Seasonal Vegetarian-Friendly Recipe

In honor of Vegetarian Awareness Month, MANNA would like to share with you a vegetarian friendly recipe that is simple to make and delicious.  Reducing your meat intake has a number of health benefits including reducing your risk of hypertension, heart disease and diabetes.  There are many ways to get the necessary protein requirements into your diet that do not include animal products.  The recipe below features black beans which are a great source of both protein and fiber.  In less than 30 minutes you will have a delicious entrée that supports your health and satisfies your taste buds!Smoky_Black_Bean_and_Butternut_Ragout-458x326

Smoky Black Bean and Butternut Ragoût


1 tsp. fresh lime juice

3 tsp. pure maple syrup, divided

1 Tbs. unsalted butter

2 Tbs. olive oil, divided

1 lb. peeled butternut squash, cut into ½-inch dice (4 cups)

1 small yellow onion, cut into medium dice (½ cup)

2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)

1 15.5-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 tsp. adobo sauce from can of chipotles in adobo

⅓ cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese

2–3 Tbs. chopped or whole cilantro or mint leaves

¼ cup toasted pepitas or toasted chopped pecans, optional



  1. Combine lime juice and 1 tsp. maple syrup in small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat butter and 1 Tbs. oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add squash, and season with salt, if desired. Cover pan, and cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover pan, add onion, and increase heat to medium-high. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until squash is tender and lightly browned. Remove from heat, and gently stir in lime-maple mixture.
  3. Heat remaining 1 Tbs. oil in medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic, and cook 30 seconds, or until softened and fragrant. Add beans, adobo sauce, remaining 2 tsp. maple syrup, and 1/4 cup water. Bring mixture to a simmer, and cook 5 to 6 minutes, or until liquid is mostly absorbed.
  4. Gently stir together bean mixture and squash. Serve garnished with queso fresco, cilantro, and pepitas (if using).



October is Vegetarian Awareness Month

Even for non-vegetarians, October is a great time to take an extra moment or two to reflect on personal food choices. What we eat affects our health as well as the planet in significant ways. Every meal matters when it comes to making a difference.  One way to start small with your veg journey is to start with one vegetarian night a week, “Meatless Mondays.” Try to challenge yourself, friends and family to eliminate meat from your Monday meals by creating an entirely vegetarian breakfast, lunch and dinner. Even MANNA clients can participate in this vegetarian endeavor, we offer one vegetarian dinner entrée per week in addition to a large variety of fruit and vegetables with their meals.

There are several reasons to think about vegetarianism. For starters, it is a great way to focus on eating veggies. Five a day is the goal, and more is even better!  All MANNA meals strive to emphasize fresh fruits and vegetables.  Combined with exercise and other healthy habits, plant-based diets can reduce the risk of hypertension, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Also, vegetables, fruits and legumes tend to be very nutrient dense and are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals.  A vegetarian diet can also help double down on fiber and then some, the average American gets only about 12g of the 35 g. of fiber per day that is recommended.



Curious to learn more about the health benefits of a vegetarian diet? Or just looking for some ideas? Try these resources: or

Need another reason to picks beans instead of burgers in October? Do it for the planet!  Vegetarian diets require less water for production and produce less CO2 as a byproduct.  On a nationwide scale, this really adds up.  For more information on the environmental effects of meat production, check out the article below.