Just like pumpkins, many of the orange winter squashes have similar cancer fighting benefits from the beta-carotene and other phytochemicals that are found in the plant. And the great thing about winter squash is that they can last a very long time. Plus, they make great table decorations for the holidays as well!
However, many people don’t know what to do with the winter squashes. The skin can be tough, they are hard to cut and even then you’re not sure what to do with them.
The good news is that in many cases, the work can be done for you and you can buy them already skinned and cubed! I know this is true of butternut squash. Of course, you’re going to pay for that, so if you’re trying to watch your food budget and you’ve got some time (or someone else who you can delegate to!), do your own labor.
Here is a recipe that I have not tried, but plan to. It is from the American Institute of Cancer Research, a really great organization and place for evidence based facts and information about cancer and nutrition.
Cancer Fighting Ingredients:
Here’s the lowdown on why this recipe is so good for you. I already mentioned the butternut squash, but also remember the B vitamin folate and fiber from beans, plus beta-carotene
from the squash and phytochemicals in the onion and cilantro. Plus, we know that spices carry phytochemicals as well, like the cinnamon and cumin.
I hope you enjoy it!
Butternut Squash Enchiladas with Salsa
- 1 package (16 oz.) frozen diced peeled butternut squash or 2 cups fresh squash, seeded, peeled and diced
- 1 cup water
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- ½ sweet onion, finely chopped
- 1 can (15.5 oz.) no added salt black beans
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- ¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
- Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- Canola oil spray
- 7 large (about 7-inch) whole-wheat tortillas
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 cup tomato salsa
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)
- Place squash in medium saucepan. Add water. Cover pot tightly and place over medium-high heat. Cook until squash is tender but not mushy, 12-15 minutes, depending on size of cubes. Drain squash and set aside.
- While squash is cooking, in large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans and partially mash with fork. Mix in squash, cumin and cinnamon. Add salt and pepper, if desired. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In 9" by 13" baking dish, lightly coat interior with cooking spray and set aside.
- Coat tortilla on both sides with cooking spray. Lay on plate. Spoon ½ cup filling on tortilla and top with 1½ tablespoons cheese. Roll up filled tortilla and set at one end of baking dish. Repeat, placing filled tortillas side by side, filling baking dish tightly. Pour salsa over assembled enchiladas. Sprinkle remaining cheese (about ¼ cup) over sauce. Cover pan with foil.
- Bake enchiladas about 25-30 minutes, until heated through. Uncover and serve garnished with cilantro, accompanied by cooked brown rice, if desired.