Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

On June 6, 2016, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I tend to think of squash in October when front porches are getting filled with pumpkins and gourds and comfort food permeates the desire to stay warm as the weather cools down from the summer heat. While that may be the case through the years, I’m starting to change the behavior each time I enjoy squash outside of the Fall season.  Why relegate this flavorful food to only one season?  Just because it is most associated with comfort food. Isn’t comfort food something relevant all year?

In my challenge to this behavior, I was presented some beautiful acorn squash at the Studio City Farmers’ Market.  I picked one from the box of freshly picked squash and paid my $2.

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Roasting squash gives it such a beautiful color and really makes the ‘meat’ inside come to life. For this recipe, I simply brushed some olive oil and cracked some pepper and salt over each half after cleaning out the seeds.  You can follow what I did here with quinoa stuffing or you can mix it up. Feel free to use couscous or farro instead of quinoa.  Also any diced dried fruit works too.  Cranberries, apricots, go ahead and experiment for your own creation.  Or you can just do what I did if you want to guarantee success.

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
Serves 2

1 acorn squash, halved and seeds removed
1 cup cooked quinoa
3 tablespoons dried cherries, diced
1 celery stalk, think sliced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
salt & pepper to taste
olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place acorn squash halves on foil and drizzle olive oil and salt and pepper the inside of the squash. Face the inside up on the baking sheet.  Cook for 20 minutes.  Turn the squash over and cook for 10 minutes longer then remove and keep warm.

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Cook your quinoa according the package directions. You’ll need only a 1/2 cup of dried quinoa.  Once cooked set aside and keep warm.

When squash is ready, add the quinoa, celery and cherries a saute pan with a tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Let it cook for a few minutes.  Spoon the mixture into the roast squash.  Add a tablespoon of Greek yogurt and 1 teaspoon of chopped mint on top of each squash. (Note: in my photo above I forgot to add the mint. Mint is optional, but preferred.)

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Abundance Bowl

On April 28, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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We often take a long drive out to Ojai on Sundays to get out of the city and to experience one of our favorite Farmers’ Markets. There is a great selection of organic fruits and vegetables plus some great cheese vendors, but it’s more about the experience.  An experience of driving through the hills to eventually spend an afternoon enjoying the market and park in the center of town.

Our other stop is a great vegan restaurant called Hip Vegan, of course. Dumb name aside it really is a wonderful place to have lunch. One of our favorite options is choosing from some of the abundance bowls they serve.

What’s an abundance bowl?

It’s basically a bowl full of various vegetables along with some grains or beans and a dressing. I had been wanting to try a version at home since we only get out to Ojai maybe once every couple months. Thanks to Pinterest I found a pretty solid Abundance Bowl recipe.

The Garlic-Ginger Pumpkin Seed Sauce in this recipe from the blog My New Roots is a bit of a different take than what we get in Ojai at Hip Vegan.  However, it’s even a better take. You’ll love the dressing here and it does keep for about 2 weeks.

Enjoy!

Full Recipe: [My New Roots Winter Abundance Bowl]

 

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Coconut Rice with Butternut Squash

On December 30, 2013, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Coconut Rice with Butternut Squash
Serve 4-6

2 cups rice
4 cups water
1 butternut squash, cubed
3 tablespoons coconut yogurt
¼ teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon cumin

Cut up the butternut squash into bite size cubes and place in a single layer in two vacuum seal packages. Cook for 90 minutes in the SousVide Supreme at 183 degrees.

Meanwhile add the rice into a rice cooker and fill water to the level for two cups of rice if using a cooker. If not using a rice cooker, add 4 cups of water to the 2 cups of rice.  Add the coconut milk and spices and stir together so there are no lumps from the yogurt.  Cook the rice in the rice cooker (or heat in a pan to a boil then cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 20 minutes.)

Once the rice and squash are done, add the two together. Pour in a little olive oil and add some fresh cracked pepper. Serve.

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Root Vegetables and Lentils in Mustard Sauce

On July 20, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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This is an adaptation of a recipe I posted before: Lentils with Turnip, Leeks and Carrots.

I made a few edits since I’m still doing my series on “Hotel Home Cooking.” Much of the original recipe was followed; however, I lacked cloves and red wine vinegar plus I had some yellow zucchini that I added to the carrots, leeks, and garlic.

The final result isn’t that attractive. Fortunately, the flavors are rich with the Dijon mustard vinaigrette that’s added at the end.

This is a good recipe too since it is affordable and makes enough for a couple evenings.

 

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Butternut Squash Risotto

On December 3, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Alright I have a confession, I’m really a pathetic food blogger. Basically all I do is checkout Emily Levenson’s food blog, make what she makes, take a couple photos and then link to her site.  If you haven’t gotten the hint yet, you should be following Emily’s blog. (You should keep reading mine too, since I do occasionally make things not from her blog that I hope you think are worth trying.)

Tonight I had a butternut squash waiting all week on my counter until I got around to making this recipe.  It really turns out to be a richly colorful dish.  The orange risotto is a thing of beauty and I’m debating what to do with the leftovers after tonight.  I’m leaning toward some cider baked chicken breasts atop my leftover risotto.

This evening we stayed vegetarian and paired this dish with a salad.  Together it made for a great vegan meal.

For the recipe: Butternut Squash Risotto

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Squash Casserole

On November 2, 2011, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I have to admit before moving to a more vegetarian diet, I really didn’t find many uses for squash (or zucchini.) It’s kind of a dull, often mushy vegetable. Fortunately, vegetarian cooking has caused me to rediscover how great squash can be and dishes like this one put the vegetable to good use with minimal effort.

Of course, the big secret here is a nice thick crust of mozzarella cheese. You can use soy mozzarella cheese if you are vegan. That’s the only change to the recipe below necessary to go from vegetarian to vegan.

Squash Casserole
Serves 4-6

1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
3-4 yellow squash or zucchini, chopped into 1-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can of cooked lentils, drained
1/2 cup cooked brown rice

Preheat oven to 350. In a casserole dish, combine all of the ingredients but only 1/2 a cup of the cheese. Stir it together and pat it flat. Now add the other cup of shredded cheese to cover mixture. Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes, watching to get a good brown coloring on the cheese.

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Vegetarian Tacos

On July 7, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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It’s no secret I love tacos, but finding a great vegetarian taco is not easy. So many restaurants over use bell peppers or try to get to complicated with sauces or cheeses. Fortunately, I found a fairly basic recipe from the vegetarian cookbook Appetite for Reduction. I modified it quite a bit, but kept some of its essence too as I liked the minimalist but impact of the spices used.

On a side note, our son Oscar liked the tacos too with one change – “no hot stuff.”

Vegetarian Tacos
Serves 4

1 medium yellow squash, cut into small cubes
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
2 small red or yellow potatoes, cut into small cubes and cooked
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed, removing all liquid
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup of salsa verde
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
tortillas
salt

Cook the potatoes in a small pot for about 8-10 minutes until done.

Start by heating the olive oil and cooking the squash and jalapeno together for about 7 minutes on medium heat and adding some salt to taste. Add the cumin, coriander, black beans and cooked potatoes to the squash and jalapeno. Cook for 5 minutes on medium-low heat then add the salsa verde and cook for about a minute more.

Heat the tortillas. I prefer heating them on a gas stove top turning frequently to get a nice charred burn or two.

Serve.

 

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