“Fall”ing in love with Roasted Butternut Squash and Roasted Pork Shoulder

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Butternut squash. A super hero food in my book. These guys are fighting disease crime by loading your body with vitamins and nutrients. Butternut squash is high in fiber, low in fat, a good source of potassium, folate, Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B6, Magnesium, Beta Carotene, vitamin A and antioxidants. In best Chris Rock voice, “Good Gourd, that’s a lot of nutrients!”

Another great reason to indulge in butternut squash is that these guys are considered part of the “clean” group, meaning you don’t have to buy it organic. The reason being is that butternut squash has a pretty thick skin, so pesticide contamination is minimal, in comparison to other veggies that have thin skins. Another plus, they’re in season. I bought two butternut squash’s for $3 at a farmer’s market stand. They were both roasted and eaten throughout the week as sides, which lasted 3 days (some lunch and  3 dinners, between two adults and a baby). Butternut squash is also easy to prepare. It can be sauteed, roasted, boiled and deep fried. I chose to roast it due to the ease in prep work. I have two young boys and anything I can just throw in the oven without much work on my part is a must. If not roasting, make sure you peel the skin with a sharp knife, carefully.

To go along with my super easy menu, I also roasted some pork with a homemade rub. My wonderful husband took this bad boy to the grill/smoker for a bit and then finished him off in the oven for the rest of the time.

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This meal is easy on the wallet, on time, and sure to be a hit with your family. I Hope you  enjoy this simplistic meal.

Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds), cut in half, seeded
  • 1-2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil or oil of your choice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Place the squash on a sheet pan and drizzle with the oil, salt, and pepper and coat well. Arrange the squash face down and roast for 45 to 60 minutes, until the squash is tender.

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Tip from this litte red bird:
  • Butternut squash can easily be a substitute for pumpkin puree as it is naturally sweet and mild in flavor. Roast the butternut squash with coconut oil and use in muffin, pie or any other baked good recipe that calls for pumpkin puree.

Rub recipe for Pork Shoulder

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 T. salt
  • 1 T. cumin
  • 1 T. sweet paprika
  • 1 T. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. dry mustard
  • a few dashes of cayenne pepper, optional

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix until well combined. Use on meat of choice or store in a glass container until ready to use.

Roasted Pork Shoulder Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs pork shoulder, bone in for maximum flavor
  • 1 recipe rub mix, above OR use your own rub blend

Directions:

1. Take dry rub and liberally apply to your pork shoulder and let sit for up to an hour or overnight, if desired.

2. If using the grill, turn on and adjust one side to “low” temperature and leave the other side off. Take smoking chips of choice (we used apple wood chips), and place them on the side of the grill that is turned on.

3. Once grill is heated, place the pork on the side that is not turned on to generate indirect heat for at least an hour per side.

4. Take pork off the grill and place in an oven safe roasting pan, and place in preheated oven at 250 degrees for about 2-3 hours,or until falling off the bone.

No Grill? No problem! Place in preheated oven at 250 degrees for 4-5 hours, or until meat is falling off the bone.

Tip from the little red bird:

  • Making your own rub or spice blend is a great way to make sure you keep out the preservatives and other “junk” out.
  • Buying them in a bulk store may be costly at first, but you are spending pennies when you use them in your dishes. This also allows for some creativity in developing your “perfect” blend for whatever you feel like having. From BBQ, to Mexican, to Indian cuisine, you now have the tools to get to where ever you want to go.
  • Rubs make a great and inexpensive gift to hand out to family, friends and even your mailman. Buy a cute mason jar, some labels and ribbon, and you have a thoughtful gift anyone will enjoy.
  • One sure way to know the pork is done is by sticking a fork into the meat, twist it, and if it falls apart easily, it’s ready.
  • Charcoal can be used in place of wood chips. Either way, the meat will come out fantastic! We used chips for the sweet smoky flavor it gives the meat. Completely optional.

ENJOY!

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