Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What I Made on Thanksgiving (Kale and Butternut Squash)

I've never prepared a Thanksgiving meal, nor have I hosted one, but I always enjoy finding new side dish recipes to bring wherever I go to chow down. This year Diabetic Living magazine steered me in the right direction.  No, I'm not diabetic, but like I always tell people you don't need to be diabetic to follow a diabetic diet, or to enjoy "diabetic" foods and recipes.  These are just healthy recipes. Period.

Oops.  Wrong photo!  haha. This is the Martha Stewart pecan pie my aunt made.  It was amazing.

Butternut Squash Quinoa Pilaf

Servings: 8 (1/2 cup each)
Gluten Free


4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
5 tsp. olive oil
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 Tbsp. snipped fresh sage


1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a large bowl combine butternut squash, garlic, and crushed red pepper.  Drizzle with 2 tsp. oil.  Stir until squash is evenly coated.  Spoon into a 15x10x1-inch baking pan.  Roast 30 minutes, stirring once and adding the sliced almonds for the last 4 to 5 minutes of roasting.

2.  In a large bowl combine quinoa, the remaining 3 tsp oil, the snipped sage, and 1/2 tsp. salt.  Stir in roasted squash and almonds.  If desired, garnish with sage leaves.

NOTE: If you would like to make this a Low FODMAPs dish, omit the garlic and use a garlic-infused olive oil to replace the garlic taste (I actually used 2 cloves of garlic, and then made up for the garlic taste with garlic-infused olive oil. It was delicious).  Also, be aware that butternut squash contains a moderate amount of FODMAPs.

Estimated Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Highlights: Low saturated fat, cholesterol-free, low-sodium good source of fiber, excellent source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C

This squash pilaf was such a delicious side dish.  I would make it again, for any holiday gathering.

Kale with Oranges and Mustard Dressing
Servings: 8 
Gluten Free

2 large oranges
2 Tbsp. grainy mustard
1/4th cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
2 large bunches fresh kale (~ 8 cups blanched)

Using a sharp knife, remove peel and pith from 2 large oranges.  Working over a medium bowl, cut out orange segments and squeeze 3 Tbsp. juice from the membranes.  Whisk in 2 Tbsp. mustard and the olive oil until combined, then add 1 tsp. chopped  fresh thyme leaves and season with salt and pepper.  Toss with 8 cups blanched kale (blanch kale by putting it into boiling water until it starts to get somewhat soft, about 1-2 minutes, then run under cold water to stop the cooking process). Serve the dish warm or at room temperature.

This was such a hit, that I even saw some on Nick's plate!  I smiled :)

Nutrition Highlights:  Low-sodium, good source of Fiber and Calcium, excellent source of Vitamins A and C.

Why eat kale on Thanksgiving? Well, it's one of the healthiest foods in the world, that's why!  Check out the health benefits of kale (and fyi, it has less oxalates than spinach, so if you are prone to kidney stones, choose kale over spinach)

Thanks for reading!

The Candid Rd
NOTE: I love comments!  But, be sure to come back to read any replies to questions or comments, as they do not go directly to your e-mail.


  1. I have leftover butternut squash AND sage, so this recipe is perfect. And kale is one of my favorite foods, so I will be saving and trying both recipes. Thank you!

  2. That squash sounds really good! I like the sound of the almonds in it.

    Your aunt's pie making skills are impressive. Look at that thing, it's gorgeous!