These are some strange times that we are all living in…right? It’s April but there’s still an abundance of squash at the grocery store as well as the farmer’s market. It’s weird. Uncanny, even.
More so when I think about all the time I put in to learning when vegetables were in season so that I could adjust for local ingredients in an effort to reduce my carbon footprint. But now we’re living in the Upside-Down where birds don’t leave Romania in the winter, squash is available year round and now, suddenly, you can purchase turnip and mustard greens wherever you go.
Okay, rant over. Was that technically a rant?
I don’t think so, let’s just call it an energetic questioning of events, shall we?
Anyway since butternut squash is still available and I LOVE it, you know I grabbed one and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.
Looking for other butternut squash recipes?
That’s right. Even though it’s April and the weather is–finally–warming up, I decided that I would make a hearty vegan autumn meal and it’s my house and my blog and I can do what I want.
Keep in mind that this is a vegan recipe for two, so if your household is bigger you’ll need more ingredients.
First thing’s first, let’s gather our ingredients and commence the prep work!
Preheat oven to 200C or 400F.
Start with the butternut squash. Scrub the skin with a veggie scrubber and cut it down the middle, removing the seeds with a spoon. Using baking spray or oil to rub on the flesh side of the split vegetables.
Bake flesh side down for 20 to 30 minutes, until the flesh is soft enough you can scoop it out with a spoon.
While the squash bakes, gets started on the veggies. Start with the mushrooms because you don’t want water-logged mushrooms for this dish. Cook them over medium-high heat until nearly they are crisp and plump and NOT AT ALL mushy.
Remove the mushrooms and cover.
In the same skillet, add onions and cook for 7 to 9 minutes, until transparent and fragrant. Next, add garlic and mustard greens. Cook until the greens start to wilt about 5 minutes.
Add in vegan mince and season, stirring until everything is perfectly blended. Remove from heat and set aside.
Cook bulgur, or whatever other grain you have on hand, according to package instructions. When done, tilt the lid to get a steam effect, which will give you fluffy bulgur.
When slightly cooled, toss with mushrooms, vegetables & mince mixture.
Back to the Squash
When the squash is cooked, remove and let cool for about 5 minutes, just long enough that you can touch without injury.
Scoop out the inside of the squash, leaving a thin layer to act as a vessel for the veggie & mince mixture.
In a medium bowl, add squash flesh, vegan butter, salt, black pepper, cumin and paprika. Mash with a potato masher, or stir until you have a mix that resembles mashed potatoes. Return to the squash and smooth out, kind of like a twice-baked potato.
Now, load up the rest of the veggies and mince, and pop back in the oven for about 15 minutes, only long enough to warm it all through.
On the side, mix vegan yogurt, lemon juice and garlic together and set aside to garnish the top.
And that’s it. Serve it however you want it. I used aluminum tins because the squash was easier to cook that way and they are recyclable.
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