Butternut Squash Dressing
I’ve always found that it’s hardest to be a vegetarian around the holidays – so much of the celebration revolves around food and so much of that food involves meat. From turkey to brisket to ham to venison, the traditional feasts revolve around a core protein of the animal variety. When I first went vegetarian I had to accept that my holiday meal would consists of sides and for the first few years that was rather rough though there was always one exception: the dressing. More often then not, the dressing would feature breadcrumbs of some form with vegetables and even tho it was normally on the dry side since no gravy – most of them were rather amazing. For the past few years my contribution to the holidays have been my sweet potatoes but this year I wanted to try and completely veganize a stuffing that would be moist and amazing regardless of gravy. So I set out to search the internet and various grocery stores to see what all was out there for me to mess with. In the end I came up with this (in my opinion) awesome dressing that could work for more than just the BIG holiday meals. In fact, I think it would be the perfect stuffing for an acorn squash!
I was surprised how many stuffing mixes were vegan as I was expecting most of them to feature whey, eggs, and/or turkey. Most of the “plain” and “original” varieties turned out to be vegan while most of the ones featuring spices or seasoning were generally vegetarian – featuring whey. The stuffing was fantastic and moist tho most of us did enjoy it with some vegan mushroom gravy from Whole Foods (seriously, that stuff is insanely good). All in all an awesome side dish that can be enjoyed by vegans and turkey-eaters alike!
As of now I’m not really that much of a fan on 2015 – the year has just started and so far it’s been rather annoying. Our first attempt at DIVF was a bust, our FET has been put on hold, my car is on the verge of dying as is our oven, while my cell phone had an accident this morning so it’s basically busted. I know that most of these things, okay all but the cell phone, are out of our control but at the same time – this is just insane!!! I thought bad things happened in groups of three and so beyond three at this point.
Butternut Squash Lasagna
I’m not a fan of fall weather, even more so when it comes to the season after fall, but I am a fan of many of the vegetables that pop up during these chilly months. From the winter squashes, to the greens, to the delicious root vegetables – the fall is well stocked with delicious vegetables. Today’s treat features a number of those goodies, including some of the last of the produce from the Farmer’s Market at my office. Butternut Squash is a familiar vegetable in our house and it really seems to go with everything. In this case I added some swiss chard, baby kale, and some mashed pie pumpkin (thought the variety was called baby boy but that just resulted in lots of baby costumes) that was leftover from making the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.
Lasagna will never be a healthy dinner option, and it’s not always the most budget-friendly option, but it will always be something delicious and hearty and fantastic. I figured that if I only make it a few times a year it’s not that bad…right??? I’m sending this recipe over to November’s Secret and in Season, which is being hosted by Katie of FeedingBoys and was founded by the awesome Ren. There are so many delicious fall recipes being linked up over there, I can’t wait to give them a whirl!!!
Butternut Squash Soup
Hello all of you out there in blog-land. How is the New Year treating you so far? Right now things are a little hectic over here but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that things will settle back down again shortly. I’ve been relaxing in the kitchen, testing out all of my new kitchen toys and seeing how many I can use in one meal. I must say that I am in love with my immersion blender, it just makes everything so much easier. Part of me is wondering how I survived making soup without one, that’s how wonderful this handy little tool is. I just combine that with my new dutch oven and I am one happy cook 🙂 Tonight’s recipe features both the dutch oven and the immersion blender, but it can still be made using a standard soup pot and a blender. Just make sure the lid is secure on the blender in order to avoid painting the walls an amazing shade of orange. Not that I have any experience with doing that….
– 3lb squash
– 2tsp pepper
– 2tsp salt
– 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1 tbsp butter
– 3 cloves garlic
– 1/2 onion, diced
– 2 cups vegetable stock
– 1/2 cup water
– 1/2 cup half and half
– 2 tsp vanilla
– salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 425. Lightly grease a roasting pan or a large cookie sheet.
2. Cut the squash in half and remove seeds. Dab with butter and top with the salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Roast in oven for 45minutes. Allow squash to cool slightly, then peel and cube.
3. Once the squash has been removed from the oven begin to heat the butter and olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the squash once the butter has fully melted. Cook the squash for 5minutes, stirring to prevent sticking. Add the garlic and onion and cook an additional 5-7minutes, or until the onion has softened.
4. Turn heat down to medium high and add the vegetable stock and water. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil, then turn heat to low and allow to simmer for 10minutes stirring occasionally.
5. Meanwhile in a small bowl mix the half and half with the vanilla. Place in fridge and chill until ready to add to soup.
6. Once the soup has simmered for 10minutes, either use immersion blender to puree the soup or remove the soup in parts to a blender. After the soup has been pureed add the half&half vanilla mixture to the soup. Season the soup to taste and allow to simmer for an additional 10-15minutes. Serve!
I am a true sucker for winter soups but for the longest time I avoided butternut squash soup, something about it just turned me off. Then I watched an episode of Top Chef that featured a Vanilla Love Butternut Squash Soup, or something like that, and after realizing there was no way I could do a vanilla foam I decided to start experimenting some more with the soup. While this soup is not as creamier as some versions out there, I feel like it really allows the butternut squash to come out. If I knew more about the science of cooking maybe I could tell you if that was because of the vanilla, or if it’s just the simple lack of heavy creams. What I can tell you is that this soup is perfect for a chilly winter night, just add a nice piece of crusty bread to go with it.