Bodybuilders Delight: Butternut Squash, Garbanzo Bean, and Beef Bowl

Garbanzo Beans: What Are They?

The word “garb” means something like “covering”. In other words, it’s a way of covering up or hiding something. For example, if someone was trying to hide their car keys under a blanket, they would put them into the ground so no one could see them. Another example might be when you’re at home and your parents are out of town. You don’t want them to find your car keys. So you cover them with some paper or plastic. These two examples show how garbanzo beans work the same way. They’re used as a kind of “cover” for the ingredients in a recipe.

In fact, there are many different types of garbanzo beans, but all have similar characteristics:

They come from a legume plant called the butternut squash (Bufo maritima).

They’re small, round and greenish red.

Their pods contain a protein called beta glucan which gives them their flavor. It also helps bind the food together.

The beans are often cooked with meat or vegetables such as onions, garlic, tomatoes and potatoes to make dishes like hummus, falafel and more. Garbanzo beans are especially good for soups because they absorb liquid quickly without making soup taste thick or watery.

Garbanzos are good for you because they’re packed with nutrients and contain very little fat.

Butternut Squash, Garbanzo Beans, and Beef Bowl

This is a nice and easy recipe for a cold winter night. The ground garbanzos give the butternut squash a wonderful whole-grain taste. The slow cooker does all the work for you so it’s really a snap to prepare this meal!

Slow cooker size: 3 quart

Cooking time: 3 to 4 hours on high


Bodybuilders Delight: Butternut Squash, Garbanzo Bean, and Beef Bowl - Image

2 cups cubed butternut squash

1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 lb lean ground beef (ground sirloin) or ground turkey

2 cups chopped onions

1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped into 1-inch pieces

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp chili powder (add more if you want it spicier)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

3 tbsp tomato paste

2 cups crushed tomatoes in tomato juice (DO NOT USE plain tomato sauce–the juice is important! If you don’t have any, sub in water or broth)

Bodybuilders Delight: Butternut Squash, Garbanzo Bean, and Beef Bowl - Image

1 cup water

salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

shredded cheddar or mexican cheese blend for garnish (optional)


Layer the butternut squash on the bottom of the slow cooker. Add the garbanzo beans over the squash. In a large skillet, brown the ground meat, breaking it up as you go.

When the meat is fully browned, drain off the fat and return it to the skillet. Stir in the onions, bell pepper, garlic, cumin, oregano, chili powder and cinnamon. Sauté for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the tomato paste and stir it into the meat mixture for 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes and water; stir to combine. Season with salt and black pepper and bring to a simmer. Stir the meat mixture into the garbanzo beans and squash in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or until the butternut squash is tender. Serve hot. Top each serving with shredded cheese, if desired.

Makes 6 servings

Per serving: 368 Calories (kcal); 10g Total Fat; (30% calories from fat); 32g Protein; 33g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 893mg Sodium Food Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 2 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

Makes 6 servings

Per Serving: 331 Calories (kcal); 11g Total Fat; (26.5% calories from fat); 27g Protein; 22g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 588mg Sodium Food Exchanges: 1/2 Starch; 2 Very Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1 Medium-Fat Meat

Good go-withs: Dinner Salad, Baked Potato, Sweet Potato

Bodybuilders Delight: Butternut Squash, Garbanzo Bean, and Beef Bowl - | Gym Fit Workout

If you’re cooking for more than 4 people, double the recipe and use a 6-quart slow cooker.

The honey in this recipe gives the pork a really nice slightly sweet and sticky glaze that goes well with the carrots and onions. If you’re cooking for a large crowd, double this recipe too.

Your guests will love this one!

Slow Cooker Size: 5 quart

Cooking Time: 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high


1 boneless pork loin roast (3 to 3 1/2 pounds)

salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

4 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch lengths

2 medium onions, cut into 8 wedges and separated

2 tablespoons butter (preferably pasture-raised)

1/4 cup honey

Bodybuilders Delight: Butternut Squash, Garbanzo Bean, and Beef Bowl - Picture

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons prepared mustard (regular or Dijon)

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1 bay leaf (remove before serving)


Generously salt and pepper the pork on all sides. Place the carrots and onions in the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the pork on top of the carrots and onions.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan on low heat. Stir in the honey, vinegar, mustard, thyme and bay leaf until well mixed.

Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until the butter is melted. Brush half of the glaze on the pork. (Reserve the other half for serving.) Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

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Transfer the pork to a platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Strain the carrots and onions, and return to the slow cooker. Shred the pork with 2 forks and add it to the slow cooker along with any of the accumulated juices.

(If the pork doesn’t shred easily, return it to the cooker and turn it up to high for another 30 minutes or so.) Stir well to combine and heat through.

Spoon some of the carrots, onions and sauce on each plate and top with shredded pork. Drizzle the reserved glaze over the pork and serve immediately.

Per Serving: 488 Calories (kcal); 20g Total Fat; (41% calories from fat); 32g Protein; 27g Carbohydrate; 66mg Cholesterol; 581mg Sodium Food Exchanges: 1 1/2 Starch; 3 Lean Meat; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Fat

Good go-withs: Potatoes Au Gratin, Corn on the Cob, Apple Pie

You can use regular jelly in this recipe instead of all fruit jelly if you prefer.

If you’re cooking for a large crowd, double this recipe and use a 6-quart slow cooker.

This easy-prep meal is a favorite with our kids and leaves plenty of time for skiing, skating and sledding during the winter months!

Slow Cooker Size: 5 quart

Bodybuilders Delight: Butternut Squash, Garbanzo Bean, and Beef Bowl - GymFitWorkout

Cooking Time: 6 hours on low or 3 hours on high


1 (2 1/4-pound) pork loin roast

6 cups beef broth (low sodium or no salt added is best)

1 cup ketchup

1 cup pure apple juice (not from concentrate)

1 cup dry red wine (use a good quality wine you’d drink)

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon dry mustard (try to find one that’s coarse ground)

4 teaspoons instant beef bouillon (this is different than slow cooker beef bouillon which contains salt)

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1 teaspoon ground black pepper (freshly ground if possible)

2 tablespoons cornstarch


If the pork loin roast has a tie on it, remove it before putting it in the slow cooker. If it’s a very thick tie, you may want to cut through the fat a bit so you can get your hands around it better.

Put the pork in the slow cooker and add the beef broth. Turn the slow cooker on high and let it get to cooking temperature while you make the glaze.

Combine all of the glaze ingredients (ketchup through pepper) in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until the glaze boils and thickens, then remove it from heat.

Turn down the slow cooker to low and use a baster or large spoon to baste the pork loin with some of the liquid. Cover loosely with a piece of aluminum foil and continue to cook for 6 hours on low. (If you’re in a rush, you can turn it to high an hour before serving, but keep an eye on it so the glaze doesn’t burn.

It should be a light, golden brown when done.)

Turn off the slow cooker and use tongs to gently lift the pork out of the slow cooker and place it on a serving platter. Use a large spoon to remove as much of the excess liquid as possible, then place the platter with the pork in a warm oven (200 degrees F.) while you make the gravy.

Skim off as much fat from the top of the cooking liquid as possible. Measure out 1 cup of the liquid in a glass measuring cup (you can use the spoon to get all the “good stuff” off the top), then pour the rest down the drain.

Place the measuring cup with the 1 cup of cooking liquid and the remaining liquid in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and let it boil for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it is reduced by about 1/3 and has thickened slightly. (It should coat a spoon easily)

Pour the gravy into a serving bowl and place all your desired accompaniments in individual bowls.

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Line platter with rolls or bread, place sliced pork on rolls and pass the gravy. Let everyone serve themselves.

Serves 8 to 10.

To bone the pork loin roast and cut the meat into chops:

Slice the pork loin in half lengthwise so you have 2 thin roasts. Place one of the roasts on a work surface (fattiest side down) and use a knife to cut around both sides of the bone. Use your hands to pull and wiggle the bone until it comes out.

Do this with the second roast.

Cut each of the roasts into 4 equal pieces (each about 1 1/2 inches thick). You should have 8 chops.

If you don’t want to bother making gravy, you can double the amount of basting liquid and serve it on the side for people to drizzle on their pork if they wish.


This recipe also works well with a boneless pork loin. You can buy them heavily marketed (which just means it has a lot of fat on it) or you can ask the butcher to cut you one from the middle of the loin (regular one). Since it’s already been cut into sections, you don’t even need to bone it.

Just season, then cook as directed above.

Bodybuilders Delight: Butternut Squash, Garbanzo Bean, and Beef Bowl - GymFitWorkout


You can start the pork in the morning and have it ready for dinner, but don’t add the basting liquid until about an hour before you think you’ll be ready to eat. (This will depend on how quickly your slow cooker cooks things).

Cost Calculator

1 pork loin (4 lbs.) $12.00

1 pork picnic roast (2 lbs.) $3.00

1/2 cup ketchup $0.33

1/4 cup brown sugar $0.10

1/4 cup honey $0.25

2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar $0.10

1 tsp. garlic powder $0.05

1 tsp. onion powder $0.05

Bodybuilders Delight: Butternut Squash, Garbanzo Bean, and Beef Bowl - from our website

1 tsp. dry mustard $0.05

1/2 tsp. black pepper $0.05

1/2 tsp. salt $0.02

1/4 cup water $0.00

Total cost $13.24

Cost per serving $1.25

Cost per serving with double pork loin $0.88

Sources & references used in this article:

The Everything Vegan Cookbook by J Hackett, LN Bull – 2010 –

The kind diet: A simple guide to feeling great, losing weight, and saving the planet by M Zaraska – 2016 – Basic Books

mini series: super healthy-recipes for the Thermomix by A Silverstone – 2011 –

The macrobiotic way: the complete macrobiotic lifestyle book by L Babauskis, H Butt – 2014 –