Chickpeas & Swiss Chard Squash Bowls
It’s been a very busy week and when I can finally find some time to visit our local market its always wonderful to return home with some inspiration and some very fresh fruit and vegetables! So a couple of hours later, after unpacking from the various markets and supermarkets, I was ready to flourish in my anosmic kitchen as I always do; with a glass of wine, some background Nat King Cole and a messy kitchen later it’s a bonus and a pleasure to eat something tasty and these squash filled bowls were well worth the cleaning up!
My family has never been big on squash or pumpkin but when I spotted the squash I knew that I had to find a way to make them eat up without ‘eating up’ and whats the best way to make something delicious? Yes, roasting! Its very hard to say no to something roasted so here we go.
I always find it difficult to find parchment paper in the store and when you do its not as cost effective so I use simple foil paper which helps me with cleaning a rather much dirtier oven tray.
Once you have rinsed the squash, cut in half and remove the seeds.
Rub the squash with a good dose of olive oil, salt, pepper and some chili flakes before turning them over and roasting for 30 to 40 minutes or until the cover is cooked through. Who knew that roasted squash bowls can make a meal turn into a wonderful and tasty meal but once you’ve roasted them, you can serve them directly onto the plate and let everyone help themselves to filling their own bowls, making for great conversation!
The toppings can vary but here I used red cabbage, chickpeas, the stems of the Swiss chard, onions, seasonings, nuts & seeds, roasted pineapple, a quick basil pesto (not the traditional pesto which can be see here), see this recipe below, sour cream, feta cheese and in this way, each one can eat what they fancy and in their own bowl.
There are many recipes that suggest you throw the stems of the Swiss chard away but I felt a little guilty about throwing them out so I sliced them into quarter pieces and grilled them in the oven until half way through, took them out and turned them over, seasoned with Parmesan cheese and tossed some peanut sauce over then put them back in the oven until roasted through. When they were done and ready to be served I added some pumpkin seeds over and those stems made a whole new delicious side dish to the squash bowls! You can toast the seeds before adding. More side dishes here.
This Swiss chard at the farmers market was irresistible! It made a delicious filling for the squash bowls with a splash of pumpkin seeds as seen below.
LETS COOK THE SQUASH BOWLS
Part One of the Filling Ingredients
1 Can Chickpeas
2 Cups Swiss Chard Leaves
1 Cup Thinly Sliced Red Cabbage
1/2 Teaspoon Masala Powder
1 Spring Onion Finely Chopped
5 ml of Sunflower or Coconut Oil
1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 Cup Fresh Parsley
Part Two of the Filling Ingredients
Swiss Chard Stems
1 Spring Onion
A Mix of Nuts & Seeds
1 Tablespoon Peanut Sauce
Salt, Pepper & Chili Flakes (optional) to taste
Part Three of the Filling Ingredients (Quick n Easy Pesto Variation)
1/2 Avocado Pear
1/2 Fresh Lemon
1 Cup of Fresh Basil
2 Spoons Fat Free Yogurt
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius and line an oven tray with either parchment paper or foil if you want an easy clean up.
- Place the already cut in half squash which has been rubbed with olive oil, salt, pepper and chili flakes – face down on the tray and bake for about 40 minutes or until the skin of the squash is cooked through and the sides of the squash fluff roasted brown.
- While the squash is roasting, chop the Swiss chard and onion and finely chop the red cabbage. Heat a pan with 5ml of sunflower or coconut oil and cook the chopped onion for 4 minutes before adding the Swiss Chard. Cook until tender and set aside in a bowl.
- In the same pan, on the same heat, toss in the chickpeas, red cabbage, half of the parsley, chopped spring onions and masala powder and let it all soften slightly while shaking the pan so they don’t burn (you can add 5ml of olive oil if necessary) add in the tablespoon of red wine vinegar salt & pepper if you like (I prefer to not use salt & pepper here because you can always add so I leave it out). Set aside when done.
- Take the cupful of basil leaves, and put into a blender and add the 2 spoons of fat free yogurt, squeeze 1/2 fresh lemon juice and half avocado pear and blend till smooth. Set aside.
- When the squash is cooked this would be a good time to put your chard stems and pineapple slices in the oven while its hot before turning the oven off. Rinse and chop the stems, season to your liking and bake. Halfway through, turn them over and add in the grated Parmesan & peanut sauce and put them back in the oven to bake till done.
- Assemble all your ingredients and squash bowls and fill. Enjoy!
1/2 Pineapple sliced into chunks and roasted
Feta Cheese for crumbling over the squash
Filling suggestions are also black beans, red cabbage, tomato salsa (instead of the basil pesto) and for a delicious black bean recipe take a look at this delicious and nutritious black bean recipe!