January 31, 2012

Roasted Butternut Squash w Peas

After a few days off from finding interesting new veggies to try out, I finally selected Vegetable #5 for New Year Resolution #2. The choice today was Butternut Squash!  While I've tried butternut squash soup at restaurants and also in ready-to-eat versions available at the store, I had never cooked the squash itself, in any form. I considered making the soup as my "trial" recipe but didn't want to be that predictable. I opted for an easy oven roasted recipe and it was oh so worth it!

Butternut Squash

Total Prep Time: 20-25 minutes.

  1. 1 butternut squash (peeled and diced into ~1 to 1.5 inch cubes). 
  2. 2 tbsp Pure Maple Syrup.
  3. 1 tbsp Olive oil (or less!). 
  4. 1 to 1.5 tsp Cumin powder
  5. 1 tsp Cayenne pepper (or more if you like it hot!).
  6. 2 to 3 small bay leaves
  7. 1/2 cup fresh frozen peas, thawed in a microwave for about 2-3 minutes.  
  8. Coarse sea salt, to taste
  9. Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 450F. In a large bowl, mix all the wet and dry ingredients really well. Add squash and toss well. Set thawed peas aside until the very end. Transfer the squash with spices to a large oven safe dish, so that there is only a single layer of squash. Roast uncovered for ~20-22 min at 450F, turning every 5-8 minutes to allow even cooking. Test squash with a fork after about 15 min. When squash is just done, add in peas, toss well and continue roasting for another 5 min, tossing once again, half-way through. Serve while its still piping hot, with Naan, or over brown rice.

The result is a sweet, melt-in-your-mouth and set it on fire concoction that you're sure to fall in love with. If you're not big on heat, the cayenne can be skipped completely. I ate it tonight with whole wheat Naan from Stone Fire Bakery which makes some great flat breads that are available in most grocery stores, including Walmart and Kroger. I tried the whole wheat version today (warning: The naan is not vegan!).

Nik's Reaction:  He ate most of my Naan and said "Mom, I don't love my peas!" .. Gee thanks, Son! :)

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