butternut squash panini

October 16, 2010

I proved to myself for the rest of the day that I could incorporate something orange and/or pumpkin related into every single meal. I pulled out all the stops here today, I swear,

This afternoon for lunch I had a monstrous beast of a salad, topped with (yes) pumpkin vinaigrette dressing.  Sorry, but no recipe quite yet — it was too much balsamic and the pumpkin flavors weren’t prominent like I wanted. I also had a pumpkin pie smoothie.

 October 16, 2010 017

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1-2 handfuls of ice
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • cinnamon and nutmeg, to taste

Put all ingredients into a blender and liquefy!

I had many errands to run today as well as things to do around the house (laundry, baking, cleaning — all that fun stuff). As a result I didn’t really put too much thought into dinner.

That was the BIGGEST lie I’ve ever told — tonight’s dinner was a dream waiting to come true.

There was once a time in my life where I saw that Allie had gotten one of my favorite vegetables on a strange looking stalk. I had to get some — FAST! Well, it’s been a few weeks, and I finally went into Trader Joe’s to get my brussel sprout stalk. The woman at the register told me farmers begin to cut off whole stalks in the fall as there is a greater chance of frost ruining the crops. Apparently it’s a lot faster to just chop off the stalk!

October 16, 2010 020

I also had a dream about these last night. I dreamt I went to the store to get them and they were all out. Who dreams about brussel sprouts, honestly? I find myself kind of sad.

Tonight’s dinner also needed a roasted red pepper — extra charred.

October 16, 2010 022 

Some butternut squash sautéed in a pan…

October 16, 2010 024 

and a waffle maker?

October 16, 2010 025 

You have no idea where I am going with this right now. I honestly want to end my post just so I can see what you all think I was making. But, there’s no time for that tonight as I’ve already told you in my title. I suck at this game. We need to get down to business.

The other day, I was visiting Holly (via her blog, not visiting HER) and she mentioned a sandwich that changed her life. Since I read about that sandwich, I felt it was shaping me into the person I wanted to become: a Butternut Squash Panini person. There’s only one issue with this. I have no panini maker.  Not everyone can become a person such as this — especially if you’re making your panini in a waffle maker, but I wanted to try.

October 16, 2010 027 

Successful panini, pathetic picture. Since when is it pitch black at 6:30 p.m.?

Butternut Squash Panini

  • 2 slices gluten free bread
  • 3-4 slices of butternut squash (about 1/4 inch thick)
  • 1/4 onion, sliced
  • 3-4 slices red pepper, roasted
  • 2 tbsp hummus
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided

Slice and peel your butternut squash. Heat olive oil in a non stick skillet and sauté butternut  squash until tender.

Meanwhile, in another pan, sauté your onion over low heat (go for low and slow — they taste SO much better) until translucent.

Heat your waffle iron up and assemble your sandwich. Mine looked something like this:

                                 Buttered Bread
                               Squash — Onions — Roasted Red Pepper — Squash
                                 Buttered Bread

Place Panini into waffle iron and press down. The waffle iron will most likely not close all the way — don’t force it or you may end up with destroyed bread! Cook panini for 3-5 minutes until the desired crust has formed.

October 16, 2010 028 

With a side of brussel sprouts, my day could not have gotten any better.

October 16, 2010 030

My life has been changed for the better.

When I was done eating, I looked at my plate and honestly said, “I’m so sad” — and I was.

Until next time butternut squash Panini — and believe you me, there WILL be a next time.

Question: What’s the longest you’ve looked forward to a meal?

PS — Don’t forget to enter my Crunchmaster giveaway! It is open until Tuesday, October 19 at midnight!

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

carascravings October 16, 2010 at 10:51 pm

No wonder you were so excited, this looks great!
I think I would be tempted to put a little feta or goats cheese in there too!


Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather October 17, 2010 at 12:19 am

I’m totally going to make paninis in my waffle maker! Genius idea.


healthyexposures October 17, 2010 at 7:04 am

That. looks. SO. good. I’ve had a sweet potato panini before, and that was life changing…so I can only imagine how good a butternut squash panini is!!
The pumpkin balsamic sounds really lovely, too.


Di @ http://thetreadmilldiaries.com/ October 17, 2010 at 7:43 am

I’m in the mood to go to Trader Joes for my own brussel sprout stalk. :)


Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 17, 2010 at 8:33 am

Haha I love how your waffle maker made your bread look like waffles! :P This sounds amazing though. I love the idea of putting squash on a panini.


Jennie October 17, 2010 at 8:39 am

The longest I’ve looked forward to a meal is at least two weeks. The husband and I had plans to go to my favorite restaurant for a special occasion and I had my meal planned out two weeks before we were even going. It was just as delicious as I had hoped, too!

Unfortunately, I don’t have a waffle maker OR a panini press. But Christmas is coming! ;)


cleaneatingchelsey October 17, 2010 at 12:10 pm

2 weeks is a long time – I look forward to Easter dinner (at an italian restaurant called Maggiano’s) the day after Christmas. :)


Natalia - a side of simple October 17, 2010 at 9:19 am

Wow that panini looks great. What a great idea about the waffle iron! Have a great Sunday :)


Ayla October 17, 2010 at 10:50 am

Hahaha.. I love this! A waffle sandwich/panini is something I need to try asap, the only thing keeping me from it is I’ve misplaced my waffle maker.

I think the longest I’ve looked forward to a meal would probably be.. weeks. Make that months. There’s this amazing sushi place in Vancouver and I haven’t gotten around to visiting it again but I think about it all the time.


Lauren October 17, 2010 at 11:53 am

Oh my Oh my Oh my! That’s all I can really get out right now because you’ve just left me speechless!!


cleaneatingchelsey October 17, 2010 at 12:11 pm

I hoped it would.


allieatfood October 17, 2010 at 5:16 pm

I’ve never seen brussel sprouts on the stalk! Looks so fun. And your sammie looks really good. I’ve been into pumpkin smoothies lately too, definitely a great fall time treat!


Lauren October 17, 2010 at 6:40 pm

I want all of that! The panini, the sprouts, the pumpkin pie smoothie. Get in muh bellay.


Violet October 17, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Hiya! Just came upon your blog, and I wanna commend you for all your food creativity! First of all, I’ve never seen that method of roasting a pepper before and I can already see myself trying that out in the future. Your waffle panini is also marvelous, if I had a waffle maker I would probably stick sandwiches in there all the time just for the novelty of it. XD And I have a can of pumpkin in my pantry waiting to be used and I’m feeling quite inspired now. :D So thanks!


cleaneatingchelsey October 17, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Hi Violet! I’m glad I could be of some help!


Holly October 17, 2010 at 9:14 pm

GENIUS CHELSEY! i love that you took this idea – i can’t recreate it myself. i may just be stealing your recipe :)

happy monday girl!


Ashlei October 18, 2010 at 6:50 am

Since moving away I miss my favorite mexi-merican place in Tampa, so everytime I know I’m coming to Tampa I always look forward to going there with my mom or my friends. :) Silly, but it’s the little things I miss and look forward to. lol


cleaneatingchelsey October 18, 2010 at 7:58 am

I look forward to things like that too, no worries!


Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine October 18, 2010 at 6:59 am

I just got caught up on your old posts and I must say that I LOVED the fifth grade teacher one…makes me so nostalgic for elementary school!!!

That panini looks to die for…I never would have thought to use squash in a panini! Hope you have a great start to your week!


cleaneatingchelsey October 18, 2010 at 7:58 am

haha – aren’t I lucky? I get to be in fifth grade every day!!


Allie (Live Laugh Eat) October 18, 2010 at 8:00 pm

I literally just ate more brussels off my stalk!!! That stalk is STILL feeding me. It’s been 4-5 meals now. I love that thing. It never ends.


The Healthy Apple October 22, 2010 at 7:48 pm

My mouth is droooooooling; that is incredible and I am seriously making that sammie this weekend; o my … I’m lovin’ it…
Great post; enjoy your weekend!


Elham October 8, 2012 at 11:19 am

Yum! Made this today for lunch – thanks for the excellent recipe!


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