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Simple Goodness of Roasted Squash and Cauliflower

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When looking to fix a simple meal that is just as pleasing to the palate as it is nutritious to all of the cells of your body, you might follow this loose set of suggestions for roasting some squash and cauliflower. If you have some broccoli on hand, you can include it along with the cauliflower. Total prep time is somewhere around 25 minutes. One hour later, you'll have on your plate a lovely combination of roasted vegetables that will leave you and your loved ones healthier and fully satiated without feeling bogged down.

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On this particular day, I had access to a butternut squash, acorn squash, cauliflower, and a few red onions. Right here in this humble gathering of common plant foods, you have an abundance of carotenoids, vitamin C, and indole-3-carbinol, which happen to be three of the best cancer-fighting nutrients that you can put into your bloodstream to protect your cells against excessive free radicals and exogenous toxins that make it into your body via your GI tract, lungs, and skin.

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Use your best knife to cut your squash in half. Remove their seeds with a spoon, then lay them cut-side up in a baking tray or large casserole dish. Season the exposed sides with your favourite condiments - I added sea salt, freshly-cracked black pepper, and cinnamon on the advice of a friend with ties to South Africa, where I'm told cinnamon and squash go together like raspberries and blackberries. Drizzle a bit of extra-virgin olive oil on top, and that's it for the squash - just put your seasoned tray of goodness into the oven and allow to roast for 50 to 60 minutes. Your squash is ready when you can easily poke through its flesh with a fork.

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After putting your squash in the oven, clean and cut your cauliflower, and red onions into appealing portions for serving up to your loved ones and place them in a baking tray or casserole dish.

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Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. If you enjoy a refreshing tang to your vegetables, add a splash of fresh lemon juice along with the olive oil. Bake for about 30 minutes or until you see the tops of your cauliflower brown up a bit. You can check for tenderness with a fork. Typically, prepping this tray takes me about 20 minutes, so I put it in the oven beside the squash which has been cooking away and both are ready to eat at around the same time.

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Serving is as simple as divvying up portions of food and presenting them like they are $250 dishes as seen on Chef's Table @ Netflix. In our home, we rarely devour roasted vegetables without some creamy avocado slices on the side - avocado adds the feel of a dollop of good butter without the casein for those whose bodies can't make use of dairy protein.

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Here's a look at a batch of broccoli, cauliflower, and red onion that I made two days later using the method described above:

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And a look at butternut squash made in the same way as described above but in edible chunks, which reduced the cooking time to about 35 to 40 minutes:

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I left the skin on, as I was pressed for time on this occasion, but our boys were more than happy to peel and gobble. :)

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If you have a favourite simple way of preparing root and cruciferous vegetables, please consider sharing in the comments section below. Many thanks, and happy healthy eating!

 
 

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Comments

I like to roast broccoli by putting the crowns down on the glass and pouring on the evoo. Roast at 350 for 45 minutes and your crowns will come out slightly burned, but oh so delicious!!!

Whenever I roast whole cauliflower, I like to hit it with smoked and sweet paprika, and a little salt and black pepper, topped with olive oil. I never thought that cauliflower could be so moreish cooked this way, give it a try and surprise yourself if you've never done it before!

Instead of baking vegetables, I like to stir fry them. Baking removes water from the vegetables, stir-frying with oil keeps water within vegetables. Broccoli and cauliflower are great tasting with crunchiness when stir fried.
Squash is good when baked, but I find squash just as good when steamed with spices and the water is retained.

I cut up butternut squash and toss with olive oil, grape seed or coconut oil and toss with curry powder and cumin then roast. It's my husband's favorite way to have squash.

Almost all kids (adults too) love mashed potatoes, but that is so much starch in one dish. Instead, I make them with a ratio of 1/3 potato and 2/3 carrot. I do use dairy (in moderation) so for this I do add in some cream and butter when mashing (not whip... I like mine to be lumpy, no pulverized, hehe), vegans can use either coconut or almond milk and coconut oil as a substitute. Start cooking the carrots first since they take longer. I season only with sea salt and pepper.

For winter squash, I like to cut in half, seed, then put butter and honey in the well and bake at 350 with about 1/2 inch of water in the pan until done. The water in the pan will provide some steaming to keep the squash from drying out or burning on the bottom while baking. Vegans can sub with raw cane sugar and coconut oil. I find using honey (raw, unfiltered) to be a healthier option than sugar, but everyone needs to decide for themselves what they want to use. I do not add any salt or pepper to this, but if you want a salty/sweet result, then by all means... sprinkle a little sea salt on there.

Thank you Dr Ben. I enjoy your recipes - thanks for sharing.
I am a believer in the goodness of butter so this recipe's secret is the addition of butter.
In a heavy frying pan, cover the bottom with wedges of cabbage. Prepare any other veggies (carrots, parsnip, cauliflower, etc) and sprinkle over the cabbage. Put a few tablespoons of water (so it steams, rather than boils) and place several dots of butter on the top of the veggies. Use a tight fitting lid and cook until cabbage is tender. Check to ensure the water does not boil away completely as each pan requires a different amount of water. This is a fast way to serve many different veggies while saving on dirtying several pots. This is my supper whenever I do a vegetable cleans. I hope you enjoy it. The butter makes the difference.

That looks like a better way than I usually make veggies, either stir frying or in a stew. I'm going to try it. Thanks

Roasting root and other vegetables brings out incredible flavors that you cannot get with stir-frying or steaming. They get so beautifully caramelized and flavorful that salt is seldom necessary. I roast combinations of carrots, turnips, fennel bulbs, sweet potatoes or russet potatoes, sweet white or red onions, a head or two of garlic, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts. After they are oven ready, I drizzle them with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle on dried or fresh herbs, which could be fines herbes, herbes de Provence, Greek oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary, or savory and fresh ground black or white pepper. Sometimes I roast sweet potatoes slices with just extra-virgin olive oil and cinnamon--they become so sweet that they are like dessert.

Yes, and if you brown them before roasting, even more so.

This looks yummy, I'll try it thanks.

I do something similar with cauliflower, and onion, and sometime potato and or parsnip. Cut it up, place it in a pan, add a little olive oil, add lots of powered turmeric, a pinch of cayenne pepper, a pinch of paprika, sea salt and black pepper to taste. Bake in the oven. You can also brown in a pan first if you want a richer flavor. The whole family loves it. If you have any leftover which is rare, you can create a bisque with some cream. Add a few frozen peas at the end, for color and sweetness if you like. Really Delicious.

 

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