by Elizabeth Patton, MS, RD, LD, CDE
Many of my recipe inspirations come from my mom, who I’m sure passed along my gene for creative cooking. Last fall, I sampled a new creation from her fridge: roasted butternut squash with haricot vert (French green beans). It was so delicious that I tried it as soon as I got home (with my own little spin) and have been waiting earnestly to prepare it again this season.
The gorgeous, bright orange color of butternut squash also means that it’s packed with nutrition. Bright orange veggies, like carrots too, are known for carotenoids, which can help you retain good vision. One serving of butternut squash supplies an enormous amount of vitamin A; I’m talking over 200% the daily value, and 30% of your daily vitamin C needs. Butternut squash is a starchier vegetable – falling between potatoes and non-starchy veggies, like carrots – with only about 80 calories and 20 grams of carbohydrate per cup. And it’s packed with fiber too. Upwards of 5 grams per cup! Better yet, it’s really easy to prepare and many grocers sell it pre-cut, so you don’t even have to do the prep work.
Butternut squash is surprisingly sweet, similar to a sweet potato but silkier and richer. This recipe is a perfect side dish for any type of meat and quick for weeknights when time is lacking. If you’re looking for a meatless dish, try it on top of brown rice. It tastes equally as great reheated, so save yourself some time later and make enough for leftovers. The hardest part was cutting the squash – so sharpen your knife and get ready to use your muscles!
Butternut Squash with Haricot Vert
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
2 cups fresh haricot vert (or green beans)
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1-2 Tbsp olive oil, enough to lightly coat
Fresh ground black pepper
1. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Spray with a non-stick cooking spray.
2. Lay squash, haricot vert and almonds in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
3. Drizzle with olive oil and lightly season with salt, pepper, garlic and thyme. Turn gently with a spatula to coat.
4. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20-30 minutes, or until squash is tender and can be easily punctured with a fork.
Elizabeth Patton MS, RD, LD, CDE is the chief blogger behind Good Food Tastes Good, a blog where Liz shares her passion for healthy eating and expertise on the matter regularly. Follow Good Food Tastes Good on Facebook.