Ah January – it’s such a confusing time! Just when you know your body needs lots of fresh fruit and vegetables – you look outside the window, see grey skies – and can only think about comforting things like hot chocolate and pie (or is this just me?). With that in mind, for day 5 of my ‘7 for 7’ healthy recipe kickstart, I have refashioned this heap of vegetables into a cosy, comfort food dish worthy of you and your sofa!
Sweet-fleshed butternut squash has been roasted and hollowed out to be filled with a mixture of creamy hummus, fruity dried cranberries and bright vitamin C-packed pepper and spinach, before being topped with cheesy nutritional yeast. Healthy recipes do not have to be bland and joyless – this is a riot of flavours and oh-so-satisfying – just grab a blanket and snuggle up!
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 1 tin/240g drained weight chickpeas, drained (save the soaking water for other recipes)
- 1 heaped Tbsp tahini
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
- 1 tsp salt plus a little extra
- oil for drizzling
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- a few handfuls/100g spinach
- a small handful of dried cranberries
- nutritional yeast for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds (you can save these to roast for a snack if you like). Place cut sides up on a baking tray and drizzle with oil. Add a little salt and pepper and put into the oven for 40 minutes.
- In the meantime, put the chickpeas, 1 tsp of salt, garlic, tahini and ¼ cup (60ml) water in a food processor and blend until you have a chunky hummus. Leave in the processor.
- Put a little oil in a frying pan and saute the onion gently (about 5 minutes on low), then add the chopped pepper and cook until softened (another 10 minutes). Lastly, add the spinach and allow to wilt before taking off the heat.
- When the cooking time is up, take the squash out of the oven and use an ice cream scoop to hollow out both halves, leaving about 1cm of flesh on the sides and bottom.
- Put the scooped butternut flesh into the food processor with the hummus and whizz to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings if you need to.
- Pile two thirds of the hummus into the hollowed out squash halves, then top with the vegetable mixture and the cranberries.
- Add the remainder of the hummus and then sprinkle generously with nutritional yeast.
- Put back in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until crispy on the edges.
- Serve on its own or with a simple green salad.