Vegan Holidays: Roasted Butternut Sunset

One of my challenges this holiday season is the temptation of classic holiday dishes that no longer fit in my eating regime. Luckily, I have found several amazing cookbooks and recipes that fill my need for holiday comfort. Every day this week, I’ll be posting different recipes from different cookbooks (with mini reviews) that celebrate the vegan lifestyle.

For Thanksgiving this year, I made Roasted Butternut Sunset, the first recipe I tried from Vegan for the Holidays by Zel Allen. The cookbook provides a variety of menu suggestions for the entire holiday season (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and New Years Eve/Day). Many of Allen’s recipes are nut based, which are great for flavor as long as there are no allergies. However, she does provide a number of tasty bites for those who cannot have nuts (like my mother).

The instructions are simple to follow, but the results are complex, lovely flavors that don’t try to mimic dairy/meat flavors through fake foods. It’s real food and real deliciousness. I have tried a number of other recipes since this one was such a success and they have all been as yummy.

First of all, the dish is gorgeous when it comes out of the oven. The colors are so bright, as are the flavors. It is also easy to make. My kids and meat-eating family devoured portion after portion. What leftovers remained were still tasty the next day.

Most of the time for this dish goes into the roasting. Prep time depends on your knife skills–it took me about 30 minutes to break everything down (so about 1 hour for the entire dish, start to finish). I used tangellos for the juice and zest because they were the best smelling/ looking at the Natural Grocers. Because my daughter doesn’t care for onions, I put the chopped onions in a bowl for people to garnish as much as they wished at the table.  As you might notice in the picture, my pieces were a little smaller than the directions. My son is only two and does better with small bites. Enjoy!


Roasted-Butternut Sunset (Recipe by Zel Allen)

  • Easy
  • Kid friendly
  • Meat-eater husband and children approved
  • Pretty


1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch pieces

3 large carrots, peeled and thickly sliced

2 small beets, peeled and diced

3/4 cup fresh cranberries

1 TBS extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp salt

3/4 cup orange or tangerine juice

1/4 cup plus 3 TBS maple syrup

1/4 cup white miso

1 tsp orange or tangerine zest

1 green onion, diagonally sliced, or 1 TBS minced fresh parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Put the squash, beets, carrots, cranberries, olive oil, and salt into a large bowl and toss to coat the vegetables. (This is a great place for kids to help–my daughter loved feeling like a big helper while still doing something playful.) Transfer vegetable mixture to a 17 1/2 x 12 1/2 inch rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.
  3. While that is baking, combine the orange juice, maple syrup, miso, and zest into a bowl and wisk until smooth.
  4. Remove the vegetables from the oven and poor the mixture over them. Bake another 15 to 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
  5. Spoon vegetables into a serving bowl and garnish with parsley or onions as desired.



PS. Check back tomorrow for some Southern Vegan goodness!

Categories: Feed the Belly, Life and Other Nonsense, The Little People and Furry Friends | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Vegan Holidays: Roasted Butternut Sunset

  1. I liked your book review, especially because I have difficulty using vegan books that rely heavily on nuts–severe allergy in my home. Thanks for the info–and it looks delicious!

  2. Hi Amber,

    Thanks so much for this lovely review of my cookbook. I love how the smaller than bite-size chunks look in the dish and just realized they probably cook a little faster, too. So glad you’re enjoying the book. You might like to try the nut-free Christmas Carrot Wreath and use vanilla extract in place of the almond extract. It’s also a very eye appealing dish and tastes pretty darned good!

    • We love the Carrot Wreath! I took it to a friend’s holiday party where I was the only vegan and everyone went crazy for it. Thanks so much for stopping by! Your book has made our holidays extra yummy!

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