Comfort food for those cold nights

by Rebecca Vincent.

Squash season is in full swing! This family of veg are such versatile ingredients and work well in soups or stews, as well as being delicious steamed, stuffed, and/or roasted.
This time I’ve roasted and paired them with a flavourful walnut crumb, which adds a nice contrast of texture.
The components of the crumb can be adjusted to suit your taste, and even turned into a sweet version: pumpkin or butternut squash work well for this, simply omit the salt and pepper, use coconut oil instead of olive, and add cinnamon and nutmeg in with the walnuts instead of the savoury ingredients.
It’s great served with a big spoonful of yoghurt and a little drizzle of maple syrup!
Squashes are excellent sources of carotenes – the more vibrant the colour, the greater their concentration. They’re also good sources of vitamins C, B1, B6, folic acid, pantothenic acid, niacin, potassium, and fibre.
Walnuts are very nutrient-dense, and a great source of vitamin E, manganese, copper, phosphorus, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, as well as being rich sources of both protein and fibre.
Roasted squash with a crunchy walnut crumb
(Serves 2-4)
½ medium squash (I used a crown prince, but most types would work)
10 whole walnuts (de-shelled)
2 garlic cloves
Leaves from a small bunch of thyme
Pinch of salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
Cut the squash in half lengthways, scoop out the seeds, and cut into 2cm thick slices.
Lay on a tray, drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and gently toss to ensure evenly coated.
Pop in the oven for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, pop the walnuts, garlic, and thyme into a small blender/food processor and pulse until coarse but well mixed.
After 15 minutes turn the squash and scatter the walnut mix over the top of each slice. Pop back in the oven for about 10 minutes until the nuts are lightly toasted.
Lovely served with a nice roast, or as part of a warm salad medley!
– Rebecca Vincent BSc (Hons)BANT registered nutritionist; 07515 019430;

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