Two Autumn Recipes: Cinnamon Squash / Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes & Chickpeas

October 29, 2013

Over the past few years, autumn has become my favourite time of year, mostly for the food. After a long humid summer with little appetite, I fully embrace fall with a desire for all things seasonal and savoury, warm and "cozy" - soups, stews, and pies galore.

Yesterday I was feeling inspired by some cinnamon squash that I had on a lunch date with my mom at Whole Foods, so I decided to improvise my own. I was on a role, so I also made my own version of Angela's Cinnamon Spice Sweet Potato and Chickpea Salad over at Oh She Glows (my go-to for all healthy recipes). They are as easy to make as they are delicious to eat!

Two years ago, I could have sworn that I didn't like squash, sweet potatoes or cinnamon! But since then I've learned that there is always one recipe - one magical combination of ingredients - out there that can convert someone from hating an ingredient to loving it and wanting to gobble it up all the time (even with bizarre pairings like cinnamon and coconut!).

Cinnamon Butternut Squash

What You'll Need:
  • 1 Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 maple syrup (optional)
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, thoroughly. Spread mixed ingredients onto a baking sheet.
Bake at 425F for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.

I am not sure the "correct" way to peel butternut squash, but I just cut off the top, halve it, scoop out the seeds and insides, and then use a knife to cut away the skin.

Henry is always curious about what we're cooking (he often stands on his hind legs and tries to reach things off the table or counter). I let him have a good sniff of the insides of the butternut squash. He quickly showed his disinterest (by scampering away), but begged at the oven when it was finished cooking. I indulged him with one small piece, which he scarfed down immediately. Such a rascal.

Mix the peeled and cubed butternut squash with spices and oil. As you can see, the term "cubed" is one I use quite loosely - no size consistency with this knife-challenged cook.

Bake at 425F for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown (this is pre-baked).

Cinnamon Coconut Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas

What You'll Need:
  • 1-2 cans of chickpeas
  • 4-5 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika (optional)
  • sprinkle of grated coconut (optional)
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, thoroughly. Spread mixed ingredients onto a baking sheet.
Bake at 425F for 40-45 minutes or until slightly browned.

*Added note: My friend Nicole suggested that you can boil the sweet potatoes slightly first before baking, which makes them crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Mm!

Peel and cube the sweet potatoes. I would even suggest leaving the skin on for a crispier texture, but mine were looking a bit rough on the exterior.

Sweet potatoes are an amazing root vegetable. They are not only packed with vitamins and essential minerals - they also are high in beta-carotene, which helps to fight cancer. Unfortunately, on more than one occasion, I've bought a few with the intention of trying out a new recipe, and forgotten about them until it was too late. What a waste!

Mix the peeled and cubed sweet potatoes, diced onion, coconut oil, and spices into a bowl, thoroughly. Bake at 425F for 40-45 minutes.

I was just finishing up when Patricio came home, so I asked him to prepare a salad. He used the baby spring mix from Organic Girl, Roma tomatoes, green onions, and made a yummy homemade vinaigrette dressing.

Eating these two recipes with a fresh green salad helps to balance out the "heaviness" of it.

If you try out either of these recipes, I'd love to hear your feedback! Did you add any extra ingredients? Or leave any out? Happy cooking!

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