Guest Post by Natalie Borton


NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: Natalie, originally published this article on her blog, Thoughts By Natalie. You can enjoy reading this yummy recipe here or there



After skipping Friday dinner for several weeks due to having friends in town and going out of town, I sort of dreaded this week's dinner. It felt like such a burden and a chore, and yet in my selfishness I realized that the whole purpose behind it is to serve Brian in a loving way. Then I felt a little guilty, and decided to change my attitude.

Since it had fairly minimal ingredients and prep (two requirements for me with cooking), and looked like it would have a big "wow" factor (another requirement), I decided to make the Butternut Squash and Macaroni Casserole I found on the Whole Foods Market recipe page. I paired it with the world's most delicious broccoli—also known as the way Rebecca Patterson taught me how to make it last week!

Roasted Broccoli
Recipe courtesy of Rebecca Patterson

INGREDIENTS
Broccoli florets
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees (F).
  • Line a cookie sheet with foil and put the broccoli on it.
  • Coat the broccoli entirely with olive oil, (if you're a "drizzler" like me, you'll need more than that—each piece should be covered), and season with salt and pepper. It should be generously salted, but have more pepper than salt.
  • Place in the oven on the bottom rack and cook for 25 minutes, or until the broccoli looks "crispy" and blackened a bit.


Butternut Squash and Macaroni Casserole
Recipe from Whole Foods Market

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons olive oil 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced 1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces 1 can coconut milk Salt and pepper to taste 1 tablespoon chopped sage 3/4 pound dried elbow macaroni 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts 1/2 cup bread crumbs

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a 9- x 13-inch casserole dish; set aside.
  • Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add squash, coconut milk, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until squash is tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in sage and simmer 1 minute more. (This part can be made ahead, up to 1 day in advance.)
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until tender but still firm, about 8 minutes. Rinse in cold water, drain well and transfer to a large bowl.
  • Transfer squash mixture to bowl with macaroni. Add walnuts, salt and pepper and toss to combine. Transfer to prepared dish and top with bread crumbs.
  • Bake until just golden brown and hot throughout, about 30 minutes.


NOTE: If you have a nut allergy, you can easily omit the walnuts without affecting the flavor at all.

What are you cooking this week?


Natalie is a lover of the written word, avocados, beach picnics and champagne. She lives in San Diego with her hilarious and charming husband Brian and scruffy puppy Maggie, and is a Managing Editor for Darling Magazine. In all she does, she strives to inspire and empower women to live healthy, confident lives of true beauty. See more of her work atwww.natalielynnborton.com, and find her blogging at www.thoughtsbynatalie.com.