Tip: Make sure to fish out the clove before serving, or least warn people. You don't want to bite down on it. It will wreck your tastebuds for a few minutes!
Coconutty Spiced and Stuffed Butternut Squash
• 1 large butternut squash, halved and seeded
. • 1 cup cooked quinoa (easiest if it's left over)
• 1-15 oz can organic chickpeas (Eden Organic is the way to go--BPA-Free cans)
• ½ large onion, finely chopped
• 2-3 green or red bell peppers, chopped
• 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 medium carrot thinly sliced
• 1-2 handfuls of raisins
• ¼ cup chopped walnuts
• 2 TBSP Virgin Unrefined Coconut Oil (VUCO) divided
• 1 cup organic coconut milk
• 1 cardamom seed (pod removed), finely crushed
• ¼-1/2 tsp cinnamon
• ¼-1/2 tsp cumin
• ¼-1/2 tsp coriander
• Dash of nutmeg
• 1 whole clove
• Unrefined Sea Salt and black pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a glass baking dish or on a large cookie sheet, place squash halves pulp side down. Add water to cover bottom of dish. Bake for about 45 min to 1 hour, until skin begins to brown and pucker. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. While squash is baking, heat a medium to large skillet on low-medium heat. Add coconut oil. Sauté onion for a few minutes, then add garlic and stir. Add bell pepper and sauté for a few minutes before adding the carrots. Cook covered on low for about 7-10 minutes to allow carrots to soften. Add spices/salt/pepper, quinoa and chickpeas and stir. Add coconut milk, raisins and walnuts and stir. Cook covered on low for an additional 7-10 minutes to allow the flavors to marry. Meanwhile, turn squash pulp side up and cut cross-wise into halves (or thirds depending on how big your squash is). Scoop out a well in each piece and add about ¼ tsp of VUCO, distributing evenly. Lightly salt pulp. When veggie mixture is done, scoop generous amounts of the mixture tightly into the wells. Heap on more if desired ( I recommend this). Return the stuffed squashes to the oven and bake for about 5-7 minutes, until filling just begins to brown.
Serve with greens, such as arugula or spinach, sautéed on low heat with EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) , garlic and fresh lemon juice for a well-balanced meal. Serves 4-6, depending on portions and the size of the squash.
The Gourmet Healer