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Baked Stuffed Butternut Squash with Quick Roast Red Pepper Sauce

gluten free
wheat free
kid friendly
freezable
2 spoon difficulty rating

45-60 minutes

Quantities can easily be halved or quartered - alternatively, make a full batch and freeze it in portions.

Serves: 4

Baked Stuffed Butternut Squash with Quick Roast Red Pepper Sauce

This is a truly sumptuous dish yet it isn't difficult. It can all be done while the squash bakes in the oven.

The picture here shows the recipe made with quinoa. Try experimenting - a fried smoked tofu cubes or a few handfuls of cooked aduki beans would work well in the recipe, as would chopped nuts such as hazel or brazil - but the world's your falafel!

Freezable - but freeze the main dish separately from the sauce

Top Tip
If you don't have cooked wholegrains to hand, they can be made from scratch - as with the sauce and salad - while the squash is baking. Alternatively, buy them ready-cooked in sachets! Look for Sainsbury's, Tesco, Uncle Ben, Tilda and Merchant Gourmet brands.

 

Ingredients: 

Squash and stuffing

  • Olive oil, about 2-3 tbsp
  • 1 large butternut squash cut into 4 and de-seeded or equivalent quantity from another variety of squash. If you are in a hurry, chop into smaller pieces which will cook more quickly.
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice or other wholegrain, eg quinoa or buckwheat. (If you don't have leftovers or pre-cooked pouches, cook the grains while the squash is baking.)
  • 2 shallots, chopped fine
  • 2 tbsp vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp red wine or cider
  • Handful of raisins
  • Good pinch of cinnamon
  • Handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • Optional: toasted pine nuts, slivered hazel nuts or pumpkin seeds

Quick Roast Red Pepper Sauce

  • Half a jar (about 3 large) roasted red peppers, drained. Those in brine give a sharper taste to the sauce, those in oil are more fatty but have a smoother taste. You choose! (Aldi and Lidl provide good versions of these)
  • 1 tsp dried basil OR a small handful of fresh basil, snipped with scissors
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (Engevita)
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • Hot stock to thin down

To serve: green salad or steamed greens of your choice

Method: 

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Put on your wholegrains to cook now if making from scratch.
  2. Grease a baking tray with oil and coat the squash halves or pieces in it. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until soft. Check after 30 and make sure the squash sections aren't burning. Cover with foil or baking parchment if necessary.
  3. Meanwhile, cook shallots in stock and red wine/cider - along with the raisins, cinnamon and parsley - in a heavy-bottomed pan until shallots are soft and liquid reduced to almost nothing. Heat the rice and mix in the shallot mixture. Set aside, keeping it warm.
  4. Make a green salad or prepare greens for steaming. If using the toasted nuts or seed option, dry fry them in a non-stick frying pan for a few seconds, stirring constantly so they don't catch. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. Now make the sauce by blending the red pepper sauce ingredients  until smooth. Just before you're ready to serve, heat it through gently.
  6. Remove the baked squash pieces from the oven and place the rice/shallot mixture in the hollows and around the squash. Add the shallot mixture.
  7. Serve the squash and rice mixture hot, with the sauce on the side. Serve with the salad or greens.

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