Fall is here and it is my absolute favorite food. Give me all the slow cooked, roasted, rich, bold flavors. And it doesn't have to be unhealthy, calorie filled meals. Think thoughtfully fiber and protein filled veggies, married with delicious flavors and cooked to perfection.
We are in the last weeks of our CSA (more to come for you local folks) and the last few weeks have held my favorite items. I mean squash (look at this stuffed acorn squash recipe from last year), apples and all the eggplant a girl can imagine. Music to this preggo mama's taste buds. And since I got a few emails asking for help with some different impress your guests butternut squash recipes, I thought I'd mix it up while using my favorite Fall ingredients.
And the best part is that these dishes both are incredible weekend recipes that are even better warmed up during the week. Which is a win. Because the key to serving homemade meals (and lunches) as a busy tired mama is making meals that are even better as they sit in the fridge. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. And keep the requests coming!
Crockpot Butternut Squash Coconut Curry Soup
2 tablespoon coconut oil
3 cloves garlic
1 small red onion, quartered
2 teaspoon ginger, freshly grated
2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (more or less depending on your preference for heat)
2 cups homemade chicken or vegetable broth (store bought organic is just as good, go with low sodium)
1 cup water
4 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
3 apples, decored and peeled
2 red peppers (seeded and quartered)
1 (15-ounce) can coconut milk
2 limes, Juice of 1 lime, 1 lime quartered
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
⅓ cup cilantro, chopped, more to garnish
2 teaspoon Sriracha, optional for garnish
Toss all ingredients, minus the garnishes, in the crock pot.
Cook on high for 6 hours.
Pour the soup into a blender in batches and blend until smooth. Or you can use and immersion blender, love love mine. Used it for baby food, soups and even with making broth as smooth as possible.
Pour the blended soup back into the crock pot for 30 minutes.
Mix well. Pour into bowls and sprinkle with chopped cilantro, lime juice and a swirl of sriracha (if that's your thing and it is mine!).
We ate ours with yummy crunchy whole wheat ciabatta from the market and (insert happy dance) it was insanely perfection. I had two helpings and could have gone for three if I didn't think I'd explode. Naan or even homemade croutons would be just as Ahhhmazing.
This next recipe is inspired/adapted from Chrissy Tiegen's cookbook, Cravings. If you don't have it, get it and get it fast. I want to make every single recipe. I only altered this dish because I needed it to be an entire meal. Easily served with chicken or even a piece of fish but it's a meal all by itself, reheats really well.
Roasted Balsamic Glazed Butternut Squash
with roasted brussels sprouts, brown rice, bacon, cranberries and pecans
2 cups Butternut Squash, cubed
1 pound Brussels Sprouts, shredded (I bought them shredded b/c.. well you know it's easier...)
8-10 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1/2 cup olive oil
coarsley ground black pepper
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup agave
6 slices of thickly cut bacon, cooked and chopped/crumbled ( I sadly had to use turkey bacon because the hubby doesn't eat pork, GASP)
1 1/2 cup brown rice, cooked
1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Pre-heat oven to 450 F
First up, put cubed B-Squash in a bowl, toss together with 1/4 cup of olive oil, 2 tsp salt, 1tsp pepper and 1 tsp tumeric.
Roast on a baking sheet, spread around into one layer.
Roast for 20 minutes, flip and roast for another 20. You want to cook the squash and brown/crisp each side.
While this is happening you want to do the same for b-sprouts.
Toss b-sprouts in the rest of oil, smashed (use side of your knife) garlic cloves, 2 tsp of salt and 2 tsp of pepper and roast at 450 F on a baking sheet.
Making sure they are one layer so they crisp up nice but you don't want to burn the garlic, just till they are tender. (about 10 - 12 minutes on each side).
While all this goodness is happening pour balsamic vinegar and agave into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil for a few minutes and then reduce heat and let simmer until the glaze reduces by half and thickens. ( about 20ish minutes) this is from CT's cook book but she uses honey.
You can make this sauce ahead and store in an airtight container.
Transfer all of the roasted goodies into your serving bowl, I like something short and wide so you can see all of the pretty going on.
Add cranberries, pecans, brown rice, bacon and balsamic glaze. Toss until well combined and serve.
Tip: You can make this all ahead and add the (warmed) glaze right before serving.
My advice, is do like I did; make both dishes this weekend and save half of each for dinners this week! And speaking of the weekend!!! It is almost the WEEKEND. And a long weekend at that, which makes this mama so so so dang happy. I've had a crappy week and am looking forward to just being still. Maybe some early morning apple picking, pumpkin carving, bday celebrations with my bestie, lots of apple goodies in the oven and rest.
Wishing you all a fabulous weekend and tune in next week and see if I actually get dressed! Ha! yay to yoga pants and sweater weather.