Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Inaugural Post Pasta

I'm an engineer so I like to solve problems. I've always liked to cook. Combine those two together and you get my approach to cooking... find something interesting and tweak it until it's something better! Much of what I'll be posting here will be recipes that are inspired by other recipes. I generally make the recipe as written the first time and then tweak it after that.

A byproduct of engineering and a passion for cooking means I like kitchen gadgets. More on that in future posts...

About 18 months ago I visited a nutritionist who recommended I change my diet as a way to manage both rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease. So, I've dropped gluten and all cow products (beef and dairy) as well as a handful of other things like soy, green peppers, and raisins. I've never really liked green peppers and raisins so that hasn't been a problem. I've also dropped acidic foods like tomato sauce. My health has increased dramatically; my arthritis rarely flares, and neither does the Crohn's. I've managed to learn most of what triggers my GI problems and what to do when I have a problem.

I'll introduce myself more over the next few posts, but I'll end this inaugural post with my first recipe: a creamy butternut squash pasta, reminiscent of macaroni and cheese. It's a cinch to pull together and you can do some prep the night before, if you choose. It's also unbelievable reheated the next day for lunch!

Butternut Squash Pasta
total time: 35 minutes once squash has been cut
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 1 can coconut milk, full fat
  • 1 butternut squash, approximately 2 lbs., "degunked", peeled, and cut into ~3/4" cubes (can do this the night before)
  • 16 oz bag brown rice penne pasta
  • 1-1/2 c fresh spinach, packed, cut
  • 2-3 tbsp goat cheese (chevre)
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. (Use a pan that has a lid. I use a 13" brazier because my largest saute pan does not have a lid.)
  2. Add onions to pan and cook until translucent.
  3. Add coconut milk and butternut squash. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes.
  4. While the squash cooks, cook the pasta according to the directions. (I use Trader Joe's brand and it takes about 10 minutes to cook. Don't forget salt and olive oil in the cooking water! Stir often. And, I find that it's critical to rinse brown rice pasta in cold water after cooking.)
  5. Once squash is soft, use the broad side of a spatula or spoon to mash it. I like to mash all of the pieces, but you could leave it chunkier, if you choose.
  6. Stir in spinach and goat cheese. Keep stirring until the goat cheese melts.
  7. Add spices.
  8. Stir in rinsed and drained pasta. Cook for a few minutes to reheat the pasta.
 Inspired by

This recipe was shared on Allergy Free Alaska's Whole Food Fridays and Gluten Free Fridays!


  1. Congrats on your first blog post!! So exciting! I am honored you shared it at SIT.

    LOVE your spin on butternut squash pasta. I have one that I'm posting soon. I am amazed at how much it tastes like real mach and cheese.


    1. Thanks for stopping by! Can't wait to see your butternut squash pasta recipe.

  2. Hi Anne--Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging! I like your blog name, especially given your daily profession, and your dish looks great. :-) It's fantastic to hear how much you have healed by changing your diet. I know you will inspire many with your posts. I will look forward to them!

    Have a good week, dear!

    1. Thanks Shirley! I'm excited about this newest endeavor!

  3. Sounds absolutely amazing...I just love butternut squash, and this a a very creative use. I bet some bacon sprinkled would be a tasty addition too!

    1. Everything tastes better with bacon. I will have to try that next time. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Sounds delicious. Welcome to the world of blogging. It's work but a lot of fun and you'll meet great people along the way. I'm over at (I have a hard time with this type of comment - it just gives my name :)

    1. Thanks, Shannon. I'll look into how to get a web address field in the comments... good suggestion!

  5. Hi Anne - How exciting! Welcome to the world of food blogging and congrats on your first post! Excellent recipe... I'm such a sucker for butternut squash and pasta!

    I'm highlighting your recipe this week at Whole Food Fridays. Thanks again for sharing and I look forward to more!

    1. Thanks, Megan, for highlighting my first post! It's so exciting! The next recipe is in the works...

  6. Congrats on your first post! Doesn't it feel good? :) I am following you on pinterest as well! :) Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :) We had 101 awesome recipes! What a great resource we are creating!! Cindy from

    The winner of the Domata prize pack will be announced Thursday at the party!

    1. Thanks for hosting that great resource! The GF blog community is really awesome and makes eating GF so much easier!