It's no surprise that foods rich in color are the healthiest foods on earth, after all, eating is one of the most intimate ways of using the senses to interact with our environment. This past Thursday's Company 'Jam Sesh' lunch was a feast to the eyes while also hearty, satisfying, delicious and deeply nourishing to our bodies!
Ideas were generated and exchanged and conversation and creativity flowed freely as the six of us Not Your Sugar Mama Babes enjoyed piles of crisp baby kale greens topped with a beet/parsley/ginger slaw alongside the star of the show- tender cubes of heavenly teriyaki roasted butternut squash... (recipe below!).
Cooking and eating from nature's color wheel is a fun and simple way to gain inspiration in the kitchen and a useful tool in the pursuit of whole health and nutrition. You can just follow your instincts or, a light investigation on the interwebs can yield a lot of useful information. For example, red foods contain lycopene, a compound that helps prevent heart disease; dark blue and purple fruits are rich in antioxidants; dark, leafy greens are rich in folic acid and are a great source of calcium and iron; and orange foods, like the butternut squash in this dish are rich in vitamin C with a one cup serving providing almost half of the recommended daily dose!
Every time I peel back the tough skin of a butternut squash my heart sings at the sight of its tangerine flesh with the warmth of stored energy from the sun glistening forth. Boasting many health benefits, butternut squash is part of the gourd family which also includes pumpkin, melon, and cucumber. Although I've always thought of them as a "starchy vegetable" these graceful, hourglass miracles are technically a fruit because they contain seeds. They also contain fiber (making them heart-healthy), potassium (important for bone health), vitamin B6 (necessary for proper functioning of the nervous and immune systems), folate, and phytonutrients! Their gorgeous color signals an abundance of carotenoids which protect against heart disease and very high beta carotene content (which the body automatically converts to vitamin A) which has been said to ward off breast cancer and protect against age-related macular degeneration!
Teriyaki Roasted Butternut Squash
You will need:
- one medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1/4 C organic maple syrup
-1/4 C bragg's liquid aminos or namah shoyu
-2 T extra virgin olive oil (or oil of choice)
-fresh garlic, minced (I used A LOT: 6 to 8 cloves)
-fresh ginger, minced (again, I used A LOT about 3 to 4 inches!)
-sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl combine all the above ingredients and let sit for at least 20 mins. Cover a baking dish with parchment paper. Pour contents of bowl evenly over the parchment paper and roast in the over for about 45 mins. until the squash is fork tender. Enjoy!
Thanks so much for reading! Let me know how it turned out, if you modified or tweaked anything, or if you have any input! Stay tuned for more hearty, healthy, vegan and gluten free meal ideas! What satisfies you when it's cold out? What are you favorite winter time vegetarian dishes!?
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