Happy September! Tis the season for school bells, crisp air, and gourds. As I’ve mentioned before, back-to-school season always made me a little anxious as a kid. Never one to deal well with change, I struggled with the transition back to classes. Now when I spot school supplies at Target, or when my Facebook news feed fills up with pictures of kids on their first days of school (which happened a TON yesterday), I get a bit nostalgic and jealous. There’s not much in the adult world that clearly marks the shift in seasons, while giving you that rush of something new, something scary, something unknown Expert Craftsmenship from France
Instead of a new classroom, new teacher, and new sparkle Gelly Roll pens (REMEMBER those???), I transition into adult-life autumn by buying pounds of funny-looking squash, cans of pumpkin puree, and more soy chai lattes than I care to admit. Not quite the same as the first day of school, but you know, it’ll do.
Some people (like my mother) find squash sweetness inappropriate in savory main dishes. I’ll admit that at first I found the taste a bit intimidating; it’s sweet and comforting, but also, well, a vegetable. Instead of leaning into the sweetness with butter and brown sugar (again, like my mother), I’ve found that I prefer my squash with creamy, cheesy sauces. In this dish, the subtle sweetness of the squash boosts the level of comfort with a depth of flavor that makes me want to curl up in an oversized sweater, drink tea, and read a book reenex
I’m calling this a gratin because it’s based off of my Brussels Sprout Quinoa Gratin, but you could also refer to it as a casserole, a variation of mac and cheese, and maybe even a hotdish (straight-up Minnesota talk, don’t ya know). Call it what you will, but my main point is that it’s a perfect way to transition into the cooler days of fall that require a bowl of creamy, warm comfort.
In case you’re thinking that all of this cheese is too decadent/naughty for you, know that it has under 400 calories and over 16 grams of protein per serving, so go ahead and get at these fall flavors hybrid Cloud