African-Inspired Spicy Squash and Fava Beans on Raw Collard “Tortillas”

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.

“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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Last Year at this Time Creamy Kabocha-Sage Pasta (or Bean) Bake (gluten free; ACD Stage 3 and beyond)

Two Years Ago: Raw Chocolate Almond Mousse (gluten free; ACD stage 2 and beyond)

Three Years Ago: Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip cookies (gluten free; ACD Maintenance )

Four Years Ago Other People’s Munchies. . . and Please Share Your Own

© Ricki Heller, Diet, Dessert and Dogs

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  1. Booyah to squash-a-thon! Can’t wait to see what else you have brewing. I love everything about this – flavourful squash and beans in a collard wrap! Can’t wait to try it out. 🙂

  2. Oh my goodness, this sound deeelicious! Can’t wait to make it! Yay pumpkin! : )

  3. I can totally get behind a Squash-a-thon, lol! Brilliant 🙂 I can’t wait for it to cool down so I can start baking squash here too! I love it all, but my favorites are spaghetti and delacata…yum!

    Your squash and fava beans sound amazing…I need to get some favas asap and give it a try!


    • Thanks, Courtney! And lucky you if it’s still warm there 🙂 You could always make this with kidney beans, too, or black beans. . . would still be delish. 🙂

  4. I’ve certainly been taking advantage of local squash. Such a wonderfully creative dish Ricki and love your photos.

  5. Beautiful photos, Ricki!

  6. I have always loved the word “pulchritudinous” because it sounds the complete opposite of what it means, and I can’t help giggling. Thank you for bringing it back into my world, Ricki!

  7. oh YUM! i love how colorful this dish is!

  8. This looks wonderful – I love the combo of beans and squash, and just happen to have a kabocha on the counter. I really like the collard tortilla, too.

  9. Oh, you make me laugh, Ricki!! I’m all about the beloved winter squash, and this recipe looks fabulous, of course. 🙂 Love the sweet picture of Elsie, too!


  10. The stew looks amazing but you cannot convince me to eat raw collard greens, even with that gorgeous photo. 🙂

    • Stephanie, you MUST try raw collard wraps! They are seriously delicious. And I find that the raw is totally NOT bitter, unlike the cooked. 🙂

  11. Sounds wonderful! I need as many recipes using winter squash as I can get for my current collection. They’re taking over my kitchen!

  12. Ohhhh I just discovered the joy of collard wraps in my own dinner tonight. Ad now I can’t wait to try yours!!

  13. Beans + squash + curry? I’m sold.

  14. What a delicious combination of flavours and textures Ricki! I just love African spice mixes, I expect this tasted fantastic!

  15. I’d far prefer to expend my energies in the kitchen than in a marathon too – especially with yummy food like this – I don’t have african spice mix about but I had a great bush spice mix that would be nice here but I need to replenish my stocks

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