Thursday, October 6, 2016

Vegan Southwestern Spelt and Squash Bowl

Vegan Southwestern Spelt and Squash Bowl

It finally feels like fall, and after a week of vacation in Southern California, we were desperate for some healthy eating. This vegan grain bowl foots the bill perfectly, composed of chewy spelt, roasted butternut squash, onion, sage, pepitas and a kick of smoky chipotle chili powder. That's this dish is vegan was basically accidental--it dawned on me while we were eating it that it contained no meat or dairy ingredients. That said, some crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese would be good here, as would some dried cranberries.

Vegan Southwestern Spelt and Squash Bowl

1 cup spelt berries
Salt, to taste
16-20 oz. butternut squash (peeled and seeded), cut into 3/4-inch cubes
4 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 large or 3 medium celery stalks, halved and diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
Seasoned salt, to taste
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. or more chipotle chili powder
2 tbsp. fresh sage, minced
15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
Juice from 1 lime

1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan with a lid. Rinse the spelt and add to the boiling water with a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to simmer, covered, until the berries are tender but still chewy, about 40 minutes. Drain any excess water.

2. Preheat oven to 475 F. Combing cut squash with 2 tbsp. olive oil and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt. Spread in an even layer on an aluminum-foil-lined baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Use a spatula to flip the squash cubes over and continue roasting until lightly browned, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly, the use the spatula to remove from the foil.

3. In a large steep-sided saute pan, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery and garlic, season with seasoned salt, cumin and chipotle chili pepper, and sauté until softened, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in the sage and black beans and cook another couple minutes until fragrant and heated. Stir in the roasted squash, cooked spelt, pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and lime juice and turn off the heat. Serve in large shallow bowls.

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