With the colder temps approaching it is time to begin indulging in winter veggies. Butternut squash is a very popular vegetable among winter squashes and they have numerous benefits.
- It is rich source of dietary fiber and phyto-nutrients.
- It has more vitamin A than that of in pumpkin. Vitamin A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for optimum eye-sight.
- It has plenty of natural poly-phenolic flavonoid compounds like α and ß-carotenes, cryptoxanthin-ß, and lutein. These compounds convert to vitamin A inside the body and deliver same protective functions of vitamin A on the body.
- It is rich in B-complex group of vitamins like folates, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid.
- It has similar mineral profile as that in pumpkin, containing adequate levels of minerals like iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.
There are numerous ways to delight in these winter commodities. One of my favorite is to partner them with a juicy pork loin. Pork and squash make for a beautiful pair. Now it’s time to get in the kitchen and get to cooking. Your family will thank you.
GINGERY ORANGE PORK LOIN WITH BACON WRAPPED BUTTERNUT SQUASH
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon crushed rosemary
2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger or powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
sea salt and black pepper
2 tangerines or oranges peeled and seperated
1 tablespoon olive oil or grape seed oil
2 tablespoons organic maple syrup or organic malt rice syrup (optional)
1/4 cup of free range chicken broth
4 ” thick-cut pork loin
1 Butternut squash (peel, scrape out seeds, cut into 1″ cubes)
3-4 slices of no nitrate, free range, naturally raised bacon
1 -2 tablespoon olive oil or grape seed oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
2 teaspoon fresh crushed rosemary
sea salt and black pepper
Directions for Pork Loin
Turn the loin on its side and cut a pocket in the center of the pork loin and stuff the tangerines/oranges inside (like stuffing a pita pocket). Combine all dry ingredients including salt, pepper, syurp, and olive oil/grape seed oil in a small bowl to form a paste. Rub paste on all sides of the pork loin and season them with extra sea salt and pepper. Pour the chicken broth into your baking pan and set the loin inside. NOTE: For deeper, more saturated flavor, rub the spice paste on the loin a few hours (up to 8 hours) before cooking.
Directions for the Butternut Squash:
Peel the squash with a veggie peeler. Cut in half. Remove seeds. Cut into 1 inch thick slices. Toss squash cubes in oil. Sprinkle with all dry ingredients and toss more to evenly season. Cut the bacon pieces in half. Wrap every other squash cube with bacon and place on the skewer. (one wrapped – one not – one wrapped – one not) I have a metal flexible skewer. This allows me to place the kabob in a circle around the loin inside the baking pan. NOTE: If you do not have a flexible metal skewer you can use a wooden skewer. Wet before using to prevent splintering. Bake separately on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
If you do have a metal skewer wrap your kabob around your loin, cover, and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until meat is cooked to your liking.
Please use all organic, grass-fed, naturally raised, local, and seasonal produce/products when available. Your body will thank you!