Delectable Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos With Vegan Cream Cheese/Jalapeno/Avocado Topping

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Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly how to cook butternut squash. Sure, you can bake it, but what else can a person do? We recently discovered a butternut squash-based taco recipe that is so delicious we’re still salivating over our meal, hours later. The addition of whipped vegan cream cheese with avocado and fresh jalapeno makes this dish a total winner. And it’s so easy to make! The hardest part is cutting the skins off the squash. But persevere with the task, because the end result will be worth it.

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INGREDIENTS

1 medium-sized butternut squash, de-skinned and cut into small chunks
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon powdered garlic
8 ounces vegan cream cheese (we’re wild about Kite Hill, due to its smooth, creamy texture. But you can use any kind).
1 small avocado, chopped into small chunks
1/2 small jalapeno pepper, chopped into bits
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
soft, gluten-free corn tortillas (check package to make sure there’s no wheat)
1 can or 2 1/2 cups black beans, rinsed
sliced scallions
chopped lettuce or arugula

INSTRUCTIONS

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Chop the butternut squash into small chunks and cut off the skins. Place the chunks into a medium-sized-bowl with the spices and avocado oil, and toss until all pieces are completely coated with the mixture. Spread the chunks on a cookie sheet and bake in a 425 degree oven for approximately 25 minutes. The pieces should be soft, but not mushy.

Meanwhile, prepare your topping. Pour the vegan cream cheese, lime juice, jalapeno bits, and avocado into a blender or food processor and combine until your mixture achieves a frothy, whipped texture. Add a little extra lime juice if it’s too stiff.

Heat your tortillas in the oven and your beans on the stovetop. When both are warm, pile the tortillas on plates. Ladle on the beans first, and then follow with the spicy butternut squash chunks, the cream cheese/jalapeno/avocado mixture, and finally the chopped scallions and lettuce bits. Have a seat at the table and dig in!

This incredible meal serves about four people. If you use a larger squash, maybe 6. But be careful — no one will be able to stop eating these tacos! They pair well with gluten-free beer or wine, or any other beverage of your choice. Leftovers keep in your refrigerator for 3-4 days. We’re already fantasizing about the lunch we’re going to have tomorrow. You’ll never look at butternut squash in the same way again.

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