paleo veggie heap

Thursday night, I came home from the gym with no idea what to make for dinner. Between our fridge and our pantry (which is really just our counter), I found several random veggies that needed cooking…and soon, at that.

The first veggie to tackle was a butternut squash I’d bought a week ago. I started by halving it lengthwise, only to discover there was something weird going on near the stem. So I had to lop off roughly three inches just to be safe. I greased a baking sheet and cooked the halves face down for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

As the squash was cooking, I thought bacon would be a nice touch and bring a lot of flavor. So I cooked three pieces.

Thanks Mrs. Hobson for this screen! It saves us from getting popped by spattering grease and cleaning our stovetop daily.

I then crumbled the bacon, and with the leftover bacon grease, I decided to sauté some celery and garlic. Too bad we were out of onions. That would have made it even tastier.

Then I thought, why not add in some slivered almonds and grape tomatoes? I added these to the sauté mix for just a minute or two after the celery was mostly cooked.

Once the squash was cooked, I popped some asparagus in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees. I drizzled the stalks with grapeseed oil and sprinkled a little Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Mix.

It would have been great if I could have cubed up my squash, like you see in most recipe pictures. But alas, my squash was too soft, so I resorted to spooning in small chunks.

Then I added in my sauté mixture, crumbled bacon and asparagus (cut in two inch pieces).

At this point, I probably should have added in a dash of salt, pepper and other spices for additional seasoning. Next time I definitely will.

It was quite a good veggie heap, despite its sweet flavor from the squash. I would have like a little more savory flavor than the bacon alone. And adding in more tomatoes would have helped to increase the acidity.

This dish definitely wasn’t rocket science, and it showed in the final product. But even without additional seasoning, it was great being able to taste every single component of the dish. The hubby gobbled it up and complimented the flavors. Of course, he’s a huge proponent of what others may call plain food. And because of the squash, it’s also a great side for a post workout meal.

I really liked the idea of pulling out veggies from the fridge and pantry and making a heaping side dish. I’ll definitely use this method again soon.

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