half)

Nutritional Information (per serving): 350 calories; 7 g fat; 18 g protein; 13 g fiber


I really enjoyed being this week’s BSI Chief (the new name I’ve dubbed for the position). Thanks again to Erin and Andrea of Care to Eat for passing me the torch.

Now it’s my turn to pass it along for this week. I wasn’t sure at first who to pass it along to, but she made the decision much easier for me earlier this afternoon 😉 I’m sure she’ll conjure up something splendid for us to try. After all, the very name of her blog proves that’s she’s always up for trying something new!

Sabrina of RhodeyGirl Tests

Can’t wait to see what you choose :mrgreen: Hurray for the BSI!

Sweet dreams, everyone!

1 Megan October 6, 2008 at 8:56 pm

Definitely a hard decision! Congrats Olga! Love all the recipes and will be trying some!

2 runningwithfood October 6, 2008 at 9:01 pm

These are some GREAT recipes! I can’t wait to cook my way through this list! :)

3 Olga October 6, 2008 at 9:03 pm


THANK YOU SO MUCH! I don’t think I’ve ever won anything! Hahahah awesome =]

This was a tough competition, I want to make all of these!

4 ChocolateCoveredVegan October 6, 2008 at 9:06 pm

Yummy, so many butternut squash recipes! It’s one of my favorite veggies :o)

5 Erin October 6, 2008 at 9:09 pm

YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY! Congratulations Olga! And great job everyone!
A SPECIAL thanks for our chief cornball, Jenn. :D. YOU WERE AN INCREDIBLE JUDGE!

6 Grounded Fitness October 6, 2008 at 9:17 pm

thats a whole crap ton of butternut squash. I bought one a few weeks ago and had no idea what to do with it.

im a little embarrassed now.

Kelly Turner

7 magpie October 6, 2008 at 9:23 pm

Awesome roundup, congrats to Olga :)

8 Hangry Pants October 6, 2008 at 9:31 pm

Congrats Olga!

9 Melissa S. October 6, 2008 at 9:34 pm

Yay!!! Congrats to olga and great job jenn!!! you sure did have a lot to choose from! so kudos you to!!!

10 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) October 6, 2008 at 10:17 pm

Congrats Olga!

11 fitnessista October 6, 2008 at 10:25 pm

congrats olga!
ALL of the recipes look wonderful…. judging must have been intense 😀
have a great night jenn!

12 Christie October 7, 2008 at 5:54 am

Congrats to olga… and thanks for hosting a great BSI week! Have a good day!

13 VeggieGirl October 7, 2008 at 6:23 am

CONGRATULATIONS TO OLGA!!!! Love all the entries, though!! Everyone IS a winner 😉

14 Erica October 7, 2008 at 6:57 am

Owwww all of these recipes look super good! I can’t wait to try them!

15 HeatherBakes October 7, 2008 at 7:22 am

Congratulations Olga!!!

What an awesome collection of recipes- I want to try ALL of them :)

16 Melissa October 7, 2008 at 7:49 am

Congrats Olga!

Yum – what a great bunch of recipes! They all look Fab! That must have been a really hard decision :)

17 Meghann October 7, 2008 at 8:04 am

You guys had a really tough decision to make and I totally agree with your selection! I can’t wait to see what this week’s ingredient will be!

18 Allison October 7, 2008 at 8:08 am

Yay! Nice job judging – I’m SURE it was hard! :) Can’t wait to find out the next secret ingredient!

19 rhodeygirltests October 7, 2008 at 8:12 am

alRIGHT! thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

20 Rose October 7, 2008 at 8:17 am

There were SO many good recipes on this list – very creative and innovative, so no wonder it was hard to decide!

21 runjess October 7, 2008 at 9:13 am

Oooh muffins! Good job!

22 oatmeal October 7, 2008 at 11:32 am

Oh wow wow wow~so much amazing ideas! I definitely need more butternut squash in my life now that I have seen this. I’m surprised you guys managed to pick out any winners at all!

23 Marianne October 7, 2008 at 11:59 am

Congrats on the win Olga!

So, since I’m new to the food blog world, how exactly did this whole contest come about? And how does it all work?

24 M October 7, 2008 at 12:15 pm

Great job Olga…all look good!

25 MWS October 7, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Congrats Olga!!! I am actually sipping a mug of butternut squash soup as I read this, but it’s not anything I could have entered, just a Pacific brand that I picked up at Whole Foods, heh heh.

I kept seeing on people’s blogs entries about this BSI thing, and I wasn’t entirely sure what it was about, until I traced it back to your blog! do you invent the contest? it looked like a lot of fun, I’m gonna have to try and whip up something with the next ‘secret ingredient’ :)

ohhh yes, and I have a new blog 😀

have a great day Jenn and everyone else!!!

26 eatingbender October 7, 2008 at 10:20 pm

Thanks everyone!!!! I’m so glad that you were all pleased with the way this week’s BSI worked out :mrgreen: Go butternut squash!

Marianne and MWS ~ Good questions! This whole contest came about thanks to Christie over at Sportsnutritionliving, who decided that she wanted to shake things up in the blogging world by challenging us to incorporate a certain ingredient into at least one of our meals each week :) You can read all about it by clicking and reading her post here!!

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