Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Roasted Squash with Pepitas and Pomeganate

I'm just back from celebrating the holidays with our kids and grand kids, including the newest addition to the family, a new grandson! While visiting, I've spent some time in the kitchen, sometimes making old family favorites, other times trying out something new. Here's a new something, inspired by a recipe in Sunset magazine.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I freely admit that I don't take directions well. The flip side is that I excel at creative additions, changes, and trying innovative ways to improve ... on anything, including recipes. When I see recipes in magazines, I like to read them through, see what they do that I don't, and think about why that may or may not be "good." I interpret good as healthy and tasty. Lots of butter may make something taste good, but it's not too healthy. However, roasting concentrates flavor without adding fats, so I consider that good, as in both healthy and tasty. Feel free to follow my directions, or to simply use them as guidelines, for your own creations.


2 cups cubed squash (delicata, butternut, or any mild winter squash)
sprays of canola or olive oil
several shakes of cayenne pepper (optional)
1 Tbs honey, agave syrup, or maple syrup
1/4 cup roasted pepita (pumpkin) seeds
1/4 cup pomegranate arils (seeds)
salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 425F. Peel and cube the squash. Spray a baking sheet with olive or canola oil, then spread the squash cubes on the sheet. Spray squash cubes with more oil. If using, shake some cayenne pepper on the squash. Bake the squash cubes for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the variety of squash. Delicata squash cooks the quickly, while butternut squash with take a little longer. Test the squash for doneness by seeing if it pierces easily with a fork, or taste a piece. Remove the squash from the oven, Pour the honey over the squash. Toss and taste. Add several grinds of salt and pepper to taste. Place the squash in a serving dish. Top with the pepitas and pomegranate seeds. Enjoy

Serves 4

Stealthy Cooking Tip: This recipe uses roasting to concentrate flavors, then adds a bit of sweetness with honey, and some pretty (and healthy) toppings. Oils and butters carry and enhance flavors, as well as adding a smooth mouthfeel. Oils are also useful in cooking and roasting to provide a barrier so that food doesn't stick to the cooking surface. Some oils, like olive or canola oil, include healthy fats that help our bodies absorb vitamins. However, we don't need much of those healthy fats for health. This recipe uses simple sprays of oil to eliminate sticking, while also enhancing flavor and adding a pleasant feel to the food.

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