I love fall. The crisp autumn air, the crush of fallen leaves underfoot, and the abundance of pumpkins and apples in the local grocery store. As much as I love the bounty that comes in spring and summer, I think I enjoy cooking in the chilly months the most of all. Which is a good thing, considering the "chillier months" take up most of the calendar year here in Alaska. Now is the season of comforting, soups, stews, roasts, and casseroles.
In the midst of enjoying the bounty of rich and hearty dishes at this time of year, I've noticed a peculiar thing happening in my wardrobe. You see, it's shrinking. I kid you not! And at about the same time, I swear my scale broke. 8 pounds?! I have not gain 8 pounds. Ridiculous. I'm certain the recent splurges on cheeses, chocolates, wine, fresh-baked artisan breads, and...oh, you name it. I'm sure they had absolutely nothing to do with it. I'm just retaining water.
Ok, time to get real, Heidi.
For the most part, I eat a pretty healthy diet. Lots of whole grains, lean meats, fruits and veggies. But as a self-professed food-lover, I tend to indulge my passion a bit too much at times. So its time to buckle down and try to fit back into my skinny jeans (that cost WAY too much for me not to fit into them- very cruel trend) before the chub-inducing holidays come knocking. But just because I'm eating healthy doesn't mean I need to eat boring!
Enter this dish: roasted acorn squash with the volume turned up. I LOVE squash- hearty, filling, and full of healthy vitamins. Also, very fall-y. Is that a word? Well, it is now. It's perfectly paired with chili powder and cumin. And no need to peel- the skin is edible! The squash becames warm and buttery, with a little spicy pizzazz. It's a great side dish pork or a spice-rubbed steak. I paired it with simple seared salmon. So start eating your veggies...I think you'll like 'em!
Chili-Spiced Roasted Acorn Squash
1 acorn squash
1 T. olive oil
1 t. salt
1 t. chili powder
1/2 t. cumin
Heat the oven to 450 degrees.
Slice the squash in half long-wise, scoop out the seeds, and slice off the root and tail ends. Cut the squash in 1/2 inch thick half-moons. Place the squash slices on a shallow baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, salt, chili powder, and cumin Arrange the slices in a single layer and bake for 25-35 minutes until golden brown, turning once.