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

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Mini Potato Kugels

I love that all the food we cooked for this year’s Passover Sedar, we cooked as a family! Such a sweet day with the four of us! Most of the recipes we made were also great for year round.

In searching for some kiddo & adult friendly Passover recipes I found this one for Mini Potato Kugels. They are perfect little cups of fried onions and potatoes, so really yummy handheld hash browns 🙂 My kids really liked them (even raw as we were making them) and pressing them into the muffin tins! Plus it was super fun for both of the kiddos to take turns pressing the on/off switch on the food processor to grate these.

I was also inspired because this is one of Mayim Bialik’s recipes and LOVE all things Mayim! True to form it was great 🙂

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Mini Potato Kugels

5 medium potatoes, grated
1 large onion, grated
3 Tablespoons olive oil, separated
1 teaspoon paprika
1 Tablespoon potato starch

Salt, to taste (somehow I missed that this was not in the recipe, so notice the salt I sprinkled on top 🙂 but best to add to the mixture first!)

  1. Grate the potatoes, and then drain the liquid from them.
  2. Saute the grated onion in 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil until soft but not brown. Add paprika.
  3. Mix onions into the potatoes and add potato starch and 1 more Tablespoon olive oil.
  4. Push into greased muffin tins, filling each muffin space all the way to the top, and spritz with a little more oil.
  5. Bake at 400F for 40 minutes.

Polenta Squares with Sun-Dried Tomato and Walnut Tapenade

I love Gena’s site and have always been happy with how her recipes come out! We love Polenta in our house, so not surprising when I saw this one I had to try! I am such a sucker for appetizers too, they really are always the best part of any meal or party! I made these for several gathering and parties and they were always a hit. Enjoy!!!

You can prepare the polenta up to 2 days in advance, and the tapenade up to 3 days. On the day of your party, simply broil the polenta squares and top them with the tapenade. The polenta can also be used as a base for many different seasonings. Try & play around 🙂

Just a couple of past polenta dishes and I am sure many more to come: Creamy Polenta with Barbecue Seitan SauceVegan Creamy Polenta with Sausage and PeppersMushroom and Kale PolentaPolenta & Shallot SquaresPolenta with Nectarine-Blackberry SalsaPolenta with Black Beans, Pan-Fried Tofu & Roasted Coconut Tomato SauceSlow Cooked Corn Polenta and Chiles and Polenta Vegetable Casserole.

Polenta Squares with

Polenta Squares with Sun-Dried Tomato and Walnut Tapenade
Recipe from http://www.choosingraw.com 
Serves 22 (recipe can easily be halved)

Polenta Party Squares

6 cups vegetable broth (low sodium if possible)
2 cups polenta (yellow cornmeal)
1 teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 batch sun-dried tomato and walnut tapenade

Bring the polenta, salt, and broth to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer. Using a long wooden spoon, continually stir the polenta until it has thickened (approximately 25-30 minutes). When the mixture is very thick and is pulling away from the sides of the pot, stir in the pepper and thyme.
Oil a 15.25 x 10.25 baking sheet (or line with parchment paper). Spread the polenta mixture evenly over the sheet with an inverted knife. It should be about as thick as the edge of the pan itself. Allow it to cool, and then transfer to the fridge for a few hours.
Preheat your broiler. Cut the polenta into squares (you should get about 22). Return them to a baking sheet and brush lightly with olive oil. Place under a broiler for 8 minutes, or until they’re lightly toasted. You can alternately bake them at 375 for twenty-five minutes or so. Top each square with a tablespoon of tapenade, and serve.

Sun-dried Tomato and Walnut Tapenade

3/4 cups sun-dried tomatoes (not oil soaked)
2 cups water
2/3 cups walnuts
2 small cloves garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Boil the water and pour it over the tomatoes. Allow them to soften for 20 minutes. Discard most of the water (keep a half cup in case you need to thin the tapenade).
Grind the walnuts in a food processor fitted with the S blade until they’re finely ground. Add the tomatoes and garlic, and pulse to combine. Add the lemon, sea salt, pepper, and rosemary.
Run the motor of the food processor and drizzle in the oil in a thin stream. If the mixture is still very thick, drizzle in some of the soak water from the tomatoes until it reaches the desired consistency. You’re aiming for the consistency of regular tapenade, or a thick pesto.

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Spanakopita – Spinach Pie

My kids are Obsessed with Spanakopita so naturally I had to make some at home. It was hard to save them some 😉 but we did manage it. I have made this since without the puff pastry because the filling is just so good on its own. Also love my veganized version with tofu, no one would even notice, it is just so good!

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Spanakopita – Spinach Pie

2 – 10 ounce packages frozen spinach, thawed
1 pound extra firm tofu, crumbled
1 teaspoon dill
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup walnuts, ground​
​2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon salt
pepper, taste
1/4 cup olive oil
dashes of nutmeg, thyme, marjoram, basil and oregano
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, quartered and chopped (cleaned super well!)
4 scallions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed (or phyllo dough)

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Saute the onion with a little salt in olive oil until translucent. Add in the leeks, garlic and scallions, season with salt, and continue to saute until translucent.
  3. Combine the spinach, tofu, dill, lemon juice, walnuts, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, olive oil & spices together and mix well.
  4. Combine onion mixture with the spinach/tofu mixture.
  5. Line a baking sheet with ether parchment paper or aluminum foil. Unfold puff pastry and place on baking sheet. Spread the spinach mixture over the pastry, leaving a border of one inch all around the edges. Keep the spinach flat; do not pile high. Cover with the second sheet of pastry that has been slightly flattened to one inch bigger than the first sheet. (This ensures all the spinach will be covered). Press edges together with fingertips, making sure mixture is sealed well. Brush just the top with non-dairy milk, Cut a few slits in the top with a sharp knife to allow steam to escape.
  6. Bake 30-40 minutes, until golden brown. Can be served hot or at room temperature.

You have options for the extra filling. You can use it like a dip, eat it with a spoon or take another sheet of puff pastry and made deelish spinach pinwheels!

For the pinwheels: Unfold the pastry sheet on the work surface. Top with the spinach mixture. Starting at a short side, roll up like a jelly roll. Cut into 1/2-inch slices. Place the slices onto 2 baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. Remove the pastries from the baking sheets and let cool on wire racks for 10 minutes.

Rosemary White Bean Dip

I have made this dish now a few times and every time I prepared it a bit differently and every time it came out deelish!! Super easy, super yummy, healthy and everyone will love it!

I am really into cooking dried beans lately instead of using canned ones. I found this insanely easy technique of just soaking them and cooking them on low for 4+ hours in a crock pot! Done, easy peasy!! Beautiful! You will never have to use canned beans again unless you are in a pinch!!

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3 variations:

  1. red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  2. roasted garlic blended in & saved some full roasted cloves for garnish
  3. fresh garlic blended
Rosemary White Bean Dip
adapted from MarthaStewart.com
  • baguette or crackers
  • 2 cans (15.5 ounces each) cannellini beans, rinsed & drained OR 1/2 lb dried beans, soaked & cooked
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • (optional) fresh or roasted garlic

If using baguette, slice 1/2 inch thick, brush with olive oil, and cook in a 350-degree oven until lightly toasted.

In a food processor, combine cannellini beans, olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice and garlic (optional). Process until smooth, adding water if necessary. Add 2 teaspoons rosemary and pulse until combined. Season with salt & pepper and Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle with a little oil.

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites

I have always loved to entertain but haven’t had the space in so long, especially the last year with 4 of us in a 1-bedroom apartment! But now that we have moved and have a bit more space, we are able to have more people over. And that means fun food for me 🙂 We are still new here but expect to see a bunch of party appetizers/HD’s/1-biters in the near future!

These were super good and went fast! They are a bit gooey to work with so next time I might add more thickener but no one was complaining 🙂 My mom tried them out and brought them right away to a party that weekend. See below for her changes as well.

With Chocolate - to us this really wasn't optional :)

With Chocolate – to us this really wasn’t optional 🙂

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites
recipe from namelymarly.com

1 cup Rice Chex
1 cup potato flakes
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened Vegan Butter (aka, Earth Balance margarine)
1 cup powdered sugar (less if you used sweetened peanut butter)
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
1 – 2 cups dark chocolate chips, plus more for melting and dipping

Pulse Rice Chex and instant mashed potatoes in a food processor until fairly pulverized. It doesn’t have to be flour-like, but in the neighborhood.
Add the peanut butter and softened Vegan Butter. Pulse for a few more seconds until everything is blended.
Add the powdered sugar and ground flax seed and pulse a few more times to mix it together.
Transfer the dough into a medium lidded bowl. Add the chocolate chips and stir so they’re evenly incorporated.
Put the lid on the bowl and place it in the fridge for a minimum of an hour so the dough firms up a bit. (makes it so much easier to work with!) Take tablespoon size pieces and roll into balls.

Optional – Double Boil chocolate and dip. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Naked Balls

Naked Balls

My mom’s changes:

She used some almond butter also, instead of all peanut butter, added about 1/4 cup extra potato flakes to make a thicker batter,  used ground sunflower seeds and fiber one instead of chex. She didn’t dip into chocolate- just put a dollop of melted chocolate on each and swirled a little with back of my spoon.
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Fresh Bruschetta with Tomato, Basil and Red Onion

Love SUMMER!!! Fresh farm fresh veggies, picnics, vegan BBQs, pot-lucks and lots of family and friends FUN!

There is something so special about heading over to the farmers market and picking out the best and brightest fresh-picked veggies. Tomatoes are especially the best find since there is nothing like fresh summer tomatoes! Here is a perfect recipe for enjoying those fresh, juicy summer tomatoes. Yum!!

Fresh Bruschetta with Tomato, Basil and Red Onion

  • loaf of fresh bread, sliced (we used olive bread)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 fresh plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped (or the best freshest looking tomatoes you see)
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch of basil, chopped
  • Coarse salt
  1. Rub sliced bread with garlic and olive oil.
  2. Combine tomatoes, onion and basil in a bowl. Add extra olive and salt to taste.
  3. Spoon onto sliced bread and enjoy!

Make it a party and add a fresh Salad, Guac & Chips and fresh summer corn! Even just the thought of fresh summer corn has me ready for the next party! The best!

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