Archive for Squash

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!

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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!

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.

glorious!

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.

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!