Stuffed Butternut Squash
Filled with all the flavours of Christmas, this simple vegan stuffed butternut squash is a completely delicious, fuss-free twist on the Christmas Roast.
- 1 - 2 medium butternut squash pumpkin
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 brown onion finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves removed and chopped
- 80 grams cooked chestnuts I use the vacuum sealed variety roughly chopped, around a half cup measured before chopping
- 120 grams cooked quinoa a scant cup
- 400 grams cooked brown lentils drained and rinsed if suing using
- 20 grams dried cherries or cranberries roughly 2 tablespoons
- a pinch of nutmeg to taste
- 30 grams vegan butter around 2 tablespoon
- 50 grams baby spinach 2 good handfuls
- a good pinch of sea salt
- black pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees C. To prepare the squash, lay each on its side and carefully cut 1½ inch thick slices. Using a small cookie cutter, cut a circle in the centre of each round to create a ring. It may take some grunt to push the cutter through and the rings may break; no matter. Discard any seeds and cut the inside rounds in to cubes. NB: If you don't have a cookie cutter, you can use a scoop to scoop out the flesh and simply chop the ends of the squash that you don't use into cubes.
- Place the squash rounds in a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Season with sea salt and place in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet or fry pan and add the garlic, onion and fresh thyme leaves. Sweat them for around 7-minutes or until soft.
- Add the chestnuts, cherries, squash cubes and the butter and cook until the butter is melted before adding a pinch of nutmeg. Stir well.
- Finally, add the cooked quinoa and the drained lentils and continue to cook for another five minutes before stirring in the baby spinach. Season with sea salt to taste and a good crack of black pepper and when the spinach has wilted remove the stuffing from the heat.
- Keeping the oven on, take the partially cooked squash rings from the oven and place them on your kitchen counter. Carefully, fill each ring with a good amount of stuffing, drizzle each with a small amount of olive oil before placing them back in the oven for a further 20 - 30 minutes or until the squash is cooked through.
- Remove from the oven and serve with a vegan gravy and sides.
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