Meal Prep Monday: Butternut Squash and Bacon 

Bacon makes everything better, no?

Well we’d like to think so. At least when it comes to cooking and jazzing up some veggies.  While bacon may not always be a healthy option (but in moderation it’s yummy) it’s great to cook with and can add some unexpected flavors.

We’ve recently fell in love with Hormel’s Black Label bacon. The applewood, cherrywood, and pecan wood bacons are all divine with a strong flavor. I like to use these thick cuts because they add texture and flavor to whatever I’m cooking them with.

Whether it’s scrambled eggs on the weekend or with green beans, I’ve definitely become a fan of throwing in some bacon to mix things up. The added taste and cooking in the grease of the bacon really bumps up the best parts of the meal.

I recently experimented with bacon and butternut squash. With Fall around the corner, butternut squash is becoming quite popular and very available. I grabbed some last week during our attempted Whole 30 but when I went to cook it, I wasn’t sure what to do with it. Should I add some cinnamon and have a sweet side dish? Should I bake it in butter and seasonings for something savory?

When I looked into the fridge I realized I had an open package of bacon waiting to be used. Some had gone into breakfast but the leftovers were awaiting their time in the frying pan. So I chopped up the slices and threw it into the pan with the raw butternut squash. I added a little bit of butter and coriander seasonings but left out any salt due to what it would take from the bacon.

Soon my house was filled with a wonderful scent. The smoky flavor of the bacon carried through the air and I was instantly drooling. I cooked everything on medium heat until I could tell the bacon was starting to crisp up, then I knocked it down to low and let it all simmer and work together.

In the end, the butternut squash is tender and browned while the bacon is crispy with a slight crunch. SO GOOD! And the flavors together work so well. While we add a little naughtiness with the bacon, having butternut squash in your diet is a great thing. It give you loads of vitamin A and a decent amount of vitamin C, to name only a handful of the virtues of butternut squash.

My husband likes this side dish and I love it. My son, on the other hand, is not so fond of the texture of the squash. Too mushy for him. This is also the kid that loves french fries but HATES mashed potatoes. And I love that by cooking it with the bacon, I hardly need to season anything.

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