Category Archives: squash

Delectable Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos With Vegan Cream Cheese/Jalapeno/Avocado Topping

Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly how to cook butternut squash. Sure, you can bake it, but what else can a person do? We recently discovered a butternut squash-based taco recipe that is so delicious we’re still salivating over our meal, hours later. The addition of whipped vegan cream cheese with avocado and fresh jalapeno makes this dish a total winner. And it’s so easy to make! The hardest part is cutting the skins off the squash. But persevere with the task, because the end result will be worth it.

INGREDIENTS

1 medium-sized butternut squash, de-skinned and cut into small chunks
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon powdered garlic
8 ounces vegan cream cheese (we’re wild about Kite Hill, due to its smooth, creamy texture. But you can use any kind).
1 small avocado, chopped into small chunks
1/2 small jalapeno pepper, chopped into bits
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
soft, gluten-free corn tortillas (check package to make sure there’s no wheat)
1 can or 2 1/2 cups black beans, rinsed
sliced scallions
chopped lettuce or arugula

INSTRUCTIONS

Chop the butternut squash into small chunks and cut off the skins. Place the chunks into a medium-sized-bowl with the spices and avocado oil, and toss until all pieces are completely coated with the mixture. Spread the chunks on a cookie sheet and bake in a 425 degree oven for approximately 25 minutes. The pieces should be soft, but not mushy.

Meanwhile, prepare your topping. Pour the vegan cream cheese, lime juice, jalapeno bits, and avocado into a blender or food processor and combine until your mixture achieves a frothy, whipped texture. Add a little extra lime juice if it’s too stiff.

Heat your tortillas in the oven and your beans on the stovetop. When both are warm, pile the tortillas on plates. Ladle on the beans first, and then follow with the spicy butternut squash chunks, the cream cheese/jalapeno/avocado mixture, and finally the chopped scallions and lettuce bits. Have a seat at the table and dig in!

This incredible meal serves about four people. If you use a larger squash, maybe 6. But be careful — no one will be able to stop eating these tacos! They pair well with gluten-free beer or wine, or any other beverage of your choice. Leftovers keep in your refrigerator for 3-4 days. We’re already fantasizing about the lunch we’re going to have tomorrow. You’ll never look at butternut squash in the same way again.

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Dried Cranberries and Hazelnuts For Your Holiday Feast

Many of us have unpleasant childhood memories of being forced to eat Brussels sprouts. Such a mindset is unfortunate because, cooked properly, this cruciferous vegetable is both tasty and nutritious. Many chefs are beginning to appreciate the flavor of the oft-maligned Brussels sprout, so the tide is slowly turning in its favor. Our delicious vegan, gluten-free recipe utilizes dried cranberries, orange zest and toasted hazelnuts to create a taste sensation. You’ll be proud to showcase this offering on your Thanksgiving table. It’s crunchy yet tender, with a hint of sweetness, and packed full of vitamins. The hazelnuts add a bit of protein to our elegant side dish. Yum!

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds Brussels sprouts, with excess peels and stems removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup roasted, chopped hazelnuts
zest of one orange

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Wash the Brussels sprouts thoroughly, then cut them in half and chop off the stems. Arrange the Brussels sprouts on a cookie sheet or large rectangular pan and toss them with olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Place the cookie sheet or pan in oven and roast for about 20 minutes. Flip the Brussels sprouts periodically with a spatula, then return the pan to the oven. They should achieve a lovely brown color.

Meanwhile, either roast the hazelnuts in your oven in a separate pan, or fry them on your stovetop in a small amount of olive oil. Do not burn them! Remove the hazelnuts from pan and crush them into coarse chunks. Grate the skin of one orange into a bowl to make zest. Toss the hazelnuts, orange zest, and dried cranberries in with the Brussels sprouts and combine everything thoroughly.

Return the pan to your oven and roast for another 5-10 minutes. The Brussels sprouts will achieve a dark brown hue and be slightly crunchy on the outside, but soft on the inside. Remove your concoction from the oven and place the contents into a festive bowl. Give them another toss or two and serve!

This dish pairs well with just about anything you’d like to serve for a holiday meal — squash, pumpkin pie, lentil loaf, sweet potatoes, etc. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. It serves 4-6 guests, depending on everyone’s hunger level, and keeps well in the refrigerator for up to four days. Happy feasting, and enjoy your holiday, no matter what you celebrate.

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Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowls

It’s both easy to make, and colorful! Just the zest we need for these chilly, late-autumn evenings.

INGREDIENTS FOR SLAW
1 cup purple cabbage, sliced into thin ribbons and then cut into 1-2-inch strips
½ can black beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup chopped green onions
½ red bell pepper, diced
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon olive oil
Pinches of salt and pepper

SALSA VERDE INGREDIENTS
¾ cup fresh salsa (hot or mild to taste)
1 avocado, diced
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1-2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

Slice medium-sized spaghetti squash in half (lengthwise) and coat inside with thin layer of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place squash halves upside down in medium-sized pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes at 400 degrees until pulp is soft. You should be able to insert a fork into it without difficulty.

Meanwhile, prepare the slaw in a large mixing bowl. You’ll be wowed by its beauty. After you have squeezed in the lime juice, set mixture aside to marinate.

Place avocado, salsa, garlic, cilantro and lime juice into blender or food processor and combine until your mixture is smooth and slightly frothy. Scoop the slaw into squash halves and fill to overflowing, then spoon a liberal dollop of salsa verde over the top. Finally, garnish your masterpiece with extra cilantro, salsa, toasted pepitas, or any other topping of your choice. Feel free to get creative!

This amazing creation serves 2-3 people, but feel free to double the recipe if you have more guests. Serve by itself (it’s filling!) or with wine, beer, cider and/or a side of gluten-free garlic bread. Of course, any leftovers will keep just fine in the refrigerator for several days. But they definitely won’t last that long.

Your friends will be begging you for the recipe, and you’ll want to make this meal again and again. With its vibrant, red and green hues, the dish is a great, festive lead-up to the holiday season.
Try it, we’re certain you’ll agree. Bon Appetit, and happy, stress-free holidays!

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Warm Your Belly With Vegan Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Residents of several US states consider butternut squash soup to be a traditional Thanksgiving staple. This makes sense to us, so we decided to give the dish a test whirl to see if it would work for our holiday feast. The answer is a resounding yes! This recipe is extra exotic, due to the addition of curry and cinnamon. Of course, it’s vegan, gluten-free, and absolutely delicious. Try it, we think you’ll agree.

INGREDIENTS
1 tablespoon coconut oil
½ small red onion or 4 scallions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups butternut squash chunks (1 medium-sized squash)
Pinch or two of ground pepper
Pinch or two of sea salt (not iodized table salt, please)
2 teaspoons curry powder
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ¾ cups coconut milk
2 cups vegetable broth
2-3 teaspoons maple syrup (the real kind)

OPTIONAL GARNISHES
Roasted squash seeds
Chopped thyme
Chili paste
Fresh ground pepper
Extra coconut milk as drizzle

INSTRUCTIONS
Chop squash into medium-sized cubes and bake in oven at 425 degrees until pulp is slightly soft. Remove from oven, cool and then separate skin from pulp. Discard or compost skin. Fry squash, onions or scallions, garlic cloves, curry powder, cinnamon, salt and pepper in coconut oil for about 10 minutes. Squash should be slightly browned. Your kitchen will smell wonderful!

Pour mixture into large pan with coconut milk, vegetable broth, and maple syrup and simmer about 15 minutes until squash is quite soft. Remove from heat and transfer contents to blender. Mix at medium speed for a couple of minutes until pureed. The texture should be thick and creamy. Transfer it back into pan and heat for about 10 more minutes. Remove from heat and pour directly into bowls.

This comforting, aromatic soup tastes incredible all by itself, or you can garnish with a drizzle or two of additional coconut milk, chopped thyme, chili paste, extra ground pepper, or any other topping of your choice. Feel free to experiment! Serve with a side salad, some gluten-free garlic bread, and for an extra kick, a glass or two of vegan red wine.

squash soup

This soup serves four people and keeps well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. You can also freeze it for approximately 1 month. However, we strongly doubt that you’ll have any left over. The delectable concoction will warm your bones and prepare you for autumn’s chill. Enjoy, and stay warm!

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