Recipe of the Moment: Piri Piri Butternut Squash and Beet Greens

This Peri Peri Butternut Squash and Beet Green recipe is giving me life this autumn! It’s colors are perfect for October and the flavors are warming and nourishing. Butternut squash is rich in Vitamins C and A, along with other carotenoids. It is a wonderful food to support immune, eye and cardiovascular health. Beet greens are a fantastic source of riboflavin (B2), Vitamins A, C, and K, as well as magnesium, potassium, and some calcium thrown in for good measure. Whenever you can find beet greens, they must come home with you to be used as you would any hearty green leafy!

While butternut squash is a winter squash and higher in carbohydrates than summer squashes, it only supplies 14 grams of carbohydrate per cup (compared to 51 grams in a cup of brown rice) and thus can be a welcome addition for those on a lower carbohydrate diet. One need not be afraid of the humble winter squash! It is an underutilized source of vitamins and fiber and does not cause an excess rise in glucose levels. 

Peri Peri is a Portuguese seasoning with African roots that is often used on chicken and other proteins. It’s smoky, slightly sweet and spicy. Traditionally the peri peri chili is used, but as this is often hard to find, I’ve used a mix of paprika and cayenne to get the general flavor profile. These warm spices pair very well with this winter produce and this savory side is an excellent addition to any autumn meal. Enjoy!

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon Peri Peri seasoning (see below)
  • 1 bunch beet greens, stems removed 
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • Apx 2-3 tsp. fat for sautéing (I used butter)
  • 1/3 cup crumbled goat or feta cheese
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F./ 170 C.
  2. Cube butternut squash and toss in olive or avocado oil. Add Piri Piri seasoning and mix until well distributed, adding any additional salt and pepper if desired.
  3. Roast butternut squash until tender, about 20-30 minutes.
  4. While squash is roasting, chop beet greens and set aside. 
  5. Add sliced onion into a sauté pan with butter or other fat. Sauté onion until it begins to soften, about 3-4 minutes. 
  6. Add chopped beet greens to the sauté pan and stir until greens wilt, about 2-3 minutes. 
  7. Set greens aside to cool.
  8. When butternut squash is soft and easily pieced with a fork, remove from oven and let cool slightly.
  9. Toss greens and butternut squash together, then fold in goat cheese. Add any additional salt, pepper, or peri peri, if desired. 
  10. Squeeze the juice of a lemon over all and serve.

Serves 4 as a side dish.

Piri Piri Seasoning

  • 2 tablespoon Smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon Black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Brown sugar (optional, but traditional)
  • 1 tablespoon Dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoon Garlic granules
  • 2 teaspoon Onion granules
  • 2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoon Ground coriander
  • 0.5 teaspoon Ground cardamom

Mix all ingredients and store in a jar. 

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