I love roasting squash, usually with cumin, but the downside is that it takes a long time. On Monday night, when I got home on the early end, I also wanted to eat dinner on the early end. So I steamed the squash. I did not want to lose the cumin-y sweet-savory goodness that roasting squash involves, so I incorporated those flavors into the dressing. This salad is hearty, lemony and a bit sweet, with a hint of spice from the jalapeños.
Speedy Butternut Squash & Black Bean Salad (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Soy-Free) – Makes 2-3 meal-sized salads and 4-6 side salads/
Squash is dense, so when cutting it raw, I just cube it into large cubes (about 1-2 inches on each side). Then when it is steamed, I cut it into bite sized pieces. As for seasoning, because I topped the salad with guacamole, I did not need additional salt beyond what I used to massage the kale leaves, but use your discretion with additional salt and pepper, particularly if you skip the guacamole. The combination of squash, black beans and avocado is absolutely divine, so I do recommend avocado slices or guacamole, but another great topping would be some crunchy cashews.
- 3 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash or about a 11/4 pounds of squash (I started with a medium squash that was about 1 1/2 pounds, peeled it and cut it)
- 1 bunch kale (I used lacinato), stemmed and torn into pieces (about 4 cups)
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (2 lemons, juiced)
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (substitute:1/8 teaspoon cumin and 1/8 teaspoon regular paprika)
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut nectar or agave or other liquid sweetener of your choice (double for a sweeter dressing)
- 2 cups black beans (either cooked from scratch or 1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed)
- 3/4 to 1 cup chopped green pepper (1 medium to large green pepper)
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped jalapeños (1-2 jalapeños, ribs and seeds removed prior to chopping)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Sliced avocado or guacamole to garnish
Steam squash until tender, about 10 minutes (I use the steaming rack in my rice cooker but I know there are many different approaches to steaming, so pick your favorite). While squash is steaming, combine kale with extra-virgin olive oil and sea salt in a large bowl, massaging the oil and salt into the leaves. Set aside. In a separate medium to large bowl, combine lemon juice, cumin, smoked paprika and coconut nectar. Add black beans, green pepper and chopped jalapeños. Remove squash from steamer/rice cooker/pan and chop into bite-sized pieces. Add to bowl with black beans, peppers and dressing and gently stir to combine. Serve atop massaged kale and garnish with avocado or guacamole.
This is also my submission to this month’s No Croutons Required, a monthly vegetarian soup or salad event, which Lisa of Lisa’s Kitchen and Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes take turns hosting. This month Jac is hosting and the theme is squash.
I am also submitting this dish to the following weekly events:
Wellness Weekend, hosted by Ricki of Diet, Desserts and Dogs. The concept behind Wellness Weekends is “any good-for-you, whole foods, especially those with antioxidant properties or “functional foods” (ie, offering naturally medicinal or health-promoting qualities–such as garlic, coconut oil, all vegetables, fruits, herbs, etc.).” Here we have squash, black beans, and kale, all nutritional and fiber powerhouses, along with lots of lemon juice and jalapeños for spice and tang and, of course, Vitamin C.
A blog event hosted by Flip Cookbook called Sugar Free Sunday, which includes sweet and savory dishes made with non-refined sugars.