Category Archives: Vegetarian

Fall Favorite: Butternut Squash Pie

Butternut Squash Pie

Mixing Butternut Squash Ingredients

Butternut Squash Pie

Butternut squash are plentiful this time of year, so why not make pie? I’ve been stockpiling a few butternut squash from the CSA I’m a part of, so I decided to make pie tonight. I made two pies, so I doubled the below recipe from About.com for Butternut Squash Pie:

  • 1 unbaked and chilled 9-inch pie shell (I used frozen pie crusts)
  • 1 large butternut squash, cooked and pureed, about 1 1/2 cups pureed squash
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk or half-and-half
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (my addition to the recipe)

Preparation:

To cook squash:
Cut the squash in half lengthwise; remove stem and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash, cut side down, on a foil-lined oiled baking pan; add about 1/2 cup of water to the pan. Cover loosely with foil and bake at 400° for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the squash is tender and can be easily pierced with a fork. Let cool completely then peel and mash or puree the squash or put it through a food mill. Measure 1 1/2 cups of the squash and set aside.

Reduce oven to 350° F and position an oven rack in the center of the oven. In a mixing bowl with electric mixer, beat the squash with the brown sugar. Add eggs, evaporated milk, spices salt, flour, butter, and vanilla. Beat until well blended. Pour the filling into the chilled pie and place on the center oven rack. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until set. Check after about 35 minutes and loosely set a ring of foil or a pie crust protector over the browned crust so it won’t get too dark. When the filling is set, transfer the pie to a rack to cool. Serve just warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped topping or whipped cream.

The pie was delicious and had a milder taste than pumpkin pie. My younger brother liked the pie a lot too and couldn’t even tell it was squash. I made a maple-cinnamon whipped cream to add to the top of the pie, which I’ll use when I have some more later. :) I will definitely be making this pie again!

Now I have lots of extra butternut squash purée…what should I make with it?

Easy Sweet Potato & Greens Soup

Sweet Potato and Kale Soup

I made this delicious recipe for Nutty Vanilla Kale and Sweet Potato Soup tonight…and it was delicious! Garam masala is probably the queen bee of spices and combined with the coconut milk it made the house smell divine. The soup is sweet, savory, nutritious and has a wonderful texture. I ended up using some collards as well, since we got them in our CSA this week along with the sweet potatoes, kale, fall squash, cukes and hot peppers.

For anyone looking for garam masala, you don’t have to travel to an Indian market if there isn’t one nearby—Whole Foods carries it for $5.99 (and it’s worth every penny). Give this tasty soup a try—it’s a great way to use some seasonal veggies!

Totally Tomatoes (CSA Week Ten & Eleven)

The past two weeks from our CSA we have been getting some of the tastiest tomatoes I’ve ever ever had: heirloom varieties in red and yellow. We also got some red and white radishes, sweet white corn, cucumbers, white potatoes and peppers. With all of the tomatoes, I made two recipes: a fresh summer salsa and a potato tomato bake. Here’s my recipes (I didn’t include quantities since you can just add as much or as little of each ingredient as you like):

Potato Tomato Bake

  • potatoes
  • garlic
  • onions
  • tomatoes
  • basil
  • Italian seasoning
  • s + p
  • olive oil
  • Parm cheese (to sprinkle on top after baking)

Slice the potatoes, tomatoes and onions and mince the garlic. Then put in a baking dish and add olive oil and seasonings. Bake at 375 until the potatoes are soft (30-50 minutes depending on how thick your potatoes are sliced). Sprinkle with Parm cheese.

Fresh Summer Salsa

  • tomatoes (I used red and yellow)
  • cilantro
  • garlic
  • red onion
  • lime juice
  • cumin
  • s + p

Finely dice all ingredients and adjust to taste. You could also add black beans, corn, cayenne pepper or hot sauce for more flavor and texture.

Both recipes turned out delicious and I’d definitely make them again. What recipes do you like to make with summer’s bountiful tomatoes?

CSA Week Ten

CSA week ten: peppers, radishes, cucumber, white potatoes, yellow tomatoes and red tomatoes

Tomato Potato Bake

Before baking: tomato potato bake

Tomato Potato Bake

After baking: tomato potato bake

CSA Week Eleven

CSA week eleven: radishes, corn, peppers and lots of tomatoes

Salsa

Fresh summer salsa

Salsa

Close up - fresh summer salsa

Tomatoes Galore and Baked Pattypan Squash (CSA Week Nine)

CSA Week Nine

CSA Week Nine

Baked Pattypan Squash

Baked Pattypan Squash

It’s week nine already and we’re almost a third of the way through our CSA for this year (we signed up for 29 weeks). This week we got a bunch of heirloom tomatoes, a pattypan squash, yellow squash, cucumbers, radishes and blue (yes, blue) potatoes.

With the yellow squash and a bunch of the tomatoes I made a homemade pasta sauce. I also added some fresh basil, sweet peppers, more tomatoes, garlic, onion and more spices to the sauce and let cook for a while until all the veggies were very soft. Then, used my immersion blender to make the sauce smooth.

My roommate used some of the tomatoes and cukes in a salad too.

With the pattypan squash, I prepared it similar to eggplant parm (thanks to my roommate for the brilliant idea). I dipped it in an egg and milk mixture then coated the squash with breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs were mixed with garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and basil. I baked the squash on a cookie pan sprayed with non-stick oil for 10 minutes on each side, then added some fresh mozzarella and put under the broiler for 5 minutes more. Lastly, I served the squash atop a pile of penne pasta, homemade sauce and Parmesan cheese. It was divine.

This week I had a lot of fun experimenting with the pasta sauce and making the healthy baked squash. Next week I’m hoping for no squash. I love the little guys, but I’m all squashed out.

We still have the blue potatoes in the fridge. Any ideas on what to do with those?

Super Easy Hummus Recipe

Hummus
Hummus Ingredients

OK, I have a confession…I’ve been buying hummus for years from the store and paying top dollar for it too. Meanwhile, little did I know that it takes less than 10 minutes to whip up and is delicious and easy to make. So, I wanted to share with you the easy recipe I used (its based off of this recipe from Savory Sweet Life).

  • 2 – 15.5 ounce can garbanzo beans
  • 4 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice (optional)
  • water, as needed
  • cayenne pepper, to taste

Just add all of the ingredients to the food processor and mix until smooth. You can adjust the quantities as needed…add more garlic if you like garlic or more or less lemon…whatever you like. If you want, you can keep some of the garbanzo’s out of the food processor and mash them up and add them back to the smooth hummus for texture. Now that I’ve made regular hummus, I want to experiment with adding spinach, tomatoes, basil, red peppers, onions, chives, etc. Do you make your own hummus? Do you have any favorite add-ins?

Making Fresh Mozzarella Cheese

A couple months ago I read this interesting book called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It is about a family’s journey in eating locally and growing their own food for an entire year. One part of the book talked about the family’s experience making cheese in one of Ricki Carroll’s classes and I learned that it was possible to make mozzarella (and other soft cheeses) in under an hour. So, without hesitation I bought this 30-minute cheese making kit. I’m a huge, huge fan of fresh mozzarella…so what better way to enjoy it than by making my own? It’s easier than you think.

To make the cheese is fairly simple, you only need four ingredients: a gallon of local milk (not ultra pasteurized), rennet liquid or tablets, citric acid and salt. Below is my simplified version of how to make mozzarella cheese, but if you’d like to see the full detailed step-by-step recipe, check it out here.

Cheese Ingredients

Cheese Ingredients: Gallon of Milk, Citric Acid, Rennet Tablets and Salt

Curds Forming

You first boil the milk with the citric acid and then you add the dissolved rennet tablets and let sit until curds form (about 10 minutes). Then, cut up the curds and heat some more.

Heating the Curds

Next drain the curds, add some salt and then microwave (draining off whey between microwaving) until the curds start to form into stretchable cheese. Then, stretch and form into balls and place into a cold water bath (followed by an ice water bath). Be careful, the cheese is extremely hot! The more you handle the cheese, the tougher it will be.

Fresh Mozzarella

The fresh mozzarella balls once they were formed.

Fresh Mozzarella Pizza

Fresh mozzarella pizza that I made with the cheese.

Pizza close up

Close up of the pizza.

I had a fun time making this cheese and will definitely make it again. My curds didn’t form as nicely as I would have liked and the cheese was more like string cheese instead of soft, fresh mozzarella, but it was only my first time making it, so I think I just need some more practice to perfect the recipe. But, boy was the cheese tasty and added so much flavor to the pizza! The pizza was made with a whole-wheat pre-made crust and topped with pizza sauce, tomatoes, fresh basil, spices and the cheese.

Have you ever made cheese before? Do you have any tips you could share with us?

Variety, Variety (CSA Weeks Five & Six)

The past two weeks of the CSA have been fantastic—variety and more variety. In all honesty, I was just happy to not see kale again! For week five, we received  corn, cucumbers, cabbage, spring onions, potatoes, squash and zucchini. With the corn and squash I made this Golden Summer Squash and Corn Soup and I used the cabbage and onions in this Asian Style Slaw and Vegetarian Steamed Dumplings. I also got fancy and made Soy Ginger Dipping Sauce for fun.

The zucchini ended up getting grilled up with some other veggies at my friend’s Fourth of July party and the cuke I cut up and brought to work for a snack. With the potatoes I just roasted them in the oven with onions, rosemary, sage, chives, olive oil and garlic. All around everything tasted great. It was a lot of work to cook up everything, but the food made fantastic leftovers. I even got some help with steaming and frying the dumplings from my friend Ashley and my friend Rachel came over and joined us for dinner. We feasted on the soup and steamed dumplings that night. Delicious!

For week six we got pattypan squash, yellow crookneck squash, zucchini, banana peppers and a hot Thai pepper. My roommate cooked up all the squash in some butter which made it so creamy and delicious. I cut up the banana peppers and threw them into a pan with some peppers, onions, squash, salt and pepper and will have the veggies for lunch tomorrow. I have yet to figure out what to make with the hot Thai pepper…ideas?

Golden Summer Squash and Corn Soup

Golden Summer Squash and Corn Soup

Steamed Dumplings Filling

Steamed Dumplings Filling

Vegetarian Dumplings (Steamed and Fried)

Vegetarian Dumplings (Steamed and Fried)

More Vegetarian Dumplings (Steamed and Fried)

More Vegetarian Dumplings (Steamed and Fried)

Soy Ginger Dipping Sauce

Soy Ginger Dipping Sauce