Last week I was on the hunt for a really, really simple meal that would take little to no prep time.
I'm 36 weeks pregnant and the baby has already dropped. Just to give you an idea as to how large I am, when people see me they ask, "WHEN are you due?", "Are you having twins...again?", or "Have you passed your due date?" - Well, I actually haven't gotten that one, but the eyes can be very telling.
People have even told me, "You look great! You don't even look pregnant from the back", trying to make me feel better of course. The funny thing is that none of the comments or questions bother me. I agree with them! I'm feeling mighty heavy and know that I look like I could be carrying a set of twins, except I KNOW what I looked like when I actually carried twins 39 weeks (to the day) over 6 years ago and I was MUCH bigger than this! Ha!
So you're probably wondering what on earth this has to do with the crock pot meal that was a hit in my book last week. The point is, I was desperate to find something we could eat that was nutritious, but wouldn't have me on my feet prepping for long. Oh, and I knew it needed to be a crock pot meal, so I could prep and forget it for a few hours. Plus I have two crock pots and they hadn't had a workout in a while. So, you can imagine how elated I was when I stumbled up on a recipe that fit the bill thanks to sweetpeasandsaffron.com.
When you read the recipe you'll understand why I say it's out of season, but it worked out and met the criteria I had. My husband enjoyed it and one of my 6 year olds did too. The other said she wasn't a fan of the maple syrup sauce. Hey, 3 out of 4 isn't bad!
You definitely want to make sure that you include the pecans if no one is allergic. I think this is the kind of dish that needs some sort of crunch. We added them to our own plates after serving since pecans make one daughter's mouth itch.
Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries, Pecans, and Butternut Squash
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
4 cups Brussels sprouts, Halved (14 oz)
4 cups butternut squash, cut into 1 inch cubes (21 oz)
1 red onion
Maple Cinnamon Sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
10 minutes before serving:
1 cup fresh cranberries (I used frozen)
1/2 cup pecans
Toss together the Brussels sprouts, butternut squash and red onion and place in the base of a 5 quart crock pot. I greased my pot with coconut oil beforehand.
Cook on high for 2-2.5 hours, stirring once at one hour. Start checking for doneness at 2 hours. Brussels sprouts should be softened but still have some chew to them. Butternut squash should be tender and not mushy. Next time I prepare this I think I'll let it go for 2 hours rather than the 2.5 to ensure the veggies a bit firmer than what we experienced.
Just Before Serving add fresh cranberries and cook for an additional 5 minutes. In a small pot, stir together the maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce head and simmer, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. sauce will reduce and become thickened. Pour over the veggies and toss. Sprinkle with pecans serve and enjoy!
Allison Marschean is a wife and mother of 6 year old twins who is kicking an autoimmune disorder to the curb with food and fitness, all while living her dimensions!