13 September 2013

Roasted Butternut Squash with Spiced Adzuki Beans and Tomato (GF)

Scroll down for the prison plate version!

This recipe is easy and versatile.  I hate it when I can't use a recipe because it calls for something major and unsubstitutable that I don't have in my kitchen (I have a lot of stuff in my kitchen) or something I can't even find at the shops (tempeh and a firm, not-silken tofu are the two biggest culprits).  I think things like that are partially why I hear people complain about how vegetarian food is expensive and hard to make when it's really not. 

Cook some adzuki beans.  Or lentils.  Or use black-eyed peas.  Or black beans.  LEGUMES, PEOPLE! 

Don't forget to soak your beans overnight unless you like doing the 'quick-soak'-method (we'll save that for another blog post, in the mean time, google it). You don't need to soak lentils. If you're really not into dry beans (and you should be, because it will save you a ton of money and they are not as heavy to carry home from the grocery store), use canned or frozen or whatever.

Then, make some brown rice.  No brown rice?  Make millet.  Or Quinoa.  Or cous-cous, bulghar wheat, white rice...You get the idea.  GRAINS.

Here's a slightly different version -- I slow-cooked squash, lentils, shallots,
garlic, and herbs and served them on a bed of bulgar wheat.
Use this recipe to roast your butternut squash (you can also do it in a slow-cooker).  If you don't have all the herbs, just wing it.  I didn't have any thyme, but I used fresh rosemary and it turned out lovely.  Any winter squash will do, it doesn't have to be butternut.  Don't fancy winter squash?  Try sweet potato.  Or carrots.  Rutabagas (swedes) would work.  Parsnips might work, too, although they are a bit sweet.  Potatoes or turnips or even cauliflower would work, too, although they are a bit bland for this.

While your squash is roasting, throw some oil into a pot.  Toss in 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp coriander, 1/4 tsp chili powder, and a dash of turmeric.  Don't have those?  Use 1 tsp or so of curry powder (Madras or a generic blend will do) or 1-2 tsp of a curry paste.  Heat your spices for a minute or so and toss in a can of chopped tomatoes.  I like to add 1-2 tsp of Marmite or another yeast extract spread, but if you can't find that, just skip it.  (I promise this does not make your tomatoes taste like Marmite, it just beefs up the flavour.)  Salt to taste.  (I use about 1/4 tsp.)

Once the tomatoes are starting to simmer, add your beans and some chopped fresh parsley or cilantro (or not, if you don't have any).  Cook for a minute or two more.

To serve (do I really need to tell you this?), spoon some brown rice onto a dish, then add some roasted squash, and finally, top with the adzuki bean and tomato sauce.

Prison Plate Version:  My kids had Pasta alla Nooch, Roasted Squash, the
Adzuki Bean and Tomato-thing, and some wild blackberries my oldest son
and husband picked earlier this week (we used the rest of the beans in berry
oat scones, let me know if you want the recipe).

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