roasted acorn squash with spinach, brussel sprouts, toasted walnuts & craisins


It’s 2017 everyone! Happy New Year!

Like we do each and every January, the Hubs and I have been doing a cleanse {diet} to lose those extra holiday pounds. Since last year, we have really liked the Eat to Live concept, where eating vegan/vegetarian is best for our health. Yes, yes, we love meat with all our hearts. So eating straight fruits and vegetables has been a major challenge. For this January, we decided to {once in a while} add a tad bit of animal by-products {eggs, yogurt and sour cream} to our diet. This has made it a little bit easier.

Have you ever eaten so much junk food that is grosses you out? After you eat it, you swear that you will never eat it again. Well, it’s funny because now that I am eating vegan/vegetarian again, I am craving pizza and burgers so hard. It’s the grass is always greener effect.

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Winter squash is such a cozy and satisfying health food. Since it’s difficult to find comfort food that is healthy, I made a point to share this recipe with you!

Savannah has been cold. Yes, I know it’s nothing like PA or NY, but 38 degrees in the morning is chilly for this southern city! Everyone is overreacting.

We searched three different stores for fire wood, but they were all out! So we went to ACE Hardware. The girl told me there was one bundle left. She escorted me to the spot, but all that was left was the price and bark pieces from the wood. We searched around and tucked behind a different display was a red burlap bag filled with wood. It looked like someone hid it for later.

“I’ll buy it!”

I ran out to the car and jumped in, “Drive, Drive! It’s like the Apocalypse out there!”

And that is how we got the last bundle of wood on the coldest weekend in Savannah. #drama

So we lit a crackling fire and warmed up the oven for this comfy cozy meal. This dinner comes together easily. I toasted the walnuts on the stove top while the Brussel sprouts and acorn squash roasted in the oven. Then right before serving, I wilted the spinach leaves.

It seems like the most stunning part of this meal is the golden and charred skin on both the sprouts and squash. I also love how the squash becomes its own bowl because bowls are the epitome of comfort {to me}.

All this to say, when the meal came together, the food photographer in me grabbed the camera and took these shots. It was getting dark outside and the Hubs was getting hungry, but a photo op is a photo op.

Ready for the recipe?

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ingredients

  • 2 acorn squash, cut in half & remove seeds
  • 2 cups Brussel sprouts, stems trimmed & halved
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 cups spinach leaves
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 4 tablespoons fat free sour cream {omit for vegan}
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 415 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with non-stick aluminum foil {or use non-stick spray}. Toss Brussel sprout halves with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread out evenly on baking sheet, cut side down.
  3. Line another baking sheet with aluminum foil {or use a cast iron pan}. Rub flesh of squash halves with olive oil, a pinch of brown sugar, salt and pepper. Assemble on pan flesh side down {skin side up}.
  4. Roast Brussel sprouts for 30 minutes {until leaves are charred and golden}. Set aside.
  5. Roast squash for 40-45 minutes {until flesh is soft and skin in charred}.
  6. Heat skillet over medium heat with just enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Add nuts and a pinch of salt; spread nuts in single layer in pan. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes. Watch carefully, so they do not burn. Set aside to cool. Chop into pieces when cooled.
  7. Heat clean skillet on medium and add some olive oil to coat the bottom of pan {1-2 minutes}. Add spinach leaves and stir occasionally until wilted {about 1-2 minutes}.
  8. Assemble: Fill each squash half with a portion of the spinach and Brussel sprouts. Top with a dollup of sour cream, dried cranberries and toasted walnuts. Finish with a pinch of salt and pepper. {Eat left over Brussel sprouts as a side, they are super filling!}

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Author: A Common Connoisseur

My name is Maria! I'm a vibrant Italian American with a zest for life. I am also a major glutton. Join me on my journey to diverse restaurants and in my kitchen, as I eat and cook my way through flavory fare. I am no expert, which is why I am merely a Common Connoisseur.

3 thoughts

  1. Hey! I’ve been experimenting with veganism for the last 4 days, and have started to run out of ideas! Thank you for sharing and providing some inspiration. Your photography is gorgeous! This recipe is a true stunner. This recipe has all of my favourite ingredients so I can’t wait to try it 🙂 I want a whole plate now, actually…

    Liked by 1 person

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