I absolutely love to pair the gentle sweetness of winter squash with savory, spicy, and tangy accompaniments. Plus, many types of winter squash turn into their own serving vessel. It’s pretty much an ideal food. In the past I’ve shared chili-stuffed acorn squash and pizza-stuffed spaghetti squash. Today I’m rounding out this blog’s stuffed squash trio with Cajun red bean stuffed delicata squash. (The word ‘stuffed’ is already starting to sound weird in my head…)
Have you gotten to try delicata squash before? It’s a squash of minimal prep work and great returns. You can eat the entire skin (and it crisps up deliciously), so there’s no need to peel it. The flavor isn’t a lot different from other winter squash, so you’ll like it if you like butternut! It also seems to grow prolifically, at least if our CSA is any indication. At one of our recent pickups we received 1 acorn squash, 1 spaghetti squash, and 6 delicata squashes (is that a word?).
As an aside, sorry for the slightly wonky pictures on the blog the past couple of weeks! I am still a total amateur at photography and the reduced daylight time is totally throwing me for a loop. I think I am starting to get a hang of the lighting, though, so hopefully these are the last weird pictures for a while… 🙂
For the longest time, I’ve had my eye on this vegan red beans and rice recipe from Budget Bytes. It’s a labor of love, but completely worthwhile. SO much flavor. I made a few tweaks to make the beans even more savory, so that they’d stand up beautifully against the roasted delicata squash. Since we were making that pairing, we forwent the rice altogether. We were left with a satisfying meal that happens to be grain-free, for anyone who’s on that wavelength. I love grains, but this dish doesn’t need ’em. =]
- 1 lb. dry kidney beans, soaked overnight
- 1 tb. olive oil
- 1 yellow or white onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 4 stalks celery, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 c. vegetable broth
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- ½ tb. dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tb. smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (reduce if sensitive to heat)
- ⅛ to ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- (optional) 2 tb. nutritional yeast
- (optional) 5-10 drops liquid smoke
- 2 delicata squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
- ½ tb. (or as needed) coconut oil or other high-heat oil
- 2 c. vegan Cajun red beans (above)
- green onions, for serving
- Heat the olive oil in the bottom of a large saucepan. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic with a pinch of salt, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until softened.
- Drain and rinse the beans. Add them to the pot along with the vegetable broth, and seasoning (dried thyme through liquid smoke).
- Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce it to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 2 hours, keeping covered and stirring occasionally, until beans are completely soft. Remove the bay leaf. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- For a thicker texture, mash some of the beans against the side of the pot.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Rub the squash halves with a very light coating of oil and place on a lined baking sheet.
- Cook for about 30 minutes, or until the flesh is tender and the skin is slightly crisp.
- Add a scoop (approximately ½ cup) of vegan Cajun red beans to the inside of each squash half. Return to the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the beans are warm through.
- Serve with sliced green onions, and hot sauce (if desired).
Red beans gently adapted from Budget Bytes. Happy Monday!