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As the holidays near I am making a point to become more mindful of what I am eating and, frankly, what is coming my way in the next couple of weeks. We all know that for so many of us, the holidays can bring a slight feeling of dread. With all the fun and celebrating might there could be a lot of mindless eating, and who could blame you. We are hit from all sides – parties, a concentration of holidays, family visits, many reasons to celebrate.

I have so many memories of eating and drinking whatever came my way in these months – because it was there; because it looked or smelled good, or because everybody seemed to be doing it. Whenever the crowd is all in, it’s so easy to justify overeating and drinking, isn’t it?You probably know the rest of this story. January came and the inevitable five extra pounds came with it too. And all my partners in crime? They went back to business as usual.

I felt like I had let myself down – again.

The fact is, I had really poor planning skills back then. No plan of action, no plan to handle party eating and drinking, no plan to rise from the inevitable setback and not much guidance for getting back on track quickly with healthy eating.

The Recipe Is Part Of The Planning

I’ve learned a lot over the years, and if you’re wondering what all this has to do with delicata squash, well, the recipe is part of the planning. A big part of eating without dieting or making it through a tough holiday season is always having a plan in place.Planning out your meals ensures that you will not be stuck without real, nutritious food. It means that you won’t have the excuse to fall back on less desirable food.

One thing I love to make in the fall is a big pan of roasted seasonal vegetables. I can then use the veggies for a dinner, and next days lunch. I am guaranteed to be filled and satisfied, knowing I am eating low calorie, nutrient dense foods. I adore winter squashes of all kinds, but I especially love delicata squash. Naturally sweet and full of filling fiber, it is easy to cut, and you can even eat the skin. I roasted the kale right in with the other vegetables to make this a delicious one pan side dish that is perfect with a piece of fish, roasted chicken or even chickpeas for a vegan option.I think you will love it as much as I do, but let me know what you think. Leave me a comment below and let me know if you make the recipe and how it turned out. Or better yet, make my day by sharing your creation on Instagram and tag me @greenpalette1 or #greenpalette

Holidays can be hard but it is possible to make it through without a single pound gained. Join me this December for Pound Zero, online reminders, tips, tricks and recipes to help you maintain it, not gain it this holiday season! Click HERE to get on the early interest list.

Roasted Maple Mustard Delicata Squash and Kale

Makes about 4 servings

Ingredients

2 delicata squash, cut lengthwise, seeds removed and cut into half moons
1 small red onion, sliced thin
1 small fennel bulb, fronds removed and sliced thin
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch each of ground nutmeg and allspice
1 bunch purple kale, leaves removed from stems and chopped coarsely
1 tablespoon real maple syrup
1 tablespoon course dijon mustard

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. On a roasting pan place the squash, red onion and fennel. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Toss together and place in the oven.

2. Meanwhile, rinse the kale leaves and dry in a salad spinner. Toss with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. After 30 minutes of roasting, remove the pan and place the kale on top of the squash. Toss gently and place the pan back in the oven for another 10 minutes.

3. While the vegetables are roasting, whisk together the maple, mustard and the rest of the olive oil. When the vegetables are finished roasting, remove them from the oven. Drizzle the maple mixture on the pan and toss with the vegetables. Serve right away.