I had a large butternut squash that had been around for a few weeks, so I decided it was time to use it. It was too big to easily cut while raw, so I pierced it in a few places with a knife and popped it in the oven at 350 degrees. With rice and a can of black beans on hand, I came up with this simple, healthy recipe for dinner tonight.
While the squash was cooking in the oven, I began making some Abborio rice. I first chopped about 1/4 cup of onions and lightly sauteed them in olive oil until golden. Next I added 1 cup of rice and stirred that around for a few minutes. I slowly added 1 cup of liquid (I used vegetable broth) until it was absorbed. Then I did the same with the other two cups. (It called for 3 cups of liquid to 1 cup of rice) When the broth was all absorbed and the rice was tender, I stirred in 1 teaspoon of cumin and some salt & pepper.
Next I spruced up a can of black beans by first frying up some chopped onions and garlic in a skillet with some olive oil. Then I added the beans, and a teaspoon of cumin, plus a teaspoon of smoked paprika, plus salt & pepper.
When the squash was easily pierced with a knife I removed it from the oven. (it may take 45 minutes to an hour to cook, so keep that in mind)
It was now quite easy to cut in half lengthwise with a large knife. (Which is good because my children tell me I am “careless” with knives…and yes, there have been a few “cooking mishaps”….so this is me trying to change that and be more careful!)
Then I used a spoon to scoop out the seeds and membrane of the squash to make room for the rice & beans stuffing.
I spooned the rice and beans into the cooked squash cavity, and topped that with some sauteed cabbage slices, fresh herbs, pumpkin seeds and some shaved cheese. I had some red pepper pesto in the fridge, so I added a few dollops of that to the very top, with some fresh ground salt & pepper and a few dashes of smoked paprika. You can decorate and embellish it with whatever goodies you think would be tasty! (A dollop of sour cream might be a nice touch)
I popped that back into the 350 degree oven for just a few minutes, (or until it is the desired hotness) and until the cheese was melted.
Before serving you can top the squash with some slices of avocado, and then serve. This is a hearty and delicious dish with lots of flavor that would go well with a simple green salad.