Recipe: Seasonal Affective Risotto (butternut squash and leeks, mainly) »
The yearly end of Daylight Savings Time puts me into a funk. I’m on the brink of another major depressive episode, and the only things keeping me going are Sadie (my cat companion), wine, and glitter.
Risotto takes a while to cook, it’s a good dish to make when you want to be brooding and pensive and listen to Bright Eyes’ Fevers and Mirrors. I made it with butternut squash and leeks and a bunch of random fresh herbs (rosemary, sage, and oregano) because those things came in my CSA box (so bourgey!). It lifted my mood enough to make me finally take a shower. Here’s how it went down.
Seasonal Affective Risotto
1 decent-sized butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
6 cups vegetable broth
2 large leeks, white and light-green parts only, thinly sliced
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup nutritional yeast (optional, but gives it a nice fall color and a cheesy flavor)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (if you have to pick just one, choose sage)
Salt and pepper
Preheat that oven to 400 degrees F. Put the squash on a baking sheet, and mix it up with two tablespoons of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Roast it for 40 minutes, stirring when you remember.
Put the broth in a saucepan, heat it to a simmer, turn off the heat, and cover.
On medium-low, heat the remaining oil in another saucepan or wok or something big with some sort of sides. Throw those leeks in there, and saute until soft. I like to poke the spoon through the center of each leek slice so that the layers become kind of a cone, and then I laugh and ponder my existence.
Once the leeks are soft, add some garlic until it smells reeeeeeal nice. Pour the rice into the pan and stir for a minute or two. Then you want to add the wine:
Get one of these tiny bottles of crap white wine, and drink what you don’t use. You… might be sorry?
Stir some more until the wine is absorbed. Then you will add the broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring all the while. Every time you add some broth, stir until it’s absorbed before you add more. While you’re stirring, you’ll have plenty of time to think — about your nonexistent career path, your latest failed romantic endeavor, that time you farted at Burning Man. Then know that things can only go up from here.
Half an hour or so later, when all six cups of the broth are absorbed and you are all cried out, add the squash, nutritional yeast, and herbs, and cook until heated through. Add salt and pepper if you need to, but I don’t think you will. Take a deep breath, slap some bread on your plate, and smile for the first time in weeks.
It’s another delicious vegan dinner from reader Ron! This is roasted butternut squash over spinach and strawberries with a maple pecan glaze.
Ron says, “I split the squash in half lengthwise, scooped out the seeds, and cooked it face down in a pan of water at 350 F for an hour. For the glaze, I melted a couple of tablespoons of Earth Balance, added some maple syrup and crushed pecans. The tart of the spinach & strawberries offset the sweet of the maple syrup nicely.”
It looks beautiful, thanks, Ron!
Bonjour, butternut squash cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting! They are super-easy to make and they taste like they’ve got pumpkin (squash, whatever) pie inside.
The filling recipe goes like this:
½ cup Earth Balance (or similar)
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup butternut squash purée
3 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. ginger
1 Tbsp. cardamom
2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. coriander
Cream the vegan butter and sugar until well combined. Add squash purée and spices, mix thoroughly but gently. I then refrigerated mine for like 12 hours, as I made it the night before, but if you can refrigerate yours for an hour, that’d be fine. You want the filling to be thick and gloppy so it stays within the confines of the dough when you work with it.
Follow instructions for filling and baking in your cinnamon roll recipe (here are some ideas!). I baked mine for 30ish minutes at 360 F (yeah I know; I was splitting the difference between two sets of instructions). After about 30 minutes out of the oven, I frosted them, using the cream cheese frosting recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World with extra cream cheese and a little sour cream (leftovers).
Eat warm, though they’re really good cold, too.
Happy Thanksgiving from reader Michael! On his Waffle House plate—which we totally covet—clockwise from top, are cranberry sauce, cranberry stuffing (Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s recipe), butternut squash, mac and cashew cheese casserole (also CPG), Moroccan spiced mashed potatoes with caramelized onions (from Vegan Soul Food by Bryant Terry), and cashew gravy. Um, scrumptious; that cashew gravy looks better with every picture. Happy Thanksgiving, Michael!
Russell Simmons, who’s totally the man, was on the Martha Stewart Show last Tuesday and they made vegan kamut berry pilaf with butternut squash and cauliflower. Butternut squash and cauliflower sound hella good together! I will say it now: I love Martha Stewart. Always have. So I especially love when she does vegan stuff. I love Russell Simmons too, though isn’t he a bit strange? And he says he hates vinegar; who hates vinegar?! Vinegar rules. I was even on the Bragg apple cider vinegar diet once! Well I don’t know if it was a diet, I just drank the stuff, like, a lot. I guess by those standards, I’ve been on a beer diet for quite some time! I must say, it’s doing wonders!
Two Thanksgiving recipes from accidentally vegan Epicurious! »
If you get a CSA box in the Bay Area, it’s probably currently full of potatoes, leafy greens, apples, carrots and butternut squash. Maybe tomatoes & cilantro, too. And butternut squash. Let us marvel at its beauty.
In a recent search, I turned up not one but two (2!) delicious vegan recipes utilizing almost the whole box of produce, on Epicurious, a site that could also be named “Dairycurious with a Pork Garnish.”
Let me show you it.
- This one used apple, carrot and lots of butternut squash.
- I added pepitas (recommended!)
- The house still smells of delicious curry.
- This one used potato, tomatoes, and squash, but I threw in bonus carrots and chard. It worked out well.
- The saffron flavor is amazing, I would recommend using more. Yes I know it’s like $1 per strand. Live a little.
- The spices really elevate this soup from boring vegetable soup to exotic fragrant getaway.
These are both perfect for Thanksgiving—the rice dish would make an excellent stuffing alternative.
And, we still have half a butternut squash, despite it being the dominant ingredient in both recipes. I never realized how much fucking squash is in one of those things.
[photo by Vancity Allie]
Recipes: seasonal soups! »
Newspapers: not entirely useless! Today’s Contra Costa Times (newspaper to the stars! of the East Bay! kill me!) features a few soup recipes that sound delicious and can be easily veganized. Really, there’s no reason why they aren’t vegetarian; no one needs to use chicken broth when vegetable stock is just as easily made/obtained and doesn’t involve animal death. That cruelty-free isn’t the default is stupid and careless. We’ve got a long way to go, vegans.
Still, the soups—butternut squash chipotle bisque, roasted tomato with garlic croutons, and carrot with cumin and lime—look tasty, uncomplicated, and pretty perfect for early fall in the Bay Area, when the nights are growing longer and colder but the last of the tomatoes are still lingering on the vine.
Butternut Squash Chipotle Bisque (serves six to eight)
1 medium butternut squash
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1½ cups chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped carrot
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 to 6 cups stock or broth
3 tsp. minced, canned chipotle in adobo
Salt, fresh ground pepper
optional: ½ cup vegan sour cream
1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds, discarding the stringy pulp. Put the seeds in a sieve and rinse. Set aside.
2. Grease a glass baking dish with 1 Tbsp. oil, then place the squash in the dish, cut side down. Pierce all over with a fork and roast 45 minutes or until tender. Let cool.
3. Heat remaining oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Saute onion, celery and carrot for 10 minutes. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes more.
4. Scoop the flesh of the squash into the pot and stir. Add 4 cups broth and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are very tender.
5. Meanwhile, toast the reserved squash seeds in a small pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until crunchy, about 30 minutes. Season heavily with salt and set aside.
6. Puree the soup in batches in a blender, adding more broth to get the desired consistency.
7. Stir the remaining 2 tsp. chipotle into the bisque and ladle into soup bowls. Top each with a dollop of vegan sour cream, salt and pepper, and a sprinkling of seeds.
Roasted Tomato Soup with Garlic Croutons (serves six)
18 plum tomatoes
2¼ tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt
¾ teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
3 large garlic cloves, minced
½ cup olive oil plus extra
3½ cups stock, divided
2 Tbsp. fresh basil
1½ Tbsp. olive oil
1½ Tbsp. nondairy butter
2 cups bread cubes (half-inch dice), made from French bread, crusts included
1½ tsp. minced garlic
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Oil a large baking sheet generously.
2. Halve tomatoes lengthwise and remove the seeds and membranes. Let drain.
3. In a large bowl, mix pepper, salt, rosemary, garlic and ½ cup olive oil and whisk to blend. Add tomatoes and toss well. Marinate for 15 minutes.
4. Arrange tomatoes, cut side up, on the baking sheet. Drizzle any remaining oil mixture over them. Roast until tomatoes are softened and browned around the edges, about 50 to 60 minutes.
5. Place half the tomatoes in a food processor. Pour in 1 cup stock and pulse until pureed.
6. Coarsely chop remaining tomatoes. In a soup pot, combine the chopped and pureed tomatoes and remaining stock and bring just to a simmer. Season with salt.
7. For the croutons, melt the oil and nondairy butter in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add bread cubes and cook, stirring, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes until bread is golden and crisp.
8. Garnish each serving with basil and croutons.
Carrot Soup with Cumin and Lime (serves 6)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped
2 cups chopped leeks
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
3½ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
6½ cups stock
2 Tbsp. lime juice
Kosher salt, pepper
Garnish: chopped cilantro and grated lime zest
optional: 8 Tbsp. vegan sour cream, divided
1. Heat oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add carrot and leeks and saute until leeks begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add cumin and red pepper flakes and saute 30 seconds more.
2. Add the stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered, about 35 minutes.
3. Puree the soup in batches and return soup to the pot. Serve hot, with a dollop of sour cream and a squeeze of lime juice stirred into each bowl. Or cool the soup, whisk in 6 tablespoons of sour cream and refrigerate for three hours or overnight. When ready to serve, stir in lime juice, season to taste and serve topped with a sprinkling of cilantro and lime zest, and a dollop of vegan sour cream if desired.