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Baked Butternut Squash with Kale and Pecans {Thanksgiving Recipe}

I bought a butternut squash at the farmers market on Saturday with the intention of baking it, which I finally got around to doing. All of these Thanksgiving dishes are giving me some major inspiration to make something seasonal and warm and delish. So here goes! Let me tell you about my Thanksgiving plans for the last two years. I always have big ideas about making a ton of meatless dishes along with a ton of awesome desserts but I live in NYC and my family lives in the Philly burbs. So, it's difficult to travel home the day before Thanksgiving, run out and get ingredients and make a bunch of food. My mom's oven only holds so many dishes so it can be tricky. But this year, I think I'll be able to sneak this dish in there 😄

This dish requires about an hour to make but most of it is the baking process. The toppings and veggies are up to you so use whatever is in your fridge. The great part about this dish is how you can add pretty much anything to it. It's easy and delicious and the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dinner.

Alot of people on my friend's list on Fb are not keen on celebrating Thanksgiving because of the meaning behind it (violently taking land from Native Americans) and because of the slaughtering of turkeys. To me, Thanksgiving is a day to make delicious food, whatever food you eat, share it with others and spend time with family and friends. The holidays don't have a whole lot of historical meaning behind them for me; it's mainly just a time to reflect, be grateful and spend time with loved ones. You can be vegan and compassionate and still partake in Thanksgiving. So just have fun and enjoy yourself!

1 butternut squash, cut in half
2 tsp of sea salt
2 tsp of cinnamon
1 tbsp of olive oil
2 cups of kale
1/4 cup of pecans
Seeds from the squash

Cut the squash in half, length-ways. Dig out the seeds and set aside in a small bowl. Brush the squash with the olive oil and top with the sea salt and cinnamon. Rinse the seeds off and and mix with olive oil and sea salt. Place the seeds on a cookie sheet, spread out, along with the squash and place in the oven for 55 minutes at 400 degrees. When you hear the first squash seed pop, they are done so remove the seeds from the oven. If you leave them in the oven, they will end up all over the place and burned. Set aside the toasted seeds. Keep the squash in the oven until 55 minutes.

As the squash is almost done, steam your kale. When it's bright green and limp, remove from heat, cut into small pieces and season with sea salt. When the squash is done, scoop it out of the skin and place in a dish. Add the kale and pecans and mix well. Serve with the seeds on the side so they stay crunchy. You can also add pomegranate seeds or apple slices to give this dish a sweet taste.

Have a fabulous Thanksgiving! My mom bought me a Gardein meatless roast this year and I can't wait to try it! This holiday is a WONDERFUL time to try some different meatless roasts and to support some plant-based businesses. There are some amazing mock meat products out there that are yummy and full of protein so I say go for it!

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