I tend to think of my life as having two stages: Before Allergies and After Allergies, though in reality, I’ve always had food allergies, so it’s more like Before Diagnosis and After Diagnosis. I’d say the stages are defined by many aspects, from health to food & lifestyle choices, career changes and more, but the most noticeable from day-to-day is the change in my food choices.
Before Allergies, I hated cooking, never followed recipes well and preferred foods that didn’t need much prep work. After Allergies? I’m the biggest prepper and recipe enthusiast, and have discovered that I actually love cooking.
Who knew how much fun it was to create something from scratch? How satisfying it would be to create a dish that I threw together on a whim, and sit down to a yummy meal that’s tasty and healthy? Certainly not me, so this breakfast is nothing near one I would have eaten Before Allergies. In fact, my go-to was a toasted bagel, scooped out and topped with butter or cream cheese, a low-fat muffin or english muffin toasted with peanut butter or butter. Occasionally I would grab some fruit, but never did the idea of veggies occur to me as a breakfast item.
Ironically, my breakfasts today consist mostly of leftovers from the night before, unless I whip up a smoothie with kale or spinach, coconut or flax oil and some fruit on the days I’m craving something a little sweeter. Though today, when I opened the fridge and saw that yummy squash, I knew it was a butternut squash kinda-day. And according to my friend who teaches yoga and Pilates, and knows a ton about Ayurvedic and Eastern Medicine, it’s better to start your day with something warm in your belly to help keep the metabolic fires burning. Of course, she can say it much more eloquently than I can, but I figure you get the basic idea.
I love butternut squash – let’s just get that out of the way. It’s low in fat and loaded in fiber, making it an exceptionally heart-friendly food. It’s also packed with potassium (important for bone health) and vitamin B6 (essential for both our nervous and immune systems). Another great benefit? You can pre-bake it ahead of time and store in the fridge for up to a week so you can quickly whip up a side dish, or use it as a full meal as I did for breakfast. I simply cut the squash in half, bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, and store the halves in foil or tupperware.
So today I used about 1/3 of one of the halves to make a simple sautéed squash breakfast. I threw in some bacon crumbles that the hubs cooked up for me this weekend along with some fresh spinach that I always keep on hand.
This is one of the those recipes that you can tweak to your tastes; it works just fine without the spinach or bacon, and so long as you make the squash and bacon ahead of time, you can enjoy a delish & healthy treat with little effort.
Sautéed squash, spinach and bacon (Paleo)
- 1/3 to 1/2 pre-cooked butternut squash
- 1-2 slices bacon, crumbled
- 2 cups raw, pre-washed spinach
- Drizzle of olive oil or coconut oil for sautéing
- salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat pan over medium high heat.
- Cut pre-cooked butternut squash into smallish cubes.
- Add cooking oil to pan, then add squash.
- Drizzle additional oil over squash and stir in pan for 5-6 minutes until squash starts to brown.
- Add crumbled bacon pieces and spinach to pan.
- Drizzle with additional oil & add S&P to taste.
- Continue to stir for another 3-5 minutes until spinach is cooked.
- Transfer to plate and serve immediately.