Thursday, October 4, 2012


Last night I made over a Trader Joe's website recipe.  Acorn Squash Polenta Stacks (here's the link for the original recipe, ***warning*** there is cheese in the original recipe, so it's not vegan friendly at all!)

I veganized the recipe by skipping out on the cheese all together, and made a spinach tofu ricotta since I couldn't find frozen kale.  The spinach worked out just fine, so if you can't find frozen kale just use spinach.  I also made a really easy marinara sauce from scratch. 

Is it weird that I am "nervous" about using certain foods for the first time?  I've never cooked with acorn squash before, or eaten I was a little nervous about this recipe. Now I know I love it though, so no need to feel nervous if you decide to make this recipe (the original or the veganized one).  

Tofu Ricotta (simple version)...
  • 1-1/2 pounds firm tofu, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon sweetener of your choice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
  • 1 cup frozen spinach, defrosted and water squeezed out
What You Do: Combine all ingredients together and mash until the mixture has a fine, grainy texture like ricotta cheese.

Marinara Sauce (also simple)...
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes 
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
What You Do: In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until golden, being careful not to burn. Add crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, and bay leaf. Stir and reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer about 15 - 20 minutes. Remove from heat and add fresh basil.

Acorn Squash...
Cut acorn squash in half lengthwise, cut off ends and scrape seeds out of center of squash. Cut each half into 12 half moons, place on prepared cookie sheet, spray with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast in 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool before assembling stacks.

Now it's assembly time.  I highly recommend using the Trader Joe's polenta, as it comes in a nice tube and all you have to do is slice it into 12 rounds. After you have your 12 rounds sliced, spray a baking dish and get ready to stack.  Stacks will go in this order...polenta round, sauce, acorn squash, tofu ricotta, sauce, polenta round, sauce, acorn squash, tofu ricotta and finally sauce.  You may want to send a toothpick down through the center of each stack before you move the baking dish into the oven, otherwise your stacks may fall over.  Bake for 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees, or until everything gets nice and bubbly. Serve immediately.

Here's what my stacks looked like, I really wish my food photography skills were better or that I had a mini studio in my house.  I don't, so sorry for the poor quality, at least it tasted good, right???

P.S...these are great the next day, I had the leftovers for breakfast.  Yum!


Ann Miner said...

Did you eat the skin of the squash?

Kathy.Kuhn said...

I did eat the skin.