What’s For Dinner: Spicy Butternut Squash and Chickpea Bowl With Peanut Sauce*

In today’s episode of “Aw, crap! I need to use this up before it goes bad!” I present a butternut squash and a jar of chickpeas from the batch I that cooked up in the Instant Pot.

Before we go on, you should know two truths about me:

  1. I consider myself kind of a lightweight when it comes to spice. I like some heat, but not so much that I can’t taste anything else.
  2. I like peanut butter. I mean, REALLY like it.

Butternut Squash, Chickpeas, and Brown Basmati Rice

I usually make these bowls with roasted sweet potato instead of butternut squash because, if you read my previous squash-related post, you know that I’m not a huge fan of having to cut hard-rind squash. And, as is the case with butternut squash, peeling it is even more loathsome. Which is why this squash languished for a couple of weeks before I decided it was time to use it or lose it.

For this recipe, I used brown basmati rice. I also like to make this with quinoa, for that extra protein boost.

brown rice in the instant pot

Brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice, plus there is the additional time waiting for the pressure to dissipate from the Instant Pot, once the rice is done. So I went ahead and got that started before I went to work on the squash.

After the squash was peeled and cut, I chopped up a red onion and added it to the bowl with the chickpeas and squash. I tossed it with olive oil, some salt, and some Penzey’s Galena Street spice mix. As you can see, it is meant as a rub for meat: when I got it as a freebie on my last visit to the store, I considered passing it along to a meat-eating friend. Well, then I dropped the jar on my floor and cracked the lid so I ended up keeping it. To my delight, it is pretty dang good on roasted veggies!

chickpea, squash, and onion mix

Once everything is coated with the olive oil and spice, it goes onto a lined sheet pan and into the oven (425-ish) for 20-25 minutes.

While the veggies were roasting and the Instant Pot was depressurizing, I washed up some spinach and a few grape tomatoes and then mixed up the peanut sauce.

As I’ve disclosed before, I’m not one for precisely measuring my ingredients. For this peanut sauce, I started with the lemon juice and a nice blob of peanut butter and added from there. Since the peanut butter has salt, I wait until everything else is where I like it and shake in some soy sauce at the end. To the peanut butter and lemon juice base, I added (to taste):

  • Sriracha sauce
  • maple syrup
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • a little oil
  • a few splashes of rice vinegar
  • a few splashes of soy sauce

peanut sauce
peanut butter blob

After the veggies were done and cooling outside of the oven, I started to assemble the bowl.

  • rice
  • spinach
  • squash/chickpea mix
  • grape tomatoes
  • avocado slices
  • peanut sauce drizzled over the bowl

It’s a delicious and filling fall meal. And you can prep part of it ahead by cutting up the squash and onion and storing them in the fridge until you’re ready to roast them. Also, I’m sure it goes without saying, canned chickpeas are perfectly fine to use. I just love cooking them up fresh in my Instant Pot. 😉

*I’ve seen them called “Nourish Bowls”, but just in case some foodie blogger somewhere already trademarked it, I’ll just call it a bowl. Because I’m a simple vegan.

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