26 Apr Harissa Spiced Roasted Butternut Squash and The Awesome Health Benefits of Squash!
“NUMEROUS SCIENTIFIC STUDIES NOW CONFIRM THAT A WHOLE FOODS DIET COMPRISED PRIMARILY OF VEGETABLES, FRUITS, GRAINS, LEGUMES, AND NUTS WITHOUT ADDED OIL, SUGAR, AND SALT IS OPTIMAL FOR HUMAN HEALTH, NOT ONLY PREVENTING A BROAD RANGE OF DISEASE AND ILLNESSES, BUT ALSO REVERSING SOME OF THE MOST DANGEROUS CHRONIC CONDITIONS. THIS FINDING IS OF THE HIGHEST IMPORTANCE TO THE COMMONWEALTH BECAUSE IT COMMUNICATES A TRUTH THAT HAS THE POWER TO SAVE LIVES.”
BARELY VEGAN MEAL PLAN #19
BREAKFAST: POMEGRANATE PINEAPPLE SMOOTHIE
LUNCH: HARISSA SPICED ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH
DINNER: COCONUT CURRY SHRIMP PASTA
Butternut squash is one of my favorite vegetables (technically it is a fruit, but no one calls it that!). 9 times out of 10 I will roast butternut squash when I cook it. Roasting vegetables is the tastiest way to eat them in my opinion.
Something else I love is North African food. Yuuuuuum! Harissa is typically a thick paste used in North African cuisines made with garlic, chiles, spices, and other good stuff. I first discovered it when I was learning how to cook Moroccan food. In this recipe I use a dry harissa spice mix that I purchased from my farmers market. You could order this online if you can’t find it in a grocery store near you. Amazon has several harissa pastes and seasonings. I also used frozen butternut squash in this recipe and purchased my frozen butternut squash at Whole Foods. You may have to make this recipe with fresh butternut squash because I have not seen it frozen in any other store before.
The sweet butternut squash and corn mixed with the spice from the harissa go really well together. I’ve actually been eating this for lunch over a salad. I pour my Creamy Chipotle Dressing over it and top it with some pepitas (pumpkin seeds) for a nice crunch. It is delicious.
Squash is a great plant food to eat often. Squash, including butternut Squash, could provide you with 457% of the daily value per serving in vitamin A!! Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant essential for good skin and vision.
Check out the health benefits of the other meals!
HEALTH BENEFITS OF ALL THESE MEALS:
- Pomegranate Pineapple Smoothie: A compound found only in pomegranates called punicalagin is shown to benefit the heart and blood vessels. Recent medical research studied heart patients with severe carotid artery blockages. They were given an ounce of pomegranate juice each day for a year. Not only did study participants’ blood pressure lower by over 12 percent, but there was a 30 percent reduction in atherosclerotic plaque. Here is some more information on pomegranates!
- Harissa Spiced Roasted Butternut Squash: Butternut Squash could provide you with 457% of the daily value per serving in vitamin A. It may also help prevent high blood pressure.
- Coconut Curry Shrimp Pasta: Many people are scared of coconut milk because of its saturated fat, but several studies have shown that the saturated fat in coconuts is not harmful like the saturated fat in animal products (as long as you only eat a small amount). 50 percent of the fat in coconuts is lauric acid, which has been linked to improved cholesterol.
I hope you give this healthy meal plan a try!
*** This blog is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified healthcare practitioner. All information contained in this blog is the opinion of Monique and is not to be interpreted as medical advice.
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- 1 cup water, filtered if possible
- 2 cups pomegranate juice
- 2 cups frozen pineapple
- 1 banana
- Blend everything together until smooth. Add water to adjust the sweetness and consistency, if desired.
- 16 oz frozen butternut squash
- 2 cups organic corn
- 2 teaspoons harissa seasoning
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 2 teaspoons lemon pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- cooked brown rice (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
- Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Spread the mixture onto your baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes and remove from the oven.
- To serve, place the butternut squash mixture over the rice.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 red onion, sliced thin
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons ginger, finely chopped
- 5 – 7 curry leaves
- 1 ½ teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- salt to taste
- 12 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 ½ cups coconut milk
- 1 red pepper, diced small
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- 3 cups already cooked pasta, any kind
- Place a pan on medium heat. Add the olive oil, onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the curry leaves, cumin, curry powder, and salt. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes, or until they start to turn pink.
- Once the shrimp just start to turn pink add the coconut milk and stir. Cook for another 2 – 3 minutes, or until the shrimp are cooked through. Try not to overcook them or they will be chewy. Turn off the heat and add the red peppers, cilantro, and cooked pasta. Stir.