When channeling your inner chef to create a stunning entrée, having to also worry about prepping a side dish may lead you to consider throwing in the proverbial (dish) towel. This is why, veggies—when roasted correctly—make the ideal (and super easy) accoutrement. Proving this point is the savory, satisfying, and nutritious butternut squash—AKA pumpkin’s mouth-watering cousin. Butternut squash just needs a pinch of salt and pepper to seriously stand out on your dinner table.
“Butternut squash, like other varieties of winter squash, is rich in antioxidants (like carotenoids, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin), vitamins A and C, potassium, magnesium, and manganese,” explains Kate Gavlick, nutritionist and food blogger behind VeguKate.
So once you’ve meal-prepped a big, nutrient-packed batch of the sweet squash, you can serve it as a side and keep the leftovers for all sorts of creations throughout the workweek. “I love using roasted butternut squash in big salad and grain bowls with wild salmon and avocado or pureed into a creamy soup with other roasted vegetables,” Gavlick says. Below, she shares how to whip up this fall and winter favorite.
Here’s how to roast a versatile batch of butternut squash
1 butternut squash
1 Tbsp of avocado oil or melted ghee
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Variations: Cut black pepper with 1/4 tsp ginger and 1/2 tsp cinnamon sprinkled on top, or 1/2 tsp each of cumin and cayenne for a kick
1. Peel the butternut squash. Starting from top to bottom, use a vegetable peeler to remove the thick skin. Discard. If you do not have a vegetable peeler, you can also use a sharp knife, but be careful!
2. Once the squash is peeled, cut it in half from top to bottom. Scrape out seeds and discard. Using a sharp knife, dice butternut squash pieces into one-inch pieces.
3. Add the chopped squash to a lined baking tray and drizzle with the avocado oil or melted ghee. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, as well as any other preferred spices.
4. Roast squash in the oven for 20 minutes, stir, then let cook for another 25 minutes, or until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork and lightly caramelized.
5. Remove from the oven and devour.
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