It feels completely unreal to be talking Thanksgiving with you guys right now but with just six weeks to go, it’s time to start planning. This season, I have a hankering for festive holiday dishes that make a nod toward traditional favorites in a new and exciting way. This simple 5-ingredient roasted acorn squash recipe is an excellent place to start.
It’s also the very first recipe I made in our new house, which we are finally settling into after a full week of packing, cleaning, unpacking, and cleaning some more. Owning our first home has been a fascinating experience so far. Anything that can take me away from TGG for a full week must be special, so I purposely set aside most of my business projects to live in the present moment and take it all in.
Time away from TGG has me thinking more and more about the practicing what I preach. I talk so much about balance, mindfulness, and the importance of sleep, exercise, and stress management because I know in my heart of hearts that these things are just as important as what we eat. But of course, knowing something is important does not immediately translate to real-life application and I have honestly struggled to find that elusive thing we call “work-life balance.”
But a funny thing happened when I pushed work to the back burner: nothing. My business did not collapse. I did not lose all of my followers. I did not come back to an inbox filled with angry messages from fans that could not believe I would deny them new blog posts for a full week.
Nope, everything is still here, as I left it.
The only part that feels a little different is…me. I learned an important lesson from focusing on my home and personal happiness for a few days. Sometimes a little break is the best possible way to come back to work with a fresh perspective. So, really, from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for understanding and sticking by my side throughout the short hiatus.
Because I’m back! And I’m feeling refreshed and restored and totally ready to share some more mouthwatering plant-based recipes with you. Trust me, there’s no shortage of scrumptious-ness on the horizon.
And it all begins with roasted acorn squash. (We’re talking healthy Thanksgiving recipes, so what else?) Sliced and coated with cumin and a little salt and pepper, this acorn squash is delicious all by itself but, as is the case with so many of my favorite dishes, the real magic starts with the toppings.
Fresh pomegranates are just coming into season and I can’t get enough of their sweet and juicy bright red arils. They pair perfectly with earthy winter squash and are loaded with beneficial antioxidants and polyphenols too. Bright green pistachios were just screaming to be included for more color and nutrition in the form of healthy fats, protein, and fiber.
You’re only about 40 minutes and 5 simple, whole food ingredients away from a colorful and healthy fall side dish that will indisputably take your holiday table to that next level of deliciousness. And because this roasted acorn squash recipe is vegan and free of gluten, dairy, and soy, it’s a holiday dish that everyone at the table can enjoy.
Why wait until Thanksgiving?
- 1 peeled and cored acorn squash, sliced into half rings
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or cooking oil of choice)
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup pomegranate arils (arils from about ½ small pomegranate)
- ¼ cup shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 400º F and prepare a baking sheet. Combine squash, oil, cumin, and salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl and then spread mixture on baking sheet. Place on center rack of oven and bake until squash is tender and golden brown, about 30 minutes.
- Remove baking sheet from oven, transfer squash to serving dish, and sprinkle with pomegranate arils and chopped pistachios before serving.
How do you like to update your family’s traditional holiday recipes?