“How do you do it?” people ask us. For years we’ve balanced an intensely full professional life, and now we have a 7-month old to juggle. Despite it all, we cook. A lot.
This past week I was in Madison, Wisconsin. I had the pleasure of meeting one of our recipe testers for our upcoming cookbook, Rochelle. We connected with testers about a year ago, and they’re a group of friends and family that we couldn’t have written the book without! Where most recipe testers made 1 or 2 recipes, Rochelle tested nearly 90 of the 100 recipes in the book! Clearly, she’s an overachiever. As I chatted with Rochelle, she mentioned she works significantly more than 40 hours a week with her busy job as a graphic designer / art director. She said people ask her, how do you cook so often? To which she responds to them, How do you not cook?
Because for Rochelle, and for me, cooking is stress relief. It’s the fun part of the day, where I get to blow off steam and create something beautiful or delicious (and hopefully both). To cook more, you must find the joy in it all. And that’s why we wrote Pretty Simple Cooking.
I love connecting with other people who feel this way, to prove Alex and I are not an anomaly! And it turns out there are many. When I asked her about how she cooks so much with three kids, one of our Instagram followers told me this:
“Cooking saves my sanity most days! The planning, the process, the end result…it’s like an active kind of meditation for me. I can usually get dinner prep done during the baby’s last nap of the day. And sometimes we just order pizza! Every day is different around here. I found that the joy in cooking came AFTER I was comfortable getting the kitchen messy and totally fudging a few recipes: giving myself permission to just have fun with it made all the difference. I love the joy that comes from serving friends and family through food. It’s worth the effort even with three littles running/crawling through the kitchen while I do it!”
I couldn’t say it better.
So here’s a recipe that celebrates the joy of cooking and the changing season. It comes from another Instagram follower, Krista. After she saw our 1-hour quick pickled onions recipe, she told me that she loves to roast butternut squash and serve it with pickled onions and a dollop of Greek yogurt. I was instantly intrigued, and knew Alex and I had to try it for ourselves. Turns out the flavors and textures are the perfect match. The lightly sweet roasted butternut squash along with the tangy, bright purple pickled onions and cool, tart yogurt was heaven. This butternut squash would be a fitting side dish for a Sunday dinner, or the bright, beautiful colors make it special enough for Thanksgiving. Or, turn it into a main dish: as a bowl meal with a grain like farro or quinoa, or mix it with penne pasta for a delicious fall treat.
Whatever the case, find the joy in the chopping, the peeling, and the cozy roasting smell that fills your kitchen.
Looking for easy dinner recipes?
It’s fall, and butternut squash recipes are in the air! Here are a few of our favorite butternut squash recipes:
- Za’atar-Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
- Lentil and Butternut Squash Soup with Chard
- Baked Butternut Squash Chips
- Simple Butternut Squash Soup
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this butternut squash with pickled onions, we’d love to hear how it turned out. Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram and mention @acouplecooks.
This recipe is…
Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan and dairy-free, omit the yogurt or use Cashew Cream.Print
- Make the 1 Hour Quick Pickled Onions.
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- Slice the squash in half and remove the seeds, then peel it and chop into 1/2-inch cubes. In a large bowl, mix the butternut squash with the olive oil, garlic powder, kosher salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Pour the vegetables onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat. Roast until tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- To serve, place the squash on a platter and top with pickled onions and dollops of Greek yogurt.