Maple Mustard Roasted Butternut Squash

I’m baaaaack with a new recipe today! Maple Mustard Roasted Butternut Squash coming in hot!

Before I dive into today’s recipe, I just want to give a HUGE thank you to everyone who commented, messaged, texted, or otherwise reached out after my last post. I felt so vulnerable before sharing but today my heart is absolutely exploding with the love you all shared. Knowing that so many people relate makes rough days far less lonely. So thanks for that!

Maple Mustard Roasted Butternut Squash | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Anywhooo. How about we talk about a recipe?! Finally!! And what better a recipe than one that gets back to basics. In fact, this is so basic, I hardly even considered it a recipe and debated not posting it at all. But then I realized that I’ve made it every single week for the past few months so it had to be shared.

Maple Mustard Roasted Butternut Squash | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Maple + mustard is one of my fav combos of all time. Something about the tang, with the sweetness, with the salty, with the bitter… My taste buds are doing a little tango just thinking about it! I like to make two giant trays of this on Sunday and pop it all in the fridge to munch on all week.

Maple Mustard Roasted Butternut Squash | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Maple Mustard Roasted Butternut Squash | AreYouKitchenMe.com

What’s fun about making big batches of staples like this is that it can be used in so many ways. Here are a few suggestions for eating the roasted nuggets:

  • On top of a salad (I added some to this kale salad recipe at Thanksgiving- huge hit!)
  • Blended into a soup (1 recipe squash + 1 can coconut milk = TOO GOOD)
  • Dropped into a simmering curry
  • As part of a bowl-style meal
  • Wrapped up into burritos or enchiladas
  • As a side dish for a potluck for family meal
  • Tossed into a breakfast hash
  • Straight from the fridge dipped in almond butter

Errrr… Maybe that last one is kind of weird. But it totally hits the late night sweet- salty spot! Plus, having these roasted jewels in the fridge ensure that I have a healthy snack and don’t end up eating an entire bag of tortilla chips… Not that I’ve ever made that fatal mistake before…

Maple Mustard Roasted Butternut Squash | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Here’s to being back in the recipe game. And to you. You rock.

Maple Mustard Roasted Butternut Squash

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 5-6 servings

A basic method for roasted one of fall and winter favorite vegetables. Maple Mustard Roasted Butternut Squash are good with practically everything!

Ingredients

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and chopped into ¾” pieces
  • 4 Tbs. maple syrup
  • 4 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp. each, salt & pepper
  • ½ tsp. each, smoked paprika and cinnamon (or other spices)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the over to 425F. Line two baking sheets with silicone mats or foil lightly sprayed with non-stick coating.
  2. Toss the chopped squash with the maple, Dijon, and seasoning. Feel free to use whatever flavors you favor!
  3. Roast the squash for 45-50 minutes, gently tossing once.
http://www.areyoukitchenme.com/maple-mustard-roasted-butternut-squash/

Friday Feels

I haven’t written a new blog post in over three weeks. Maybe you’ve noticed. Maybe you haven’t. I certainly didn’t plan to take a “break”, so my apologies for suddenly going MIA. Life has been a bit bumpy lately, and I’m finally inspired to talk about it. So I thought I’d steal from the lovely Emilie and call this Friday Feels.

Blogging for me

When I first started blogging (yep, we’re going allllll the way back to the days of scrupulous calorie counting and 10 cups of coffee daily), I had no idea what I was doing. Still don’t, to be quite honest. All I knew then and still know now is that I have a passion for eating and living healthy that I want to share with the world. As it’s evolved, this blog has been all about my readers. It’s my constant goal to provide readers with easy, approachable, healthy, delicious recipes. And I love that.

But blogging is so much more than that for me. Blogging is therapy. It’s expression, it’s artistry, it’s a hobby it’s a release, it’s an escape. And when I get too wrapped up in pleasing the friends and strangers on the other side of the computer screen, I forget that. I forget to let this blog be about me too. I love each and every person who ever even skims through my words more than you can possibly imagine. You are so important to me and I plan on providing you with recipes for as long as I keep cooking them. But I also want to give myself this space to be honest and open and expressive.

Because I am important too.

True Life: My Life Isn’t Just About Food

Gasp! I know. It’s hard to believe I do anything other than take pictures of every single meal and cook all day long. But there is more to me than smoothie bowls and one-pot recipes. I sometimes have a hard time posting or sharing these things because I’m certain that no one cares about anything on here except recipes. But in the act of letting this blog be a bit more about me, I’d like to share the rest.

I just transitioned into a new role at work and am struggling to find meaning and direction in these new shoes. I adore the company I’m employed at and the work that we do in our community but change is always a challenge for me.

Something about going through this most recent round of interviews flipped a switch in my brain about the future. Suddenly I feel like I have to have set-in-stone goals, a 5-year plan, a long term to-do list, and a mortgage. I know I’m still incredibly young but being on the “undecided” path about a lot of aspects of life is scary.

Maybe you’ve experienced this too, but it feels like the older I get, the less good news there is and the more bad news I hear. I’m talking everything from school shootings, grandparents with cancer, friends’ kids dying, unpleasant presidential elections, war, famine… Gross, shitty, ugly, scary news. I know I’m not alone in this but it can be hard to find the light in all that darkness.

To get down to the realest talk of all, I am also a sufferer of clinically diagnosed anxiety and depression, as well as an undiagnosed but nearly certain recovering sufferer of an anorexia/orthorexia eating disorder. Straight up, sometimes, I. Freak. Out. Sometimes it’s because I ate too many fries at dinner, sometimes it’s because I said something awkward in a conversation 6 days ago, sometimes it’s for no reason at all.

So between the lines of the food-filled Instagram feed, there has been a lot of crying (like wow a lot), a lot of negative self-talk, a lot of fear, a lot of panic. Few days have gone by in the last few weeks where I haven’t ended up on the couch in the arms of my patient partner, crying what feels like an actual river.

But I’m ready to pick myself up and keep on keepin’ on today.

Perseverance with a side of acceptance.

I see a lot of awesome quotes about “putting in work” and “hustling” and “making the most of every day”. I love them. They inspire me to not be lazy, work hard, and get shit done. But they also encourage me to not take breaks, to constantly be on my feet and moving, and to set unrealistic expectations for myself.

It’s ok to not get much done some days.

Phew… That was hard to say. Was it hard to hear? Maybe you didn’t grow up with a Superwoman role model of a mother who seemed to accomplish more in a day than most humans do in a week, like I did. Maybe an unending work ethic isn’t something you’re afflicted with (yes, it can be an affliction.) Whatever the case, know that you don’t have to be perfect and successful and productive every single day.

You know what I’ve found in these few weeks of not forcing myself to write recipes when I don’t have the mental energy? I’m awesome at other things! I’m absolutely superb at relaxing on the couch. I’m a grade-A people watcher at the mall on Black Friday. I’m excellent at taking way more time than necessary to clean the bathroom.

I love these things about myself. And I plan on cherish them more going forward. I’ll still be here, talking about how delicious plants are, but maybe we can talk about Friday Feels more often?

All the love in the world.

Natalie

What I Ate Wednesday

Raise your hand if you stayed up waaayyy too late watching the election results last night. Yeah, me too… Rub your bleary eyes and check out What I Ate Wednesday!

Before we start, I just want to take a sec to talk about how cool it was to see TWO females on the ballot for president today. Even if you’re not a fan of one or both of them, the symbolism of how far our country has come is pretty amazing. I feel very strongly about the examples we set for the daughters of our generations and seeing women participating in the highest level of politics is certainly a good standard to set. End rant. EDITED: This was written Tuesday night before the most bigoted man to ever run for office was elected to be the leader and the example for millions of children. A sad day, indeed…

We hit the gym suuuper early so that we could get a good workout in before lining up at the polls. Half a banana is about as much as I’m ready to consume at 5am…

What I Ate Wednesday | AreYouKitchenMe.com

I got a late start getting ready for work since we were voting, but luckily I had prepped a smoothie the night before. Lately, I’ve been throwing all of my smoothie ingredients into the blender the night before, popping the whole container in the freezer, and then just taking it out, adding milk and blending away. This bad boy had banana, cauliflower, pumpkin, spinach, Vega protein powder, and pumpkin pie spice. My seasonal fav for sure!!

What I Ate Wednesday | AreYouKitchenMe.com

I was SO excited to hit up one of my favorite spots for lunch, Angry Baker, with a friend today. But, alas, I was a disappointed. I ordered the roasted veggie wrap but asked for it in a bowl. They somehow missed that memo and it came in a tortilla anyways, which I just wasn’t feeling. Don’t get me wrong, the fillings were BOMB (uhhmm hello harissa roasted sweet potatoes) and I still adore the place, just wasn’t diggin’ it today.

What I Ate Wednesday | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Even though lunch wasn’t all that satisfying, it kept me full until about 4:00 when I munched on a big, juicy apple. Truth be told, I was mostly just bored but I guess a crisp apple is a better boredom snack than say.. leftover Halloween candy from the bowl in the kitchen.

What I Ate Wednesday | AreYouKitchenMe.com

We had to run errands and drop some things off with John’s parents so dinner was also on the go. I hit the Whole Foods salad bar roasted veg selection up HARD. I picked their garlicky kale (honestly could eat it every day of my life), maple sweet potatoes, herb tofu, and roasted purple sweet potatoes, parsnips, and carrots. I microwaved it in the dining area (I was cold) and then dipped everything in ketchup and mustard because condiments are bae.

I brewed a cup of my favorite decaf snickerdoodle flavored coffee to curl up with while watching the election results. I called it quits before midnight, after dozing in and out of sleep for a few hours.

Most of us are waking up to shocking news today. Some may be in positive awe, others in downright despair. I, myself, am far more sad than I had expected to be but found comfort in a quote from a Jewel song that a friend posted on Facebook. It’s a song I used to love but that rings true now more than ever. I’ll leave you with it:

If I could tell the world just one thing, it would be that we’re all OK. And not worry ’cause worry is wasteful and useless in times like these. I won’t be made useless. Won’t be idle with despair. I will gather myself around my faith for light does the darkness most fear.

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