Sides

Roasted Butternut Squash, Carrot and Ginger Soup

Butternut squash has hit the farmers’ market and this is exciting news, folks. Matt celebrated by making this delicious, creamy (without any dairy cream) and perfect soup for the start of Fall.

Admittedly it is time-consuming, so make it on the weekend or for a holiday. Matt found the recipe by googling “butternut squash” and searching through what came up. This recipe is from the blog, With Style and Grace, which specializes in gluten-free recipes (but not vegetarian or vegan). You can get the full recipe at this link. We used vegetable bullion instead of chicken broth, and did not use the creme fraiche. It was delicious.

The main ingredients are: butternut squash, carrots, fresh ginger, and leeks. The reason it takes so long is that you have to roast the carrots and butternut squash for 45 minutes before making the soup. Here they are post-roasting:

Then you saute the leek and ginger, add the chopped roasted squash and carrots and simmer.

Then let it cool before you puree it in the food process or blender. (It is really important to let it cool, otherwise it might splurt out of your food process or blender creating a huge and frustrating mess.) Top with the roasted squash seeds or pine nuts, which is what we did.

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Categories: Dinner, Sides, Soup/Stews | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Roasted Delicata Squash with Greens

Apologies for the long break in posting. I took a two week work trip to northern Iraq and got off track. Now I’m back home and eager to enjoy the last of summer’s tomatoes and the new fall vegetables.

Here is one of our favorite squash varieties: Delicata Squash.

How to prepare:

Delicata squash does not need to be peeled or steamed. Just scrub the outside of the fruit, then chop it into rounds. Using a paring knife or your fingers, scrape out the middle part with the seeds, so that you have donut-like rounds. After that, you can saute, grill, bake or roast it.

Roasted Delicata Squash with Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes and Shallots

The three vegetables in this dish all have rich, sweet flavors once roasted. You do not need much oil for this dish at all. As they cook, the tomatoes will break open and when the juices mix together that is when the taste becomes amazing. It is perfect to serve on top of simple steamed greens, because the strong flavors mask the blandness of the greens.

Ingredients:

  • 1 delicata squash, cleaned, sliced into rounds and de-seeded
  • 1 large container of orange cherry tomatoes, cleaned
  • 2-4 shallots, peeled and chopped in quarters
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • several sprigs fresh rosemary and thyme (or you can use dried if you don’t have fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon (approx) crushed garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425
  2. Spray a long baking dish with cooking spray. Add the vegetables, olive oil, herbs, garlic and salt and mix together
  3. Cook on the middle tray for about 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes
  4. Serve mixed with steamed or sauteed greens, like kale, arugula and chard

Before roasting:

After roasting:

Served with steamed greens (kale, arugula, and chard):

Categories: Dinner, Easy, Sides | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Grilled Vegetables: Shallots, Corn and Cherry Tomatoes

I love grilling fresh summer vegetables. One of my recent favorites is grilled shallots. Grilling brings out the sweetness in these normally mild, onion-like root vegetable. Grilled tomatoes and grilled corn are also two of my favorites vegetables on the barbie. Here, I tossed them all together.

Grilling tomatoes and shallots: First, peel the shallots and chop them in halves. Toss shallots and cherry tomatoes in olive oil and either dried herbs or sprigs of fresh herbs, such as oregano, thyme or rosemary. To grill them, we have a grill wok that is great for small vegetables. But if you don’t have one of those, you can use tin foil. Grill for a few minutes, until browning and juicy.

Grilled corn: Pull back the leaves (without cutting them off), tears out the strings, then soaks them for an hour in water. Then grill them straight on the grill. Grill them for about 15 minutes, turning it every few minutes.

For more information on grilling vegetables, check out this article on grilling techniques and for recipes, check out 20 ways to grill fruits and vegetables, both from Vegetarian Times.

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Tofu Dippers

This is one of my favorite tofu recipes. It requires a little planning and the use of “liquid smoke,” which most non-vegans probably do not have in their pantry, but they are well worth it.

The recipe is from one of my favorite blogs, Peas and Thank You. You can get the full recipe here. She encourages you to marinade the tofu for several hours, but I only did it for one hour this time and it was still delicious.

Here, I served it with sauteed kale.

Categories: Indulgence, Sides | Tags: | Leave a comment

Baked Potatoes with Shallot Chutney

I got this recipe in the September 2012 issue of Vegetarian Times. They did a feature on shallots and I have already made this recipe twice. It’s easy and a fun way to eat potatoes.

Baked (Sweet) Potatoes

I’ve done this with both white potatoes and sweet potatoes. I almost always prefer sweet potatoes, and this was no exception!

  • 4-5 small to medium potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 450. Wash and scrub the potatoes. Slice in them in half length-wise. Toss them in a bowl with oil, salt and pepper to taste. Lay them on a baking sheet with open side up. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Shallot Chutney

This is the best part of the dish!

  • 1/2 pound shallots, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • large pinch red pepper flakes

Saute the shallots in oil or water for 10 minutes on medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Heat on low for about one minute.

Serve with the chutney topped on the potatoes. You can even use your fingers to eat it like a finger food!

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Food for the Road: Bean Salad and Sun-dried Tomato Quinoa/CousCous

If you’ve ever been on a road trip with me, you know that I travel with food. Here are two dishes you can prepare in a hurry to take with you on a road trip. Bring reusable forks, spoons and bowls, then pull over at a rest stop to eat this healthy food instead of getting fast food. It makes plenty so that you can eat it for lunches or snacks throughout your weekend getaway. These dishes are also perfect for a cook-out, tailgate, or potluck because they yield plenty to share.

(Please forgive the low quality, iphone photo!)

Image

Bean Salad

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cooked beans, or 4 cans of beans rinsed and drained. Use a mix of beans such as chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, or white cannelloni beans
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 jar roasted red peppers, diced …
  • and/or 1/2-1 jar artichoke hearts (either marinated or non-marinated is fine), chopped in halves or quarters
  • 1 jar pitted olives, chopped (either kalamata, black or green are fine, it depends on your preference)
  • olive oil (start with 1 teaspoon and add more to suit your preference)
  • vinegar (try white wine, red wine, apple cider, and/or balsamic, starting with 2 teaspoons and adding more to suit your preference)
  • lemon juice (start with 1 teaspoon and add more to suit your preference)
  • dried herbs such as oregano and basil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Mix everything together. Shake/stir until well coated. Eat immediately or let marinate for added flavor. This will stay good for at least 5 days, but you probably won’t let it last that long!

Sun-dried Tomato Quinoa Cous Cous

Ingredients

  • 2-4 carrots, shopped into rounds or half moons
  • 1 cup cous cous (preferably whole wheat)
  • 1 cup mix of red and white quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (I prefer the jar from Trader Joe’s) Note: the oil is important here because it flavors the rest of the dish. If you don’t have oil-packed jar, then you’ll need to add in oil (such as olive oil).
  • 1-2 TBS pine nuts (or more!)

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan, add about 1-2 teaspoons of oil or 1-2 tablespoons water and heat over medium heat. Add carrots and shake them around while they cook a couple times a minute, for about 3 minutes or until carrots are soft and beginning to brown
  • Add 3 3/4 cups water to the saucepan with the carrots and bring to a boil
  • Add the quinoa and cous cous, return to the boil, stir, then reduce the heat to a low medium (just at a simmer) and cover. Cook for about 10-15 minutes
  • Meanwhile, drain about 1/3 of the oil out of the jar of sun-dried tomatoes. If you want this to be especially tasty and are not as concerned about the fat content, leave in more oil. If you are more concerned about fat content, use less oil.
  • Once the quinoa and cous cous are done cooking, pour them into a large travel dish container (I use a glass 8 inch by 8 inch pyrex). Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and remaining oil from the jar. Add the pine nuts and mix.

For both of these dishes, be flexible and creative when you making them. Taste as you go. Serve together, or eat separately.

Categories: Dinner, Easy, Lunches, Potlucks Tailgates and Road Trips, Sides | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Heirloom Tomato and Nectarine Summer Salad

Merging the flavors of heirloom tomatoes with nectarine is something I did not think of on my own. My latest edition of Vegetarian Times featured this recipe. It is delicious. As an added bonus, there’s no cooking required, which makes it an ideal summer dish.

The dressing is a mix of olive oil, orange juice, sherry vinegar, maple syrup, vegetarian Worcestershire sauce and fresh mint and basil leaves.

Categories: Dinner, Sides | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Chinese Green Beans with Cauliflower

In our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shipment we got these looooong green beans. Like, 1 foot long. I had never seen those before. Matt chopped them up and made this delicious green bean saute dish:

You can get the full recipe online at this link. The sauce is made of the following:

  • chili paste
  • garlic, crushed
  • fresh ginger, chopped
  • red chili
  • soy sauce
  • PLUS sweet chili sauce — Matt’s addition because otherwise it was very spicy!

We served it with Curried Coconut Rice with Tofu .

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Sauteed Kale with Yellow Pepper, Avocado and Rice

I made up tonight’s kale dish using leftovers in our fridge and served it next to marinaded, grilled tempeh.

I made it up as I went along, so these ingredient measurements are approximates.

Ingredients

  • oil or water for sauteing
  • a few shakes of cumin, garam masala, and turmeric
  • 1 small or medium red onion, sliced in half moons
  • 1-2 large garlic cloves, slices
  • 1/2 large yellow pepper, diced
  • 1/2 bag chopped kale, rinsed (approx 1 bunch, de-stemmed and chopped)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
  • about 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • balsamic vinegar (a few shakes)
  • lemon juice (a few drops, maybe 1 tsp)
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1/2 avocado

Directions

  1. Heat oil in large saute pan over medium heat. Add spices and stir into oil for about 30 seconds. Add onion and garlic and saute for 5-7 minutes, until tender
  2. Add yellow pepper and saute a few more minutes
  3. Add kale and water, stir and cover. Steam for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the cover, add the rice, and cook for a few more minutes until most of the water is gone, stirring occasionally.
  5. Turn off heat, add the balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
  6. Stir in the 1/2 avocado and serve

Yield: Side dish of 2-4 servings

Categories: Dinner, Easy, Sides | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Pattypan Squash

For the past few years I’ve walked by this funny-looking squash in my local farmer’s market.

But I didn’t know what it was, nor how to cook with it. Then this year I got two of these squash – aka pattypan squash – through our Community/Urban Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, Farm to Family. That same week, I got my edition of Vegetarian Times, which had a feature on pattypan squash. The stars had aligned; it was time for me to test it out.

I sliced it in rounds. Then I sauted it with garlic scapes, toasted pine nuts, raisins, lemon and fresh parsley. Garlic scapes were also a new discovery for me as a result of our CSA. Garlic scapes are the green, curling top of the garlic bulb, and are edible.

Later in the month, Matt used pattypan squash to make a squash and potato summer soup from the cookbook, Color Me Vegan.

You can essentially use it like you would use other squash or zucchini, so put it raw in a salad, cook it in a stew with other vegetables for ratatouille, or grill it. You can eat the entire squash, minus the stem. You do not need to peel it.

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