Squash-Roasted, Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Roulade with Cider Gravy

It’s officially the holidays. That is the only way I could get away with such an elaborate recipe title as the one above.

Yes, Canadian Thanksgiving is exactly one week away and I’ve been working on a turkey dish well worthy of your holiday dinner table. If it sounds complicated, don’t worry, it’s not, and roasts up in half the time as a whole turkey.

Today’s recipe is a whole turkey breast that has been flattened and filled with a bacon, herb and cranberry stuffing. The roulade is wrapped with bacon to keep it moist and tucked into a half of a spaghetti squash.

The turkey roulade and the squash roast up together in a time-saving 2-for-1 dish and a simple apple cider gravy tops it all off. It’s a seasonal and scrumptious way to bring turkey to your table this Thanksgiving.

Bacon & Cranberry Stuffed Turkey Roulade with Cider Gravy on www.simplebites.net #recipe #dinner #thanksgiving #turkey

The recipe as written, with two turkey breasts and one whole squash, would make a feast for about 8 people, but it can easily be divided in half, if you are a smaller group.

Oh, and plenty of the work can be done in advance, so important for these wonderful food-centric celebrations. Hit the jump to see how it all comes together, then grab a pen and paper and start a shopping list!

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butternut squash and leeks

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup Recipe

Written by Katie of Good Life Eats

I have not always been a fan of winter squash. I never cared for it as a child, but rather ate it because I was told to – so long as it was covered with enough butter and brown sugar. I was never a picky eater, but I always had a couple things that, even after trying, I just didn’t care for, and squash was one of them.

As an adult, however, I’ve found that sometimes liking or not liking certain vegetables or other ingredients depends so much on how that ingredient is prepared. Not to mention that taste buds mature with age.

It’s always good to keep experimenting and trying new things. Sometimes I surprise myself with the way my tastes have changed.

I know now that I don’t like to eat plain, cooked squash straight out of its shell. I like my squash best when it is cooked and used within a recipe, like with this Butternut Squash and Apple Soup. I’ve found that the variety of winter squash that I like the best is probably butternut squash, thanks to its sweet nutty taste.

Although I definitely have a favorite winter squash, I certainly can appreciate all that winter squash has to offer during a time where, in my opinion, produce is often pretty boring (I have always favored the brightly colored spring and summer fruits and vegetables).

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Butternut Squash Whole-Wheat Mac & Cheese

Today I’m in three places at once. Besides talking turkey around here, I’m also having a little Q & A time with the lovely Kelsey, a.k.a, The Naptime Chef in her famous ‘Tales from the Trenches’ series.

Head here to catch the full interview.

I’m also sharing a recipe for Butternut Squash Whole-Wheat Mac & Cheese over at The Family Kitchen on Babble. It’s one of our favorite meatless main dishes, and seasonal, too!

This recipe is surprisingly healthy for mac & cheese, as it incorporates nearly an entire squash and uses whole-wheat egg-white pasta for a substantial and low-cholesterol meal. I love this dish because it feels like a hearty main dish even though it is meatless.

Hit the jump for the recipe and be sure to check out my interview on The Family Kitchen, which includes tips for cooking this dish ahead of time, and including children in the whole process.

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Roasting Vegetables 101: Simple, Seasonal Side Dishes

We’ve been reveling in the recent fall weather; getting out for frequent walks, sitting around the fire down at the back of our property, and relishing the cooler temperatures and lack of bugs. When my husband and I think back to the stress of last fall – buying and selling a house, a sick child, and career shifts – we’re even more grateful for the calm that this season holds for us. Sure, it is busy, but there is a constant peace in our home life now that refuses to be ruffled, even as the bustle of the holidays approaches.

Now that it feels like the autumn chill is here to stay, I like nothing better than coming indoors from invigorating play and cranking up the oven to warm the kitchen – and roast vegetables for the night’s dinner.

Side dishes don’t get much simpler than roasted vegetables. Three ingredients – fresh produce, salt and olive oil – are all that is needed to transform the vegetables from crisper drawer contents to elegant side dish.

The other all-important element? High heat. It brings out the flavors of the vegetables, enhances their natural sweetness, and crisps up the edges into tantalizing bites.
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Butternut Squash Muffins and Dreaming of Spring


Seed catalogs are starting to jostle for space in my mail box and I couldn’t be happier. They offer me the opportunity to mentally check-out on winter for a while and do some virtual gardening. I do this by curling up with a glass of wine, paper and pencil and devising my springtime plan of attack for the kitchen garden and flower beds.
My garden isn’t very big, but I still manage to drag the planning process out for a few evenings: hashing over the layout, remembering what thrived last summer (and what barely survived), and haggling over decisions like purple or Thai basil.

After all the deliberation (and a few glasses of wine!) I’ve decided I’m going to do things a little differently this year. Instead of using valuable garden space for my herbs, I’m going to make a movable herb garden with pots and planters on our new deck. That is how I used to do it on the tiny back balcony when we lived downtown and my basil was never so nice. Not only will it look gorgeous and free up more space for the pea patch, but the close proximity to the kitchen will be ideal for scampering out barefoot and gathering snippets to add to meals.


One of my Christmas presents from Danny was Jamie Oliver’s new cookbook, Jamie at Home. It could have also been titled The Naked Chef Gets Dirty, as he’s up to his elbows in garden soil for most of the book. With recipes inspired by his own love affair with gardening, this is a cookbook I can really get into. It’s divided into seasons and features over a hundred recipes using simple fresh garden produce. There are also pages of gardening tips scattered throughout that I hope to put to practical use this summer.

Come on spring! We’re ready for you anytime.


These muffins were the first recipe I tried from my new cookbook. Really, they should be titled cupcakes instead of muffins, but they were lovely no matter what their name. Moist and flavorful, they reminded me of a really decent carrot cake–only better.

Jamie Oliver’s Butternut Squash Muffins with a Frosty Top
makes 12 – 16 muffins

14 ounces butternut squash, seeded and roughly chopped
2 & 1/4 cups light brown sugar
4 large free-range or organic eggs
pinch of salt
2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, unsifted
2 heaping tablespoons baking powder
handful of chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the Frosted Cream Topping:
1 clementine, zested
1 lemon, zested
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup sour cream
2 heaping tablespoons icing sugar, sifted
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a food processor, buzz the butternut squash until finely chopped. Add the sugar and eggs. Buzz in a pinch of salt, the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and olive oil and mix until well beaten. Scrape the sides if needed, and mix only until everything is well combined.
(Aimee’s note: if you don’t have a food processor, just grate the squash on a box cheese grater, transfer to a bowl and mix everything in by hand. This works just as well.)

Fill a regular sized muffin tin lined with paper cups until each cup is just over 3/4 full. Cook 20 – 25 minutes until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool on a wire rack.

For the topping:
Place the zest and lemon juice in a bowl. Add the sour cream, the sifted confectioner’s sugar and vanilla and mix well. Taste, and adjust the sweet and sour accordingly. Keep in the fridge until ready to top the muffins. If you like, sprinkle the topped muffins with a little more orange zest and lavender flowers.