Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Roasted Butternut Squash!

Today is day 2 of Thanksgiving recipes! Wahoo! And today's recipe happens to be my very favorite one that I am sharing all week. Just by a lil bit though, they're all really good ;). Have you ever made butternut squash before? I had not, until I made this one. I was always super intimidated by the thought of peeling and chopping a squash. It really wasn't that bad, it did take some elbow grease but I figured if I was about to stuff myself with turkey and fixins' a little cardio during the prep was kinda a bonus. I had eaten butternut squash previously, but never prepared it myself so I knew that flavor I was dealing with and I wanted to use pretty much the same spices that I use in my Sweet & Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges and just sub 100% maple syrup for the brown sugar to keep it paleo-ish. The flavorings were SPOT ON. I could have eaten an entire plate of this squash, but when I went back for seconds they were GONE. My friends who I was feeding that night are not particularly fond of vegetables either, and they inhaled these. They would make a perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving feast, they're more elegant than sweet potatoes topped with chemical-laden marshmallows and you'll be secretly sneaking in a bunch of Vitamin A and nutrients into your guests ;) Win- win!
I figured some of y'all may be scared of squash chopping like I was, so I took step-by-step pictures so I could show you how easy it was! You just need a good, sharp knife and a vegetable peeler! PS: you MAY be able to find fresh, pre-chopped butternut squash at your local grocery store- I saw some @ Whole Foods the other day and considered buying it but I felt like that was cheating and it was $10 for just over a pound. My squash was $1.30 at the commissary and I feel like the chopping effort was worth me saving $8.70. You may be able to find some pre-chopped squash that is worth the price though!

1 Butternut Squash
Enough olive oil to coat completely, I used about 2 Tablespoons
1/4 Cup 100% Maple Syrup
2 teaspoons Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

Step 1: Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Take your butternut squash out and prepare to chop.
My Gourd.
Step 2: Chop the ends off of the squash, about an inch from the top and an inch from the bottom.
Step 3: Using a vegetable peeler, peel off the hard outer skin revealing the dark orange flesh underneath.
Step 4: Slice your squash in half, lengthwise (or "hot dog style" as we called it in kindergarten...)
Step 5: Using a spoon or melon baller scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh from the centers.
Step 6: Now you're done with the squash prep (It wasn't THAT bad was it?!) just dice those babies up and throw the wedges into a bowl for seasonings.
Step 7: Toss with wedges with olive oil and maple syrup, making sure they are all completely coated!
Step 8: Add all seasonings and stir to coat.
Step 9: Spread in an even layer on your lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until "fork tender" (stick your fork in, they're soft-ish- like when you know your potatoes are ready to mash)
ENJOY! And don't forget to hoard some for yourself, they go fast! :-)


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