Butternut squash is a beautiful fall/winter vegetable. Its low in sugars and carbs and filled with:
Vitamin A (for beautiful skin)
Vitamin C (to support and strengthen your immune system)
Vitamin B6 (vital energy boost)
When you cut it in half and take out the seeds you're left with two perfect "bowls" just waiting to be filled...
So I've filled them with lentils (high in plant based iron), fresh herbs, spices and a hint of tart sweetness from antioxidant rich cranberries.
Delicious, healthy and beautiful.
1 squash makes 2 servings - double the recipe to serve 4
You'll need a good sharp knife to cut the squash in half. I find it easiest to stand it up and cut from there. Be careful!
This lentils in this recipe are full of plant based protein, iron and fibre. The turmeric, garlic and parsley all add powerful antioxidants.
I love this as a main dish for a plant based holiday dinner. It's beautiful, filling and so healthy!
For an everyday meal, you can serve it with lightly sautéed or fresh greens mixed with a splash of lemon juice, fresh ground sea salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 425 and place the squash halves in a large glass baking dish, cut side up, and add an inch of water to the bottom of the dish. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes covered and about 15 minutes uncovered. The squash is done when the flesh is very tender when pierced with a fork.
While the squash is cooking, sauté the red onion, garlic and one tablespoon of olive oil in a medium size pot on low heat. When the onion is fragrant and tender (about 5 minutes), add the lentils and enough water to just cover them. Simmer on low heat until the lentils absorb the water. The lower the heat the better - if you boil the lentils they'll turn to mush.
In a small bowl, whisk together one tablespoon of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and turmeric. When the lentils are done, cover them with this mixture and add in the parsley and cranberries. Stir to combine and simmer on low for another 5 minutes.
Once the squash is done remove it from the baking dish and place it on a plate or serving dish. Scoop the lentil mixture to fill the empty seed cavities (the bowl) of the squash. Sprinkle with fresh ground sea salt and pepper and a few pumpkin seeds if you like.