They say necessity is the mother of invention. For me, the 1001 food list and my current push to lose weight (and hopefully never have to do this weight loss schtick ever again) means that I am feeling a bit more restricted. Sure, I did have half a slice of Dobos torte last week… but this isn’t about that.
Herbes de Provence is very much in the same company as Shichimi Togarashi and Ras-el-Hanout since it is a blend rather than a single herb/spice. The name comes from the French region of Provence where this blend of herbs (which can include savory, rosemary thyme and marjoram) is an integral part of their cooking.
I have nothing traditionally Provencal on the dinner menu (although I once did manage to make a pissaladière from scratch with decent results) I figured that I would be able to substitute this into another recipe that requires some dried herbs – enter a recipe for stuffed butternut squash.
Right, so I actually did start for a recipe for this one, but a lot of substitutions later I ended up with this monster squash which (upon only eating half of what you see here) left me feeling so full that I skipped dinner later in the evening.
Ingredients (originally served 2… I think more like 3-4 if I am being honest):
- 1 large butternut squash, halved lengthways and deseeded
- low-calorie spray oil
- 500g lean turkey mince
- 1 tbsp onion granules
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 x 400 g tins of chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsps tomato puree
- 2 tbsps herbes de Provence
- 2 handfuls grated low-fat cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 200°C
- Scoop out as much of the butternut squash insides as possible (this hurts after a while). Finely chop the insides and set aside.
- Spray the empty halves with some oil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes so that it is tender.
- As the squash bakes spray a large saucepan (I used a wok) with oil and cook the turkey mince through. Add the onion granules and garlic powder and stir in for 2 minutes.
- Add in the tins of tomatoes, herbs de Provence, tomato puree and the set aside squash insides. This needs to simmer for 20-30 minutes so the squash insides are no longer hard.
- Spoon the meat mixture into the roasted squash halves. Scatter cheese on top and bake for a further 15 minutes so that the squash skin has blistered nicely.