3 in 1: Roasted Butternut Squash; Salmon with Dijon Mustard Crust and Roasted Brussel Spouts

My step-mother-in-law and friend, Paula, made a wonderful Christmas dinner for the family this year - Heritage Bird Roast Turkey, fresh from the farm, brined and roasted to perfection; her famous Herron Family Sweet Potatoes, cooked in a gallon of molasses and a pound of butter (!); roasted brussel sprouts with chestnuts and a roasted butternut squash with wilted spinach, craisins and chestnuts.  I was taken with all the food choices and was especially intrigued by the butternut squash.  I love finding new and simple ways to make vegetables, especially when you can make a large batch and have each bite be as interesting as the last.  I wrote a brief recipe description of it on my Christmas In Collingswood post last week - today I'm expanding upon it and adding a few more recipes to the mix too.  

For my first "clean" and healthy meal of the New Year, I made my favorite salmon dish - roasted salmon fillets with a Dijon Mustard crust and herbs; roasted shredded brussel sprouts and roasted butternut squash, done in my own style, using what I had on hand.  I set the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and made the most of using the oven by cooking a lot of stuff so we would be set for a few days - maximizing the heat and time for optimal cooking efficiency.  

Roasted Salmon with Dijon Mustard Crust:  The salmon is one of my old standbys - I usually buy a bag of frozen fillets from Wegmans - 6 to a package and under $14 - so that's around $2.25 per serving.  It's the best frozen salmon I've ever had and I would venture to say it's almost better than a lot of fresh I've had.  It defrosts quickly in the sink - in under 20 minutes, so thawing time is never and issue.

  • I usually roast it on a sheet tray lined with a Silpat or tin foil.  
  • I spread about a tablespoon of Dijon Mustard on each fillet and top it with fresh or dried herbs - or a sprinkling of Mexican/Barbecue or some other zesty and smokey salt-free seasoning.  
  • If I'm feeling a bit more decadent, I'll top the salmon and Dijon with chopped nuts, almonds, cashews or pistachio.  Gives you a bit more protein and good omega fats.  
  • No salt and no oil - the fish is fine w/out it.  
  • Roast at 375 to 423 degrees for 12 minutes - 15 if you want it a bit more done.  Boom! It's done.  

Shredded & Roasted Brussel Sprouts Ingredients:

  • 1 Pound Brussel Sprouts - cleaned, bottoms cut off and each sprout cut in half
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Line a sheet tray with tin foil - set aside
  3. Cleaned the brussel sprouts, remove the tough bottom core and any brown and spotted outer leaves.  Cut each brussel sprout in half, then thinly slice each half into half-moon or julienned slices, until you have a pile of brussel sprout ribbons or "confetti"; add to a large mixing bowl and continue cutting until all the brussel sprouts are cut and julienned.
  4. Toss in a large mixing with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with a few grinds of black pepper and a generous pinch of Kosher Salt.  
  5. Roast in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then stir the brussel sprouts and rotate the pan.  Put back into the oven and roast for another 15 minutes.  Stir the sprouts again, and roast for up to another 15 minutes or until all the ribbons of brussel sprouts are crispy and beginning to char.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve hot immediately. 
  6. These are addictive - as good as Kale Chips.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Spinach and Craisins Ingredients:
  • 1 Pound Butternut Squash - peeled, seeded and chopped into 1 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 Medium Onion - large dice
  • 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper or Chipotle Pepper
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper - to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Frozen Spinach - thawed, drained and warmed through
  • 1/4 Cup Craisins
  • 1/4 Cup Almonds - chopped, slivered or sliced
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Line a sheet tray with tin foil - set aside
  3. Clean, peel and seed the butternut squash and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks.  Place into a large mixing bowl and toss with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the seasonings- smoked paprika, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne or chipotle pepper, pinch of salt and several grinds of black pepper.  Toss to combine and then place the butternut squash onto the prepared sheet tray, spreading out to an even layer.  Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally; roast until the squash is tender and slightly caramelized. 
  4. Remove from oven and carefully add to a mixing bowl.  Stir in the thawed and warmed spinach, craisins and chopped almonds (or nuts of choice such as cashews, walnuts or pecans).  Fresh spinach can also be used. I using fresh spinach leaves, clean them, remove tough stems and toss the spinach into the roasted squash; the residual heat will wilt the spinach leaves.  
  5. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.  


  1. mmmmmmmmmmmmm! I have the veggie's to do this and it sounds perfect on this cold day!


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