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RECIPE - Fa-la-la-la-lafel Stuffed Butternut Bells

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This recipe came about because I wanted to create some new veggie options for the festive season. It occurred to me that butternut squash are pretty much bell-shaped, if you choose the right one, so I added a little bit of yuletide stuffing in the form of sage and cranberry fa-la-la-la-lafel and I think you’d be hard pressed to find a merrier main for Christmas day.

SERVES: 2 generously

KITCHEN TIME: 10 mins prep, 1 hour cooking


1 butternut squash, rinsed

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

Falafel stuffing:

1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 cloves of garlic, peeled

A handful of sage leaves, picked from the stalks (about 10g)

Juice of ½ a lemon

1 tsp mixed spice

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tablespoons dried cranberries

PREP TIP: You can bake the squash and make the stuffing in advance, then just assemble and bake for the final 30 minutes when you are ready.

METHOD: Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthways and brush the cut sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place cut sides up on a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes. Meanwhile place all the stuffing ingredients, apart from the cranberries, into a food processor and pulse to a coarse texture. Taste and add any more spice or seasoning if required. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and the cranberries and blend for a few seconds longer until the cranberries are chopped up but not so long that it becomes a paste. Take the baked squash out of the oven and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Fill the hole with the stuffing and sprinkle further stuffing over the whole squash – these bits will go crispy when baked. Place back in the oven for a further 30 mins.

SERVING TIP: Squeeze over a little lemon juice just before serving and have a bowl of plain Greek yogurt on the side.

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