carrot and butternut squash puree – a silky veg mash!
Holiday celebrations, while lively and cheerful, can (and do) wreak havoc on normally sensible eating habits. There are more parties, more gatherings and more opportunities to indulge. After all, how often do you see your cousins, or get together with old friends? And since spiced duck rillettes and holiday cheese balls so seldom make an appearance at the 4th of July barbecue, why wouldn’t you have just a taste?
Even at home, there are all sorts of extra treats lingering around the house. Those fabulous spiced nuts, and the cookies, cookies and more cookies! Seriously, its an all out assault on our will power and it’s no wonder that our waistlines take a beating.
Even so, it’s hard to just flip a switch and eat thin, watery broths and an incessant barrage of salad. That’s where this heavenly mash come in. Carrots and butternut squash are loaded with vitamins and minerals — hello, beta-carotene, fiber to fill you up, – and have a lower glycemic index than say, potatoes. And if you’re looking to lighten things up, while preserving some semblance of flavor and satisfaction, they’re a no-brainer!
For this dish, I steamed the vegetables until they were very tender, transferred them to a food processor and added a few spoonfuls of garlic and sage infused olive oil. It took just a few pulses until the vegetables were smooth — then I seasoned with a little lemon zest, crumbled crispy sage leaves, salt and pepper. Divine! The lemon and sage really accent the earthy flavors of the squash and carrots. Yum! This is a must make dish!
Simple and delicious — try this puree with a grilled or baked chicken breast or fish fillet.
Here are some other healthy favorites to help get you (and me) back on track:
- Barley and mushroom soup
- Roasted rutabaga, pistachios and golden raisins
- Roasted spaghetti squash and marinara
- Kale with golden raisins, shallots and walnuts
- Grilled vegetables with feta and farro
- Braised kale with white beans and tomato
- Curried pumpkin soup
- Barley and kale chopped salad
- Quinoa, asparagus and feta salad
- Farro with pomegranate and apple
- Tangy Lentils and quinoa
- Maple Butternut Puree with Crispy Sage
Carrot and Butternut Squash Puree
Loaded with beta carotene, this carrot and butternut squash puree takes the place of mashed potatoes anytime!
- 1 small butternut squash about 2 pounds
- 1 pound carrots peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces - or use the baby carrots.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic lightly smashed, peel removed
- 6-7 fresh sage leaves
- 1 lemon zested
- salt and pepper to taste
- Fill a large pot with about 1 inch of water. Set a steamer basket inside the pot and fill the steamer basket with squash and carrots. Cover tightly with lid and heat to boiling. Steam the vegetables until very tender, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add olive oil to a small skillet and heat over medium until oil is shimmering. Add garlic and sauté until golden brown. Remove the garlic and add the sage leaves. Fry the sage until just crisp - about 30 seconds. Remove sage from oil and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
- Transfer squash and carrots to the bowl of a food processor. Puree together until smooth. Add 2-3 tablespoons sage oil, and pulse 2-3 times to combine. Add lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste and stir until combined.
- Crumble sage leaves and sprinkle on top. Drizzle with remaining olive oil if desired.