Another week of December has passed by. Baby it’s getting cold outside! This week we continue our festive preparations for a Christmas that aligns with our values, i.e. to consume with intention. To put something unique on the dinner table we experimented with a seasonal friend, butternut squash.
What makes up the festive season? Is it flashy gifts and massive loads of food or rather quality time among friends and family? A simple question that doesn’t blend well with the epitome of consumerism that Christmas is turning into.
Today’s entry is a kind invitation to ponder over our intentions for this year’s holiday season. Let’s take a beat and refocus our efforts on things that add value in light of the big picture. Start small. Find the tweaks to bring honest joy into your home instead of following an outdated blueprint. As a start, I offer you a seasonal, pretty, plant-based dish for a festive supper.
- 1 butternut squash (~800 g)
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
- 5 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped finely
- 50 g hazelnuts, chopped
- 50 g basmati rice
- 50 g dried cranberries
- 100 ml red wine / water
- ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 3 pieces of cloves
- Salt & pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Halve the butternut squash, scoop out the seeds and score the flesh with a sharp knife making a gully for the filling along the length.^
- Finely chop the scooped-out flesh, onion and garlic and put into a frying pan on a medium heat with 2 tablespoons of oil.
- Chop the sun-dried tomatoes and hazelnuts and stir into the pan with the rice, cranberries and spices. Add a good pinch of sea salt, black pepper and a swig of red wine. Mix well and fry for 10 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally.
- Pack the filling tightly into the gully of the two squash halves, then press them firmly back together. Brush the skin with a little oil, salt and pepper.
- Place the squash in the centre of a double layer of tin foil and wrap it up tightly. Bake for ~2 hours, or until cooked through.
- Take the squash to the dining table and open up the foil in front of everyone. Carve into thick slices and serve with the usual trimmings.
^ You may put the seeds aside and roast them later to avoid food waste.
Credits to Jamie Oliver for the inspiration to create vegan Christmas recipes. This is the baked squash recipe I went creative on.