I'm trying something a little different with this post.
Some days leave me feeling more like a short order cook than a beloved member of the family and I'm guessing I'm not alone. So for this post, I thought you might appreciate not only a 'master' recipe that's free of the eight major food allergens, but also tips for how to adapt it for the rest of the family too. Sound good?
But first a little backstory.
Things in my kitchen have been a little more challenging the past few months. I've been avoiding seeds, nuts, legumes, and red meat (as well as my other trigger foods) in an effort to heal the leaky gut I've developed thanks to Lyme's Disease. And breakfast has been so uninspiring.
A few weeks ago when the weather began to turn, I was really craving something warm and substantial. Then one evening as I added maple syrup into my roasted squash mix, I had the epiphany to try squash for breakfast — and now I'm hooked.
Winter squash is nutrient-dense and just sweet enough to start the day off right. I've been making big batches to store in the fridge, and each morning I warm up one serving in the toaster oven. It's perfect. I like to stir in an extra teaspoon of coconut oil, a good sprinkle of ground cinnamon, and some unsweetened shredded coconut (like I've pictured above), but you could also add a drizzle of coconut milk or pure maple syrup over top to make it even more decadent.
I've been buying an assortment of squash each week, depending on what’s organic and cheap. I like varieties with sweet flesh that are a manageable size. Butternut, Buttercup, Kabocha, small Hubbard varieties, and Honey Nut are all good choices. Acorn squash could work in a pinch but you would need to sweeten it a bit; and beware that Spaghetti Squash is too fibrous for this recipe. If you don't have a good selection simply use one variety or substitute yams for some of the squash. No biggie.
You'll want to look for dense, heavy squash. If it feels light compared to it's size, chances are it's been there a while and is starting to dry out. It may be cheaper — but it won't taste better — trust me.
You could select a really large squash to use in this recipe, but be mindful of the effort it'll take to prep it. You'll need a really large knife (and some muscle!) to break it down. Which can be fun if you're channeling your inner ninja or absolutely exhausting if you're just not in the mood.
If you'd rather leave the chopping to someone else, you can purchase fresh, prepped squash at most grocery stores. However, it's usually in rather large chunks. So if you go that route either increase the cooking time accordingly or cut them into smaller pieces when you get home. Just be mindful to keep all of the pieces the same size so that they cook evenly.
One last note: When I roast the squash specifically for breakfast I'll use coconut oil to give it a little extra sweetness, but any other time I use pure olive oil. Why not experiment and see which you prefer?
So here's a few more things you can do with this recipe:
Eat it for breakfast. As I said, this has been my go-to breakfast for the past couple of weeks and I couldn't be happier. Allergy-free breakfast sausage is delicious with it too. And I just discovered that roasting a few small handfuls of fresh cranberries along with the squash is amazing!
Make it as a side-dish for dinner. Roast some chicken breast in the oven along with the squash and steam some fresh broccoli on the stovetop. Simple but good.
Mash the roasted squash and serve as a side dish. Make a nice little well for some coconut oil and sprinkle with ground cinnamon.
Turn it into soup. Mash or puree the roasted squash with some coconut milk and/or water to thin it out and add a pinch or two of salt and pepper. Warm it up on the stovetop and you've got soup.
Stick it in a blender and make a smoothie. You could add coconut milk or chai tea as a base, then add banana, sunflower butter, chocolate or maca powder, a pinch of cinnamon or cardamom. Be creative!
Make a squash sundae. Add some allergy-free chocolate chips, Coco Whip, and sprinkles…
Hey —try it before you say I'm crazy!
Sweet Roasted Squash
*The following recipe can easily be made 8SAFE if you follow the original recipe and only use processed ingredients that are free of gluten & the top eight food allergens.
This master recipe makes enough roasted squash for five to six good size portions for breakfast (approx. 2 cups for each serving). This is a very flexible recipe and all measurements are approximate. I highly recommend 'eyeballing' the ingredients rather than getting any extra utensils dirty.
3 - 5 winter squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 10 cups)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (or olive oil)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tsp pure maple syrup (optional)
Preheat oven to 425℉. Toss all ingredients together in a big bowl, then spread in single layer over two sheet pans. Roast in oven for 15 minutes, toss, then roast another 15 minutes until soft.
Always use safe handling practices when preparing an 8SAFE recipe:
Wash hands with soap and water (hand sanitizer does not remove allergens).
Wipe down all surfaces; use clean equipment; and
Avoid cross contamination of ingredients not called for in the recipe. Be mindful that allergens can become airborne in flour or powdered form. Preparing 8SAFE recipes before ‘regular’ recipes will help prevent cross contamination. Do not share equipment among recipes (For example: If you cook regular pasta alongside 8SAFE pasta, use a dedicated spoon for each. Do not use one spoon to stir both pots.)
Clean your grill thoroughly beforehand (or use a clean grill pan or tin foil on the grill) when preparing an 8SAFE recipe.
Dedicate individual serving utensils for each dish. Allow food sensitive guests to serve themselves first to reduce risk of cross contamination from serving utensils.
When in doubt, snap a photo of the ingredient list of any processed items you use for an 8SAFE recipe. You can then share the information with your guests to confirm that it’s safe.
While I do my best to keep 8SAFE product suggestions up to date, please keep in mind that manufacturers change their ingredients and formulas from time to time (it's also human nature to make a mistake now and then, and I'm no exception). So be sure to double check all products to be free of gluten and the top eight food allergens before preparing an 8SAFE recipe.
Hold on! I've got a few more recipes to share with you!
Have you checked out The Casual Veggie yet? It's a collection of 166 veggie-centered recipes that my friend Mollie from Parsley & Pumpkins has lovingly put together in a digital cookbook. It covers 29 common vegetables in a collaboration with 48 bloggers (myself included!). And you know what the best part is? More than seventy recipes can easily be made 8SAFE & allergy free. More than 70!!! (Click HERE for the full list). Check out the cookbook, then come back here and join the party!
I've hopped on board a 'Potluck Party' with some of the other contributing bloggers to give you a feel for what you can expect in The Casual Veggie. It's an honor to be involved in this project among so many talented women. Enjoy!
October 24 Link Party
A Southern Grace, Black and Tan Orange
Family Food on the Table, Fall Harvest Rice Salad
Family For Health, Autumn Squash Chicken Stew
Parsley and Pumpkins, Kohlrabi Cranberry Salad
Real Simple Good, Kale and Cabbage Salad
The Delicious Balance, Cauliflower Stuffed Acorn Squash
The Weekly Menu, Italian Veggie Popover Pizza
Treble in the Kitchen, Kale Salad with Acorn Squash and Spiced Walnuts
Where is my Spoon? Cauliflower in Tomato Sauce