Dinner Recipes

Butternut Maple Risotto

Winter Squashes

Winter squashes are extremely versatile and super easy to “dress up” with flavor.  The winter squashes include: butternut, acorn, spaghetti, kabocha and red kabocha, carnival , sugar pumpkin, sweet dumpling, and delicata squash.  Winter squashes are high in:

    • Vit. A is a fat soluble nutrient that is essential for: immune function, vision, reproduction, and cellular communication.  It also plays a vital role in the maintenance of the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs 
    • Vit. C is a water soluble nutrient that is needed for the biosynthesis of collagen, L-carnitine (an amino acid), and certain neurotransmitters.  Vit. C is an antioxidant and also aides in protein synthesis.
  • fiber
  • vitamin B6
  • copper
  • manganese
  • antioxidant & anti-inflammatory compounds

My favorite ways to prepare winter squash is to oven roast it, spiralize it into a pseudo-pasta, rice it, or make it risotto style! Risotto style butternut squash resembles a bit of a mac n’ cheese to me, but much healthier.

Butternut Squash

Butternut squashes have more Vitamin A than pumpkins!  They also have natural poly-phenolic flavonoid compounds. A and ß-carotenes, cryptoxanthin-ß, and lutein synthesize into vitamin A inside the body. Vitamin A has powerful antioxidant and protective benefits.  Butternut squashes also have a lot of B-complex vitamins.  These include: folates, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid.

Butternut squashes are a good source of iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.  A single squash usually provides you with multiple meals.  Saving their seeds makes for an awesome healthy snack too.  The seeds are rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids.  The seeds contain protein, minerals, and the essential amino acid tryptophan!  Check out Enlighten Life’s recipe for Roasted Squash Seeds here!


Collagen is one of those secret little nutritional weapons. In fact, it is so awesome I’ve written an entire blog post about it here!  If you’ve never tried adding it to your nutritional regimen I highly recommend it!

I added collagen to this recipe to add a little texture and a lot of nutritional value.  Collagen in combination with Vitamin C greatly increases the conversion and absorption of protein.



Butternut Maple Risotto



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Dice bacon and place in a pyrex
  3. check after 5-10 minutes and drain bacon grease and continue to cook until almost done
  4. Set aside
  5. On The Stove:
  6. On low heat place cashew butter and coconut milk in a skillet, cover, and let simmer
  7. Whisk periodically until cashew butter and coconut milk has blended
  8. Squash:
  9. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the outside skin
  10. Cut the top off of the squash to make a flat surface, and cut right above the bulbous part to also create a flat surface
  11. Use the thick julienne noodle attachment on your vegetable spiralizer and spiralize the squash
  12. Place the spiralized squash in the ninja and pulse until it resembles a risotto!
  13. Add butternut risotto to the skillet
  14. Saute for 10 minutes
  15. Stir in maple flavoring
  16. Continue sautéing until squash is soft
  17. Stir in the cooked diced bacon
  18. Once the dish is plated, sprinkle a tablespoon of collagen on top before serving


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