Daily Vegan Lunch for 19 December, 2013: Curried Squash Soup

vegan squash soupvegan squash soup1 teaspoon canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (2 1/2-pound) butternut squash, which we will roast
6 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
Salt to taste
2 teaspoons sugar (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Roast the squash.  Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Poke holes in squash with a fork (you can also use an acorn squash or even a pumpkin or kabocha if you are so inclined, whatever!) lay the squash on a cookie sheet or foil, and let it bake for one hour.  Take the squash out, cut it in half, and allow it to cool for at least a half hour.  Scoop out the seeds and save them for roasting: there’s nothing nicer than squash seeds roasted in a 400 degree oven for 10 – 15 minutes in a scant tablespoon of oil with a sprinkle of salt.  Or I suppose you could plant them for more squashes.  Anyway… the squash skin will now come off easily and you can chop the skinless squash in cubes.  Set it aside and throw away the skins.

In a large stock pot, cook the onion and garlic in oil on medium-high heat until onion is translucent.  Add the optional sugar, cumin, turmeric, and garam masala.  Stir for 30 seconds.  Add the cooked squash cubes and broth.  Transfer to a blender (in batches if necessary) and blend until extremely smooth.  Add salt to taste.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 24 November, 2013: Roasted Walnut Shiitake Dressing Stuffed Squash

This roasted walnut, mushroom, and panko stuffing would be perfect for Thanksgiving.  I was really happy to find out these squashes I bought from the grocery store were local.

vegan mushroom dressing stuffed squashvegan mushroom dressing stuffed squash
INGREDIENTS:

2 small or 1 large acorn squash

1.5 cups walnuts
2 cups onion, chopped
1 tablespoon oil
1.5 cups celery, chopped
1.5 cups broccoli florets, chopped

1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in water at least 20 minutes
1.5 – 2 cups panko or breadcrumbs
Up to 1.5 cups vegetable broth or saved mushroom water to moisten

DIRECTIONS:

Wash outside of squash, poke holes in it, and then roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  I save the seeds to roast and salt on a cookie sheet, yum!

Roast walnuts in a dry pan on medium heat until they give off a wonderful fragrance, about 5 minutes.  Don’t let them burn but it is okay to let them brown.  Add oil to the pan and onions.  Fry the onions for about 1 minute and add the broccoli and celery.

Chop the mushroom into small bits and add to the pan.  Add panko or breadcrumbs and mix well.  Add mushroom water and/or broth little by little and stir until the mixture is moistened.

Cut the cooked squash in half and remove the seeds by scooping them out with a spoon.  Stuff the squash halves with walnut-panko dressing.  Broil at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes until top browns.