If you follow me on instagram (doooo it) you may have noticed I’ve been having just a wee bit of fun with those polls on my insta-story lately (okay, more like obsessed).
In my defense I love this option as it’s an easy way to connect with you and get feedback on what you find valuable and relevant. Because I definitely don’t write these posts for my own benefit — so I want to make sure you’re actually finding the content useful!
Which brings me to this next blog post topic — a recipe you voted on in the polls — Maple Roasted Delicata Squash Boats Stuffed with Bacon and Kale. Drool. Yes it’s as good as it sounds and it’s surprisingly easy too!
But the thing I love most about this recipe is it’s one of those dishes you can use to trick the “healthy food haters” into eating and still loving — AKA picky kids, husbands, dinner-guests, relatives and even yourself.
Perhaps it’s the addition of crispy, pastured bacon, or the buttery-sweet maple roasted delicata squash. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s “stuffed” or that it tastes like Thanksgiving. All I know is this is one of those crowd-pleasing recipes you use when you need to get the meat and potato folk to eat their veggies (without feeling punished).
It’s also insanely easy to make (no peeling and minimal chopping) so pin it when you need something to bring to a holiday gathering or when you’re short on time and in the mood for something good.
Oh and in case you were wondering how the heck bacon is healthy — here’s a few things to consider:
The amount of bacon in this recipe is minimal, but it’s intense flavor helps to make this vegetable-focused dish delish. So if you’re eating a bit of (good quality) bacon in order to build a better relationship with antioxidant-rich veggies — that do SO much good for your bod — that’s a win in my book.
Pretty much any food can be messed with in some way make it less optimal for your health. Think about it, even an apple can become toxic when sprayed with pesticides and harmful chemicals. This is why in today’s world it’s all about the QUALITY. Uncured, pastured bacon that is free of nitrates contains high amounts of good quality protein, fat (high in oleic acid, the stuff that makes olive oil so healthy) and vitamin D. One of my favorite brands is Wellshire Farms Dry-Rubbed Sugar-Free Bacon.
Still not convinced? You can check out this informative post of more bacon-buying tips or simply replace the bacon with turkey bacon or sausage, quinoa, or more nuts for added protein + fat. Don’t force yourself to eat it if you don’t like it — you gotta do what feels best for you!
Happy Healthy Holidays my love!
Maple Roasted Delicata Squash Boats w/ Bacon + Kale
Rich in flavor from crispy bacon + buttery-sweet delicata squash — this crowd-pleasing, holiday-friendly dish will have even the pickiest of eaters devouring their veggies.
Author: Lauren Chambers
Recipe Type: entree, side dish,
2 medium sized delicata squash, sliced in half lengthwise and seeds scooped
1/2 small sweet onion, minced
4-6 slices of uncured, pastured bacon
1 bunch of lacinato kale leaves, rinsed, de-stemmed and chopped
1/4 cup raw pecans
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
4 tbsp avocado or olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
fresh ground black pepper to taste
Optional — drizzle of pure maple syrup (omit if Whole30 or avoiding sugar) and sprinkle of Kite Hill Almond Milk Ricotta Cheese or Goat Cheese (if digest dairy well)
Preheat the oven to 425F. Drizzle each squash half with a little avocado oil, sea salt and pepper and place cut side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast in the oven until the squash is tender, about 30 minutes.
Heat a tbsp of avocado oil in a large deep skillet (I used a cast-iron) over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then add chopped bacon and spices and stir.
Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the bacon is cooked through and no longer pink. Add the chopped kale leaves and pecans and continue to cook until the kale turns bright green and becomes tender, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Remove the squash from oven and flip squash side up. Drizzle with maple syrup and scoop bacon/kale mixture evenly into each squash. Sprinkle with fresh pomegranate seeds and almond milk ricotta or goat cheese.
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