Friday, October 21, 2011


I made Roasted Acorn Squash with Squash Risotto last night, it's a recipe I found in the Whole Foods recipe database (actually, I have the WF Recipe app on my phone). I love the Whole Foods recipe database, you should check it out You can find all kinds of recipes, for all kinds of occasions and dietary preferences. Here is the recipe from last night...

  • 4 acorn squash
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 cups water or gluten-free vegetable broth
  • 1 cup finely chopped leeks
  • 2 1/2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 2 cups uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped sage, divided
  • 2/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped thyme

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut each acorn squash lengthwise in half (from tip to stem) then scoop out and discard any seeds and stringy flesh. Brush insides of acorn squash with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil and season with salt. Place acorn squash, cut side down, in a baking pan and roast until tender but still firm, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, start the risotto by bringing the broth just to a simmer in a small pot over medium high heat. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy 3-quart pot over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add butternut squash and cook for 3 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until grains are fragrant. Add wine and stir constantly until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the hot broth to rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is almost completely absorbed. Continue adding broth, 1/2 cup at a time, making sure that most of the liquid is absorbed before adding more. Continue until rice is almost tender, but still firm to the bite, about 20 to 25 minutes total. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the sage and season with salt.

Meanwhile, put pine nuts into a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Stir in thyme, remaining 1/2 teaspoon sage and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside. When acorn squash is cooked, remove from oven. Reduce heat to 300°F. Carefully turn squash over and fill each cavity with about 1/2 cup of the risotto. Gently press about 2 tablespoons of the pine nut mixture on top of the risotto in each squash half. Return squash to oven and bake until topping begins to brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer to plates and serve

I have to admit I was a little nervous at the thought of making this recipe, I get like that when I'm about to try something new. I mean, what if I don't like acorn squash? But it turned out great, very tasty...also, I left out the pine nuts, but used the herbs. This would be a great vegetarian alternative for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Here's the nutritional values (values include pine nuts)...

Per serving: 330 calories (130 from fat), 14g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 6g protein, 48g total carbohydrate (7g dietary fiber, 9g sugar), 0mg cholesterol, 430mg sodium

P.S...I now know I like acorn squash!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

In the Navy.....

Last night for dinner I made Navy Bean soup and Corn Muffins...such a simple meal, but so good and filling...not to mention healthy! Here's the recipe for the vegan version, whatever you do don't leave the ketchup out! Its's the secret ingredient and adds lots of FLAVOR...for those of you who eat meat use real ham instead of my vegan replacement. The muffins are vegan too...if you want you can use 2 eggs in place of the 1/2 cup of soy yogurt. Enjoy!

Navy Bean Soup

  • 1 lb. of navy beans, rinsed and soaked over night
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 2 cups chopped celery, I only use organic celery...only because I can taste the chemicals in conventionally grown celery
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 4 cups broth, I used No-Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 package Yves Meatless Canadian Bacon, chopped

Place all ingredients in crock pot, still well to mix and cover. Cook on high 4 hours, and then reduce to low heat and cook an additional 4 hours.

Dairy-Free Corn Bread

  • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups plain soy milk or rice milk
  • 1/2 cup Plain soy yogurt
  • 1/2 cup corn oil

Preheat oven to 400°F. Oil a (9-inch) square baking pan or muffin pan and set it aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a second large bowl, whisk together soy milk, yogurt and oil. Add milk mixture to cornmeal mixture and stir until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes (15 minutes for muffins).

Monday, October 17, 2011

Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater....

I'm a BIG fan of pumpkin. It's so versatile and can be used in both sweet and savory recipes. This (sweet) recipe is one of the best I've ever made...the muffins are moist, dense and full of flavor. The crumb-cake topping is actually from another recipe but goes so well with these that I add it to the top of the muffins right before baking! The smell coming from my kitchen is one of fall, warmth and comfort! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Crumb-Cake Muffins
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin (Fresh or from a can; do not use pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons molasses

For topping:
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ground allspice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 T canola or olive oil

Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a twelve-muffin tin.

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, soy milk, oil, and molasses. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix.

Prepare the topping by mixing all the dry topping ingredients together in a small bowl. Drizzle the oil while mixing with your fingertips until crumbs form. Set aside.

Fill the muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It's October....

I love October. It's my favorite birthday, Halloween, Vegan MoFo(, fall, pumpkins, my birthday (did I already say that?). See! A lot of things to be happy about!! This weeks recipe is Sweet & Spicy Green Beans. Which is my version of P.F. Chang's Spicy Green Beans.

Here's the recipe....
1 lb French Beans (or regular green beans if you can't find French beans)
1 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP honey
1 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP chili pepper flakes (you can determine your spice level by adding more or less)
1 TBSP fresh, minced garlic
1/2 TBSP fresh, grated ginger

Submerge french beans in pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes, and then shock in a cold water bath to stop cooking process. Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl and whisk to blend. Heat a frying pan over high heat. Add french beans, saute for a minute to reheat and then whisk in sauce. Stir to coat and let cook about 5 more minutes to allow honey to caramelize. Serve with white or brown rice. I usually eat mine as a main dish, but they make an excellent side dish too.

Also check out the Vegan MoFo site...lots of great recipes for Meatless Monday's!