Posts Tagged ‘squash’

Pumpkin Chili

This is a vegan and gluten-free chili with a delicious mix of summer & autumn flavors.

Served over sweet potato fries and topped with green onions, cilantro, cheddar cheese, and low fat sour cream. YUM!

Ingredients:

  • 1 sugar pie pumpkin (about 1.5 lbs), peeled, seeded, and cubed into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 can of beans + their goo (opt for sugar-free and low-sodium if possible)
  • 1 lb fresh tomatoes, diced (or 1 14.5 oz can)
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste (the tomato paste from Trader Joe’s is just tomato and citric acid)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (I used two Anaheim peppers from our garden this time around)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced epazote (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 teaspoon each: cumin, smoked paprika, sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: chili powder, coriander, cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice

Throw it all into a 6 quart slow cooker and cook on low for 6-7 hours.  If it looks really dry after the first hour, add 1/4 cup water.  The tomatoes should get it nice and juicy on their own.

If you’re not into slow cookers, add 1/2 cup water or broth and cook it covered on low on the stove top in a big, heavy-bottomed pot until the flavors have melded and the pumpkin is nice and soft.

Ecuadorian Quinoa & Vegetable Soup

This is ridiculously delicious.  It’s like a bowl of summer (and since we’ve been having very cool summer evenings here in California, a hot bowl of soup is definitely welcome).

Ecuadorian Quinoa & Vegetable Soup

from Moosewood Daily Special

serves 4 – 6

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C raw quinoa (see note)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 C chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. salt (I used a teaspoon of sea lettuce instead.  Veggie broth already has tons of salt.)
  • 1 C diced potatoes
  • 1 C chopped red or green bell peppers (green ones from my garden!)
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 3 C water or vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 C chopped fresh or undrained canned tomatoes (14 1/2 oz. can)
  • 1 C diced zucchini or yellow squash* **
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice **

chopped scallions, fresh cilantro, crumbled tortilla chips and/or grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (optional, for garnish)

Thoroughly rinse quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer under cold water. Set aside to drain. Warm oil in a nonreactive soup pot, add onions and salt, cover and cook on medium heat about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the quinoa, potatoes, peppers, spices, water or stock, and tomatotes. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add squash, cover and simmer 15 – 20 minutes, or until all veggies are tender. Stir in lemon juice. If desired, serve with a sprinkling of scallions, cilantro, tortilla chips and/or grated cheese.

Note: Quinoa is an ancient Incan grain (that looks like tiny, pin-head sized beads) with a mild, nutty flavor and crunchy texture. It is available in many health/organic food stores such as Whole Foods (in the bulk bins section).

Cheesy Baked Squash

This is comfort food that doesn’t have to be nearly as fatty as you think.  I use reduced fat sour cream, 75% reduced fat cheddar cheese, and turkey bacon instead of pork (which is about 80% less fat).

Cheesy Baked Squash

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced
  • 8 strips turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons flour (I use whole wheat)
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs

What I do:

  • Instead of following the original recipe and cooking the squash first THEN slicing it, I slice it then put it into a large pot, cover it with water, and cook it on medium heat from 20-30 minutes depending on how crisp I want it.  I highly suggest you do the same.  🙂  Make sure to drain it VERY well or you’ll end up with a watery-bottomed casserole.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form
  • Fold in yolks, sour cream, and flour
  • In a lightly greased baking dish, put down a layer of half the squash
  • Smear half the egg/sour cream mixture over it
  • Sprinkle half the cheese on top
  • Cover it with the crumbled bacon
  • Add the other half of the squash
  • Add the other half of the egg mixture
  • Add the other half of the cheese
  • Sprinkle the bread crumbs on top
  • Bake for 25 minutes

This is really great comfort food.

Rainbow Salad

A full spectrum of fruits, vegetables, and flowers to delight the eyes as well as the taste buds!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 2 small yellow squash, grated
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • a handful of blue borage flowers
  • 1/4 head red cabbage, shredded

I’d take a picture for you, but I don’t have the flowers… I will definitely be planting them in next year’s garden!

Stuffed Zucchini

Stuffed Zucchini

I picked two 9-inch zucchinis from my garden yesterday, so it was time to make up a recipe for them.  This is probably my most successful recipe that I completely made up myself.

Ingredients:

  • Two 9-inch zucchinis, sliced in half length-wise and seeds scooped out
  • One small onion, diced
  • One small red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/3 lb ground turkey
  • One prepared pot of Trader Joe’s Basmati Rice Medley (it only takes 15 minutes to cook)
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • About 1/2 teaspoon EACH dried thyme & oregano (I just plucked theses off the plants hanging in my kitchen)

What I Did:

  • Prepare the rice to cook.  If you don’t have that particular kind of rice, it’s a 1 cup rice to 2 cups water ratio, just to give you an idea.  Add the seasoning and salt to the rice while it’s cooking.
  • Dice & saute the onion & bell pepper for about five minutes.
  • Add the ground turkey, oregano & thyme and cook well.
  • Add the cooked rice, mix well.
  • Heat the oven to 350F.
  • Pour some olive oil into a baking dish that will fit your zucchini, place the zucchini in the dish and roll them around in the oil.
  • Carefully spoon mixture into zucchini.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.

Notes:

  • I had a lot of leftover filling.  We ate some of it with chips (YUM!), and I plan on filling a tortilla with it for lunch today.
  • Some of the rice on the top got a bit crunchy.  Carefully draping the scooped innards of the zucchini on top of the filling before baking might help fix this problem.

Baked Winter Squash with Apples

from Rolling Prairie Cookbook

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. uncooked winter squash, peeled & cut into cubes
  • 1/2 lb. fresh cranberries (optional)
  • 2 to 3 apples, chopped
  • 1/4 C raisins
  • juice & grated peel of 1 small orange
  • 1 1/4 tbsp. maple syrup (or honey)
  • dash each of salt & cinnamon

What I did:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Combine squash, cranberries, apples and raisins in a small buttered casserole dish.
  • Combine juice, peel, syrup and salt, and pour over squash mixture.
  • Lightly dust with cinnamon, cover, and bake until squash is tender, approximately 30 to 45 minutes.

I  did not have cranberries.

While this doesn’t taste bad by any means, it just isn’t my style.  I like winter squash in a pureed soup, I like it in a hearty winter stew, but in a sweet dish?  It kind of misses the mark for me.  Okay, I take that “sweet dish” remark back: I LOVE pumpkin pie.

This dish is orange-y enough to make my tongue kind of tingly.  Maybe I should have taken it easy with the orange zest…

Winter Squash Bisque

“Bisque” traditionally means a creamy soup made with pureed crustaceans, but it can also be applied to pureed vegetable  soups.

This is another recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking.  It is pretty much perfection.  I only have one modification to it myself, and I highly suggest that you try this out as is before making any changes.

Ingredients:

  • One large butternut squash (I used Aunt Themla’s Sweet Potato Squash, it’s not as creamy, but still delicious)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small diced yellow onions, or 2 tablespoons onion flakes
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 small apples, peeled, cored, and cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (you can cut down the salt if using sea salt)
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper (I often just omit this)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves

What I Did:

  • Put the squash in the microwave for 2 minutes and allow to cool.  This will help soften the flesh a little.  Cut it into about four pieces, scoop out the seeds & strings, peel and cube it.  It might take you a while to do this.  It always leaves my right thumb rather sore.
  • Or, you can brush the olive oil on the four sections of squash, put it on a baking dish and bake it in the oven at 400F for about 15 minutes.  The peel will be easier to remove.
  • Add everything to a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker, and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, high for about 4 hours.
  • Blend in a blender or with an immersible wand blender until smooth.

A very warm and comforting soup!