I recently posted a risotto recipe from my sister Linda. Another sister, Carla, entered a recipe in a squash cooking contest at Zhender’s in Frankenmuth, MI and was chosen as a finalist. Congratulations Carla. Great job.

Their recipes have similar ingredients but are very different in taste. The squash in Carla’s Subji (a vegetable side dish in Indian cooking) is baked with orange juice and honey that kind of caramelizes on the squash.  Carla used the quick cooking barley for the contest because of time limitations but I used hulled barley when I made it for a little higher fiber and nutrition.


  • 4 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • Zest and juice of one small orange
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, divided
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (3 cups if using hulled barley)
  • 1 cup quick cooking pearled barley (if using hulled barley cooking time will be longer, about  50-60 minutes)
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 3/4 cup pecans, chopped and toasted


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Toss prepared squash with the orange zest and juice, 2 tablespoons oil, honey, salt, pepper and 1 teaspoon thyme.
  3. Spread squash on a single layer on a baking sheet that has been lined with foil and coated with a light mist of olive oil.
  4. Roast squash for 30 minutes or until just tender. Meanwhile, toast pecans in a skillet, about 2-3 minutes, set aside to cool.
  5. To prepare the barley, coat the bottom of a medium to large sauce pan with the remaining oil and heat on stove top.
  6. Saute the shallot in oil, add the barley and stir until lightly toasted.
  7. Add the stock, remaining thyme and curry powder. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer on low 10 minutes (or 50 minutes with hulled barley), or until barley is just tender and has absorbed the cooking liquid.
  8. To serve, plate the barley, topped with roasted squash, and dust with the toasted pecans.

Carla's actual dish plated for the contest

Nutritional Info:

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 281.5, Cal. from Fat: 136.5, Total Fat: 16g, Sat. Fat: 1.5g, Carbs: 33.5g, Fiber: 5g, Sugars: 8g, Protein: 3g, Sodium: 52.5mg, Chol: 0mg


This is an excellent side dish to chicken or pork, or may be served as a vegetarian main dish.

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