Try this healthy vegan recipe for a quick and delicious dinner. The roasted squash topped with pesto, courgettes, mushrooms and peppers goes beautifully with a warm salad of garlic-kale and walnuts. You can add some crumbs of feta for extra impact, or let the pesto do the talking if you want to keep it vegan.
What you’ll need:
1 large butternut squash
2 red peppers
1/2 jar of green pesto (see here if you’re making from scratch and leave out the cheese if you want to make it vegan)
dry Italian herbs
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 clove of garlic
What to do:
1. Start by pre-heating your oven to 200C.
2. Carefully cut the squash in half down the middle so that you have two long pieces. Scoop the seeds out and keep to one side for later. Using a fork, create holes in the flesh of the squash and insert a few sprigs of thyme. Rub a little olive oil in too and place (flesh-side up) in the oven for 45 minutes.
3. Roughly chop the mushrooms, pepper and courgette. Season with olive oil and dried herbs, then place on a baking tray to roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes. Check on them after 10 minutes and give them a quick mix.
4. While everything is roasting, let’s turn to the pesto. I’ve got a delicious quick and easy pesto recipe for you to check out if you’re making it from scratch. If you’re short of time, opt for your favourite brand of vegetarian/vegan pesto from the supermarket.
5. Remember those squash seeds? Now’s the time to coat them in a little olive oil, season with paprika, salt and pepper, before laying out on a baking tray and adding them to the oven. Let them cook for about 20 minutes, but be sure to give them a quick stir half way through.
6. 10 minutes before your roast-dishes are ready, wash and spin a bag of kale. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan with a clove of finely-cut garlic. Add the kale and saute until it darkens in colour. Add some Italian dried herbs to season.
7. When everything is ready, top the butternut squash in a layer of creamy pesto, then add the vegetables and serve alongside the kale. Sprinkle those roasted squash seeds (and some walnuts if you fancy) on top to add a delicious crunch.
If you’re particularly fond of butternut squash, you can find my last recipe here. Enjoy!