Recipes for Change: Butternut squash, spinach & black-eyed peas with fonio

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Recipes for Change: Butternut squash, spinach & black-eyed peas with fonio

A stew made with sustainable ingredients is comfort food at its best: good for you and good for the planet. This stew, presented by Chef Pierre Thiam, is inspired by ingredients from his childhood in Senegal. It features black-eyed peas (also known as cow peas), a central cultural element of West African cuisines.

In addition to being a great source of protein and fibre, black-eyed peas add nitrogen to the soil as they grow, helping other crops thrive. This recipe combines them with vitamin- and antioxidant-rich butternut squash and spinach to create a delicious, affordable, nutrient-packed meal.


  • 15 ml olive oil
  • 130 g diced yellow onion
  • 5 g chopped ginger
  • 5 g minced garlic
  • 130 g chopped plum tomato
  • 475 ml vegetable stock
  • 5 g salt
  • 2.5 g freshly ground black pepper
  • 130 g butternut squash, chopped 
  • 130 g black eyed peas, cooked
  • 260 g loosely packed spinach
  • 15 g chopped cilantro
  • 260 g fonio, cooked


  1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and sauté over medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft.
  2.  Add the ginger and garlic and continue to cook for 2 more minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes and stir. Cook on medium-high heat for about 5 more minutes, or until the tomatoes release their juice.
  4. Add the vegetable stock and bring the mixture to a boil.
  5. Add the salt, pepper and butternut squash. Cook on medium-low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
  6. Gently fold in the black-eyed peas and spinach.
  7. Adjust the seasoning as needed. Garnish with cilantro and serve over cooked fonio.