At Christmas, time is one thing that is never on your side.
And after a day spent wrapping presents, writing cards and battling your way round the supermarket, the last thing you feel like doing is preparing a big family meal - particularly when you also have little mouths to cater for.
Help is on hand! HELLO! Online has teamed up with Renee Elliott, founding director of Planet Organic, to bring you a recipe from her time-saving cookbook.
Me, You & The Kids Too - which counts Gwyneth Paltrow amongst its fans - gives busy parents the chance to cook just one meal that feeds the whole family.
And so with days to go before the Christmas celebrations begin, Renee shares one of her seasonal favourites…
This is the first baked stuffed squash I ever made and it's a huge hit. The flavours are perfectly balanced and it is a healthy, beautiful dish. Enjoy it as a weekend treat or serve it at festive occasions.
SERVES: 2 adults, 1 child and 1 baby
PREPARATION TIME : 30 minutes
COOKING TIME : 1 hour 10 minutes
STORAGE : Refrigerate for up to 3 days
50g/1 3/4oz/ 1/3 cup pine nuts
1 butternut squash, halved and deseeded
120g/4 1/4oz goat’s cheese, crumbled
1 fennel bulb, diced
1 leek, quartered lengthways and sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tbsp chopped parsley leaves
1/2 tsp finely chopped thyme leaves
120ml/4fl oz/1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp fine sea salt
300g/10 1/2oz brown rice pasta, millet pasta, quinoa pasta or buckwheat pasta, any shape
Avocado salad, to serve
1. Preheat the grill to medium. Put the pine nuts on a baking tray and grill for 1–2 minutes until lightly browned.
2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Put the squash on a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes until the flesh is soft enough to scoop out.
(9-12 months) Meanwhile, mix the toasted pine nuts, goat’s cheese, fennel, leek, garlic, parsley, thyme, 2 tablespoons of the oil and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in a large bowl.
(6-9 months) Remove the squash from the oven, scoop the flesh out with a spoon, leaving a 1cm/ 1/2in shell, and coarsely chop the flesh. Add to the toasted pine nut mixture and mix well.
3. Spoon the mixture into the squash halves and return them to the baking tray. Put any remaining filling in a small baking dish. Bake for 30–35 minutes until the top of the squash is beginning to brown and the vegetables are soft.
4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in plenty of boiling water, according to the packet instructions. Drain the pasta and put it in a large bowl, then mix in the remaining salt and oil. Add the extra cooked filling into the pasta and mix well. Serve hot with the stuffed squash and avocado salad.
Baked squash , Avocado & Pasta purée
Put 2 tablespoons of the squash flesh and 1 tablespoon water in a ramekin and bake as above for 30 minutes until completely soft.
Transfer to a blender and add 2 tablespoons of chopped, cooked pasta (without the salt and oil), 2 tablespoons of avocado and 3 tablespoons water. Blend for 30 seconds, adding extra water 1 teaspoon at a time, until smooth. Serve warm.
Pasta with Baked Squash , Avocado & Veg
Put 1 tablespoon of the squash flesh, 2 fennel pieces, 1 tablespoon of the leek and 1 tablespoon water in a ramekin and bake as above for 30 minutes until the vegetables are completely soft. Transfer to a blender and add 2 tablespoons of chopped, cooked pasta (without the salt and oil), 2 tablespoons of avocado and 3 tablespoons water.
Pulse for 15 seconds, adding extra water 1 teaspoon at a time, until the mixture forms a lumpy purée. Serve warm.