Okay, everyone, please take up your positions. The Squash-a-thon is about to begin!
On the one hand, fall is the season for marathons and runs. On the other hand, it’s also the season for squashes–anything from pumpkin (the first place frontrunner right now) to kabocha (my own pick for a winner) to acorn (cute curves) to butternut (so long and lean on top!). Since I much prefer extended stays in the kitchen to developing muscle cramps on the concrete, I decided to go with the indoor “Squash-a-Thon” and busy myself with a whack of squash-based recipes this month instead of joining the outdoor kind (that one stint doing “Miles for Millions” back in grade school was more than enough for me.).
It’s true, my Squash-a-Thon may not raise money for a cure; it may not give an overworked Wall Street executive’s ego a boost for a weekend; and it may not provide a clear outlet for thousands of Canadians to proudly commemorate a national hero. Still, in its own right, pumpkin is pretty darned worthy of attention. It promotes health and well-being in its own high-antioxidant-high-fiber-low-fat-mega-Beta-Carotene way.
So, let the pumpkin-themed recipes being!
This recipe was one of those serendipitous creations in which every component came together perfectly; I couldn’t have found a more delectable melding of ingredients and spices if I’d tried.
I consider this recipe sort of like the Cinderella of savory lunch (or dinner, or even breakfast) dishes. Sort of plain and drab at first glance–certainly nothing that would pique your interest. But add a pumpkin to the story and–Bam!–suddenly, it’s transformed into a thing of beauty, and you’re smitten. I know that fava beans are not the most pulchritudinous of legumes; their exterior appearance does not shout, “come hither!” But if you can ignore the surface appearance, you’ll be rewarded with a memorable, mouth-watering dish.
One everning last week, I was on the lookout for a quick dinner. In addition, I’m always searching for more recipes using beans and legumes, as I feel they are one protein source I don’t get enough of. A powerhouse superfood, beans and legumes are low in fat, high in protein, brimming with antioxidants, and incredibly high in fiber. I had actually planned to make my beloved Ful Medames, but realized we were all out of tomatoes (egads!). So I thought, why don’t I try mixing in some of my pumpkin instead (since I had just baked yet another sugar pumpkin,primarily for the seeds)? The result was beyond delicious. And this concoction is actually much more filling than the original ful medames, due to the addition of the pumpkin.
Spoon the filling over a tortilla, into a wrap, onto a raw collard leaf, or over a bed of rice. I guarantee you’ll enjoy it so much. . . you might just race to the finish.
African-Inspired Spicy Squash and Fava Beans on Raw Collard Leaf “Tortillas”
1 Tbsp (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil, preferably organic
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (remove seeds for less heat)
1/2-1 cup (120 ml-240 ml) vegetable broth or stock
1 can (400 ml or 12 oz) fava beans, rinsed and drained (or use red kidney or black beans)
1 cup (240 ml) squash purée (I prefer kabocha; but acorn and pumpkin worked well, too)
1 tsp (5 ml) African Bahrat spice blend (recipe here; or use half curry powder/half chili powder)
1/4-1/2 tsp fine sea salt, to your taste
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large nonstick frypan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until onion is soft, 5-10 minutes. Add the jalapeno and continue to cook for another minute, stirring frequently to avoid scorching.
Lower heat. Add the broth and about half the favas. Mash the beans in the pan until almost smooth, then add the rest of the beans, the squash, spice and salt. Stir to combine well. Cover and allow to cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust salt if necessary. Serve over raw collard leaves (or wrapped in them), on tortillas or Indian flatbreads. Makes 4 servings. Filling may be stored, covered, in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
Suitable for: ACD Stage 2 and beyond, sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, nut free, vegan, low glycemic.
“Did I hear you say something about a race, Mum? I’ll leave that to Chaser these days. Just wake me when it’s over.”
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Four Years Ago: Other People’s Munchies. . . and Please Share Your Own
© Ricki Heller, Diet, Dessert and Dogs