Mexican Mince Stuffed Butternuts

I love stuffing vegetables with mince. Capsicums are perhaps my favourite, but courgettes, kumara, and these lovely butternuts are all delicious!

The size of your squash, as well as the amount of seeds in it (and thus the thickness of flesh), will determine how much cooking it requires. Ideally, you’ll be able to easily pierce your butternut with a fork. If you’re having difficulty judging whether it’s done – or if you’re running short on time – simply microwave it for a few minutes. Tender in a blast!

Use the bulbous part of the butternut. Strange though it sounds, what I mean by this is to cut off its seedless ‘top’, leaving the round part. Slice this in half (lengthwise), peel, and scoop out the seeds to make a trendy little bowl!

This recipe can be gluten-free, grain-free, egg-free, and nut-free.

Serves 2

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

– 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil

– 1 small clove garlic, minced

– 1/2 small brown onion, diced

– 1 bay leaf

– 300 grams beef mince

– 1 beef stock cube

– 2 teaspoons paprika

– 1 teaspoon ground coriander

– 1 teaspoon ground cumin

– 1/3 teaspoon chilli powder, or to taste

– freshly ground black pepper, to taste

– 200 grams canned, chopped tomatoes

– 1 Tablespoon tomato paste

– 1/2 butternut (see above)

– 1 handful grated mozzarella

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Prepare the butternut (see above) and place the halves in a baking dish, cut side up. Bake for 30 minutes or until just tender.

2. Meanwhile, over medium heat on your stove, pour the oil into your frying pan. Add the garlic and onion, cooking until colouring. Add the mince and bay leaf, breaking up with your cooking utensil, and fry until browned.

3. To the pan, add the spices, tomatoes, and tomato paste. Turn down the heat and simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Stuff the butternuts with as much mince as possible. (Save any extra mince for sandwiches, pasta, or a lone snack!).

4. Change your oven’s setting to grill. Top the mince-stuffed butternuts with mozzarella and grill until the cheese is bubbling. Serve with salad, tabasco, and pepper, if desired. Enjoy! 🙂

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