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Vegetarian Recipes

Maple Roasted Acorn Squash

https://www.loveandlemons.com/acorn-squash/

This roasted acorn squash recipe is a simple, elegant fall side dish. Seasoned with maple syrup and cozy herbs, it’s deliciously sweet and savory.

Today, I’m sharing this maple roasted acorn squash recipe in the spirit of simplicity. As the holidays approach, I’ve been thinking more and more about how the best things in life are the simplest. It’s easy for the end of the year to become a rush of gift giving and to feel like every moment has to be perfect, losing sight of the fact that the simple things about the holidays, like spending time with loved ones, are really the best.

So let’s make this easy roasted acorn squash! Instead of having my usual stuffed acorn squash on repeat this fall, I’ve been loving how this recipe highlights how flavorful the squash is on its own. Roasted with salt, pepper, herbs, and just a touch of maple, the squash is creamy and tender, with a cozy sweet and savory flavor. Serve it as an elegant, stress-free Thanksgiving side dish, or make it anytime you’re in the mood for something delicious and simple. 🙂


Acorn squash on a cutting board


How to Cook Acorn Squash

My method for how to cook acorn squash is easy. While the squash cooks for around 30 minutes in the oven, it only requires a few minutes of hands-on prep work:

  • First, halve and seed the squash. Cut them in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop the seeds out of each half.
  • Next, get them ready to bake. Spread the squash halves on a baking sheet with their cut sides facing up. I roast my acorn squash cut side up rather than down so that it keeps its bright color and becomes tender, but not mushy, as it cooks
  • Then, season them. Drizzle each half with olive oil and maple syrup and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Use your hands to rub in the seasonings before sprinkling the squash with chopped fresh sage and rosemary.
  • Finally, bake! Cook the squash for 25-40 minutes in a 425-degree oven, or until it’s tender and golden brown around the edges.

Roasted Acorn Squash Serving Suggestions

This baked acorn squash is one of my favorite simple fall side dishes. It’s good with your favorite protein any night of the week. It would be an excellent choice for your winter holiday meal or Thanksgiving dinner next to your mashed potatoes and green bean casserole.

Alternatively, make it a meal on its own! For an easy no-recipe dinner, I serve it with a hearty grain like quinoa or farro, roasted veggies like Brussels sprouts or cauliflower, roasted chickpeas, and drizzles of tahini sauce. If you’re looking for more main dish acorn squash recipes, try stuffing it! Fill it with a quinoa salad, black beans and quinoa, or spiced chickpeas and chimichurri.

Maple Roasted Acorn Squash

Author: Jeanine Donofrio

Recipe type: Side dish

  • 3 acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Maple syrup, for drizzling
  • Chopped fresh sage and/or rosemary
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the acorn squash halves on the baking sheet cut-side up. Drizzle with olive oil, maple syrup, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use your hands to coat the squash. Sprinkle the sage and/or rosemary into the center of the squash and roast until tender and golden brown around the edges, 25 to 40 minutes depending on the size of your squash.
  3. Season to taste and serve hot as a side dish, or pair it with herbed farro to make it a meal.
For an easy variation, you can roast the squash in slices instead of halves. Use the same method to season them, but cut the squash halves into ½-inch half-moons. Roast them until tender, for 25 to 30 minutes. I like to use this method when I add acorn squash to fall salads like
this one.
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Vegetarian Recipes

CAULIFLOWER BOLOGNESE

“I want you to come watch the movie with us ON the couch, not be in the kitchen!”

I’ve been filling out this one-question-a-day journals for moms that I received for Christmas. It records a little thought or memory over the last year, and then starts again, so you can see how your answers change over a few years. One of the recent ones, prompted me to jot notes about what I am learning as a mom, and I found the question so general I was basically annoyed. I am a romantic, and also wildly pragmatic. In the span of a day I can tear up over the depths of love I feel for my kids, and also wish for them to have a mute button. We all have worlds within us; mothering pushing me into the corners of myself I am sometimes proud of or other corners ashamed of, but am I learning? Yes, every single day. Sometimes in the moment and other times after a particular season. But in 2021, my answer in the bullet journal was that I see my kids are wanting me to play with them. They aren’t registering all the service and shuttling and laundry and what it takes to pull off a week, they just want to play WITH me. It’s natural for me to move within lists and tasks and responsibilities and hustling, but playing is something I have to pay attention to. For them and for me. We usually do a family movie on Friday nights and my son (6.5), see quote above, pointed out that I don’t actually watch the movie, I tinker in the kitchen and he wants me in the couch cuddle. Flattered, and found out that I’d rather make granola than watch The Croods 🙂 So from annoyed, to passing on the question to fellow parents, what are you learning? Try not to be annoyed. Maybe circle back to it.

I published this recipe over on SKCC a few weeks ago and wanted it to live here. We’re trying to find more family-friendly vegetarian recipes (it’s easy for me to fill up on roasted veggies and big salads, not so much for the kids). This batch lasts us two meals – once with noodles, maybe half zoodles, and the second round on toast or english muffins with cheese melted on top, like a pizza sort of thing? It freezes well and is great to deliver to new parents.

CAULIFLOWER BOLOGNESE

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion – roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic
sea salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 head of cauliflower (about ¾ lb. or 12 oz. riced)
1/2 cup of raw walnuts pieces
1/2 tsp. of Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. of fennel seeds – crushed
2 Tbsp. of tomato paste
2 Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup of red wine (or broth of any sort, and double the vinegar to mimic the wine’s acidity)
28 oz. of canned, crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup of red lentils
red pepper flake to taste

For serving

12 oz. of pasta or choice, zoodles, etc.
parmesan
fresh, torn basil

Directions

In a large Dutch-oven or stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium low heat.

In a food processor, pulse the onion and garlic into smaller bits. Add them to the pot with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté to soften, about 3 minutes.

Pulse up the cauliflower florets to get a rice-like texture. Add the riced-cauliflower to the pot and sauté to soften, about 5 minutes.

Pulse the walnuts in the processor and add those to the pot along with the Italian seasoning, fennel seed, another few generous pinches of salt and pepper, tomato paste and balsamic vinegar. Sauté until fragrant.

Add the red wine, cook about 3 minutes, then add the crushed tomatoes, ½ cup water, lentils, pinch of pepper flakes and stir to combine. Turn the heat to low, put the cover ajar and let it simmer gently for 30-35 minutes. Turn off the heat, taste for seasoning and adjust.

Cook your pasta or zoodles according to instructions. Top with cauli Bolognese, grated cheese, fresh basil and enjoy!

The Bolognese will keep in the fridge for a week and can be frozen for a few months.

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