Butternut Squash Potstickers

It was my MIL’s birthday so I wanted to come up with a special menu of her favorites. I know she loves Apples, Butternut Squash and Peanut Butter, so I thought those were good ones to start with. I made these potstickers, Apple Cider Caramel Dipped ApplesPeanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites and White Bean Dip and crudite & sliced toasted baguette. (recipes to come!!) YUM!!!

On Lisa Dawn’s site I found an awesome recipe for Butternut Squash Potstickers and knew we would all love them. It was no joke, these are amazing!!!! I used her recipe, the original (from Martha Stewart), added more fresh ginger and we all loved them. I doubled the recipe and made the whole batch while keeping half in the warming drawer to serve a little later. (not too much later as these went fast!!)  also used Lisa’s perfect dipping sauce. Perfection!

I had leftover filling and it was great as a pasta sauce and also for the babies, they LOVED it!

Butternut Squash Pot

Butternut Squash Potstickers
makes about 20 potstickers

1 pound butternut squash, peeled and seeded, flesh cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup tamari
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
20 vegan wonton wrappers, thawed if frozen
1/4 cup canola or sunflower oil
  1. Place squash, tamari and sugar in a saucepan.  Cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook until soft and drain. Mash with a potato masher or immersion blender until smooth. Add the scallions and ginger and mix to combine.
  2. Place 1 tablespoon filling in the center of each wrapper; brush edges with water. Bring up corners to make a triangle; press to seal. Place on a baking sheet; freeze until firm, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add 10 potstickers, and cook, shaking pan frequently, until bottoms are golden brown. Turn pot stickers over; very carefully (holding the lid in front of you) pour in 1/2 cup water, and cover. Steam until most liquid is evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish and repeat with remaining oil and pot stickers. Serve with dipping sauce.

Lisa’s Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup tamari
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 scallion, sliced thinly

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Butternut Squash Filling

Butternut Squash Filling

Filling as a pasta sauce

Filling as a pasta sauce

Layered Lentil and Butternut Appetizers

I hope everyone had a great holiday!!! The season is just beginning! This is a great dish that can be an appetizer or easily adapted into an entree. Perfect seasonal food to keep you toasty & warm! Plus it was AMAZING!

The only thing I would do differently next time is make more and make some of them in kid-friendly serving-ware as they love love loved this dish! The lentils are so easy and similar to what I make often for us as a staple. And the butternut was so amazing and smooth with the coconut milk added to it. YUM!

Layered Lentil and B

Layered Lentil and Butternut Appetizers

Adapted from Eatwell101.com 

Mashed Butternut

  • 1lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded & chopped
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Put butternut squash into a pot or a large saucepan and soak up with water, cover and cook until the squash pieces are tender.
  2. Drain the butternut keeping the cooking water.
  3. Then blend it with coconut milk and cinnamon adding a little cooking water to obtain the desired consistency.
  4. Adjust seasoning and pour into the bottom of the glasses.

Mashed Lentil Curry

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 lb green or brown lentils
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • Salt and pepper
  1. In a large pan, sauté the onions in olive oil.
  2. When the onion is softened , add the lentils, water and curry. Cover and cook until lentils are tender, add a little water during cooking if necessary.
  3. Once the lentils are cooked, drain them keeping the cooking water.
  4. Immersion Blend half of the lentils and add more water depending on desired consistency.
  5. Season to taste.

To create the layers. Pour the squash into the glass first, follow with the lentils and finish by topping your with a second layer of butternut puree. Serve warm or hot.

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VeggieGirl’s Banana-Butternut-Pecan Bread

Anything that I have ever made from VeggieGirl’s site always comes out super awesome! I figured as much when I doubled the recipe to make 2 loaves of this awesome dessert bread! It came out deelish and the second loaf froze great for later use 🙂

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VeggieGirl’s Banana-Butternut-Pecan Bread

(**Adapted from the Lower-Fat Banana Bread recipe in the Veganomicon cookbook**)

  • 3 overripe bananas
  • 2 cups steamed butternut squash cubes
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons molasses
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup pecans, crushed (**plus more for sprinkling on top of the batter at the end)
  •  Nondairy “milk” of choice, added to the batter as needed

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly coat a 9″x5″ loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, thoroughly mash three of the bananas along with the steamed squash. Then, add in the applesauce, grapeseed oil, turbinado sugar, and molasses. Mix well.

In the same bowl, add in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and pecan pieces. As the mixture starts to thicken up/combine, add as much nondairy “milk” as you need (but not too much) so that the batter is mixable.

Pour mixture into the 9″x5″ loaf pan (coated generously with nonstick cooking spray), sprinkling some more pecan pieces on to of the batter (press them lightly into the batter so that they will stick better).

Bake for about 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

 

Butternut Cranberry Oat Muffins

We recently moved to the country and it has been beyond amazing but now Michael has a bit longer commute. So I am trying to come up with some quick and healthy “grab as you run out the door” breakfasts 🙂 Green Juice, check! (thank you Blue Print Bottles!) But then something a bit more substantial for him throughout the morning. These were super yummy, kid & husband approved!

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Butternut Cranberry Oat Muffins
Makes 12

¾ cup organic cane sugar
1 ½ cups unbleached all purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat pastry or spelt flour
½ cup oats
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup almond or other nondairy milk
1 cup cooked pumpkin or butternut squash, mashed
2 tablespoons canola or other neutral oil
1 teaspoon white or rice vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
½ cup dried cranberries

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray regular sized muffin tins with cooking spray
  3. Combine the sugar, flours, oats, salt, baking powder and soda in a large bowl. Stir well to combine.
  4. In another bowl, mix the remaining ingredients except the cranberries. Stir until well mixed.
  5. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, along with the cranberries, and stir well but quickly to combine. Do not over-stir the dough otherwise the muffins will come out tough. . Spoon the batter into the muffin tins to fill about 2/3 of each cup.
  6. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until the muffins are golden brown and cooked in the middle. Let cool on a rack. Enjoy 🙂

Perfect Fall Soup: Butternut Squash, Carrot & Apple Soup

Today was that perfect Fall day. Super brisk yet still super sunny highlighting those gorgeous fall colors!! We spent the late afternoon crunching on all the fallen leaves and a messy outdoor art project!! It was a bit chilly and as it got later (and colder) I figured it was the perfect day for a warm & creamy soup. Yum!!

I was thinking Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk. Then I decided to add carrots from the CSA and apples we picked last weekend. I figured this was going to be a winning combination and it was!

I used pre-chopped butternut squash which made this meal a breeze and done within 30 minutes!

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Butternut Squash, Carrot & Apple Soup

  • medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 apples, peeled and chopped
  • bag of carrots/parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups (water & broth)(I used 2 of each) 
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 can of coconut milk (all I had was light and it still came out creamy)
  • dash of nutmeg & cinnamon

In a large pot sauté onions in olive oil while peeling and cutting the squash, carrots & apples.
Turn the heat down and add the veggies, stirring until they are all added.
Add liquid and salt &pepper.
Cover and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer until the squash and carrots are soft.
Using an immersion blender puree completely smooth in the same pot.
Add coconut milk, nutmeg & cinnamon, taste and season, stir (I used the blender again) and enjoy!

Gingered Butternut Squash Soup (slow cooker)

This was a yummy warming soup that was great for this chillier weather we are having. I was hoping this would come out with a stronger “thai” or spiced flavor but I could not really taste the lemongrass, so if you rather leave it out, it would be fine. The candied ginger and the pepitas added some really good flavor and texture. Plus I love slow-cooker meals! (although I am sure you could make this in a soup pot on the stove) Start it in the morning and when you get home you have a fabulous dinner ready to go! Perfect! Enjoy this creamy squash soup 🙂

Check out these other slow cooker meals I made: Slow-cooked Open Enchiladas, Mixed Veggies with Peanut Sauce, Butternut squash, Apricots and Apples with Quinoa, Slow Cooked Corn Polenta and Chiles and Crock-Pot Oatmeal.

Before adding the squash and broth

Gingered Butternut Squash Soup (slow cooker)

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 tablespoon, minced ginger root
1 teaspoon, fresh cracked pepper
2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed, smashed and cut in half crosswise
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted
8 cups butternut squash, cubed
6 cups vegetable stock
2 cups coconut milk
3 teaspoons red curry paste
1 lime, juiced and zested
1/2 cup pepitas, toasted
1/2 cup of candied ginger, chopped

  1. In a skillet or a meal slow-cooker liner, heat oil over medium heat and add onions, cook for 3 minutes till softened. Add ginger, pepper, lemongrass and toasted cumin, stirring for 1 minute. Either place liner in slow-cooker or transfer skillet  contents to stoneware. Add butternut squash and veggie stock.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours until squash is tender.
  3. Mix 1 tablespoon of coconut milk with the curry paste and blend well.
  4. Add to slow cooker along with the rest of the coconut milk and lime juice and heat till cooked through, about 20 minutes. Discard the lemongrass.
  5. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup.
  6. Serve with toasted pepitas and candied ginger.

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese

Mac and Cheese is one of my ultimate comfort foods and I am always up for trying out different vegan versions 🙂 I love that this recipe uses 20 ounces of squash for the sauce so you “sneak” in the veggies and help make it a creamier sauce without needing extra vegan cheese. (although we didn’t really skimp on that:))  Check out Cheesy Baked Penne with Cauliflower (one of my fave versions ever!) and Quick, Easy & Healthy Vegan Mac & Cheeze (I also used winter squash in this one).

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese
adapted from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch
Serves 8

• 1 tablespoon refined coconut oil
• About 2 tablespoons fine sea salt
• 1 pound whole-wheat or brown rice elbow macaroni
• 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen pureed winter squash
• 2 cups soy, rice milk or almond milk
• 8 ounces vegan Cheddar cheese, shredded
• 4 ounces (about 1/2 cup) vegan cream cheese
• 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered mustard
• 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Oil a 2-quart casserole dish; set aside.
  2. In a 4- to 6-quart stockpot over high heat, combine 3 quarts of water with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the salt. Bring the water to a boil, add the macaroni, and cook according to the package directions.
  3. Meanwhile, in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine the squash and milk, stirring and breaking up the squash with a spoon until the squash is defrosted. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and whisk in the Cheddar, cream cheese, mustard, cayenne, and the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of salt.
  4. When the pasta is done, drain it, then return the pasta to the pot. Stir the cheese sauce into the macaroni. Transfer the entire mixture to the prepared baking pan.
  5. Sprinkle with more cheese and salt and pepper and then bake for 20 minutes.

Bring on the troops!

Thai Root Veggie Curry with Coconut Milk

I love curries! Since winter is ending (yeah!!!!) I wanted to get one last yummy root veggie dish on the table and this turned out amazing! I also love a big one pot meal, especially if I already have cooked rice in the fridge already like I did this night! Perfection!

Thai Root Veggie Curry with Coconut Milk
Serves 4

2 cups rice, cooked and set aside
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1 onion, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 turnips, trimmed and cubed
3 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 fingerling potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 1/2 cups hot vegetable broth, or more as needed
1 teaspoon red or yellow Thai curry paste, or more to taste
1 cup low-fat coconut milk
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and set over medium-high heat. Add ginger, onions and salt and cook 4 to 5 minutes until the onions softens. Reduce the heat to low and add the butternut squash, turnips, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes and zucchini and simmer.
  2. In a separate saucepan over medium heat, whisk the hot broth with the curry paste until the paste dissolves. Pour the broth over the vegetables to cover them; simmer over medium heat, covered , for 20 to 25 minutes,until veggies are tender.
  3. In the empty broth saucepan boil coconut milk until it reduces in volume by half. The pour over the vegetables and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the lime juice and serve over rice with lime wedges.

Butternut Squash Cornbread Stuffing

I’m so sorry to have gone MIA for so long! It was a crazy couple of months and then we went on a fabulous whirlwind tour of Australia 🙂 So no complaining here but I am happy to be back home and back in the kitchen!! And just in time for an awesome Thanksgiving recipe!!

I have always Loved the stuffing part of the meal so this dish is pretty perfect. It has all the carby goodness of the cornbread but much more veggies than a normal stuffing, so you can even enjoy this as a great fall meal. Yum! And I just love roasted squash! Plus this dish is also really low in fat compared to all the butter laden stuffing recipes out there 🙂

What are your favorite vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes/dishes? I would love to hear from you!!

Butternut Squash Cornbread Stuffing 
Serves 8 as Main Dish or 16 as Side Dish

  • 1 butternut squash (love buying the pre-chopped!!), cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 3-4 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 lb. button mushrooms, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14 ounce bag cornbread stuffing
  • 2 cups “chicken” flavored veggie broth
  • salt

Heat oven to 400°F. Spray sheet or roasting pan (I needed 2 pans – but I also made extra squash for buttnernut mash- nice to be able to double duty the recipe!) Spray pan with nonstick cooking spray and roast squash for 25 minutes. Rotate squash and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Set aside and reduce heat to 350°F.

In a saute pan or wok – heat canola oil and cook onions, pepper, celery and mushrooms until onion is translucent. Add garlic, cook for one minute more and remove from heat.

Combine squash, veggies, broth and cornbread in large bowl. Place in a baking dish/roasting pan (use the same 1 or 2 that you roasted squash in) and cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt to taste and enjoy 🙂

Spring/Summer Cleanse 2011: Week 1

It is that time of year, cleansing time! I love to do fasts and detoxes a few times a year. I have done so many different cleanses ranging from green smoothie cleanses, to juice cleanses, to the master cleanse and even gallbladder and liver cleanses. I decided this time around to embark on a longer more sustainable cleanse. It is a combo elimination diet and detox. This is helping me cleanse easily and effectively while I am continuing to eat. But I have cut out foods that would interfere with the cleansing process and that I feel I rely too much on in my diet. I used Dr. Alejandro Junger’s, Clean Program as a loose guideline. I am hoping to maintain eating primarily the foods of the Elimination Diet even after I finish the cleanse, while occasionally enjoying some of the other foods.

My Plan for the Cleanse:

Weeks 1-3 (21 days): (I plan on doing this part for 4 weeks)

  • Breakfast: Smoothie/Juice or Protein Shake
  • Lunch: Clean meal made of detox friendly foods (see list below)
  • Dinner: Smoothie/Juice/Soup/Blended Foods
  • Snacks: anything from the approved list, but only snack when truly hungry, not just bored. (I can certainly relate to this!)
  • Drink A LOT of water and/or herbal tea.
  • Also ideally lunch should be the real food meal, but of course since this is an extended cleanse, if you need to switch lunch and dinner sometimes it is fine, BUT make sure you keep
    a 12 hour window between dinner and breakfast free of food for optimal digestion and detoxing. (This actually makes this so much easier to sustain for weeks at a time, knowing that you can still go out for dinner sometimes!)
  • The shakes/smoothies/juices are meant to help decrease the amount of work your digestive system has to do so it can rest and  restore.

The general list of foods to remove for Elimination Diet includes: grains with gluten, anything processed (including all soy products), fatty nuts, nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant), condiments, sugar and obviously no dairy, animal products, alcohol, caffeine or soda. Click here to see Elimination List. and here to see the Shopping List.

Weeks 4: Juice Cleanse

I love my juice cleanses! See this post for more details.

Weeks 5: Back to the Elimination Diet Cleanse detailed above

With all stages I will include lots of Yoga of course and some cardio exercises.

Here is my first week of the cleanse broken down meal by meal to make it super easy for you to cleanse! Of course adjust times and recipes for your life and preferences. Meals in Bold have recipes listed below. I will post a few more recipes next week to add more variety 🙂

DAY ONE

8am Upon Rising: room temperature lemon water &/or herbal tea
10am Breakfast(at least an hour after waking): Morning Green Smoothie
1:30pm (lunch): Romaine with Caesar Dressing and Capers
8pm (dinner): Apple and Butternut Squash Soup

DAY TWO

8am Upon Rising: room temperature lemon water &/or herbal tea
10am Breakfast(at least an hour after waking): Morning Green Smoothie
2:00pm (lunch): Kitchari from JivamukTea Cafe (they use brown rice instead of white basmati! perfect!)
4pm (snack): A handful of mixed seeds and nuts
7pm (dinner): Shake: 1 serving UltraClear and MetaFiber mixed with water

DAY THREE

8am Upon Rising: room temperature lemon water &/or herbal tea
10:30am Breakfast(at least an hour after waking): Morning Green Smoothie
2:00pm (lunch): Raw Sesame Nut-meat salad from Bonobos
7:30pm (dinner): Shake: 1 serving UltraClear and MetaFiber mixed with water

DAY FOUR

5 am Upon Rising: room temperature lemon water &/or herbal tea
7:30 am Breakfast(at least an hour after waking): Morning Green Smoothie
12:00pm (lunch): Kitchari and a kale side from JivamukTea Cafe
4pm (snack): A handful of mixed seeds and nuts
8:30 pm (dinner): Cucumber and Avocado Soup

DAY FIVE

8am Upon Rising: room temperature lemon water &/or herbal tea
10am Breakfast(at least an hour after waking): Shake: 1 serving UltraClear and MetaFiber mixed with water
1:30pm (lunch): Berry Protein Shake
4pm (snack): A handful of mixed seeds and nuts
7pm (dinner): Coconut/Avocado Raw soup & Lover’s Salad from Caravan of Dreams

DAY SIX

9am Upon Rising: room temperature lemon water &/or herbal tea
11am Breakfast(at least an hour after waking): Berry Protein Shake
1:30pm (lunch): Chocolate Protein UN-Milkshake
4pm (snack): A handful of mixed pumpkin and sunflower seeds
7pm (dinner): Soba Noodle Soup at Souen Ramen

DAY SEVEN

9am Upon Rising: room temperature lemon water &/or herbal tea
11am Breakfast(at least an hour after waking): Mango and Coconut Smoothie
2:30pm (lunch): Leftover Soba Noodle Soup & Small Salad  with Caesar Dressing
5pm (snack): A handful of mixed seeds and nuts
9pm (dinner): Leftover FROZEN Berry Protein Shake (so fun! I was able to eat it like a creamy sorbet instead of drinking it :))

RECIPES

Morning Green Smoothie (2 servings)(We drink this most days as it is now :))

1 cup frozen Blueberries or raspberries
1 cup frozen Mango or Pineapple
big handful of baby spinach or 3 stalks of kale or chard
2 heaping tablespoons Synergy Green Powder, Vitamineral Green or other green powder
1 tablespoon Maca
1 heaping teaspoon Crystal Manna Blue green algae or E3AFA2 heaping tablespoons Psyllium Whole Husks or MetaFiber1 serving of Vegan Protein (soy-free) powder; Vega, UltraClear, Life’s Basics
2 cups Almond, Hemp or Coconut milk
1/2 cup water or coconut water

optional: coconut (unsweetened) or avocado

Blend everything together and Enjoy! Feel free to play around with ingredients (adding or ommitting them) but pay attention to the elimination diet guide (ie no bananas for this smoothie)

Berry Protein Shake
Recipe adapted from Dr. Alejandro Junger

1 cup nut/rice/hempseed milk of your choice (either homemade with 1/2 cup nuts and 1 1/2-2 cups water, or unsweetened)
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blackberries (optional)
3 pitted dates
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 serving of Vegan Protein Powder
1 serving of Fiber powder, Psyllium Husks or 2 ounces aloe juice
Handful of Spinach or serving of green powder

1. Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Mango and Coconut Smoothie

  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1/2 frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup dried unsweetened coconut
  • 2 teaspoons agave
  • 12 ounces almond, coconut milk or coconut water
  • handful of baby spinach

Blend and Enjoy!

Chocolate Protein UN-Milkshake

This was out of control deelish! It was so creamy and chocolatey! I would not have it everyday, but for a treat, especially when cleansing, it was amazing!

4 ounces of water
8 ounces of almond milk (unsweetened)
1/2 of an avocado
2 teaspoons organic almond butter
a pinch of sea salt
1 serving Chocolate Protein Powder – Vega Chocolate is Great!
1 serving MetaFiber
1 tablespoon Agave
1 heaping tablespoon raw cacao powder

1. Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Apple and Butternut Squash Soup
Recipe from Clean Book; Dr. Alejandro Junger

2 cups Butternut Squash, peeled and chopped
2 stalk celery
2 green apples, peeled
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup fresh tarragon, chopped
4-5 cups water

  1. Blend all ingredients except tarragon in a high speed blender.
  2. Check Seasoning
  3. Add the tarragon and blend again for 10 seconds, just enough to be mixed in.
  4. Serve in a bowl or mug slightly warm or at room temperature.

Cucumber and Avocado Soup
Recipe from Dr. Alejandro Junger
1 serving

zest of 1/2 lime
juice of an entire lime
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded, roughly chopped
1/2 avocado, peeled and roughly chopped

Blend everything together until totally creamy and smooth.

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