Are you suffering from a lingering Thanksgiving coma? Are you currently looking at a squash that your aunt brought you over the holiday with a perplexion on how to use it. Squash is one of those winter foods that we didn’t know what to do with during our early cooking days. Now we know there is a multitude of squash available: all that can be turned into awesome veggie meals
Recognize any of these variety of squash???
Pumpkin, Spaghetti and Carnvial Squash (bottom left to right) Butternut, Acorn and Buttercup Squash (top left to right)
Here’s a starter recipe for the puzzling squash. This week’s Meatless Monday dish features yummy natural cranberry sauce and a winter superstar, Butternut Squash. If you’re feeling extra lazy, which we’re guessing you still are as we noticed your Santa pajama pants, you can grab pre-cut and peeled butternut squash from the grocery store instead of machete-ing that sucker. If you’re more adventurous, cut open the squash length wise, scoop out the seeds, peel and cut into 1 inch cubes in preparation.
Cranberry Spiced Butternut Squash
2 cups butternut squash, chopped in 1 inch cubes, peeled
1 cup natural cranberry sauce (no jiggly cran jelly people!)
1/2 cup no salt sunflower seeds (no husks)
Maple syrup to taste
If you’re feeling spicy, you could add 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (Vietnamese cinnamon is our favorite).
Fill a medium sized pot with water and bring the water to a boil
Boil squash until tender
Mix all the ingredients while squash is still warm
Add maple syrup until desired sweetness
Easy peasey butternut squash can be transformed into other various hearty dishes. You can puree it with veggie stock and spices for a delicious savory soup, mix it with arugula and feta, or, for a sweeter treat, try roasting it with cinnamon and butter. Now put on some real clothes and go attack that squash!
When you see the food pics below, you’ll know why the whole class was clamoring to get a close view of the finished product.
French Onion Soup
2 tbsp oil
4 large sweet onions, thinly sliced with the grain
1 tsp dried thyme or 1 tbsp fresh thyme
1/2 cup dry red wine, recommend cabernet sauvignon
2 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
2 bay leaves
4 cups filtered water
1 small baguette
1/2 pound Swiss, Gruyere, or Emmenthaler cheese, shredded
Emmenthaler Swiss Cheese
Preheat oven to 200 degrees
Dry heat a large soup pot or dutch oven for 2 minutes. Add to hot pot the sliced onions. Sprinkle salt and drizzle olive oil over onions. With a large spoon or tongs, constantly turn the onions so they do not stick to the bottom. Continue stirring and flipping for 5-10 minutes. The onions will start to shrink and caramelized beautifully. Add the thyme and stir once more. Place a lid on the pot and continue this 30 minutes, stirring every so often. This is where the base of the flavor comes from. The longer you caramelize, the deeper the flavor.
Slice baguette to fit your bowls, either on a diagonal or in circles. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes, until bread is completely dried out.
Add red wine and balsamic vinegar. This will help deglaze the pan and pick up more flavor. Let cook another 10 minutes with no lid. This will concentrate the liquid a bit to help deepen the flavor. Add bay leaves and water and bring to a boil. Turn heat to simmer, place lid on pot and allow to cook another 15-30 minutes.
Ladle into bowls, place bread over soup and sprinkle on cheese. Place under broiler for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes. Be aware of the time as the broiler can burn food very quickly. Enjoy!
1/2 cup whole wheat flour or almond flour for gluten free
2 tbsp olive oil
3 shallots, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 tbsp paprika
salt and peper to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
In a large bowl, mix 2 cups vegetable broth with flour. Whisk until there are no lumps. Add remaining 2 cups of vegetable broth and set aside.
Heat a large sauce pan. Add oil and shallots. Saute about 5 minutes until shallots are limp.
Add garlic, mushrooms, paprika, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined. Saute about 5 minutes or until mushrooms are cooked.
Add wine and bring to a boil for 3 minutes, letting the liquid reduce. Stir often.
Add broth mixture and nutritional yeast to the pot. Let cook 10-15 minutes until gravy thickens.
So this is my first experience with mushroom gravy as a born vegetarian! Use on whatever dish you want….cover your greens, your mashed potatoes or slather it on the Whole Foods“meat” loaf recipe from part 1.
Craving more variety for your veggie-giving? Check out the following veg/vegan recipes as a Thanksgiving side dish or fall treat and have a healthy happy holiday tomorrow!