Garam Masala Roasted Acorn Squash
Thanksgiving is really all about the sides for vegans. I feel like a nut loaf is okay and Tofurkey is fun, but I would be really happy with cranberry sauce, 'taters, some delicious veggies, and a big ol' slice of pie instead. In at attempt to come up with creative and delicious ways to squeeze more veggies onto the table, we came up with this impressive dish. It packs so much flavor you're friends and fam won't believe you whipped it up yourself and looks so good you might not be able to believe it, either! We love squash, but roasting it in garam masala and pairing it with tangy lemon tahini sauce, sweet pomegranate arils, crunchy pepitas and a sprinkle of fresh parsley takes it to a whole new level. Plus, it really couldn't be easier - and who really wants to spend extra time in the kitchen while everyones catching up around the dining room table? This recipe calls for 1 squash and serves 4, but can easily be doubled for larger parties. Let's eat!
[Oh and just so you know, this is just the start of all the Thanksgiving goodness we'll be posting this month. Look for a new table-approved recipe from us every couple days until the 26th!]
1 medium-sized acorn squash
1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
3/4 teaspoon garam masala
salt + pepper to taste
1/2 cup tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 - 1/2 cup water, as needed
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
2 tablespoons pepitas
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Slice both ends off of the squash and scoop out the seed goop. Slice the squash into 1/2 inch slices and lay in a single layer on the lined baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with garam masala, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until squash is fork tender and browned.
While squash roasts, combine tahini, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor. Add water a little at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Scoop into a bowl.
When squash is roasted, remove from the oven and serve warm with tahini sauce, pomegranate seeds, pepitas, and fresh parsley. Enjoy!
Serves 4. Leftovers can be saved in the fridge overnight. but it's a dish best served warm!
Don't have garam masala? Try curry! Don't have acorn squash? Try delicata! This recipe is easily customizable.
Prepping for a holiday meal? Prep everything ahead except the roasted squash and save lots of time!
Fall Quinoa Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Golden Berries
I love fall for the weather, changing colors (okay not so much now that I'm living in California), and delicious, sweet, pumpkin-y baked goods. Which is also the problem...a girl can only eat so many of those baked goods before your belly is like WHOA GIRL and you just need to eat something a little healthier, a little lighter. We're trying to balance our Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookie and Pumpkin Zucchini Bread intake with this savory, flavorful salad. It'll wake your tastebuds up and remind you that healthier dishes can taste pretty damn good, too! It's a great dish for detoxing the crap that has accumulated in your system all month and because quinoa is a complete protein, it'll keep you full longer than you'd expect. This salad has a great mix of sweet (golden berries, roasted butternut squash) and savory (celery, onions, parsley) that makes it a real crowd pleaser. We love using Essential Living Foods Golden Berries in this salad 'cause they keep their foods completely raw, organic, and full of superfood goodness...and they taste amazing! (We're huge fans, and you can check out their complete line of superfoods for yourself here.) It's perfect as a Thanksgiving side dish or a packed-lunch for the week, and we just know you're gonna love it so let's EAT!
3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
2 cups water
1 cup rainbow (or really any kind) quinoa
1/3 cup celery, sliced thinly
1/3 cup red onions, diced
1/3 cup golden berries, roughly chopped
1/3 cup sliced almonds
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon champagne or apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Peel and cut butternut squash into 1/4 cubes and place on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt + pepper and bake about 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
While squash bakes, place quinoa and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, then cover with a lid and cook until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
Prepare celery, red onions, golden berries, sliced almonds, and fresh parsley and place it into a large bowl. Set aside.
In another small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, dijon, maple syrup, salt and pepper.
When squash and quinoa have finished cooking and cooled, pour the quinoa and roasted butternut squash into the large bowl of veggies and gently toss with a wooden spoon. Drizzle the vinaigrette mixture over the salad and toss again to combine. Serve immediately or save in the fridge up to 3 days in an airtight container. Serves 6-8. Enjoy!
If you don't have/ don't like golden berries or almonds or any other ingredient, sub it out for something you LOVE! This salad is super customizable and you should totally take advantage of that based on your preferences and what you have in the pantry.
Tomato Basil Spaghetti Squash Bake
When I started brainstorming this recipe, it came from a combination of laziness (I'm not ashamed) and a desire to cut my own work load. Cooking a spaghetti squash, shredding it, and then warming up spaghetti sauce, chopping up tomatoes and basil from our garden, stirring, and serving....well, it just seems like a lot! And the dishes it produces- far too many, if you ask me. I knew I could make it easier on myself. How exactly? Well, think of this as a 'one pot' meal, where all you really need is a squash. And maybe a baking sheet.
The beauty of this is that you really do just throw all the ingredients into your hollowed squash halves and bake for about an hour- easy peasy! Once its ready just remove it from the oven, shred the squash with a fork, and serve. Your guests will love the taste, and you'll love the easy clean-up. Its healthy, light. and full of fresh (from our garden, in this case) veggies. So lets give three cheers for a lack of dishes and more time to eat, 'cause thats the ultimate goal. Lets do it!
1 medium-sized spaghetti squash
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup basil, chopped
salt & pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice the stem off the top of your squash, then turn on it side and slice it in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and innards, and toss in the compost. Drizzle each half with olive oil, a little over a tablespoon each, and sprinkle each side evenly with minced garlic. Pour about 1/4 cup of sauce into each half, then top each side evenly with sliced cherry tomatoes, basil, salt & pepper. Cover in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet to catch any drippings. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until mixture is bubbling and squash is fork tender.
Once ready, remove from oven and use a fork to separate squash strands. If you want, you can scoop mixture into a bowl and stir, if you like more room to work. Otherwise, use a fork to toss the squash pasta and tomato basil mixture together right in the squash halves, and serve immediately. Sprinkle with fresh basil and nutritional yeast to garnish. Makes 6-8 servings. Saves well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!
Spaghetti Squash Pasta
On one of our more recent grocery store trips, I bought a spaghetti squash. I had never had it before, and had no idea how to eat it, but it sounded interesting. It was a gorgeous sunshine yellow on the outside, free of any blemishes. I sort of assumed it would be like regular squash...and I'm so glad I was wrong. Spaghetti squash is this amazing winter vegetable that when baked and forked mimics actual spaghetti pasta. It leaves you with these great strands of squash that taste however you season them (extra garlic-y for me!) and have a texture reminiscent of pasta- but way better for you! My favorite part about spaghetti squash is that at only 43 calories in a 2/3 cup serving, so you can totally pig out on it without feeling guilty! Its full of potassium, fiber, Vitamins B6+C, and low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
You can use this recipe in place of any pasta dish, but if you're adding an acidic tomato sauce to it, let the squash cool a bit first or it'll break down and get mushy.
We first published this recipe back in February of 2012. Since then, we refined the cooking time and added specific ingredient amounts. For some reason some of the earliest recipes I blogged were pretty numberless and vague and encouraged total creativity. I realize now that while most people have a pretty good cooking sense, not all do- and it can be really confusing and frustrating to try and guess if you're not totally comfortable in the kitchen. We hope this version is a little clearer and easier to understand, and a little more enjoyable to look at, too.
1 Spaghetti Squash of any size, halved
2-4 cloves of garlic, minced
2-4 teaspoons olive, grapeseed, or coconut oil
salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise. It can be easier to cut off the stem end first, then use a large, sharp knife to slice lengthwise through the squash. Scoop out the goop and seeds and toss 'em in the compost.
Place the two halves face-up on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle halves with about 1-2 teaspoons of oil each.
Sprinkle with minced garlic, salt and pepper. Place into the oven and cook for about 40-50 minutes, until squash is fork tender and easily separates from the skin.
Let cool about 5 minutes, then carefully run a fork through the squash, separating strands, and scoop into a serving dish. Scoop out all of the squash and dispose of the leftover skin. Serve in place of spaghetti for a gluten-free option or just to sneak in an extra serving of vegetables. Great topped with sauce or all on its own!
Refrigerate leftovers for 3-4 days. Enjoy!
Squash & Celeriac Quinoa Stuffing
Thanksgiving is just under a month away, and we want to make this a memorable year. Its our first year being in Maine for the holiday in four years, and we're hosting dinner. With a handful of friends and family headed our way, its gonna be a day full of cooking, eating, and celebrating. This month I'll be making lots of Thanksgiving-themed recipes to get our table (and yours!) full and ready to impress.
And while this stuffing won't be getting stuffed into any Turkeys (or Tur-duck-en, or whatever is trendy this year), it will be stuffed into our hungry mouths, so we're gonna keep the name.
We started with a simple side dish, Quinoa Stuffing. Its made without bread and is gluten-free, making it a much lighter dish and more friendly to our wheat-free friends. The red quinoa adds a festive pop of color and the flavors of butternut squash and celeriac round out the rich, fall flavors.
You may be saying "But GIRL what the hell is celeriac?" about now-ish, and thats okay. Celeriac is really just a fancy sounding word for celery root. Pictured below, it looks sort of like a rutabaga and sort of like a root ball...which it is. It's the bottom half of the celery plant, the part doing all the behind-the-scenes work slurping water out of the ground. And it is my favorite.
Celeriac has the texture of a potato; starchy and rich in flavor, it makes a great thickener in soups, can be made into a mash, and can really replace potatoes in any dish. It adds a ton of celery flavor without the stringiness of using celery stalks or the added sodium of celery salt. It also makes a mean cream of celery soup...but thats another post, for another day. Lets get back to the real star here: all that yummy quinoa stuffing.
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
3/4 cup diced celeriac (celery root)
3/4 cup diced butternut squash
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon ground thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
1/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
Rinse quinoa, pour in a sauce pan with 2 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Avoid stirring and let boil until the quinoa absorbs all the remaining water, about 10-15 minutes. [Tip: For guaranteed perfect quinoa, after all the water is absorbed, turn the heat off and let it sit in the pan with the cover on for at least 10 more minutes. The quinoa will absorb any remaining water left in the pan and stay moist and fluffy!] Set aside in a large mixing bowl.
Melt about a tablespoon of oil in a pan. Chop the garlic, onions, butternut squash, and celeriac, and add it to the oil. Cook on medium, stirring frequently, until veggies are fork tender- about 20 minutes. Once the veggies are softened, add the thyme, sage, salt and pepper and stir coat evenly.
Add the veggies to the quinoa in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Pour in the chopped parsley, hazelnuts, and olive oil and toss until everything is evenly distributed.
Now, let's eat!
Tip: Make the quinoa a day or so ahead of time and refrigerate until you're ready to use it on Thanksgiving day. Its way easier and one less thing to worry about!
Saves well in the fridge for about a week. & makes great lunch leftovers.