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Friday, October 19, 2012

Roasted Butternut Squash and Black Bean Salad

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A few weeks ago I was elated to see butternut squash in abundance at the grocery store. I picked one up, even though it wasn't on my carefully planned grocery list or menu for the week. What would become of this squash? Enchiladas? Quinoa? Crostini? Ice Cream?! All were valid options...that is, until my mom told me about some butternut squash and black bean burritos she'd recently made. My mom's recommendations never lead me astray so I let her make the decision for me and planned these for the following week.
Since we already had tacos on the menu that week, I strayed from the burrito idea and instead transformed the filling into a salad. Served atop giant beds of romaine, we went crazy for the combination. The mixture of roasted squash, brown rice, and black beans are hearty with just enough heat to keep the salad from tasting boring. Topped with sliced avocado and crispy tortilla strips, this rivaled any Mexican-inspired salad you'd find in a restaurant and I guarantee it's a heck of a lot healthier. It pained me a little bit to let Ryan have the leftovers on this one!

One Year Ago: Spiced Pear Bundt Cake
Two Years Ago: Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies
Three Years Ago: Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

Roasted Butternut Squash and Black Bean Salad
adapted from Oh She Glows

-1 butternut squash, peeled, cubed, and roasted
-1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
-1-2 tsp olive oil
-1 cup onion, chopped
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1 red pepper, chopped
-1 tsp kosher salt
-2 tsp ground cumin
-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
-1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
-3/4 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese
-2 heads of romaine, chopped
-desired toppings (avocado, tomato, sour cream, cilantro)
-corn tortillas, plus olive oil & sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Toss squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes, or until tender. 
2. Cook rice according to package instructions.
3. Heat 1-2 tsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion, cooking until onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Stir in salt, cayenne, and cumin. Add red pepper, rice, and black beans, cooking for about 10 minutes, until heated through.
4. Remove squash from oven and add to rice mixture. Stir in cheese and heat for another few minutes, until cheese begins to melt.
5. Cut corn tortillas into small strips and place on a baking sheet lined with foil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Broil on high for a few minutes, until lightly browned and crispy. 
6. Assemble salads, topping romaine with the rice mixture. Add desired toppings and crispy tortilla strips. Serve immediately.