Butternut Squash – Heaven in a Bowl

Our CSA box contained a butternut squash this week, so I decided to make one of my favorite things with it:  soup.  I’m thrilled with how it turned out and wanted to share the recipe with you.  Mr. Man, who doesn’t like butternut squash, had two bowls of it!  Unfortunately, I was so busy cooking and then eating that I didn’t take any pics of the actual process, so I’ll offer up this stock photo of a butternut instead.

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The first thing you’ll need to do is halve your squash, scrape out the little stash of seeds and then roast it in a 400-degree oven until it is fork tender (the amount of time will depend on the size of your squash, likely 45 minutes to an hour).

While your squash roasts, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Add 3 to 4 smashed cloves of garlic (no need to mince, since you’re going to puree it) and about 1/2 cup of chopped onion.  Cook for about 10 minutes.  Set aside if this finishes before your squash.

Once your squash is cooked and cooled enough to handle, scoop out the flesh into a food processor.  Put the onion/garlic mixture in the processor, too.  Puree these until smooth.  If it feels dry and isn’t getting creamy, add a bit of your liquid to it, just enough to get it nice and smooth.

Put the puree into your soup pot, and then add 4 cups of vegetable stock or water (less any liquid that you added to smooth your puree).  Add 1 bay leaf, 1/2 tsp curry powder, a pinch of nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer these gently for 30 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf and add 2 cups of nondairy milk (I used unsweetened soy milk).  Heat but don’t boil.  You’re done!

Enjoy!  xo

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Lunchbox Love

It’s the second week at Queenie’s wonderful new school, and here’s how we kicked it off yesterday, lunch-wise.  The centerpiece is the “Butterflies with Chickpeas” from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.  It’s quick and easy enough to make in the morning (even if you’re only a half-awake non-morning person like I am), and very tasty.  It’s just olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, parsley, chickpeas and salt and pepper.  Toss with pasta and some bread crumbs over it at the end, if you’re so inclined.  Rounding out the meal are cherry tomatoes, carrots and a mix of nuts with grain-sweetened chocolate chips.  And, of course, a love note.

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Enjoy!  xo

A Happy Surprise

Yesterday, Queenie, Mr. Man and I headed out to Carnation, Washington to Oxbow Organic Farm.  It’s only a short drive and yet it’s a world away, out in the gorgeous countryside.  It’s a lovely spot, and it was an absolutely glorious day for our adventure.  Couldn’t have been more perfect.

Oxbow Farm was having a Hoe Down to celebrate the season.  There were tons of fun things for children and adults to do, including weaving flower wreaths for our hair, sampling fresh-pressed apple cider, wandering in mazes and picking pumpkins from an actual, giant patch.  This is quite different from the parking lot “patches” we had in LA!

The one thing I wasn’t counting on was vegan food.  I had heard there would be a food truck or two, but since that doesn’t always go well, I had some bars and nuts in my bag, just in case.  I am happy to report that I never needed to go to my stash, as there was a delicious and super vegan-friendly truck called Fez on Wheels with options galore.

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http://fezonwheels.com/

The people in the truck were very friendly and quite happy to walk us through what was already vegan and what could be “veganized.”  We ended up with a thoroughly delicious and satisfying feast, starting with quite possibly the best hummus of all time!

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Egyptian Ful Mudammas is a dish that I’d never heard of before but now love, love, love.  In case it’s new for you, too, here’s the official description from the website:  Whole And Mashed Beans, Tomatoes, Onion, And Fresh Cilantro And Parsley Spiked With Lemon And Toasted Cumin. Served With Flatbread.  And here’s me adding:  oh that flatbread.  SOOOO good.

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I don’t usually drink anything other than water with my meals, but the folks at Fez on Wheels make their own very unique sodas to order, so I tried the Saffron Rose and Mr. Man tried the Ginger Chili.  Wow.

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My doodle on the table sums it up:

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I love when you go into a situation expecting nothing and get your socks blown off!

xo

Autumn Casseroles

The chill in the air has me craving two rather obvious things:  soup and casseroles.  I love a good casserole.  The wonderful smells emanating from the oven as it bakes.  The moment of pulling it out of the oven, the top slightly browned, the inside bubbly.  The complexity of flavors in that one dish.  Yum!

Tonight I’m going to make the Tempeh Shepherdess Pie from Veganomicon, which I already blogged about during Vegan MoFo:  https://kitwocky.wordpress.com/2013/09/08/vegan-mofo-8-tempeh-shepherdess-pie/

Yesterday, I made one of our very favorite mac-and-cheese recipes.  Thankfully, there are about a zillion different vegan mac-and-cheese options, so whatever mood you’re in, there’s likely a mac for you.  I’ve got a bunch of recipes that I enjoy, but I come back to this one again and again.  It’s the “Mac and Chard” from 1000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson, and my book is literally splitting open along that page, that’s how many times I’ve made it.

The sauce is a wonderful combination of onion, garlic, a Yukon Gold potato, vegetable broth, cashews, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and spices (salt, pepper, turmeric and paprika).  The effect is absolutely delicious and super satisfying.

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I just got several leeks in our CSA box.  Next up:  Leek Cassoulet from Veganomicon.  Hurray for casserole weather!!

Enjoy!  xo

Delicious Warming Meal

It’s been chilly and wet up here, and Queenie has been fighting off a cold bug.  In addition to the usual warming liquids that I give her in such situations (simple miso broth with scallions, various teas), I prepared this lunch for her yesterday.  It seems to have done the trick, as she is much improved today.

I roasted some beets, parsnips and garlic in olive oil.

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These root vegetables accompanied a delicious fennel-asparagus soup (recipe from the American Vegetarian Cookbook from the Fit for Life Kitchen).  

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The two together created something harmonious and delicious.

Enjoy!  xo