When my husband and I first met in 2002, I knew his interest in a film career would one day lead us to living in California. We lived in the San Francisco bay area for 9 years which was quite a departure from my small hometown in Texas. I knew we’d experience a different way of life but I never imagined that it would impact the way we ate! The “slow food movement” was a foreign language to me. Eating seasonal foods purchased at farmers markets, choosing fresh over canned, raw over processed… I learned so much that drastically changed the way we cooked dinner each night. I’d never heard of persimmons, tasted fresh figs, or made roasted Brussels sprouts. To be honest, I thought sweet potatoes could only be eaten in a casserole or pie after they’d been boiled, mashed and mixed with a list of ingredients. I’d only had canned green beans, never fresh, and spoiler alert: fresh is sooooo much better! We both saw improvements in our digestion, sleep and skin.
Hosting Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving began to look different too. Think less casseroles, more unprocessed side dishes. A quick favorite in our house was a sheet pan of roasted vegetables. Cubed sweet potatoes, halved brussels sprouts, red onion, dried cranberries, maple bacon…the flavors marry so well in the roasting pan and the smell is drool-worthy. They make THE BEST leftovers whether it’s aside turkey and cranberry sauce or fried eggs at breakfast the next morning! You don't have to worry about food allergies with your guests because they're dairy, gluten, and nut free! Toddler hands can easily pick up the cubed veggies and self feed, but you may want to keep an eye on the dried cranberries as they can be a choking hazard. You can save yourself a lot of time and energy by getting pre-cubed butternut squash and halved brussels sprouts. There are a million things to get done the week of thanksgiving, so save yourself some time and headaches by getting prepped vegetables!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Butternut Squash Recipe
- 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 red onion, cut into wedges
- 1 lb brussels sprouts, halved and ends removed
- 6 oz. maple bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 4 Tbsp maple syrup, separated
- Olive or avocado oil
- Salt and pepper
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the butternut squash and red onion with 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper. Toss to coat.
- Spread onto a baking sheet, making sure not to overlap. Overcrowding leads to steaming instead of roasting and you want these veggies to get that delicious blackened flavor! Begin roasting while you prep Brussels sprouts and bacon.
- Using kitchen shears, cut maple bacon into 1 inch pieces. Place in the empty mixing bowl. Add Brussels sprouts, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper. Toss to coat.
- Spread onto a second backing sheet, placing the Brussels sprouts face down.
- Roast both baking sheets, butternut squash for 20-25 minutes and Brussels sprouts for 15-20 minutes. Do not toss vegetables; you want them to achieve that delicious golden color.
- Remove from the oven and drizzle 2 Tbsp of maple syrup over each baking sheet. Toss to coat, then return to oven for 5 minutes more.
- In a large serving bowl, toss the roasted butternut squash, red onion, brussels sprouts, and bacon all together. Fold in the dried cranberries. Salt and pepper to taste.