As I write this, I am into Day 5 of my boyfriend’s no-refined sugar challenge. And it is hard. Really friggin’ hard. I’m not just talking about the cravings (which, believe me, there is plenty of) — I’m talking about the fact that sugar is in friggin’ everything. Like those Bolthouse Farms protein shakes […]
recipe developed byMichelle Lopezon February 6, 2013 (last updated Apr 9, 2020)
As I write this, I am into Day 5 of my boyfriend’s no-refined sugar challenge. And it is hard. Really friggin’ hard. I’m not just talking about the cravings (which, believe me, there is plenty of) — I’m talking about the fact that sugar is in friggin’ everything.
Like those Bolthouse Farms protein shakes I adore so much? Packed with sugar. Accidentally had that on the first day. Heinz’s ketchup, my favorite condiment of all time?! Don’t even get me started. Had that on the second day — oops. And bagels! Did you know bagels are made with lots of barley malt syrup? I don’t even know what that is. Is that refined sugar, or is it more in the class of honey and agave? I don’t know, but that was definitely my third day’s cock up.
*slams head on the table*
If there’s anything that these five days have taught me — which, admittedly, isn’t that much considering it’s only been five days — is that it’s hard to control your sugar intake, especially when I rely so much on food from outside sources. That is, buying lunch (and sometimes breakfast) when I’m at work, going out to eat with friends. I’m also lucky enough to work at one of those fancy-pants tech companies with catered breakfast bagels and lunches a couple days a week. And believe me, that company perk is definitely starting to show on my waistline.
I’ve wanted to start bringing my lunch to work for both cost-cutting and health-management purposes for some time now, but I’ve never been able to organize my life well enough to do so. At the end of a long day of work and Crossfitting, the last thing I want to do is pack a sandwich for the next day. Planning ahead’s not really my thing, you see. But with this sugar-free challenge, it’s making me realize that it’s something I need to start doing… NOW.
So behold, my first guaranteed sugar-free lunch — a savory galette filled with butternut squash, caramelized onions, and fontina cheese:
It’s actually a Smitten Kitchen recipe that I’ve wanted to make for a while now, but put off since a) I’ve literally never cooked a squash before in my life, and b) I hate working with flaky dough crusts of any kind. You can see in my pictures that my galette folding skills need work:
But because I’m sugar-free this month, I figured now was a good time to give the recipe a shot. Although the original recipe had a small amount of sugar which I eliminated, I found that the natural sweetness of the butternut squash and caramelized onions was more than sufficient — in fact, both vegetables definitely helped curbed my sugar cravings. I had also made the dough the night before, and was pleasantly surprised to find that it definitely kept most of its flaky and buttery texture. My one suggestion is that it’s a bit of a time-consuming recipe, with making dough from scratch, roasting the vegetables, and then baking everything together. I suggest making the dough ahead of time (possibly over the weekend) and prepping all the veggies a day before too, so all that’s really left is shoving everything in the oven.
Other than that, this is one of the best lunches I’ve had in a long time. Enjoy!
1large Vidalia onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
2cupsgrated Italian fontina cheese
1teaspoonchopped fresh thyme
For the Egg Wash
(enough for one 12-inch galette, or two 9-inch galettes)
For the Galette Pastry
In a medium bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add 2 whole sticks of butter and use a pastry blender to break up the bits of butter into the flour until it has the texture of cornmeal, with the biggest pieces the size of small pebbles.
In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 tablespoon white vinegar, and 1/3 cup ice water. Pour the mixture over the butter-flour mixture (from the first step), and stir together with a wooden spoon until a dough forms, kneading once or twice on the counter if needed to bring together.
Pat the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic, and chill in the refrigerator for an hour or up to two days.
For the Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onion, and Melted Fontina filling
Preheat the oven to 400 (F).
To prepare squash: Peel the squash, then halve and scoop out seeds. Cut into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch chunks. Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into one or two smaller baking sheets, spreading it to an even slick. Lay the squash chunks on the baking sheet in one layer, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and a couple turns of freshly ground black pepper, and roast in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until squash is tender, turning the pieces occasionally so that they brown evenly. Set aside to cool slightly. Leave the oven on.
While the squash is roasting, melt 1 tablespoon butter and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy frying pan, and cook the onions over medium-low heat with the remaining teaspoon of salt, stirring occasionally, until soft and tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in the cayenne pepper.
When the squash and onions are finished, mix them together in a medium bowl along with 2 cups grated fontina cheese and 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme.
Putting It All Together
On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 16- to 17-inch round (or two 14- to 16- inch rounds, if making two galettes). Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Spread the squash-and-cheese mixture over the dough, leaving a 2 to 2 1/2-inch border. Fold the border over the squash and cheese, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open.
In a small bowl, whisk together 1 egg with 1 teaspoon of water to make egg-wash. Brush the outside of the crust with the wash.
Bake until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the galette from the oven, let stand for five minutes, then slide onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.