Archive for CSA

Delicata Squash Bread

...kind of like pumpkin bread...

I’m sure by now you are aware that I have a preposterous amount of all different types of squash in my house. I lay in bed sometimes wondering what I could possibly do with it all. One of my more clever ideas was to make squash bread. I figured, hey, if pumpkin bread is so delicious, why wouldn’t delicata squash bread be as well? Granted, it doesn’t roll off the tongue as nicely, but I can assure you it tastes just as good. I started by baking my squash for an hour at 350 degrees. You actually only need one medium sized delicata squash, but I baked a second for good measure (and now I need to figure out what to do with it….).

this is a familiar scene for me

Here is the recipe:

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon (or more, to taste)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1 cup cooked, mashed delicata squash
2 substitute eggs (I used cornstarch and water)
1/4 cup Earth balance, melted

With the oven still at 350, I placed the batter in a greased bread pan an let it bake for 60 minutes. See, pretty damn simple.

I would say that delicata squash bread is just as great as pumpkin bread, and that pumpkin bread has unfairly stolen all of the attention. All the wonderful tastes of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves are still present, along with the light and sweet aftertaste of squash. The bread really turned out to be a nice color, and was not too moist or dry. I would totally make it again, and probably will seeing as how much squash I still have left!


Warm Millet Salad with Delicata Squash, Crispy Tofu and Beet Greens

My cousin Beth always seems to be cooking up some amazing things. When I saw the recipe for this on her blog I immediately got excited. I had a container of millet in the pantry for awhile now, that I bought in bulk from the Co-op, and have been waiting for an idea to come along and strike my fancy as to what to make with it. I had everything on hand which is also great, including more Delicata squash than I can actually use. So I got to cooking.

Cutting up the squash was not the funnest part by any means, and I went right ahead and peeled the squash while cutting it, after reading that the skin is not exactly edible, despite how colorful and charming it may seem. Don’t let it deter you though, this is one of the better squash I have eaten, becoming very soft and remaining incredibly sweet.

I then made the millet, which is super easy to make, which makes me think I should have made some earlier, and should make it more often as well. I then whipped together the dressing (using brown rice syrup instead of honey), pressed, cut, and cooked the tofu, and then cooked the beet greens. I chose the beet greens because we had a ton of them on hand, and they seemed in peril of going bad quicker than the rest of the greens. As it turns out, they were wonderful in this dish and went very well with the dressing. I would consider cooking beet greens and tossing them in the dressing on their own.

This salad, which functioned as a main dish for me two nights after work, is super great and packed full of flavor. It is also great cold! The best part is that it is easy to make, not ingredient heavy, and is also pretty cheap to throw together. Next time I would even cut the squash in half and stuff it with the greens, millet and tofu, and drizzle the dressing on top!

Squash, Kohlrabi and Barley Soup


This soup is truly the child of the CSA. In opening the refrigerator and seeing piles upon piles of squash, along with a couple heads of kohlrabi, I knew I had to do something with them before they started going bad on me. In remembering that I had barley in the cupboard and that it was amazing in soup last winter, I decided to go ahead and make soup once more. I was also motivated by having a large pot of food to come home to and be able to sit and eat without putting a lot of effort into (working in the pharmacy is wearing me down!). Plus, the days are slowly getting colder here in Buffalo as we descend sadly into winter, and having a bowl of hearty soup is one of the most enjoyable things ever.

I started by cooking the barley. While I love this grain, I don’t enjoy the smell of it cooking to much. But that’s okay, but it is totally worth it when it comes together in the soup. While the barley was cooking, I started cutting my vegetables, included 1 small onion and 1 minced clove of garlic,  2 stalks of celery, 3 carrots, 1 cubed kohlrabi, and one diced kabocha squash. The kabocha squash goes wonderful in the soup because it gets amazingly soft and the skin is edible.


Then, I sauted the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes, and then added the veggies, followed y the vegetable stock and barley. I threw in some salt and pepper, a dash of cinnamon, and some fresh parsley and basil from our herb pot. It all smelled wonderful together, and looked great too!

Altogether, this soup was fantastic. It was warm and filling, and had a great variety of flavors and colors. The carrots, squash and celery all got unbelievably soft, while the kohlrabi maintained just enough of a firmness to resemble a potato. The squash was the perfectly sweet and essentially melted in your mouth, while the barley was tasty, chewy and hearty.

The next day we, of course, had leftover soup for dinner. We had to add a little bit more water as the barley had continued to absorb some of it over night (which can probably be avoided by soaking the barley for a couple of hours beforehand), and then to spice things up a little bit we threw in some chili powder and a package of Boca TVP crumbles. It was awesome like this too! I love versatile things like this, especially when I get a couple of meals out of them too!

Butternut Squash Soup

Well worth the effort

Let me apologize in advance for the lack of pictures here. Some how the boyfriend and I neglected to take a good amount of them of the soup, but that is not to say that the soup did not turn out amazing, because it totally did.

The farm share has left us with so, so, so many squash. Delicata, kabocha, butternut, acorn, tons and tons of squash that are overflowing our kitchen table and fridge. It really is almost ridiculous the amount we have, which has me on the search for more squash recipes. That being said, expect a good handful of squash-related entries over the next few days. But hey, it is the fall, they are in season and plentiful, and it is good to be challenged cooking-wise.

Our squash center piece

As it turns out, it is a lot of working making butternut squash soup. After peeling and cutting the squash alone I almost wanted to call it quits. I even took a little break after cutting up the squash, celery, carrots, onion and garlic. There was a point when I thought, “I will never make this again!” After all is said and done, I will though. Because it’s delicious and because we have far too much squash.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 5 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp sage
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 apple, diced
  • cinnamon to taste (optional)

After preparing all of your veggies (and the apple!), saute your garlic, ginger and onion in a soup pot for three to five minutes. Then, add the celery and carrots, and saute for another 5 minutes. Add the squash, apple, broth, sage, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Let this cook for 25 minutes or until all of the vegetables are soft. Then, in batches, I placed the soup into the blender and pureed until everything was blended well, and was smooth. I then added soy milk to each batch to make the soup just a little bit more creamy. I returned it all to the pot, waiting to reheat when we were ready to eat dinner.

I love this soup. It had a great taste of ginger, cinnamon, and of course, the sweet taste of butternut squash. It is warm and deceptively filling, something I can appreciate now that I am living on my own and the days and nights are getting colder. Other than being sweet and creamy, it is also a brilliant yellow-orange color, basically begging you to eat it. I think I would even classify it as a comfort food. If you wanted to make it even MORE hearty, you could easily throw in some brown rice, greens (such as spinach or kale), or beans, after everything has been mashed or pureed.

Despite being fairly time consuming, I would make this again. It’s just too good not to!

Apple Cider Tofu with Quinoa salad

Here the power grain quinoa and the ever amazing tofu come together to make a fantastic dinner (or lunch, snack, whatever you prefer). In opening my pantry, seeing a container full of quinoa, and remembering that it has loads and loads of calcium, I knew I had to make it. Other than that, I really wasn’t sure where else I was going to go from there. All I knew is that there were bricks of tofu in the refrigerator, tons of vegetables around from the farm share (need I tell you again how awesome farm shares are!?), and that I wanted to have dinner cooked for the boyfriend after he got home from class and before he had to go to work. I had precious little time to work with, and from it came this meal, which I am actually pretty proud of.

I started by cutting up a little less than quarter of a sweet red onion, and sauted it in a medium sauce pan with a clove of minced garlic. Then, I added some cut up swiss chard and a can of chickpeas. Following this, I added two cups of vegetable broth, and then one cup of rinsed, uncooked quinoa. I also added some salt and pepper, and a touch of hot sauce, since I’ve been putting it on/in everything lately. Once it came to boil, I reduced the heat. threw the lid on and let it simmer.

I then retrieved my pressed block of extra firm tofu, and cut it into eight pieces, width-wise. I began pan-frying them in a tablespoon of olive oil, not sure yet what I would be doing with them. While they were cooking, I was inspired by opening the refrigerator, when a bottle of maple syrup fell off the bottom shelf from the inside of the door. “Ok,” I thought, “I will make maple-glazed tofu.” And then, even better, I saw a quart of apple cider left in there as well, and decided to make maple apple cider glazed tofu. When the tofu was just about done, I added in 1 1/2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup, and 1/2 cup of apple cider. I let the tofu simmer in the glaze for a bit, to ensure that it would soak up all of the goodness, and then added cornstarch (you could use this or flour), teaspoon by teaspoon, until the glaze became thicker and throughly coated the tofu.

With the quinoa finished, I served it into a bowl and placed two pieces of tofu on top. I think the tofu really stole the show. Maple syrup and apple cider always go well together, and being slathered all over tofu is no exception. I think next time I would even consider marinating the tofu overnight in it, to give it even more of that great sweet, tart, maple apple flavor.

The quinoa was great as well. Cooking it in the vegetable broth with the onion and garlic really gives it more a flavor, because sometimes, in my opinion at least, quinoa can be a bit bland. The chickpeas and swiss chard went great together, and even without the tofu this would be a wonderful meal or side on its own. The mild taste of the quinoa really let the swiss chard shine, and after not having this leafy green prior to this year, I cannot tell you how much I love it, and what a distinct taste it has. I even added some of the diced stems, because I think they taste great as well, and don’t like wasting any part of the vegetable if I can help it. The quinoa salad really was great and filling, and the best part is that it is very versatile. You can add whatever vegetable or bean you’d like. Everything tasted amazing, was warm, filling, and was done just in time for the boyfriend to get home!

Maple Mustard String Beans and Potatoes

I’ve been wanting to make this dish for awhile now, but it requires a lot of cooking time so I had steered away from it. But behold, I picked a day when I would get out of work early and have time to cook this! If you are put off by the cooking time, just know that it is worth it in the end.

I got this all ready the night before, cutting the beans and potatoes, as well as pouring the glaze over it, put foil over the top and left it in the refrigerator for the next day. Right upon getting home I preheated the oven and popped them in when it finished heating up, so all of the major work was already done (so I made chickpea cutlets while the potatoes and beans were baking).

I really liked how this dish turned out. The taste and smell kind of reminded me of Snyder’s Honey Mustard Pretzel Bites. Maple syrup,  mustard and soy sauce definitely play well together, being both sweet yet slightly sour and tart at the same time. I would even consider making a batch of the glaze and marinating tofu in it.

By the end of the cooking time, the potatoes were perfectly soft, and the green beans had the nice, soft bite of a green bean casserole. French’s Fried Onions probably wouldn’t be a bad addition to this either. It made a ton, so I ended up having a lot of leftovers that fed me throughout the week.

I would love to make this dish again, that is, if time allows. Between all the good recipes from Vegan with a Vengeance and the Veganomicon that have potatoes in them, I will have to pick and choose however!

Tofu, Wild Rice and Almond Stuffed Acorn Squash

A refridgerator full of squash

As mentioned before, we have a TON of squash, as you can probably tell from the above picture, and the previous one of our squash center piece (hey, it is pretty). After seeing this recipe posted on my cousin’s amazing blog, I knew I had to make it, and that it would be perfect to utilize one of our many acorn squash lying around. This really is a fantastic recipe. It is easy to make and is also very versatile, depending on what you have in your fridge that day, or what you feel like eating. It is the perfect way to present and eat the best things fall has to offer. I followed the recipe, which you can find by following the link to her blog, with a few exceptions. I threw in about a cup and half of swiss chard (we had a great bunch of it from the farm share), and added sliced almonds instead of hazelnuts.


First of all, you can tell that is going to taste great right away, while it’s still baking, because it makes the house smell fantastic (and warms it up too!), and because it looks beautiful. The bright colors of the squash play well with the colorful wild rice, almonds, and the earthy green of the swiss chard. When you eat it you’re not surprised that it tastes amazing because it looks so appetizing to begin with. The nice chew of the wild rice is a great contrast to the soft, sweet acorn squash, and the tofu adds another level to the dish, being slightly crispy on the outside and still relatively soft on the inside. The swiss chard tastes fantastic with the almonds and with the filling as a whole. This dish alone is one of the many reasons to celebrate the fall.

Collard Greens and Grilled Cheese


I don’t know why, but for some reason I had it in my head that I hated collard greens. Perhaps I was getting it confused with okra (yeah, I don’t understand that either), which I am pretty sure I don’t like either, but I suppose that is in question too. Anyhow, so when a huge bunch of collard greens showed up in our farm share bag, I was not thrilled. Not like I would have been if it were kale or swiss chard at least. Regardless of this, the boyfriend cooked some up, by boiling  it and then tossing it in Bragg’s. After a bit of reluctance and preparing for the worst, I tried it. As it turns out, I love collard greens. They have a great earthy taste and a good chew to them. I love how dense and dark green they are. It’s one of those vegetables you know must be awesome for you while you are eating it (kind of like kale- which it is extremely genetically similar to). Plus, researchers at the University of Berkeley found that they are high 3,3′-Diindolylmethane, a compound that helps the innate immune response (functioning in anti-viral, cancer, and bacterial activity). There’s my Biology degree in action! And also why you should eat your collard greens.

Along with this, we had some Gimmie Lean sausage to use up before it risked going bad, along with some Toffuti cheese slices. We pan-fried some tofu strips as pretend egg, threw on some hot sauce, and were good to go. Earlier in the day I bought an amazing loaf of whole grain whole wheat bread (no corn syrup!) from the coop, so we made some great grilled cheese. The collard greens and sandwiches were awesome together! I was pleasantly surprised at our pieced together dinner, and at the fact that I love greens.

Quinoa stuffed squash & more

Having the farm share deliver us a big bag for fresh vegetables every Saturday keeps me on my toes, and is also good for Vegan Mofo. From the beginning of October and onward, we have been receiving tons and tons of squash. Delicata, butternut, acorn, kabocha, honey bear, on and on. We have so many we cannot keep up with them, and now we have a lovely bouquet of colorful squash on our kitchen table (and it is gorgeous too!).

I had one of those days where I really wanted quinoa (think of all that calcium!), had some sitting in the pantry, and then decided what to throw in it. After just getting home from work, I wanted my dinner done relatively quickly because I was super hungry, so I quickly sauteed some red onion (from the farm share as well), almonds, minced garlic (about 1 cloves), and frozen broccoli, and then threw in a can of diced pineapple. While that was being made, I prepared the quinoa in vegetable broth and bit of pineapple juice from the can for added flavor. When they both were done, I combine the two pans and went to town eating. It was ridiculously easy, quick, tasty and nutritious. The slightly crunch of the almonds along with the sweet softness of the warm pineapple was amazing, and the broccoli further added some extra crunch and flavor to round out the dish.

the quinoa filling

The following day, I came home from work hungry and lazy yet again. Luckily, I had a good amount of leftovers in the fridge, along with more squash than I could ever know what to do with. I cut one of the honey bear squash in half, placed it on a cookie sheet face up, and baked it a 350 degrees for 40 minutes, with a little bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and a half of tablespoon each of maple syrup. After the forty minutes, I placed the leftover quinoa in the center, resisted from immediately eating it, and placed it back in the oven for another 20 minutes. During this time, I placed the seeds from the center on the squash on a lightly greased cookie sheet, sprayed them with cooking spray, salt, pepper and a garlic powder, and cooked them for fifteen minutes. I could not let a perfectly good part of the squash go to waste. It turns out that the seeds were delicious too, especially when paired with the soft quinoa and flesh of the squash.

leftovers are always great

I served the quinoa-filled squash along the seeds and leftover Greek Tofu Benedict, drizzled on some tahini dressing, and sat down to eat dinner. Leftovers generally get a bad reputation, but in this case it is totally undeserved. Quinoa always reheats well, and is given new life inside the squash, and the tofu, roasted red peppers and potatoes heated up great in the toaster oven. For making this dish on a whim, I was pretty impressed!

Leek and Bean Cassoulet with Biscuits

Hello, my new favorite dinner.

Yep, that is it. I am waiting to try a recipe from the Veganomicon that disappoints me, but I have yet to. The farm share left me with tons of leeks, which I have never cooked with. I turned to my cookbooks to find a recipe to use them in, before they ran the risk of spoiling.

I stumbled across the leek and bean cassoulet  in the Veganomicon. I really love stew-like dishes as they are warm, savory, and stick to your insides. This recipe seemed like it had to be a winner, and any of the pictures I found of the dish on other blogs or recipe sites simply looked amazing.

I got to work cutting all of the vegetables, boiling the potatoes, and getting the dough ready for the biscuits that would be placed on top. The majority of effort put into the dish really goes in the prep of the veggies, but other than that it is fairly simple and only requires you to have the patience to wait while it cooks (which is harder than you would think, given how great this smells). I knew it was going to be delicious even when I was mixing the leeks, potatoes, beans (I ended up using butter beans rather than white, as the recipe calls for, along with string beans) and carrots over the stove in the vegetable stock.

After it was done cooking over the stove, I placed it into a 9×13 Pyrex casserole dish and placed the biscuit dough on top. After popping it into the oven, I was excited. I knew it was going to be fantastic, and I had a hard time forcing myself to let it cool after before eating it. This is such a great fall/winter casserole. It is warm and comforting, and colorful as well. The potatoes, carrots and string beans come out perfectly soft with just the right amount of bite left in them. The leeks, which I thought were going to be overwhelming in the dish, give the gravy the perfect amount of flavor without making everything taste too onion-y. I ended up stirring the biscuit in with the gravy and vegetables, getting bites of it with every couple of spoonfuls. It is amazing with the gravy, and adds just a tiny bit of sweetness and richness to the dish, contrasting well with the hearty vegetables.

I can’t wait to make this again. It really isn’t too difficult of a dish, and could be made the night before to be put into the oven when ready to eat. It is fairly inexpensive, especially with some our vegetables coming from the already purchased farm share, and has a ton of servings, especially if you are making it for just yourself. Even for two I think you would be able to get at least two dinners out of it. I even had it for breakfast before work one morning, it was great even then!

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