Butternut squash with pecans and cranberries

This recipe is by Yishane Lee and is a part of The Runner’s World Cookbook. 

        Photo taken from the book.

I made this as my contribution this year to Thanksgiving dinner. Although I LOVE sweet potato casserole, I didn’t want to consume all the sugar and butter that goes into making it. This squash recipe is GF, Vegetarian, Vegan if you skip the cheese and low-calorie. However, it is not low on flavor! 
1/2c chopped pecans
1 tbsp EVOO
1 lg onion finely chopped
2 to 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
2 1/4 lb butternut squash peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2″ cubes 
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and ground black pepper
1/2c dried cranberries
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/4c grated Parmesan (optional)
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pecans and toast, stirring to avoid burning, for 6 minutes. Remove them from the skillet.
Heat the same skillet over medium-low heat. Add the oil, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until the onions begin to soften.
Add the squash, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes, or until tender but still holding it’s shape. 
Add the cayenne and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in half of the pecans, cranberries, parsley, and cheese, if using. Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with the remaining pecans, cranberries, parsley, and cheese, if using.
Nutrition:
301 Calories, 48g carbs, 8g fiber, 4g protein, 14g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 159mg sodium
This was so easy to make. I did skip the cheese since I don’t eat dairy. I bought the squash pre-cut. I also let the squash cook 40 minutes because I felt it needed the extra time. My “pinch” of cayenne was more like a “dusting” which gave it extra kick without compromising the taste. This will be a recipe that I plan to make time and again. 
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