The week I wrote this, I was working on recreating leftovers into delicious meals. Ok, maybe not always delicious, but at least good meals. That night I was in the mood for a homestyle type dinner. We had dinner at a friend’s house the night before, and it had been amazing. Our friend’s mother made a simple but delicious salad with leaf lettuce, hard boiled eggs, bacon bits, and diced tomato. It didn’t even need dressing. It was that good. And with eating paleo, there are few if any bottled dressings I can trust. So. I was excited to try the salad at home. Plus we had some hard-boiled eggs that were about to go bad and needed used up, so it was perfect!
I decided to heat up my leftover chicken from when I made chicken broth a few days prior, so I just needed one more side dish to finish the meal. I rummaged through the fridge searching for which vegetables needed to be used up first. I first wanted to do spaghetti squash but all I could think of was an Asian inspired meal using the squash as noodles, because we had some homemade terriyaki sauce that needed eaten. My husband cheered for the Asian dish with the chicken added, so I started dicing red peppers. Then I decided no, I really wanted sweet squash in more of a homestyle style so I added some diced bacon to my skillet. Can’t go wrong with bacon, right? I’m learning that bacon and bacon grease really do make many things better. I was going to put my leftover spaghetti squash in the oven with some cinnamon and sweetener to try to make it taste like a cinnamon brown sugar butter type of thing and then remembered I had butternut squash that was already sweet, and had been cooked with oil and the pumpkin pie spices. I had been saving it to make into gnocchi with a rich and spicy fra diavolo sauce, but it didn’t look like it would last that long. So I popped my squash in the oven with a little water to help bring it back to life. After plating the warmed squash the crispy bacon and peppers made a great crunchy topping.
Candied Butternut Squash
I used leftover butternut squash that had been baked with coconut oil, cinnamon, ginger, and maybe some nutmeg. If you are using leftovers that don’t have the spices on it, sprinkle some on before heating it up.
- Baked butternut squash (leftovers work great!)
- 100% Pure Maple syrup
- 1 Red bell pepper, diced
- Bacon, diced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat up your frying pan and add a drizzle of olive oil. Dice the pepper and add to skillet.
- How much squash you have and wish to make will determine how much red pepper you need. I had about half a cup of squash and was only cooking for my husband and I, so I used a little less than half of one pepper. I would recommend using two peppers per squash.
- Dice bacon and add to peppers. Again, the amount depends on how much you are making but you want as much as or more raw bacon than raw peppers. I used three thick cut strips of bacon, but if your bacon is thin you may want more.
- Continue to saute until sufficiently crispy.
- Place your leftover squash in a baking dish and put a little water in the bottom if the squash looks like it could be rehydrated. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the squash is completely heated.
- Skin & Cube squash and plate or place in serving dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with real maple syrup.
- When the bacon pepper mixture is finished, sprinkle on top of the squash.
This was my first time making this dish, but I think it might also be good without the peppers or with toasted pecans, with or without bacon bits if you are going for a dessert dish. If you try it, let me know how it goes. I would love to hear from you!