Roasted Butternut Squash with Farro, Spinach, and Pistachio Herbed Pesto
I have always been one who cares far more about the sides than the poultry centerpiece on Thanksgiving. Luckily, my family hosts an enormous gathering, which is bombarded with side dishes. Like most Thanksgivings, it turns into somewhat of a potluck, and everyone contributes something. Despite my passion for health, I have never been one who enjoys rich, cream and butter-laden dishes. I hate that feeling of overstuffed food guilt which can strike you post-engorgement. So, I am happy to contribute this vegetable and hearty grain side dish with just the right amount of decadence.
I got this recipe from Sprouted Kitchen. Its delicious…I hope my family finds it to be too.
For my version I used farro cooked in low sodium vegetable broth. Parsley, cilantro, basil, and chives for the pesto, and doubled the amount of spinach since it shrinks so much when adding the farro cooking liquid. The addition of lime in the pesto adds a nice complexity and makes the dish bright and vibrant.
I hope everyone has a happy and healthy Thanksgiving….and try not to stuff yourself too much.
Here are some quick pointers to help you from overdoing it on the big day…for those of you who, like me, get to celebrate Thanksgiving twice, these tips are even more important if you participate in part I and part II of glutton fest
- Never arrive starving. Make sure you have some protein in your system prior to your feast. Protein helps curb hunger, satiates, and prevents you from going on a free-for-all once the food is served.
- Balance your plate. As you are loading up, make sure half of your plate is full of fiber rich vegetables. Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, mashed or roasted, don’t count. Ideally, starchy vegetables, grains and/or other carbohydrates should occupy 1/4 of your plate, and the other 1/4 should contain your protein.
- Choose white meat over dark. It has less fat and always remove the skin.
- Choose your indulgences. Don’t make a dessert plate or load up on all starchy sides. Select two indulgent sides and portion out two tablespoons to enjoy.
- Drink water, sparkling or flat, throughout your meal to help pace yourself and to prevent over indulging.
- Move! Get some exercise before your meal so you feel like you have earned your treats.