November 04, 2000Greetings friends,
Fall has truly enveloped the "Heartland of America" here in Ohio where I live. The trees are filled with explosions of vibrant colors. It appears as though an artist has sporadically hand-painted the countryside that surrounds my little town, with as many shades on his palette as possible. I especially enjoy taking long walks during this time, feeling the rustle and crunch of the leaves beneath my feet, and marveling at the splendor of nature's cycle all around me.
This time of year also brings with it the final harvest for most of us gardeners in the region, the colors of which compliment the shades of our autumn landscape. Squashes and pumpkins spring quickest to mind, bringing with them the warm vibrant colors and sweet subtle flavors which appeal to so many of our senses when they grace our dinner tables. I've devoted this installment of recipes to these marvelously delicious and often under-appreciated vegetables whose history is forever intertwined with the humble beginnings of this country. I hope that you enjoy them! As always, be good to one another, and remember... eat your veggies! :-)
1 1/2 cups onion, diced
In a large pot, saute the onion and shallot in olive oil for 5 minutes to soften. Add the buttercup squash and ginger, and saute an additional 5 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, orange juice, orange zest, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 25 minutes or until the squash is tender. Remove the pot from the heat, remove the bay leaves, and discard them. Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree the soup in batches. Stir in the soy milk and reheat the soup until just heated through, if necessary. Do not boil the soup or the soy milk will curdle. Garnish individual servings with a few toasted pumpkin seeds or toasted almonds, or a few snipped chives for color.
Yield: 3 Quarts
3 cups onion, diced
In a large pot, saute the onion and celery in olive oil for 5 minutes to soften. Add the garlic and ginger, and saute for an additional 2 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, Kabocha squash, kale, basil, thyme, cumin, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the beans and simmer an additional 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Yield: 3 Quarts
1 1/2 cups red onion, diced
In a large non-stick skillet, saute the red onion in olive for 3 minutes to soften. Add the butternut, patty pan, and potatoes, and saute for 7 minutes. Add the carrot and both types of peppers, and saute an additional 3-5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the parsley, salt, and pepper, stir well to combine, remove the pan from the heat, and set aside.
To assemble each roll up: place a flour tortilla on a flat surface. Spread 2-3 T. of the Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Aioli over the entire surface of the tortilla, cover the aioli with a generous layer of spinach leaves, then top with 1 cup of the sauteed vegetable mixture, and spread it evenly over the spinach. Carefully roll up the tortilla to enclose the filling, leaving the ends open, and place them seam-side down on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Repeat the assembly procedure for the remaining tortillas. Brush with a light layer of oil (or spray with a light mist of oil) the tops of the tortillas. Bake at 375 degrees for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown on top. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven, carefully turn over the roll ups, return the cookie sheet to the oven, and bake an additional 2-3 minutes or until golden brown on the other side. Cut each roll up in half diagonally before serving.
Yield: 6 roll ups
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes
In a small bowl, place the sun-dried tomatoes, cover with them with the hot water, and set aside to rehydrate for 10 minutes. Transfer the rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes and their soaking liquid to a blender or food processor. Add the basil leaves and garlic, and pulse a few times to roughly chop everything. Add the soy mayonnaise and balsamic vinegar, and process to well combine. Transfer aioli to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Yield: 2 Cups
4 cups butternut squash, peeled, deseeded, and grated
In a colander, toss together the grated butternut, red skin potatoes, parsnips, shallots, and 1 t. salt, and place the colander over a large bowl to drain for 15 minutes. Squeeze the grated vegetables with your fingers to help remove any excess moisture in the vegetables. Drain off the watery liquid from the vegetables but reserve the starch from the vegetables that has settled to the bottom of the bowl. Add the grated vegetables to the vegetable starch, along with the remaining ingredients, toss well to combine, and set aside for 5 minutes. Cover the bottom of a large non-stick skillet with safflower oil and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, using a 1/4 cups measuring cup, drop 4 portions into the skillet, and flatten them slightly with the back of a spatula to ensure even cooking. Cook the pancakes over medium heat for 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Carefully flip over the vegetable pancakes and cook an additional 3 minutes or until golden brown on the other side. Transfer the browned vegetable pancakes to a cookie sheet and place them in a 200 degree oven to keep them warm while cooking the remainder of the vegetable pancakes. Serve them with your choice of tofu sour cream, applesauce, or maple syrup.
Yield: 24 pancakes
3/4 cup vegetable broth
In a small bowl, place the vegetable broth, Sucanat, tamari, and toasted sesame oil. Whisk well to dissolve the Sucanat, and set aside. In a wok or non-stick skillet, heat the peanut oil. When hot, add the green onions and ginger, and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes to soften the green onions. Add the pumpkin and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the reserved broth mixture, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender. Stir in the chopped cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl or platter for service.
1 large spaghetti squash
Cut the spaghetti squash in half, remove the seeds, and discard them. Using a fork, rake the surface of each of the squash halves to separate the flesh into long strands that resemble spaghetti. Remove the strands of squash, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the inner edge of the squash halves to form a shell, and transfer the strands to a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients to the spaghetti squash and toss gently to combine. Place the squash shells in a large baking dish, cut-side up, and refill each squash half with the filling. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Carefully transfer the spaghetti squash halves to a large platter for service.
5 cups vegetable stock, divided
In a medium saucepan, place the vegetable stock, and bring it to a simmer over low heat. In a large saucepan, place the pine nuts and 2 T. olive oil, and cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes or until pine nuts are lightly browned. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pine nuts from the olive oil, place them in a small bowl, and set aside. In the hot olive oil, saute the shallot and garlic for 3-4 minutes or until soft. Add the cubed winter squash and sage, and saute for 3 minutes or until the sage is fragrant. Add 1 1/2 cups of the hot vegetable stock to the saucepan, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the winter squash is tender. Remove the lid and allow any remaining liquid in the pan to cook off.
Add the remaining 1 T. olive oil and Arborio rice to the saucepan, and saute for 1 minute to coat the rice with the olive oil. Add the reserved toasted pine nuts, white wine, Bragg Liquid Aminos, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until all of the liquid is absorbed. Add 1/2 cups of the hot vegetable stock to the saucepan, and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until all of the stock is absorbed. Continue adding the vegetable stock in 1/2 cups increments, while stirring frequently, until all of the stock is incorporated and the rice is creamy and slightly al dente. Add the soy parmesan cheese and parsley, and stir well to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary. Individual servings can be topped with additional soy parmesan cheese, if desired.
4 cups water
In a large saucepan, place the water, and bring it to a boil. Add the basmati rice, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat, do not lift the lid, and set aside for 5 minutes to allow the rice to steam. Meanwhile, in a large pot, saute the red onion in olive oil for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the flour, stir well to coat the onions, and cook an additional minute while stirring constantly to slightly cook the flour. Add the vegetable stock and curry powder, stir well, and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add the squash, broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, red pepper, and orange pepper, and stir well to thoroughly coat the vegetables with the broth mixture. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the remaining ingredients, stir well, and simmer an additional 3-5 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Fluff the basmati rice, transfer the rice to a large platter, and top with the vegetable curry.
2 cups onion, diced
In a large pot, saute the onion in olive oil for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the tomato paste, stir well to coat the onions, and saute an additional minute to release its flavor. Add 2 cups vegetable stock, acorn squash, butternut, turnips, carrot, celery, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper, and stir well to combine. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the cabbage, zucchini, and chickpeas, stir well, cover, and simmer an additional 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add 3 T. chopped parsley, taste, and adjust seasonings as needed. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, place the remaining 3 cups vegetable stock, and bring to a boil. Add the couscous and salt, cover, remove from the heat, and set aside for 5 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork and stir in the remaining chopped parsley and chopped dill, and fluff lightly to incorporate. Serve individual servings in bowls and top with a sprinkle of additional ground cumin, if desired.
1 - 5 lb. pumpkin
Using a sharp knife, cut the top off the pumpkin and set it aside. Cut along the inside of the pumpkin to loosen the flesh from the outer shell of the pumpkin. Use a combination of a sturdy spoon and the knife to remove the seeds and as much of the flesh as possible, keeping the outer shell of the pumpkin intact. Separate the flesh from the seeds, cut the pumpkin flesh into 1-inch cubes, and set them aside. The pumpkin seeds can be washed and toasted for a tasty snack or discarded. Replace the lid on the pumpkin shell, place it on a cookie sheet, and bake it at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until it is tender on the inside.
In a large saucepan, saute the reserved pumpkin cubes, onion, garlic, and ginger in the olive oil for 7-10 minutes or until softened. Add the summer squash and zucchini, and saute an additional 2 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and mushrooms, and saute an additional 2 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, vegetable stock, salt, and pepper, and bring mixture to a boil. Add the pasta, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Add the remaining ingredients and cook an additional 2 minutes to heat through.
When the baked pumpkin shell is tender, remove it from the oven, transfer it carefully to a large platter, and remove the lid. Fill the pumpkin shell with the pasta-vegetable mixture, replace the lid slightly ajar on top of the shell, and serve immediately.
1 1/2 cups blanched almonds
In a non-stick skillet, place the almonds, and cook over low heat for 5 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside. Meanwhile, place the squash in a steamer basket, and steam for 15-20 minutes or until soft. In a blender or food processor, place the toasted almonds, and grind to a fine meal. Add the toasted sesame oil and pulse a few times to combine. Add the steamed butternut and remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.
Yield: 3 Cups
1 cup brown rice flour
Lightly oil (or spray with a light mist of oil) a 9-inch square baking pan and set aside. In a small bowl, sift together the brown rice flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, baking powder, and baking soda, and set aside. In a medium bowl, place the remaining ingredients, and whisk well to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir only until well blended with no visible lumps. Pour the batter into the greased baking pan, and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before cutting into 9 pieces.
Yield: One 9-inch square or 9 pieces
Cake:1/2 cup unbleached flour
Buttercup Cream:8 cups buttercup squash (or butternut, acorn, delicata, pumpkin, etc. or combination of squashes), peeled, deseeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
Topping:2 T. cocoa or carob powder
Begin by preparing the cake base. Lightly oil (or spray with a light mist of oil) a 9-inch springform pan and set aside. In a small bowl, sift together both types of flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside. In a medium bowl, place the soy milk, maple syrup, oil, vanilla, and almond extract, and whisk well to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, whisk until well blended, and pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Place the pan on a rack to cool, but do not remove the cake from the pan.
While the cake base is baking, start the buttercup cream. In a large saucepan, place the squash cubes, 1 cup apple juice, cinnamon stick, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt, and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer the mixture for 25-30 minutes or until the squash is soft. Remove the lid from the pan and continue to cook until all of the liquid is absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat, remove the cinnamon stick and discard it, and allow the squash mixture to cool for 10 minutes. In a small saucepan, place 1/2 cups apple juice and the agar-agar flakes, and let sit for 10 minutes to soften. Place the pan over low heat (do not boil) and simmer for 10 minutes to completely dissolve the agar-agar flakes. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cups apple juice and arrowroot, add it to the agar-agar mixture, and continue to simmer the mixture while whisking until the starchy-white color disappears. Add the maple syrup, tahini, vanilla, and almond extract, and whisk well to combine. Transfer the cooked squash mixture and the agar-agar mixture to a food processor, and process until very smooth and creamy. Pour the buttercup cream into the springform pan, spreading it evenly to cover the cooled cake base, and set aside.
To prepare the topping, in a small measuring cup with a spout, stir together the cocoa, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla to form a thick paste. Slowly stir in the soy milk, adding 1 T. at a time, just enough so that it drizzles off the edge of a spoon. Drizzle the topping in 4 horizontal lines over the top of the buttercup cream. Using a sharp knife or toothpick, pull through the buttercup cream and the lines of topping, in an up and down motion over the top of the cake, to create a marbleized effect or pattern. Cover the top of the springform pan and chill the cake for several hours or overnight. Remove the springform ring from the cake and transfer it to a large plate or platter. Use a warmed knife to cut the cake into 12 pieces.
Yield: One 9-inch cake or 12 pieces
1/3 cup pecan halves
Place the pecans on a cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 5-7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Allow the pecans to cool completely, then finely chop them, and set them aside. In a bowl, sift together 2 cups flour, 1/4 cups sugar, baking powder, 1/4 t. cinnamon, and salt. In a small measuring cup, whisk together the water and oil. Using your fingers, mix the water-oil mixture into the flour mixture, adding additional flour as needed to form a soft ball of dough. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes to allow the dough to rest. In a small bowl, stir together the pumpkin puree, remaining 1/2 cups sugar, remaining 1 t. cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg, and set aside.
Lightly oil (or spray with a light mist of oil) a non-stick cookie sheet and set aside. Transfer the rested dough to a floured work surface, roll it out to 1/16-inch thickness, and cut the dough into 24 3-inch circles or squares. To shape each pastry: place a rounded teaspoonful of the filling on one half of each circle (or square). Sprinkle 1/4 t. reserved chopped pecans over the filling, fold the other half of the dough over the filling to enclose it, gently press the edges together with your fingers, and then go around the edges with a fork to seal them together. Repeat the assembly procedure for the remaining circles of dough. Using a spatula, transfer the filled pastries to the prepared cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow the pastries to cool on the cookie sheet for several minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container when completely cool.
Yield: 2 Dozen
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, and set aside. In a large bowl, place the mashed squash, maple syrup, oil, zest, vanilla, and almond extract, and stir until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and fold lightly to blend. Add the remaining ingredients and fold gently to combine. Drop the cookie dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto two non-stick cookie sheets, and using a fork, flatten each cookie forming a criss-cross pattern on top. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown and set. Allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheets before transferring them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat procedure with remaining cookie dough. When cookies are completely cooled, transfer them to an airtight container for storage.
Yield: 4 Dozen
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