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  • Writer's pictureJen Walpole

Butternut Squash, Apricot & Spinach Tagine

A fantastic lunch or dinner option to support your fertility. Orange vegetables and fruit like the squash and apricots are rich in vitamin A, which is vital for cellular growth and reproduction. Vitamin A is one of the key nutrients to support a healthy endometrium lining, which is vital for implantation to occur. The dried apricots also provide some plant-based iron (non-heam iron), which again is important for fertility. The spinach is rich in folate, something that is well documented as being of upmost importance for fertility and pregnancy. Providing some plant-based protein thanks to the almonds and quinoa, this really is a wonderful dish to enjoy as you prepare for pregnancy.

Serves 4


1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 large red onion, finely chopped

6 cardamom pods

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp red chilli flakes (or less if you prefer less spice)

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp honey

1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 vegetable stock cube

400ml filtered water

150g organic dried apricots, chopped into quarter's

zest of 1 lemon

100g flaked almonds, toasted

200g spinach (can be frozen or fresh)

4 tbsp coriander, chopped

To Serve

1 - 1.5 cup quinoa

1 tsp ground cumin

juice of 1/2 lemon

2 tbsp mint, chopped

2 tbsp parsley, chopped

2 tbsp coriander, chopped


Preheat the oven to 200C (fan assisted) and bake the butternut squash for 25 minutes with a drizzle of olive oil and pinch of sea salt. Add the quinoa to a pan and cover with double the amount of water. Allow to boil and turn down the heat to a low simmer. 10 minutes before the squash is done, sauté the onion in 1 tbsp of olive oil for 5 minutes on a medium heat. When soft, add the spices and chopped apricots and mix on a lower heat for 2 minutes. Add the squash to the pan with the onion, apricot and spices. Make the stock and add this to the pan. Cook for 5-10 minutes until the squash has absorbed the flavours and the liquid has thickened. Add the spinach (if using frozen, add this when you add the stock). The tagine should be ready once all the liquid has thickened and the squash is soft, but not too soft. To serve, add the herbs and lemon to the cooked quinoa and toast the almonds on a baking sheet in the oven or in a pan if you wish for 5 minutes.

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