Twice baked butternut squash

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I am counting down the days until my first half marathon on December 9. I’ve been training for a while now by running 10 miles once a week, trading off with 4 or 6 mile runs other days of the week. But until last week, I hadn’t run a full 13 miles. Now I feel like I can tackle this run!

I’ve also been gearing up by cooking nutritious meals. Although I did grub on some carbs right after my 13 mile run the other day, I also enjoyed this meal for dinner. The original recipe I found said to use sour cream, but we had some goat cheese in our fridge that I wanted to use so I substituted it and it tasted great! It gave the squash a thick, creamy texture.

  • 2 large butternut squash (about 9 pounds total)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 oz goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup candied pecans (see Roomie’s blog for the recipe!)

Heat oven to 450 degrees with the rack in center. Halve squash lengthwise, and remove seeds and fibers. Sprinkle squash halves with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place squash on a pan. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake until squash is tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 35 to 45 minutes.

Remove from oven, transfer squash to a cool surface, and let cool enough to handle. Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees.

Use a spoon to scoop baked flesh out of each half into a large bowl, leaving a 1/4-inch border around six of the halves so they will keep their shape. To the bowl, add goat cheese and remaining teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Mix with a handheld electric mixer or potato masher until smooth and well combined.

Fill the squash halves with mixture. Sprinkle tops with the candied pecans. Bake until golden brown and warm throughout, 20 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

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