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.
It’s finally becoming cooler here in Southern California, so now is the time for some truly comforting dishes. Grab a glass of wine, sit by the fire, watch the Biggest Loser Finale… Oh wait, that’s just me! ha ha I made this dish for my friend and I, and had plenty leftover, but it’d be great for hosting a small dinner party. What I really love about lasagna rolls, is that you get a designated portion instead of deciding what size your stomach would like while being hungry and maybe over doing it.
Another reason why I love this dish, specifically, is because it doesn’t have the traditional flavors that most people have come to expect from lasagna; in fact, it’s almost the exact opposite. With its rich and creamy butternut squash center, savory mushroom kale saute, hints of sage and browned “butter” sauce this dish’s flavors come together perfectly to create a warm and delicious dish.
Look at the Mushroom with a Butt!!
You can always bake the squash ahead of time, so that the recipe is done faster the night that you make it. The way a bake my Butternut Squash is how I bake any other squash: Halve the squash, scoop out seeds, place face down in a casserole dish that has a 1/4″ of water in the bottom of it, poke holes in the rind with a fork and bake at 375°F for 30-40 minutes.
Makes Roughly 6 Lasagna Rolls
For Squash Filling:
- 3 Cups Cooked Butternut Squash
- 3/4 Cup Raw Cashews, Soaked in water for 2+ hours
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
- Place all ingredients into a food processor and puree until completely smooth, taste and add salt and pepper to your liking. Set aside until lasagna noodles are done.
For Mushroom Kale Saute:
- 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 Cup White Onion, Diced
- 1 lb. Button Mushrooms, Sliced
- 1 1/2 Cups Kale, De-stemmed and chopped
- 2 Tbsp. Liquid Aminos
- 1/2 Tbsp. Dried Sage
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat, once hot saute onions in oil until clear. Add mushrooms and kale to the mixture and cook until both the kale and mushrooms are darker and wilted.
- Use the liquid aminos, sage, salt and pepper to season the mixture and saute together for an additional 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
For Lasagna Roll Construction:
- 6 Lasagna Noodle Strips, boiled for 8-10 minutes and drained thoroughly
- Butternut Squash Mixture
- Mushroom Kale Saute
- Lay Lasagna noodles out and spread roughly 2/3 cup of squash mixture onto each one. Evenly distribute the mushroom kale saute amongst the noodles, the proceed to roll them up CAREFULLY (they will be full) and set them “seam” down into an oiled casserole dish.
- Preheat oven to 350°F and move on to making the Browned “Butter” Sage sauce before baking.
For Browned “Butter” Sage Sauce:
- 1/2 Cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
- 1/4 cup Non-Dairy Milk
- 1 tsp. Dried Sage
- 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
- 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
- 1/4 Cup Daiya Mozzarella Shreds
- Melt buttery sticks and milk together in a small pan over medium heat. Add in sage, salt, and pepper; stir together until it is as combined as it will get. Earth balance is made up of oils so it is not going to want to meld with the milk for the most part.
- Sprinkle the Daiya shreds throughout the mixture and cook until they are melted completely and the sauce is more of a cream. While the sauce is still hot, spoon over lasagna rolls.
- Place rolls into the oven for 15-20 minutes and serve warm with a nice salad.