Maybe for you it’s the festive décor. Or it could be the white twinkle lights, stockings tacked to the mantle, or even the annual party you look forward to all year. For me, it’s the food this time of year that really gets me in the spirit. After all, this is the season to get together with your friends and family, and spend time, well, eating.
Fact is, diet blunders abound this time of year, and you shouldn’t have to resign yourself to grilled chicken and steamed broccoli every night for dinner to make up for it. The key to balance during the holidays is to make the healthy food you eat into something special—something so satisfying and delicious that it won’t leave you pining for another gingerbread truffle.
So allow me to introduce you to delicata squash, an easy-to-prep, fail-proof winter squash that’s positively packed with beta carotene. With the recipe below, you can turn it into a dish (main or side, your choice) that’s elegant enough for a holiday meal and one so yummy you’ll almost forget you’re doing something good for you. We’ll call it a Christmas miracle.
Roasted Delicata Squash with Maple Drizzle
1 Delicata squash, trimmed and sliced into ¼ inch rings
1 tbsp. Olive oil
¼ tsp. Kosher salt, or more to taste
¼ tsp. Freshly grated black pepper
¼ tsp. Ground cumin
1 tbsp. Brown sugar
2 tbsp. Pure maple syrup, warm
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. If using foil, spray with nonstick spray.
3. Toss squash with olive oil in a mixing bowl then arrange rings on baking sheet, laying flat or slightly overlapping, if necessary.
4. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, cumin and sugar.
5. Place in preheated oven and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until tender and golden brown.
6. Serve, drizzled with maple syrup.
Per serving: 154 calories, 7 fat grams (including 1 gram saturated fat, 1 gram polyunsaturated fat, and 5 grams monounsaturated fat), 295 milligrams sodium, 68 milligrams potassium, 22 grams carbs.
Becca Boyd is a wife and mom who teaches culinary courses to students at Radnor High School. She creates healthy and delicious recipes in her West Chester kitchen and blogs about them on her website, Home Beccanomics. See more of Becca’s recipe for Be Well Philly here.