Delicata Squash Stuffed with Lentils

March 20, 2016 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Recipe

Delicata Squash Stuffed with LentilsDelicata squash are beautiful little critters. They are long and yellow with green stripes in the crevices and have a sort of cross between butternut squash and sweet potato flavor to them. In this case, that flavor pairs marvelously with the hint of coconut that’s added into the lentils and tofu.

Delicata Squash Stuffed with Lentils

Delicata Squash Stuffed with LentilsDon’t get discouraged by the number of ingredients and steps. There are really only a few parts to this recipe that can cook while you work on the next: 1) marinate tofu, 2) cook squash, 3) cook lentils, 4) cook tofu, 5) put it together. Oh, and 6) Eat! Easy peasy.

Delicata Squash Stuffed with Lentils

Recipe by: Megabeth

Ingredients

  • 2 delicata squash (or other winter squash)
  • coconut oil
  • 12.3 oz extra firm tofu, drained
  • Tofu Marinade
    • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
    • 1/4 cup low-fat coconut milk
    • 1 t turmeric
    • 1 t cardamom
    • 1 t curry
  • 1/2 white onion, sliced
  • 1 t ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 cup yellow lentils (or brown)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 t turmeric
  • 1/4 t mustard seeds
  • 1 t cumin seeds
  • 1 t curry
  • 2.5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup low-fat coconut milk
  • slivered almonds or roasted pecans as garnish, optional

Press tofu to remove excess water. Cut into cubes.  Whisk tofu marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Put tofu into medium bowl and coat with marinade and set-aside for at least 10 minutes. The longer the better…

Preheat over to 400.

Cut the delicata squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Place on oiled baking sheet cut side up. Rub with coconut oil and sprinkle salt on each half. Put in preheated oven for 25 – 30 minutes – until soft. Scrape the flesh with the fork to “loosen” it up a little.

Delicata Squash Stuffed with LentilsSaute onions in ghee over medium heat. Once  softened add garlic and cumin and mustard seeds. Stir. Allow to cook 1 minute. Add spices and cook for about 30 seconds.

Delicata Squash Stuffed with LentilsStir in dried lentils. Then, pour in vegetable broth and coconut milk.  Bring to a boil. Then, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.

As the lentils and squash are finishing cooking, spread the marinated tofu on an oiled baking sheet and bake in oven for 20 minutes, turning frequently, until browned. **Alternatively** you can add some coconut oil into a saute pan on the stove and cook tofu over medium-high heat until browned.

Delicata Squash Stuffed with LentilsStir in the tofu into the cooked lentils.  Scoop the lentil mixture into the squash halves. Add some slivered almonds or roasted pecans, as desired.

Delicata Squash Stuffed with Lentils

 

Acorn Squash Wadas in Garlicky Oil

March 03, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Side Dishes

Acorn Squash Wadas in Garlicky Oil My bamboo steamer kept whispering to me every time I walked by it, “Use meeee. Use meeee.” So, finally, I listened and grabbed it off the shelf.

Now that the steamer was down on the counter, I knew wasn’t in the mood for an Asian dumpling so I hunted for something a little different. I’m glad I did, otherwise, I wouldn’t have found this unique recipe. It was also surprisingly quick and easy to make (if you don’t mind taking some time to grate the squash).

I used one acorn squash, and doubled all the other ingredients in the original recipe and was rewarded with 20 dumplings. It was enough for two hungry adults to wolf down as a main dish. It’s probably enough for a family of four to have as a side dish.

I also substituted flat leaf Italian parsley for the cilantro and reduced the amount of coriander. (Frequent readers will know that my in-house taste tester is the victim of the “soapy taste blues” whenever tasting either cilantro and coriander. So, as always, feel free to use what you wish.)

Acorn Squash Wadas in Garlicky Oil
from Laxmi’s Vegetarian Kitchen

Squash Dumplings:

  • 1 small acorn squash
  • 2 fresh hot green chili, stemmed and minced
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 tablespoons chick pea flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons mild peanut or vegetable oil, plus more for brushing the steamer
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves cut into slivers
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley (original recipe used cilantro)

Peel and seed the squash. Grate and measure 1 1/2 cups of squash.  Combine with the remaining dumpling ingredients and mix well. (Note: I sort of mushed the mixture together using the back of a spoon. I noticed the finer the grate, the better the mixture stayed together.)

Brush a steamer basket with oil or line a bamboo steamer with cheesecloth. Bring at least 1 inch of water to a boil in the steaming pot. Place heaping tablespoonfuls of the squash mixture 1/2 inch apart in the steamer basket.

Place over the boiling water, cover, and steam until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 4 minutes. You may have to steam them in batches. depending on the size of your steamer; add more boiling water for the second batch if necessary. (Note: I have a double steamer and was able to steam all 20 dumplings at the same time.) Ease out gently with a metal spatula and turn into a shallow serving dish.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds; when the seeds begin to sizzle and splutter, stir in the garlic. Cook until the garlic is lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the parsley.

Pour the seasoned oil over the dumplings, scraping the skillet with a rubber spatula. Toss well to coat. Serve immediately. Makes 4 to 6 servings. Preparation time: 15 minutes.


Sherried Butternut Squash Soup with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

December 01, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Other

Sherried Butternut Squash Soup with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Oh boy did I need this soup. My bike commute home was wet, cold and miserable, but once I heated up this soup all became right with the world. The soup was smoky, savory and thick. Everything I needed to warm up from the cold ride. The spiced pumpkin seeds were a unique treat not normally seen on a weekday meal.

The original recipe came from the January 2009 issue of Vegetarian Times and asked for kabocha squash and pepitas. However, I wanted to use the last butternut squash I received from my vegetable deliveries. I also found some great looking pumpkin seeds at the organic market. So, I took the alternate path in making this recipe.

By the way, the first steps of the original recipe were to make the spiced seeds but I was able to make them when the soup was set to simmer.

And, finally, I’ll admit it…I accidentally used 2 Tablespoons instead of 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika in this preparation. But, you know, it actually came out really good! So, I don’t really consider it a mistake but a discovery. Yeah, that’s it.

Sherried Butternut Squash Soup with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
Adapted from Vegetarian Times, January 2009

Soup
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced (1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika (or, try it with 2 Tablespoons for a stronger flavor)
1 bay leaf
2 Tablespoons dry sherry
1 1/2 pound butternut squash (or kabocha squash), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups low sodium vegetable broth

Spiced Seeds
1/2 cup pepitas or shelled pumpkin seeds
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 tsp agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if the pumpkin seeds are already salted)
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro (omitted in this preparation)

Sherried Butternut Squash Soup

Heat oil in large pot over medium high heat. Add onion, saute 5 to 7 minutes, then stir in garlic, smoked paprika, and bay leaf. Cook 1 minute more. (Note the 2 Tablespoons rather than 2 teaspoons of paprika I was supposed to put in…whoops!)

Sherried Butternut Squash Soup with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Add sherry, and cook 2 minutes. Add squash, vegetable broth, and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer, cover, and reduce heat to mdium-low. Cook 25 minutes, or until squash is tender. (Note: While it’s simmering move on to making the spiced pumpkin seeds – recipe below.)

Sherried Butternut Squash Soup with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Sherried Butternut Squash Soup with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Remove bay leaf, and puree soup in food processor or blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Served sprinkled with spiced seeds.

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (Note: I used my toaster oven.) Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss together pumpkin seeds (or pepitas), olive oil, agave nectar, paprika, and salt in small bowl.

Sherried Butternut Squash Soup with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Spread on prepared baking sheet, and bake 10 to 12 minutes turning occaisionally. (Note: Keep an eye on these guys because they’ll go from being nice and toasty to burned in 2 seconds flat.) Break pumpkin seeds apart, and toss with cilantro (if using).

Sherried Butternut Squash Soup with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds


Sherried Butternut Squash Soup with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds


A Vegetarian Tour de France: Vegetarian Paella

July 09, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Culinary Tour de France, Main Dishes

It may be the Tour de France but some stages do dip into other countries…as shall I. I’ve been focusing on French dishes but today’s stage ended in beautiful Barcelona, Spain. That means, it’s time to whip up a Paella!

There are literally thousands of ways to make paella. I used a lot of the vegetables that I received in my weekly vegetable delivery (including a lot of the green onions!) Feel free to throw in whatever vegetables you may have on hand beyond what I have listed below – carrots, asparagus, peppers, capers, whatever. The key is throwing it in at the right times so you don’t end up with a squishy vegetable mess. The more delicate the vegetable, the later you throw it in. Be sure to let the cover sit on the pan to let everything steam and cook, but check to make sure the liquid isn’t burning off too quickly or the rice won’t be able to cook very well.

Paella is actually very easy to make and it becomes a really hearty dish with not a lot of added extra fat.  It’s a great dish to serve to a crowd and doesn’t require a lot of babysitting while it cooks. (And, if you ask nicely, perhaps someone will get up and check on the paella when it’s cooking so you don’t have to…)

Megabeth’s Paella

  • 4 green onions, white parts minced
  • ½ red onion, minced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 – 3 cups vegetable stock (Go here to learn how to make your own…)
  • 1 cup uncooked white rice (if you use brown, increase the cooking time
  • 3 corn cobs, cut into thirds
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 14 ounce can artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon saffron, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper

In a small bowl, put crushed saffron in 1 Tablespoon of water and set aside.

In a large cast iron skillet, heat olive oil on medium. Add onions and garlic and cook until translucent and softened.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Vegetarian Pallela

Add white rice, stir to coat with the oil, and cook until beginning to brown.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Vegetarian Pallela

Add one cup of vegetable stock and tomatoes.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Vegetarian Pallela

Add saffron and the water it was soaked in, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Vegetarian Pallela

Turn heat to high and bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat to low. Add zuchinni, yellow squash and corn. Cover with a tight fitting lid and let simmer for 20 minutes on low.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Vegetarian Pallela

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Vegetarian Pallela

Life cover, stir, and add artichoke hearts, and more of the vegetable broth. Replace cover and continue simmering until rice is cooked through – another 20 – 30 minutes. Stir occasionally and add additional broth or water if rice begins to dry out in the cooking process.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Vegetarian Pallela


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