Main Course: A Holiday Meal Spectacular


By Chef Arturo Vargas

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Planning your holiday meal is the most important decision, next to buying gifts, that you’ll make during this season.  Whether preparing fare for your family, or entertaining special guests and friends, you’ll want to serve dishes that are flavorful, memorable and as nutritious as they are delicious.

If you’re looking for a unique, colorful and pallet-pleasing cornerstone, then I can think of nothing better than one of my favorite dishes that pairs one of the season’s most delicious vegetables with one of the sea’s most exquisite delicacies.

Life is short and celebrations should be special, so eat well and enjoy!

Chef Arturo Vargas



1/2 lb. butternut squash peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch in cubes (3 cups)

3 Roma tomatoes sliced

1 red onion (chopped)

1 cup of sliced cremini mushrooms

6 leaves of fresh basil (chopped)

6 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 red bell pepper chopped

1 yellow bell pepper chopped

1 zucchini (chopped)

1/2 cup of shaved Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup of grated mozzarella cheese

1 tablespoon of butter

2 leaves of red chard

6 jumbo sea scallops



Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  In a bowl, toss squash with all the vegetables in olive oil and place in oiled 15x10x 1- inch baking pan.  Roast, uncovered for 30 minutes until lightly browned and tender, stirring twice.

Sprinkle Parmesan cheese onto the browned vegetables and bake uncovered for 5 minutes until top becomes golden.  Add the red chard leaves while the dish is still hot.  In a hot medium skillet, sauté scallops for 3 minutes until they become golden. To serve, place the scallops on a bed of the roasted butternut squash and veggies on a clean white plate so the colors pop.

A native of Acapulco, Mexico, Chef Arturo Vargas is a respected health educator and owner of Northern California’s Taste for the Senses Catering. Arturo was formally trained in the culinary arts in Mexico. Prior to opening his catering company, he served as chef in some of San Francisco, California’s finest restaurants, and facilitated healthy cooking classes and workshops for organizations such as the University of California, Davis, the American Heart Association, and Whole Foods Market. His culinary expertise has been featured in several publications, including Sacramento Magazine, Luxe Life magazine and on

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