Learning Kitchen: Fall Flavors – Butternut Squash

I’ve never cooked butternut squash from raw before: it’s always come in frozen or fresh pre-cut chunks that I’ve simply roasted with some seasoning. But I saw gorgeous produce at Trader Joe’s yesterday, and couldn’t help but think it was time for an experiment.

I broke down the squash by peeling it, then slicing it down the middle. Next, I cut it across into slices, seasoned it with butter and spices, and roasted it in the oven at 375F for about 40 minutes.

While that was going, I seasoned chicken breasts with the same spices, putting them in the oven, too, to finish after searing for 5 minutes on each side (they were incredibly thick!).

I used the next 20 minutes to sauté some haricot vert and thinly sliced shallots in butter, putting them on low to keep warm while I waited for the rest of the food to cook.

This nearly-paleo meal is only 385 calories (give or take a few, depending on butter), and felt like an entire Thanksgiving dinner! Just remember to keep chicken moist by pulling it from the oven at 165F so that the residual heat can cook it all the way through while plating, and you’ll swear it’s impossible that this delicious meal is also super healthy.

I might have cooked the butternut squash longer for added softness, and made a gravy with chicken drippings and a roux for a more decadent meal, but I’m pretty pleased with the results. The shallots turned sweet in the sauté, and the blend of spices – herbs de provence, savory, and rosemary – fit perfectly with the theme of the night.

Give this meal a shot, and let me know how it works for you!

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