But... all of the pumpkin, caramel cake and stew recipes I keep seeing on Pinterest have me wanting something indulgently fall. No need to wait for a cheat day... I've discovered the PERFECT way to satisfy my craving without breaking any rules. I can't engage in the pumpkin cupcake craze, but I can totally enjoy butternut squash if it's properly prepared. They are offering butternut squash almost daily at the food bar at the Turnip Truck near my office-- simply roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper. It is SO yummy. When paired with a bit of protein, it's the perfect meal. If you don't have time to cook, simply pick it up at one of their locations. But, if you want to make your own..here's the ideal recipe (even better due to the added spices):
BUTTERNUT SQUASH SALVATION
3 good size butternut squash, diced into 1" -1.5" pieces (fyi-- the chopping is the HARDEST part)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (I like Lucini, always)
1.5 tsp grey salt
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp dried or fresh parsley
2 tsp aged balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss squash in a large bowl with all ingredients. Put onto a large baking sheet (or two) and place into the oven for 35 minutes, turning once halfway through for ideal browning on both sides.
When I'm roasting these, I use the remaining squash (there's always tons since I'm not cooking for a crowd) for other dishes. I sometimes cut them into various shapes just to keep things interesting. Beneath roast chicken breast slices and sprinkled with a bit of rosemary salt, they take on a whole new flavor. Ditto with their appearance in my chickpea chili.
CHICKPEA & SQUASH CHILI
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 8oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 small can tomato paste
1/4 cup sliced green olives
1/2 cup water
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground red pepper
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 cups low sodium chicken broth (organic)
1 large (24-28 oz can crushed tomatoes)
3-4 cups diced, cooked/roasted butternut squash
1 cup thawed frozen green peas
Freshly chopped parsley for garnish
In a dutch oven, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion 5 minutes, add garlic and continue to sauté for another 2 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, broth, water, spices, olives and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add chickpeas and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Add squash and peas and simmer for another 10 minutes. Keep all leftovers in an airtight container. Reheats well up to 3 days later.
What's your favorite way to enjoy fall vegetables while trying to keep it light and healthy? Please share... and don't forget to follow the Southern Sophisticate. More recipes to come!