Tag Archives: squash pie

Meal Planning – Week 3

A weekly meal plan is always useful to have. It helps with shopping, meal preparation, healthy eating, meal variety, and can save on the grocery bill. What follows is my suggested meal plan and shopping list for Week 3. I have several weeks’ worth of meal plans developed using recipes I have created for my food blog.  You can access the meal plans for other weeks by clicking on the hotlinks at the end of this posting.   Of note, the Week 1 posting also includes information on meal planning in general.

I’ve provided a list of the main ingredients that, for the most part, would probably involve a shopping trip to the supermarket for most. However, as always, read each recipe thoroughly and carefully to create your own list as I have not listed what I consider to be “staple” items like regular milk, butter, eggs, flour, sugar, butter/shortening, oil, spices, etc.

Click on the green hotlinks to access the recipes.


Glazed Lemon Pecan Sweet Bread – This is a lovely treat to start off the week. Tuck it in to the lunch bags for a treat at break.

Shopping List: Lemon, pecans

Glazed Lemon Pecan Sweet Bread

Dinner:  Rich and Hearty Goulash Soup with Whole Wheat Biscuits

This soup is the full meal deal – very filling and flavorful.

Shopping List: For the Soup – Ground beef, onion, celery, carrots, rutabaga, parsnip, potatoes, zucchini, garlic, tomato paste, canned diced tomatoes, ketchup, beef stock (click here for my recipe), red wine vinegar. For the Biscuits – All purpose and whole wheat flours, buttermilk

Goulash Soup
Rich and Hearty Goulash Soup

There’s nothing like a wholesome homemade biscuit and these whole wheat biscuits go really well with the Goulash Soup.

Whole Wheat Biscuits
Whole Wheat Biscuits

Dessert: Apple Crisp

No matter the season, this old faithful dessert will always meet with satisfaction. Pure comfort food at its best!

Shopping List: Apples (e.g., any combo of Cortland, Honeycrisp, Humes, Gingergold), rolled oats, pecans, lemon juice

Apple Crisp
Apple Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream


Dinner:  Pork Loin Roast with Pomegranate, Red Wine, and Black Garlic; serve with Potato Patties and medley of roasted vegetables of choice

Black garlic is not all that common yet, here on PEI, the garlic grower at Eureka Garlic just outside Kensington produces black garlic. Click here to read the story I wrote on Eureka Garlic’s black garlic.  Not at all the taste you might think – in fact, no garlic flavor at all. Its transformation is more of a cross between a fig and a prune. Goes particularly well with pork.

Shopping List: For Pork Loin Roast – Pork rib roast, garlic, soya sauce, white wine vinegar, shallots, pomegranate molasses, chicken stock, black garlic, balsamic vinegar, red wine, orange juice. For Potato Patties – Potatoes, sour cream chicken bouillon, breadcrumbs.

Pork Loin
Pork Loin Roast with Pomegranate, Red Wine, and Black Garlic Sauce served with Potato Croquettes and Roasted Root Vegetables

These potato patties are such an incredibly tasty way to serve potatoes and they freeze well, too!

PEI Potato Patties
PEI Potato Patties

Dessert:  Date Squares

Date Squares, the perennial favorite with many! These are a yummy treat and they freeze well, too.

Shopping List: Dates, rolled oats, orange juice

Date Squares
Date Squares (aka Matrimonial Squares)


Dinner:  Savory Cottage Pie

Lovely winter time treat, these little pies are packed full of flavor!

Shopping List: Ground beef, onion, carrots, parsnip, celery, green pepper, garlic, mushrooms, tomato paste, tomato sauce, ketchup, canned diced tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, beef broth, molasses, frozen peas and corn, potatoes, grated cheddar cheese

cottage pie
My Island Bistro Kitchen’s Cottage Pie

Dessert: Butter Tarts

When it comes to food, it doesn’t get any more Canadian than these sweet butter tarts! A treat for sure, eh!

Butter Tarts
Butter Tarts

Shopping List: Pie Pastry, general baking supplies + maple syrup, milk/blend/cream 
Butter Tarts


DinnerMussel Chowder served with Pan Rolls

This chowder is incredibly flavorful. They’ll ask for seconds on this one!

Shopping list: For Chowder:  2 lbs PEI mussels, onion, garlic, white wine, celery, carrots, potatoes, chicken broth, whole milk (or evaporated milk); For Pan Rolls: Yeast + standard baking supplies

PEI Mussel Chowder Paired with Upstreet Brewing Company's Commons Czech Style Pilsner
PEI Mussel Chowder Paired with Upstreet Brewing Company’s Commons Czech Style Pilsner

Nothing better with chowder than fresh homemade rolls, still warm from the oven! Bring on the butter!

Pan Rolls
Pan Rolls

Dessert: Squash Pie

Pick up a butternut squash and make this delectable pie – it’s even better than pumpkin pie and has a deeper flavor. Don’t reserve this recipe just for the autumn – it’s good any time of the year!

Shopping List:  1½ – 1¾ lb butternut squash, pastry for 10” single crust pie, evaporated milk, whipping cream

Squash Pie
Squash Pies


 Dinner:  Chicken and Mushroom Crepes with Cheese Sauce; serve with favorite green salad

A real special Friday night dinner. These crepes are so tasty with their cheesy sauce!

Shopping List: For crepes – 2 cups cubed cooked chicken, chicken stock, cheese mix (e.g., mozzarella, provolone and parmesan), celery, mushrooms; For salad – lettuce and favorite salad fixings and dressing.

Chicken and Mushroom Crepes with Cheese Sauce
Chicken and Mushroom Crepes with Cheese Sauce

Dessert: Leftover Squash Pie

Squash Pie
Squash Pie


Dinner: Asparagus Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Rice

Fresh asparagus works best in this chicken dish.  Super yummy and looks great when it is sliced with the rings of the asparagus being very showy!

Shopping List: Boneless skinless chicken breasts, Boursin cheese, fresh asparagus spears, prosciutto, parmesan cheese, rice.

Asparagus-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Dessert: Blueberry Bread Pudding with Grand Marnier Sauce

Oh là-là, how many different ways can you say “yummy”? This moist and flavorful bread pudding will have them calling for seconds!

Shopping List:  For Pudding: 1 – 1lb loaf of soft French bread, whole milk, maple syrup, 2 cups high-bush blueberries (fresh or frozen). For Sauce: Grand Marnier, corn syrup

Blueberry Bread Pudding
Blueberry Bread Pudding


 Sunday Breakfast: Special Treat – Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls
Cinnamon Buns

DinnerCranberry and Ginger Sauced Pork Chops; serve with baked potato and medley of favorite steamed vegetables

Jazz up pork chops with a tasty and colorful cranberry and ginger sauce.

Shopping List: Pork Chops, chicken broth, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, cranberry preserve/jam, mustard, onion

Pork Chops
Cranberry and Ginger Sauced Pork Chops

Dessert: Leftover Blueberry Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding
My Island Bistro Kitchen’s Blueberry Bread Pudding

I hope you have found some interesting recipes from my food blog to try this week!

For other weekly meal plans from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:

Week 1 Meal Plan
Week 2 Meal Plan
Week 4 Meal Plan


Squash Pie

Move over pumpkin!  Your cousin, squash, makes better pies!

Squash Pie

Growing up, it was more common in our household to have squash rather than pumpkin pie.  My ancestors always claimed squash makes a better, more tasty pie and I have to agree.  Squash gives a richer pie with a depth of flavour that I don’t find characteristic of pumpkin.

Squash Pies
Squash Pies

There are several different kinds of squash that can be used for pie making but my preference is the tall vase-or bell-shaped butternut squash. Butternut squash is considered a variety of winter squash.  Though harvested in autumn, butternut squash is generally available in supermarkets through the winter months because of the squash’s long “keeping” quality.  I’m guessing it is their availability through the winter months that has earned them the term “winter” squash since they certainly wouldn’t be harvested in the winter in our cold and frosty northeastern climate!  With its mildly nutty flavour, butternut squash has a natural sweetness to it.   The  pulp of the butternut squash is bright orange in color and, while it loses that color when made in to a pie, it turns to a lovely caramel color.

Squash Pie
Squash Pie

My grandmother always cooked her squash in a pot with some water on the stovetop.  However, squash already has a high moisture content and adding more water to the mix can make it difficult to get the cooked squash sufficiently drained that you don’t end up with a soupy texture pie.  My preference is to, instead, roast the squash as it reduces the moisture level and I find it also gives the squash an even deeper, richer flavour.

For my squash pie recipe (found at the end of this posting), 2 cups of puréed squash is needed.  I used a butternut squash weighing 3 pounds which yielded 4 cups of purée, enough for 2  – 10″ pies.  So, if all you want is one pie, try to find a squash that weighs 1½ to 1¾ pounds.

Butternut Squash
Butternut Squash

To roast the squash, I simply began by cutting the squash in half, starting at the top narrow end, slicing all the way through to the bottom.

With a spoon, remove the seeds.

With a soft brush, apply a thin layer of olive oil to both the flesh and skin sides of the squash.

Place squash, flesh side down, on a greased, foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet.  Bake in preheated 425°F oven for about a half hour. Remove the squash from the oven and, with a large lifter, carefully flip the pieces over, applying another light brushing of olive oil to the flesh side. Return the squash to the oven for about another half hour or so, until the flesh of the squash is very soft.  Remove from oven.

As soon as the squash has just cooled enough to handle, scoop the flesh from the skin of the squash and put it in the bowl of a food processor.

Process until the squash is puréed smooth.

Then, transfer the purée to a cheesecloth-lined colander fitted over a large bowl or pot and leave it to drip for about an hour or so.  The goal is to remove as much remaining liquid as possible.  I find it helps to stir the mixture two to three times and to press down the mixture with the back of a large spoon to extract the liquid.

To make one pie, transfer 2 cups of the purée to a medium-sized bowl.

Add the slightly-beaten eggs.

Next, add the sugars, salt, spices, and evaporated milk.

Mix the ingredients well – I use a hand mixer.

Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust.  Although not necessary, I sometimes (but not always) pre-bake the crust for about 10 minutes to set it.  If you do this, be sure to use pie weights to ensure the crust does not bubble up, creating air pockets underneath.

I find it useful to place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet for easy transport into the oven.  The filling is very liquid at this point and it is very easy to spill it or slosh it up over the sides of the crust edges.  In fact, sometimes, I only partially fill the pie, then set it on the oven rack and finish filling it there.

It helps to start baking the pie at 375°F for the first 15 minutes to give it a quick set then lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for another 1¼ hours longer or until a knife, or a toothpick, inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean.

The pie should be thoroughly cooled and allowed to set before cutting.

Squash Pie
Squash Pie

Squash Pie

1½ – 1¾ lb butternut squash
Pastry for deep 10-inch single crust pie

For the pie filling:
2 cups squash purée
2 extra large eggs, slightly beaten
⅔ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
⅓ cup white sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
¼ tsp cloves
¼ tsp mace
⅛ tsp nutmeg
1⅔ cup evaporated milk

To roast the squash:

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Line large rimmed baking sheet with tin foil. Spray with cooking oil.

Cut the squash in half from top to bottom. Remove and discard seeds. Lightly brush olive oil on both sides of squash. Place squash, flesh side down, on baking sheet. Roast for about 30 minutes then remove from oven and carefully flip the squash halves over. Apply a light brushing of olive oil on the flesh side of the squash.  Return squash to oven and continue roasting for another 20-30 minutes or until squash is very soft.

To prepare the squash purée:

Line a large colander with cheesecloth.  Set aside.

Remove squash from oven. As soon as the squash has just cooled enough to handle, scoop the flesh from the squash and place it in the bowl of a food processor. Purée the squash until it is very smooth.

Transfer the purée to the cheesecloth-lined colander. Let sit for about an hour to allow any excess water to drain from the purée. From time to time, stir the purée and, with a large spoon, press out the moisture from the purée.

To make the pie filling:

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Transfer purée to a medium-sized bowl and add the eggs, sugars, salt, spices, and milk. With a mixer (either a hand or stand mixer), mix ingredients thoroughly. Pour mixture into prepared pie shell. Place on rimmed baking sheet.

Bake pie in lower third of oven at 375°F for 15 minutes then lower temperature to 350°F and continue baking pie for about 1¼ hours longer or until knife or toothpick inserted in center of pie comes out clean.

Let pie cool completely before cutting.

Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Yield: 8-10 servings

Squash Pie
Squash Pie

Squash Pie
Squash Pie


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Squash Pie
Squash Pie

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