Acorn Squash in Lime Cilantro and Honey Vinaigrette – AFBHLS Guest Post by Shulie
Born and raised in Israel with a strong Indian Jewish ancestry this AFBHLS guest has spent half of her life in United States. Her awesome collection of Mediterranean, Indian and some unique recipes on her blog speak a lot about her command over these cuisines. Meet Shulie a wonderful food blogger from Food Wanderings, a passionate food writer and a skillful photographer.
When it comes to food styling & food photography she gets satisfaction out of it to a point of silliness and speaking of her craziness for a perfect picture she messaged me recently that she went all the way to wine country VA just to shoot grapes & figs for a harvest spread she is doing. Oh.. I totally subscribe to her passion for perfection in every sense as this post has been postponed too many times since its inception, the reason being she just couldn’t get that perfect picture for the post
She wanted me to post this Acorn Squash in Lime Cilantro and Honey Vinaigrette recipe which she specially created for AFBHLS on the eve of a very special day for the Jewish community ‘Rosh Hashana’ which marks the start of a new year in the Hebrew calendar. During Rosh HaShanah Jews embark upon the serious task of examining their lives and repenting for any wrongs they have committed during the previous year.
Well.. this reminds me of ‘Khamat Khamna’ which Jains in India observe as the day of seeking forgiveness, and further strengthen my belief in oneness of human race in spite of cultural and regional diversities.
Coming back to Shulie, her quest for finding her identity in the east meets west challenge resulted in some of the most fabulous recipes from both the worlds. Here are a few from her blog;
1. An easy and healthy dessert Petit Beurre common in most houses of Israel.
2. These Wholewheat Sweet potato rolls tell a tale of her becoming an American.
3. Another refreshing Israeli drink Lemondrop Melon Limonana Sorbet for the summer.
With this I hand over this AFBHLS post to Shulie who is sharing some of her healthy-living secrets and a delightful recipe and dressing here;
Thank you so much Sanjeeta for asking me to be a part of this fantastic AFBHLS series. It makes me super conscious, aware and introspective. I must confess I have been slacking off these past couple of years and gained some excess weight. This series is invaluable, it made me think!
My Healthy-Living secrets;
For years, until the last couple of years, I had a regimen of hitting the treadmill for an hour every day, even on weekends. I worked out at the gym and also took some core, weight and cardio classes. Nutrition wise I exercised extreme control, but today I am not about extremes anymore but an overall healthy lifestyle. While I no longer run, I power walk, and Jonathan and I hike on weekends. In fact just before I sat down to write this post, we came back from a few hours hike at the nearby gorgeous Great Falls National Park.
I mostly cook at home due to food allergies but I also know the purity of the ingredients I pick up at farmers markets and grocery stores, and am not always certain I would get that same quality dining out. We do however once in awhile go to favorite spots and explore new ones.
I never went on diets or subscribed to the most recent health trends but always believed in moderation and portion control and for years now buy organic when possible. Over the years I came to value tremendously core and weight training exercises. Weight training helps with bone strength and density.
In moderation, again, not elimination, we consume fat in a lamb and honey dish around the holidays or fried, doughnuts, as they symbolize another holiday, but avoid processed food, artificial flavors and ingredients, preservatives, genetically engineered, loaded with pesticides and such just to name a few of what I consider health hazards.
Most of the time, we eat healthy. Last week, the majority of our diet was legumes and beans as proteins, even though we are not vegetarian. Lots of veggies are always at the table, in the form of cooked or raw salads, even when we serve meat, chicken or fish as the main protein. I always have plenty of seasonal fruit at home for snacking. More often than not seasonal. Homemade granola is handy too, it’s perfect to take the edge off when you crave something sweet or a dessert to go along with your cup of tea in the evenings. In recent years to enhance our diet I discovered super foods like quinoa and purple potatoes. Portion control is a must.
Recently, while I haven’t cut out all carbohydrates, I have reduced breads, pastas and desserts to a bare minimum from my diet. Breads and pastas especially are super comforting foods that I absolutely love, I do not have much of a sweet tooth, but I find reducing intake works for me, at least until I shed a few pounds.
Speaking of confessions, one of the hardest things for me to give up is sugar, so I often use Sugar in the Raw, honey and maple syrup, but I don’t think I will be able to ever give that up completely, and oh salt too, but I use both in moderation.
I present to you a seasonal fall/winter acorn squash simply roasted at 400F oven. We got it at an organic farm we bumped into while we went touring Wine and Horse Country, VA vineyards. Love the purity of the vegetables I love the crunchiness of the rind against the sweet softness of the flesh of the acorn squash.
Acorn Squash in a Lime Cilantro and Honey Vinaigrette
- 2 acorn squash (or other squash if acorn is not available)
- 2-4 tablespoons canola or olive oil
- Drizzle of honey maple syrup
- Dash of red pepper flakes
- Sea salt or any large flake salts (Cyprus salt etc.) according to taste
- Diced red onion
- Chopped cilantro
Preheat over to 400F. Cut the acorn squash into rings as shown in photo, remove all seeds. Line a cookie sheet with a parchment paper. Line acorn squash rings on parchment paper and drizzle with oil on both sides. Roast on one side for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Flip, drizzle with honey or maple syrup and continue roasting for additional 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and red pepper flakes. Garnish with red onion and cilantro.
Variation: Instead of the Maple, red pepper flakes and salt serve with vinaigrette below. If serving with vinaigrette you can add arugula on the side. Drizzle the salad with the same vinaigrette. I love the pink hue this vinaigrette gets after sitting in the fridge for few hours.
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 6-8 tablespoons olive oil*
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon plain Dijon mustard
- 1 heaping tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons minced red onion
- Diced red onions
- Chopped cilantro
Whisk all the ingredients with a fork or emulsify with a whisk together and drizzle over the roasted acorn squash. Garnish with red onions and cilantro. Reserve the rest for more roasted squash, salads and cooked legumes for the rest of the week.
*I like acidity so I use 6 tablespoons of olive oil. You can use more if you like less acidity. Keep in mind any vinaigrette can be adjusted to your tastes. This is how I make it and it is a really good base.
Thanks Shulie for sharing this delightful, light & healthy Acorn Squash in Lime Cilantro and Honey Vinaigrette recipe on AFBHLS. Power walk and hiking sounds so much fun, and sugar in raw, honey & maple syrup is certainly a healthy & flavorful substitute for those born with a sweet tooth. I am one with you when you say that ‘moderation not elimination‘ is a key to healthy-living.