Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Delicata Squash, & Cranberries

roasted squash, Brussels and cranberriesThanksgiving may be over, but the holiday season is officially in full swing. Although, I’ll be honest, it doesn’t totally feel like it yet. Anyone else feeling that way?

Anyway, with the holiday season here, there will be plenty more dinners, parties, and get togethers, and I’m willing to bet you’re going to need side dish recipes to share. This festive, healthy, and colorful bounty is perfect. And, not only is it visually pleasing, it’s delicious too. I especially love the pop of color and burst of tart flavor from the cranberries. Also, you may notice that the Brussels sprouts are purple (or would it be red?). I had never seen this variety before and couldn’t resist the beautiful color. If you can’t find the purple ones, green work just fine and taste the same.

Meanwhile, I hope all of you had a lovely Thanksgiving last week, and enjoyed time with family and friends.

Cheers and enjoy!

roasted vegetables with cranberries

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced in half
  • 1 medium delicata squash, sliced in half lengthwise, seeded, and cut into half moons
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place Brussels sprouts, cranberries, squash, and shallot on a large baking sheet (line with parchment, if desired) and drizzle with the avocado oil. Sprinkle the thyme, sage, sea salt, and black pepper on top. Toss to combine and spread out in an even layer.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until Brussels sprouts are crispy and browned. If desired, give a gentle stir halfway through cooking time.
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Baked Delicata Squash Fries

Baked delicata squash fries.

Sometimes I have moments where I’ll be sitting on the sofa, dilly dallying or working on my computer, and then suddenly get the urge to get up and make something in the kitchen…like pronto! Seriously, it’ll just happen out of the blue. I actually like when this happens though because it feels spur of the moment, fun and usually results in something delicious. Does this happen to anyone else?

These squash fries are the result of one of those moments. It’s a simple recipe and maybe something you’ve made or tried before, but for me it was new. Sure, I roast veggies and squash all the time, but this was my first attempt at squash fries…at least I think it was.

Anyway, make these and do your best to save some for your husband, wife, significant other, roomie, kids, etc. If you want though, you can keep them all to yourself and I won’t blame you one bit. I resisted eating the whole batch and saved some for Jesse. Could I have downed the whole batch? Yes, easily. But I felt like Jesse deserved to taste these cinnamon-y bites, especially because he loves delicata squash so much. I guess I’m a pretty nice person.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium delicata squash, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds (remove seeds from center after cutting)
  • 2 Tbsp melted grass-fed ghee (coconut oil works too)
  • Himalayan sea salt to taste
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
Cut like so.
Cut like so.
Spread on baking sheet and toss with oil and spices.
Spread on baking sheet and toss with oil and spices. I know, that one on the back is a bit thick, but I didn’t want to cut myself trying to get it thinner. It’s fine, but really, I need a mandolin slicer.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Place squash rounds on a baking sheet and pour melted ghee over top. Sprinkle on the cinnamon, chili powder and sea salt, and toss together.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring a couple times to prevent burning.
  4. Serve right away, as the fries get kinda soggy after sitting out for a while.

Cinnamon, spice and everything nice.

Soft and slightly crisp.

Slow Cooker Cinnamon Beef Cheeks

Cinnamon, grass-fed beef cheeks, and a slow cooker. A tasty fall combo if you ask me! This recipe was inspired by The Paleo Mom’s, cinnamon-braised beef cheeks. You may remember me posting it a few weeks ago on a list of fall-themed recipes. The main difference between my version and hers is that I used a slow cooker to cook the meat, and cooked the squash separately (also used delicata instead of butternut). Other than that, they’re pretty similar.

This made great leftovers, by the way. I ate the leftover beef cheeks with sunny-side up eggs and avocado for breakfast the next morning. It was fabulous!

This was the first time I ever made beef cheeks, but I have eaten beef cheeks before. Cultured Caveman makes an awesome grass-fed chili from beef cheeks! I love the tender and gelatinous quality of the meat (this is because it has a lot of connective tissue). It’s my understanding that it’s best to braise or slow cook this cut of meat, otherwise it can be quite tough.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb grass-fed beef cheeks (I got mine from US Wellness Meats)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp grass-fed tallow or fat of choice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup homemade bone broth (or a decent store-bought kind)
  • Delicata squash, halved and seeded
  • Pat of grass-fed butter, optional
  • Greens of choice

Directions:

  1. Heat tallow in a pan over medium-high heat. Season the beef cheeks with sea salt and pepper. Once the tallow is melted, add the beef cheeks and sear for three minutes per side.
  2. Place chopped onions in the slow cooker and place beef cheeks on top. Pour in the broth and season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Add the cinnamon sticks and make sure they’re submerged in the broth.
  3. Set slow cooker to low and let cook for 6 – 8 hours or until meat is cooked through and tender. Alternatively, you can cook it on high for 4 hours.
  4. Once beef is done or just about done, cook the squash. Set the oven to 350 degrees F and bake skin side up in a shallow pan filled with a little water (about 1/4 inch high). Cook for 35 – 45 minutes or until squash is tender.
  5. While squash is cooking, remove beef cheeks from the slow cooker and chop into small pieces. Add back to the slow cooker and adjust seasonings if necessary. (NOTE: this is optional, you don’t have to chop up the meat into pieces if you prefer not to).
  6. Once squash is done, let it cool and then scoop out the flesh, unless you like to eat the delicata skin (I prefer not to eat it). Mix with a pat of grass-fed butter, if using.
  7. Heat a small amount of ghee in a pan over medium heat. Add your chopped greens of choice (I used kale and chard) and sauté a few minutes, until soft. Season with sea salt and pepper.
  8. Dish up your squash and greens, and top either or both with the beef cheeks and broth.