I love the warm colors, and flavors, of fall. I’m always excited when I start to see a variety of winter squashes and crisp apples appear in the stores. Winter squashes are a great, safe starch- they are affordable, and there are an amazing array of tastes, textures, and colors available.
My Harvest Casserole has been a favorite in our family for years, and somehow I have never blogged about it! This is a great meal to make ahead, and just pop in the oven before dinner, so it is great for a busy family. It is also a wonderful meal to share with others, when a friend has a new baby or an illness in the house. It freezes well, too. It is a comforting mixture of butternut squash, crisp apples, raisin, and ground beef, a bit savory and a bit sweet- and just perfect for a chilly evening. Harvest Casserole is also a great food for a baby who is just starting to experience combined tastes and textures. It was my son’s favorite food when he was 10 months old. (Of course, now he won’t touch it because it is all mushed together- more for me!) I love eating the leftovers for breakfast, too.
- 2 butternut squashes, halved and seeded (or 1 butternut squash and 1 buttercup squash for a slightly sweeter, and creamier end product)
- 1 lb grass-fed ground beef, browned
- 2 large firm apples (i.e. Gala, Fuji or Pink Lady), peeled and chopped
- 1/2 C raisins
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Optional: brown sugar, cinnamon, and/or chopped nuts to sprinkle on top (omit for AIP)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Bake squash halves in 1/2" water, until tender. Allow to cool until able to handle.
- Scoop out and mash the cooked squash from the skin.
- Combine the squash will all the other ingredients, except for the optional toppings. Season to salt and pepper, to taste.
- Put in a 9 x 13 baking dish. If desired, sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, and/or nuts.
- Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, until heated through and the apples are tender.
- Can be made ahead. If frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge and bake according to the directions.