While we were in Morocco I got hooked on tagines that were both sweet and spicy. It is one of the ultimate flavor combinations in my book – comforting and warming with a bit of pizazz. I’ve been playing around with ways to recreate those Moroccan flavors at home, and this is one of my best recipes yet.
I had prunes on the brain after writing about them in my Sneaky Superfoods post. I wanted to find new, out-of-the-box ways to use prunes. A friend mentioned butternut squash and voilà — a recipe idea hatched!
Sweet and Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash with Prunes Ingredients (serves 2):
1 butternut squash, rinsed, seeded, and chopped into bite-sized pieces (I leave the skin on)
3/4 cup diced prunes (pitted)
1 large red onion, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons coconut oil (or olive oil)
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup brown rice
1 cup bone or vegetable broth
Cooking Instructions (15 minutes prep, 40 minutes cooking):
Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees.
Then dice your squash, onion, and prunes and combine in a large mixing bowl with coconut oil and spices. Mix well to make sure everything is evenly coated and transfer to a large roasting pan. Pop in the oven and roast for 40 minutes.
Once the squash is in the oven, put your rice on the stove. I like to cook mine in homemade broth, but water is fine if you don’t have any broth on hand. I also add a piece of astragalus root (immune boosting) and sprinkle of arame seaweed (mineral rich) to the rice pot. The astragalus and arame won’t alter the flavor – they simply add nutrients to the dish.
Finally, combine the roasted squash mixture with the rice, top with pumpkin seeds, and enjoy!
I found this to be a deeply satisfying meal for these cold nights we’ve been having. I paired it with a green salad and it was the perfect winter menu. Plus I felt great about eating it – vegan, gluten-free, and filled with nourishing vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
If you’re digging these sweet and spicy flavors, give my Carrot and Squash Tagine from a few years ago a try. It’s equally delicious!