My first hand account of the ongoing search for health and wellness through a conscious focus on nutrition, cooking, ingenuity, and physical exertion. As an active stay at home mother of two young children, I spend large portions of my day in my kitchen inventing new recipes and reinventing old favorites into fun, healthy and delicious meals my whole family loves... especially while on the run... literally.
This is another fairly simple vegetable side dish that I fell in love with this Thanksgiving. I have never been a fan of squashes in the past, but I think it was because I was used to them mashed up with just butter and the texture just hit me the wrong way. But this, like the cider roasted root vegetables, brings out the natural sweetness with a slight caramelization created during the roasting process. I used one giant butternut squash that my dedicated and very helpful husband spent a good 45 minutes chopping up into small cubes. Next time I will definitely look for some pre cut squash and not worry about him hurting himself or getting too bored to continue. Make sure to add in the pinch of cayenne pepper because the combination of spicy and sweet really makes this dish unforgettable. And cayenne pepper is known to increase metabolism, so you will be able to eat more of the rest of the feast as well!!!
Roasted Butternut Squash
8 C. cubed
butternut squash (peeled and seeded), about 3 lbs of peeled cubes
1/4 C. extra
virgin olive oil
1/4 C. pure maple
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 - 1/2 tsp.
cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you want it)
to coat and spread into a single layer on two foil lined pans. Bake at 425 F for about 30 - 40 minutes (or at 350 F for about 45 - 60 minutes). If desired, you can place under the broiler for a minute or two when done to increase the caramelization.