Truth time. I have never ever made a Thanksgiving turkey. To be honest, the idea of it kind of petrifies me since I have read way too many articles and blog posts about dry, uneventful, flavorless turkeys. And while you may be expecting this post to be about overcoming my fear and finally making a turkey, it's not. Instead it's about how every year I volunteer to be in charge of side dishes like today's maple roasted butternut squash and apple dish.
I have one other ulterior motive when volunteering for side dishes and it has to do with trying to stick to some semblance of a healthy diet during the holidays. While my personal philosophy isn't to track points or calories for holiday meals, I do like to try to make healthier choices. If I know I can load up my plate with healthier side dishes, like today's fall inspired roasted maple squash dish, then I can balance out more indulgent dishes or desserts. It's all about balance on the holidays and letting myself enjoy the meal while also feeling good about my choices.
On a side note, I am thinking about making my first ever turkey this year after Thanksgiving when turkeys go on sale. Then I won't feel so bad if I destroy it. Any tips?
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- 6 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 2 U apples, peeled and chopped
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp. fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp. parsley
- 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Toss together the squash, apples, maple syrup, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, thyme, salt, and pepper. You could also add cinnamon and nutmeg, which is delicious. Spread everything out on 1-2 prepared baking sheets. Roast for 35-40 minutes until squash and apples are tender.
Remove from oven and top with walnuts and parsley.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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