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Posts Tagged ‘squash’

Inspired by Food&Wine, this dish was a great winter recipe. Spaghetti squash is the South Beach diet answer to pasta. I made this my own by adding some cooked chicken and shredded soy mozzarella. It was light and filling and a great main dish.

Warm spaghetti squash salad

1 4-pound spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeds scraped

1 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1/2 cup chopped pitted green olives

1/4 cup thinly sliced scallion whites

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil

1 cooked chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/4 cup shredded soy mozzarella cheese

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the spaghetti squash and cook until it is al dente, about 12 minutes; drain. Place the spaghetti squash halves cut side down on a rack and let cool for 15 minutes.

In a food processor, combine the chopped olive with the sliced scallions, lemon zest, lemon juice, and canola oil, and pulse until finely chopped.

Working over a medium bowl and using a fork, scrape the spaghetti squash into the bowl, separating the strands. Add the dressing along with the chicken and toasted almonds and mozzarella, and season with salt and pepper. Toss the spaghetti squash salad and serve warm.

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My husband said this was the best quiche he ever ate. I must agree, although I have to admit that I’ve rarely met a quiche I didn’t like. I do have a favorite nondairy pie crust, but this time I tried a lower fat version from Norene Gilletz.

Butternut quiche with kale and sausage (adapted from My Kitchen Addiction)

dough for single pie crust

1/2 pound chicken sausage (I used sweet apple, from Trader Joe’s)

1 small onion, diced

6 ounces kale, thick stems removed and chopped

1 cup butternut squash puree

2 eggs + 2 egg whites

1/2 cup nondairy creamer

3/4 ounce soy parmesan, divided

freshly ground black pepper

salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Roll out pie dough to 1/4″ thickness and transfer to a 9″ pie plate. Trim excess and crimp the sides. Prick bottom of pie all over with a fork. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, then bake for 10 minutes til golden. Remove from oven.

Meanwhile, brown the sausage in a skillet over medium heat, breaking up the sausage into small pieces. Once the sausage has browned, add the onion and cook til softened. Gradually add the kale to the skillet and wilt into the sausage and onion mixture. Transfer the mixture to the baked pie shell.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the butternut squash puree, eggs, egg whites, creamer, and 1/2 ounce soy parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the sausage and kale mixture in the pie shell. Top with the remaining soy parmesan.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 – 35 minutes until the eggs are set. Broil for an additional minute or two until the top is golden and bubbly. Cool for a few minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.

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We ate this as a main dish, but it would also make a great side. I love vegetables where you can scoop up some meaty flesh with each biteful. There’s something very basic and satisfying about it. Great stuffing, too.

Stuffed acorn squash (adapted from The Tasty Kitchen blog)

1 whole acorn squash, cut in half lengthwise

2 teaspoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons margarine

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup celery, diced

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 tart apple, peeled, cored, and diced

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 whole cornbread muffins, cubed into bite-sized pieces

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup chicken broth

salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

sprinkle of soy parmesan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Scrape seeds and stringy flesh from the squash. Place squash in a baking dish, cut sides upp. Pour about an inch of water in the bottom of the dish. Put one teaspoon margarine and one teaspoon brown sugar in each half. Place in the oven for 15 minutes. Baste squash with the butter and brown sugar mixture after the 15 minute mark to prevent drying. Put back in oven for another 30 – 45 minutes, or until fork tender.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet and add the celery, onion, apples, thyme, curry, and cinnamon. Cook until softened. Remove skillet from heat and set aside.

Place cubed cornbread on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes (next to the squash), or until golden and crunchy.

Add the cranberries and the toasted cornbread to the skillet mixture and gently stir to combine. While stirring, slowly add the chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper. Fill the fork-tender squash with cornbread stuffing, and place back into the oven until heat through, about 10 minutes. Serves 2. Easily doubled.

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I found this recipe in the NYTimes’ Recipes For Health section. Mighty fine stuff. I subbed soy mozzarella for the Gruyere cheese. Unfortunately, there is no soy Gruyere. But this tasted really good, just the same. Disclaimer – it’s supposed to serve 6 as a main dish, but we (the two of us) gobbled the whole thing up in one sitting. That good.

Spaghetti squash gratin with basil

1 spaghetti squash, about 3 pounds

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

salt and freshly ground pepper

3 large eggs

1/2 cup nondairy creamer

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

1/2 cup shredded soy mozzarella

2 tablespoons grated soy parmesan

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Pierce the squash in several places with a sharp knife. Cover a baking sheet with foil, and place the squash on top. Bake for one hour, turning the squash every 20 minutes until it is soft and easy to cut into with a knife. Remove from the heat, and allow the squash to cool until you can handle it. Cut in half lengthwise, and allow to cool further. Remove the seeds and discard. Scoop out the flesh, and place in a bowl. Run a fork through the flesh to separate the spaghetti-like strands, then chop coarsely. Measure out 4 cups squash, and use whatever remains for another dish, or freeze.

Oil a 2 quart gratin or baking dish. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet, and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, for another 30 seconds to a minute until fragrant. Add the squash. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes until the strands of squash are a little more tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and remove from heat.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the creamer, salt (about 1/2 teaspoon), pepper, and basil. Stir in the squash mixture and the soy mozzarella and combine well. Scrape into the baking dish. Sprinkle the soy parmesan over the top and gently press down to moisten.

Bake 40 – 45 minutes until nicely browned and sizzling. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool for 10 – 15 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.

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Adding this one to my comfort food list. I just love hearty vegetarian dishes. Great flavors, and we never missed the meat.

Vegetable cobbler (adapted to be nondairy by me, from Handle the Heat blog)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1 – 2 teaspoons dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

4 – 5 cups sliced mushrooms

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 cups peeled and chopped butternut squash

2 cups chopped potatoes

2 cups peeled and chopped carrots

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

3 cups vegetable broth

3 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 cup water

1 cup frozen green peas

1 cup frozen corn kernels

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

Biscuit topping:

2 cups unbleached AP flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

6 tablespoons melted margarine

1 cup plain soy yogurt

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9 x 13″ baking dish. Warm the oil in a soup pot. Add the onions and garlic and cook on medium heat for 10 – 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the salt, thyme, crushed red pepper flakes, mushrooms, and mustard. Cook until the mushrooms start to release their juices, about 5 minutes. Add the butternut squash, potato, carrot, black pepper, and broth, and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, until the vegetables are just tender.

Stir the dissolved cornstarch mixture into the simmering vegetables, stirring constantly. When the liquid starts to thicken, mix in the peas, corn, soy sauce, and salt. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Pour the vegetables into the prepared baking dish, and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, mix together the melted margarine and the yogurt. Combine the wet and dry ingredients with as few strokes as possible to make a soft dough.

Drop the biscuit batter over the vegetables in the dish in six equal mounds. Sprinkle the fresh thyme over the dough. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of a biscuit comes out clean. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

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A lovely variation on a theme. Serving chili including butternut squash and seasoned with Middle-Eastern spices just seems so logical. Another delicious selection from Williams-Sonoma.

Moroccan-spiced vegetarian chili (slightly modified by me – less heat)

1 large ancho chilie

3 cups water

4 large whole garlic cloves, plus 6 large cloves, sliced

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons coriander

1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes

1 butternut squash, seeded, peeled, cut into 1/2″ cubes

2 15-ounce cans chickpeas

2 zucchini, cut into 1/2″ dice

1/3 cup sliced dried apricots

1/3 cup sliced pitted prunes

In a saucepan, combine the chilie and water and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chilie to a work surface, reserve the liquid. Discard the stems and seeds from the chilie. In a food processor, combine the chilie with the whole garlic cloves and 1/4 cup of the liquid. Process until smooth. Set aside.

Heat a heavy pot over medium heat. Coat the pot with nonstick cooking spray. Add the onion, sliced garlic cloves, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, and coriander and saute until the onion and garlic have softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and their juices, butternut squash, and the chilie puree. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the squash is just tender, about 25 minutes.

Stir in the chickpeas with their liquid, the zucchini, dried apricots, and prunes. Simmer, uncovered, until all of the squash are tender, about 15 minutes more. Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot, with pita, or rice, or couscous. Makes 6 servings.

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No time here to make fresh pasta, but don’t you think bowties (farfale pasta) would be a good substitute for kerchief pasta? That was my selection, and this looked and tasted great. I added a little leftover cut-up chicken, but that was my preference. I think this dish would stand on its own perfectly without any other additions. Another perfect autumn dish.

Kerchief pasta with caramelized squash and fresh herbs (from Williams-Sonoma with some nondairy modifications)

6 tablespoons margarine

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, & cut into 1″ dice

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth

salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

3 tablespoons finely diced shallots

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 tablespoon minced fresh sage

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 pound bowties

1 ounce grated soy parmesan

In a braiser over medium-high heat, melt 3 tablespoons margarine. Add the squash in a single layer and cook, without stirring, until browned underneath, about 6 minutes. Stir the squash and cook until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes more. Add the sugar, broth, salt and pepper, cover and cook until the squash is tender, 2 – 3 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates and the squash is dark brown and glazed, 2 – 3 minutes more. Transfer the squash mixture to a bowl.

In the same pan over medium-high heat, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons margarine until light brown spots appear, about 2 minutes. Add the shallots, nutmeg and sage and cook, stirring constantly, until the shallots begin to soften, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and parsley. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the squash.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook til al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta and the reserved cooking water to the squash mixture and toss to combine.

Transfer the pasta to a warmed large, shallow bowl and sprinkle with the soy parmesan. Serve immediately. Makes 4 – 6 servings.

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