Tag Archives: butternut squash

Butternut Squash Success

Remember the other day when I decided to put butternut squash and almond milk in the slow cooker?

I just had to take a moment out of this pretty slow workday to tell you how amazingly delicious the result is (although it doesn’t look the part)

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This is one of my favorite vegan dishes I’ve ever made. It’s a nutty and cheesy pasta bake that is perfect for a cold day and lunch at the office (although I fully plan to dig in again for dinner as well).

“Cheesy” Butternut Squash Pasta

Ingredients:
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 cups almond milk
1/2 cup almond flower
1 can chickpeas
1.5 cups wholewheat pasta of any kind
salt

Directions:
Put the cubed squash and the almond milk in the slow cooker for four hours. I did this on Tuesday night and then stored the cooked mix in the fridge to be continued the next night. When you’re ready to continue, put the mix back in the slow cooker, adding the chickpeas, almond flour, salt, and pasta. Let this cook for at least two more hours. The alternative would be to do the second part in the oven by using a casserole dish, which would take less time.

Omg. This is so, so good. The squash and almond milk and flour make for an amazing cheese and nuts flavor, and the pasta absorbed so much flavor in the slow cooker. I am at my desk now, full and happy.

My fitness plan is going well, by the way. I ran 3 miles on Tuesday night. Last night, Dave and I were going to go to Kinetik for a fitness class, but then his class ended late, so we switched out yesterday’s plan with today’s. We both went for a run, but Dave was crazy enough to do it outside in 35 degree weather, while I stuck to the treadmill. Tonight is fitness class time, and I am pretty sure this lunch just gave me tons of energy for it!

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Racing the Clock

Tonight was all about cooking multiple meals at once. I’m not sure why I was so motivated to stock the fridge with prepped meals. Now that I’m back to my cooking routine, I find that I can’t wait to get into the kitchen after work. It’s somehow relaxing to chop vegetables and assemble new recipes after long days of meetings and desk time.

The reason I had to race the clock even more than if I was just making a bunch of meals was that I also want to get in a 3-mile run (which I still have to do after writing this). So, without further ado, here are tonight’s meal creations:

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This is a super easy and quick pasta dish. I layered the pan with uncooked whole wheat pasta, marinara sauce/water, frozen peas, cottage cheese, goat cheese, and salt and pepper and baked it at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Leftovers for tomorrow’s lunches included!

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Then, I made a pumpkin curry with a quinoa and brown rice mix base. For the curry, I used half an onion, 3 cloves of garlic, 1/2 cup of almond milk, 1.5 cans of pumpkin, 2 heaping teaspoons of curry powder, salt & pepper, as well as some chopped walnuts and sunflower seeds for garnish. This is a good sauce! Awesome vegan alternative to cream-based curry, and way less heavy on the stomach. Again, this gave me some good leftovers for meals later this week.

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This is an awesome dessert – I mixed a frozen banana, 1/3 cup of almond milk, 2 table spoons chia seeds, 2 graham crackers, and 5 Trader Joe’s dark chocolate crisps and put them in the blender. Then I used additional graham crackers for dipping.

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So dinner was a bit unusual, since I served two entrees plus dessert. Dave had just been watching a competitive cooking show while cleaning up our camping gear, so he joked that he felt like he was being asked to sample and rate each dish. He liked them all. We were both especially impressed with the pumpkin curry sauce.

After dinner, I decided to make one more dish. For this purpose, I peeled and chopped my first ever butternut squash.

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Thank God for Youtube, but it still took me about 15 minutes.

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The cubes are now in the slow cooker, submerged in almond milk. I’m planning to end up with a vegan cheesy sauce for a pasta casserole, so stayed tuned for the results.

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Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash with Kale and Nuts

We got our taxes done today. By which I mean, Dave wrestled with our Turbo Tax software while I was on the other end of the couch practicing Turkish on Rosetta Stone, on the floor doing a yoga video, and in the office, ironing laundry and watching Netflix. Taxes stress me out and it’s probably best if I stay far, far away from the filing process.

When he was almost done, it was time for me to start dinner. I found the recipe for tonight’s butternut squash dish here and think this may have been the first of many times I’ll make this.

Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash with Kale and Nuts

Ingredients:

Roasted Squash:

  • 0.9 kg -1.13 kg (2-2.5 pound) butternut squash
  • 2 lg. cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1 cup de-stemmed and roughly chopped Lacinato kale

Almond and Pecan Topping:

  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1 tbspĀ nutritional yeast
  • 1/8th tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Mix all the squash ingredients besides the kale in a casserole dish. Toss well in olive oil and cover in aluminum foil. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes. I used Trader Joe’s butternut squash that was already diced. If you know where to get squash and how to peel and cut it, more power to you.

Mix all the almond and pecan topping ingredients in a bowl after chopping the nuts. When the squash is done, mix in the kale and the nut mixture and bake for 7 minutes.

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The nut mixture tossed with nutritional yeast, salt, and olive oil.

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The squash roasting in the oven.

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Everything fresh out of the oven, all the ingredients mixed in.

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Dave picked up a “Three Philosophers” Belgian Quadruple Ale, which went perfectly with the whole creation. I followed that up with some dark chocolate peanut butter cups and dark chocolate covered ginger, and my meal was complete.

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