I’m a little worried, and it’s probably not what you think. I may or may not be addicted to sandwiches. Of course, there are worse problems to have, but I used to be indifferent to the carb-loaded, tasty meals. If I saw one that looked good, I’d go for the wrap (which are also very good) without a second thought. Now, I’m stuffing whatever combination of foods I can between two toasty slices of bread to see what I can come up with.
What makes sandwiches so appealing is that they are pretty low-maintenance, relatively easy to eat (depending on how large you make it), and damn delicious. With all of the recipes that I’ve been making for the Great Vegan Pumpkin eBook and the Fall Vegan Cuts eBook I’ve been low on time for much else, and this sandwich really hit the spot. In it are a few of my favorite things: Arugula, Garlic, Vegenaise, and obviously, Butternut Squash.
These ingredients are easy-to-find and (mostly) healthy! Although, after all of the squash that I’ve been eating I may turn orange. But, I digress, the warm, roasted butternut squash against the peppery arugula and toasted bread create a wonderful world of flavor and texture. Go ahead and throw some Roasted Garlic Vegenaise in that bad boy and you’ve got yourself a party!
You could easily make your own Vegan roasted garlic mayo but roasting a head of garlic, with the top chopped off and brushed with olive oil, at the same time as your butternut squash. Then blend it with a cup of vegan mayo and you’re good to go. I dare you not to eat this on everything that you can. I’ve had to switch between this flavor and the chipotle so that I don’t OD on either one. (SO GOOD!!)
I am fortunate enough to have a copy of Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just for You, in my possession, and I have to say that I’m really excited about this cookbook! I almost never use my slow cooker because the recipes that come out of it are massive, and like she mentions in her book, I don’t feel like eating chili for a week straight. Luckily, this brief review and giveaway ties right in with the Born to Mac MoFo festivities, because of this tasty recipe for Cheezy Butternut Squash Macaroni!
This recipe is a little different from most that you’ve seen this month, because it has some comforting Fall herbs and a delicious dose of garlic. Not only that, this pasta is super easy to make, much like a lot of recipes in this cookbook. There are a set of ingredients that you put in at the beginning of the day, and a couple more before serving, and you’re set! The smell of garlic, rosemary and thyme had my whole family salivating.
Another recipe that I tried from this book was the Creamy Tomato Basil Bisque. I’m a total sucker for Tomato Bisque, in general, but you throw in the ease of using a slow cooker and some basil? I’m all yours. Of course, I kind of messed this up by forgetting that I was cooking it, so I REALLY slow cooked the tomatoes. But, you know what? It tasted great anyway. Success!
Other recipes in this book that I want to try out are the Chocolate Pumpkin Brownie Breakfast Quinoa (WHAT?!), the Lavender Rose Valentine Cocoa, the White Bean Quinoa Gumbo and so many more. The photos are by my friend and extremely talented photographer, Kate Lewis, and they are absolutely drool-worthy.
That recipe title sure is a mouthful! And that’s not even getting to the kale part. One thing that I love about steaming is that it’s so damn easy; I mean, it is pretty hard to mess it up. In this case you don’t actually need a fancy steamer, just a large pot and pan will get you on your way to enjoying a healthy and flavorful meal. Well, maybe a steamer basket for the pot, too.
Just take one look at this recipe and you can see that it’s chock full of Vitamin A from the carrots and butternut squash, plus fiber and potassium. Quinoa gives you some lean protein and fiber, as well as amino acids. This is a well-rounded meal! When everything is steaming, you can whip up the southwestern tahini sauce in mere minutes, making this dish very easy to put together. Top it off with green onions and roasted pepitas, and you’re set.
In other news, there’s supposed to be a thunderstorm tomorrow (yay!), so maybe it’ll water my seedlings that I waited very long to plant. I love it when Mother Nature does a couple of chores for me.
Pretty Clouds and A late Pumpkin Seedling
The weather in Southern California has been a bit odd lately, yes I know that it’s always a little warmer here in the winter, but when it’s in the 80′s for almost two weeks straight there is a problem (yes, I know that there can be worse problems!). Starting yesterday, the weather has started to cool down a bit, thank goodness. What this means for you is that there while be some more comforting, satisfying recipes in your future; but they’ll still be in the realm of healthy for those of you who are interested in that sort of thing (me!), and possibly those of you who are working on an online cooking degree.
No matter what the weather is like my love for squash never subsides, seriously, I’m an addict! I really love butternut squash, with its creamier texture and great flavor, but I find that I don’t cook with it as often as other squash varieties. Because I had some small butternuts on hand, from my CSA, I figured that I was definitely going to be baking and stuffing them. Looking into my refrigerator I saw that I had some of the perfect ingredients for what I was picturing in my mind, some Tofurky Kielbasa, Daiya Cheddar Shreds, purple carrots, celery, quinoa in the pantry; this was going to be one colorful and tasty dish!
If you’ve never tried Tofurky Kielbasa, I highly recommend it if you’re looking for sausage substitute; I’ll try my hand at making my own in the future, but these are definitely convenient as they are tasty. Other than that, most of the ingredients are easily attainable and rich in nutrients.
- 2 Small Butternut Squashes, Sliced in half length-wish and Seeds Scooped out
- 1 Cup Dry Quinoa
- 1 3/4 Cup No Salt Added Vegetable Broth
- 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 2 Cups Leeks, Diced
- 1 Cup Carrots, 1/4″ slices
- 1 Cup Celery, 1/4″ slices
- 2 Tofurky Kielbasa, sliced
- One 14 oz. Can Organic Diced Tomatoes
- 3 Cups Spinach, Chopped (if not baby spinach)
- 1/2 tsp. Dried Basil
- 1/2 tsp. Dried Oregano
- 1/2 tsp. Dried Sage
- 1/3-1/2 tsp. Fennel Seeds
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- 1/4 Cup Daiya Cheddar Shreds
- Preheat oven to 375°F, take the 4 butternut squash halves and place them face down in one large casserole dish or 2 smaller ones. Fill the dish with water 1/4″ high and once the oven is at temperature, bake the squash for 35-40 minutes. Prep your vegetables while the squash is baking.
- Start cooking the quinoa with the vegetable broth in a small pan over medium heat, leave covered until the water is soaked up (approximately 20 minutes) then fluff with a fork.
- Warm the olive oil a large pan over medium heat, once hot introduce the leeks, carrots and celery to the pan and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the kielbasa, tomatoes, spinach and herbs to the mix and sauté until the spinach is wilted.
- When the butternut squash is done baking leave the oven on, but take the squash out and scoop out the insides. Leave a 1/4″ layer of squash in the rind so that it holds its shape, and add the squash chunks to the sauté mixture.
- Once the sauté is evenly combined distribute it evenly between the four butternut squash rinds and place them back into the casserole dishes.
- Lower the oven temperature to 350°F, and sprinkle a little Daiya on top of each squash. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the shreds are melted a bit.
There are so many wonderful textures in this meal, crunchy celery, smooth butternut squash, and juicy tomato chunks accompanied by many other ingredients that will delight your palate. I’d have to say that this recipe was a total success, and something that would be great for a family dinner, or hosting a couple of friends.