7. Moroccan-Spiced Vegan Stuffed Squash
- 2 small squash or pumpkins
- ½ cup (90 grams) couscous
- ½ cup (120 ml) plus 4 tablespoons water
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons dried ginger
- 2 teaspoons dried cumin
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- A 400 ml (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup (165 grams) cooked chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon plus a pinch sea salt
- 7 dates (I used regular, not medjool)
- 1 ½ tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- A small handful of cilantro
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash cut side up on a baking tray and bake for 30 – 45 minutes or until the squash is soft and can be pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and season the inside with a pinch of salt.
- While the squash bakes, prepare the filling. Heat a pan over medium heat and add the couscous. Toast the couscous, stirring regularly, until golden brown then pour over the ½ cup (120 ml) water, cover the pan and remove it from the heat. Set aside for 5 – 10 minutes to cook then remove the lid and fluff the couscous with a fork.
- Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add a splash of water (or oil if you prefer), the onion and garlic. Fry until soft and transparent. Reduce the heat to medium and add the cinnamon, ginger, cumin and cayenne and fry for about 20 seconds, stirring, to release the aromas. Add the diced tomatoes and chickpeas and simmer for a couple of minutes until you have a thick sauce.
- Add the couscous and 1 teaspoon of salt and mix well. Remove from the heat.If your dates are a bit hard, cover them with hot water and let them soak for a few minutes. Place the dates, tahini, 4 tablespoons of water and lemon juice in a small food processor and blend until smooth. You may need to add more water to reach a pourable consistency.
- Optional: Wash the squash seeds and dry them well. Toast them in a small pan over medium heat until golden.
- Divide the filling between the four squash halves, top with fresh cilantro and toasted squash seeds, if using, and drizzle over the sauce. Serve.