I’m not one to wear white before memorial day, but when it comes to the rules for vegetables, I have to say I’m breaking this one because it’s the end of March and I’m still using butternut squash! Butternut is one of the most common varieties of winter squash and it’s one of those vegetables that stays nice all winter long because of it’s tough skin. One serving contains just 80 calories, 0 grams of fat, and 22 grams of “good” carbohydrates which includes 6 grams of dietary fiber. If that isn’t reason enough to add this vegetable to your dinner table, research studies have shown that the high levels of carotenes in squash may help decrease the risk of cancer. Roast that squash and mix it with a serving of kale greens and quinoa and you have a power-packed lunch or dinner that will keep your belly happy for hours!
I think we as a society tend to be overly skeptical and cynical about the food we eat, probably because of years of greed and injustice about how our food is prepared, the ingredients it contains, and the pesticides that are applied. Back in the 1970s and ‘80s, if people decided to seek out alternative medicine or explore the use of food or other non-medicinal therapy for healing purposes they were likely to be deemed crazy. We’ve all heard the term “witch doctor” which I actually thought was just one of those stories passed on from generation to generation until I actually saw and felt the benefits of alternative medicine for myself. The reality that we can heal our bodies from the inside out is becoming more mainstream, and I’m happy to be experiencing the benefits of this “food revolution” for myself. Word on the street is that butternut squash contains high levels of vitamin A, so if you massage some on your scalp for fifteen minutes and then wash your hair with an herbal shampoo, it is said that your hair will grow faster and quicker. Don’t quote me on that one, but you never know! (You might want to cook it and puree it first!) In any event, food or “conditioner” butternut is a great veggie to add to your household!
1 butternut squash, cubed and roasted
3 cups of kale, cleaned and julienned into strips
1 cup quinoa, cook according to package directions
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup good balsamic vinegar
Roast the cubed butternut with a sprinkle of olive oil, salt and pepper at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes. Julienne the kale and toss with balsamic vinegar, quinoa and cranberries. This dish can be served hot or cold.