Spicy Butternut Squash and Kale Quesadillas

Yield: Serves 4-6

Often, when planning my weekly menu, I look for foods that can play double duty. Roast a large butternut squash seasoned with cayenne pepper, serving some as a side dish with dinner one night and using the rest the next evening in this delicious main course.

2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed into bite-sized pieces
6 cups of finely chopped kale
1 ½ cups onion, halved from pole to pole and then cut into half moon shaped slices
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 15 oz. can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup shredded cheese such as queso fresco or Monterey jack
8 whole wheat tortillas, 9” size
Cayenne pepper to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive oil

1. Drizzle olive oil over the cubed butternut squash and season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Unless you like things very spicy, use a soft hand with the cayenne pepper. Roast at 400° for about 25-30 minutes, until the edges of the squash are slightly browned.

2. Over medium heat, sauté onions until softened. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about thirty seconds. Add kale and ¼ cup of vegetable stock. Cover and cook for five minutes. Remove the lid and let the mixture cook, stirring occasionally, until the stock evaporates. Remove from heat and add red wine vinegar.

3. In a bowl, mix together kale mixture, the butternut squash and the black beans.

4. Assemble the tortillas. Spread a generous amount of the kale mixture on a tortilla and top with cheese. Add a tortilla on top to complete the quesadilla.

5. Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat. Brush the skillet with olive oil and add the quesadilla. Cook until the bottom of the quesadilla is lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Brush the top of the quesadilla with olive oil and flip it in the pan, cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes.

6. Cut into wedges, serve and enjoy!

Gluten Free Substitution: Use corn tortillas
Dairy Free Substitution: Omit cheese and add diced avocados

Tip: To make the butternut squash easier to peel, make several large slits through the skin with the tip of sharp knife. Microwave the squash for 3-5 minutes to soften the skin. Allow it to cool for a minute or two and start peeling. You will be amazed at how much easier the squash is to peel.