Butternut Squash & String Beans in Coconut Curry Sauce

      It’s the First day of Spring!  To celebrate, I am sharing with you a vegan dish that my whole family loves.  Even before we eliminated wheat, egg, dairy, soy, nuts and peanuts in our diet due to my children’s multiple food allergies, this vegetable dish has already been a staple in our monthly menu.  
      This hearty dish is very easy to prepare but loaded with flavor and different textures.  Since our family is not really vegetarians, I serve this with either fried meat spring rolls (lumpiang shanghai) or grilled pork/chicken skewers (Filipino BBQ) and rice.  The creamy sauce with a hint of sweetness from the squash works quite well with any grilled protein. Am I making you hungry already?
       Anyway, I hope you’ll give this humble dish a try. 
      Have a great Spring!
– Rozelyn 

3 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic minced
1/2 cup white onions sliced in half moon shape
1 pint grape tomatoes cut in half
2 tsp. garam masala
2 tsp. ground ginger (powder form)
1 14 0z can coconut milk
1 cup broth (you can use chicken or vegetable broth)
1 1/2 lbs. string beans cleaned
1 1/2 lbs. butternut squash skin and seeds removed and cut into 1 inch cubes
3 Tbs. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. curry powder
1. In a big pan, heat olive oil. 
2. Saute the garlic, onions and tomatoes until the onions are translucent and the tomatoes are almost turned to a paste.
3. Add the garam masala, curry powder and ginger powder.  Mix well and cook for about 3 minutes.
4.  Stir in the coconut milk and broth.  Bring to slow boil. 
5.  Once the sauce starts to boil, add the string beans.  Cover the pan and let cook for 5-7 minutes or until the green beans are half cooked.
6. Add the butternut squash and season with 2 Tbs. salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Cover the pan and simmer until the squash and beans are cooked about 10 to 15 minutes.  Do not over cook. 
7. Taste and see if you need to add the remaining 1 Tbs. of salt.  I have used a salt free homemade stock that’s why I need the additional salt.  Just remember that ready made broth has additional salt so taste before you add more. 
8.  Turn of heat and serve warm over rice, noodles or as a side dish.
     Removing the skin and cutting the butternut squash can be a challenge.  To make the preparation easier, place the gourd on a microwaveable plate and heat it on high for 2 -3  minutes. Let it cool a bit before opening. This will soften the squash making it easier to cut.   

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