Squash might just be the best veggie ever.
Okay, I can't say that. All veggies are awesome and wonderful in their own way!
But really: squash is incredibly delicious and makes any meal feel a little luxurious. They're packed with Vitamin A and fiber, and their seeds can be roasted for a protein-packed snack or salad topper. You can also eat the skin, providing it is thoroughly washed and has been cooked long enough.
Bonus: they're in season! And inexpensive!
I whipped up some tomato stew the other night for dinner while we babysat some friends' ADORABLE little baby boy. Let me just say that any recipe you can make while also tending to a tiny human, breaking for a diaper change, and mediating baby-and-dog interactions is a good one: it's that simple!
While we didn't initially serve the stew in squash halves, I wanted to get creative with the leftovers today and ended up filling some squash I'd pre-baked and left in the fridge. [This is a great trick, by the way, for saving time for weeknight dinners! You can pre-bake sweet potatoes, squash, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower... pretty much anything that is hearty enough to withstand a few days in the fridge. TIME SAVING FOR THE WIN!]
The stew itself is packed with lentils, butternut squash, zucchini, mushrooms, shallots, and gorgeous diced tomatoes. It's hearty enough to stand on its own, but light enough for a lunch meal. (In fact, I had this dish this morning at 10:45am after a boot camp workout in Central Park. Incredibly refueling!)
It's getting chilly out there, so try this perfect little fall dish on for warmth. A big batch will mean you'll have some handy for other meals throughout the week.
- 2 acorn squash, halved and seeded
- 1 tbsp vegan butter or olive oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 5 shallots, chopped
- 4 cloves gaelic, chopped
- 2 (large) cans crushed tomatoes
- 2 small zucchini, chopped
- 2 cups baby Bella mushrooms, chopped
- 1.5 cups cooked lentils
- 1 cup butternut squash, cubed
- 2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp dried basil
- 1 avocado, cubed
- Preheat oven to 400F. Coat flesh of each squash half in vegan butter or oil. Lay face-down on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes or until soft.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in large soup pot over medium heat.
- Add shallots and garlic; cook ~4 minutes until soft.
- Add mushrooms, zucchini, and squash; sauté 3-4 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and spices; stir to combine.
- Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Add lentils and continue to simmer a few minutes longer.
- Serve a scoop of stew in each squash half; top with avocado.