“Wow! It’s a Food Adventure!”

That’s exactly what I said to my sister (who proceeded to laugh at me) while I was cutting into a Butternut Squash for tonight’s dinner. I’ve never made butternut squash – and my strongest memory of squash in general (that my sister shares with me as well) was being forced to sit at the dinner table until my roasted acorn squash with butter was completely eaten off of my plate. Ugh. I’ve recently grown to like spaghetti squash, and basically am more open to trying just about anything I can eat, so I decided to take a “Food Adventure”. One of my co-workers is a wellness dietician and had made “Butternut Squash with Pumpkin Pesto for a recent food demo and couldn’t stop raving about it. So I asked for the recipe. I didn’t have to make it, right? I pulled out the packet of winter squash recipes that she gave me and realized that I have everything the recipe called for (except the squash) already in my kitchen. Oh Uh…it looks like butternut squash is on the grocery list and on que for dinner tonight!

I’ve never peeled, chopped, or done anything with butternut squash. I’m not entirely sure if I’ve ever eaten it. So it definitely was a food adventure. I learned that you can peel a squash with a carrot peeler, and the seeds DO EXIST – but in the bigger “belly” part of the squash. Scooping out the seeds kind of made me gag – but I tried not to think about it. I cubed the squash, mixed it with a tbsp of olive oil, gave it a dash of salt and roasted them in my oven at 500 degrees for almost a half an hour. While the squash was cooking, I started on the pesto. I love all of the variations of pesto I’ve been trying lately – every single one has turned out delicious! I blended a 1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds, 1/4 cup cilantro, 1 tbsp olive oil and salt & pepper in my food processor. It doesn’t come out smooth, but that’s ok. When the squash was nice and soft and brown on the edges, I took it out of the oven and immediately mixed the pesto with it.

I can’t believe how delicious it was! This was such an easy dish to make and had some amazing flavors! I loved the nutty texture from the pumpkin seeds, and the sweetness of the squash. Yum. I have to say “Mom, you were right, squash really is good”!

Here’s the nutrition facts for the recipe per 1 cup serving: 245 calories, 15 grams fat, 5 grams protein, 28 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fiber


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