Good food for bad cooks: Bison Butternut Bowl

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Sometimes I make food. Considering I run a food blog that’s hardly ever about food, it’s important I circle back to this now and again.

For those that have been around for awhile, you probably know that I’m not a kitchen genius. The closest I ever get is when I use this zucchini noodle miracle-maker. I generally can’t crack an egg without breaking the yolk, which means I have many sad mornings. And many more “skillets” than Benedicts. This is funny, because it’s sad.

(“Skillet” is a fancy word for dumping a bunch of stuff in a pan and heating it up.) 

Don’t try to fix me. Trust me, I’ve tried everything. And know what? Sucking 90% of the time just means the other 10% of the time is ERMAGERD amazing.

You actually CAN suck at cooking and still enjoy delicious, clean, REAL food. Sometimes it involves an $8 bottle of “clean” Dave’s Gourmet sauce, but both time AND sanity are worth a few extra bucks to me now and again, especially in a time crunch.

I always have a bottle of Dave’s Gourmet Butternut Squash sauce AND a bottle of Dave’s Gourmet Heirloom Tomato sauce on-hand just in case. They’re super-clean, organic, and have just a few basic ingredients. And they *dump* positively elegantly over basics like ground bison, beef and spaghetti squash – staples in our kitchen.

So here’s what I do:

I make a spaghetti squash. Depending on the time crunch, I may:

  • Cut it in half, scoop out seeds, place cut-side down on a plate, add 1/2 c. water to the plate, and microwave (yeah, microwave. It’s my cells frying, not yours) for 10 minutes.
  • Cut it in half, scoop out seeds, place cut-side down in a dish, add 1/2 c. water to the dish, and bake at 375 for 45 minutes (less if it’s small).

You can bake it whole as well. It all depends on whether you want to hack violently at the raw squash to slice it BUT have an easier time scooping out the seeds pre-bake; or if you want an easier slice but a more obnoxious scoop.

I choose the former, because my middle name is “Danger Fingers.”

While the squash cooks, I cook up some ground bison. (We usually buy it from our local butcher OR in semi-bulk from Tropical Traditions, but I believe Whole Paycheck carries it too.)

Combine spaghetti squash, bison, and butternut sauce and you’ve got a seriously easy, scrumptious dinner.

I win!



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  1. Becky B. says

    I LOVE YOU. You’re a REAL person and you embrace that. That’s fantastic you can’t cook! I make about 5 things really well — the rest I leave the oven on and forget the food is in there until I burn it. And the thought of a food processer makes me head hurt.

    Thank you for this. I must try the SAUCE. Like butta!

  2. says

    Haha this is refreshing! My food pictures look a lot more like your food pictures than Juli or Michelle’s food pictures. I can make good food occasionally, but I have little to no patience for things that require tedious prep work. I love anything that can be cooked in one pot and eaten in a bowl. I’m not a big fan of plates.

    And I still burn things frequently, which is annoying. I always think I’ll learn and do better next time, but it doesn’t always work that way!

    • says

      I actually have a super nice camera that I was convinced we NEEDED to capture decent pics of our honeymoon…which I don’t regret, because it was totally worth it…HOWEVER, I’ve realized that for food pics, it’s easier to just go with the iPhone. Sad that even an amazing camera can’t help make my chow look better!

      Funny enough, the other day I was heating up (stovetop) one serving of some soup-like concoction I made and realized…why would I transfer this into a bowl and get another dish dirty? I grabbed an oven mitt and ate straight from the saucepan :)

  3. Susie says

    This is so refreshing – I actually consider myself a pretty dang good cook, but I also cook stupidly simple food and rotate the same handful of dishes all the time. At least weekly we eat something similar to this – ground beef with taco seasoning (that I make in bulk myself), mixed up with some kind of squash or sweet potato, topped with avocado. My secret to delicious food is salt and butter. Works every time.

  4. Angela says

    Although I like to think I *can* cook, my dog believes otherwise. The second I turn on the stove or the oven, he starts frantically scratching at the balcony door; he knows the smoke alarm will inevitably go off and he’d rather be outside. Seriously – a dog that runs away from bacon?

    • says

      That’s hilarious! My dog has no faith in my cooking skills either…but any time I cook eggs, he knows I’ll screw up to the point that a few of the “Accidents” will go straight to his bowl, so he tends to stick around on those occasions :)

  5. Tara says

    This is a STAPLE at our house…Costco was selling two-packs of the Dave’s Gourmet Butternut sauce for a while, but not anymore. :( We just love that stuff. Something I’ve found that is EASY, makes a ton, and is packed with good veggies is this:

    I don’t remember what the instructions say, but I pulse EVERYTHING in batches in my food processor, dump it in my crockpot, and let it simmer all day long. It tastes better than any other tomato based sauce I’ve ever made!

  6. says

    I’ve never tried Dave’s Gourmet sauce! Sounds like it is a must! Thanks for the idea. Sauces are hard for me to find. I keep checking our local Whole Foods for the Tessemae sauces. I think I might just have to order it online. Do you have any other “clean” sauce ideas?

    • says

      At this point we’re really only using Dave’s! We stock up every time we’re in town. I haven’t found any other pasta-type sauces with clean ingredients (they’ve all got soybean oil!) but Boulder Hot Sauce Co. has GREAT hot sauce and has awesome clean dressings!

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