Last week, the weather here was positively fall-like. Then, this weekend, suddenly it is summer again. But, I just couldn’t wait until it cooled off again to make this side. Seriously, I think I could eat it everyday and be just as happy as a clam. Even my kids like it (yeah, they eat Brussels Sprouts, but only if I make them like this). As with most of my recipes, feel free to adjust to your liking. If the kids weren’t around, I would have definitely added some chile flake to this and I might add some red chile powder next time anyway – just for fun.
Start out by peeling and cubing one butternut squash. Then trim and halve about 30 brussels sprouts. Toss those with about a tablespoon of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper (I wish I could tell you how much, but I don’t measure it, just sprinkle it over until it feels right. Besides, your taste and mine are probably different when it comes to how much salt is enough).
Spread these in an even layer on a sheet pan and put them in a 400* oven for about 20 minutes. While those are roasting away, very finely dice onion until you’ve got about 2 tablespoons and mince one clove of garlic. Sweat those down over very low heat in another tablespoon of olive oil. When they are nice and tender, stir them into a half cup chopped pecans, a half cup dried cranberries (unsweetened if possible) and a tablespoon or two of maple syrup (again, this varies depending on your taste. Go ahead and splurge on the real stuff though – your tastebuds will thank you.)
When your butternut squash and brussels sprouts have been in the oven 20 minutes, pull them out and stir in the pecan/dried cranberry mixture. Put it all back in the oven for another 10 minutes (and try not to drool). When you pull it out, it will look like this and smell like heaven.
Seriously! Who wouldn’t want a big ole serving of that deliciousness?!?! I served mine with pan seared pork chops tonight, but it is equally delicious with chicken – or all by itself (you know you thought about it). Bonus points if you can find the pork chop on this plate.
1 butternut squash – peeled and cubed
25-20 brussels sprouts – cleaned and halved
2 Tablespoons olive oil (separated)
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons finely diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1-2 Tablespoons maple syrup
Preheat oven to 400*.
Toss butternut squash and brussels sprouts with 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread in even layer on a cookie sheet and roast for 20 minutes.
While squash and brussels sprouts are in the oven, sweat onion and garlic in remaining tablespoon olive oil over very low heat. When onions are soft and translucent, stir in pecans and dried cranberries.
Remove squash and brussels sprouts from oven. Stir in pecan mixture. Spread into an even layer and return to oven. Roast 10 minutes more.
Remove from oven and serve with your favorite protein!
I love this side dish. Honestly, it is hearty enough to be used as a main dish on a meatless night. It is packed full of flavor and nutrition. Healthy proteins, vitamins, fiber. And, it tastes absolutely fabulous. My 3 year old (the picky one) had 2 full servings and has asked for it every night since I made it. There is nothing that brings a smile to a mama’s face like seeing her boy pick out the kale so he can eat it alone and then asking for more. If you think healthy food has to taste bad, try this recipe. Seriously, it will change your life.
If you don’t have lentils already prepared, start them first. Just simmer them in water until they are tender. Cube up your butternut squash. You need about 2 cups of cubes. I used one small butternut squash. If all you can get are big ones, they freeze well. Heat up some olive oil in a large pan and add the squash cubes. Cook until mostly tender and browned.
While the squash is cooking down, get the kale ready. Be sure to remove the stems as they are woody and tough. Then just roughly chop the leaves. Remember that greens cook down a lot, so don’t worry about getting the pieces too small.
Stir the lentils and garlic into the squash cubes. Deglaze the pan with a little water, stock or wine. Top with chopped kale and put a lid on it. It is going to look like you have way too much kale, I promise, you don’t.
Let this cook covered over low heat for 5 minutes. Then, remove the lid and stir. Cook until the kale is as tender as you like it.
Serve alone or with a protein. We had salmon and it was delicious.
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 cups cubed butternut squash
2 cups prepared lentils (1 cup dry simmered in 2 cups water)
1 bunch kale
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 cup water, stock or wine
Heat oil in large skillet. Add cubed squash. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and mostly tender.
While squash is cooking, remove stems from kale. Rough chop the leaves.
Add prepared lentils and smashed garlic to the browned squash. Deglaze pan with water. Add kale and cover immediately.
Cook covered over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove lid and stir. Continue cooking until kale is as tender as you like (2-3 minutes for me).
The sun is shining today, but yesterday was definitely a soup day. I love soup, but can’t bring myself to eat it much during the summer heat. As soon as the weather starts to cool off, I start making soup. This is one of my favorites to make early since I can still get fresh corn. But, it’s great throughout the winter too because it tastes just as fabulous with frozen corn. This recipe is huge. Half it if you want. Freeze part of it for a quick meal another night. Or, do what I did, and take half of it to some friends – they’ll be grateful, you’ll feel great and it isn’t any more work. I paired this with Honey French Bread (one loaf for me and one for my friends). Just use this recipe and omit the cracked black pepper.
Start off by cutting your smoked sausage and browning it in a large soup pot.
When the sausage just starts to brown, add the butternut squash and cook until the squash just starts to soften around the edges.
Add stock and corn and then scrape the corn cobs to get all these delicious, flavorful bits into your soup. Good quality, well seasoned stock makes a big difference in soups. Making your own is simple. Get my recipe here.
You could skip the first two steps and just toss all the ingredients into the stock at the same time and simmer until the squash is tender, but you’ll miss the extra flavor that comes from browning the sausage and pan roasting the squash. Either way, when the squash is tender, mix flour and milk together and add to the soup. Cook until slightly thickened, taste for seasoning and serve.
2 pounds smoked sausage
4-5 cups diced butternut squash
4 ears corn
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups milk
2 Tablespoons flour
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cut smoked sausage into half rounds and place in large soup pot over high heat to brown. When sausage just starts to brown, add diced butternut squash. While that is cooking, cut corn from the cob. Add stock and corn to the pot with the sausage and squash. Hold each corn cob over the pot and scrape with a paring knife. Stir and simmer until squash is tender.
Mix together milk and flour. Add to soup and cook just until slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with crusty bread.