This festive stuffed butternut squash with cranberries, leeks, buckwheat and orange makes a colourful vegan centre piece fit for any celebration. It’s topped with Brussels sprout chips which are just as good as a garnish as they are for a side dish in their own right!
Maybe you’ll be having turkey on Christmas day like me, and looking for veggie alternatives for other days of the week, maybe you haven’t yet decided on your vegetarian Christmas main and this could suit, or maybe you just want another dish to add to your future Christmas Pinterest board? Either way I present you my festive stuffed butternut squash with Brussels sprout chip garnish.
Over last New Year I catered a yoga retreat, and developed this stuffed butternut squash recipe to serve as the main event for our New Years eve celebratory dinner. I’ve kept the recipe squirrelled away all year, and finally had the chance to photograph the dish, when I re-tested it in slightly smaller quantities (what? you mean not everyone wants to have the recipe scaled up to serve 26..??) to teach at a festive entertaining cooking class I taught at Made in Hackney earlier this month.
Stuffed vegetables make a lighter alternative to nut roast, which I have to say I’m not massively convinced about as a general foodstuff concept. By adding cranberries and orange this is full of festive flavours and festive colours too. Plus the sprout chips make the perfect crisp green garnish! I’ll be making them for meals throughout the winter, as a garnish, side dish or snack; can’t get enough of ’em! Kale chips who?
By the way, I don’t love these photos, and I really hesitated on whether I even wanted to share the recipe for this reason. Rule of thumb is never to apologise for the work you put out there, I know but I can’t help it. I felt it was better to share the recipe than not to share it at all, and I hope you’ll agree. What I now wish I’d done is cooked up some side dishes, fully decorated a table and gone to town with decorations. All for a photo? Sounds mad right? Maybe next year.
If you’re looking for more vegetarian or vegan festive centrepieces, I’ve put together a list of some others I’d love to try. Help me change my mind about a nut roast maybe??
- Nut Roast (vegan and gluten free) from Fab Food 4 All (this may change my mind about nut roasts!)
- Christmas Tofu Wreath from Demuth’s Cooking School (where I got my diploma earlier this year, loads of ideas on their site)
- Kale Lovers Christmas Pie from the Veg Space
- Christmas Mushroom and Lentil Wellington from Tinned Tomatoes
- Lentil & Brazil Nut Roast with Sage & Onion Stuffing & Red Wine Gravy from Tin & Thyme
- Chestnut & Cashew Nut Roast (Vegan) from Thinly Spread
- Festive Lentil and Mushroom Bowl with Star Potatoes from Nicky’s Kitchen Sanctuary
My favourite side dish to go with this is Able & Cole’s Braised Red Cabbage. Stunningly simple.
- 2 small butternut squash, split in half through the stalk, seeds scooped out.
- 75 grams buckwheat, rinsed well
- 1 medium leek, finely sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried or fresh thyme
- Zest of ½ orange, plus juice half orange
- 50 grams frozen cranberries
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- You will need approximately 3 sprouts per person
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- Pre-heat oven to 200º C (fan).
- Place the butternut squash halves on a baking try cut side up. Drizzle with olive oil and season, then bake for 45 ish minutes, until the squash is fork tender. Reduce oven to 180ºC (fan).
- Cook the buckwheat in a pan of salted boiling water (as you would for pasta), for 13 minutes, then drain and rinse well.
- Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan, over a medium heat. Add the leeks and cook for up to 10 minutes, of until fully softened. Add the garlic and herbs and cook for another minute before stirring in the cranberries, orange zest and juice and cooked buckwheat. Remove from the heat.
- When the squash is cooked, scoop out the flesh leaving a 1cm border around the edge. Mash the filling, and add to the cooked leek and buckwheat mix, season to taste. Stuff the filling back in the squash shells and bake in the oven at 180ºC (fan) for a further 10 minutes.
- Break the sprouts into individual leaves, Do this by first removing the base and then easing them off. Toss lightly with olive oil and season then bake at 180ºC for 5-8 minutes (check regularly as they burn easily, rather like kale chips)
- Sprinkle over the cooked squash.
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Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year one and all. I’ll be back in January 2018 with more healthy seasonal recipes and cooking tips for you all! Thank you SO much for reading, sharing and just generally supporting Natural Kitchen Adventures this year and always! Ceri x1