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Squash-and-bean stew offers comfort in bowl

Wed., Dec. 30, 2009

The comforting flavor of butternut and other winter squashes does a great deal to ward off the season’s chill.

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Stew

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground (see note)

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) low-sodium chicken broth

1 package (10 ounces) frozen cubed butternut squash, or 10 ounces fresh diced

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed

1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon dried

Freshly ground pepper

Steamed rice, optional

Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium high heat; add onion, cumin and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt. Ccook until onion is soft, 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute.

Stir in broth, squash, beans and sage; cook until heated through and sage becomes aromatic, 5 minutes. (If using fresh squash, cook 10 minutes before adding beans and sage.)

Season with remaining salt and pepper to taste. Serve over rice.

Note: Toast spices in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until aromatic, 3 to 5 minutes.

Yield: 2 servings

Nutrition information per serving: 400 calories (36 percent from fat), 16 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, no cholesterol, 50 grams carbohydrates, 16 grams protein, 1,016 milligrams sodium, 13 grams fiber.

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