Balya’s Creamy Black Beans and Roasted Butternut Squash Over Spiced Rice

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Balya's Creamy Black Bean & Roasted Butternut Squash Over Spiced Rice

Balya’s Creamy Black Beans and Roasted Butternut Squash Over Spiced Rice is an everyday nutritious and tasty plant-based meal. This recipe is perfect for families who meal prep and would make a wonderful Shabbat dinner meal. What I like about it is that it is a buildable recipe, meaning that you can add other ingredients to it depending on what you feel like or have on hand. More vegetables or lean animal protein, if desired. You can change the grain too if you prefer quinoa or bulgar for example.  

Community Recipes is a recurring feature where we share your recipes on the Jewish Food Hero blog. If you want to share a recipe in this series, pitch us your idea here. This series is all about sharing healthy Kosher recipes. We are creating a positive community around food and sharing.

Balya's Creamy Black Bean & Roasted Butternut Squash Over Spiced Rice

Tell us about yourself, Bayla Haskel!

I founded Veg it Out in 2019 after seeing first hand what the western diet of highly processed foods, excess sugar and veggie-poor meals is doing to people’s health. My mission is to not let people’s exhaustion at the end of a long day at work get in the way of eating really good food that is amazing for their bodies.

The recipe I’m sharing today, Creamy Black Bean and Roasted Butternut Squash Over Spiced Rice, is also featured on my Veg It Out blog. I also share recipes on Instagram @veg.it.out – take a look if you like veggie-packed rainbows of food without the hassle! 

Balya's Creamy Black Bean & Roasted Butternut Squash Over Spiced Rice

What is your passion project?

I was not always a vegan chef! In fact, I worked in high-tech for the last five years. I am married and blessed with 3 amazing children. My father passed away from leukemia in 2016, which led me to research what I was putting in my body, what I was feeding my children and what kind of habits they were building around food. 

The book, In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan changed my whole perspective on “health”.

In this book he says, “Healthy food is not just eating whole wheat bread and 0% yogurt. It is about eating real foods, foods that are identifiable.” 

So, that is how I began my journey towards a plant-based diet. 

 This is the mindset that all my recipes come from:

“When you are forced to make everything from scratch, all of a sudden everything tastes amazing! It is like magic. As a mother of three and the main breadwinner, I needed to find simple, fast and unprocessed food recipes.”

Balya Haskel!
Balya's Creamy Black Bean & Roasted Butternut Squash Over Spiced Rice

Can you recommend your favorite cookbook to us?

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan changed my whole perspective on health.

“…most of what we’re consuming today is not food, and how we’re consuming it — in the car, in front of the TV, and increasingly alone — is not really eating. Instead of food, we’re consuming “edible foodlike substances” — no longer the products of nature but of food science… In the so-called Western diet, food has been replaced by nutrients, and common sense by confusion.”

Do you have a health tip to share?

In the book In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan says: 

“Healthy food is not just eating whole wheat bread and 0% yogurt. It is about eating real foods, foods that are identifiable.”

What’s the story behind your Creamy Black Beans Recipe?

I got this recipe from a relative of mine who was originally from Mexico. I have adjusted it to make it my own but still super flavorful!

Balya's Creamy Black Bean & Roasted Butternut Squash Over Spiced Rice

Tips for making Balya’s Creamy Black Beans and Roasted Butternut Squash Over Spiced Rice

There are several components to this dish:

  • Mexican Yellow Rice
  • Creamy Black Beans
  • Roasted Butternut Squash

And then there are the toppings:

  • Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Spicy Green Pepper
  • Parsley/ Cilantro

This is a lot of components! But it’s not a lot of work. The hardest thing is probably peeling the butternut squash, and remembering to soak your black beans the night before.

If you don’t feel like making everything, just pick and choose a few components. This is also a great way to mix it up, and make this dish feel different each time you serve it. 

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Balya's Creamy Black Bean & Roasted Butternut Squash Over Spiced Rice

Balya’s Creamy Black Beans and Roasted Butternut Squash Over Spiced Rice

  • Author: Balya Haskel
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4-6

Ingredients

For the Creamy Black Beans:

  • 2 cups of black beans, soaked, rinsed and picked over

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • ½ cup crushed tomatoes

  • Kosher salt

For the Mexican spiced rice:

  • 1 cup long grain rice

  • 2 Tbsp light olive oil

  • 1 small onion finely diced

  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes

  • 1½ cups vegetable stock or water

  • ½ tsp ground turmeric

  • ½ tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp granulated garlic

  • ½ tsp oregano

  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Roasted Butternut Squash:

  • 1 large or medium Butternut squash

  • 1 large red or white onion

  • 1/4 cup of olive oil

  • Pinch of salt 

For the Salsa:

  • 1 ¼ lbs ripe tomatoes (about 5 – 6)

  • 1 cup of diced tomatoes

  • 2 green onions, ends trimmed, chopped into thirds

  • ⅓ cup chopped red onion (about ¼ of a medium)

  • (1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and roughly chopped) (optional, for spicy salsa)

  • ⅓ cup fresh cilantro (about a handful)

  • 1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped

  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

  • ½ tsp chili powder

  • ¼ tsp ground cumin

  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Guacamole:

  • 3 avocados, ripe

  • ½ small onion, finely diced

  • 3 tbsp, fresh cilantro, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 lime, juiced

  • ½ tsp sea salt


Instructions

Make the Creamy Black Beans:

  1. Soak the beans in a pot of water overnight. Drain and rinse well.

  2. Place black beans in a pot, then add enough fresh water to cover (about 9 cups). Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are just tender, about 3 hours. Spoon off any white foam that collects on the top. Watch that pot doesn’t overflow.

  3. Add 2 teaspoons salt and the crushed tomatoes. Add the cumin and oregano.

  4. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally until the liquid is mostly absorbed, about 45 minutes. Season with salt. Let sit 15 minutes before serving. Should be thick and creamy.        

Make the Mexican Spiced Rice:

  1. In a saucepan, add the olive oil along with the onion, bell pepper, and garlic and let them cook together over medium heat until the onion becomes translucent.

  2. Add the rice, stir it around with the onion mixture for about a minute.

  3. Add the tomato sauce, stock, turmeric, cumin, oregano, granulated garlic, salt, and pepper.

  4. Place a lid on the pot, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.

  5. Fluff it up with a fork.

Make the Roasted Butternut Squash:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 300C/570F. Peel the skin of the butternut squash with a peeler.

  2. Begin hacking open your butternut squash. Remove the seeds. Once cut down into more manageable sizes, start slicing into cubes.

  3. Place in one layer on a baking sheet lined with paper. Slice onion in half, remove skin and cut into 8ths, keeping the chunks together. Add this to the butternut squash.

  4. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Use your hands to mix up and make sure everything is well covered in oil. Place in oven and cook for about an hour or so. Check after 30 minutes. You want to see some browning on the vegetables. If not browned yet, turn the up the heat a little. If already browned turn down the heat a bit and mix up with a large spoon. Return to oven.

  5. After an hour the butternut squash should be cooked through and well, buttery. Let cool.

Make the Salsa:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse in 1-second bursts until all ingredients are finely chopped.

  2. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Make the Guacamole:

  1. Slice the avocados in half, remove the pit and skin, and place in a mixing bowl.

  2. Mash the avocado with a fork and make it as chunky or smooth as you’d like.

  3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir them together.


Keywords: creamy black beans, burrito bowl

More Community Recipes

Jewish Food Hero’s Community Recipes feature is a space for us all to share our favorites and hear from a variety of people in our community.  This is an easy and fun way to get new meal ideas and learn about each other. Since you’ve read Balya’s, do you feel inspired to share your Kosher recipe? Don’t forget to get in touch to share your recipe too!

Check out these other recipes from our community:

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