21 October 2010

Butternut Squash Stew with Black Beans

This recipe is one of our favorites. It's a delicious way to serve up some squash. Enjoy!

From: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Slow Cooker Cooking, 2nd ed. Ellen Brown

Butternut Squash Stew with Black Beans
3 TB. olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 TB. paprika
2 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. ground cumin
red pepper flakes
1 (approx 2 lb) butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
3 cups vegetable stock
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup chopped dried apricots
2 TB. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 (3-inch) strip lemon zest
1/2 cup slivered almonds
4 cups firmly packed baby spinach leaves, rinsed
2 or 3 cups cooked couscous (or rice)

1. Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add paprika, coriander, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Scrape mixture into slow cooker.
2. Add squash, stock, tomatoes, beans, apricots, lemon juice, and lemon zest to the slow cooker and stir well. Cook on low for 5 to 7 hours, or on high for 2.5 to 3 hours or until squash is almost tender.
3. While squash is cooking, toast almonds at 350 in oven for 5-7 minutes until lightly browned.
4. If cooking slow cooker on low, raise heat to high. Add spinach and season with salt. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until spinach is tender. Remove and discard lemon zest, and serve immediately over couscous or rice.

Use dried currants instead of apricots, or use Swiss chard instead of spinach.

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