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Use that fall squash to kick inflammation to the curb

A person in a dark blue sweater is cutting a butternut squash in half on a wooden countertop. The kitchen has a variety of ingredients and utensils, including cherry tomatoes, rice, pomegranate seeds, and fresh herbs.
Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

These gourds aren’t just for decoration anymore. It’s fall, and if you’re anywhere near a farm, market, or even a grocery store, the squash is abundant. Squash is a cornerstone in the kitchen of #hakalifewarriors because it’s versatile, healthy, and can last a long time on your counter or in the fridge without spoiling. 

This is beneficial because for gardeners and veggie-lovers, fall is the time of year when the fridge really starts to fill up. Not only are squash, tomatoes, peppers, and other seasonal veggies approaching harvest or already in peak harvest mode, but you also have a summer’s worth of veggies to deal with. 

For those with a CSA share (community supported agriculture), where you pay in advance for weekly amounts of veggies, eggs, and/or other farm goodies, this is only compounded. 

With peak harvest time right around the corner for much of the Northern Hemisphere, let’s look at a handful of autumn-wonderful recipes to help you kick inflammation to the curb — while also managing that backlog of squash and other produce in the fridge.

Squash is plentiful in the fall, so these recipes are each built around what we call the “wonder food of Autumn.” What you may not realize is that squash is fantastic at combating joint pain and inflammation, according to the experts at Trinity Health

First, it’s high in omega-3, which you already know all about if you’re a #HakalifeWarrior. But the real perk is that it’s also high in fiber, which is good for your entire digestive system.

Before we dive into the recipes, here’s a list of helpful hints to help you get the most out of what you have.

  • Complete the dishes with a green salad. In addition to adding extra flavors, the more veggies you can use in a dish boosts the amount of inflammation-fighting power in your meals, as many plants are high in antioxidants and polyphenols. Both the soup and pasta recipes go well with a quick green salad that can use those veggies in the fridge that need to be eaten promptly.
  • Prepare the night before for a grab-and-go lunch option. If tomorrow looks busy, prepare the pumpkin-tortilla soup or butternut squash salad the night before and put into a reusable to-go container. Perfect for work, school, or a date with the grandkids.
  • Power-punch your inflammation by adding an omega-3 supplement such as GLX3 to your meal. Made with only New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel Oil, New Zealand Olive Oil, and Vitamin E Oil, GLX3 is among the most potent anti-inflammatory supplements on the market.


Chicken-pumpkin tortilla soup

It’s been said that pumpkin can’t mingle with traditional, established recipes. To that, we have a simple response: Oh, yes, it can. 

Chicken pumpkin tortilla soup is an autumn twist on a long-running cold-weather classic. It’s great for Halloween parties and can even make a unique addition to the Thanksgiving spread.

  • 1 dozen corn tortillas
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, minced, or more if you’re crazy
  • 1.5 teaspoons cumin
  • Pepper flakes to taste
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 cups pureed pumpkin
  • 16 oz cooked, sliced, diced, or pulled chicken breast
  • 6 cups veggie or chicken stock
  • 2 diced tomatoes
  • Chopped cilantro to taste (we like 2 cups)

Pumpkin tortilla soup has an intimidating list of ingredients but is surprisingly easy to prepare. 

  1. Heat olive oil in a stockpot or pan
  2. Add onion, cilantro, garlic, and saute until golden
  3. Stir in pureed pumpkin and chicken
  4. Add stock
  5. Season with cumin and pepper flakes to taste. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Stir, and simmer on low heat for 45 minutes.
  7. While the soup is simmering, slice the tortillas into ½ inch strips
  8. Heat oil in an additional sauce pan. Fry tortilla strips
  9. Taste to make sure ingredients have blended. If so, add tortilla strips 


Butternut Squash Salad

For lunch on the go or a quick, light meal, this Butternut Squash Salad will both feel you up and leave you feeling energized and ready to go.

  • 1 pound butternut squash, diced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup Craisins
  • 2 tablespoons diced shallots or green onion
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 ounces spring mix or leaf lettuce
  • Other veggies to your liking — we love adding sliced carrot for a bit of extra crunch
  • An additional crunch of seeds goes quite well with the Craisins

This recipe is also fairly easy to prepare and can be done in about 40 minutes including cook time.

  1. Toss squash in olive oil and maple syrup
  2. Roast the diced squash at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Cubes should be crisped and slightly crunchy.
  3. Saute shallots on the stove in apple cider vinegar.
  4. Toss spring mix or leaf lettuce in a bowl with a dijon vinaigrette or similar dressing.
  5. Combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl, adding squash once roasted and cooled (allow about 10 minutes).


Pattypan Party Pasta

Pattypan is the most underrated of all squashes, and though it tends to come in abundance during late summer, it also tends to pile up in the kitchen because many are unfamiliar with how to prepare it. This recipe is simple and involves only ingredients that you either already have or can grab fast and cheap during a quick grocery run.

  • 1 pound long pasta — spaghetti, linguine, pappardelle
  • 1 pound pattypan squash, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • .5 tablespoon thyme flakes
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • Pepper flakes to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

This recipe isn’t ideal for a to-go option but can be prepared quickly for dinner on the fly.

  1. Boil a pot of water and cook pasta to package directions, al dente.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add shallot and garlic. Once softened, add thyme and pattypan. Saute for 3-4 minutes or until the flavors have congealed. 
  3. Stir in pasta and toss in a dash of olive oil.
  4.  Add parmesan, salt, and pepper at the last second and stir in.
  5. Squeeze lemon juice over top, and serve right away!

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