The bright, beautiful colors in this meal reflect the wide variety of its nutrients and the vitality of its flavors. Roasted butternut squash, lightly spiced black beans, red cabbage, spinach, and feta cheese make up these healthy, easy, and tasty tacos. With this recipe, you can have a delicious lunch or dinner on the table in a little over a half an hour, and have all your nutritional bases covered. And you get to use that squash that you’ve been meaning to use for a few days!
At least that is how it often is with me when I bring home a squash. Sometimes it sits on the counter for a few days before I decide what to do with it. (Good thing they keep well!) But when I use it, I am always glad I did. And that is definitely the case with these butternut squash and black bean tacos. The delicately sweet flavor of the roasted squash goes so nicely with the black beans, cumin, and feta cheese, and the cabbage and spinach give it extra nutrition, color and texture.
What I also like about this recipe is that it is very simple and doesn’t require a big time commitment to make. While the squash is roasting, you can prepare everything else. It is a light, yet extremely nourishing meal. And if you want to add more filling elements, some shredded chicken or other meat would taste good in there, and some cooked rice would work too. And of course, I always like my tacos with tortilla chips, salsa and guacamole on the side too!
It seems like it has been winter for a long time now, and this brightly colored meal is just what I need to boost my energy levels. This past week, I am finding it a challenge to find the balance between being informed about what is going on in the United States and not getting worn down from too much news. It seems like every hour there is another news item to digest and try to understand. Our country is going through a difficult and strange time, and sometimes I have to get my mind away from current events to focus on the duties, challenges, and joys of daily life. And food! We have to eat, no matter what is happening, and the better we eat, the better we are able to live our lives, act on what we believe in, and impact the world for the good.
So I hope you all have a great weekend, and stay warm! It is cold out there today, but at least the sun is shining, and that is a very welcome sight! I will leave you with a quote I came across today–“Be as a bird, who, halting in her flight on a limb too slight, feels it give way beneath her, yet sings knowing she has wings.” ~by Victor Hugo.
Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos
- one medium-sized butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into 1-inch chunks (about 3 cups when diced)
- one 15 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- one teaspoon of cumin powder
- 8 medium sized four tortilla shells
- 2 cups of red cabbage, finely chopped
- 2 cups of fresh spinach, torn into bite-sized pieces
- feta cheese for sprinkling on top
- salt and pepper to taste
Optional things for the side:
- tortilla chips
- cooked rice
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Carefully peel and dice the butternut squash. (A good sharp knife is really helpful for this part, and be careful peeling!) On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the diced squash with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. When the squash pieces are lightly and evenly coated with the oil, roast them in the oven for about 30 minutes, until tender, opening the oven about halfway through to flip the pieces over.
While the squash is roasting, get out a large mixing bowl. In the bowl, stir together the beans, one tablespoon of olive oil, and the cumin. Wash and chop the cabbage and the spinach and crumble the Feta. Wrap your tortilla shells in foil. about 10 minutes before the squash is done, place the foil-wrapped tortillas in the oven to warm them. Then about five minutes before the squash is done, pull out the baking sheet and add the bean mixture, stirring to combine. Return the baking sheet to the oven and roast until the squash is tender and the beans are warmed through. Adjust the seasonings to taste after squash is done.
When everything is done, place a tortilla on a plate. Spoon the squash/bean mixture onto the tortilla. Top with the chopped cabbage and spinach. Sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese. Enjoy!